WELL HELLO FELLOW LOCKDOWNERS.
Here we are, who’d have thought it? Just us, our beer guts, and not a lot to talk about.
I smashed my phone yesterday. Very upset. The replacement wasn’t cheap, because obviously I wasn’t insured. Did I think that I’d have the ability to break a phone during a lockdown? No. I move about 7.5 feet a day, yet somehow, I managed to drop my phone so aggressively, it has totally broken. I’m here, literally dreaming of a cracked screen. Fuck my floors.
In other news, Arsenal has signed their first player of the season. Willy Saliba is going to cut his loan with St Etienne down and return to the bosom of his mother club. This has been sped up because there’s going to be no more Ligue 1 this season.
That gives Arteta 46 options at centre back when the football returns. Good times.
It’s so amusing reading around Twitter accounts with regards to transfer news. I saw one guy, who has an account called something like @REALDEALTRANSFERNEWS crowing that he had the Thomas Partey story right all along. The fact that so many people engage with these accounts is spectacular. Can you imagine a proper agent engaging with a transfer rumour Twitter account?
‘Guys, how do we get this rumour to spread so it’s believed? The Guardian? The Daily Mail? Shall we go to Dave Ornstein?’
‘No boss, go to the home of NO BS TRANSFER RUMOURS on Twitter. It’s some kid in his basement, but he has so many deep connections that his work is 100% right. He literally doesn’t BS about transfers.’
Anyway, needless to say, the world of transfer rumours funds a lot of websites and jobs, so the machine goes on.
One rumour that doesn’t seem to go away centres around Luka Jovic. He moved from Frankfurt to Madrid for £53m last season and he failed badly. He’s interesting from an Arsenal perspective because he’s young, intense, with loads of potential. What I struggle with is the money aspect of the deal, I’m not sure how we get there. We’d have to either swap him for Auba or Lacazette, or we’d have to pony up some cash through sales. I’m not seeing how we bring that over the line. The more realistic option next season would be a loan.
I do wonder if the loan system is going to play a big role next year. Clubs will want to lower their wage bills. Madrid might opt to keep their bench stocked with elite kids and farm out some of the more expensive failures. That might be the same across Europe. Arsenal already doing a fairly good job of that this year, managing to find a home for Mikhi… who is apparently still a Roma target, with Arsenal looking to do business for Cengiz Ünder in exchange.
Would be a very weird deal, to swap a 30-year-old for a 22-year-old, but hey, I’d take it.
Broader point here is this: There’s no certainty in football at the moment. The last thing clubs are thinking about right now is how they can use spare capital to invest in new players and contracts. I think a lot of the noise is about getting bites from clubs, which I doubt are coming. No club can talk about new contracts or transfers until they know what the fuck is going on.
The Premier League is still determined to finish out the season. All clubs are united behind PROJECT RESTART. The UK has now hit 100k tests, so the target has now been met. If they can get an overflow going and all the important people can be serviced, then that should pave a way forward for the football clubs. You’re still going to be in a dodgy situation with the players. Asking them to risk catching a virus isn’t cool. You don’t know who lives with high-risk people. What is the cost if a player gets the disease and ravages their family?
… but at the same time, this is business and the brutal reality is the clubs might not be there if the league doesn’t play out. Clubs thinking that fans won’t gather if they put the North London Derby in Newcastle are deluded in my opinion. If you gave our free ice cream in an ebola hotspot, you’d still have people showing up saying things like ‘you just gotta get on with life, hardly WWII is it?.’ A debate for another day. Vote is in a week. FOOTBALL COULD BE COMING BACK THANK THE LORD.
What to do, what to do.
Right, that’s your lot, see you in the comments xxx