Howy folks and welcome to Saturday. Lawd knows how many weeks we are in to Lockdown in the UK now, i’ve lost count to be honest, but at least mother nature is smiling on us with a bit of sunshine in the London region.

Which is probably why Lacazette and Luiz decided to break the rules and meet up, as well as Pepe going out for a bit of a kick around, with Xhaka also doing his own version of what constitutes ‘lockdown’.

Arsenal of course did the ol’ wrapping of the knuckles on the players which is what you’d expect, but it’s hard for me to go in two footed on them metaphorically this Saturday morning because frankly we’re all a little fed up of being cooped up at home and so it doesn’t surprise me that they tried a cheeky get away.

I know there are people who are less fortunate and I know that there will be people in tower blocks who are adhering to the rules and will see this as mildly offensive in terms of flouting the rules, but we’re all human and I defy any of you to say that you haven’t been a bit desperate to get away and be a little cheeky. I will confess that I myself have bent the rules slightly; I go for an afternoon run every day and one day over this lockdown period my wife hadn’t gone out for her daily walk and she wanted to get some fresh air before bed. So in the evening we went out and I accompanied her given that it was getting a little darker. So it seems a little hypocritical of me to be chastising the players.

Of course they’re a bit silly thinking that, as high profile personalities, they could get away with it. But I guess that is life.

Arsenal gave them a dressing down, they’ll no doubt avoid doing it in future, hopefully no bad has come of it other than people looking a little silly.

Which is also what Aubameyang’s dad will look like with his cryptic messages about signing a new contract with Arsenal, if his son ends up getting sold whenever there’s a transfer window to speak of. There’s apparently a slight increase on the £200k a week deal for the Gabon striker and it appears papa wants a brand new boat, because if he signs with Arsenal now he’ll no doubt also get access to a chunky signing on fee though.

What do you do with the Auba situation though? 30 years old, he will only start declining, but I suspect he’ll be at his peak for at least another three years so it’s a tough one for Arsenal to assess. Particularly given that nobody is going to have any money when the window opens, which means the value of players will inevitably reduce. So we may only get something like £30million for a £50million striker. But £30million of cash in the current market may mean you can get a young player who might have cost £40million, for half that price, so it’s all relative.

There’s also the whole question of the value of the contract from Aubameyang’s perspective. If every club except the oil whoring/financially doped clubs is going to be desperate to sell, then it’s a buyers market and Arsenal could cash in on Auba and have money to invest, but also for the Gabonese striker it means any club that can put an offer down probably won’t be offering mega wages. So in effect the deal on the table from Arsenal right now is worth even more than it was three months ago. It isn’t completely mad to think that a £225k-per-week deal – or thereabouts – is the equivalent of a £300k-per-week deal in ‘old money’ of three months ago.

So perhaps that’s where Auba’s dad is coming from. Perhaps he can see that it’s going to be a hard sell to get a club to stump up Ozil wages these days. So taking the cash now rather than gambling in a few months could be a shrewd move from the players perspective.

So it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out and whether we get some sort of news in the coming weeks and months – one way or the other. An announcement he has signed an extension would be a nice bit of news during this downtime, wouldn’t it?

There’s also some fluff from the Standard about Sokratis hinting that Thomas Partey will be joining us from Atletico Madrid. Sounds like nonsense to me. How on earth could Arsenal afford a £44million signing when they have only just asked their players to take a 12.5% pay cut. It just doesn’t make sense and the players would right go batshit mental if it happened. The only way a deal could be struck is if Arsenal are sending someone else the other way. Now, given that nobody has any money in football (except those that cheat the system as already mentioned) and given that Atletico are supposedly interested in Lacazette, I could see some kind of swap deal arrangement being discussed that would work for all parties. Apparently Costa is out of form, we have two strikers so we could part with one if the other signs a new deal, plus there’s the fact it would free up more game time for Martinelli to play through the middle. To me that would make a fair bit of sense if all parties were interested, but it would need a lot of haggling and swap deals are usually a rarity for a reason. But let’s just see how Arsenal approach the window when we know when the window will bloody begin!

And on that note I think i’ll say g’day for another one. Am trying to do blogs at the weekend now but weekdays are tough because work is so intense and long working hours. But if I get time and inspiration i’ll pen some thoughts.

Until we speak again.

Catch you peeps later.