Sunday, December 4, 2022

I Snapchatted my future to my Bebo profile

Morning all.

The world of transfers, as we well know, is filled with all kinds of weirdness. The ability of people to find things, no matter how small, to generate discussion about potential moves is actually quite impressive at times. Sure, you might wonder what the world would be like if people could channel that determination into something that might make a difference (“Oh, I figured out how to irrigate the driest lands on earth and nobody shall ever starve again!”), but we are where we are.

So, when Wojciech Szczesny started following Roma, and some Roma players, on Instagram, transfer madness went into overdrive. I mean, there’s no good reason for him to do that other than to let people know he was on the verge of a move there, right? Genuinely, it’s so deliberate you can’t help but think there’s a reason for it.

But then maybe just likes their new shirt. Or he’s well aware that people pore over what players do on social media these days and is having a bit of a laugh – is there any other reason to ‘follow’ Gervinho? Or perhaps he’s come to an agreement to go there on loan for the season ahead, as various reports suggest this morning. Are those reports based on what he did on Instagram or other info?

We know that there are publications who will use that and that alone to generate stories. Such is the demand for hits and clicks that nobody bats an eyelid when such things appear on websites:

Oh Irish Examiner, really?
Oh Irish Examiner, really?

But you’d like to think that some of the more established publications would have dug into this a bit before they started reporting it. Anyway, it’s doing the rounds this morning and, if it’s true, it suggests that David Ospina’s departure (remember he was linked with a move to Turkey to join everyone else who’s moved this summer, as well as Everton), is unlikely to happen.

In a way I’m surprised because my feeling that Szczesny would stay and Ospina might go was based on each player’s acceptance of playing second fiddle to Petr Cech. Szczesny knew he had a lot to make up for and has had a connection with the club since he was 15. On the other hand, Ospina’s emergence as the number 1 was rewarded by the manager going out and spending £11m on another goalkeeper – hardly a show of faith in him and what he did between the sticks, even if Arsene Wenger was full of praise for his performances.

Anyway, I guess we’ll see what happens. After the FA Cup final Szczesny seemed determined to stay and even said he was looking forward to learning from Cech after his arrival. But maybe what he wanted and what Arsene Wenger wanted were two very different things. If it’s a loan it’s a chance to go out and play regularly, be 100% professional and remind the manager why he’s played close to 200 times for this club.

And if it’s all based on Szczesny taking the piss with his Instagram, then my cap is doffed to him.

Meanwhile, the stories about Mathieu Flamini moving to Turkey continue with overnight stories that a €4m bid has been accepted. As we’re on the social media trip, can we read anything into the fact that Mesut Ozil posted this on Twitter?

As we know Ozil and Flamini are total besties. Like a little boy and his puppy, they are inseparable. I’m told that they have sleepovers and slumber parties and they even built their own fort at the training ground which you can only get in with a special knock.

‘Istanbul is always a good idea’, sounds like the answer to the question, perhaps asked with a French accent, ‘Is Istanbul a good idea, Mesut?’. I have never been to Istanbul but my brother has and he liked it even though he was installing IP telephony systems or something, but quite what that tells us about the potential Flamini deal is unclear to me.

The news this morning, splashed all over the front page of El Mundo, that we’re after a 20 year old Barcelona defensive midfielder might also lend some weight to this story. Whatever you think about Flamini as a player (and I tend to agree with Gunnerblog that even though he’s definitely upgradable, he’s been on the end of some pretty undeserved stick), he does provide cover for Coquelin and Arteta, whose legs have yet to be tested after surgery and a period of prolonged absence from the game.

It’s hard to imagine that 17 year old Krystian Bielik is ready for first team football having not been part of the Singapore tour (we think due to injury), so there’s definitely room for an addition there. Whether a 20 year old with only 3 Copa del Rey and one Champions League appearance for Barcelona is enough is a reasonable question – although as we well know, talented players have left there before due to just how difficult it is to make the breakthrough with so much quality ahead of them.

So, let’s wait and see on Szczesny, Flamini and Sergi Samper. I’m off to track down their MySpace accounts for more clues.

Till tomorrow.

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