By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger is looking forward to closing the book on the summer and simply getting on with the new season.
The last couple of weeks have been somewhat strange for the Arsenal manager. He saw his side humbled 8-2 at Manchester United and then went out to secure the services of five players in the last 48 hours of the transfer window. What with international duties and logistics, some of the new acquisitions have yet to even train with their new team-mates.
However, on the eve of Arsenal's Premier League return against Swansea at Emirates Stadium, the Frenchman argued that the new quintet may have allayed certain concerns - inside and outside of the Club. Especially after Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri were allowed to leave in big-money moves.
"Yes, the other players could have been a little bit worried about our ambition when they see big players moving out and not big players coming in," admitted Wenger.
"When you are a big player the confidence you gain when you look around is about who is around you. It's important for a football player.
"But there was no resentment. There was maybe more, from the players who were here, uncertainty about our potential and our determination to strengthen the squad. But we have mastered the timing of that.
'It's like in a company. When you're half-in and half-out, it's not as good as if you're complete in. That happened at the start of the season.
"But in our job, like in any given job, you have to create some collective and you need everybody to be in on board and focused on it. If you don't have that, it's much more difficult.
"And I must say that Fabregas and Nasri played completely well and respectfully. But they were not completely here."
"Honestly," the manager went on, "I could write a book about the summer. I think it would quite be an interesting one. Not because of me but because of all that happened, it was quite unbelievable. And you would see that it was not as easy as it can look from outside.
"Of course I'm not the only one who controls things [in this situation]. It's the clubs who buy, the players as well, the determination of the players, because they change sometimes their mind as well."
Arsenal: Rosicky (doubt - knee), Wilshere, Diaby (both ankle), Ryo (calf), Vermaelen (Achilles), Squillaci (calf), Song, Gervinho, Jenkinson (all suspended)
Swansea: Alan Tate (broken leg), Craig Beattie (ankle), Darnel Situ, Rafik Halliche (not yet received international clearance)Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 9 Sep 2011