The day is finally upon us. After a disappointing summer for our nation’s respective football teams in the Euro’s and the Olympics, the opening of the new season couldn’t come soon enough. For Arsenal, the season starts with a home tie against a tricky Sunderland team who are more than capable of pulling off an upset.

Head to Head

It is hard to judge the first game of the season, with both teams fielding new players. In the 2011/12 season Arsenal beat Sunderland 2-1 both home and away, with a certain Mr Henry grabbing the winner in the final minutes at the Stadium of Light after Sunderland took the lead. Sunderland did manage to grab a 2-0 win at the Emirates last year in the FA cup though.

Imagine this for a minute. One of your best mates leaves your company to go and work for one that you both despised, without telling you, and you end up finding out from the gossip shrew in the office.

This is more or less what happened to Thomas Vermaelen yesterday.

After Belgium’s 4-2 friendly win over Holland, a reporter broke the news that Robin Van Persie was off to Manchester United to him.

During the transfer window, rumours constantly swirl around about all number of players, who may or may not be moving to various clubs based on reliable or unreliable sources that may or may not exist. Another thing the media love is a transfer saga.

If you can take one player and string out an alleged move across a long period of time, with a huge cast of clubs, sources and opinions, that’s a journalist’s dream. Publish any old tripe with this guy’s name in it and you’re guaranteed hundreds of clicks.

Robin Van Stapleton’s back for good

Having yesterday told you that Robin Van Persie was open to discussing a new contract, I now regretfully report that AFCAMDEN, one of the most reliable Arsenal accounts on twitter, and the most loyal RVP supporter I’ve seen, is now pretty sure he’s going to United.

After the excitement of the Cologne game, it’s not surprising that Arsenal related speculation has quieted down. Very few rumours have emerged today, but we’ve had a bit of consolidation on some longer-running ones.

Is Van Persie staying?

This has been the most notable story of the day, which just about sums up the quality of speculation. A number of gentlemen on twitter, the kind who are more inclined to tell the truth, have reported that Van Persie is willing to discuss a new contract with Arsenal, having spent most of the summer trying to move away, as you all know.

We played a friendly yesterday, against Cologne. Before the game we were all hoping for some kind of slick, classy win, but we knew that we’d lack fluency, and the new signings would take time to gel.

Then we went in at half time 3-0 up and looking like Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud, and everyone else had played together for years.

It may have been against a second division German team, but Arsenal were really impressive, and it seems that for once our transfer dealings have paid off in a big way. Cazorla ran the show, Giroud could have had two or three, and Podolski actually got two, including a hammer of a shot from the edge of the box that made me squeal a little bit.