I think I said this in a recent blog, or certainly in one of my Twitter ‘moments’, but it feels like we’ve been playing catch up on football games an awful lot since Christmas. We’ve had these games in hand due to the FA Cup, so that has meant we’re behind on points as well as matches, but it’s also the live football that seems to have many we’re constantly on catch up with the other teams around us.
Take this weekend and next weekend as an example, we’ll have already seen what Liverpool, City and United have all done with all of their games before we’ve even kicked a ball in anger. And if it’s anything like yesterday’s results, it isn’t really much fun if i’m honest. Liverpool coming from two down to beat Stoke – why do Stoke seem to roll over and have their bellies tickled every season against everyone but us when we go to their ground? – the Totts winning, as well as City and probably United today. It’s just not a lot of fun knowing that we have to go to Palace on Monday night knowing we have to pull out a win just to stand still in the league.
Mind you, perhaps that’s better than having seen everyone else lose and then we end up not being able to capitalise on Monday night. That truly is a maddening state of affairs. But for now there’s nothing we can do other than look on and watch today like we did yesterday. At least in London it’s a lovely weekend and I intend on making the most of it by not bothering to watch any football whatsoever. I’ll keep track of the scores of course, but it’ll be a beer garden and a pint for me rathe than an indoors afternoon of footie.
The main Arsenal story of today appears to be Mesut’s indication that he will stay. Supposedly. He’s been talking to The Fail about the importance of Arsene staying but he also says it’s important to know one way or another whether he leaves in the summer. But where he hints that he might stay is in the article when he talks about wanting to win trophies and titles at Arsenal, strengthening in the summer and looking towards next season. Of course he’s going to talk up the importance of Arsene Wenger, but I am now wondering really how much his future is linked to the manager, because I don’t thin k it is at all. If we pay him enough money, then he’ll stay. So it’s up to the negotiators to give him enough cash and get it done. Sooner rather than later in the summer too.
We all know Alexis is off, but keeping Mesut would be a big boost to us all at a time in which we don’t really have much to shout about right now, so I am hoping this interview is the first steps to him putting pen to paper on a new contract. There are those that are being a bit cynical about why he wants to stay, saying that Wenger makes his life easy and he’s not a guy who wants to be challenged, but I think that’s slightly harsh on Mesut, because I think he is somebody who is looking at the situation and wondering if Arsenal can compete in the near future. Financially we can bring in the players to challenge, we certainly have the infrastructure, it is just a question of whether tactically and through the drive of the coach we can get over the line. Messy must surely be thinking that too, but he’s hardly going to come out and say it, so he’s towing the company line. He was at Madrid for Christ’s sake, who change their manager every couple of years, so if he was that wedded to a manager that he didn’t ever want to play for a club after one leaves, then he’d have walked out of Madrid sooner than he actually did. So whilst he’s saying all the right things, I think his staying won’t really be affected by Arsene’s future.
I don’t thin k we’ll see a van Persie style demanding to sign players, but I do think he wants to see ambition, like we all do.So whoever is in charge come the summer, we need to be able to show that we’re going to not make a total balls up of transfer windows like we’ve been used to seeing in recent history. Get the deals done, get them done early in summer, then let us all go on our holidays happy and excited for the new season.
Right, I’m off to find the nearest ice cream van.