I had a friends BBQ to go to yesterday afternoon, so only caught the bit up until Shelvey saw red yesterday for a mindless stamp on Alli, but by the sounds of the game in the end it was a good decision. The last thing I want to see is that scummy lot picking up three points at Newcastle on opening weekend. What with United also mullering West Ham and Jose being happy, Match of the Day 2 was not nearly as much fun as its bigger brother that is Saturday evening.
So despite how much less fun the Sunday was compared to the rest of the weekend, I have to say I’ll take that as opening weekends go. Despite Chelski probably going in to meltdown mode at an early stage in the season, especially if they lose to the Totts next weekend, it’ll probably still mean that horrible lot get the Wembley jitters out of the way early, which’ll not make many of us too happy. We were all hoping for a bit of a shaky Spurs start now, weren’t we?
Anyway, Arsenal news is of course centred around outgoings and that team with the stupid, bald, centre midfield muppet are supposedly interested in both Jack and Lucas Perez to add to their ranks. Well, if you believe the Mirror, that is. Personally I’d see that as a good move for both. Lucas will score goals wherever he goes and up on Tyneside they love a good goalscorer, so he could develop quite a following if that deal can be made, whilst being the main man in midfield could also be a good thing for Jack, if he stayed fit of course. If both were to sign for the Geordies you’d get the feeling that both Wilshere and Lucas would be the top dogs at the club. The only challenge Benitez will have is convincing them that Newcastle won’t be Premier League point fodder for the more established teams.
I find Newcastle a fascinating case in terms of club stature. I’m 34 and remember the swashbuckling days of the 90s under Keegan. I also have the in-laws family up there and you always hear about how they get 55,000 every week (not strictly true, but close), but I often wonder what kind of appeal Newcastle as a club have to players 10 years younger than me, or those that have come from abroad?
They must see a club that yo-yo’s between the two divisions a lot and therefore when I hear that Newcastle isn’t exactly Lucas Perez’s idea of a decent move, it makes me start to think that perhaps the romanticised view that I sometimes have about how Newcastle wouldn’t be the worst club in the world, is in fact not how a lot of players see it.
That then starts to make me appreciate why a lot of our players haven’t moved on yet. Firstly they’ve got to find a club that ‘feels’ right, but they’ve also got to get the deal right, before we’re even talking about the two clubs agreeing a price (although I know in theory the club’s fee comes first, but we’re all sensible enough to know that doesn’t happen). Arsenal players are on a lot of money at a decent club, so from a humanistic point of view, when I put my Arsenal tinted specs down, I can kind of see why Kieran Gibbs doesn’t want to take a pay cut to play for a Watford team that could very well go down this season. Not to mention the fact that if they did go down, he’d probably have a clause to reduce his wages in the event of relegation.
So we’re stuck in the current stasis where players don’t want to leave unless it’s for a decent club with consistent pedigree, where they’d be taking a hit on their take home, as well as spending every week looking at the foot of the table.
I still think there’s deals to be done, but I’m starting to feel less and less positive that we’ll be doing deals for incoming within the next two weeks. Perhaps it will change but it’s looking less likely as every day passes. Who knows, perhaps I’ll be proved wrong, but I hope to see some kind of inwards and outwards motion from the club soon because this current side won’t compete for the league I don’t think. Even if Arsène does discard the Europa League.
Catch you all in the morrow or tomorrow.