Some in the Italian media are reporting that Arsenal have moved to official bid stage when it comes to Dusan Vlahovic.
Here is what I don’t understand: If AFC knew who they were targeting in October, why does it take until Jan 17 to place a bid?
I am just asking that, it’s not a criticism, I’m still in the ‘don’t know what you’re talking about’ dog house after thinking the Arsenal press release was too naive. We might not have even placed a bid here.
What does seem clear from factual evidence sourced in the FT is the agents of Dusan are the worst kind. They tried to extract £6.69m in fees from Fiorentina just to keep the player there. I read one random thread that stated there could be as many as 15 parties trying to extract fees from this transfer. Edu is more than comfortable running in those circles, the guy was shameless enough to put Willian, his agents player, on £250k a week and do the signing at the Kia’s house. Not sure he’s getting that sort of long leash these days. Certain clubs might indulge mega agents, but I don’t think Arsenal are rich enough to be adding 10-15% on top of a big fee… did I say rich? Stupid.
This is another total guess out here, but I’d imagine part of the push from Arsenal to the player will be, ‘fuck your agent, do what you need to do to go to the next level in your career.’ I really don’t understand why so many players are happy to let their agents extract so much cash from their deals. If I were the star and I knew 15 parties were leaching onto my deal, I’d put a stop to it. If an agent is slowing you down, creating a bad rep for you, and cratering your options, then you have the wrong agent. There’s a story doing the rounds in Spain that Ousmane Dembélé was set to sign with Xavi; his agent Moussa Sissokho held a meeting with the club, was very rude, demanded 200m euros over 4 years for the player, and 40m euros for himself. It’s amusing because who doesn’t like to see Barca getting rolled like that, but it does speak to a wider issue… some agents are poison. Going back to Fiorentina, their owner basically confirmed that Gattuso joined and told him which players to sign, and at what fees. The owner told him to go fuck himself and that was the end of that.
There will be a reckoning at some point, the money made around the edges of football is often far from clean, and no one ever seems to pay a price for wrongdoing. I suspect Italy will drop the first show with the price fixing scandal that’s engulfed a load of clubs, then we’ll see if the UK or Spain decide to move on it. No doubt an ex-Arsenal person is sweating about that somewhere in the French Riviera right now.
Arsenal fans took the banter to new levels yesterday, we’re all united online, which makes a nice change, and the misguided pundits looking for retweets and likes at our expense took a battering yesterday. There was a common feature amongst them all. Those that took jabs at Arsenal for postponing the game had NOTHING to say when Liverpool postponed in scandalous fashion. Absolutely zip.
Now, this is a kind of bias, and I won’t have anyone pretend it isn’t so. Jurgen Klopp is the new Alex Ferguson in the media. He has a lot of love from fans, he’s a winner, so journalists don’t want to cross him. They don’t want to lose access, get spanked by him in front of their friends, and it seems there’s a bit of an unwritten rule about criticising him. All is not well at camp Liverpool, but no one writes about it. The German rockstar drew 11 false positives, there was no Martin Lipton hit piece about it, the big journo Twitter accounts didn’t debate the moral bankruptcy of it all, no one questioned their sporting intent. Even when the EFL investigated, the story was written in an almost apologetic manner. Why? Because he has the power.
Arsenal are the whipping boys in the media still. Arteta doesn’t have enough credibility yet. In most lines of business, your reputation doesn’t update in real time, it takes a bit longer. Arsenal should be getting more respect, but we don’t, because we’re still seen as easy prey. Our time will come though, I think Arteta is doing a good job in his press conferences, and there will be a time when he has a bit more edge to him, and journalists have to think twice about whether they want to cross an Arsenal manager that might be around for a long time (or at another fancy club).
Arsene Wenger had the power in the media. Everyone wanted him to answer their question. The big journalists didn’t want to write about his clear demise or ask him tough questions. Every time our season crashed, they all ran to his defence with ‘the warchest is coming’ and ‘there have been internal meetings and Arsene really took this season’s failings hard, he’s going to fix it.’
We are all bias at heart. In our jobs, there is always an element of self-preservation. So when big names ignore bigger names doing bad things, it’s not an accident, it’s because no one wants to damage their career writing things that piss off the biggest names.
Onto other stories. The Arthur Melo story seems to have died a death. The player was subbed at halftime versus Juventus last night and the press in Italy is reporting the loan is off. I cannot say I will miss this rumour, it’s emergency cover at best, so if we have to look elsewhere, then that will work for me.
Miguel Azeez has been recalled from his loan with Portsmouth under the guidance of Dan Cowley. He had this to say.
“There are some areas of his game that are beyond this level and other areas that he needs to keep working at, as with any young player.”
“I have absolutely no doubt that he’ll go on to become a top player..” “We’ve been impressed with his focus and commitment to improve.
I’m not sure if we’ve recalled because we need him in our midfield or Ben Knapper has another loan move up his sleeve.
Auba is going to come back to Arsenal for further treatment. The Gabonese star has rumoured heart lesions. I have no idea what that’s related to, but there’s been a stint of athletes with heart issue post-covid. Good luck to the player, I hope whatever the problem is, it can be fixed.
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