The good news kept on coming yesterday with Arsenal, with the official confirmation from the club that Big Per, that man who in five years has already elevated himself in to some kind of legendary status, will be staying on beyond next season as Academy Manager at the club.
I don’t think there’s a single Arsenal fan I’ve met who isn’t thrilled with this news. Thrilled because he’s a man who loves the club. Thrilled because he’ll get a final season in which hopefully he’ll have some contribution and then go out on a high. Thrilled because we’re keeping a man at the club who really does love it so passionately. Thrilled because he’s a leader and an excellent example for the current squad and also future generations. This is a move that has universal approval and it’s another example of the club getting another thing right this summer.
We’ve now had an early move for a proven finisher. We’ve had a new coach join Arsene to provide a new and mad voice to the changing room in the shape of Jens Lehman. We’ve also now had confirmation that a club captain is going in to run the academy. There is also talk of a football man on the board. People who said the angst and frustration that resulted in protests have had no impact. I disagree. I think a culmination of under performance, lack of Champions League, the fan discontent and the in-stadium atmosphere has all contributed towards the club and the manager thinking that they need to do something about where the club is at. And to their credit they are.
There is still more to be done at the club, but this news that we are being drip fed on a weekly basis can only be good from my perspective, and perhaps by the time the season starts we’ll have enough evidence to believe that the ‘catalyst for change’ remarks from Ivan weren’t just words from a politicians mouth.
Just quickly as well, I’d like to go back to Lacazette, after Mes made some comments about playing with the Frenchman. I have to say, his comments made me smile because although he hasn’t signed a new deal, I just feel like he’s going to. I know you can’t read too much in to videos like he’s done, but this is the kind of signing that should excite him because he’s the sort of player that you want to play with if yo’re in a creative position like Ozil is. And if you want some bonus listening material, you sholud have a listen to Giles and Lana Dawood talk about how Lacazette will link pup brilliantly with playmakers who can pass like the German. Listening to that Pod started to get me more excited about who we have bought and so I’d definitely recommend youu mosey on over to the Pod to have a listen.
And it also appears as though the change on the playing side is not yet done either, as the noises around Thomas Lemar look to be hotting up and whilst I usually roll my eyes when people put two and two together to make 28, it is odd that he was featured on a cartoon picture for the new Monaco kit a month ago, yet the same image of the away kit sees him missing. There are lots of noises around this one and the old saying about no smoke without fire is usually a decent one to consider when you get multiple outlets reporting on it, so I think Arsenal are currently just prodding at the carcass of Monaco to see if it reacts, before making off with one of the French champions vital organs. They’ve sold Bernardo Silva to City and there are others linked, but there will come a point where Monaco just say ‘no’ and so I hope Arsenal act swiftly on this one, because if we go for Lemar and get him, I wonder if Monaco will want to set an example to their fans by keeping their crown jewel Mbappe for next season at least.
I think that will suit us fine, because I think the chances of us nabbing him are slim right now, so we should get this guy in whilst Monaco might still be amiable for the move. It will probably also almost certainly spell the end of Alexis’ time at the club I think and whilst I’ve kind of been saying it for the last few months, you still just want to hope for some kind of miracle turn around. The hope is that the club can offload him abroad though, although there doesn’t seem to be many takers, sadly. City will therefore no doubt be hovering and if we get towards the end of August and there has been no movement on contract or bids for the player, I expect Arsenal will blink, especially if Lemar is in. You only have to look at the reports of his playing style to see that it must be the case. Plays on the left? Ability to drift in field? Sounds like a replacement for the Chilean if you ask me. And if that is the case, get it done and then go back to Bayern and say you’ll knock £10million off the price tag, sell him for between £35 – £40million and let Bayern use the rest on his wages to offset. Because that would be infinitely more palatable than having a 30-goal striker gifted to Pep’s City. We can’t. We just can’t. We need to literally drive the guy to central Europe, stick a massive “sale” sign above his head and see how many takers we get. We shouldn’t be arsed about messing around with a contract saga all summer. We’re not in 2011 any more, we need decisive and ruthless action and that needs to be done the second Alexis is back from holiday. Take your mega pay deal at Arsenal or go abroad somewhere. What do you want to do mate?
Right, enough of my ramblings for one day. It’s time for me to get on with my chores before enjoying a lovely Saturday in the sun.
Peace out rabbit.