The close season is upon us in earnest and the focus has been on possible incoming players, unsurprisingly.
However, the tragic news of Jose Antonio Reyes’s death is all I can think about so far this summer. To die at 35 is too young, but at least he made his mark on the world of football during the brief time he was on this planet.
For me, I remember him signing for Arsenal and being quickly impressed by his lightning pace and skill. Although he never really settled with the Gunners, he will always be one of my favourite players. In fact, so good was he, that Manchester United were under strict instructions to kick him off the park at Old Trafford. Unfortunately, Reyes didn’t get the protection from referees that he should have done and, consequently, it was no wonder he wanted to return to Spain.
In my view, and I know not everyone will agree with this, Reyes was the second best winger I’ve ever seen at Arsenal. I’d have to say Marc Overmars was number one, as the Dutchman was unstoppable.
This brings me on to the replacement for Mislintat. There’s been talk of Edu coming in, but before that it was Overmars. Needless to say, it didn’t happen.
On the topic of not happening, that’s the state of play with Arsenal’s transfer activity. Of course, we’ll never completely know what’s going on behind the scenes, but while Mislintat was at the club, Arsenal made exciting signings. Not that he’s gone, we can only talk about Suarez and what a disaster that was!
For some reason, the word ‘disaster’ makes me think of Wenger’s last season, even though it wasn’t that awful. Nevertheless, the former Arsenal boss is still jobless despite having all those great clubs chomping at the bit for his services. The latest to be linked is Vissel Kobe, but I didn’t trust the report, especially now they’ve just appointed Fink. At least, if he had gone there, he could have linked up again with Podolski and played him out of position again to negate his goal scoring ability.
This brings me back to Mislintat who improved Arsenal by recruiting the right players. Wenger proved in his latter years that he couldn’t do a satisfactory job in this regard. Recruitment has become more complicated over the years, so a specialist was needed.
Whether Edu can bring in top players to Arsenal remains to be seen, but Mislintat will be a tough act to follow.