Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Edu on transfers + Leah Williamson signs a new deal

Morning all.

Thanks very much to Andrew A for filling in yesterday. I am glad the blog allowed him to vent and get some things off his chest. Cursing an entire football club is a great power, and with great power comes great responsibility. Somewhere out there, there’s a young, innocent Harry Potter Speccy Twat 2024 who will have a run-in with some Man City fans whose insults will inadvertently bring their football club’s period of success to an end.

To that young man, whoever he is, whatever thickness of lens he has in his glasses, I urge him not to wield that power responsibly. Embrace the dark side, let the hate flow through you, because there could be collateral damage. If you let it get out of control, geography suggests you could destroy Man Utd and about 94% of PGMOL referees too. Truly the hero we’ve all been waiting for.

Meanwhile, here’s Edu on Man City winning the title:

There are things that unfortunately I cannot say what I feel. But all the credit in the world to Pep for the coaching and work he’s been doing since he started his career.

I would be fascinated to know what the conversations around Man City are like in the Arsenal executive suite, especially given Mikel Arteta spent some time there as Guardiola’s assistant. It’s quite interesting to see Edu even hint at the thing we all know and understand but which is rarely mentioned in mainstream circles when City’s successes are discussed.

In public, Arteta is very matter of fact. He sticks to the reality in which he has to compete: that however it has come to pass – and there are many facets to City’s dominance, not just the 115 – the level is HERE, and that’s where we need to be. Privately though, there must be some frustration at the top level of the club at that other side of it, and the fact this case is dragging on and on, with no conclusion in sight, seemingly.

Edu was speaking to Brazilian outlet Estadão, and in more interesting news, he talked about the transfer work he’s responsible for this summer in his role as Sporting Director:

“This has to be a process that takes weeks and weeks. On my table, I have reports with over 180 pages of a player. It is really detailed. Physical, technical, mental profile – if you have experience of Premier League, if you will be able to adapt. It has it all. We analyze our shortcomings, where we can improve, where we can invest and from there we go in search of this new name. What I am going to do now, we have been discussing since January. It is not my decision or Mikel. It’s from a whole group.”

I have to say I’m so curious about this summer’s business. I think there’s a need for a goalkeeper, a left-back, a central midfielder, and an attacker of some kind, but who those targets are – beyond the names that have been floating about for months – remains to be properly seen. This feels like the least obvious transfer window in some time, in direct opposition to last summer where it was all about Declan Rice and everything felt centred around that.

Who will we buy? Zubimendi. Guimaraes. Sesko. Gyokeres. Hato. Zirkzee. Onana. Osimhen. Some or none of the above?! Your guess is as good as mine, but where I feel fairly assured is down to the quality of business we’ve done in the last couple of years. The clamour for the big-name striker in particular might see some people feel a bit let-down if that’s not the player we bring in (as I’ve often said, I don’t think there’s any chance we’re spending £100m on some of the players we’ve been linked with), but if they go a different direction, I know this is a club that will have done its homework properly on whoever we decide to sign. Which leaves me pretty calm about the whole thing.

Finally for today, after a high profile departure for Arsenal Women, there’s good news as Leah Williamson signs a new contract. She says:

“Everyone knows what Arsenal means to me, but I think every time I sign a new contract, I feel that love ignite all over again. I’m very happy to be staying – this is a place where I can still continue to grow, develop and be challenged.

“As a group, we’re all very focused on bringing more silverware to this club and I can’t wait to get started again when the new season comes around.”

For more on that deal and the team in general, including what lies ahead this summer and what’s needed for next season, Tim will have a new Arsenal Women Arsecast later today. That’ll be in your main podcast feed, and for Patreon members, we’ll have a player ratings podcast this afternoon too.

For now, have a good one!

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