I didn’t blog yesterday because it seemed somewhat of a pointless activity given the horrific news of Saturday evening at London Bridge. Football can seem so trivial and far removed from the atrocities that some people can inflict on their fellow man sometimes. The world can be such a dark place when people are willing to kill others in the name of religion. But no religion would sanction such violence and if there is an afterlife for these people then they have truly made the gravest mistake ever, because there will be no paradise for them, quite the opposite in fact.
But life has to go on and so I find myself sat on this Metropolitan Line heading in to the City for another working week. And everyone has to go about their business, because that is the little bit of defiance we can all get involved with, against such monsters.
Of course The Sun Newspaper can get to f*ck with their front page headline today. And no, there’s no way I’m linking to their website in any way, shape or form. Quite why they have to emblazon their front cover with a note stating a link between Arsenal and the killers is beyond me. It’s completely irrelevant and is a form of sensationalism at a time of national mourning and if you haven’t already boycotted that newspaper, then you can do it now, because even stating a tenuous link like they have is an utter disgrace.
What happened on Saturday night has absolutely nothing to do with football, let alone Arsenal, so to make such a statement is deplorable. I hope there are plenty of complaints to whatever commission watches the newspapers.
I’m not going to give them any more of my airtime though, because that newspaper deserves none of it, instead it’s a focus back on the football and it looks like Kieran Gibbs is on his way, with rumours of a bid from Newcastle imminent. You’ve got to say that with 12 months on his deal and the expected announcement of Kolasinac due when the transfer window opens, £15million would be a heck of a return for Arsenal to get. Gibbs clearly has no future at the club and despite getting a bit more game time of late, was always suspected by most of us to be one of the ‘surplus to requirements’ crowd at London Conley, so the fact we can get that money for him would be good for all parties I think. He’ll be a first team regular, Newcastle get a good player who will improve their team, whilst Arsenal get a bit of cash to add to the Scrooge McDuck cash pile of reserves that Stan Kroenke has tucked away on his ranch somewhere. Everyone’s a winner.
That’ll be the first of a few exits this summer I’d expect, with Lucas Perez sure to be next and I’d imagine we probably have seen the last of Jack Wilshere in an Arsenal shirt. The only complication with Wilshere is that he isn’t fit so whilst Arsenal would probably offload him if he was fit, I do wonder if he’ll be one of the few that is allowed to run down his contract until next summer. That would be a real shame for Arsenal but sadly – and I really do mean this with all the sincerity in the world – you have to look at his injury record and wonder whether we’ll never get to see the Jack Wilshere that burst on to the scene all those years ago. He’s moving dangerously in to Diabyesque levels of injury proneness and if he doesn’t get much game time next season when he does return to fitness, then you can only see his career going one way as he gets older, which would be just the biggest shame.
There will also be question marks over other players like Chambers, Debuchy, as well as some of the young players, so whilst we all know there needs to be incomings, the club needs to be moving fast – and now – to find homes for a lot of players.
It all adds to a general level of pessimism that exists for this summer I’m afraid. I mean, unless the club are hiring a load of extra temp workers to help deal with all of the negotiations they need to do, it’s hard to see how they’re going to get everything sorted this summer. It just feels like we’ve left ourselves too much to do in too short a time and let’s face it, the club hardly have a great recent past of being efficient at its player acquisition, retention and release. As we stand at the moment, the only player who we know will 100% not be at the club come August, is Yaya Sanogo, whose impact is hardly one you’d chalk up as demonstrable.
It’s why when I hear Giroud talking about being flattered but ultimately not interested in Marseille, I am actually kind of glad, because he’s the least of our worries. He’s proven his use this season and we have other things to worry about, so I’d be stunned if Olivier was moved on. It’d have to take silly money for the club to sanction it, so I reckon we’ll certainly be seeing Ollie in an Arsenal shirt in ten weeks time.
The question marks remain, the fear of a shoddy summer still lingers and the hope of the next season hasn’t taken hold yet. We’re in this weird footballing no-mans-land at the moment. We need to see some kind of spark. And soon.
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