Very little movement on the Arsenal front.
Yesterday we had our first glimpse of Spurs and United. Very difficult to work out the true value of those games, because West Ham were absolutely awful, carrying on their shocking form from last season. Newcastle weren’t much better.
Spurs really were fun to watch. Incisive and intense, they eventually broke Rafa’s 8 man block by going right through the middle. Spurs have some fabulous players, but I really would be surprised if they rode the injury luck wave in the same way they did last year. Take Alli, Kane or Eriksen out of the side and you’re struggling.
United give me more cause for concern. Mourinho knows the Premier League, he’s spent a fortune the second summer running, and he finally has a team that look Mourinho-ish.
Lukaku shut the doubters down, he bagged a goal against Madrid in midweek, and carried on that form with two strikes at Old Trafford. I’ve never known a 24 year old – who consistently does the business – to take such a hammering by people. I guess his major challenge is going to come against the big teams. Can he bang in one chance in a tight game against Bayern Munich in the CL quarter finals?
Similar question for Lacazette. I’ve no doubt he’s good for goals against teams outside the top 6. Question is, can he be our man in the big games? Can he be the difference Giroud rarely has been? Massive question.
Anyway, Saturday was all about shocking defending. Today showed you two teams who know how to keep scoring to a minimum. United are contenders. Matic was a superb signing and Pogba looks ready to dominate after a sparkling performance.
Arsenal look to be done for summer business if reports are to be believed. The media narrative is focused on releasing cash from the wage bill (Newcastle in for Perez and Wilshere). I really don’t understand what the club have been up to all year. The dross that’s clogging up the first team has been an issue since last season. We should be offering these players deals to go if they’re hanging on. Shift them now, take the losses, and make sure the club never makes the same mistake it makes every 4 years.
I can’t work out what Huss Fahmy is for? Is he there to stop Wenger doing stupid things with contracts? Or just someone to tighten up process? Is there any evidence Arsenal are addressing their terrible approach to salary?
Alexis Sanchez is holed up in Paris. It’ll be fascinating to see what happens there. If Wenger buckles, he’ll rile the fans. If he does a deal, and brings in 2 brilliant squad players as part of the deal, I think fans will forgive him.
If we go into the season and Sanchez gives up post-Christmas, we really can’t be blaming the player. If the decision is to keep him, it’s a strategic gamble from the club. Wenger has all the information at his disposal, and he’s on record as saying his own unresolved contract disrupted team focus last year. If it goes tits up, I really hope fans don’t go with his inevitable blame game. The cynic in me feels Wenger would be very comfortable with that sort of gamble as it’s an easy way to free himself of accountability.
The club need to be decisive and make a bold decision that leaves us looking the smarter party. It’s not like we haven’t attempted it before. I mean, we’ve done it badly. Remember when we brought in Davor Suker as part of the Anelka deal? Slowest player I’ve ever witnessed at Highbury. How about William Gallas for Ashley Cole? Kind of made sense at the time, shame it panned out so atrociously.
Best case scenario. 2 players and some cash for Alexis.
Let’s see what happens. Sanchez must think PSG are planning something big if he’s hanging out in Paris. I just hope whatever it is, it’s resolved soon, and it’s not a pile of cash we’re celebrating at the end of the summer.
Finally, if you’re into fucking yourself up on Monday morning, try this thread. It’s two girls / one cup for Arsenal. You’ll never make it to end unless you’re a sadist.
Right, have a blinding day! x
‘Hi Lord Bendtner, can you still produce world class Maradona-like genius?’
— D82 (@Detective82) August 13, 2017