So, in the wake of the the meeting the whole thing has gone transfer crazy now.
Firstly, Lille confirmed that we were to ‘have talks’ with Gervinho and that we were the player’s preferred destination. Until he talks to Man City and they offer him two spaceships.
This morning The Mirror links us to a raft of players under the headline ‘Arsenal will spend £30MILLION on stars to stop fan backlash‘.
Surely a more accurate headline would be ‘Arsenal will spend £30 Million on players to stop falling apart at the end of seasons and to not lose cup finals against shit-kicking cunts, managed by the footballing equivalent of Hans Moleman, who end up being relegated because they’re so shit. And also to replace some of the players who might leave’.
Ok, it’s a bit wordy for a headline but the aim of spending is not to prevent fan backlash, it’s to make us a better team, a more competitive team, and a team that might win a trophy after so many decades and centuries in the wilderware (that’s the wilderness for silverware).
Anyway, the players they link us to are the aforementioned Ivorian, either Christopher Samba or Gary Cahill, a striker called Leandro Damiao from Brazilian club Internacional (nope, me neither) and the young Swedish defender Alexander Milosevic that we heard about yesterday in The Sun. None of whom are exactly ‘star’ names but I suspect these are targets we’re working on under the auspices of our existing budget, not taking into account any potential departures.
The most obvious of those is Cesc to Barcelona and as he arrived in Spain yesterday with his agent, Bacary Sagna was talking to French radio. He said:
I can say it’s true that Cesc wants to go to Barça. Fábregas wants to return to his country of birth, to his city, where his family are; he wants to play for one of the best teams in the world, Barcelona, and that’s understandable. At the moment, however, he is still Arsenal’s captain.
None of which is any surprise but I do have to wonder if it was really necessary for Bac to state quite it so publicly. The Spanish press this morning use one of their favourite phrases about the transfer, saying it’s entering a ‘decisive phase’, and the feeling is that they want Cesc to come out and openly declare he wants to leave Arsenal and join Barcelona.
They tried this last summer too, knowing that if he made that public himself then it would give them a stronger position at the negotiating table. He didn’t do that and I’d imagine he’s reluctant to do that this summer also. The fact that he wants to move to Barcelona doesn’t diminish his genuine affection for Arsenal Football Club and the fans. As I’ve said countless times the ball is in Barcelona’s court and if they really want Cesc Fabregas then they should stop playing stupid games via the press and put their money where their mouth is instead. That way everyone gets what they want, such as it is.
This morning Cesc is attending the launch of a fancy new cologne in Madrid and I suspect there might well be the odd question about his future rather than his fragrance. We’ll see what happens and we’ll wait to discuss the possible consequences of his departure if and when it happens. Suffice to say I’d be disappointed if we didn’t immediately spend a chunk of that money on an experienced, quality replacement.
Sagna also spoke about Samir Nasri and was hardly reassuring there either, saying:
Samir is happy at Arsenal, but I don’t know what the best thing is for his career, he has been one of the best players in the team this season and he is one of the symbols of this team. I hope to find him there when we return.
The Express this morning suggests that final talks will take place between Nasri and the club – but my gut feeling is still that he’ll go. Or at best sit out his contract and go next summer. If that can be considered best. Unless the club up their offer, bearing in mind all previous offers have been unacceptable thus far, the stalemate will remain. If they do up their offer and he accepts then we’ll have successfully been held to ransom by a player who got his ducks in a row and took advantage of that.
It’s worth remembering too that for all the unhappiness about ticket price increases and membership increases, the single biggest cost to any football club is player wages. The more they want and the more they get the more expensive it gets for fans.
Also in that Express article, we’re linked to Sunderland’s injury prone goalkeeper Craig Gordon. I remember a few years ago when Bob Wilson was on the Arsecast, he spoke very highly of Gordon, but his career in England has hardly been a resounding success so far. With Lehmann gone, Almunia on the way, Fabianski still unconvincing and Mannone still looking more like a Mafia henchman than a goalkeeper it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if this happened. Especially as it’s a deal that could be done relatively cheaply.
Digger Matt Scott on why Alisher Usmanov is buying up as many shares as he can. Apparently he wants to ensure ‘things are done properly’. Right.
If you haven’t already seen it, Tim Stillman’s column this week gives you some further thoughts on the AST meeting and the performance of the chief exec. Read it here.
Beyond that not a great deal going on. For those of you who updated the iPhone app yesterday, apologies for the bug, we’re trying to get that fixed asap. If you haven’t synced your phone with your computer since downloading the new one you can try the following; delete the app from your phone then plug the phone into your computer and install the older version of the app from iTunes. That should see you right.
That’s yer lot. Have a good day.