It's another one of those boring weekends where we don't have a game. This is semi final time and today we can look forward to Liverpool taking a spanking off Everton and tomorrow we can look forward to a long hard fought 120minute battle of Spurs and Chelsea. I have no idea who I want to win that game, needless to say, I want it to be high octane, littered with niggly injuries... and emotionally draining.
Arsenal news is a touch on the skinny side today. Wenger has been talking quite extensively around the prospect of video assistant in the Premier League and around the globe as a whole. He made this very compelling point...
'Video will help the referees, not question their authority. It will give them more credit, more authority and [produce] fewer mistakes.'
I totally agree. No one ever factors in the time wasted when players argue with officials after a decision is given. Knock all that on the head by showing the stadium that Wayne Rooney has dived again. Or that the ball hasn't crossed the line. It's incredible that rugby has been hugely under funded compared to football, yet they seem to surpass it in every way when it comes to trailblazing technology.
Fans moan that it's all part of the game and it all evens itself up in the end. That's the biggest load of throwaway nonsense I've ever heard. If it all evens itself up in an unfair manner, why don't we even it up in a fair way instead. I get no satisfaction from losing a game because a member of the opposition has cheated to win. It doesn't add to the drama, it's just depressing that I've paid £60 to be conned out of win. Life is better when it's accurate.
There was also talk around Jack Wilshere and his slow progress. For me, there is no point in bringing him back now. It'll take him a while to regain fitness, then it'll take him a while to find his sharpness, then he'll go away with the England squad this summer... get totally lambasted when he doesn't score a hatrick in every game... and he'll come back a shell of a player.
Let's write off his season. I'd rather have a full season of him at the top of his game on every level next year.
Wenger is talking about transfers again.
“What has not changed at all is our policy that we will be as ambitious as ever and spend the money we have available, if possible in an intelligent and wise way,”
“We have always spent money because we are ambitious for top-class players and if you look at the history of our last 15 years, we have always had top-class players. Sol Campbell is one of them.”
He's also moving away from the Manchester City money excuse as well.
“It does not mean you cannot win the title, there are two basic trophies for me that are the sign of the quality of a team; they are the Premier League and the Champions League."
You can take the above two comments however you like. For my own sanity, I'm going to take the fact he's said 'we'll spend the money we have available' as a huge positive. Last year was a mitigated failiure. Wenger deluded himself into thinking that one of Cesc or Nasri would stay. He was burned big time and took it far too personally. This year, bar the Robin situation, he doesn't have worries like that.
He's right about City as well. You don't need to spend £140million a summer to win the league. It's a massive bonus, but you have to assume the person spending that money knows what they're doing. If we go out this summer and spend intelligently (Podolski, Vertonghen, M'Vila and Giroud) and sell with style (all the dross), then there is no reason we can't make up the gap.
Anyway, we could talk over the summer prospects all day, but until we see some concrete evidence of seasons learnings, there's little point in trying to read into anything.
There's a photo going around that proves Robin was talking to a Manchester City official. I haven't seen it, I don't care to comment on it either. Does anyone seriously think Robin would be personally talking wages and next season right now? No way. Robin, we love you. You'd never let us down like that.
I don't know whether this little snippet is mainstream, but I was told so long ago, it shouldn't be a problem to share... but the Johann Djourou contract that he signed recently had nothing to do with Arsenal. He had an option to extend for 2 years built into his deal, he obviously took the club up on that offer. I'm not sure why you'd give certain players that option if I'm honest? But there you go... if that's already public domain, then excuse me for regurgitating it like an exclusive. It was an exclusive when I heard it. So screw you.
Right, that's all you're getting today. Enjoy the cup semi final and keep it massively real.
P.S. I'm taking part in a Google hang out today for the Sabotage Times. You can access it here (Google Hangout) from 1800. I'll mostly be digging out Liverpool.