What with the lack of domestic football, players going across the world and us as fans left to stew on the recent poor form, what we really needed was a star player giving an interview in his homeland laced with cryptic messages.
Alexis was interviewed in Chile after their 3-1 win and noises started permeating the social media atmosphere back here in England yesterday early evening.
Now all of the UK press are running with the story in which Alexis said he was happy to see out his contract, he loved the city and he wanted to be in a team with a winning mentality.
Now I don’t know about you, but whilst I know that language can be misinterpreted, that last point seems the one which might send us all into a bit of a shudder. There have been rumours of an interest from Chelski and should that be true – something that suddenly overnight seems a little more realistic than before with those comments – then it makes for worrying reading for us Arsenal fans.
Of course the other way of looking at it is that Alexis is forcing Arsenal’s hand for this summer. He’s probably wanting a big money move and perhaps he knows that Arsenal would never sell to Chelski. Well, that’s what I’m hoping anyway, because that really would cause a revolt that would probably even get the most apathetic Arsenal season ticket holders off their plus red seats in the ground. So by dropping such a hint about seeing out a contract and staying in London, perhaps Alexis is telling the club that he’ll join that horrific football club in West London for free is actually designed to push Arsenal in to selling him abroad.
I’d love to believe that it is his way of saying he’d love to stay at Arsenal, but with rumours of an announcement by Arsène to sign on again and prolong the status quo at the club for at least another two years, Arsenal hardly seems like a place where a winning mentality is on the horizon any time soon.
I find it sad that rather than just have hope and belief a player will stay at Arsenal like I used to, all I get these days is a sense of dread and even my support for them wains a little. For example whilst I still roar on Alexis when he’s on the pitch, the fact that I’ve seen this contract saga happen so many times before, the love for the player has gone a bit and personally I hope we just ship him out as soon as the season finishes if he won’t sign. Arsenal need to give themselves as much time as possible to find a suitable – world class – striker and knowing our track record that will take all summer. So we might as well make a decision quickly in May and let everyone get on with their lives.
But that won’t happen. This club are to player negotiation what Eddie The Eagle was to winter sports. We’re a calamity of an organisation these days and when Alexis goes I have no doubt we’ll pussyfoot around a few players for a couple of months and then leave something until the last few days of the window. That’s kind of what we do. We’ve got an archaic structure with an archaic manager and archaic valuations which, whilst to the rest of the world might sound reasonable for the purchase of human capital, in the football bubble is peanuts.
But in this instance there simply must be swift action from the club and we simply must make a decision by the end of May.
There’ll be a press conference today and Arsène will no doubt be asked about the comments and no doubt he’ll rebuff them in a carefully worded response. But at this point anything he says is just spin. He’ll talk up our chances in the cup and top four and we’ll all have to contend with the lack of transparency or future plans at the club beyond May, which will remain one of football’s biggest farces right now, because how a business entity – and let’s not forget that it’s how Kroenke and the board see this football club – can have no real plan beyond the next three months is utterly bewildering. But that’s Arsenal these days. No real direction and a captain of the ship who just won’t let go of the wheel.
Righto, off I go, for another day in the smog. Still, I go past Wembley every day and at least there’s that looming on the horizon to look forward to. But it’ll be more about the pre game craic than it will the football. Sad but true, folks, sad but true.
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