Jul 302008

Let’s start with the transfer news, and the long suspected arrival of Amaury Bischoff has now been confirmed by the Arsenal website, with his signing likely to be the one Wenger claimed he was ‘definitely going to make’. Now all the remains is the second one that he ‘might make’. In all honesty, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the last of the action.

There are those that will slate this signing because Bischoff isn’t a big name, but they will mostly be jumping on the media bandwagon that buying famous names is the only route to success. There are also those that will rejoice and talk up the player, simply because he is a Wenger signing.

Let’s be honest, we know very little about the guy, perhaps unsurprisingly given how much time he’s been out injured over the past two years. Fingers crossed he won’t be joining Rosicky and Van Persie on the treatment table.

All I will say is that at 21, we should expect to see quite a lot of him in the first team over the next two years, as he doesn’t have as long to develop as some of the younger midfielders now presumably behind him in the queue. If he isn’t destined to be a first teamer, his signing is a strange one.

Elsewhere, the captaincy debate is raging on, with some saying Gallas is a good leader and others saying he is one of the worst in recent years. I tend towards the latter – the example he set at Birmingham was unforgivable, at his age he shouldn’t need to ‘learn to talk my players better’. Captaincy is something you are ready for when you get it, and if you screw it up, it is taken away.

Having said that, I’d be surprised if Gallas wasn’t wearing the armband this year. This time last year, he suddenly started making the right noises, as if he already knew Wenger’s decision, and he is doing it again now. The trouble is, he seems a good captain when things are going well, but when the going gets tough and he needs to step up, he doesn’t. That for me is the biggest disappointment.

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