another week comes to an end as we push further forward into the “summer” and there are a few bits and pieces going on this morning.
Firstly, Jack Wilshere is off to Sweden to have a ‘minor procedure’ on his knee which the club say shouldn’t significantly delay his comeback next season. Of course it’s easy to be worried and to think the worst about this. And frankly, this morning, this is exactly what I’m inclined to do (the endless rain is getting me down), but hopefully it’s as minor as it sounds.
And, in fairness to Jack, when he said just the other day that he was hoping to make it back for the start of pre-season training, he must have been aware that this operation was scheduled. However, it does raise question marks, and legitimate ones, about his fitness and with Abou Diaby likely to be sailing the good ship Crippled Mary throughout the summer months it means that the manager will have to assess his midfield options very carefully this summer.
The name of that ship reminds me of this, one of the first things I ever did on Arseblog. I suspect Jack needs a cripplectomy.
Meanwhile, Patrick Vieira has been talking about Robin van Persie, saying:
If Robin comes to leave, that means next year it may be Theo Walcott, then the next year is it going to be Wilshere? It is going to be difficult for Arsenal to keep the top players.
On the other side if they keep Robin they are going to send a positive message to all the clubs and to all the people around and I think it’s really important to keep him.
He goes onto say that Arsenal need to show van Persie they can win trophies etc etc, which is all stuff that we’ve been saying, to be fair, but then none of us are working for Man City, a club that have more than a passing interest in our captain and who will simply throw as much petro-cash at us and him as it takes. It’s also a bit rich coming from a man who flashed his bits at willing suitors almost every summer, but there you go.
He is right about the message though. Whatever about van Persie going abroad if he does leave, if we let another player go to the Middle Eastlands their jibes about us being their academy will have a horrible whiff of truth off them. Which is why I just can’t see him going there. I know for footballers it’s just a job at the end of the day, and maybe I’m crediting Robin with too much love for the club, but I hope he realises what it would mean if he was lured by their billions.
Anyway, we shall see what pans out. From what little emerged yesterday it seems that a speedy resolution to the situation is unlikely and we’re likely to face another media driven saga as the weeks progress. Not that I’m suggesting people bury their heads in the sand but they’re as likely to get accurate info from a passing worm than anywhere else.
And maybe the delay isn’t a bad thing. Maybe there’s a desire to wait and see if the club are going to show their ambition in the transfer market. Not simply to keep Robin van Persie, but to make the team and the squad better for the sake of Arsenal Football Club. Which is how it should be. There’s further discussion of the van Persie situation on this morning’s Arsecast so do have a listen.
In other news Lukasz Fabianski says he wants to leave the club, but is unsure if Arsene Wenger will let him go. He revealed to the Polish media that he’d had offers in January which the club understandably rebuffed, but as he looks set to miss out on playing in the Euros having been usurped by Wojciech Szczesny, it’s also understandable that he wants to go and play first team football somewhere else.
Clearly his Arsenal career hasn’t worked out as well as we’d hoped. On the training ground, by all accounts, he’s sensational but when it comes to the pressure of a match day he’s likely to drop a clanger and went through as disastrous a spell of form as I’ve ever seen a keeper have. To his credit he came through it and was performing pretty well until a shoulder injury (ironically caused by saving a Szczesny shot in a warm-up) gave his young compatriot his chance and he’s been unable to force his way back in since.
It does leave the manager with some thinking to do. If Fabianski leaves, it’ll be on top of the departure of Almunia and Vito Mannone has made it clear he wants to play first team football too. Damian Martinez is very highly thought of but lacks experience, so perhaps a Poomtactular signing this summer might fit the bill. We’ll see how that goes.
And finally, Arsene now has no worries about deploying his Coq in midfield.
Right then, onto this week’s Arsecast and I’m joined by Tim Stillman (whose latest column, a sum up of the season, you can read here) and Gareth Parker. On the agenda, the final day of the season, finishing third, Robin van Persie and The Ox going to the Euros, amongst other stuff. Internet Joe is in there and I’ll give you the winner of last week’s competition for a signed copy of So Paddy Got Up.
You can subscribe to the Arsecast on iTunes by clicking here. Or if you want to subscribe directly to the feed URL you can do so too (this is a much better way to do it as you don’t experience the delays from iTunes). To download this week’s Arsecast directly – click here (24mb MP3) or you can listen directly below without leaving this very page.
And that’s really about that. We’ll be doing the final, round-table Arsecast of the season, at some point next week, but for now, it’s out into the rain.