Morning all, a very quick Saturday round-up for you because it’s Saturday, I’m pressed for time, and I feel like I should give you some kind of summation of the Arsenal news.
First up is that Tomas Rosicky is set to stay for another year. The manager confirmed yesterday that the club and the player had taken up the optional one year extension to his contract. Obviously they got him down the dungeon again where they threaten to torture players by blasting Phil Collins and making them eat things that taste of cloves. You literally have no choice but to sign to make the pain go away – then they make the club photographer take your picture as you force out a smile. And they say we don’t know how to act tough.
I have to say I love Tomas Rosicky. With his hair and his feet and that. That said, it does strike me as an odd one though in some ways. He’s made 24 appearances this season, which isn’t that bad (and actually more than I thought when I went looking) and scored 3 goals, but he’s only started 8 times – the last of which was on March 4th against QPR.
Apparently he had a big offer from MLS but also from Qatar who would, I’m sure, have paid him an absolute fortune. Still, he’s chosen to eschew that particular gigantic money offer, ensure his reputation isn’t sullied by association with that particular place, and stay with us.
For years we’ve bemoaned letting experienced heads go before their time so I’ve got no issue at all with him staying. He’s a high quality player and, by all accounts, a great guy to have around, so we’ll have the benefit of that. Nevertheless, it’s difficult to see a man who will turn 35 in October have a massive on-pitch impact.
The manager has been reluctant to use him this season, so much so that there was talk of a January exit, so perhaps there have been some assurances in that regard (that perhaps if he doesn’t play we’ll let him go). Anyway, however it pans out it’s no bad thing to keep that experience around, although it does make me wonder if it’s to offset a departure elsewhere in the midfield. We’ll see, I guess.
Speaking of departures, the manager spoke very briefly about the prospect of players leaving this summer and said:
All our players want to stay here his summer. I have no concerns at all.
Which is very carefully worded when you look at it. “All our players want to stay here” is not the same as “All our players will stay here” or, even, “We’re going to keep all our players”. While Tomas Rosicky is one I half expected to move on, there will certainly be some departures this summer, so from what the manager is saying it’ll be ones we want go – or, at the very least, go on terms that we deem favourable.
Reports about Aaron Ramsey and Barcelona were shot down by Wenger as ‘not serious’, but from the current squad it’s not difficult to pick quite a few over whom there are serious question marks. Abou Diaby, Wojciech Szczesny, Mathieu Flamini, Lukas Podolski and Joel Campbell seem obvious while Theo Walcott’s contract situation makes him a potential candidate too.
Whispers about Santi Cazorla and a possible return to Spain continue also, so there may well be quite a bit of movement. Most of them are players on the fringes, obviously, but that still have to be replaced to give us the depth of squad we need to a genuine title challenge next year. It feels like a lot could happen in a very short summer break but, of course, we have to get there first.
There was some stuff from the manager on players having problems with their packages, and also giving fans a happy ending … to the season (where did your mind go?), and that’s really about all there is this morning. Tomorrow we can look ahead to the final league game of the season and then next week it’s all about building up to the FA Cup final.
Finally, if you didn’t get a chance to listen to yesterday’s Arsecast, Philippe Auclair and I discuss Theo Walcott, the prospect of bringing in Petr Cech, where we need to buy this summer and loads more, along with some stuff that comes from a galaxy far, far away. Check it out here.