Pre-season angst : Campbell deal done : Sunday round-up

Like many of you I watched yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Hangzhou Greentown on the old Arsenal Player thingimaji (worked perfectly this time although it’d be excellent if one could resize the window to one’s own specification rather than the two options of ‘tiny’ and ‘full screen’)

It wasn’t particularly exciting and the best thing you can say about it was that it gave those with a certain sense of a humour a chance to crack wise – a term that always puts me in mind of a former Chelsea player and a cricket bat. A goal conceded from a set piece? Bam, gallows humour. Wannabe striker Theo Walcott not scoring despite loads of shots? Some striker he’d be, eh? EH?!!

You see, you kinda have to make your own fun with games like these because they are, essentially, fitness exercises. Someone on Twitter (can’t remember who, sorry), made the point that years ago you wouldn’t even see these games and if you found more than a scoreline in the newspaper you were doing well. Now they’re being analysed and critiqued to the Nth degree and really there’s no need.

Sure, it’d be good if we didn’t concede a goal from a corner. And it’d be good if we beat a team like Greentown and didn’t look as vulnerable at the back as a team made up entirely of Michael Duberrys, but there you go. It’s just really not that important at the moment. The wailing and teeth-gnashing ought to be put on hold until it really matters, it counts more then.

That said we were totally shit and unless we buy about five players we’re fucked.

Speaking of buying players, props to Gunnerblog, who has kept on top of the Joel “Kevin Sol Glen” Campbell story and according to him the deal is agreed. Whether or not we see him in an Arsenal shirt next season depends on him getting a work permit but I suspect the club must be confident they can sort that out. In a summer when we need reinforcements a-plenty to go out and buy a chappy we then have to loan out for a couple of seasons seems like something of a waste of time.

So I’d imagine they’ve got this one sussed. If it were me I’d have someone inside the Ministry of Work Permits knocking them off on the photocopier with gusto. And then sending letters to other clubs:

Dear Chelsea,

due to work permit issues we must inform you that John Terry is being deported to Leper Island immediately. Please insert his charger where the sun does not shine and don’t let him talk to any French butterfly blokes, he’ll only get ideas.

yours etc,

Those Who Must Be Obeyed.

Then when Chelsea reply to say John Terry is English and doesn’t need a work permit just send them a reply, on official paper, which simply says ‘Fuck off’.

In Barcelona the first person in the history of Spain to speak sense about the Cesc situation is none other than Johan Cruyff. He says:

Arsene Wenger looks after their interests and it is Arsenal who control the situation. Cesc signed for many years and now he has to play for them. If Barcelona want him, they have to pay for him.

When you sign for a club, you are bound to it. It is logical to want Cesc but he is under contract to another club.

Boom, the Cruyffster is spot on. Either pay what’s he’s worth or accept the fact he’s got a contract with us. Cough up, chaps, or cock off.

Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has hit out at Roberto Mancini for comments he made about Samir Nasri. Scarfcini said he hoped to have the signing wrapped up by the end of the month, Wenger said:

“Disrespectful? I cannot say otherwise. This comment is absolutely out of order but I don’t give it more importance than that”.

Which is kind of funny. I suspect City are still sore about Adebayor the way Barcelona are sore about Hleb. I mean, imagine the realisation dawning on both clubs. They’re now determined to get revenge in any way they can. And who can blame them? Not me. Speaking of ‘revenge’, here’s Gael Clichy on leaving Arsenal:

It it got to a point for me where I didn’t just want to challenge for the titles only to be disappointed in the final weeks of the season. I wanted to play for a club that would win them.

I honestly don’t know what to say to that. The way footballers can conveniently absolve themselves of any individual responsibility for collective failure is quite staggering. I’m told Clichy is going through intensive training at City to teach him how to not fall over at inopportune moments. It’s not going so well, apparently, with a City source likening it to Mr Thompson.

Emmanuel Eboue is being linked with a move to Galatasaray, although The People says he was ‘left behind’ like Almunia and Bendtner when, in fact, he’s injured. The arrival of Carl “Leeroy” Jenkinson will certainly have put some pressure on him but I’ll believe Eboue’s departure when I see it. I think this sums it up perfectly for me.

And that’s about that for this gloomy Sunday. Just got to check the News of the World for their transfer gossip …. oh.

Till tomorrow.


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