[Previously: DON'T LOOK BACK IN ANGHA, WE'VE GOT THE EDGE… (YES, SOME ACTUAL TRANSFER NEWS)…]
Okay, so probably the worst pun so far in my tenure, but hey, why not hey?
So, as we all probably witnessed yesterday, Thierry was a very proud man, as he wore the lid of the Champions League trophy on his head a proceeded to walk around the Stadio Olympico. In a season which has had it’s ups and downs, it kind of feels like we’ve won the CL – but of course, without us actually winning the CL. If that makes sense.
Arsene spoke on yesterday’s game and also looked back at 2008 and how if Henry stayed, we would have won the League:
“Maybe he could have made a difference, maybe last year. We had 83 points and with him we could have gained two or three more that could have won us the championship. But at that time I felt that a guy who has played eight or nine years for you, and has shown that kind of desire, it’s difficult to stand in his way. If he had done two or three years I would have said ‘my friend, you stay here’ but when he has given so much [it is different]. He had this opportunity at Barcelona, he had a first very difficult year but I am very happy he made it this year. He has convinced everybody because he is a top-class player and you want them to be successful.”
A funny moment yesterday was in the post-match chat as Henry said to the camera-man, “I have one message and that is that I am alive!”… in reference to all the critics who wrote him off after his first season at Barcelona. You’ve got to be happy for the Frenchman, and if you watched his interview yesterday, you’d have been moved when he said:
“Arsenal are in my heart and blood and the Champions League defeat with them was the biggest disappointment of my career, but I am happy.”
Well, congrats to Th14 and one day we’ll see you again!
So, transfer news now, and we’ve signed two players…
Yes, we’ve virtually signed this chap – named Jamie Edge – he’s a midfielder aged 15 and currently plays for Cheltenham Town.
“Cheltenham Town have reached a financial agreement with Arsenal for the transfer of Jamie Edge. We believe it is an excellent deal for the club both in terms of the money we will receive this season and next and further payments that become due depending upon the progress Jamie makes at both club and international level. It is a particularly exciting opportunity for Jamie who now has to agree personal terms with Arsenal before the deal can be confirmed.”
The fee is in the region of £150k and will rise to £250k depending on appearances. The player himself is a defensive midfielder by nature – but can also play at centre back. He’s versatile, quick and known for an aggressive nature. People have also likened him to a mix between Steven Gerrard in approach to the game and Owen Hargreaves in his mobility and tackling. Their director of youth said this:
“Knowing Jamie’s potential, we offered him a two-year scholarship to start in 2010 and he accepted it,” he said. “Clubs have got wind of him and he is likely to be in advance of players the same age at these Premier League clubs. Both Manchester United and Arsenal did their homework on him and then looked after him when he went for trials.”
It’s amazing to see the continual scouting and signing of young players – it’s really promising to see our future so carefully looked after. Regardless of who’s at the helm in years to come, we’ll undoubtedly have a lot of brilliant kids coming through our youth system and that is great to see!
Another youngster that we’ve signed is a lad called Martin Angha, also 15, from FC Zurich. He’s a tall central defender – also 6 foot for a 15 year old, and very highly rated back in his home country in Switzerland. Angha travelled with the youth team up to Anfield on Tuesday night to witness the final win and later that evening secured a deal to see him join us.
So, Arsene has signed a tall centre half and a mobile, aggressive central midfielder, hey? Both age 15…? So, all he needs to do, is find the same two players, age 25, sign them and we’ve got a full compliment.
It’s going to be an interesting summer for Theo Walcott. He’s been called up to the England squad and the England Under 21 squad.
What does that mean, I hear you say? Well, it means that the 20 year old winger cum striker will play in the World Cup qualifying matches with Kazakhstan and Andorra on 6th and 10th June, respectively, and then join the Under 21 squad for the Under 21 European Championship, which kicks off on the 21st June and lasts for two weeks. With our own training starting in the second week of July, it means no rest for Theo this summer and with the World Cup next summer, it’s looks like there will be only one team suffering the ill effects from this, and that’s us!
One final piece of news to bring you and that’s that there is no news regarding Van Persie‘s contract – Arsene made it very clear post season that he is very keen to tie down the Dutchman to a long term contract, but it hasn’t happened yet…
“The club and I have not been able to make any headway. But maybe I will soon have something new to report. That is all I have to say on this now.”
What that means I am unsure of, but it’s a little worrying – what do you think the sticking point is? Hmm, there has been some rumour about a minimum fee release clause, fingers crossed Arsene sorts it out, I’d like to see VP here next season!
And Finally, a quick reminder to enter the competition to win one of 5 pairs of tickets to the London Masters to see Ray Parlour captain the Arsenal in a bid to win the trophy from local rivals West Ham…
And just for a laugh, Hull manager Phil Brown is targetting Europe next season… relegation is definitely more likely…