I don’t know about you, but this week – footballistically speaking – certainly feels like it’s dragging on, as we’re still only at Wednesday and I’m still a little raw from the opening day defeat.
I’m trying to remember if it’s always been like this at the beginning of the season. I think it might be you know. After all, we’ve had plenty of recent history opening day results to go against us, that we should be able to deal with the pain a bit more.
Perhaps it’s a bit like Wolverine from the X-Men. Yes he heals and yes he can withstand more pain, but in the movies there is a line in the first ever X-Men movie where he’s asked whether his claws coming out of his knuckles hurt him when they break the skin. “Every time” is what he says.
We’re the same. We’re getting used to being undercooked each season. But it still hurts every time.
Anyway, all this preamble is mainly because there’s little happening in the Arsenal world, unless you count the news that Jack has been helping Rob Holding settle in. It’s a shame that Jack has had such a torrid time with injuries, actually, because if he’d have established himself as a mainstay of the Arsenal team over the last couple of years, I could see him potentially being given the captains armband. Hey, I know that the position is effectively a ceremonious one these days, but the captain still has to be a custodian for the club and I think Jack could do that quite well. As soon as he stops getting caught in nightclubs and smoking and all of the things that the press like to point at and tut through their column inches.
But he’s been at the club longer than anyone in the first team squad I suspect, so he knows Arsenal inside and out and he does feel like somebody who could really embrace the role of club captain. Perhaps a good season under his belt this year will give him a shot, if you’re to believe that Big Per might be off when his contract expires next summer. Personally I don’t see that happening, because I think he’ll sign a new deal and accept a role of a squad/rotational central defender because, despite all of the ‘haggling’, I do think the Mustafi deal will be done.
The guy is training alone at the moment and you don’t do that to a player who you think is part of your future plans. Just look at Lacazette, who has banged in goals for Lyon and is very much seen as part of their plans for 2016/17. Yet Mustafi is clearly just waiting for the deal to be done. As are we! I think Valencia are probably going to blink too, because if the rumours are true that they need the cash, then they’ll probably accept the closer to £25million deal that it sounds like Arsenal are offering, as opposed to the £30million deal they originally wanted.
I wonder what the clubs are haggling over? Add-ons? If so, we should just chuck some league and cup add-ons in to the mix to allow Valencia to save face with their fans.
If we win the Premier League, will give you a couple of mil.
If we win the Champions League, we’ll give you a couple of mil.
If we do both, you can have an extra couple of mil, because quite frankly we’ll be too happy to care.
I should get involved in negotiations I think. I’d be ace. “Alright lads, how goes it? So, we want this dude in your team, and we’re prepared to go all out for him. So, I’ve spoken to a couple of people in London and we’ll pay £x, plus….and this is the real sweetener here guys…we’ve secured a pair of tickets for each of you to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre. This year. Like gold dust these are, so take them, enjoy yourselves, and let us have yer guy for our next season.”
Now that’s negotiation.
Of course the other option is Jose Fonte to Arsenal. I have no problem with Fonte as a player, actually, but at 32-years-old it smacks of desparation to me that we might be after him. Arsène has always spoken about only bringing in players of a certain ‘top top quality’, but how does he rank in that sphere? I get that situations change, that sometimes ‘needs must’, but it’s the hypocrisy that I don’t like. I don’t like being told we’re not acting in the market because we can’t find people of a certain quality, then we just go out and buy a Squillaciesque ‘make do’ player. It’s completely mixed messages from ththe manager.
Mind you, we’ve been getting mixed messages from Ivan and Arsène for some time now, so perhaps we should all get used to it. The goalposts are being shifted on a weekly basis. We’re physically ready, we’re not physically ready. We can compete with the big clubs financially, we can’t compete with the big clubs financially. We only buy top top quality, we need a quick resolution to cater for injuries now.
It’s all very sporadic and just doesn’t look like we have any real plan at all.
See what happens when I only get one game per week? I end up thinking too much about stuff.
Can’t wait until the midweek games come thick and fast.
Catch you tomorrow.