Sometimes I think the club takes time out to create content off the back of what I write. I took the Arsenal.com website to task a couple of days ago, yesterday they announced themselves as sports website of the year. They came out top after 87,000 votes were cast. So basically, the X Factor of website awards. Well done to the Arsenal web team. Know this though… John Terry was named father of the year in 2009. The people know nothing. Nor do the muppets who keep telling me it’s a modern site.
Anyway, onto football news. Arsene has had a pop at Barcelona. He basically called them a normal team without Messi.
‘He has won absolutely everything he can at club level, and beaten all the numbers. Could he be the same player somewhere else?
‘I believe that Barca suits him well, they have lots of possession, so they can keep the ball while he finds a good position to be a threat. So not exactly the same player.
‘But, I reverse it, would Barca be the same without Messi? Certainly not, they quickly would become much more normal.’
If Barcelona didn’t have Messi, the last thing they’d be is a normal team. Would they be as good? No. Would they be normal? Of course not. They’d still be exceptional. I’ve never seen a team in the flesh knock the ball around as fast as they do. Having the best striker in the world undoubtedly makes you stronger, but they’re an extremely talented unit with or without him.
Talking about the club, the boss has made positive noises around his ambition for the winter transfer window.
‘This winter we will work very hard because we have some funds available. It could happen that we buy two players, but I cannot reveal the names.’
‘A loan [for Henry] is still a possibility, but we will still try to strengthen for the long term.’
Excellent news if it’s true. By the sounds of it, he has names ear marked. Hopefully a central midfielder to replace Diaby and a striker to compliment Giroud. The talk is around Huntelaar. The Dutchman’s deal elapses in the summer, so Schalke either sell now or lose the player for nothing in 6 months. We won’t have him for the Champions League, but we will have some extra fire power for the 2 cups and the league.
News of Zaha coming to us shows no sign of abating. He’s exactly the sort of player we’d be interested in. Young, expensive and untested. Trouble is, it doesn’t matter how good he looks right now, he won’t make an immediate impact and he’ll probably take a couple of years to come good. We need someone who is ready, experienced and top quality.
Give me Fellaini all day… perfect right? Perfect and obvious. So a no go.
There’s a story running about Arsenal negotiating clauses in player contracts for finishing outside the top four. I’d be surprised if any player tolerated a deal like that. Relegation clauses, maybe. Top four clauses? Not a chance. Why would anyone sign up to a clause that essentially you could end up having very little control over. Players don’t play on performance related contracts and I highly doubt they’d be willing to take a massive risk on a Champions League clause. If someone asked me to take a clause like that, I’d be far more likely to insist I was sold if it’s that much of a problem. Players want certainty with their money. That clause doesn’t give certainty.
Right, not much else to talk about today… so I’ll leave it at that!