Morning fellow Gooners. How are you feeling? Are you still reeling from the failure of the league campaign? Or are you like me, in this weird limbo in which you’re not quite sure right now, given the circumstances?
Yes the league campaign was pretty shoddy and yes, the manager and players can and should be judged accountable for the failure, but we’re in limbo because we’re still in the FA Cup and despite the disappointing season we could still come out of it with silverware. I think it’s highly unlikely – especially as it emerged that Mustafi is a doubt for the game too – but we still have a shot. So I feel a little weird about everything relating to Arsenal right now. I’m half disappointed, half excited, just looking forward to sinking a few jars before the cup final.
I’m also a little relieved at the club’s stance on season tickets given that we’re now in the Europa League. The club knew it had to do something though. It’s set a precedent for grading competitions ever since the league cup became a cheap evening out, so there’s no real case to be had for trying to convince anyone that a European competition is a European competition. Some have called the decision a poor one because they aren’t giving people the opportunity to opt out, but personally I’m just happy that my mega expensive ticket to watch what has quite frankly been utter tosh at times this season, has a bit of a discount applied to it, meaning that when you add the cup credit refund too, it makes swallowing the bitter pill of paying the highest prices in the land a little easier.
So I say good on the club for at least recognising that they had to do something and acting swiftly enough. Pity they can’t be as decisive when it comes to buying players, negotiating contracts, getting the CEO to talk about what’s going on, the manager, the decisions of the board and a whole other stack of examples that I can’t think of right now that have baffled us all as to the lack of urgency at Arsenal.
But they’ve got this one right at least.
They also look like they’re back in the market for ‘Project European Youth’ in going after a young 19 year old from KAS Eupen. Not only have I never heard of the fella, but I’ve also never heard of the team he plays for, but at 19 and paying £6.8million for him if they meet his release clause, then that’ll be an interesting one to watch. Interesting because £6.8million is the sort of price you’d expect Arsenal to pay for a player who is pretty close to the first team. Not a regular of course, but a guy who you’d expect to be in at around 18 in the squad i.e. making the match day squad for half of the season.
Mind you, we paid £17million for a guy Arsène doesn’t want anywhere near the squad, so who knows what to make of this story, if true. One things for sure, Lucas Perez won’t have much of a future and wherever he goes, I’d bet a fair few quid that he will score goals, just like he has done at Arsenal. If/when that happens I will never understand that whole situation. I mean, it’s not as if the guy hasn’t proven his quality on the pitch when he’s been given a chance, is it? Yet because he’s clearly not ‘Arsène’s man’ he’s been relegated to the role of London tourist for most of this season. It’s almost scandalous really. I am convinced if he’d have been given a run in the side at some stage, he’d have established himself, much like Yossi Benayoun didntowards the end of his loan spell at Arsenal. Yet in the face of poor form, lack of goals from anyone but Alexis at times this season, that Spaniard has still been binned. It’s mental and maddening for every Arsenal fan I talk to.
The only other talking points appear to be surrounding a possible second Usmanov bid which, if I’m honest, I’m not sure whether it will come or not. When I used to play Championship Manager back in the day and a club came in for one of my bigger players, I used to always be that little bit too greedy if I wanted to sell them. I’d miss out on so many opportunities to offload deadwood in my squad because I always wanted that little bit too much.
If the rumours are true that Usmanov will up his bid, the hatred Stan has for him will mean that the only way the Uzbekistani is getting his hands on Arsenal is if Stan thinks he’s fleeced him. So Usmanov will have to pay waaaaay over the odds to get Arsenal. I’m not sure he will. I think Usmanov is a man who wants a status symbol and a football club is just that to these billionaires. He’ll have seen how City were transformed and he’ll probably be happy to look at someone like Everton to turn around their fortunes, just because he can and despite having no love for him or his motives, I do have a fear that the Premier League appears to be becoming a billionaire’s equivalent of a conker. Who’s is bigger? Who’s can smash as many others as possible?
The worry I have is that the billionaire we’ve got has grabbed himself a big conker in Arsenal but, unlike his other mates in the billionaire playground, he isn’t taking his home and soaking it in vinegar, polishing it, taking care to preserve its outer core so it’s in optimum condition for tomorrow’s fight. My worry is we’ve had another lad offering to have the conker off our billionaire and he’s said no, just because he doesn’t like the lad.
WON’T SOMEBODY JUST THINK OF THE CONKER!!
Imagine a day when we are unable to compete with Everton because Usmanov has ploughed his cash in to the blue half of Merseyside. And all we have is that wig looking moron who couldn’t give a rats arse about ‘soccer’ and spends all of his time and cash on the LA Rams?
Probably best not to think like that, but it’s hard when everything about our football club appears to be wrong at the moment, you know?
Right, that’s it from me for one day I think, before I start going off and trying to find chestnut trees at completely the wrong time of year.