There’s always one. One player who is linked with a move to Arsenal for years but it never happens. Sebastien Frey, David Trezeguet, and never forgetting Yann M’Vila who is still stood in a corridor somewhere at London Colney waiting to undergo his medical.
Riyad Mahrez is on that list already, and just to prove the World Cup 2018 is almost upon us, and just to prove the summer is almost upon us, he’s let it be known he’d rather sign for Arsenal than Manchester City. The news we’ve signed Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who are both filling his position in the side at the moment bypassed Leicester. Still, he’ll get to see them close up and personal tomorrow night.
It’s a quick turnaround at the King Power from Sunday’s game so plenty of changes to the starting XI will be expected. No Santi Cazorla – ” He’s physically working very hard, but medically it is too much of a risk to rush him back” – while Laurent Koscielny is out for six months at least. Mesut Özil is out for the rest of the season while Elneny might make it back for Sunday, but that’s unlikely.
Which deals with the thrust of Arsène’s pre-Leicester press conference.
Suffice to say, he spoke about his future – “[I’ve had] More [offers] than I expected” – all he committed to was remaining in football – “For sure, I will be active. My brain demands work and is active…what will I do? I don’t know” – while declaring Allegri, Enrique, and others applying his job as “competent”, which I think was meant in a more complimentary manner than it reads.
And that segues into the pearl of wisdom on his replacement. The general rule of thumb is the louder the voice in the early stages of recruitment, the lower the individual’s chance of getting the job.
The Change, It Had To Come
Ornstein spoke last night or tweeted at least, and we the minions gasped in awe.
I’ll be honest, there was some relief in David Brent being ruled out. To a lesser extent Löw – not a man whose hand I’d to shake; you’d never be sure, would you? – and Simeone as well. The latter is the other end of the scale to Arsène and too extreme for many. Not that our views will be taken into account, you understand, nor should they be. There’s a balance between the two and that’s what we must strive for.
I thought Enrique already ruled himself out with demands for a £25m salary but that’s the media for you. The talk of Bivouac and Faria smelt of speculation – ask Jorgi, he knows about smells – but then it’s all speculation until we appoint someone.
There’s no hard and fast rule about announcements, but I’d guess that the men the club want to appoint have another fortnight or so of their domestic season to complete. After that, there’s a window of a couple of weeks before the World Cup begins.
Do the recruitment team know who they want already? Probably. Is it agreed with the individual but still to be signed off by Enos? Presumably, the new manager will be dying to hear about Kroenke’s ‘no investment’ style of ownership.
It’s a lot more involved than you’re being led to believe.
The Men Who Spurred Us On
That shouldn’t stop Arsenal recruiting. Sven and Raul are on the job already; with the new structure, deals can be lined up before an announcement over the manager is made. Guardiola signed off on all City transfers while still boss at Bayern while Wenger himself was dealing with Arsenal’s business even though he was working in Japan.
Those heady days without transfer windows.
A World Cup year is never easy for a new manager. A hard job is tougher with the curtailed English transfer window; all in by kick-off on the first game of the season. Last-minute shopping is going to be interesting. What that will mean is the focus is on buying before then.
Selling to overseas clubs still follows the FIFA designated dates so can happen until the end of August. Clubs will either take a punt on their ability to flog their faltering midfielder or become ultra-cautious and not buy as many players as they might. Have a guess which camp we’ll lean toward. Or which one I think we’ll lean toward!
It’s going to be an interesting summer, to say the least.