Apparently there’s still some kind of international football masquerading as entertainment still going on. I wouldn’t know if it wasn’t for the ten o’clock news and my Twitter feed, awash with Gooners looking at Harry Kane and his penalty ratio and wondering how on earth that guy is soon to become our all time leading goalscorer.
I prefer not to even think about it. Just focus on The Arsenal and ignore international friendlies dressed up as some kind of competitive football. The UEFA Nations League…honestly…could you think of anything else more redundant as an official ‘competition’. Load of old tosh, as my old man would say.
I wrote yesterday about Bukayo Saka and after a few stories of potential interest from other clubs yesterday, I see there are a couple of the rags trying to counter balance with ‘Arsenal are confident he’ll sign a new deal’ and much like when Saliba came out with his comments at the weekend, I find myself somewhat relived to be hearing the counter balance to the potential negative side. I know I shouldn’t really get caught up on this stuff; the very fact we’ve had two differing schools of thought in little over 48 hours from the same papers shows that in reality none of them really know very much, but in the absence of any proper football one does tend to get caught up in every little story that comes across my screen.
I am a man in his 30s and I should know better. I say it to myself all the time, I even write about it and how I don’t want to get embroiled in some of the tittle tattle and gutter trash press stories, but this is the time of the year in which actual real news is think on the ground, so like some kind of hobo desperately searching for scraps in dumpsters round the back of supermarkets, I am scrabbling around looking for interesting things to talk about that are Arsenal related. All I can find are spurious links to Djed Spence, when I really question whether that’s even remotely viable, as well as some stuff about Yves Bissouma. There are lots of questions about him because whilst he’s clearly talented and would improve us, there is an issue over a court case that may be the reason why there aren’t as many teams clamouring to get the deal done now. Bissouma is not named as that player by Brighton but it is common knowledge that it appears to be him. With that hanging over his head you can understand why Arsenal will perhaps not be too keen to press ahead with any transfer. If a deal goes through and he is found guilty and convicted of a jail sentence, you’ve spent many millions as a club for a footballer that cannot play. That’s just the practical side of it, because then you get the moral issues and Arsenal will probably be very wary of taking on a player with what now seems to be a chequered past. Then there’s the fact that Arteta has been very clear on the type of character he wants at the club whilst he is in charge. If there are question marks over Bissouma, would Arteta think twice? Maybe so.
There’s also some rumblings about Scamacca but I’ve kind of already said my piece with regards to that player so there’s not really much worth talking about until we hear any concrete news about movement on a player. Talking about ‘preparing a bid’ always makes me chuckle and that’s where some of the journos are at right now. It’s like there is a transfer rumour playbook that people have to work towards:
- Have scouted player
- Interested in player
- Talks with player and agent
- Preparing a bid for a player
- Bidding for a player
- Discussing personal terms
- Signing player
And of all of those sections the ‘preparing a bid’ makes me laugh, like Arsenal executives are sitting around Highbury House asking each other how much is in the bank account, how much can we cobble together, what paper thickness we should submit the bid in and should we use the clear white paper or the slightly tinted ‘Vanilla White’ letterheaded paper with a wax seal, so they know we mean business.
I’m sure there’s something in it about agreeing finance and payment structures, etc, etc, but as if the club are going to give that information to journalists. I know many people work on these deals but I doubt the admin staff at Arsenal are dropping texts to somebody at the Mail on Sunday just because they’ve been promised a few bob. It’d basically cost them their job so what’s the point?
I guess we could talk about the player of the season awards, which are being announced in a three-two-one approach as per normal years. And they will no doubt announce the winner today or tomorrow. But it’s the most obvious award we’ve ever known because if you’ve got Ramsdale in at number three, Odegaard as number two, there’s only one guy getting the number one spot and that’s our man Bukayo. It is testament to the esteem we all hold him in and whilst I doubt it will have loads of sway in terms of getting him to sign a new deal, I’m sure it won’t hurt too much in terms of his feelings towards the club as a whole.
As for Ramsdale and Odegaard, I think that is probably the right rating scale. I think i’ve already said enough times on this blog and on a few pods how much I love that Norwegian. I thought he was good last season at times, but this season when he’s been at his best, we’ve been at our best and I hope we can get more from him next season. He’s still young, still growing and I personally think he should be a shoe-in for Arsenal captain. We all thought it’d be KT and if he was fit all the time I’d probably agree, but Odegaard is captain for his national team and he looks and feels like the part to me and I hope the club make some sort of announcement to the fact at some stage during pre season.
Right, that’s me done for another one, so I’ll take my leave and wish you all a good one.
Catch you all tomorrow.