Here Comes The Summer – The Gossip At Least

hgbRoy Hodgson probably wishes that Wayne Rooney was beset with nerves and unable to eat before England matches judging by the way he was holding in his stomach during the photoshoot for the new England top. Which looks remarkably like the old England top but with an eyewatering £90 price tag. That is if you go for the ‘authentic’ (endearingly called ‘Match’) kit design. With that kind of pricing structure, I am surprised Arsenal walked away from their current shirt manufacturers. The extra revenues might have enabled them to dispense with the 3% rise in ticket prices. The move is an ominous portent for the route pricing that Premier League clubs will be keen to follow. It will lead to elitism in pubs with those ‘Match’ shirt wearers sneering at the cheaper models as they quaff their designer lagers.

You could of course go for the ‘Stadium’ model at £30 cheaper. The only difference is that the latter is basically a white cotton t-shirt with Nike Swoosh drawn on by permanent marker and the Three Lions frays a little at the edge each time you wash it. Or does the name emblazoned on the back lend itself to some kind of gift? Purchase Rooney’s shirt and you get a free hair transplant; John Terry’s entitles the wearer to act boorishly in public with a ‘Get Out Of Jail’ free card for a limited number of racially motivated taunts. Rio Ferdinand’s name induces forgetfulness for those important events in your life.

Then there is the yellow kit in case of a clash with shirts because there are lots of international teams who wear red and white striped tops. It is good to see Nike has done its research into the colours, deciding that resurrecting the memory of England’s 1973 horror show in a 0 – 2 reverse in Chorzow with Alan Ball being sent off (I think only the second England player to do so – Alan Mullery the first against Yugoslavia in 1968). It was a defeat which contributed more to their exit in those qualifiers than the failure to beat the Poles at Wembley later that year.

Hats tipped to the kit designer for a stunning piece of awareness. Will Puma fare any better for Arsenal? Designs were ‘leaked’ recently which seemed to suggest they would. If true of course.

And so much of football’s reportage is not. The noise around the edges of the game are beginning to grow with Lukasz Fabianski apparently on his way to warming the bench at Celtic. Unless of course the Glaswegians are resigned to losing Fraser Forster in which case the Pole is moving to first team slot and guaranteed Champions League football. Arsenal meanwhile are still hunting for the Draxler and Drmic dream team despite interest from Bayern Munich who have a fiendish plan to sign all their rivals best players to retain the title each season. With a squad which will apparently number somewhere in the region of 250, injuries are not going to be a worry.

There is no doubt the summer will be tough for Arsenal. The World Cup means that unless they act decisively before June, no deals will be done for July by which time prices might rise. For selling clubs it is a calculated risk; guaranteed buyers at a certain price or hostages to fortune with a good tournament needed to eke that keep the digit counter on the price tag turning upwards. Curiously the reverse never holds true. With extensive scouting networks, it is unlikely that there will be any surprise packages at the World Cup; most clubs know about the players in the international squads having watched them play for their employers. The ones they are interested in any way. There won’t be a Poborski, signed by England’s premier club on the back of an exquisitely lofted goal and not doing at all well.

Arsène spoke last summer of having to wait until the likes of Chelsea and City had completed their business before being able to enter the transfer market for fear of Arsenal being blown out of the water financially. Whilst there is an undeniable truth in monetary terms, that fear should surely spur him on to act quickly and decisively. Yes, it takes more than Arsenal’s interest to seal any deal – players have to want to move, clubs must want to sell – commonsense dictates that as soon as any club bids, agents are contacting other parties to see if they are interested. Acting early strikes me as logical because the moneyed eyes are looking elsewhere, trying to land their primary targets.

The trick is to not act rashly as Tottenham did last summer. On paper, they bought well replacing Gareth Bale’s goals and work rate with several players. That they could not bind into a team is a separate issue. And no, I can’t think of one of them who I would have wanted at Arsenal but then who knows how deals will work out? Like managers, a player’s performances at another club offer no indications at all about how they will fare with new employers; it’s a different environment and set of circumstances. It’s why ruling out candidates for replacing Arsène on the basis of a lack of Premier League experience or trophies, is an act of petulant folly.

This morning sees reports in The Mirror and Telegraph that Arsenal has the financial muscle to compete. The manager it seems is being given the “largest transfer budget in the club’s history” by Stan Kroenke. Not out of his own pocket of course, despite how the story may be presented. Indeed you could argue that the air would certainly turn mutinous if the majority shareholder did not agree to such funding with the fanfare surrounding new commercial deals. The jam tomorrow mentality of the past decade certainly would not hold sway for any length of time with the staggering sums of money in the bank. No matter how irrelevant they are to the transfer budget, this is the value always seized upon in the fish and chip paper world.

Is the future dependent upon Arsène signing a new deal? The dynamic certainly changes and the Arsenal board would certainly need to act quickly upon hearing of Wenger’s decision not to renew. You would hope they had already identified the shortlist, perhaps even made contact to see if there is interest. Certainly not in the clumsy manner Terry Venables was approached to take over from Don Howe in the early-80s; how would Arsenal’s future of shaped had he or Bobby Robson taken the role of manager when approached? Even Sir Alex Ferguson turned down the club whilst at Aberdeen. A newcomer would have their own targets and any work already done may be wasted if the player did not fit into the manager’s thinking. It leaves the club hostage to fortune, until Arsène decides his future. Some say he already has, that he will renew but add the caveat about winning the FA Cup or finishing in the top four. Failure to land the latter I think, will decide his fate in his own mind, the obsession with qualifying for the Champions League is such that no achieving that aim would leave too many self-doubts. The former? It would silence some criticism but is it a decisive factor? Depends on the reaction of others, I think. There are two months to go in the season but with summer planning under way – or it ought to be – you would like to believe that a man with a keen understanding of the club would inform the board of his plans.

