You forget that international football is taking place at these times. Oliver Giroud grabbed a hat-trick against an Albanian car factory XI the other day and that made him the best striker in Europe.
The Frenchman insists he’s not leaving north London despite rumours of a £22m bid from Marseille and / or Newcastle.
“I am not insensitive to the approaches of the French clubs and especially that of Marseille. But my future is in the Premier League. I still have titles to win.
“After the FA Cup, we will go for the league title. That’s my goal.”
It may be but with £165m as a ‘war chest’ and instructions to spend it all, Arsène must be looking at a new centre forward. As if (a) he’s been given that much, and, (b) Stan wants him to spend it. How stupid have you got to be to believe these numbers bandied around.
Do you not recall the great war chests of the past? The summer where we signed just Petr Cech? Of course you do, we’re still suffering the after-effects of that now.
£22m for Giroud is, in my view, good money. We won’t receive that kind of offer again – if indeed we already have – and while I understand the reluctance of sum to lose the striker, if Arsène does strengthen the frontline, Giroud becomes a luxury.
He is to some extent already; barren spells running for ten or more games is not the record of a title-winning striker. It was pointed out to me Alan Smith went 18 without scoring in 1988; we didn’t win the title that year either.
Whether Arsène will contemplate Giroud’s sale depends a lot on what happens with Alexis. Much of our summer business does.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (reportedly) is set to sign a new deal, encouraged by his return to the side at Wembley, no doubt. It underlined how important his versatility is in the 3-4-2-1 formation.
That’s if Arsène continues with it. He was dismissive of three at the back previously, declaring it’s nothing new. It might not be but for Arsenal, it was effective most of the time.
Much of that was down to the emergence of Rob Holding. There’s a suggestion that we’re keen on giving him a new deal off the back of his performances at the tail-end of the season. Sign him up; he proved an integral part of the defence and it will be interesting to see how the trio of Mustafi, Koscielny and Holding fared.
Per Mertesacker’s Wembley performance threw the cat among the pigeons, not only in defensive play but leadership. Can Koscielny rise to that? Is he capable of it?
Sead Kolasinac’s arrival frees up Nacho Monreal when injuries strike and hastens Kieran Gibbs departure. £15m to Tyneside, and maybe we’ll throw Yaya Sanogo in for nothing as well.
Elsewhere, Santi Cazorla told Cadena Ser he thought about quitting but is ploughing on following surgery. His and Jack Wilshere’s futures are up in the air through injury and lack of opportunities. The latter is likeliest to move on but that depends, you suspect, on Mesut Özil.
Resolving his and Alexis’ futures are the priority this summer. They shape transfer business and how we get to the point of becoming title challengers. I don’t for one minute believe Arsène has given Stan his word he will quit next summer if we aren’t in the running for the title.
Alex Iwobi’s ‘super, great, smashing’ performance for Nigeria, brought him in front of the press where he offered the view:
“There won’t be a single player in our dressing room next season who will not fight for him. We’d run through brick walls for the boss.”
It seems much got lost between Lagos and London; surely the players ran into brick walls last season?
Finally, The Sun is causing outrage with today’s front page. It’s a paper which been an affront to human decency since its’ inception, continues to plumb new depths. Just don’t buy it.
That’s not because of the Arsenal shirt. Like the Heil, that is used to create the image of the ‘friendly, neighbourhood jihadi’ so they can push their vile agenda of hating anything or anyone who isn’t as right wing, racist and despicable as they are.
Murdoch and Mail editor Dacre – as well as owner Rothermere – lust for power. The latter duo are the worst kind of hypocrites. The former hates the EU but for years has gratefully received their money for his shooting estate in Scotland while the latter, despite being a member of the aristocracy and owner of a UK paper, is a French resident for tax purposes.
Yet this trio shape our country? Wake up, Britain!