Another early morning quickie for you today since some of us have jobs to go to, crises to manage, and as yet not-entirely-clear horror to deal with from people I’d happily stab in the eye with a spoon. That’s right, not a fork – not even a spork – a spoon. I might just resign today and see what happens in my three month notice period. It’s not like I *need* a job, is it? Jobs are very one dimensional; they demonstrate a lack of creative thinking. I mean, who cares if The Man comes and takes the car, and then the house? Perhaps I should join a commune. Are those still A Thing? Like, the good, Glastonbury kind, rather than the David Koresh kind.
But then I do like being not-a-minging-hippy though. Toughie.
I’d like to point out today that I think Arseblogger leaves me blog duties on days/weeks when he knows in advance that there’s going to be very little to talk about. Despite his protestations to the contrary, I think he is in fact most definitely “ITK”, and what it is that he knows is that writing a thousand words about nothing on a Monday morning in the middle of summer is something he definitely does not fancy because there’s nothing to write about (in case you were left in any doubt).
The main and indeed only substantive story today can be found in the Telegraph, and is quite an interesting one in that it involves the manager talking about the signing of Calum Chambers, which, given it hasn’t been reported on the official site, or confirmed by the club by any other means (unless I missed something), is quite unusual. According to the paper, the manager has said he can understand shock at the size of the fee – somewhere between £11m and £16m, depending on who you believe - but says the player’s versatility is what justifies such a large amount for a 19 year old who has only started 18 Premier League games:
He can play at centre-back, right-back and central midfield. I hope he will give us competition for the players in this three positions. He hasn’t played many games, no, but the English players on the market in England are very expensive and at the end of the day I was ready to take a gamble because he is a player for the future.
£16m is quite the gamble (and a further counterpoint to those that say he’s generally unwilling to spend money). I’m not sure if I had £16m to spend, gambling it would be too high up my list of priorities, but I suspect if Arsenal Football Club were going to let anyone gamble £16m, it’d be Arsene Wenger they’d choose and probably not me, so the point is moot.
*fades off into dream about how to spend £16m*
Anyway, the second point there is the most important with regard to the price, and that’s that English players come with a premium of £10m (or in the case of Andy Carroll, £34,999,999). £6m for a promising 19 year old, lacking experience, that can play in a few different positions seems about right, but when you add in the fact he’s English, £16m right there. When a ‘home grown’ player can be a non-Englishman, I’m not sure quite why this premium exists. Perhaps it’s just because good English footballers are somewhat rare, and that scarcity leads to an inflation in their price. Look at the relative costs of Luke Shaw and Mathieu Debuchy. Perhaps Shaw is a better full back, but is he worth almost three times the money? Maybe, but it’s hard to understand how.
The same paper reports that Chambers’ signing opens up the way for Carl Jenkinson to move to West Ham, in either a permanent or loan deal. All there is to say about that is that it’ll be a shame if it’s permanent. If he goes out and gets some experience, and comes back able to properly deputise for Debuchy in the big games while Chambers ends up in central midfield or at centre half, all well and good.
In a frankly stunning development, the official site finally confirms the signing of David Ospina to the club. Welcome, David.
Finally for today, and I do apologise for brevity, it seems Alexis Sanchez will be unable to hook up with the rest of the squad on the pre-season tour of Austria since he’ll be busy standing in a queue in Paris trying to get a working visa and won’t join his team mates until the end of the week before the Emirates Cup. I’m not quite sure how that works – why he has to get it sorted out in Paris and not, say, Vienna, or why in this day and age someone can’t go on his behalf – but whatever. While not ideal, I’m sure it’s not the end of the world.
More frustrating for the manager, I am sure, is the shortening of pre-season due to the World Cup, and the absence of our winning German contingent who won’t return until mid-August and will consequently miss the start of the season.
Anyway, that’s your lot for today. I have to go and spoon some people in the eyes, which is much less sexy than it sounds, though if you thought spooning someone in the eyes was sexy in the first place, perhaps you ought to go and reassess your life. There are probably communes for people like you.