Morning all, a quick Saturday round-up for you.
Let’s start with the transfer latest involving as many players as I can find info on.
Cesc – Darren Dein has phoned Barcelona to tell them that Arsenal are willing to sell. Barcelona want to offer €30m, Arsenal want more. Also, according to Sport, Arsenal want it all in one big lump so they can go out and buy some new players and some diamond encrusted toilet seats for the boardroom, Barcelona want to pay in installments because of their financial situation and because they also want to buy Dirty Sanchez and Paolo Rossi.
Bendtner – there’s interest from Besiktas, apparently, although I’d be very surprised if he ended up there to be honest.
Gervinho – has a ‘huge’ offer from Man City which most likely involves a lifetime supply of forehead polish. The harsh fact of life here is that whatever we offer him they can offer him twice as much, and a spaceship. If it boils down to just money then we’ll lose out, every time. The other harsh fact of life now is that with Champions League football and the resources at their disposal you can no longer say a player is going to Man City just for the money (like you can with all the mercenary scum who joined them up to now).
They’re going to be competing for the big prizes every year now so their footballing ambitions can be matched along with a ludicrously high salary. And a spaceship.
Some Barcelona kids - apparently we’ve been scouting some more Barcelona youth players who are in that stage where they haven’t signed a contract yet. I say go for it. What could possibly go wrong?
Our one signing of the summer remains Carl Jenkinson who will ‘add depth’ to the squad according the boss, but who is also a rare beast indeed, a real Arsenal fan. He said:
Being an Arsenal fan as well it’s an amazing thing for me and something I’m really excited about and over the moon about. I’ve been going since I was young, I’ve even been going to matches this season. The whole family are massive Arsenal fans.
Although his signing was announced under the ‘youth’ banner on the official site it does look as if he’s going to be integrated into the first team group and pre-season will give us a good idea of what’s planned for him. I hope he’s good enough to oust Eboue, oust him right in the kisser.
Robin van Persie has been talking about his love of the game and how you won’t find him in discotheques until 3am. He makes the very reasonable point that being out until the early hours, doing what footballers or anyone else might do at those times, would be detrimental to his career. He cites the likes of Bergkamp and Seedorf who eschewed that lifestyle and were able to play for longer.
He also faces up to a very stark reality, that there should no longer be an expectation that Arsenal can win the league, saying:
Every year it always goes wrong in an identical way and that is frustrating. When you look at results in the last years, then Arsenal shouldn’t be talking about winning the league because too many times things have gone wrong. Sometimes you have to eat the truth and be realistic.
Nobody likes truth eating, it’s usually quite bitter and hard to swallow. And that day back in February still hurts:
Even now, it’s still unbelievable we didn’t win the Carling Cup as that was the breakthrough moment, showing everyone we could win a cup and create a belief within the team. When I talk about that it still hurts. It was so stupid and I ask myself ‘how did that come about?’
However, it’s not all doom and gloom, there’s a solution:
But I do believe with the signing of a number of players, then next season we should be in there competing for prizes.
And back it comes to the manager, Ivan Gazidis and this immensely talented and powerful management team that has been assembled at the club. Perhaps we might spend this summer so the team on the pitch is as strong.
And that, my friends, is just about that for this Saturday. It’s been a long and trying week. I suggest some outdoor activity today. Bring your kids to the park, go for a walk, organise a spontaneous game of 5-a-side, do those chores around the house that need doing, wash the car, just get away from it all.
Safe in the knowledge, of course, that your smart phone leaves you just a click away from it all should anything go down. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to organise a spontaneous game of eating bacon then some PS3.