Sunday, April 21, 2024

Other clubs: Rice, Caicedo and a new manager down the Lane

Morning all, the bank holiday sunshine continues.

A consequence of Man City winning the FA Cup means that we’ll face them in the Community Shield in August. That means after playing Man Utd and Barcelona in the US, we’ll take on the champions at Wembley. Assuming, of course, that we’ve heard nothing further in relation to the 115 charges leveled at them by the Premier League back in February.

If that is the case, City will take to the pitch in their training tops sponsored to the tune of £500m a week by a company fully owned by themselves, whose logo is a figure made from the letters M and C giving the Premier League lion a good root up the arse.

Still, much of the discussion about last season was about how we have to be able to beat them at some point – so this will be an early test for Mikel Arteta and his team. Quite who will be in that team remains to be seen, but hopefully we’ll have done some good business by then.

Having a look around this morning, it seems like much of the Arsenal news – such as it is – is about other clubs. City and United are interested in Declan Rice apparently, but that’s normal, I think. He’s a very good player, and rich clubs are always interested in good players. City can even afford to pay £50m for a player who isn’t that good, so they’d surely think nothing of paying twice that for someone who is.

As for United, they’re gonna be after everyone. You can see there’s plenty of room for improvement all over the pitch, and they have Champions League money. That said, we could be in for some fun if they’re willing to spend it on keepy-up lads like Antony, even if that did in some way skew the market when it came to Mykhaylo Mudryk. It should skew the market for everything in fairness.

“Hang on, this single potato is £23?”

“Yes, if Man United paid £80m+ for Antony, then this delicious tuber is seriously undervalued.”

I could be wrong about this, but I feel like some of the aura of Man Utd has been lost. It’s been a bit of a slow process, the post-Ferguson years had some ups and downs, the stadium is a crumbling mess, and now City are the new shiny toy in town. Eric ten Hag has done a decent enough job there, and he’s clearly a good coach, but I don’t think they’re the premium destination they once were.

I’ve also seen some chatter about Chelsea’s interest in Moises Caicedo. Again, why wouldn’t they be? Not least because he’s a player Arsenal like, which seems to be the first thing on their transfer flow chart [I spent about 15 minutes this morning trying to make up a Chelsea transfer flow chart until I realised it was a fool’s errand and I’m no good at making them, even with handy online tools]. Suffice to say, their scouting meetings must start with ‘Who do Arsenal want?’ and they go from there.

The question for me is whether we’re still interested to the extent that we might spend what is required on him and Declan Rice – who is priority number 1. I hope so. It would be a serious investment, but one which – all going well – would give you a midfield for years to come. Spend wisely now, and you might not have to spend much in that area for quite some time. It might stretch your finances in the short-term, but like doing a big weekly shop, it’s better for your budgeting in the longer-term.

Whether Caicedo would go there is another question. Obviously Mauricio Pochettino is an upgrade on Frank Lampard, but it’s not difficult to be better than a man who has managed two wins in his last thirty games or whatever it is. They can offer money, for sure, and that can often be enough to get lots of deals done, but we can offer Champions League and a club that appears to be well-run and not some kind of lunatic asylum for expensive waifs and strays. Let’s see.

The final thing this morning is the fact that Tottenham look set to appoint Celtic coach Ange Postecoglou as their new manager. I’ve seen some angst as he is a very popular Australian, like Kylie or the lad who plays Thor, and Arsenal have lots of fans down under who won’t like this. They’ll wonder why he inflicted this upon himself, and was there nobody in his life who could give him the heads-up as to how it is all inevitably going to end because of the ‘istory of the tottenham.

Sometimes though, a man has to take on a challenge, no matter how difficult it might seem. He’s probably thinking to himself, ‘Sure, I’ve seen what this club did to Antonio Conte, Jose Mourinho and countless others in the past, but it will be different for me’. Then, one day, he’ll be on the training ground, just staring at Eric Dier and Oliver Skipp and he’ll have his Gob Bluth moment.

That’s it for now.

We will have an Arsecast Extra for you, but we’re not recording until this evening, so hang on in there and we’ll have a pod for you around 9.30pm.

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