Morning folks and welcome to Wednesday. Wearing myself the new pink Arsenal shirt today for work and I have to say – me likey. I’ve finally succumbed; been supporting Arsenal since I was seven and I’ve never bought a home, away and third kit in a season but I thought ‘hell, these are nice’ and so here I am. No regrets at all.
And I wonder what regrets are happening – if any – at London Colney, at the moment. Do Arsenal, for example, regret listening to Barcelona’s evil and poisonous advances when they pleaded poverty with regards to Aubameyang, only to hear that there is a chance that they might get some cash for the player just seven months later? Probably not. Not if the sounds of the latest ‘All or Nothing’ clips are to be believed.
The media are apparently getting early listening to the latest episodes, which come out on general release tomorrow, in which we get to a really juicy part of the season from a #content perspective, in that it is when Auba is stripped of the captaincy and then is subsequently moved on in the January for nothing. I still maintain that it frustrated the hell out of me that Barca got him for free, especially when they now appear hell-bent on spending just about every penny they’ll ever make for the next 100 years on new signings for big fees. But back to the Arsenal side of that story, which is that Auba was stripped of the captaincy and there’s a couple of articles that are being run this morning which talk about the impact of the move, particularly one incident (that I guess we’ll learn about tomorrow when it is released) in which Edu doesn’t even know that Aubameyang has flown to Spain to secure a move to Barcelona without the clubs permission. I obviously haven’t seen the footage but if it’s as bad as that and the player himself had literally flown halfway across Europe without permission, then that just goes to show how far the relationship had deteriorated and also is a very black mark on the player, I have to say.
Part of it was also no doubt Barcelona doing what they do best and employing the dark arts to get a player, but if this lands badly on Auba after a bit of a charm offensive from him when he left talking about how he loved his time and that it was just some problem with Mikel that he didn’t quite understand, it won’t reflect well on the Gabonese striker.
I’ll be interested to see what the reception is from most Arsenal fans that watch the documentary and then where their heads are at with Auba after watching what unfolds tomorrow. In my head I have always taken the view that we should have kept him; I detest Barcelona and the way they do business and the way they have managed to get Auba and then have him firing so many goals for them in the second half of last season left another bitter taste in my mouth. That club deserves to be fired in to the sun and the idea that they keep getting away with sh*t like this is maddening. But it is the way the Spanish football system is set up I guess; Barca, Real and Atleti cannot fail because they are effectively the big money draws that the league relies on.
But back to the Auba situation and as I said above, I wonder if my opinion will drastically change on the player after watching the ‘All or Nothing’ documentary. As I stand right now, even with these hints of unacceptable behaviour, I still feel like keeping him to score more than the paltry level of goal contributions Lacazette had last season would have been better for us, but if his actions were so unacceptable that it risked completely undermining everything Arteta was doing and the respect he was trying to garner from his young players, then maybe he had no choice whatsoever. Maybe it was the only real course of action and maybe by the time this weekend is out I’ll be completely turned around on Aubameyang and his behaviour over the last year. We shall see.
Of course the documentary series itself will be a heavily edited and sanitised version of real events and we won’t get every piece of information on stories that emerged from last season. This is a documentary series in which Arsenal will have had plenty of editorial control I suspect and that would have been contractually agreed before a single camera was installed, so we very much get to see things from Arsenal’s side of the story. But at least we are getting some side of the story at least. And clearly the actions have gone down well with some of the players, as another clip apparently shows Holding and Elneny talking about the player and agreeing that Arteta was in the right to discipline him after he arrived back late from training. Time will tell if this all works out for the better and of course that will be based on winning football matches and how we get on this season. The super early signs have of course been positive, but there is a lot more work to do, starting with Leicester City at home this weekend, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that we’ll see a continuation of the evolution of this team when we get to this weekend.
There are a few bits of transfer bumf rumbling around the papers at the moment, but I’m not minded to talk about it right now, because it could die down as soon as it arrived, so I’ll park for now until it gets a little more concrete.
Right, I’m offski, so I’ll catch you all tomorrow.