Morning folks. Happy Monday and all that jazz. In London it’s going to be a sunny week so at least that’s something worth being pleased about whilst so many of us are still cooped up at home.
It’s been trying for all of us and we’ve all been wanting to get out and do different things. Some people go to the countryside, some have gone to the beach, just to do something – anything – different than what we’ve all been doing over the last couple of months. Which is why Alexandre Lacazette obviously thought he’d try a bit of laughing gas whilst at home to take the edge off of lockdown. Apparently, according to the ever-reliable gutter newspaper trash, the club are furious and have stated that this is an internal matter and will be dealt with internally.
Call me a liberal if you like, but I’m struggling to see why this is such a big hoo-hah. He was at his home. He was using nitrous oxide, which is not illegal, in his home. I mean, there’s potentially an argument that he’s setting a bad example to kids, but then so is anybody who is having a beer or drinking wine, because that is the same as smoking cigarettes or inhaling this sort of stuff through a balloon.
Now, if he reports for training and his fitness stats are down because he’s been hepped up on goofballs and it is going to impact his effectiveness to do his job, well, then there’s a problem. Because that’s when the club can give him a larruping because that’s what he’s paid for. If I got absolutely smashed last night and then can’t properly do my job this morning then I’d expect a serious talking to from my bosses. But if he’s in and training today then what’s the issue? Unless of course he has it in his contract that during any ‘pre season’ there is no types of substances or anything that could impact his physical fitness. If he’s breached his contract/club rules there then fair enough. But then again, this isn’t pre season, it’s some kind of weird hiatus that we all know is unprecedented.
Apparently his future is up in the air now, according to some of the chip paper rags that carried the story yesterday, but I seriously doubt that it is the case that this instance will move Arsenal to shuffling him out of the door at the first sign of the window opening.
What’s more likely to happen is he gets moved on so Arsenal can fund some kind of squad reshaping. THAT I can understand, but only if we have the ink freshly dried on Aubameyang’s contract, which I am still not even remotely expectant on. If Arsenal do get some kind of signature though, you could see Lacazette being moved on and if a club like Atletico Madrid are still interested (apparently Costa’s form this season has been ropey, which explains why they might want Lacazette, although clearly they haven’t paid for any kind of scouting to be done on the Frenchman based on his form this season!), then perhaps there’s a deal to be done in some kind of swap deal. That seems to be the soup de jour in terms of transfer narrative this coming window. No clubs have money and they’re looking at ways in which they can make signings without breaking the bank. Apparently Roma have absolutely no cash whatsoever and are staring down the barrel of a loss of over €250million. If that’s the case then us expecting any kind of serious money for Mkhitaryan is fanciful. Perhaps we can convince Roma to give us one of their stars, but they’ll most likely want a ‘player-plus-cash’ deal and unless we do actually get decent money for any of our cast offs, I can’t see us dropping big dollar on players this summer. We will most likely have to rely on some of our youth products coming through the ranks and that is a reality that many teams across Europe might face.
On to slightly different news and Calum Chambers was talking to fans via a Facebook call a few days ago about his rehab. This must be an odd situation for him because he’s not expected back until later on this year but with all of the covid-19 stuff that’s gone on I’m not sure what it’ll mean for the next season and for him. If we start up this final part to the season at the end of June, it’s probably going to be the end of July it finishes, maybe mid August. Then you’re talking about probably a shorter summer break with the next season returning at the end of September/early October I’d guess. If that happens I don’t know if he’ll be back or not, but the timing might just mean that he doesn’t miss as much of the following season as he may have thought.
There’s also the mental side too. Everyone knows how hard it is for footballers to see their mates all playing whilst you have to sit at home or on the sidelines and watch. But with everyone in the same boat I wonder if actually it provides a sort of perverse comfort for Chambers? After all he’s not missing out on anything and whilst everyone is in lockdown he can just continue with his rehab. He still has some way to go but hopefully we’ll get to see him quicker than we thought and hopefully it means he doesn’t miss too much football.
Right, that’s enough from me for today I think, as I have a few calls to get myself prepped for. You have a good one and I’ll get back to you tomorrow.