Welcome to Thursday. Almost the weekend, with lots of sport on (albeit not the Arsenal, unfortunately), which will please my wife immensely, particularly the Lions game that starts at 0830. Also, I give you permission to tell your boss to do one today, and that you’ll not be coming back until he caves in to your new wage demands of £300k a week. Good luck with that.
You’ll be absolutely stunned – no, really – to learn we’ll start today with Alexandre Lacazette. Finally – finally! – it’s officially official (which means it’s on arseblog.com).
He’s started well, saying all the right things:
I am, of course, delighted and very proud too because Arsenal is a legendary club. Throughout my childhood, thanks to Thierry Henry and other French players, I always dreamed of playing for this club so today that dream has been fulfilled.
And of the club:
I like clubs with a history. Also the fact that the manager has been here for a while shows that it is a stable club which I like. In addition there are quite a few French players here, which makes it easier to settle in. In my opinion, Arsenal is also the club that plays the best football in England so I really wanted to come here.
I know everyone won’t quite agree with his comment about the manager, but he’s right in speaking to it being a stable club, even if times have been somewhat turbulent recently (if that’s not a contradiction in terms).
And his secret to being quite good at scoring goals:
First of all you need to have players behind you who pass the ball well, resulting in good goalscoring opportunities. Also every time I take a shot at goal it’s because I believe I can score. I don’t just shoot for the sake of it.
I always try to choose the best option, whether that is to pass or to shoot. I also try to keep as calm as possible. All that is achieved by a lot of hard work in training.
All the right things you want to hear from your new record signing (although the odd speculative effort didn’t do Thierry Henry much harm – on the other hand, I’m pretty sure Henry had every faith in his ability to score that goal).
I said earlier in the week I wouldn’t believe it was done until it was on the official site with pictures of him in a red and white shirt with an Arsenal logo on it, and you can fill your boots here, if that’s your thing (the featured image the top of the page, which comes from that link, is copyright of The Arsenal Football Club).
Gerard Houllier has labelled him the new Ian Wright, saying he’s mobile, very quick, good in close spaces, and scores goals, which is, you know, handy from your main striker, which he’ll presumably be. As I’ve been banging on about the fee, it’s worth noting that Houllier also thinks we’re getting value for money when you consider Anthony Martial cost €80m (is that true?!) and it looks like Morata will cost €90m.
first second signing done and dusted (sorry, I forgot about Sead Kolasinac, my bad, fella, what with this Lazacette thing dragging out so long I’d simply forgotten we have actually already done some business). Phew! I’m glad I don’t have to spin that one out anymore! Welcome to The Arsenal, Alexandre.
Moving on, as pointed out to me on Twitter by someone (I forget who, sorry), it seems that Mad Bastard Jens Lehmann’s role as first team coach is not just as a goalkeeping coach, but as a full first team coach, meaning he’ll appear on the bench alongside Boro Primorac and Steve Bould. That should be sight to behold when we’re struggling against some team we should be spanking next season. Perhaps the pure fury he’ll emit will motivate the players, or perhaps they’ll be so scared of training with him having underperformed that they’ll always be amazing. One can hope.
He’s perhaps another of the types of signings Ivan Gazidis spoke of when he faced fans the other week. He should certainly shake things up, unless he’s mellowed with age (haha).
Returning to the news about Santi Cazorla and his injury troubles, Gunnerblog’s James has a vlog here that talks about life without Santi and how we’re going to have to learn to cope. And talking of returning to things, Tino Fernandez, the president of Deportivo La Coruna is convinced Lucas Perez will one day return to the club we bought him from only last year. The more I think about this, the less I think we should let him go and the more I think the manager should keep him as another striking option. I think the manager needs to give him a proper chance, though how likely that is probably depends on the future of Alexis, and he’d have surely got his chance if the manager saw something in him. There’s something all a little odd about it.
In transfer tittle tattle, the Independent are reporting we’ve made a £90m bid for Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho and Gelson Martins. Righto. We’ll see what happens there.
Finally for today, a man who knows a thing or two about defending, has praised Rob Holding for his performances during his first season at the club. Martin Keown told arseblog.com:
He’s been quite remarkable. He’s very understated, very good in possession. He’s calm, never panics and you never really see him beaten for pace.
He’s unruffled and in the cup final, to come into a game of that magnitude… I don’t think he’d ever even visited Wembley before the semi-final. He’s going along nicely.
Can’t argue with that. The lad had a great first season (remember that shove on that Stoke cunt who couldn’t quite believe he was getting that from an Arsenal player? Heh). I look forward to his progress next time around.
That’s your lot for today. Arseblog News’s Andrew Allen will kindly be filling in for me tomorrow as I have an important appointment to keep with a man about a dog. I’ll be back on Saturday and Sunday, before handing over the reigns to Andrew again before Blogs gets back next week.
See you at the weekend!