It should be a relatively quiet one today, because I’m imagining that the team will be enroute back to the UK to prepare for domestic friendlies before the season opener in the glorified friendly against the chavs.
I can’t see this blog last too long today either, because quite frankly I’m almost all out of Alexis thoughts, and unlike previous players in previous years, it looks like Arsène is going hard on his ‘not for sale’ line.
I do find it somewhat amusing though that in previous seasons the desire has been so strong to keep players, before they eventually end up being moved on to fan outrage, yet this summer – possibly because we’ve got used to the idea of players running down their contracts to force a move – there seems to be more than acceptance of a sale. Mainly because of the fear of having him play for another domestic club either this season or next.
But his staunch refusal to even a entertain sale this summer is certainly greater than it’s ever been, which suggests to me that he’s either heading for an almighty climbdown, or he really is going balls out this upcoming season.
He’s even suggested the pursuit of Neymar is because they can’t get Alexis and with the money that’s on the table at eyewatering levels it’s hard not to believe Barca might kind of want the deal too. Could bribe a lot of referees in Europe for that sort of cash. Or taxman domestically.
But I guess we’re still doing the waiting to see when the wheels start moving.
Other than that there really isn’t that much going on. The transfer tittle-tattle is drying up and it’s the players out that appear to be the subject of more speculation than those coming in. Kind of understandable, given that all that’s happened so far is a Szczesny exit.
So I think I’ll end this short blog on a memory. Thierry Henry, my favourite player, which I must qualify by saying he joined the club as I started to ‘get’ football. I’ve been a Gooner since the late 80s, but Thierry’s arrival was when I started to see patterns of play in football, try to analyse Arsenal games, and properly appreciate footballers.
But it’s that Leeds goal, which I watched again to the backdrop of some emotive violin music, which I am thinking of today. It was by no means his best, he didn’t really manage to do much else in that FA Cup tie, but for a three second moment in time as Alex Song played a ball in to him, everything seemed to go slower for me in the stadium, as he received the ball, opened his body up, then planted it in to the opposite corner.
I went nuts. Screw the ‘romance’ of the cup being Conference teams playing at Old Trafford, the Emirates or Anfield, for me it was that moment. The return of a hero who showed that even at an older age, he could still cut it. It was majestic. It was beautiful. I came out of the ground that evening utterly elated.
And that’s what football should always be about. Moments like that.