Before the weekend is upon us, the club will be on their way to Asia for the appropriately named ‘Asia Trophy’, in which they’ll play a Singapore Select XI to decide who should have the honour of facing off against one of Everton or Stoke. I heard that they tried to call the Trophy the ‘Non-England based, late at night Greenwich Meantime Trophy’, but decided that it probably wouldn’t make the natives feel too good about themselves and so decided for the more catchier name it now has.
The squad that was announced carried no real surprises whatsoever. Having only played in the Copa America under a week ago, Alexis certainly wasn’t going to be present, nor was Ospina who will have the same rules applied with his stint in between the sticks for Colombia in the same competition. Gnabry also played in competitive football in the Under-21’s tournament, although given he made just substitute appearances, I did wonder whether or not he’d be asked to rock up just for game time. I suppose he has spent the entire season injured and therefore was unlikely to be Germany’s shining light, but you do wonder if he himself would have taken the decision to show Le Boss that he wants to start his pre-season well and therefore would request to come along. Having said that, this time of the year is the only time where footballers are granted holidays so perhaps given that he wasn’t allowed to head off to foreign climes whilst being injured during the season, he is taking this opportunity whilst it is presented to him. Can’t really argue that one.
Jeff Reine-Adelaide is the only name from the list of attendees that I am not familiar with, so it’s looking like all of the main players will get a run out. That’s good news and I’m sure the players will much prefer a nice trip to Singapore than to the old Austrian boot camp Arsene used to send them too. Weather will be much nicer, that’s for sure, as Singapore is pretty much 30 degrees all year round, the lucky little so-and-so’s.
So, with that minor bit of news, I’ve been toying with the idea of moving up a gear in terms of my gloatiness as an Arsenal fan after a certain former Arsenal player has reportedly now all but completed his move to Turkish side Fenerbahce. You remember those guys, they’re the ones we beat 5-0 on aggregate the season before last to get in to the Champions League. They’re the ones who finished second to Lukas Podolski’s Galatasaray and who play in a league that also features teams like Torku Konyaspor, Çaykur Rizespor and Gençlerbirliği. All internationally renowned clubs so That Dutch Bloke has clearly picked a team that will give him the most competitive football he could ever imagine. Rumour has it that the little boy inside van Persie has always had a sweet tooth and a bit of a penchant for Turkish Delight straight from Turkey, so perhaps this move isn’t as much of step down for him as it would appear on face value, so good luck to him.
Actually no, I wish no luck to him whatsoever. This is a person who “in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward” let’s not forget. It’s a person who decided that he didn’t want to put faith in a man who had made him the person he was and decided he wanted to lay on the green, green, grass next to a Scotsman who smiled at him and promised him many years of happiness.
But that Scotsman is gone. He left shortly after van Persie sat down on the grass and when Robin had got himself comfortable, other people were sitting around him that he didn’t really like. Over on the other patch of grass where he used to sit, they appeared to be having a good time. There was clearly a picnic going on, because people had bought cups with which to drink sparkling beverages from and spray over each other.
Sure he had an initial bit of fun and he was able to sup from a cup himself, but he hasn’t had a drink for quite some time now. Now he has to go over to another patch of grass because there’s not enough room for him on this one. That patch of grass way over there. That grass is so far away I’m not sure he’ll be able to see anybody else from where he’s sitting.
My favourite part of that van Persie statement all those years ago was this one:
“I personally have had a great season but my goal has been to win trophies with the team”
I like the word trophies. It’s plural nature suggests that there are many and certainly more than one. We have had a few lately – even if you’re going to count the Community Shield. How many has he had again? Huh, how about that. We seem to have had more. I wonder if, had he had stayed at the club, he’d have had more trophies, be playing with better players and would be excited at the prospect of an assault on the title this season?
Maybe. Maybe he’d even still be adored by a section of fans who watched him grow up. I can’t say United fans will have the same affection for him as we had. Bit like Berbatov really, if you think about it. Wonder if that will be a lesson to him?
see you tomorrow.