Welcome to Friday. The sunshine has gone home just in time for the weekend. Typical.
Still, lots of rumours and counter rumours to get stuck into this morning. The first one that’s doing the rounds and feels like it has a lot of realism to it is the story that Arsenal are in talks to nab Jovetic. The £24m man looks like he could be the first deal of the summer as Arsenal look to bulk out their less than glamorous striking department.
There’s also talk that we could be after Rene Adler of Hamburg. I can’t be sure, but I think he’s been the German number one before, he’s 28 and he’s known for being a big character. He’d be a quality signing and he does come from the German league, which we all now know is the greatest league on the planet. The reason we’re not interested in Mignolet or Begovic is becuase they’ve both had £15m price tags slapped on them. Wenger, still clearly operating on the 1998 pricing model he so dearly loves.
A team famed for creating their own pricing model are Chelsea and Wenger has spoken of his fear about what they could do this summer…
‘I’m afraid of what Chelsea can do in the summer. We have to be prepared for them to be one of the biggest movers in terms of investment.’
‘I think they will be busy during the transfer window. We’ve heard a lot of talk about Falcao. Some people say it’s already a done deal but I’ve heard nothing.’
Well, it’ll be no surprise if Chelsea invest big this summer, they always do. The idea that they might bring in Falcao really is a scary one. The idea that Mourinho might come back is a scary one because with their squad and more investment, we really could find ourselves a long way off. United are looking to bring in Lewandowski. City will no doubt buy up everyone. Liverpool will sell Suarez and invest as will all the other clubs around us.
This summer, without investment, we’re going nowhere. Weneger shouldn’t really be fearing what Chelsea might do… because he has the best part of £120m to spend if he fancied it. His cash budget must be one of the highest in the league. Clubs should be fearing what we’re planning to do. So far, it’s looking like Jovetic and Ashley Williams (his agent has been spotted at our training ground) are close, throw in a keeper and we’re starting to make inroads. If we tie down Sagna, that’d be a massive bonus as well.
Sometimes you look at a quote and you think, jeez, that’s so damn uninspiring I don’t even know what to do with it.
“That’s where we’ve improved the most. It’s very important for the confidence of the team that we have such a [defensive] stability.
“As I said many times, we are an offensive team, but you are only a good offensive team if you have a good defensive stability. In the last two months that was much better.”
I mean, it’s both logical and true. Frustrating. Dull. A little bit text book. I mean, what am I supposed to do with that quote?
Having a good defence gives you confidence. Nice that this realisation is being actioned I guess. From what I understand, Wenger hasn’t relinquished too much power over the defence. I think he’s just given more focus himself to putting it right. Still, if the outcome is positive, who cares. 3rd best defence in the league this year. Mega. We’re 14 goals clear of our shocking turn defensive performance of last season… however, we’re 9 goals short of our total scored from last year. Can we make that up? Well, we do have Newcastle… so you never know.
The next quote is a little more interesting.
“Their players are of the highest level, you can’t just focus on one player because their team is full of players who can create and score.
“We must be on our guard and be aware of certain key players, like Robin, who has scored a sack of goals this year and is playing well. He is one of their main threats.”
Sacks of goals? Wenger never uses the word ‘sack’. Anyway, the bottom line here is that we have no game plan for Robin. Last time Wenger said something like that, Gareth Bale ripped us a new one. Still, it’s pretty difficult to have a game plan for a striker who scores from wherever he wants. The good news is that our defence have had plenty of practice against him. They probably know what winds him up as well. ‘Your mum’ jokes do not go down well apparently.
‘Hey, Robin, your mum has a chocolate leg… I won’t tell you what I did with it’… Theo Walcott said as he made a grotesque on pitch attempt at demonstrating his joke.
I’m not sure if anyone read the Oxo-Chambermaid interview in The Standard the other night?
“As a team we’re as good as anyone in the Premier League, right up there with the best in Europe and worldwide,”
I love the boys enthusiasm, but jeez… talk about deluded. He’s talking about beating United this weekend as a springboard for winning the league next year. Whatever they’re putting in the Maximuscle these days, I’d like a piece…
Final piece of news centres around the wealth of managers. Ferguson is the richest, with a cool £34m to his name… whilst Wenger sits joint second with Roy Keane having pocketed an incredible £29m. Seriously big dollars going on there. I find it quite interesting of late just chatting to people of all support backgrounds. It’s amazing how many people tell me that they’ve fallen out of love with the game of football. We, as fans, have zero connection with the players. We have zero connection with the club and we’re so out of pocket following our team, it starts to grate.
Now, I don’t want to bang on about it… but whilst you don’t get the same venom at a rugby game, there’s a great closeness to everything that goes on. The players aren’t out of your reach. They’re normal blokes. Then you look at German football, it’s come on leaps and bounds over the last ten years because they ripped out their FA and started a fresh. They forced clubs into beahving properly. They allow fan ownership. The rich give to the poor, the poor give to the atmosphere. It’s a family event. It’s affordable. It’s technically brilliant and all that hard work is paying off. There’s nothing murky about their league.
What are we left with? How does the club do something about the appalling atmosphere. Why don’t they do more to get us in early and build an atmosphere? What can they give back to the people that prop it up? Can they do more to support fan needs. Can they give us a voice?
That’s not just Arsenal either… that’s pretty much every club in the league. Our upper levels of management at least make a concerted effort to try and give the impression we can impact the future of the club.
Anyway, something to chew over.
Catch you in the comments.