Just over a week until the ‘action’ begins, if ever a friendly could be called that, and this morning the smoke and mirrors in the warped mind of a certain Madrileño President have been denied by the Club. It is probably just as well that the last Harry Potter book is out soon because if Ramon Calderon ever wrote his memoirs, they would be filed under the Fantasy section of your local bookshop and wipe the floor with Ms. Rowlings creation. I was surprised that the Arsenal issued a statement denying that a meeting ever took place between Mijatovic and Wenger because, well, did anyone believe that they had? OK, from a PR point of view, it might have nipped the rumours in the bud today and I guess stopped some idle hack linking that to the sale of Henry (incidentally reputedly because ‘physiological statistics’ indicated he was ‘past his prime’). To be honest though, it would have been differently worded had I wrote it. More along the lines of, ‘Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire’ because a childish claim deserves a childish response. However, these things are all about perception and Calderon has to make it look like they tried to get a provenly successful manager before landing the relatively successful Schuster. Which in an unwanted way is affirmation that Wenger is still valued even if some ludicrously believe he is himself past his best at Arsenal.
Talking of ludicrous things, the Tevez to United story at the moment is vexing the minds of a fair few people predominantly as to why Arsenal are not in there trying to sign him. Well, in that instance the price is probably the answer to a large degree, mixed in with the questionable ownership issue. Having seen the West Ham problem, it is surprising that Tevez is being courted, if indeed that is the case. Last summer, it was a problem for Wenger and the Club; nothing as far as I can see has changed in the last twelve months on that score, despite West Ham unilaterally terminating the deal. A High Court judge may clarify that one soon. However, the key thing that I can see is that the price will wipe a substantial hole out of the Arsenal transfer and wages budget, leaving him little or no room to buy others in.
It is questionable as well if Tevez would be a wise acquisition given that there are sufficient quantity of forwards at the Club already; Walcott is in reserve as well as the main forward line. Now one should never rule out the purchase of another on the grounds of exisiting players but we have enough of the Tevez type of player as it is. He is not an out and out centre forward, more a secondary striker cum attacking midfielder which means he would be competing with at least seven players for a berth. That sort of competition can be destabilising so unless someone else were leaving, his arrival would be unlikely even before you get into the realms of the money. Perception is all in the minds of some though and we should apparently be signing each and every media target we are linked to when the truth is that we do not go above the £12m mark very often for signing a player. And that was when we apparently had money for transfers, something that is reputedly in short supply these days. However, this does not stop the gnashing of fingernails as one by one, media targets move to other clubs. It seems nothing has been learnt by Arsene’s signing of da Silva; whoever he buys is going to be probably ‘off the radar’ and the first we will know is when a deal is done.