Disclaimer: This blog will talk about a lot of things which may not actually happen. And Jose Mourinho.
As I begin this blog, the world’s football media are busy over in south west London, possibly creaming their nylon slacks, as the self anointed “Special One” conducts his first press conference since signing a 4 year deal with Chelsea. I have to ask my myself, have you lot forgotten how this all ended? How the cockiness quickly turned into ridiculous self aggrandisement? How the way with words turned into stepping over the line and accusing football clubs and referees of being corrupt? How the manager of our respected football club was accused of being a voyeur? Of how the last days of Mourinhos’ reign saw a half empty Stamford Bridge take in a Champions League game?
Oh, you have? Alright, as you were.
I suppose I will now face accusations of adding to it, which I suppose I am. But I just don’t get how a club that won the double 2 and a half years after Mourinho left, in some style too- not to mention winning the Champions League last May- have convinced themselves that Jose Mourinho is the man to take them forward. It’s almost as if they’ve airbrushed those triumphs (and the sour taste Mourinho initially left) from their collective memory. Anyway, leave them to it, I guess.
Which leaves us with…. well, nothing concrete has happened in Arsenal world really. Nothing anyone would particularly want to talk about anyway. Last week, we waved a fond farewell to Andrei Arshavin and less fond farewells to Denilson and Sebastien Squillaci. If you’ve been reading me for any length of time, you’ll know how I felt about the diminutive Russian, so I’m not going to waste too many words here- save to say thanks for Anfield (twice) and that goal against Barcelona. For a player of his talent, that doesn’t feel like very much bang for 4 years of buck- Andrei, what the hell happened to you?
Ivan Gazidis, meeting with the AST tonight I believe, caused a stir last week with talk about how Arsenal could now afford to spend 200k per week on a player’s wages. Cynics will undoubtedly point to the time of year that it is, namely season ticket renewal time. I, however, being the optimist that I am, feel that it is unlikely that you’d see the CEO of Arsenal Football Club going around saying,
“Shush your mauffffff, we got loadsamoney!”
unless there was some serious work being done in the background. The Times quickly followed Ivan Gazidis Harry Enfield impersonation with a story that Arsenal had activated a £22m release clause in Marouane Fellaini’s Everton contract, whilst rumours persist about Wayne Rooney and a certain “Fabrice” Fabregas, as ITV called the boy who became Arsenal’s youngest goalscorer in 2003. No more has been said about Fellaini since that story broke and it feels unlikely to me, but landing him would be some statement.
As for fat boy Rooney… we know how highly Arsène Wenger once regarded him. Presumably he still rates a player, who with his head on right, can be unplayable. But would Arsenal really bet the farm on a player who was apparently impervious to Alex Ferguson’s man management? Particularly with his well documented fitness issues? For me, the fact that it was his dive that ended our 49 game run (and perhaps cost us the title) in 2004 is irrelevant now. What is relevant is that it feels as though the reality of Rooney the man, though he’s still an excellent footballer, doesn’t quite live up to the promise that Rooney the boy once showed.
As for Cesc…. oh, Cesc. If we were offered a chance to take him back, with Manchester United sniffing around him, I think we have to take it. There are whispers, not necessarily trustworthy ones but whispers all the same, that a deal has been done and our former captain will be back with us soon. I’m not sure how many of you still hold against him for his desertion two years ago, but again I think it’s irrelevant. Though I do kind of agree with Le Grove’s stated view that signing Cesc would be more about boosting the morale of the fans than signing a player we need. That said, what a player! And, were he to sign, if we could import some (Fellaini?) muscle alongside him and Jack Wilshere, then… okay, it’s fantasy football now. I try not to go there, really I do, but what else are we left with during the summer months? You only need to see the Twitter meltdown over Mourinho’s press conference to realise the answer. I do wonder though. We all scoffed when Arsène said (using his curious double negative to express a positive) he was not convinced we would not see Cesc back in an Arsenal shirt again, but he’s obviously been talking to his former protége. Arsène knows? We’ll see.
The other rumour, as you know, concerns how Arsenal are planning to cope with life after Bendtner. Most media outlets have us circling Real Madrid’s Argentinian striker, Gonzalo Higuain, battling our lashes and lifting the hem of our skirts in a manner most suggestive. Unfortunately for us, Juventus are apparently trying to make up for failing to land the man who listened to the little (idiot) boy inside last summer, by signing up every striker who’s ever scored a goal. Except for Nick Bendtner, who they took on loan last season, quickly finding out just why he was surplus to requirements here. So, who to replace Super Nick? It’s a tough job, but I reckon Higuain might just be up to it.
If we get him of course. Higuain at Arsenal? Surely not!
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