I’m going to start the blog with a philosophical theory.
Occam’s razor (or Ockham’s razor) is a principle from philosophy. Suppose an event has two possible explanations. The explanation that requires the fewest assumptions is usually correct. Another way of saying it is that the more assumptions you have to make, the more unlikely an explanation.
Aston Villa triggered me yesterday. The threat of them taking away Emile Smith Rowe felt painful. I reacted.
… but I was wrong.
Why? Occam’s razor.
The fewest assumptions, in relation to Smith Rowe, would have him staying at Arsenal and signing a new deal.
Reasons to go to Aston Villa: Zero
Would he get more minutes? No
Can they pay more money? No
Does he have a bond with the club or the area? No
Is there anything about Aston Villa that is more appealing than Arsenal? No
Next up, do Aston Villa have a reason to pursue Emile Smith Rowe? Yes
They are about the lose Jack Grealish to a major club this summer for big money. This is humiliating. It could basically make them relegation fodder.
So what is a good counter-punch? Trying to unseat Emile Smith Rowe. Villa fans are in the comments under my Youtube video crowing. They genuinely believe this is a real story. I pity them. They have fallen for it.
It’s low-level propaganda people. That is the simplest assumption and most likely the closest to the truth.
The final question we need to ask. Does Mikel Arteta have a history of losing his best players?
Emi Martinez is the closest you’ll get on this one. But look, he’d been at Arsenal for a decade, he’d played 12 good games for Arsenal, and we stuck it out with a keeper who’d been a big performer for us. Do I regret that move? Absolutely, I preferred Emi, but let’s not pretend that this is the same thing.
We kept Auba when everyone thought he was leaving last season.
We signed Martinelli to a 5 year deal.
We signed Sir Bukayo Saka to a 5 year deal.
We even managed to tie down Flo Balogun to a 5 year deal, which absolutely no one thought was possible.
Actually, one more area to ponder.
Would Arsenal sell Smith Rowe to fund a bigger purchase?
Edu is in the last chance saloon this summer, he understands the fans, he knows what young players mean to us.
Vinai will absolutely know the power of young players, he’s seen the attachment we formed with players of the past, there’s simply no way our Chief Exec would not see this as a pivotal signing.
Finally, Arteta has made many mistakes, but I simply refuse to believe he doesn’t understand what Smith Rowe did for his career and what he means for the fans. You cannot talk about the values of Arsenal FC and not clearly understand that Smith Rowe is one of our top 3 players going into this season. He was the reasons we went on the post-Xmas run. He is the catalyst for energy in our starting 11. He is Star Boy #2. Arteta had to constantly tell journalists you can’t field 11 kids. He knows what Smith Rowe means to Arsenal fans.
If Occam’s razor could predict, it would probably say the most likely outcome here is that Emile Smith Rowe signs a new deal.
If this doesn’t happen, I am quitting the blog world. I will give the podcast to Johnny and Matt. I will never show my face on the internet again. I absolutely refuse to believe the club I love could do something as stupid as selling a 20 years old sensation like Smith Rowe. If they do, I think it was severely damage my relationship with the club and I think a lot of us feel that way.
So let’s see what Edu has got. If he does the deal here, you have to say, he’s moved us forward with regards to contracts. We’re stemming the flow of Serge Gnabry’s leaving the club. That’s a huge step forward.
In other news, it seems like we’re close to getting Tavares, Ben White, and Lokonga into the club. 3 players sub 24 years old. High levels of technical ability, all with there relevant athletic profile, all feels like they’ve been well scouted.
Ben White will probably take a while. The England player will have to have 4 weeks break and I very much doubt Arsenal are going to want to pick up wages for a player that isn’t at the training ground. There’s money to spend this summer, but remember, this is still the club that was rationing people’s microwave minutes last year to save money.
There will certainly be movement on the attacking midfielder front as well. James Maddison feels like a pipe dream, but who knows. I think Housem Auour at £30m could be the steal of the summer. I also think you have to allow Edu to get his kicks with Brazilians. Barcelona is in deep shit financially and I just can’t imagine Coutinho isn’t on a list somewhere. Say what you will about him, he’s played in the Premier League, he’s hugely experienced, he’s won things, and he’s better than anything we have at the moment. The job of that attacking role is to add goals and final balls. He offers both. I’d prefer it if we aged down, but as Edu deals go, this wouldn’t be the worst if you’re trying to bring Smith Rowe through with someone to learn from.
I also expect a right back to happen. Hector isn’t cutting it, Inter Milan is interested, if we move him on, we need to upgrade and find someone that can do the bits we need. I’d love it to be Ainsley, but I’m not sure he’s going to cut it after a duff loan move and all the other bits of nonsense that go on.
The big question I have is around Lokonga. Are we really going to role with him as a started next season? Seems a touch risky. The Belgian League isn’t strong and he’ll need time to adapt. Who is going to replace Granit Xhaka? The Italian press won’t leave the Premier League rumor alone. There’s talk that he is under a bid from England and it’s a big deal. Juventus hasn’t engaged yet and are obviously skint. He’s a very, very good player… but I just can’t see an Italian moving? They travel worse than English players. BUT… what a signings. AND… he’s a Kia player. Is the Brazilian Transfer Mafia going to do something nice for us this summer? Let’s see…
Ok, lots I’ve just rattled through today. Stay strong on Smith Rowe and believe that our club might have turned the corner on masochistic behavior.
RIGHT. I recorded a new podcast with Johnny… we dropped it on Twitch, people actually showed up… so here’s the video.
If you want the podcast in the normal place, find it here.