Howdy people, hope you’re good on this Monday, not wishing too hard that we’re all New Zealanders, given they’re now back to normal after quashing their Coronavirus threat that hit the country.
I know, I know, population density, etc, etc, blah, blah, but it’s still not easy not to look enviously over there and wonder when we can get some of that good life.
The closest we’re getting to it is The Arsenal in a week-and-a-bit and that is at least giving us all food for thought on what the future lies at the club with which you and I obsess over so much.
Every morning I wake up, grab a smoothie from the kitchen and head to my office (which is actually more like a bedroom that has a desk and a computer sat on it, with loads of Arsenal flags and memorabilia around me, if I’m honest), then fire up the computer and the first thing I usually do is a little bit of surfing for Arsenal stuff. Half because I want to know what’s going on and so will inform whatever thoughts pop into my head, but the other half is just the obsession. About six weeks ago I thought the obsession had subsided. I thought my addiction to The Arsenal had gone. Not football, but The Arsenal, because if I’m honest I don’t watch loads of football unless it’s our team. I don’t know why that is, I just don’t find it as interesting when I’m not maddeningly invested in the outcome. I can watch it with mates and my brother, but most of the time I could easily give it a bit of a swerve.
Anyway, I had a point here, in which I was going to talk about The Arsenal and our future but just like Grandpa Abe Simpson I seem to have gone off on a tangent and now can’t remember what my original point was.
Oh yeah, future for Arsenal, which was triggered by seeing that the Evening Standard were running a piece on how Odsonne Edouard has opened talks with Celtic over a new deal. I wrote a little piece about him in March when some links started to come out and certainly he seems to be a good profile for an Arsenal player and one that could make an impact in the Premier League. But according to the Standard article the ship may have already sailed.
I say ‘ppfffhh’ on that one. We opened talks with Aubameyang a year ago over a new deal and we haven’t got that one over the line. Still, the worry is that our contracts team and us as a club have a history of buggering up contract renewals, so I wouldn’t be surprised to read this Evening Standard article, assume it’ll be a long and drawn out process for the negotiation, then actually hear that Celtic have agreed an extension by the end of the week. That tends to happen at other clubs. Just not at The Arsenal.
It does make you think though. What if this guy was the real deal and then in two years time is snapped up by a Liverpool, United, Madrid or Barcelona? It’d be another Virgil van Dijk situation, who was also at Celtic and now we’ve got fans and pundits asking why we didn’t make a move for him when he was at the Scottish club.
That’s been our problem for some time now. We don’t catch those players early any more. We don’t get the kind of Kolo Toure deals that we used to and often its been because we’ve held on to other players in positions a little longer than we should have. Maybe that’s the case with Aubameyang. If he isn’t going to sign a new deal then we probably should be moving him on and then getting somebody in like this guy Edouard in at the club. But the problem we have is the market. Maybe that was the plan at the club all along until the Covid-19 situation hit us all. Maybe the club had a plan in place and that’s why they’re now having to hold fire on that kind of transfer deal in the hope that it’s still available next summer. And maybe that’s why Celtic are now moving to tie him down to a contract extension, because it means a bigger fee in 12 months if he bags himself another 30+ goals in a domestic season.
Of course I’m massively putting two and two together here to make a lot of assumptions on Arsenal, Barca/Real Madrid and Celtic’s behalf, of course, but I’m just trying to use this as an example to show just how bloody hard it actually is to try to reshuffle your plans in the midst of this global pandemic. And the fact that in the last few weeks I’ve veered from “sell, sell sell” to “keep, keep, keep” and then back to “well, we should probably sell” when it comes to Aubameyang, shows just how difficult a job it is right now to try to improve a squad when you don’t have a sugar daddies cash like Chelski, Man City or, soon, Newcastle.
So when I’m thinking – and talk on this blog – about the future at The Arsenal, it feels like i’m doing it whilst it’s completely shrouded in a fog that is as thick as pea soup.
Man, I’ll be glad just to get some football back so I can moan about that instead 😉
Catch you peeps tomorrow.