The sun is shining and all is good with the world. Almost.
By now you’ve seen the leaked photo of the new kit poster. It’s the right shade of red, which is a good start. *drums fingers* OK, I give up, it’s the only good thing about it but my god, how much acid did Puma designers drop to come up with the away and third strips?
Monstrous, absolutely monstrous.
Elsewhere, the lull before the opening of the transfer window kicks in, with divination by appearance in kit promotional materials the current fad.
Well before the Spanish taxman decided to hand Cristiano Ronaldo with a £14m bill, he was omitted from Real Madrid’s sales push for the coming season. It was, the claim went, a sign he was leaving.
Or, it’s a sign that Real don’t need to push for sales of what will be the most popular name on the back of the shirts.
The same with Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez. Just because they are in the poster doesn’t mean they are staying. Soz and all that if you thought they were. There’s fury at Highbury House as they won’t now be able to photoshop Mbappe into the promo materials.
It’s why the kit hasn’t been released yet. There’s an amazing new player being announced at the same time, isn’t there? We all know it.
Alexandre Lacazette won’t be that player. Or he might be; who knows? Jean-Michel Aulas certainly doesn’t. Moments after declaring Arsenal had bid for the striker, he removed the pencils from his nose and took underpants off his head, and regaled us with the tale of a collapsed deal to Atletico Madrid. They were, all of a sudden, the only team to bid for Lacazette.
At which point, he wibbled out of the room.
Leaving On A Midnight Train To…
Away from the headline grabbers, the least surprising departure of the summer is on the cards. Despite statistics proving him to be an effective player, Lucas Perez is heading back to Spain; Deportivo La Coruna and Sevilla are interested.
The Heil reckons Everton’s quest to sign the entire England Under-21 squad continues apace. Backed by Farhad Moshiri’s money – you remember him, used to be a co-owner of 30% of Arsenal shares – they are splurging cash to build a title bid. Calum Chambers is worth £15m they say; nobody at Arsenal was available to take their call to provide them with an answer.
Here’s a hint. If Spurs are telling United Eric Dier is worth £50m, Chambers is at £75m. Daniel Levy inhaled too much dust from the rubble clogging up the swamp, it seems.
It’s not just the clubs who are losing their minds, it seems. The IFAB rulemakers, according to The Times, want to allow players to take corners or free kicks to themselves, which means Cristiano Ronaldo will never pass again. Arsenal will benefit from that; no longer will we witness a procession of corners that don’t clear the first defender.
Other proposals include goal kicks don’t have to leave the penalty area but only defenders can touch the ball; attackers must remain outside the area. The strategy document, Play Fair, is keen to eradicate cheating. They propose that handling of a backpass by a goalkeeper be punishable with a penalty. Given that it is deliberate handball, surely it should be punishable by a penalty already? It sounds like an admin change, if you ask me.
Clear As Mud
It wouldn’t be the IFAB if there weren’t an eyebrow raiser included. Awarding a penalty-goal for handball on the goal-line is just that. The definition of the “goal-line” ensures it will be a contentious rule change.
That’s it for today. The sun is shining and the garden beckons.