The Grass Is Always Greener

English Premier League football finally returns later today and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing how it’ll all turn out this season. My own team, Arsenal, has been in the news before a ball has been even kicked and it looks like it’s going to be another challenging year for the North London club. The poor results at the end of last season surely convinced the manager that he needed to be busy in the transfer market during the summer. And, certainly, Arsene Wenger has overseen a number of changes at the Emirates over the last few months and he has added a few new faces to the squad. So far, however, rather than going for risk-free, established defensive players in the prime of their careers he has instead gambled on teenage forwards with no experience of English football. Still, there are a couple of weeks remaining in the transfer window and perhaps the manager will surprise everyone by signing experienced defensive players who were born before 1990. At least he shouldn’t be short of a few bob as it looks like the departures from the Emirates will be more significant than the arrivals

There haven’t been too many tears shed at Denilson’s return to Brazil and there will undoubtably be tears of joy if he’s able to offload Almunia, Bendtner and Eboué before the end of August. One of Arsenal’s biggest benefactors are the nouveau riche Manchester City and they’ve made made another deposit into the Arsenal bank account for the French left-back Gael Clichy. They’re also pursuing Clichy’s fellow French international, Samir Nasri, who looks set to swap London for Manchester shortly. Unlike their previous acquisitions of Clichy, Adebayor and Kolo Toure, Nasri may actually have something to offer Roberto Mancini’s team. The one departure that I’m not too happy about is Cesc Fàbregas’ imminent move to his hometown club of Barcelona. I remember seeing his first games for Arsenal in the league cup and being impressed by his footballing vision and passing skills. He soon broke into the starting eleven and, while still a teenager, he became a first-team regular as he quickly began to take control of the midfield. He made remarkable improvements each season and briefly added goalscoring to his repertoire. He showed great desire and passion on the field and sometimes this got him into trouble with officials, fans and opposing players. Nevertheless, Wenger gave him the captain’s armband following Thierry Henry’s departure to the Nou Camp and now he looks certain to follow in the Frenchman’s footsteps

Barcelona have made no secret of their displeasure at Arsenal’s “kidnapping” of the young Cesc and have been courting him publicly over the last few years. Wenger was able to convince him to stay last season, but it was a poor one by his standards. He was blighted by a recurring injury and seemed to have lost some of his desire to remain in the Premiership. I think it was always on the cards that he would return to Catalonia as a player one day and I can’t blame him for wanting to be part of what is undoubtably the best football team in the world at the moment. I just feel that he’s only going to be a squad player until Xavi or Iniesta move on. Nevertheless, I wish Cesc the best of luck if he decides to return home and hopefully he’ll win the trophies his talent deserves. A player like Cesc Fàbregas will be a big loss to Arsenal FC and to the fans, but it won’t be too bad if Wenger succeeds in using the money from any possible sales to shore up last season’s defensive frailties. I can’t wait for the action to begin and to reading two of my favourite blogs throughout the season. Arseblog is an award-winning blog for Gooners everywhere and it’s updated daily in an informed, passionate and no bullshit manner. Football and Music does exactly what it says on the tin and I finish with some songs about football and some that aren’t but could be. Best of luck to your team for the coming season and let’s hope you’ll have more highs than lows as you follow them over the next nine months

Don’t Get Fooled By the Footballers’ Summery Outfit – Le Man Avec Les Lunettes

The Saturday Boy – Billy Bragg

Football Crazy – Rolf Harris

All Wi Doin’ Is Defendin’ – Poet & the Roots

Get on the Ball – Roy Shirley

Get On The Good Foot – James Brown

Shooting Star – The Mamas & the Papas

The Grass Is Always Greener – Charlie Rich

Blues Run the Game – Jackson C. Frank

Wizard of the Worldly Game – Fairport Convention

It’s All In The Game – Tyrone Davis

Games People Play (Joe South cover) – Bob Andy

Mind Games (John Lennon cover) – Hal

Wicked Game (Chris Isaak cover) – JJ72

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4 thoughts on “The Grass Is Always Greener

    • An interesting North London selection there, Dan, but they were all better footballers than singers. Is Mash It Up Harry by Ian Dury about ‘Arry?

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