Another day brings with it another set of spurious rumours that Arsenal are linked with, along with a clutch of players that everyone seems to know everything about, which I’ll get to in a second. But first, at least we know one fact from yesterday, which is the details of the Community Shield, which takes place on Saturday 29th August at 4.30pm at an empty Wembley Stadium. It’ll be us and Liverpool contesting it and that’ll be an interesting opening showpiece because it’ll be interesting to see how Liverpool line up.
I suspect Arsenal and Arteta will use the opportunity to rotate some players, but not too many, because it’s another ‘trophy’ that is on the line.
I like the Community Shield. Mainly because when we’re in it I normally don’t really feel that bothered about what the result is, but it is a ‘nice to have’, so the pressure feels off a bit. Also we usually win it and of the last five times we’ve played in the competition we’ve been able to win four, with the one defeat coming on penalties in 2003 against Man United. So it holds some nice opening day memories that I’m quite happy to relive in a few weeks time.
Of course we’re miles away from Liverpool and they will most likely get revenge for the defeat at The Emirates a few weeks back, but that doesn’t really bother me because, like I just said, the game is a glorified friendly and a bit of fun (normally in the sun so let’s see what is happening at the end of August!).
We might even see one or two new faces, although aside from the obvious in Saliba and possibly Willian, who else there might be remains to be seen. The latest rumour doing the rounds is that Roma want to have a piece of Lucas Torreira in an exchange deal for Amadou Diawara, which I find a really curious one. Curious because having had a look at a few Roma fan sites this morning, it appears that they’re approaching this in the same way that we are. Diawara had a solid albeit injury-prone season (“not another one!” I hear you cry) but by all accounts made 29 appearances and the Roma fans appear to like him. He’s 23 and so a good age profile, which means that they’re also invested in hopefully seeing more of him if he plays more next season. It actually all sounds very familiar to how we feel about Torreira. He’s had an injury hit season, he’s still broadly liked by the fans, we want to see him do well but the only difference between the two is that it looks like Torreira is angling for a return to Italy at some point. It doesn’t look like Diawara is angling for a move out of Roma. Here’s a low down from my old mate Dave if you want to read more.
It appears this looks like a ‘balance sheet’ transfer, which again makes me feel a little queasy if I’m honest. I’m no expert but I think the way the clubs work it is that Club A ‘sells’ a player from Club B and records the money received for the player up front. Club A then ‘buys’ a player from Club B, but they spread the cost of the player over the length of the deal. So in other effect if we ‘sell’ Torreira for £40million to Roma, but ‘buy’ Diawara from Roma for £40million on a four year deal, we’ll be classing that as £10million spent this summer, then the next and so on. For the hear and now the balance sheet looks like it’s got an extra £30million on it for The Arsenal. Roma do the same in reverse.
I think that’s how it works but, as I say, I’m no account and my knowledge is limited. But it’s also how I see that this is the only way this deal making sense for both parties. At a time in which football clubs’ income has been sorely dented, they need to find clever ways to justify their spend and as a result we see transfers like this. I think it is similar to the ‘creative accounting’ that Barcelona got involved in with Juve, when Arthur went to Juve and Barca agreed to buy Miralem Pjanic from Juve.Like I say, it is all a bit murky but I guess that is the world Arsenal operate in and as we’ve found out of late the traditions and ‘class’ that we’ve held Arsenal up as a shining light historically, seem to be slowly evaporating as we start to morph into the American-style franchised ownership of the KSE empire.
What can we do? We are beholding to the Americans and also the football administration who are cosying up to Joorabchian on what feels like an almost daily basis. We just have to sit here and take it unfortunately and just hope that they know what they’re doing and if they f*ck up, are held accountable by an ownership that have told us to ‘be excited’ as little as one year ago.
Come on then KSE – ‘excite me’ – and do it by bringing a class back to Arsenal, by making us competitive on the pitch and by showing that you are true custodians, instead of the people we worry you are.
Catch you peeps tomorrow.