So I had my say on any potential protest yesterday, I engaged a little with a few of the people running it and I’ll stick by my guns when I say I’m still not sure the anonymous organsisers or many of the followers are clear on what they’re walking in the name of. Really, if they wanted 100% backing, it should have been in the name of season ticket price increases, as it’s a broad selection of everything, I’m not sure it’ll quite receive the same support.
We’ll see though, from experience, I know what people say online and what they actually do in real life are two different things. I’ve read countless people tell me they’d sacrifice their two arms and a new-born puppy for the opportunity of a ticket. Yet I have times during a season when I can’t shift 2 half price club level tickets to a Chelsea game. I still have two spare club level season tickets ready to go that no one is interested in!
So my advice to any movement is take a ‘like’ or a ‘follow’ with a massive pinch of salt… it’s probably the most effortless thing you can do online with regards to a protest.
In other news…
The whole Cesc / Barcelona thing is well and truly back on the cards. Xavi is 31 now and Cesc is a younger version of him except he has goals to boot. Obviously Barcelona are going to be interested in taking our captain back to Spain. The only trouble is, there is the small matter of a lengthy contract and a hefty fee. Last season Wenger fought to keep his Captain on, this season, unless he makes a statement early on with some signings of intent, I’d be very surprised if it was quite so easy to keep him.
Whether Barcelona have the cash has never been a problem in the past. Last year, according the their marketing director, they very nearly had to sell Lionel Messi to pay off their monster debts. Arab money flew in and allowed them to pay off a huge chunk of their debt and restructure the remaining shortfall into bite size chunks with an Ocean Finance consolidation deal.
Word on Finance Street last year was they had £40million spare from that deal they could use to sign players, they didn’t spend it, so this years prize money will go on top of that so you’d imagine if the Cesc asking price was £60million, they could afford it. If they wanted to throw in a player like Mascharano to sweeten the deal, they could definitely afford it.
Is this summer a good time to change things around? For all Cesc’s greatness, building a team around him has hardly proved successful? Do we need to create more power around our smaller players going forward? Do we need to add more pace out wide and give Theo an opportunity more centrally? Do Samir Nasri’s physical attributes make more sense in the middle in the Premier League? I think Cesc leaving could actually work out better than many may think. If he went, we’d have to make sure we signed top quality replacements. You’d need to sign two players to make up for his goals and assists alone… not to mention build up team morale again.
It’s interesting that we’ve had another poor season defensively but at the same time, it’s the most satisfied we’ve been with a starting back four in ages. Ok, Clichy has been up and down and he drops the occasional clanger, but he’s a pretty good left back. Sagna is probably the best right back in the league, Kos and JD have formed a formidable partnership at the back and we have Thomas Vermaelen coming back into the fold next year. If we can make the 4th choice defender young and hungry, we’d have a very good compliment of defenders especially with the emergence of Chezzer in goal.
The teams problem this year has come from collective responsibility and attitude. Theo Walcott gave a very frank interview with my best friends over at the Telegraph…
“Hopefully we will learn from it. We have to. If we want to win trophies we need to learn straight away. We can’t be using the excuse of being young players. We’re experienced, we’ve played in the Champions League. We need to stand up for ourselves and take responsibility at times, and I’m not sure we are always doing that.”
How true is that last comment? Would it be fair to say that a manager who doesn’t dish out accountability may be responsible for allowing that attitude to creep into the squad? If it’s always the referee, the pitch or the fact Stoke don’t come and play football at the Emirates… does that give the players a get out of jail free card? Does the fact Wenger rarely punishes inept performances with bench time mean players don’t worry about how they play?
“In the Tottenham game we showed a lot of spirit and fight. That’s what the fans want to see more of. We’ve got to do that every week. We’ve been hot and cold, doing it some weeks. Instead of making things happen we have been waiting for things to happen.”
Absolutely spot on again from Theo. I’ve said countless times this season, I can accept it when our team loses or picks up a bad result as long as I can see fight on the pitch. In fact, I think almost every football fan in the world can accept a bad result as long as the players are out there fighting 100% until the end.
I don’t think we’ve had that this season. I think we’ve been out hungered many times by many teams that aren’t fit to lace our boots. We have spoilt brat syndrome at the club. It’s like some of the people you meet in business who are Oxbridge educated. They’ve had it all, the world-class education, the huge allowance all the way through, never working a stroke… it all counts for nothing when they get into the big bad world of working and common sense and hard work prevail.
Our players live in an incredible bubble of opulence. I have pals who work around football and apparently Arsenal look after their players better than any other club in the country. Ultimately pampered. Does that spoilt attitude creep onto the pitch when the chips are down? I believe so… that’s why signing British grit from Bolton might work out. That’s why bringing in players who are refugees of European football is a good idea… because they know what it’s like to feel rejected and they’re hungry to prove that their last clubs were wrong.
Sneijder, RvDV and Milito all spring to mind from the recent past. How about Patrick Vieira, Dennis Bergkamp and Marc Overmars from Arsenal’s distant past? All players who were past it or of failed potential… all went onto great things. Those are the types Arsenal need to be looking at this summer. Those are they types that will bring the winning attitude back to Arsenal and perhaps pass on a bit of their wisdom to players not pulling their weight currently.
Right, that’s your lot for the day… how about a cool video not related to football to pass about 2 minutes if you’re at work? Or how about your read Suga from the comments super translation of an interview with young upstart Chezzer? Or how about you read a post about some new Arsenal songs here?
P.S. If anyone is looking to sell a season ticket next year or split one, contact me via the contact form!