Phew. That was a relief to see that Man City are still in control when it comes to the Man City Cup, the cup which essentially proves that if you have enough money you can build a squad to rotate that is better than other squads. But the most important thing at all was that the Scum didn’t win. So the sight of Son crying, of Kane dejected as he collected yet another runners up medal, of Bale crouching down next to Son as if to say “I am so glad I’m only on loan”, is one in which I think we can all be happy about this morning. Arsenal may be terrible, but at least Spurs keep on Spursing.
Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not naive enough to think that our day of sadness is probably only just around the corner, with that corner potentially being this Thursday as our bunch of misfits go to Spain to see if they can get us in to a second Europa League final in three years. But you have to take your joys in other people’s pain sometimes and that’s why there will be plenty of Gooners chuckling away today. There certainly were yesterday and there was plenty of the old schadenfreude going around on social media last night to make me giggly into my phone.
What won’t be funny is if we can’t take one of our senior strikers to Villareal this week. We know Lacazette is out but I had foolishly thought that because people had said Aubameyang was back in London Colney, that he’d be doing training and would back up and running now. I don’t really understand malaria though and apparently it can take ages to recover from. There were also some noises about the fact he’s lost some weight and if that’s the case I hope it isn’t too bad for him. At the beginning of the season we all talk about how players need to get up and running in terms of fitness. Elite athletes are like machines that need to be ‘run in’ a little before their bodies are operating at their physical peak, so when you hear that Aubameyang will have lost weight, that will probably be a number of things including muscle mass. Even one or two percent of that dropping will probably take him a while to get back up to speed. So There is a real worry there about him for this week I suspect.
And after Nketiah’s display, I have hope that Arteta is taking a proper look at Martinelli through the middle. He came on against Everton and played that role and I heard some noises that Arteta and his coaching staff were really weighing up whether to go Nketiah up top or Martinelli against Everton. They went with Nketiah and the Englishman hardly pulled up any trees. So if Auba really is out as we suspect he might be, then I really hope we opt for the running power and drive of Martinelli over Eddie. I like Eddie, he’s popped up with a few goals here and there, but I think we’re now at the stage where we need to realise that he isn’t going to give us what we are hoping for as Arsenal fans. I wrote a piece at the beginning of the season where I looked at Harry Kane’s career and when he broke in to the Tottenham team. It was about the age Nketiah is and Kane had done a couple of loans like Eddie. But by now he’d established himself at that dirty lot. Eddie just hasn’t been able to take his chance and the Everton game on Friday night was another example of that happening.
So I think the summer is time for us to cash in on England’s leading under-21 goalscorer and see who is interested in getting themselves in a striker. There will be suitors for a player with his profile.
It’s the same with Willock. It’s great that he’s scoring goals for Newcastle, doing well, looking like a better player. But we need to cash in on him I think. He’s thriving in his environment. At The Arsenal he didn’t quite take his opportunity and that’s fine. Sometimes that happens. Look at Zaha at Palace, then off to United, then back to Palace. That environment works for him and that’s why he’s been able to succeed. It may well be that is what Willock needs to thrive and if that’s the case then fine. We just need to make sure we get proper money for him and that Newcastle don’t just plead poverty with us over him.
This Arsenal team needs a reboot and if a few of the Hale End lads are the ones that are sacrificed for that rebuild so we can bring in the players that Arteta wants and needs with the profile of player he wants and needs then I’m good with it. At least these are assets that should fetch good money. I don’t want to see teams pulling the wool over our eyes by low balling us in the £10 – £15million bracket for these young players. They are decent enough, we can attach an English premium to them, with Nketiah and Willock alone we should be looking to fetch close to a combined £50million I would wager.
That’s where Edu has to do his work this summer and this is where we see what he is made of. Last summer with Sanllehi going halfway through the window you could perhaps argue that Edu didn’t have much time to deliver as the head honcho. In January he did ok, but it isn’t exactly the most taxing task to pay players off. This summer he needs to be able to sell and sell well enough to give Arteta the money he needs for a rebuild. That means selling well in terms of the aforementioned Hale End lads, but also Maitland-Niles, Bellerin (who is offski as we all practically know anyway), Kolasinac, Torreira, Elneny, Guendouzi, as well as probably Lacazette too. That’s a fair few changes and we need to get all of those done and done well with money coming in to the club as a result. Then from that he can start to buy players that fit the style and shape Arteta wants.
And stories of Stan spending big this summer are bollocks. Why would he change a habit of a lifetime now? He simply won’t and we all know it.
Edu has a big summer ahead, regardless of what European competition we are, or are not, in.
Catch you all tomorrow.
You never really recover from Malaria. Kolo Toure was never the same after he caught it.
So if you ever go somewhere where it’s prevalent, take the pills no matter how sick they make you.
That’s the worry – that we’ll never see Auba like that again