It is uplifting to see that Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis have finally heeded the call from both players and fans to fortify the squad, and in so doing have secured the services of three competent players from Europe and possibly one or two on loan as well.
So why the change of heart? Two reasons spring to mind. The first is that by making these new signings, Wenger hopes to persuade Robin Van Persie to change his mind and extend his contract.
The second is that Jack Wilshere is now out of action at least until October which might just be worrying the manager as much, if not more, than the first reason.
However, Van Persie should not be seen as a saviour. He had a brilliant last season, but that might not be enough. He is injury prone, and might not have as good a season as the last one if he stays, even if he is fit. And he might still leave.
So that leaves the focus squarely placed on the new signings.
True to form, no signings have been made from the Premier League, which I would personally have liked to have seen. This is not taking anything away from the likes of Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla.
Each player has an extremely competent, tried and tested record, yet each come from other leagues. It would have been nice to have seen Wenger sign a player or two from the Premier League and who knows the pace, stress and demands that the league throws up every season.
The other issue is cohesion. It takes time to blend into a team. The more the players know each other, the more they learn to play seamlessly with each other.
Barcelona is an example here. Smoothness of play and positioning of players comes from familiarity with each other, and this Arsenal may not have. Giroud and Podolski have barely featured in pre-season either. They will need to get up to speed quickly and learn to blend with their teammates.
They will have to learn to do this very quickly if they intend to challenge for the title, or indeed any silverware, rather than playing catch-up as has happened in the past.
Whatever the outcome, it looks to have the makings of a cracking season and as an Arsenal fan I am looking forward to it despite my caution. Roll on the 18th of August!
image: © sdhansay