So Peter Hill-wood has been at it again. Spouting his drivel in the press and upsetting people in the process.
This time he took it out to speak to the rags… probably the Daily Star. He had this to say:
“There was a private conversation that took place in the boardroom and assurances have been made at the highest possible level,” Hill-Wood said. “Arsenal do not expect those to be broken.
“I was not privy to the conversation, but was told about it. They said to us they are not interested [this summer]. It was a recent conversation, as recent as the time that they played us in the Champions League in fact as we got a bit upset because of all the media speculation.
“Subsequent to the conversation, if they are interested at any time in the future, they would come to us direct. However I’m not sure they are going to do that, because they told us they are pretty happy with what they have got and are pretty happy with their current players.”
So many things are wrong with that statement.
Firstly, how pathetically weak does that make Arsenal look? The equivalent of asking a good looking bloke not to hit on your wife when you go to the bar. Real men don’t worry about that type of nonsense… she’s with me and I’m pretty sure my offering is far superior to that chap… that would be how I’d think.
Not Arsenal, we resort to begging a club not to harass our players.
I think anyone with half a brain knew what was coming next… Tasty Burgerstain had this to say,
“If Barcelona think that he is necessary for the team, they will go for him, always respecting negotiations,”
“We have never said that we will not try to sign Cesc Fabregas. We will see what happens.”
So not only did we emasculate ourselves as a club by asking them not to bid, we were embarrassed further when Barca showed their contempt for our private requests.
Not content with that little snippet, Hill-Wood then thought it might be a good idea to give his opinion as to why Cesc should stay with us. Was it because London was the greatest City in Europe? No. Was it because he’ll never get fan adoration like he does at Arsenal? No. Was it the fact that Arsene has built as team around his leader? No.
“If you want my opinion, I’m not sure he would even get in their team. Do they need him? I’m not sure they do.”
Ahhh, the old, ‘He should stay because he’s not good enough for Barca’ line.
Way to win friends and influence people Peter.
Wenger doubts Hill-Wood said it. Well, if that’s the case, I’d expect the Arsenal legal team to get involved. I think in all likelihood Hill-Wood did say it. Although Wenger denies there was a meeting to discuss Cesc. I very much doubt even our worst tabloid would create a completely fictitious interview.
Someone at Arsenal needs to pull him to one side and give him a verbal dressing down. His comments border on gross misconduct and I really don’t know any fan who appreciates his input at the club. He is so out of touch he puts Prince Philip to shame. He needs to leave the club and let someone else take over his stressful job and his huge salary. If we end up losing our captain over his comments, I’ll be most annoyed.
Still, he did give one interesting interview.
‘We have got more money than we’ve had for a long, long time and we would like to spend it.
‘But we want to spend it sensibly.
Not sure how much I’ll read into that… those comments are part of the Arsenal de ja vu cycle to get people to renew their seats. It’s reassuring to know that if he does decide to spend the money he’s going to spend it wisely (Theo on £60k clearly being an example of the money not being spent wisely, Hill-Woods salary and expenses another).
Talking of Burgerstain, I’d heard rumblings that Arsenal were thinking of employing him to takeover in the director of football role. Well, I can put that rumour to bed. Apparently our Director of Football is a guy called Dick Laws. I don’t believe that’s his actual job title, but he’ll be taking over the David Dein role. Apparently he’s a very knowledgeable chap and he had a major part to play in bringing Gilberto and Vela to Arsenal. I believe he was our old South American scout. Anyway, he’s an American and apparently there’s a big buzz around his appointment and his plans for the club. He’ll take care of player transfers and contract negotiations.
If he can achieve half of what Dein managed, he’ll be a welcome addition to Arsenal.
Wenger has spoken about the need to recruit defensively. He said it will depend on how well JD comes back and whether Gallas re-signs. Here’s a tip Arsene. If it doesn’t look like JD is going to cut it, make the decision early in preseason. Let’s not find out when crunch time hits in an Eduardo / Vela style. Be ruthless this summer.
I liked Arsene’s comments about Cesc. The first one was this,
“I cannot see anybody with a competitive edge wanting to go to Spain. They have two good teams, but the number three is 27 points behind [Valencia are actually 24 points adrift of Barca after winning on Thursday night] and this weekend the players go on strike because they have not been paid [The strike has been called off]. It is a league which is in complete disarray.
I liked that just for the mistakes.
This one was more interesting,
“I don’t know why you want absolutely the best players who play in England to go to Spain. If you are really competitive, you stay in England. That is where the competition is and where the best players want to be.
“I have so many calls from Spanish players who want to join us and want to come here, I cannot understand your persistent campaign to get our best players away from England.”
So very true. The Spanish have incredibly loyal media. Wouldn’t it be nice if our media fought to keep our players here and tried their damnedest to unsettle Messi and co?
Later on in the day more press releases hit newsnow and they had an interesting goalkeeperish tone to them. Firstly, Arsene personally answered Le Grove about Hugo Lloris,
“He is under contract, so I don’t see why he should go,”
“Lyon don’t need money, they are a rich club.”
Kind of missing the point there, aren’t you Arsene? Plenty of rich clubs let their players go including us. That’s the type of answer we get fed about players after we’ve signed up for season tickets. You never hear other clubs complaining about contracts do you? If you’ve got a great club name and all these players are calling you up to join, contracts won’t be an issue. After all, you know all about how hard it is to keep a player when they want to leave.
If Lloris shows an interest in joining us, we should sign him… because it doesn’t sound like you’re particularly happy with your keeper!
“I never said that he [Almunia] will be my long-term No 1. I think he is a great goalkeeper and he is in competition with Fabianski.
Well, if he’ in competition with Fabianski and winning, it shows how very little you rate the Pole! This is good news, it sounds like we’re finally going to bomb out the worst goalkeeper in the Premiership. A group of chums and I, all of various footballing persuasions were debating that point yesterday. Is there a number one at any other club you’d say no to right now? We couldn’t think of one? The worst keeper, bar no one. Not good enough.
So, Wigan up tomorrow, I’ll have more on that game later. No Denilson though. We could be looking at Eastmond in the holding role, hopefully with JD slipping in next to Sol Campbell. More news tomorrow.
Whose looking forward to the first Robin start of the year? I am!
Catch you in the comments!
*Update: Later in the day, Wenger, in his own special way, confirmed PHW had in fact opened his big gob and said all those things.
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