So, how do you like your M’bappe? Half-baked? I do hope so because the stories that Arsenal “entered the race to sign the Monaco starlet” are most certainly that.
I know everyone wants Arsène to be more decisive in the transfer market but really? Do you honestly think he sat there, a gibbering wreck whose summer plan is, “Oooh, £100m; I’d really like 10 £10m players but oooh, I don’t know, ohhhhh, €100m on M’bappe then”.
Be real, people; be vigilant. This isn’t known as the ‘silly season’ without good reason. A “little bit” boost if he wants a striker is the CAS confirmation of Atletico Madrid’s transfer ban. It gives Wenger a free run at Alexandre Lacazette since we haven’t bothered with Aubameyang. We could afford the fee; the wages? Potentially if we cast loose all the ‘deadwood’ (as they were once collectively called).
Not that he’s leaving. He and Mesut Özil speak regularly to make sure they are both offered the same mega-wage deal. £300k per week, since you ask. Except the German blinked first at £280k according to reports this morning.
You see this is why Arsène needed to sort his future out earlier. Look at the wave of levity which crashed onto our shores this morning. We haven’t had a good laugh at the transfer news in ages. Where were the M’bappe stories before, eh? Consigned to the ‘XI I nearly signed’ bin, that’s where. Let’s have a bit of excitement whipped up.
Oh, you like being depressed? OK. Santi Cazorla’s apparently out until October after his EIGHTH(!) operation. Are we to call him “Little Paco de Lucia” as his final years at Arsenal are turning into an homage to Tomas Rosicky?
I know you’re thinking I am a miserable, old curmudgeon, and you want to dream, so do I. History shoves cynicism forcefully to the front of the queue; Arsenal not just breaking their transfer record but shattering it, just isn’t going to happen this summer.
Wenger is impregnable at the club; his way is not the tabloid way. His is a romantic footballing dream, of bringing a ballet to the masses with players signed for next to nothing. A north London ‘Football’s Got Talent’, if you like.
We know it isn’t a level playing field financially but that is where the Wenger of old thrived. He knew how to build a strong team, dynamic and full of players whose attributes and technique combined to make an unbreakable unit.
That’s no longer the case; our players are nothing if not breakable.
Manchester City’s activity this summer is impressive. Not in the money they are spending but in the rectification of weaknesses. Pep will have a full pre-season with his new charges to integrate them into the squad while we will probably be waiting for our final signing on 31st August. That’s the Arsenal Way.
Yes, everyone wants to see a ‘star’ arrive but quick, decisive action this summer would be more welcome. Getting the players we need signed before selling on the rest shows a forward-looking manager, one who is aware that he needs to inject some fresh enthusiasm for the club.
We don’t have to agree with Arsène’s signings; plenty will disparage even a big-money transfer but any semblance of a plan for squad improvement, of addressing our weaknesses, will carry the summer through to the start of the season. Some good performances in the friendlies adds to that ‘feelgood factor’, which Arsenal desperately need.
They’re Coming To Take Me Away!
You see, despite everything, this miserablist still wants to believe something good can come in the next two years but that requires Arsenal to ‘give’ something to hold onto. At the moment, we’re a club in flux. Alexis is the central plank of any ‘success’ next season and until his future is resolved, we’re ambling into another summer.
Quick action, with quality players, might solve that problem quicker than anything else. It shows an intent on Wenger’s part to learn from last season’s failings and solve them.
We can but hope. And for the next ten weeks or so, that’s all we have.
Finally today, there’s a trip back to 2001 on Dad’s Jukebox with the latest installment in Times of our Lives.