For Gazidis and Wenger, it’s a welcome respite. Transfer talk always distracts from the fundamental issues plaguing the club, even if the departures are happening precisely because of those problems.
Alexis is leaving because he recognises the club at present is a busted flush and there’s no energy or enthusiasm to change it. We’re broken and will remain so until Arsène leaves. We all know that, even those who boxed themselves into a corner with their proclamations of unswerving loyalty to the boss.
But that transfer, Alexis’ departure underlines everything about Arsenal which is wrong at present. We’re swimming in a sea of apathy; nobody is genuinely upset by the best player in the squad leaving. For Manchester United. I remember the bile and viciousness of Stapleton going, to a lesser extent it happened with Anderson as well. The attempted poaching of Adams brought Ferguson opprobrium. More recently van Persie. Where’s the anger at losing another good player? To them?
Wenger’s words from the time of the Dutchman’s departure – I think it was after we’d played them at Old Trafford – were reported as he would never sell to United again. Wrong, he said he’d never sell to Ferguson again. And he didn’t, but selling to Mourinho is more painful, surely? Wasn’t Ashley Cole enough?
But we shouldn’t be doing any kind of deal with a makeweight. Don’t they remember the pain of “United rejects” we’ve signed in the past? It’s been one-way traffic with our best players leaving for Old Trafford and cast-offs coming the other way. Jim Leighton, for God’s sake. Silvestre and I don’t think Danny Welbeck has been a resounding success. Not when you think they’ve taken the cream of our players.
Jilted at the Altar
We know the Alexis situation has been handled badly by Arsenal. It’s easy to say that we should have sold two years ago, but coming off the back of second place, a summer of investment could have seen us challenging. That we didn’t underlines the ineptitude of the club’s hierarchy.
Selling two years ago was never an option because football doesn’t work like that. Selling last summer was an option we should have taken. Arsène said at the time and subsequently that we couldn’t sell, we’re a big club and we’ve got the economics to withstand letting him walk away.
We obviously don’t because we’re selling him now. If we could afford to let him walk on a free, that’s what he would be doing next summer. We would then spend close to £200m on replacing him and strengthening the squad without blinking an eye. We can’t do that, we don’t have the money.
Fair enough, that’s the position we’re in, but why try to portray it as otherwise? We haven’t gained anything by keeping Alexis for six months, beyond losing £25m. We didn’t want Mkhitaryan in the summer, he’s only coming now because Wenger needs a wide midfielder.
He’s the insurance policy; more likely to replace Theo Walcott than Sanchez. Ornstein from the BBC reckons Theo’s deal is done. Yes, that Ornstein, the only who blotted his copybook with last summer’s war chest. But we’ll let him off if this one happens.
Will we get Malcom or Aubameyang? Who knows; I’ll believe it when I see it. Both were players linked to Sven Mislintat, the same as Mavropanos and Mkhitaryan. Someone brought a copy of the Dortmund database with him. He’s Buford T Justice and Wenger is Junior.
Does anyone know if Sven has coaching badges?
Arsenal’s board doesn’t act quickly. They take a long-term view but really, it’s impotence in putting things right. Kroenke is the decision-maker in this sense and is unenthusiastic about change. This is an investment and Wenger is inconsequential to that, beyond not taking on debt to fund transfers.
If Stan could find another manager willing to work under those conditions, he still wouldn’t. Wenger is the lightning rod at the moment and Kroenke knows he is the next target. Arsenal may become KSE’s toxic brand. It feels like that is the only way to force Wiggy out of the club. Put him in a position whereby the value of the brand declines or he feels he has to sell. Then I suppose we’ll have to be careful what we wish for over new owners.
Always being careful what we wish for, Arsenal supporters…