Good morning and welcome to the third year of my blog on Arsenal and all things Arsenal with Cesc as the particular focus when there's anything to report on him. It's back to the hard grind of work for me today, but have no fear; my priorities remain intact and Arsenal are far more important.
First up today are the reports that Montpellier and Bosnia defender Emir Spahic could be about to join us. According to the player, he is very close to signing for Arsenal and he hopes that his club will cooperate with the move as negotiations continue.
I've read up what I can on him and I find it very interesting that he has only played 174 league games in 10 years. Some players are late bloomers, but with him turning 30 in two weeks time, what sort of a contract would Arsenal be prepared to offer him? At the moment, our policy is not to offer a contract of more than one year to players over 30 and if negotiations drag on he could be over 30 before he signs.
He is the captain of his country and apparently he is a very committed defender and a leader of men, which is a great attribute and something that we could do with. However, he's not exactly the top-class, experienced defender we are hoping the boss will sign. I suppose if we actually do sign him it will signal that Koscielny will be first choice alongside Vermaelen and Spahic will warm the bench with Djourou.
With so few club appearances in the last 10 years, it's obviously something he has got used to and I'm sure he will hope to get a chance and take it at some stage knowing our usual catalogue of injuries. Of course, he hasn't signed yet and he may not sign either, but hes certainly a very strange player for Arsenal to be so heavily linked with, in my opinion.
I suppose it could be worse and the rumour that the boss was considering signing Silvestre again is one that I was not happy to hear. I'm sure there was absolutely no truth in that rumour, but still the thought of him returning to the club and possibly playing for us again was too much for me to take.
The club told us yesterday that 19-year-old Sanchez Watt has joined Championship side Leeds United on loan for the whole season. He spent a couple of months on loan there at the end of last season and he will be hoping to make an impression in their team if gets a chance.
Like a lot of other young Arsenal players, he has an awful lot of potential but trying to realise that potential at Arsenal isn't easy as chances are few and far between with the talent we have available. His best bet is to get a prolonged run in the Leeds team and shine for them, which will increase his chances of breaking into our first team squad.
The reserves and youngsters played away to Boreham Wood last night and won 3-0 with Mark Randall and Benik Afobe scoring, as well as an own goal from the home team. Both Szczesny and Nordtveit played from the start as the boss looks to give them more game time before deciding if they will be included in the first team squad or not.
Another notable inclusion in the team was Kyle Bartley, as he's a centre back with huge potential but there were rumours last week that he would miss a couple of months with a broken collarbone. Obviously those reports were very far wide off the mark.
Possibly the most notable appearance last night was half time substitute Wellington Silva, who was given special permission to play.
I'm not too sure what his chances of getting to stay in England with Arsenal are, but he is a player who is reckoned to be a possible superstar of the future. We may have to loan him out for a year or so like we did with Vela, but I hope he can stay to train and play at Arsenal where he can learn from the very best.
Curiously enough, Lansbury wasn't in the reserve squad last night but he is listed as a reserve player on the club site. He featured in the earlier preseason friendlies for the first team and was one of the players chosen to accompany the first team squad to their training camp in Austria. I'd love to know if he is injured or possibly on his way out on loan again.
Our captain, star player, and the inspiration for this blog, Cesc, is due back at the club tomorrow along with RVP for the Members Day, where 10,000 members will get to see the players train as well as partake in loads of other activities. It sounds like it should be a great day for all of those who attend and I hope they really enjoy it.
Several players have been talking on the club site about their hopes and expectations for the new season. Rosicky wants to win a trophy at Arsenal as he has won one at every other club he has played for.
Nordtveit is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Steve Bould and switch from right back to centre back and he thinks his experience in Germany last season will stand to him. He played quite a few games as a defensive midfielder for Nurnberg last season too so maybe he's an option in that position as cover for Song.
While I was on Twitter last night, I got some very good news about Arsenal's reserve team. It appears that they will be playing in a three team tournament in Dublin along with "Manure's" reserves and local club Shamrock Rovers, who I have a fondness for. I'm hoping to go to the games and see a few of the stars of the future and meet a few other Gooners at the same time.
Finally for today, there's the small matter of my fantasy league and the fact that it now has over 200 teams in it, which means that there will be trophies for the winner and the runner-up. If you want to sign up, the link is here and the code to join my league is 33954-12064 after you have set up a team.
I'm running the league this season with a little help from 11Gunners and I'd like to thank them for their help in promoting my blog and the fantasy league too.
If you do sign up, please take the time to join Captain Arsenal's league too as he has been a great help to me in promoting my blog on Twitter. The code to join his league is 13028-5211 and he would be delighted to welcome you to his league.
Here's a good breakdown of the highs and lows of last season.
See You Tomorrow.