Morning fellow Gooners… It’s funny old world isn’t it as by Sunday evening, we’ll have a new Champion of the world - as Spain and Holland will take on each other to see who is the best team in the world. It’s going to be a Cesc vs Van Persie final and down at the Emirates, one of our players, at least, will be a World Champion… So if anyone ever asks you about not signing English players, there is a testimony to our policy – I don’t think United and Chelsea have any players in the final (feel free to correct me)… and with so many Barcelona players in the Spain squad, I’ll have to support Holland. Plus as we’ve all seen, Holland do have some of the most beautiful girls (courtesy of ITV) around. Of course, the main reason for supporting Holland is because of the ever so loyal Robin Van Persie, whom his coach says is one of the best:
“Robin is extremely talented. He is one of the best football players on this planet. He was injured for a very long time and you do need a certain rhythm. Sometimes it comes just like that. Sometimes it takes a bit longer.”
The final will be an amazing footballing affair and RvP is very excited, and so he should be.
“I have a really big picture of Maradona on the wall at home in my games room. It is an unbelievable picture of him holding the World Cup. He is on his team-mates’ shoulders and he is holding that trophy with passion. If we win I want that picture with me holding the World Cup, having hopefully scored in the final.”
And I’m also glad to confirm that we’ve made our second official (big signing) (i.e. not youth), in Laurent Koscielny, whose name I can spell without having to copy and paste anymore. I think that’s why there was such a delay, so we could all learn how to spell his name – or maybe (as the Lorient president said), it was down to administrative reasons. The total fee is believed to be £8.5m (around 10 million euros), which is quite cheap for a top defender these days, but only if Koscielny is a top player. There are some reservations about his pedigree having been playing in Ligue 2 just a season or two ago – but I don’t buy that – look at players like Lescott, Jagielka, Ramsey etc who have made the jump – at least Koscielny has had a season in to the top league.
Our new number 6 had this to say:
“I’m very excited to be joining Arsenal. They are one of the biggest teams in Europe with many great players. I’m really looking forward to playing in the English Premier League and the Champions League with my new club. Also, in Arsène Wenger, Arsenal has one of the best managers in the world and I can’t wait to work with him and do my best for the Arsenal supporters.”
And Arsene spoke highly of the new central defender:
“Koscielny is a central defender with great ability who performed extremely well last season for Lorient. We identified him as a very strong centre half, who has made big progress very quickly. He has shown he is mentally strong, he’s a fighter and a very strong competitor. Koscielny is a great addition to our squad.”
But forget the talking, the talking will be done on the pitch, but he does look like a fierce (Keownesque) player:
Interesting news from Barcelona’s new president Sandro Rosell – who gave the Barcelona members an overview of the state of the club and alarmingly revealed that the players had not been paid for June. For me, to start understanding the levels of debt that Barcelona are in opens a whole new view on the Catalunian club. Their finances are seriously worrying and the sales of Yaya Toure and Dmytro Chygrynskiy have been done purely out of financial necessity than a sporting desire. In fact Chygrynskiy was sold back to Shaktar Donetsk for 15 million euros, when Barcelona bought him for 25 million euros the year before. That’s a massive statement and admits errors in judgement and also there financial predicament that the sale at such a loss was so necessary.
Here’s what Rosell said about the club’s finances:
“We found a club in debt, with liquidity problems. At this point we have to take a loan to pay the wages of the players. The banks know that we have a business plan that will allow them to recover the money. The club is not bankrupt because it generates income. The members shouldn’t be afraid because it is under control. We must resolve this tension. It can be done in two ways: to have extra income, like selling Chygrynskiy, and/or taking a loan, which is what we have done. The previous board had already begun this process. We followed the same path – the same banks, the same target but with a different business plan. Laporta’s board also knew they needed this credit.”
Barcelona have actually taken an additional loan of £150m on top of their £350m debt, and being such a top club and not being able to pay their player’s wages is not acceptable. It’s even stranger to think they don’t have a club shirt sponsor – something that may change next season in light of such financial issues. And what is even more strange is their continual persual of Cesc Fabregas, despite not having any money to buy him.
First we hear that Barcelona want Cesc but they will honour our wishes – we refuse to sell – but yet they continue to hound us, continue their illegal tapping up. We say we’re not going to sell, they lodge a £29m bid after just signing David Villa for more and then we reject it. Yet they continue to tap up Cesc, tap up his family, get everyone in the Barcelona squad to say something about him. And then they release their financials, which of course, are absolutely abysmal.
And then Rosell has the audacity to say this:
“I’ll try to see Wenger in South Africa, then we’ll tell you what happens. We would not pay the €50-60m that I have read about. If Arsenal do not go crazy, he might play at Barca. There will be €50m to sign more players. This is the case every year. This is our plan for the future.”
I mean, what planet are Barcelona on? I’ve never seen such nonsense in my life. How on earth do they think they will afford Cesc, his wages, let alone his transfer fee.
Til tomorrow, mes amigos…. til tomorrow.