Morning all and welcome to this ‘fake Monday’, because it is actually, in fact, a Tuesday. I do love a bank holiday in that regard. One step closer to the weekend already. Bonzer.
It’s also a day in which we are all waking up to remind ourselves that yes, it does appear as though Thierry is involved in some capacity to help Daniel Ek to buy The Arsenal. Thierry talked about giving the fans a voice, bringing back a little more Arsenal DNA to the club, about getting fan representation on the board and how Ek himself is not going to go away. Then of course we had an initial “bid to be submitted this week” news filtering through the socials, which is interesting because Thierry said that a bid had already gone in. So quite where this ‘bid’ actually is in terms of its stage is beyond me. Perhaps they filed it in paper and forgot to do a special recorded delivery or something.
Either way, whatever stage it is at, I’m not expecting KSE to sell up. Not yet, anyway, because they’ll want more money. They’ll want to make a handsome profit on the business they have helped to decline, not invested in, taken money out, benefitted from rising share prices and are now almost universally despised by their own fanbase. The idea that they could walk away with a few hundred million dollars more than they’ve spent on acquiring the shares is a little galling, but we’d all rather that outcome and never have to hear from them again than their continued involvement at the club.
As for what Ek and Thierry could bring if they took over, well, it’s easy to be the white knight when you aren’t the one with the power. I’d love the deal to go through but we have to hope there is a better plan than the one currently in place amongst the Arsenal hierarchy. Engagement is great, they tick that box and are already saying the right things. Giving the AST a greater involvement is also good; it will help to create an official fan voice and that can only be positive for us fans. What Thierry’s role would be feels a little grey and we haven’t heard a peep from Vieira or Bergkamp so I’m not really too sure if they even have any involvement. But there does need to be a plan. There needs to be an idea of ensuring we can make Arsenal successful both on and off the pitch again. We are anything but that right now. Until it all becomes concrete there’s not really much else point dwelling on it; and by concrete I mean we know what KSE’s response is. They probably won’t even respond to Ek, knowing Silent Stan.
Instead the count down begins to Thursday night’s game against Villareal and we are just over two and a half days before we know what fate will befall us and our season. Villareal warmed up with a home win against Getafe but I’ve just been looking at the stats and it looked like a very Emery-looking result. They won, had a lot of possession against a team in 15th, huffed and puffed but still only managed four shots in the entire game. Getafe had 15 in total, although only three on target. One can only hope that on Thursday Villareal continue the same vein and allow us opportunities in the final third.
I suspect we’ll be waiting until tomorrow with some team news and it will probably just be confirmation that there will be no Tierney, Lacazette and David Luiz, all of which is a dent in our hopes of qualification for the final, with defence being the real challenge Mikel will have to overcome. We all want to see Xhaka in the middle of the park but who is Mikel going to trust at full back? And will we get another Holding and Mari central defence partnership?
Hopefully these questions will at least get posed to Mikel in his press conference tomorrow. He probably won’t answer them, but it would still be good to know he’s at least been asked.
The rest of the news floating around at the moment all appears to be around transfer gossip and tittle tattle. Stories about Derby left backs, Norwich right backs, or Bissouma from Brighton are all floating around. They’re all a bit spurious to me and have little meaning at this crunch time in the season. Pretty soon it’ll be all we’re going to talk about so I’m a little reluctant to get too embroiled in speculation over potential signings. There’s no doubt that a lot need to be made though. It feels like we could have a proper rotating door at The Emirates with all of the players coming down to their last year, or contract expiring, or just not part of the managers plans. When you add noises about Leno wanting out to try something new it is just another position in which there will be question marks in the summer. I have no problem with that. I think Leno has been decent enough but he has still made a fair share of errors and if he decided he wanted out I’m sure we could find an adequate replacement.
Again though, let’s not dwell on potential ins and outs just yet. In about a month’s time it’ll be all we’ll be talking about. So with that in mind I’ll head off for the day and catch you peeps tomorrow.