So here we are... the biggest game of our season so far. Arsenal take on Spurs at the Lane in what should be a bit of an epic. The last 6 games have seen a staggering 33 goals, so I'm hoping for more of the same today. If there's any game in the calendar that never fails to deliver, it's been this one over the last 5 or so years. For me, it's hands down the best derby in the world. Hopefully, today we'll see another demonstration of that.
Firstly though, let's take on the story that the Telegraph are leading with today... that's the one about a £1.5b takeover of the club from an unnamed consortium. Word has it they'll come in, wipe out the debt, give the manager money and make him accountable, they'll slash season ticket prices and they'll make us a force in the game.
All sounds a little too good right?
I'm game for this if the consortium can be validated. I mean, taking over Portsmouth with fake money is one thing, I'm not quite sure there's a benefit in doing so if you're laying out £1.5b cash. I mean, that's serious, serious money. That'd give Stan Korenke a £400m profit for contributing almost nothing to Arsenal over the course of his tenure. That'd make Geoff's solitary share worth £20,000. A huge sum of money.
Will Stan say yes? Well, as the consortium say...
'We will not bid for Arsenal if they go into decline. Kroenke and Usmanov will not get this kind of valuation if Arsenal do not succeed and will not get this kind of valuation ever again.'
That is a mega bid. Arsenal are becoming a problem for Stan... £70m is unlikely to make us competitive again. Well, at least under Arsene Wenger. If we want to be able to live with the big boys, sadly, we'll probably have to become one of the big boys. Or get a manager in who can replicate what Arsene did in the early years, which is a massive ask.
Would it interest Stan to sell up? I doubt he'll do it. Stan doesn't sell shares in his teams like Arsene doesn't break contracts. I'm not sure how Usmanov would feel about it either. You're dealing with incredibly rich men with massive egos... selling up when you don't need to could feel a bit like failure. So, as much as many of us dream of having a club that didn't hinge it's business model on having the biggest pile of cash in the world... for me, this one feels dead in the water.
Dreams of a recreated North Bank and cheaper season tickets will have to hit the backburner. Still, it is nice to know we're still a hugely attractive proposition to mega rich business people. It's just a shame Danny Fiszman jumped into bed with a man who has a massive lack of ambition when it comes to sport. What can you do?
Onto the game today... I don't want to labour on it too much. I'm pretty nervous. I'm heading back to my home town to take it in with some pals of both Arsenal and Spurs persuasion, so it should be fun.
The team has to have a big game today. No excuses. We have to go out onto that pitch and fight tooth and nail to claw back those three points. I think Wenger will be confident going into this match. Hopefully the team will find a bit of the spirit they found in this corresponding fixture last year. We need to come out of the traps early on... no slow starting this time. Our defence need to communicate with each other, our midfield need to stay disciplined and everyone needs to make sure they're doing their job properly. Carl Jenkinson, if he's playing, needs extra special attention during the game.
If we win this... our remaining games definitly have a nicer feel to them. If we lose, well, it's unthinkable. We have to win today. Our season rests on the outcome being positive.
Enjoy the game people...