Happy Thursday to each and every one of you!
My day started in excitable fashion as I leant over to my Twitter machine to find that Kike Marin, a pretty bang on journo with some sweet connections, dropped the bombshell that Arsenal have tabled a bid of £44m for Pierre-Erick of Dortmund.
Now, whilst I don’t doubt there’s something in this rumour, I do doubt that Dortmund would sell at such a sensitive time. They are 2nd in the Bundesliga, by 6 points. They are 8 points off the rampant Bayern. They have a new coach who has breathed life (is that bad English?) into their saggy squad. They have NO Champions League.
£44m sounds great, but so does finishing second in your division and ensuring you make another £40m from the Champions League next year.
Feels like a no go for me.
As for the player, he’s something else to watch. I don’t really understand us going in for him though. He’s like a sharper Theo Walcott. He’s very small but lacks the aggression of a Suarez to get away with that. I mean, his finishing is excellent, he’s really come on. He can play across the front line as well and he has pretty similar goal scoring stats to Lewandowski. So he’s clearly good… just not sure he’s quite what I had in mind.
*UPDATE: Did not realise he was 6ft1! I’ve seen him live as well.
… but jeez, BEGGARS AND CHOOSERS OVER HERE. He really is a great player. He’s just not the young Zlatan who doesn’t exist anywhere else but in my mind.
But, mobile forward was the brief. He is mobile and a forward. He’s exciting too. He’s from Gabon. Who even knew that was a country?
In other news, I heard on the grapevine that Arsenal tabled a bid for Southend keeper Daniel Bentley who landed 11 clean sheets for them. Word on the street is we offered him a 3rd choice keeper role and he said, no, no, no…
Poor Martinez. I wonder who they see as 2nd choice? I’m guessing Chezzer as Roma have been told they can’t have the Polish man on a perm deal.
News slipped out of West Brom that Arsenal had recalled Serge Gnabry back from his loan because he’s getting like, zero games up there. A bit disappointing he can’t apply himself and force his way into their side. I was told he’d initially dropped out of Arsene’s interests because he had a bit of an attitude issue. I mean, he had a lot of talent. I think I was at the Schalke game where he gifted them the ball that led to a goal, but when we’d seen him before he looked powerful, fast with a lot of direct at goal ability. Like the German brother of Chambo.
… but if you’re not making it at West Brom with all that talent, it’s pretty clear your attitude isn’t right. Tony Pulis doesn’t suffer fools and it appears that’s the role Gnabry was playing. More fool him I guess (great punning there). Such a shame to watch players fritter their careers away. He’ll look back on life and have so many regrets if he blows his chance…
Petr Cech has been dropping some pretty interesting stuff about being a keeper. He focuses in on his trainer from way back when. A guy called, Christophe Lollichon. The type of name you make up when you’re telling a fictitious story about a Frenchman.
“He is always searching for new things to bring it further, to be more efficient and try to make things happen for a goalkeeper to progress even at the highest level. I keep using a table tennis robot which shoots ping-pong balls out. You have to catch it with one hand so it gives you a completely different hand-eye coordination. Then, when you have both hands facing one football, everything becomes easier.”
… you done yet, Petr?
“We used to play peteca, which is a Brazilian game played with a shuttlecock that has a rubber bottom. You hit it with your palm and you play a game like tennis but we did it by using the crossbar as a net. We used both hands and played a little tournament for the warm-up — you dive, you jump, you use your whole body and hand-eye coordination. You realise how much weaker your left can be compared to your right if you are right-handed. He is not afraid to look for things like that.”
… and then The Evening Standard drop it.
There was speculation that Lollichon could join Cech at London Colney but he stayed at Chelsea as Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger kept faith with goalkeeping coach Gerry Payton.
Oh Gerry. Poor Gerry Payton. Sitting there, kicking balls at keepers from 15 yards. Imagine what life could be like?
I think it’s pretty apparent that over the years, we’ve had a real issue with our keepers coming in pretty average, then regressing into quite poor. Working with great names is one thing, but actually, the real talent in coaching is making keepers better. You can’t really say that for anyone young who has come into the club.
The club have been building a lot of talent around faded talent at Arsenal. We have a Shad Forsythe, but you still have the antiquated Tony Colbert. We have Brian Mcdermott and we’re looking at Steve Walsh, but the old school Steve Rowley is still here. We still have Gerry Payton, when everyone knows he’s not past it because he’s never been it.
The Wenger yes men exist, but they have to coexist. When Wenger leaves, expect an exodus of the old guard.
Anyway, my two pennies for today! Have a good one!