a Sunday quickie for you, starting at the Olympics. Yes, I know this is a blog about Arsenal but watching that 10,000 metres last night was just an amazing sporting moment, aided and abetted by the fact that Mo Farah is an Arsenal fan. Football aside, I think that was the most I’ve enjoyed any sporting event for a long, long time. Gold for the Gooner, well run sir.
Staying with the Olympics but slightly more on topic, Team GB’s football team crashed out on penalties against South Korea. Aaron Ramsey scored one in normal time and had one saved, he also scored his spot kick in the shoot-out but Daniel Sturridge missed his and Stuart Pearce’s men went out. I didn’t see any of the game whatsoever so can’t comment on it in any fashion, but obviously it means that Ramsey will return to real football now and, most likely, take part in the trip to Germania.
Whether being part of the Olympics squad has done anything for him remains to be seen. He might be a bit fitter than the rest having played some ‘competitive’ games, but that’s about it. As for football in the Olympics, it still stands out like a sore thumb to me. It will never capture the imagination or the spirit of the games the way an incredible race like last night’s does, and Pearce’s suggestion that Olympic football is bigger than the World Cup just shows how out of touch with reality he is. He should go back and manage Man City, I reckon.
In the world of Arsenal, Robin van Persie is on the agenda again in the Sunday papers. While The Mirror says he wants to stay, convinced that we mean business after the signings of Giroud, Podolski and Cazorla (when it’s done, of course), the Mail says that Manchester United are set to ‘end the saga’ by paying us £20m for him. You know, it’s almost as if nobody really knows what’s going on and they’re just, like, making shit up that sounds vaguely feasible.
Whatever the truth of it, something’s got to give, but we seem to have been saying that for quite a while now. Maybe he could release another statement for us, the fans.
“Hey you guys, I’ve been wanting to update you guys because you guys deserve to know what’s going on because you guys are so great, you guys.”
It could only be made better by having Andre Santos sub-edit the thing. As I said yesterday I don’t buy the talk of a ‘u-turn’, but the longer nobody puts their money where van Persie’s mouth has been the more him staying becomes a possibility. On a football level that’s interesting but it would bring a raft of other issues, such as the captaincy. He cannot remain at the club and keep the armband after so publicly disparaging the manager but I don’t think it will come to that. I still think he’ll go somewhere, soon enough. The question of where and for how much is a problem for the board to solve, as we touched on yesterday.
There’s some vague transfer speculation this morning. The Mirror article which says van Persie wants to stay also says we’re after Gregory van der Wiel, the Ajax and Holland right back. It’s hard to see it, unless there are real fears about Bacary Sagna. And if there were I don’t suppose he’d be rocking the Mert doing dance routines in Nigeria. I understand there are doubts about Carl Jenkinson due to his relative lack of experience, but when Sagna’s fit he’s about the best right back in the league and I doubt any experienced international is going to sign to sit on the bench.
Meanwhile, in Spain there are suggestions Real Mallorca could come in with a bid for Johan Djourou, as they find themselves in need of a centre half, while Marca say that Man United are interested in Nuri Sahin as long as they can do a permanent deal for him. How that sits with what Real Madrid want to do with the player remains to be seen.
Right, it is a bank holiday Sunday here, time to take the increasingly large dog for an increasingly long walk. He’s keeping me fit.