Arsène’s doing his press conference in just over an hour from when I start writing today’s Wednesday blog. It’s the first time I can remember him having a Wednesday press conference ahead of a Premier League game on the Saturday and I can only conclude one of the following:

  • He wants to get on the road as quickly as possible to take the team for a treat to Alton Towers, because Lacazette has said he’s never been to a theme park before
  • He’s taking the early train this year to avoid another season of Joel Campbell related heckling
  • Mark Hughes had promised him a slap up meal in Stoke’s finest kebabery and he has decided he wants to try local delicacies wherever he goes this season, ahead of some eclectic fixtures in the Europa League
  • He is sick of constant Alexis questions and wants to get them out of the way sooner rather than later.

Probably the latter of the above is more likely, but whatevs, y’know, I’m starting to become a little bit numb to it all. It’s like people who like right next to a tube line and don’t even hear the trains any more after they’ve lived there long enough. That’s what I feel whenever hearing Alexis stuff these days. 

Arsène will tell us he’s out for this weekend, he’ll confirm he’s staying at the club beyond the summer like he did last night in a beIn interview, and nobody will be any closer to knowing what will happen.

Well, technically we will be a day closer, but that feels like it’s dragging on a fair bit I have to say. I’m sick of the August transfer period and if there was a universal scrapping of any transfers done before the first game I would Kevin ‘Keggy’ Keegan-style ‘love it’ if we didn’t have to deal with it any more. It would be far easier on everyone if we could bring forward the irritation of Arsenal ‘not quite doing enough’ on transfers to early August, so we could purely focus on football right now. Fingers crossed that’s more than just rumour for 208/19.

As it stands though, there’s still a lot of work to do and as a good friend of mine (Steve) pointed out to me and a few others yesterday, by messing around and haggling for the extra one or two million in this window, we’re actually throwing away cash in wages anyway. 

Taking an extra £1million for Lucas Perez at the end of August is offset by the fact that the club could have moved him on at the beginning of the summer and saved his nigh-on £700k in wages anyway. Times those sort of figures for Gibbs, Debuchy, Jenkinson and a few others, and we’ve essentially lost around £7million in wages anyway. So why does it sound like we’re haggling for the odd bit here or there? 

I get that it’s not all up to the club and Gibbs can be cited as an example, but I’m sure there’s more we could have done to tout them around earlier in the summer than be in the situation we’re in now, isn’t there? I don’t know the inner workings of the club so I’m only speculating, but if we’re asking for £10million for a player and in June someone comes in and offers £8million, it’s worth considering on the basis that we’ll have to drop the price later in the window anyway. 

It just feels all a little disorganised if I’m honest, from an outsider-looking-in perspective, which doesn’t really surprise me. We were promised a ‘change’ but none of us truly believed that, did we? So here we are, unable to shift players, like we’ve been in this situation before. We look like we’re going to go in to the season short in midfield and with too many question marks over some of our best players,

But hey, we’ve got the actual football back, which is enough for us to try to ignore the rest, so let’s hope we’ve got plenty of good team news come this evening. Starting with the hope that we’ve actually got some centre halves to call on come Saturday’s trip to Mordor.

Catch you all tomorrow.