Good morning Grovers! I hope you're well this fine Friday morning. I spent the evening at the FWA Dinner... and had the pleasure of listening to Robin do us all proud with a fine speech after his award. Such a shame I can barely remember any of it, but the jist of it for me was this...
'I'll always be a Gunner'
He seems to be the first Arsenal player for years who has listened to players of old when they say there is no other club like us. He said Bobby Pires says even now he feels like a Gunner. That is something special from a French guy with no affiliation to Arsenal from youth. He didn't sound like a man on the way out. He was hugely complimentary of his team mates and he was massively proud to be listed among players like Adams, Theirry and Vieira with the captains armband.
There was a very touching moment when Fabrice Muamba stood up to a standing ovation. Robin got out of his seat and gave him a big man hug. He also paid tribute to his strength of character in the chat after. All very nice. I can't tell you how well Robin came across. The whole room said the same.
He also said the Everton goal was his favourite and that if he ever has time to read the blogs... he normally stops here first.
I was too smashed in the to go and sing him a song I'd jotted down on my napkin. So I can't take total credit when he signs. I have no steer on what Robin is going to do this summer, just a gut feel. I know how a player on the way out talks about the club... I'm hoping we finish third and he has a Thierry moment and decides to give us one more year. Come on Robin, you know it's the right thing to do!
Arsene Wenger had been talking up German players. He thinks they are similar in mentality to the English. I totally agree. I'm just a but surprised it's taken him so long to start raiding the German market. Surely there have been bargains to be had there for years? Most of them speak English as well. That said, Germans tend to come with same premium as English players... they also like to stay close to home. It's not often a German player bypasses Bayern Munich on the way out of the country.
Wenger seemed pretty pleased about the signing of Lukas.
'That's what we like, and he can score goals as well. How many times have we been accused this season of being too reliant on Robin van Persie? He can score goals and provide, and he is the class that we want'
There doesn't seem to be a hint of 'replacement' in the way he's talking about the German front man. I think he'll play out wide on the left. I sat next to German reporter Raphael Honigstein last night and he thought the same, though he did temper my expectations of pace... he's not on a par with Gareth Bale. Still fast though and a far better finisher.
Finally, a great story for our African friends... Arsenal are travelling to Nigeria to play their first ever friendly! Congratulations, I'm sure the atmosphere will be incredible. If it's not... no more friendlies for you guys.
Post over. Have a great Friday. Maybe drop a terrible joke in the comments.