Hello from an extremely miserable Dublin. Honestly, this summer is worse than getting really drunk at a party then waking up in a strange bed to find yourself spooning the John Terry girl.
And if that doesn’t start your Friday off the right way then I don’t know what will. If it hasn’t, perhaps the news that we’ve agreed a £10.6m fee for the man with football’s most expansive forehead might do the trick. Gervinho is all set to join, say The Mirror, on a four year contract. It really is a sign that things have changed. Where has the ubiquitous long-term contract for an undisclosed fee gone?
I’ll happily admit that I don’t know very much about him so will take the unusual step of waiting to see how he performs for Arsenal before I do cartwheels/bemoan his shitness. The one thing I would say is that with him and Chamakh it means that we’ll have two forward players who will be off in January to the African Nations Cup of Nations Cup in Africa. Cup. Although to be fair we could have sent Chamakh a year early for all the difference it would have made to last season.
As usual we’ll wait for official confirmation and hope that City don’t come in with three spaceships to hijack the deal. Fun fact: Anagram of ‘Gervinho Arsenal’ is ‘Arsenal hovering’. Or ‘Linear Hangovers’, which are amongst the most palatable kind.
Meanwhile, back in Spain, and most particularly Barcelona, Sandra Rosell has been speaking about Cesc. At a press conference yesterday he revealed that they wouldn’t ‘go mad’ trying to sign our captain and suggested that this year his value was less than it was last year so they would bid accordingly.
Now, I’m well aware of the nature of business. The buyer wants to buy things at the cheapest possible price while the seller wants the best possible price for his wares. However, Barcelona are being a bit insulting here, both to Arsenal and the player himself. Is it our fault that your club was so poorly mismanaged from a financial point of view, Sandra? I don’t think so. Are we the ones putting restrictions on your spending because of the massive debt? That, I’m afraid, is beyond our control. Was it our doing to splurge £40m on Ibrahimovic whilst also chucking in a player worth around £20m into the deal too? It certainly was not. Could we somehow be at fault for spunking €25m on that Ukrainian wolfman defender you sold for at least a €10m loss less than 12 months later? It’s hard to see how. Are Arsenal to blame for the fiscal failings of our old chum Laporta and his regime? No sir, we are not.
Therefore, if you want to insult somebody, please turn your attention to them and not to us. We who have done nothing to you. Nothing. Ok, we sold you Hleb for £13.5m but, you know, that was Laporta again. Caveat emptor and all that. What would you do if somebody offered you a huge pile of money for a player who wasn’t worth half that? I think as the canny businessman you are you would accept but you can’t blame us for it. Laporta. That’s who you want. Laporta, Laporta, Laporta. You need to go after him, shake about £15m out of him, add it to what you think Cesc is worth then we might be willing to talk to you.
In the meantime though, do us all a favour and drop the ‘He’s a bit clapped out now, extra miles on the clock, running a bit bockety’ stuff. He’s just gone 24, one of the best midfielders in the world, under contract, and you know it. Cough up or cock off, essentially, is what I’m saying here. If you don’t think Cesc is worth €40m, then fine, but you’re about the only ones in the entire universe.
They’re turning it into a saga, a saga we don’t really need, and I do hope that behind the scenes Ivan is telling them how it’s going to work. The ball might be in Barcelona’s court but we hold all the aces and it’s full house Arsenal. Or something. So there.
Another of our midfielders is being hawked around Europe according to press reports. Firstly, it seems we’ve offered Denilson as part of a deal to sign Shaktar’s Douglas Costa. Which is a bit like going into a shop and trying to buy something with 50% cash and hoping they’ll take a really large ball of twine to cover the rest. And in the Mirror article re: Gervinho above we’re offering the same player to the same club but this time for Willian, which seems a bit odd.
Maybe we stuffed a pillow up his shirt and told them it was Mauro Silva. Anyway, from what I can gather Denilson is heading to Spain. Hey, here’s an idea, if Barcelona really want an Arsenal player this summer they can have him instead of Cesc. Well, you can’t go shopping for Rolls Royces when you’ve only got enough for a Tata.
In other brief news we’re linked with a German ‘whizzkid’ called Samed Yesil while Emmanuel Frimpong bemoans the fact he’s not getting any games at Arsenal and says he might leave. Which kind of ignores the fact that a) he was injured all season and b) the season is over.
The last bit of news today is that the fixtures are released this morning. The whisper is we’re going to Newcastle away first (that’s according to REDaction) and if true that’d be a great place to start the season. Immediately banish the demons of the last campaign and ensure we go 6-0 up in the first half. Not even we could ship 6 goals in one half. I’ve just jinxed the ever-loving shite out of us now, haven’t I?
Oh well, whatever the ‘computer’ decides is grand by me. We’ve had ‘easy’ run-ins and tough run-ins and Novembers from hell before but all we can do is take it one game at a time. And we might have a man with a shiny great forehead off which the sun will reflect, go in the keeper’s eyes and allow van Persie to score in every single game. I don’t know what the solution is for cloudy days though, you’ll have to leave that one with me.
Update: fixtures are out and Newcastle away is confirmed.