It's a pity that Fran Merida decided to join Atletico Madrid. He's got a lot of potential and I wish he'd stay another year to see if he could make it at the Arsenal. But then, I suppose he's seen that Wenger prefers Denilson and Diaby in the central midfield roles, and Arshavin and Nasri on the flanks, and decided to leave. At 20 years of age, he's champing at the bit for a chance at first team football, and Atletico Madrid is offering it to him.
It's the downside of Arsenal's youth policy. The idea was to recruit a bunch of youngsters, train them together, and then hope that they'll be good enough and loyal enough to win trophies with the Arsenal. Of course, some of them weren't going to make it. If Merida and Wilshere are competing for the same position, you'd have to say that Wilshere's the better long-term proposition. So we're going to be losing some really talented kids along the way, but hopefully, we'll keep the best ones at the club.
Merida had this to say:
"There are circumstances in life. I was very comfortable at Arsenal, but with the interest of Atletico I did not hesitate. I talked to my agent and I told him to deal with such an offer. Wenger looked after me and my family since I arrived in London. I have a very good relationship with him. I am and I will be eternally grateful. Obviously he is not pleased with my departure, but he wished me luck and behaved like a gentleman."
Goodbye Merida, we hardly knew you.
So on the 329th last day of my 20s, I went to work, came home and reorganised the study. Nothing else. Can't be arsed. Having a bit of a lull at the moment. Really tired, need to sleep.