So it seems that Wilf Zaha IS in fact the man who Arsenal are getting quite hot for at the moment and as news broke yesterday afternoon that the club had already made a £40million bid, the online chatter went crazy as you’d expect.
The thing is, and this is a BIG thing for me, I’m not getting too caught up just yet. Mainly because we’ve seen this before. Remember the Suarez incident? We went in for him at a figure we thought we’d get him, it was rejected by Liverpool, the club thought they were going to get their man and then Suarez even went public via one of the broadsheets to express his desire to play for a team like Liverpool. But Liverpool stood firm, Suarez went on to have a fantastic season and we got nowhere near him in the end.
I don’t think Zaha – despite some of the press saying things like he’ll never train with Palace again, or his brother publicly broadcasting the Zaha family ‘camp’ view on social media – will go on strike though. I’d be surprised. There’s talk of this stuff but he’ll want to move on with his stock still high from Palace fans. There’s also apparently a very good relationship between Steve Parrish the Palace Chairman and Zaha himself and so if Zaha really wanted a ‘dream’ move then i’d be surprised if Parrish would stand in his way.
But he’s not a mug and he’ll know that he could potentially get a bit more cash from Arsenal and so a) it’s no surprise the bid was rejected, and b) he’ll know that he’ll need as much cash as possible to appease the Palace fans, so that can then be reinvested in the club. The question also seems to be whether Palace would accept any player as part of the deal but I’d be surprised if that was the case. As I’ve been saying over the last few days ‘player-plus-cash’ deals rarely end up happening because of the complexities and I’m not sure who Palace need from the list of Arsenal deadwood that would improve their team. People are saying Jenkinson as a right back but they’ll probably want a bit more of a proven player to replace Wan-Bissaka than the Corporal. And ,such as we all want him to find a lovely home where he can be free and run around in, Palace probably isn’t going to be it and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him drop down in to the Championship if i’m honest.
We need to get him off the books, like we still do for a few other players and after Swiss Ramble dropped a Twitter thread to hit home that we need to do some serious book balancing, once again we’re left asking questions about Ivan Gazidis, as well as his woeful tenure at the club. Revenues increased that’s for sure, but so did every team in the Premier League and so it isn’t hard to see that any team has increased their money coming in since the Premier League exploded on a global scale. But what is comparable is the teams at the top of the league and whilst most have seen areas like commercial revenues increase, sponsorships get bigger and bigger and clubs improving under sound financial management, we had a CEO who delivered soundbites and nothing else.
The shocking and grim reading that Swiss Ramble set out yesterday is solely on Ivan’s door if you ask me. He can’t control the football side but for the vast bulk of his tenure we were a Champions League team and so milked those riches. The decline has shone a light even more and the lack of interest or investment from Stan has an impact, but Ivan controlled the commercial sides and with comments like ‘keeping the powder dry’ a few years back, it is clear that he is a big reason as to why we are in the position we are in today. When he left for Milan many were disappointed but for me it was an opportunity to get rid of the back room deadwood. And he was most definitely that.
Raul and Vinay still have a lot to prove and their reign is still in its infancy, but they were perhaps lucky that Ivan has set the fan expectations so low given his poor performance, that they only have to get some fundamental basics right and we’ll probably all feel like we’re in a better position.
Anyway, that’s it from me for another one, so I am off to do a bit of exercise and hope there’s a little more sun out there.