It's, like, what? The 5th year of me writing to you and I feel like either these letters aren't getting to you, you're a Spurs fan... or you sir, had something to do with this whole Jimmy Saville thing,
Regardless, it's starting to grate. So here goes my last ever Christmas wish list for the upcoming year
Yeah, we need one. We've been so good as well, supporting all the people who have tried and failed to fill the massive boots left by you-know-who. Things haven't worked out though, have they? I like Olivier Giroud, I think he has a place in our squad, I'm just not sure he's at the level he needs to be to kick us on in competitions next year. Theo and Gervinho don't seem to possess superstar talents in the role, so ideally, we'd like to see someone of Premiership quality roll in this January. My preferred choice is Demba Ba. His RRP is £7.5m which is way cheaper than anything else you could get at that quality, so have a think. We're not asking for the world here Santa.
So, we'd like two contracts signed... and we'd like four contract offers withheld.
Sagna - We need to tie this man down to another few years at the club.We keep shifting on experience which means we're forever in a state of renewal. This French right back has been a fan favourite for years, his deal expires this summer which means we'll be letting one of the best right backs in Europe walk away for nothing. What a waste eh Santa? In austere times, surely you wouldn't let this happen?
Theo - Listen, I'm not a fan of him as a loan striker in a 4-3-3. He doesn't have the control or ability on the ball to make it work. However, we can't lose another player we've waited on for years. I mean seriously, what have we done to deserve this? Get him tied down to a new deal, then we'll work out what we can do with him from there. We need to stop the rot with players going.
Players free to talk with other sides that can go... Squillaci, Andrey, Frimmers and Fabianski.
Oh f*ck it, I'm bored of this.
Let's crack into the transfer gossip this dark Christmas eve.
Huntelaar has signed a new deal with Schalke. That's great news as far as I'm concerned. He's not top quality and he'd have struggled with us. A great finisher, no doubt, but up to the pace of the Premiership? No way. Dodged bullet.
Another bullet dodged is that of David Villa. Barcelona have denied they'll be selling him this January.
'In January we will keep Villa and it is important to remember that Barcelona is a club that habitually does not accept offers for star players in Janaury.'
'David is a player that brings goals and intensity to the team.'
That move always seemed like a weird one for a number of reasons. He's been out of action for a number of months. He's 31 and he's never played in the Premiership. Surely we can pick up a player more long term than him? I've no doubt he'd have scored goals, but bringing in someone and expecting them to hit the ground running in a few months would have been a long shot.
Outside of transfer news, Boutros Boutros of Emirates has come out and stated that the new partnership with Arsenal and his airline will be based on performance.
'There are certain clauses, from 2015, that we pay them a percentage less if they don’t perform. The Champions League is part of the new contract. It’s just to keep them on their toes.'
'It’s fair to us and fair to them.'
Sounds logical, but for me, it's a bit of a negative clause. Shouldn't they look to reward us for winning trophies? They have a bottomless pit of money, why not offer us £20million for winning the Champions League and £10million for winning the league? Your brand is forever associated with success if a club you're sponsoring wins one of the major trophies (SHARP, JVC, O2, Crown Paint, Carlsberg). Positive sponsorship... like the major sports brands build into their sport star's deals.
I have no idea what will happen in January. The fact we're sitting in third at the moment is probably a cause for concern with regards to bolstering the squad. A number of the news publications are already talking about this team looking really good, so good, Wenger has told them to curb their enthusiasm...
“Suddenly, there are a lot of good things to talk about,”
“But let’s not go overboard.
Quite incredible that anyone would be going overboard, but there you have it. I still don't think we've found a flow to our game. It hasn't really been there at all this season. If people are going overboard after narrowly beating Wigan and decimating Reading, well, I need to remind you where they both sit in the league. I'd be a whole lot more positive if we made some serious purchases this January. Seasons can be won or lost in January. Considering how weak all the other teams around us seem to be, this is a great opportunity to fuse some grit into the squad. Hopefully Wenger knows this, but if history tells us anything, it's that he rarely seizes opportunity. I think it was 2008 when he could have signed Anelka and kicked us on in the league, but he ignored the option and the goals dried up. Last year, he could have snapped up Cahill in January. In 2011 he could have snapped up the free scoring Suarez.
Maybe things will be different this January? Or maybe Arsenal fans think the same things every season...
Who knows, it's Christmas eve, have yourself a great time, even if you're Buddhist, Jewish or Muslim... if people question your reasons, tell them Jesus said it was ok.