Robin van Stapleton? I doubt it.

So here we are of a Thursday, most of the working week gone already, and we don’t appear to be any closer to a resolution to our most pressing summer saga: What’s going to happen to Nicklas Bendtner? Will anyone buy Squillaci? Is Arshavin going to stay? Are Chamakh and Park willing to leave football to set up a novelty cup cake business? Theo Walcott’s contract. What the hell is going on with Robin van Persie?

In the Mirror this morning it’s reported that Alex Ferguson has ‘told pals’ that he’s confident van Persie will be his for a £20m fee, teaming up with Wayne Rooney next season. Which leads me to the question: do football agents think we are stupid? I mean, really.

There was an article in The Guardian a couple of days ago which touched on the Theo Walcott situation. It was almost like a press release written by Walcott’s agents.

It is anticipated that the manager, Arsène Wenger, will attempt to talk to Walcott if the opportunity arises in Asia.

You can imagine the scene back in London, post-tour:

Gazidis: So?

Wenger: So, what?

Gazidis: You know!

Wenger: Oh. No.

Gazidis: No?!

Wenger: I tried but he was always with his friends, I was too shy. I went over once but pretended to be getting something from a vending machine, I chickened out.

Arsene Wenger will attempt to talk to Walcott ‘if the opportunity arises’? Seriously?! There’s the whole 15 hour flight, before training, during training, after training, in the hotel, on the bus, wherever the hell he likes. He’s the manager. He says ‘Theo, we must talk’ and Theo must talk.

Not that it would play out like in that way. It’d be a lot more formal but this kind of nonsense placed in the press is so transparent it might as well be clingfilm swimming trunks. And nobody needs that. Nobody. And now all of a sudden we have van Persie to Man Utd stuff. How convenient.

Look, maybe they do want him and maybe they are going to pay £20m for him, but the more jaded and cynical amongst us might suggest that involving United is a ploy to make City sort themselves out. I mean, it’s not a very original ploy by any means but van Persie and his agent know at this stage that Arsenal will be pressing for a resolution. Maybe we’ve put a deadline on it or something crazy and sensible like that.

‘If we get a bid by X date and the bid is good, you can go.’

But City, despite having more money than Zlatan, do like to take their time, play things out and see if they can spend a bit less. Look at the Nasri thing, they pretty much pulled out last August, leaving the chinless wonder scrabbling around calling up PSG to see if they would give him the money he wanted, but in the end they coughed up.

Of course this is all idle speculation as we know little or nothing about what’s going on behind the scenes. But we’re another week into pre-season training, the majority of the team is going away to the far east on Saturday, and the focus once more is on players who want out of the club. Maybe if it’s possible, if the opportunity arises, if the planets line the fuck up in the right way, we might just take these players aside and get this sorted out once and for all.

Rightly or wrongly, and there’ll be much debate about which, our stoicism and silence when it comes to matters like this lends to the perception that we’re inactive or unable to take a strong stance when necessary. It’d be nice to see us act as if we were the ones who had some control over the situation rather than being played for dimwits by football agents who, in the event of nuclear war, would be on the only living things left on the planet along with cockroaches. Then they’d breed. Cockgents they’d be called and our lovely blue planet would be a smouldering, scuttling, clickity-clackity sounding hell.

In other news, and despite reports by Sky Sports who are getting a lot wrong this summer, we haven’t had a bid accepted for M’Baye Niang, the young Caen striker. Their president said our approach was “not derogatory, but not quite what we wanted.” Which suggests further negotiation will take place should we have a real interest in the player. I know some will suggest a 17 year old striker isn’t exactly what’s needed but we have bought two experienced forwards already this summer, so adding some youth isn’t really an issue.

Also, if you asked people to associate one word with Arshavin, Bendtner, Chamakh and Park it’d be ‘gone’ or ‘sell’. At least from the more polite. Add to that the Walcott and van Persie situations and it’s no surprise that we’re looking at as many forward options as we can. Still, I guess things will happen in their own time, we can’t do anything but wait, see and hope it happens soon. Like today. Or in 12 minutes.

Finally, there’s a return to the club for the most unlikely named Republic of Ireland U21 international of all time. Kwame Ampadu played twice for the Arsenal first team and comes back to the club from Exeter City to become an academy coach. Best of luck to him and he joins other former players like Steve Bould, Steve Gatting, Terry Burton and Liam Brady in the behind the scenes set-up at the club.

Right then, that’s yer lot. Till tomorrow.


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