Good morning Grove fans! Firstly, a big thanks to all the people who dropped birthday messages yesterday, you’re all so very kind. Not generous though. Where was my iPad? Where was the token gesture of a Kindle… you know, the one that I’d have rejected with a patronising laugh.
‘I don’t care if it holds a thousand books, it’s not even colour!’
Anyway, just to add on from what Geoff said, it’s been an absolute pleasure writing for you for 5 years. We’re both fast approaching a thousand posts each. We wouldn’t be anywhere near that milestone if it weren’t for you guys dropping in everyday calling us c*nts.
Thanks for that.
Right, onto news of a more unhappy nature. First up, Bacary Sagna has been complaining in the press. Every season he predicts our players will stay, every season he’s wrong. Seems like Bac isn’t exactly down with the gossip. Anyway, he had this to say…
“Everyone was expecting Robin van Persie to leave, but Alex Song, that was a surprise. I don’t understand that at all. It is a big loss for the club.
“When you see two of the best players from last season leave, you ask a lot of questions. I understand why the supporters are nervous.”
Well, we can’t disagree with that. However, I don’t think too many people are losing sleep over Alex Song leaving. Think back people, when was the last time you remember Alex Song having a game like Diaby? I can’t remember a single man of the match performance from him. He was a good player for us, but he wasn’t irreplaceable and I struggle to believe Sagna wasn’t aware of his attitude.
What is worrying is that he’s feeling like this. That’s not good for his play and it’s not good for the squad. The totally sad thing about all of this is that many Arsenal fans will be saying, ‘who cares, he’s 29’, when in actual fact they should be taking his point on as an extremely valid one. Arsenal don’t replace their players. Sorry. Arsenal always ensure their squad is at least 2-3 players short. That’s why players leave every year.
Everyone in the world has been singing the praises of Steve Bould. I mean, seriously, is there anyone in the squad who hasn’t weighed in with a few quotes? Steve must be over the moon. Enjoy the honeymoon period I say, because we’ll all be slamming you as soon as you conceded a goal. Yeah, I said YOU concede a goal. Anyway, Wenger finally came out and gave him a semi back slap…
‘We have played two teams who didn’t really attack, but he is doing a good job. We continue our training regime. He has taken over from Pat Rice for the defensive job where he is doing very well.
Will we finish with the best defence in the league? I hope so!’
Nice one Arsene.
‘Yeah, my girlfriend is good looking, in a bar full of mingers.’
… is kind of how I see that quote. It’s motivational though and true to an extent. However, it’s important to remember that most of our problems come from conceding goals against very poor teams who can’t attack. We need to become 1-0 to the Arsenal of old. It’s tough scoring 3 past Stoke, but it’s not tough scoring 1. If you can be sure you won’t concede, you’ll pick up far more points. I know, I know… a Match of the Day comment right there.
There’s been talk about the Premier League introducing controls on the finances of the club. Things like limiting wage increase to 10% over three years has been mooted. It’s great that the clubs are talking like this, there is nothing more grotesque than a City or a Chelsea coming in and dominating inside a few years. However, Arsenal trying to swing the rules to favour their foresight also seems a bit desperate. The league aren’t going to just support our business model. You always have to allow businesses to take a punt. If we bring in these new rules, are you not relegating every club to a position by size? Do they not just hand the baton of being the wealthiest to Arsenal and United? I think it’ll be really tough to bring in rules that are fair. However, it does feel like something is going to happen over the next year or so.
Finally, before I go, a Grover on Twitter sent me a link to his site yesterday and I thought I had to post it up. Some seriously nice Arsenal merchandise for those of you to take a look at! Not sure if you can buy it, but you can message him and insist (follow him on Twitter @Fredisdead).