First signing and quick confirmation why we should not read social media, as reaction is so crass, everyone vying for the quickest and wittiest put-down.
Hopefully the more observant Arsenal fans will see it’s a short-term signing aimed at having significant impact on culture change.
You do not play in defence for Juventus for as many games as,and under Allegri, unless serious about your defending and your work ethic are seriously good. We have needed those qualitiesl
So this signing is about one thing : to introduce some serious thinking and ethic to how we defend, and set a new culture for others to follow. Emery has to be pragmatic, as he has nothing to work with. He has to lay foundations first.
So to those on social media who think Lichtsteiner makes us a laughing stock for signing a 34-year-old on a free, please realise that Chambers and Holding are in desperate need of a veteran mentor.
Of course, younger, talents still need to come but Emery has to build a defence and a shape that holds up in games and generates confidence. Until now the inevitability of conceding away goals has made the Arsenal mentality fragile.
Note too that Fellaini is in the frame. Again, not fancy but a shift in mentality, some size and physicality in the middle of pitch. Also a late goal threat coming off the bench .
Not a long-term solution but Emery teams will likely be playing in a more organised and compact manner, and hopefully much more combative.
2018-19, a season of transition, has to set the tone for the next 2-3 years.
This season is about laying foundations and getting the change started and short term selections will be key as the Colney Crèche gets dismantled and more accountability is introduced.
Not just from management but from players with each other. To sign a right back from Juventus, an experienced player with 250 appearances in the stingiest defence in Europe, is a great idea. At Juve every member of that defence accepts nothing but 100% from each other.
The whole ethos and emphasis of Premier League is attacking play and goals. But after watching so much naivety and ineptitude in recent seasons, I am actually excited about seeing team set up and defend in a manner that shows we know what we doing!
Obviously, the World Cup is a distraction. No expectation on England but with Holland and Italy absent, there are only a few stand out nations.
Many teams are around the same level, so there could be some surprising results and one nation going on a ‘cup run’ after a start slow but then get all the breaks and come into form, a la Bobby Robson’s 1990 team .
It will be interesting World Cup if some top nations lose games.
PS. What was I writing about on June 12th four years ago?