Arsene: “Joan, cabron de mierda, you should not talk about signing Thierry Henry in public.”
Laporta: “Calma, hombre. I am in charge of the all powerful Barcelona I can say what I want, when I want. The people love me, despite the fact my brother had to resign from the board because he’s got an ‘I love Franco’ tattoo on his arse. It doesn’t matter though the Catalan people love me because I say what they want to hear. Watch this: “Barcelona will be the greatest team in the universe and we will sign the players.”
Catalan people: *drool*
Laporta: “You see, I could, how you say, jiggy-jiggy with all of their wives but once I talk big and we win stuff it does not matter. They love me when I talk about Henry and when they love me they are more likely to vote me in as President again.”
Arsene: “Thierry is my player. He has a contract. If you want to sign him you do it the right way and not through the newspapers you use as your loud-hailers. Understand?”
Laporta: “Pleeeeeeease. I told you already I can do as I wish. If I say I want to sign Henry the people love me more – it’s hard to think that’s possible but it’s true. Please remember Arsene that people in football have short memories. While Arsenal were going a whole season unbeaten and winning the league Barcelona was simply rebuilding from an era
when we were written off as poo-poo. We spent millions on crap players and nearly went bankrupt. You won the league, including a double, twice in that time and three FA Cups. Barcelona couldn’t win a raffle fixed by St Jordi himself. Not a single person in the world of football would ever have said a player like Henry would sign for us. Now things have changed. Arsenal have struggled this season, and you’d be the first to admit that yourself, and Real Madrid – Els més tontos de tot el mon – signed all the players you wanted. You lose a few games and now it’s inevitable that Henry will sign for us. I am just helping the process along.”
Arsene: “Look here you fucking lawyer, shut your fucking cunt or I’ll shut it for you.”
And so the conversation goes. The boss is not happy and Laporta and I don’t blame him. It’s a very Spanish thing though the way he’s talking. The sports papers here are mental though. I’ve lost count of the players Barcelona ‘will sign today’ when the transfer windows are open.
They conduct their business through the press, the journos get ‘scoops’ and the sports papers do lots of the dirty work for the clubs. El Mundo and Sport for Barcelona, AS and Marca for Real Madrid. Anyway, when things are going bad it’s easy to think that Thierry will bugger off at the first opportunity but at the end of the day none of us know, nobody takes into account the sense of loyalty and responsibility Thierry might have and until the end of the season it should be a closed book, provided that Slick Willy from No 3 Passeig de Gracia keeps his mouth shut, the wanker.
Injury news ahead of the St Stephen’s day (that’s Boxing day to you) trip to Charlton we could be without Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie although José Antonio Reyes should be fit again.
And apart from that all that’s left for me to do is wind down another calendar year on Arseblog. Thank you all for your daily visits, for making it worth my while getting up before I need to in order to post the site every day, and I wish you a very merry Christmas and the best for 2006.
I’m going back to Ireland to partake of mucho Guinness. There will be intermittent updates during the next week or 10 days but nothing regular. Normally Tom does it but he’s got lots on his plate at the moment! Again, the best to you and yours. Cheers.