Morning all and welcome to Saturday. It’s the last Saturday before all the football starts up again next weekend and that to me is bloody weird. I’m used to a summer in which you go through the stages of sadness that football isn’t on and end up utterly bereft before eventually it comes back and you’re like “yay!” because it feels like you’ve been waiting forever for it to begin. And that feeling of “yay!” normally lasts at least a month, or until Arsenal have gone to Anfield and been battered (that game always seems to be within the first few weeks of the season…), by which time you’re a bit like “oh, yeah, there’s pain in the return of football too”.
But this isn’t a normal time we’re living in. It’s a COVID time and everything is weird. Like being just over a week away from the end of August and still not having had your usual “thanks for your support last year, but we need your money again” email from the club about season tickets, instead receiving a holding message about wanting to release more information on 2nd September about how it’s going to work with the return to fans inside the stadium.
I kind of get it though. How on earth do Arsenal try to plan for season tickets and return to the stadium of fans when they don’t even know what the situation is with the virus, the number of fans allowed, or the Government guidance on what will be allowed? It’s an impossible situation everyone is in.
And let’s not forget how reliant on season ticket and match day revenue Arsenal are. More so than most clubs actually, so they’ll be more keen than most to get fans into the ground, just as much as we do. It’s probably why they’re being what I think is optimistic by suggesting that there’ll be fans in the stadium. Hopefully they’ve been given a heads up by the authorities but regardless, personally, I don’t think I’ll be heading over to the Emirates even if I’m one of the select few chosen to attend. It just won’t be the same with a stadium that is a third full. I love going to the football and I love the game, but standing around in relative silence with nobody within ten metres of each other just isn’t football for me.
Hopefully we’ll get some normality back into football by next year but until then, it’ll be Tv watching for me, for the foreseeable.
In the immediate football future we’ve got other things to worry about, like how Gabriel Magalhaes is apparently stalling to see if Man United come calling. It’s a shame because as Arteta himself said we want players who are 100% committed and have a drive and desire to play for The Arsenal. If this kid is stalling then part of me thinks we should just move on. I’m sure there are other players out there who we have as targets. At least I hope they have.
I suspect we’ll know more over the course of this weekend because I can’t see Arteta and Arsenal wanting to hang around too long. He’s apparently already had his medical but as we know that means little at the moment. Apparently he had a medical at Everton before lockdown so when you hear things like that you do wonder just how much longer this saga is going to last. Like the boss says, you’re either on the boat or you’re not, so what’s it gonna be Gabby?
The other question is on Aubameyang and we still don’t have that contract signed yet. It’s like the club and player are trolling us for kicks now. We’ve seen him pictures in the new away kit, saying nice things about the club, as well as those cryptic egg timers. It feels like it’s all done and dusted but there’s always an element of doubt until it’s on the dot com.
Not really a lot else going on at the moment. It’s a short one from me today but hopefully we get some news today and I’ll catch you tomorrow to talk about it if we do. after all, last Saturday the club dropped the Raul bombshell, so maybe we’ll get a positive one this weekend?
Let’s just wait and see.