Sunday, January 29, 2023

Saturday round up

Thanks to Andrew Allen for filling in for me yesterday. The man I had to see about a dog had a very encouraging and positive dog, and I hope to meet him again.

An early Saturday round up for you before I spend my Saturday morning watching the Lions trying to beat New Zealand, as the headlines are mostly still about Lacazette’s record breaking transfer, one of the latest being that Lacazette says Francis Coquelin helped persuade him to move to Arsenal.

How many of you knew it was pronounced La-ka-set, by the way? I thought it was La-sa-set until I watched James from Gunnerblog’s vlog. I assume he has it right and I’m the dummy.

Anyway, we’ll start today with more changes back-of-house, with Per Mertesacker having reportedly agreed to take over as Arsenal’s academy manager in a year’s time after his final season with us on the pitch. The BFG is quoted as saying:

This is the start of an exciting new chapter for me and I am delighted that I will be able to stay part of the Arsenal family. This season I will remain fully focused on my job with the team and am looking forward to a successful last season on the pitch. After that, I look forward to the exciting challenge of helping produce young players good enough to play for the Arsenal first team.

I think it’s really good news. Not that I think the incumbent academy manager is doing a bad job, but we’ve bemoaned the lack of footballing knowledge inside the club for long enough. The appointments of Jens Lehmann as first team coach and now Per as academy manager indicate a desire to change that and get more people in who know the club, its history and values, and who have sound footballing knowledge, which whenever Arsene Wenger does decide to go (or is pushed), will be absolutely vital.

Meanwhile, in what some might see as encouraging news surrounding his own future, Mesut Ozil has reportedly spoken glowingly of our new striker, saying:

I am really looking forward to it [playing with Lacazette]. He is a very good striker who has scored many goals in Ligue 1, not just this season but in previous seasons too. We are really happy to have such a class striker here with us

From what I have heard he is meant to be very good, always hungry for goals and ice-cold when he gets into a scoring position. My friends who follow the French league know him well and have told me that I will definitely have fun with him on the pitch.

I hope that he will be able to take us further with his goals. I am sure he is happy to be here and to be able to play with us, and we are pleased to be able to assist him and help him to score as many goals as possible.

I hope he’ll be able to take us further with his goals too, but it’s going to be fascinating to see how Lacazette and Ozil’s relationship develops on the pitch. As for Ozil’s positive comments, you wouldn’t really expect anything else, so it might be dangerous to read too much into them with regards to his own future. He’s still got a year on his contract, and without any obvious suitors, he’s likely to be playing with Lacazette next season whether he signs a new deal or not.

In transfer news, I had a dream last night that the CEO of the company I work for knocked on my door in the middle of the night and told me we were going to sign Mbappe. Read into that what you will. Most likely that I have very odd dreams.

In a report in The Independent (warning: highly irritating autoplay video on that link), Monaco’s Thomas Lemar has been left out of a promotional poster for their new kit, and we all know that’s conclusive proof that he’s definitely off.  The poster does feature Mbappe and other Monaco stars, but not Lemar. On the other hand, in the same report, the paper points out he was in a different promotional poster earlier in June. What to make of it all?! Not a lot, I suggest, but we’re seemingly still in for Lemar, despite the enormous price tag Monaco have quoted, so we’ll have to see what happens with that one.

The Evening Standard report that we’re willing to risk losing Alexis on a free next season, with Arsene Wenger adamant that he wants the Chilean on the pitch next season. As we’ve discussed previously, I think that’s exactly the right position to take, particularly if he has been offered a reported £300k a week deal at Arsenal.

The idea that we’ll pay him Messi-level wages are ludicrous, and if he is holding out for what Bayern say they were quoted as his wage demands – £420k a week – there’s only blue cunts that will pay that, and as we’ve talked about before, him going to any cunts that wear blue (unless they’re overseas cunts that wear blue), is just unacceptable.

We simply have to stick to our guns on this one. If he takes the £300k and signs a new deal, making him by far the highest paid player at our club, great – I’m as desperate as anyone for him to stay. If he thinks he can get £420k a year at City with another year of his career over, fine. I don’t mean to sound callous or ungrateful, but almost half a million quid a week is quite simply absurd. I mean, £300k is also absurd, but if we’re willing to go to that, fair play to the club for making the effort and going all out. It hardly needs me to say he’s a fantastic player, and crucial to our plans.

In site news, I know those of you that receive Arseblog via the mailing list may have been experiencing problems receiving the emails this week. It’s not because Andrew or myself have forgotten to do it. It seems there’s something wrong with the software that processes the mailing list. I’m currently trying to figure out what’s wrong with it, and hope to have it resolved soon. Apologies for the inconvenience in the meantime.

Finally for today, in semi-Arsenal-related news, congratulations to the newly wed Mr and Mrs Granit Xhaka. Now get back to pre-season training, you shirker!

That’s your lot. More from me tomorrow. Now come on the Lions!

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