Stuff happened in the real world while I was away on holidays. I saw it but because of my downtime I chose not to invest anything of myself into it. Selfish, perhaps, but there you go.
I come back and more stuff happens in the real world. Again, close to home. Last night. Not far from where I was on holidays. And it’s hard not to despair and grieve for lives lost and wonder at the inhumanity of it all. I know terrible things happen all over the world every day. There’s always something else. It’s not trivialising the other because it occurs far away from you.
Over the years real life has impinged on what I write here from time to time. A lot happens in nearly 15 years, but the frequency with which I try now to rationalise talking about football as if it’s the most important thing in the world on the back of some atrocity is deeply worrying.
I suppose the answer is that we know that football is not the most important thing in the world. We know that Arsenal is not the most important thing in the world. That’s got to be our starting point. If we go from there, then this site can, I hope, become an escape, a haven from the things out there that chill you to the bone and make you scared of the future and what else might happen.
I don’t know what else to say. It just feels like I have to say something to put whatever else I write in some kind of context this morning.
Moving from there to transfer speculation seems about the right way to do it. If there’s anything that sums up how ludicrous things can be, then that’s it. Remember, there are actual real life people who use Twitter every day pretending to know things about transfers because they get a buzz off watching their follower count go up. Regardless of how wrong they are, and it’s safe to say they’re wrong pretty much all the time, or how often they’re exposed as being wrong, they keep at it.
Relentless, unstoppable, unabated lies and fiction all day long. Of course there are people out there who do know things, but generally they post some info now and again, because something is actually happening and they’ve got wind of it. The rest though? They should be rounded up, put in a dungeon and told to keep doing what they’re doing. Post their nonsense all day long, but with Phil Collins ‘Another day in paradise’ playing non-stop in the background at an unspeakably loud volume. I would love to see how their minds would break slowly until all they can post are desperate entreaties for it to stop.
It is possible to put into words the sensation of sitting there, head tilted to one side, tongue-lolling, drool crusting down the side of your mouth, because that’s what repeated plays of that song would do to you after just a few hours, let alone weeks and weeks.
Anyway, there’s not much in the way of actual rumour. Apparently we’ve been dealt a blow in our pursuit of Gonzalo Higuain after he agreed terms with Juventus. To be fair, that would be a blow if true and if we were actively trying to sign him. I have no idea if we are or not. I’d be on board, for sure. I really wanted him to sign during that Summer of Suarez, but despite the fact we’re rich like Croesus I find it hard to see Arsene Wenger spending £60-70m (the prices being quoted) for a 28 year old.
The more I think about the striker thing – and it’s not very much I have to admit – the more I wonder if whatever signing we make is more likely to be a wide forward rather than an actual striker. We could do both of course, but maybe the striker we bring in won’t be the star attraction and the big money might be spent on someone who can provide a goal threat from the flanks. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
One man who won’t be doing that for us next season is Wellington Silva. The 23 Brazilian was really highly rated when he joined in 2010, but is now set to return to Brazil to rejoin his old club Fluminense. He’s had many loan spells in Spain and spent last season with Bolton. He had some nice moments there, but nothing to suggest that he’s anywhere near ready to fill the gaps that we need filled.
I suppose it’s another illustration that talent and potential at a young age, the things that catch the eye of big clubs, are difficult to maintain as you get older. There have been so many next-big-things at Arsenal, and that’s replicated at every other club, where the golden boy of the youth team who is expected to break through to the senior side just never makes the grade. I don’t think Wellington was ever quite that, he’s another who came, didn’t quite make the grade, and now has to take his career in a different path. Good luck to him.
Meanwhile, does the fact Roma say they’re working on a deal for Wojciech Szczesny give us some insight into the goalkeeping situation? Maybe they’re trying to take him back, but the delay is because we’re unsure of what’s happening with David Ospina. It’s definitely an issue for the manager to sort out this summer, and it’s not necessarily an easy one. I doubt either player wants to play deputy to Petr Cech, preferring regular first team football, but we also have to have a squad that can cope with the Czech’s absence if and when that happens.
Tim Stillman takes a look at the situation, and both keepers, in his column this week. Some extra bonus reading for you there this morning.
And that’s about that for now.