Indeed, for the first time in World of Arsenal history, I had officially been knocked off the radar for the best part of a week… you can blame Fahreen and Tal for that! Two great people and dear friends, who’ve now tied the knot! Being an Indian wedding, it lasted about 7 days… hence, no blog since last week!
So, I hear you ask, what the hell has happened in the last week?
Well, despite 100’s of blogs, 100’s of online newspaper articles, an overdrive of Sky Sports and Arsenal.com and of course 24 hours a day, days a week Sky Sports News…. in reality, nothing much has really happened in the last week… in fact, it’s a bit ridiculous how much speculation is happening.
I asked last week – would Nasri leave? Would Cesc leave? Would we sign Gervinho?
And this week, I say…
Will Nasri leave? Is Cesc about to depart? And will be sign Gervinho?
Do I want to sign Gervinho because he sounds Brazilian? Yes, that is one of the reasons… but a more overwhelming reason is that he’s actually a decent footballer!
So let’s look at these stories one by one…
Cesc: Will he stay or will he go…
Well, the rumours are rife that we will sell if the money is right. I’ve seen the quote (see below) many times, but it’s by a “senior Arsenal source”… and what does that even mean? Who on earth is this source? Barcelona offered around £30m last year, and this year have offered £27m. We want £40m, and until we’re offered that much, we won’t budge.
“The offer was made formally in writing to our chief executive (Ivan Gazidis), and we said no straight away. [We will consider] possibly yes, and if it’s enough then I expect we’ll have to sell.”
But if we sell our best player off the back of a bad season, then what does that say to the fans? At a time when season tickets are at an all time high, on average, the highest in Europe, how can we selling players as well. As much as people say that Arsene will replace him – have we replaced Henry? Have we replaced Adebayor? Have we replaced Hleb? Have we replaced Vieira? Have we replaced Toure? Have we replaced Lehmann?
The replacements for those players have been the free or cheap signings, Bendtner and Chamakh – the rubbish that is Theo Walcott and Thomas Rosicky… and of course, the lameness of Almunia and company… Instead of Vieira we have the potential of Ramsey, Jack and Song – who will all go on to become world beaters… one day…. but not in the last few seasons, and maybe not next season either. We simply don’t replace quality with quality. We replace quality with cheap replacements – if you do that in a house, it will crumble, so Arsene better be warned…
If we sell Cesc, we will not compete for a top four position next season, mark my words. If we sell Cesc AND Nasri, then we’re about as good as Wigan. Nasri and Cesc are two out of our three best players, Van Persie aside. We will not be able to replace them on as shoestring budget. If they both go, we will have major problems next season.
Ray Parlour was in the news yesterday:
“Maybe they should take that and put the money elsewhere in the squad. I do think it’s important though to keep Samir Nasri and it would be a disaster if they lose both of them. If you lose Fabregas, maybe Nasri can step in and play the role that Cesc does just behind the front two.”
At the moment, there is a lot of money in the game. We will find it hard, if not impossible, to compete with Liverpool’s new found wealth, Man City or Chelsea, United, Barce, Real Madrid, Bayern, Milan or Inter… We’re getting gazumped left right and centre at the moment…
And on the note of transfers – don’t you think our approach this summer has been very random and not thought out well? When you look at United – they seem to have figured out what they want, who they need and got deals in place – Jones, De Gea and Young to name 3 and I’m sure more are coming… whereas we seem to be very random…
One day it’s Gervinho (whom we’ve not even bid for yet)…
“We know that Gervinho is keen on Arsenal. For the moment, there has been simple contact, but we have not received a concrete offer yet.”
The next it’s Mata… and throw in a Samba, a Cahill, a Jagielka and whoever else and it’s clear that neither Arsenal, nor the media have a real direction of what’s going on. It looks like Arsene isn’t quite sure who he wants to sell, or who he wants to buy. The Arsene of old would have got his players lined up, but if Arsene is doing what he’s done in the last 5 years then we’re going to see not much until the last minute
Will Clichy stay?
As Juventus announce that they’ve signed a left back and Roma don’t look interested any more, it looks like we may end up keeping the mistake ridden
“We have started talks with Gael and want him to stay.”
Well, that’s good, I think. Make up your own mind on that one… if someone offered us £10m… what would you say?
The Lady Speaks!
Ex share holder Lady Nina Bracewell voiced her opinion on the current board:
“In time we will need a more dynamic pro-active younger board, and a good directional leadership…and a board that knows the game inside out. Not people coming in from abroad who have to take time to learn.”
Surely a swipe at the current board, full of oldies, a swipe at the ownership too – but she does have a point!
I’ll leave it at that for today, but the good news is that I’m back on the blog every day now… so more from me tomorrow!