Good morning. It’s the first non-footballing Saturday of the off-season. Non-footballing Saturdays are rubbish.
We’ll start with news that the club are apparently set to offer Cesc a new deal. It makes sense. Despite him signing an 8 year deal just 2 years ago the new rules mean that in 2009 his contract would be ‘unprotected’, allowing any potential suitors to simply pay up the remaining years to bring him to their club. I know it hasn’t happened yet but I’m pretty sure these kinds of deals will become more and more regular. It’ll just take one to break the ice, so to speak, and away we go.
A new deal would obviously extended the protected period and the increase in wages would make it more expensive for the buy out to happen. And who can say Cesc doesn’t deserve a new deal?
Mathieu Flamini, meanwhile, says he didn’t move just for money. Which is probably true to some extent. He did go to one of the most prestigious clubs in the world in AC Milan. Not bad considering Flamini and his advisors were ready to buy out the final year of his contract last summer to facilitate a move to Birmingham City.
Transfer speculation sees us linked with Werder Bremen’s Diego should Alex Hleb leave. And I believe Hleb will go this summer. Diego is an attacking midfielder with an eye for goal – he’s in double figures for the last two seasons – and would certainly be a good addition to the squad. But it’s all just speculation and it’s in the Mail so it’s probably a load of rotted cock.
When it comes to who’s going to come in the boss says a big player is better than a big name. Can’t argue with that. Signings of the quality of Sagna and Eduardo would fit the bill but at the same time often a guy has a ‘name’ because he’s a good player. I think this summer is going to be really interesting across Europe, I reckon there’s going to be a lot of wheeling and dealing. Even from us.
Reports in Spain say we’re after Lilian Thuram. While I fully accept we need a centre-half I don’t think Thuram is the answer. A couple of years ago, for sure. I think he would have been an excellent signing, a proper player, someone from whom the younger defenders could have learned a lot, but at 36 I think the Premier League would be too much for him.
Speaking of centre-halves the boss is convinced that Alex Song can be a great one for Arsenal. I’m still not convinced, despite some decent performances towards the end of the season, and he’s a carbon copy of Toure and Gallas and I think we need someone with a bit more height and physical presence at the back.
Gerry Peyton, Arsenal’s goalkeeping coach, talks about Jens Lehmann.
And that’s about it. It’s FA Cup final day today. Portsmouth has former Arsenal stars Lauren and Kanu, who I’d like to see do well. They also have BFS and Diarra who I’d rather not see enjoy themselves at all. But Cardiff has Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink, whose goal for Leeds some years ago cost us the title. So, I don’t give a fuck who wins, I just hope it’s a good game of football.