Well, it’s less than a week ’til deadline day slams shut almost 20 days earlier than usual, and there are still a number of items to be resolved.
What the fu*k are we doing with the back 4 would be a pretty pressing one. We’re apparently shipping Calum Chambers out on loan to Fulham, which makes sense if he’s not getting games with us, but I did hope he’d done enough to stay with us this year. His form in the back half of the season was very positive, he’s excellent in a defence that needs confidence on the ball and I really do admire his new beard and hair combo.
Will Emery look to move on Mustafi? Or are we going to stick with Mavrapanos, Mustafi, Sokratis, Koscielny, and roll with 5 options this season? Or will we see movement for a more experienced name like Vida?
As it stands, our group of centre backs looks a little weak, but I guess for the first time in a while we’ll be at the mercy of a system versus the hope that individual talent can pull the players through. The sum of the parts is a theory many average clubs adopt and it works perfectly well. I have to say, I was slightly sad to see Yerry Mina go to Everton for £32m.
Our major headache comes in the shape of Aaron Ramsey. The club need to make moves to shift him, or we need to pray the exec team has a plan up their sleeves. City, Liverpool and Chelsea are all sniffing around, no doubt armed with a deadline day pity bid. I was particularly sad to here Pep G talk of the need for a midfielder. Arteta and Ramsey had a great time together when they were paired back in the day, and it wouldn’t be wild to imagine the two linking up again (in a big fuck you to Ivan for this summers shennanigans).
His agency has been quashing so-called insiders hot takes on the situation on Twitter. I’d imagine they’re keen to make sure the world doesn’t think Aaron is holding the club to ransom… when the reality is that’ll be exactly what they’re doing otherwise he’d have exited by now, or he’d have signed a new deal. I had heard much earlier in the summer from a very good place that his agent was very keen on using the Ozil deal as leverage, the fact anyone at their agency would deny that was top of mind is quite frankly ludicrous.
Sure, there might be a strategy to get Aaron to the last year of his deal, but no one makes money that way, and in the world of football, the only Christmas bonus that matters is this years. Why would you push your injury prone client into seeing out the final year of his deal? It’s hugely risky, especially as the stand out years aren’t exactly plentiful with Aaron. Strike while the iron is hot and build would be my view. They also don’t know Emery, they have no idea how he’d treat a snub because let’s be real, the new Arsenal guys could just sit him on the bench for a year to make a point.
We’ll see though.
I find it amusing that the fans are already in, ‘never liked that slag anyway’ mode. Outside Nacho, he was a star in a shower of shite last season. I don’t quite abide by the weird internet cult he has behind him. When I read people talk about Ramsey’s achievements in the game, it makes me weep a little inside. He’s a solid player who has survived 10 years in an unstructured mess. I think he could be exceptional in a great system, but I don’t think he’s irreplaceable. He’d unlikely be allowed the freedom to be the all-action hero under Emery, so it’ll be interesting to see where he chooses head if he does go.
I kind of hoped he’d stay to be the captain at a club built around his talents… but hey, who can deny a man a change of scenery.
Let’s just hope the club has a decent backup plan. I’d be surprised if his energy and drive could be found with internal promotions.
Finally, a bit of a gripe about TV rights. What the fuck is football doing with all these fragmented TV deals? Community Shield is on ESPN+ (an app), EL is on TNT, NBC has the Prem rights except sometimes you need their shitty Prem pass offering, I don’t even think we get League Cup. I know it’s the same issue in the UK. BT are pulling back, Sky has some games, there’s that new disruptor channel Eleven Sports who have some action. It’s a fucking joke. Even if you’re a cable buyer, you still need to buy bolt-ons. Is it cheaper for anyone?
This fragmentation of TV just pushes people to do things illegally. At times last year, I had to stream illegally for things I’d paid for because the services were shite. It’s unreal.
Just give me a season ticket for the TV. That is all that is needed. Or someone get Reed Hastings on the blower and tell him Netflix should buy the rights and make it real easy. Or Apple now they’re a trillion dollar company.
Anyway, moan over.
PREMIER LEAGUE STARTS THIS WEEK x