Right then, time for a quick Sunday round-up. We know all there is to know about team news at this stage, so there’s nothing to tell you there.
Much of the focus this Sunday is on David Dein’s PR offensive in the papers. He insists that Arsenal need new investment to be successful. I wonder how much of the Â£75m he just made he’s putting back into the club. No, I don’t. I know exactly. None of it. It’s quotes like these though that make me a bit cross.
I know, from speaking to him, that ArsÃ¨ne intends to commit in the next few days. I wouldnâ€™t have advised him to if I didnâ€™t have Arsenalâ€™s best interests at heart.
I want to see Arsenal become the best team in the world, and to that end Iâ€™ve been instrumental in getting ArsÃ¨ne to sign a new contract.
Soundbites, nothing more. See, what he’s doing here is making it seem like his arrival back on the scene is somehow the deciding factor in whether or not Arsene will sign a new contract. It’s about as transparent and pathetic a ploy as you’ll ever see. He’s using the fact that Arsene is going to sign a new contract anyway to further his own little scheme. If I was Arsene I’d feel slightly used and a little bit annoyed that a decision that was made without Dein’s influence is being hijacked like this. Let’s make it very clear – Arsene signing a new contract has nothing whatsoever to do with David Dein.
Let’s remember that Arsene has hardly given his hearty endorsement of his friend’s maneuvers and has openly questioned the intent of the people who are behind Red and White. Also, the idea of poor old David Dein being left out in the wilderness, away from the club he so loved, is fucking pathetic too. An article in the Telegraph says that little Davey didn’t consider legal action for unfair dismissal because of his ‘affection for the club’. Nothing to do with him not having a fucking leg to stand on then? My mistake. Yes, we should all feel sorry for a man whose business dealings got him sacked and who then made himself very, very rich.
What David Dein wants is to be Arsenal chairman. How he gets there doesn’t seem to matter to him. Who he has to do business with doesn’t matter. How that business is carried out and how it affects Arsenal is irrelevant. Don’t be fooled by his saying “This is not a takeover”. He knows takeover is a scary word. “Strategic investment” sounds better but let’s call a spade a spade. He says he doesn’t want to be ‘adversarial’. Well, bringing in Kroenke to buy ITV’s shares in the start of takeover then when that doesn’t work siding with men whose character begs questions is hardly friendly, is it?
Deleted at the request of Alisher Usmanovâ€™s lawyers who have stated to me that Craig Murray, the author of the article to which I referred, has withdrawn that article from his website following legal action by Alisher Usmanov against his webhosting service, and who have stated that the content of the article was false and defamatory. Accordingly, I disassociate myself from that article and my previous comments on it, which were based on the premise that Mr Murrayâ€™s article was true.
It will be interesting to see the club’s financial results this month. It’s little coincidence that Dein’s move has come before they were published. Trying to say Arsenal need money when they’ve just shown a rosy balance sheet doesn’t work quite as well. There’s only one reason there’s so much interest in Arsenal. It’s because it’s a well run organisation which has the potential to make a lot of money. Dein knows as well as anyone what a solid performer Arsenal will be and how much there is to be made. If he takes over money that would have gone into the club will go out to line the pockets of him and his investors.
Meanwhile, the board say they will not meet with him so the gloves are well and truly off now. Now, onto football.
Manuel Almunia talks about taking his chance at Arsenal and how he turned down moves to Spain, which would have guaranteed him first team football, to stay at the club. It is funny how quickly things can change and if he continues to perform then Jens is going to find it very tough to get his place back.
Steve Stammers, a man with good connections to Arsenal, says Arsene will sign his new contract this week.
And that’s really about it. Today is going to be a tough game. Portsmouth are a decent side going foward and look more solid at the back this season than in the past. We’ve got to take the confidence built by the good start to the season and play our game. It’ll be interesting to see who he picks up front. You have to think RvP and Adebayor but Eduardo’s movement might cause the big centre-halves problems.
Here’s to three points. More tomorrow.