Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Sunday stuff: FA Cup final – Mika Biereth

Happy Sunday.

I did not watch the FA Cup final yesterday. This is before:


This is after:


Does this mean Erik ten Hag gets to stay now? Here are my thoughts:


What is quite funny though is that by winning the cup, United qualify for next season’s Europa League, bumping Chelsea down in the Europa Conference League, while Newcastle will have no European football at all. I think I can speak for all right-minded football fans when I say that this is a situation that Alexander Isak should not have to tolerate at this point in his career, and it is incumbent on us to save him.

I’m kidding, but there’s a ring of truth there too. He’s 24, and he’s too good to be scratching around in an Eddie Howe side trying to control blunderbuss passes from Joelinton. It’s been widely reported that Mikel Arteta is very keen on him, but whether this makes a deal any more or less likely, I have no idea. I suspect it doesn’t make too much difference, but if we get out the PowerPoint we used on Declan Rice, we could probably turn his head at the very least.

Elsewhere, Sturm Graz want to buy Mika Biereth on a permanent basis, after he spent the second half of the season on loan there. He made 22 appearances, scoring 9 goals and making 4 assists, so his stock is relatively high. It’s hard to know how much Arsenal want, and how much an Austrian side can pay, but having won the league they’ll be in next season’s Champions League so they should have some spare cash flying around.

It was interesting that during the small period in the season when we had trouble scoring, people saw this lad bang in a few at Motherwell and were seriously pushing him as the answer to our problems. Desperate times, and all that. You could make the case that with Eddie Nketiah a likely departure, he could push for a squad place with us, but it would only be that – especially if we bring in another forward this summer. Like some kind of striker whose team isn’t in Europe anymore, as a random example.

However, I think likely outcome for Biereth is that we’ll sell him, get a reasonable fee with a decent sell-on clause in it, and the loan system will have done its job. We had a lot of Academy talent out on loan last season, and he’s probably the only one who really shone and opened a few doors for himself. We might talk a bit more about the others during the week.

Now though, I’m going to do a job I should have done a long time ago: try and find matches for all the single socks I have. There are just too many. Part of me feels like I should just start again, have a sock massacre and buy new ones, but smarter. One type of dark sock, one type of white/sports sock, and then you wouldn’t have the mix and match issue. That seems like the lazy option though, so I’ll do it the other way.

I hope you have a lovely Sunday, whatever you’re up to, and you can join me and James tomorrow afternoon for the first post-season Arsecast Extra. Until then.

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