Morning all, Alex here. Let me tell you how this post is going to work. After a highly rhetorical introduction, the first half is mainly whinging, which seems strange given current news. But I promise if you make it through this part I will talk about transfers. So bear with me.
These are strange days we are living in.
As things stand, Jamie Vardy – hot-headed Englishman, clinical, thuggish, brash and direct – is having his medical at the home of mellifluous, philosophical football.
According to many sources, Henrikh Mkhitaryan is next. He would be Arsenal’s third superstar signing of the summer window, and we are still eight full moons away from deadline day.
All very un-Arsenal but absolutely gorgeous.
I spent most of my Friday raging over Ivan Gazidis’s quotes in the Telegraph. A kaleidoscope of nonsense, Gazidis twisted himself into a Gordian knot explaining how Arsene Wenger was the right man to bring success to Arsenal while simultaneously wanting to understand why a club under the complete authority of its manager has not been successful to date.
He talked of progress. Yes we have won two FA cups which is fantastic, and we finished second last year. But peel back the banana skin and this claim looks very dubious.
Arsenal’s “progress” in PL over last 5 years:
• 11/12: 70 pts
• 12/13: 73 pts
• 13/14: 79 pts
• 14/15: 75 pts
• 15/16: 71 pts
Arsenal’s “progress” in CL over last 5 years:
• 11/12: Last 16
• 12/13: Last 16
• 13/14: Last 16
• 14/15: Last 16
• 15/16: Last 16
At the Q&A later on – the second part of his charm offensive – he praised Leicester City’s scouting, fitness, psychology, stability and continuity adding that there was a lot Arsenal could learn from them.
Didn’t Leicester sack their manager and take a gamble on a new one? There are many, many things we can learn from Leicester, but the idea that continuity brings success is not one of them.
His interview included lots of praise for Arsene Wenger.
“He has always put the long-term health of the club first. He wants to hand over a football club, whenever that it is, that is in great shape. He views that as a massively important part of his legacy. But we are just not in that mode. I know Arsène wouldn’t stay on if he thought the club wasn’t heading in a good direction and thought he wouldn’t be able to deliver what the fans want.”
With the greatest of respect Ivan, it’s not Arsene’s call to decide if the club is heading in the right direction or what his legacy will be, it’s yours.
Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas. At Arsenal, the chef is letting the Turkey vote for Christmas, prepare Boxing Day leftovers and plan the menus for Easter and Whitsuntide.
I used to be #GazidisIn but it sounds like he’s spent too much time with the inmates and I worry he is no longer the person to challenge the manager’s dominance. Until about 11.20am on Friday morning I had been planning my IMPEACH GAZIDIS campaign.
Then the Vardy bomb dropped.
From left of field and completely unexpected. The whole business will be concluded before anyone has had a chance to process it. His signing is so un-Arsenal like, most fans don’t know what to make of it. My initial concern was that he does not suit our style of play, at all. He comes across as a pretty unpleasant character, he’s 29, had one hot season and is somewhat short on technique.
However, there is no doubting his tenacity, finishing, pace and utter bastardry. Maybe we need to stop having players we like and sign some killers; people you’d be scared to leave with your grandma. Let’s pack the team full of them. I want to hate my team, I want the world to hate them as long as we start winning again. Anything to win.
The strong rumour is that copy editor’s nightmare, Mkhitaryan, is next. A technically proficient footballer, and Dortmund’s outstanding player last season he would be an excellent signing. While arriving to an area of the pitch where we are always overstocked with talent, this is the kind of aggressive transfer strategy many fans have been crying out for.
I don’t know who else is next but I’d say we need a defender. I’d be quite happy to never see Gibbs in an Arsenal shirt again but losing Chambers seems unfair, especially as Gabriel has spent most of the season playing like he’s been huffing raw ether every time the ball goes out for a throw.
So there’s the positivity folks. One very good signing completed. And two very good ones potentially on their way. Arsenal and Arsene have listened. If these three signings go through, I’m prepared to give him and Ivan one more season.
Sure my frontal lobe is screaming at me not to fall for this trick again and that Arsene Wenger could still orchestrate an end of season collapse with the 1995 AC Milan squad, but on the other hand, signings, lovely signings.
Like peanut butter smeared over a court summons or a hidden bonus track by Prince at the end of a Kaiser Chiefs’ album, signings dull the senses and get rid of the awful pain of being an Arsenal fan.
Let’s see how the next few days pan out.
You can follow me on twitter @aldo_doel. Have a great Sunday