’til Tomorrow.

246 thoughts on “Here Comes The Summer – The Gossip At Least

  1. Consolsbob,

    Hold on, I don’t think you can call me blinkered if I am calling for moderation. I am not saying there isn’t room for criticism – it’s not for me to say. I am just questioning those who have an outright position that the club needs a change of management. It’s the same line of questioning that goes on in reverse, is it not, to those AKBs who say that everything is hunky dory, and everything is rosy in the garden ?

    If you are calling me blinkered after I have engaged in a fairly open minded exchange of views, where I examine and actually read 95% of the views put across, then well, what’s the point in me coming on ? I might as well accept your position and don’t come on because I’m not on your side of the political spectrum. You are entitled to your views, but I don’t think you’re entitled to label me in that way. Sorry, but you are then exhibiting the same behaviour that you’ve all condemned over at PA.

  2. but with Uniteds luck Bayern will be wasteful and not score, then out of nothing the ball will hit Giggs in the back of the head before it rolls inn behind that arrogant ass of a bayern keeper and they will win 1-0.

  3. @poodle

    Your right, at present the only thing keeping this match at 0-0 is the fact that Bayern’s final ball has been a bit off.

    As I say that Ribery almost plays Mueller inch perfect if not for a last ditch tackle.

  4. that was Manure’s chance and Welbeck through clean 1 on 1 with Neuer and Welbeck tries to chip him and Neuer deals with it easily.

  5. @Moe

    Their final ball is off tonight, they are getting right on the cusp and then their final ball let them down..

  6. welbeck lost composure there..
    when your one on one with the keeper you shouldnt have to chip, you dont even after go round him, i never understand why players choose these options , the goals big enough, pick your spot and put it in..

  7. Half-time and Bayern dominated but their final ball is letting them down.

    Best chance of the match falls to Welbeck and he again shows why he shouldn’t be starting for Manure or England.

  8. @JJ

    Its because Welbeck is shit. My Manure coworker is going crazy right now.

    I completely agree, pick your spot and bury it.

  9. Keane just said basically Manure’s problems are good problems to have. Ribery and Robben picking the ball up in midfield with space infront of them to run at the back 4 and Fellani but the back 4 are staying solid and should be able to deal with it.

    Lol, when did it become a good thing to have Ribery and Robben running at your back 4 with space in front of them.

  10. C

    This is why i was never impressed with them when they came to the Emirates. Had we not had a man sent off, we would have beat them.

    And i’m not exaggerating.

    I genuinely believe that.

    And now Man Utd score 1-0

  11. @poodle

    You called it mate, Vidic with a goal from a corner kick and Vidic with a nice header and Manure 1-0.

  12. Told you guys. United will kick Bayern out of the CL. they got more dangerous attackers than us.

  13. oh and they are lucky and have some individuals that are just hellbent on winning. Our guys want to win to but Rooney. He is insane..
    I can imagine Jack becoming the same ones he hits 25+ 🙂

  14. @Moe

    I agree with you mate, I thought we could have beat them even with the man sending off.

    Their main weakness is the fact that Martinez is more comfortable as a CDM than a CB and can be attacked.

  15. well we were shit scared and are usually shit scared when we meet “bigger” teams. United maybe shit but they simply do not care who they meet. They think they can win anything.

  16. @Moe

    Mate, no Germany will have better CB’s and Lahm plays RB not CDM more Germany, not to mention they have a plethora of strikers, plus Podolski.

  17. oh and they like everyone els wants CL next year. its the only thing that matters. Liverpol will have won their most important trophy ever when they qualify this year. if they manage to win the PL to, that will be a nice bonus, but CL is the most important. So also for United. they need that, smile as. so they have to win the entire tournament 🙂

  18. @Moe

    and just think there were some on here that were banging on to have him in our squad and Arsene to spend 25-30M for him!

  19. Schweinsteiger scores 1-1. Pep looks to have told Ribery and Robben to forget all that switching side, stay on your side and attack your fullback until they beg for mercy.

  20. C

    Haha, just goes to show how much people know right?

    For me the one thing we missed back then was a mobile DM or maybe 2.

    And a better back up striker to Van Persie than Chamack.

  21. @Moe

    I never wanted Fellani and don’t really rate him to be honest and people called me crazy.

    Its funny last season we need more athletic and mobile CDM and a top top class goal scoring striker and Arsene agreed with his summer pursuits. Well this year we need the same!

  22. So Moyes brings on Young or Nani for Valencia and Pep brings on Goetze. That just isn’t fair but it is fun to see.

  23. Valencia should have just been sent off, went and jumped in 2 footed and the ref says get up and play on.

    How come we couldn’t have gotten this ref when we played Bayern.

  24. Well, I,for one, haven’t accused PA of being anything, Muppet.
    You are welcome to your views but surely you don’t believe that Arsene should leave.
    l do. What’s the difference?

  25. @GA

    If were going by the letter of the law, jumping in like that 2 footed studs showing is a yellow.

  26. The best part is that the English media are going to talk about how Manure were unlucky not to be heading to Germany winning this tie and talking about how Moyes went up against Pep and stifled him and on and on. If you watch, it was less to do with Manure and more to do with Bayern’s final ball being off or else this could have been a rout.

  27. You just know Rooney will win this for United in Germany. If they beat Bayern they will win the CL Im certain of that.


    Mind you most peeps probably would not care about CL along as we win the FA cup…

  28. Poodle – Even if they manage to beat Munich, there is no way they have the quality to win the CL.

    Which is just as well, as I dont see us getting third.

  29. Neither did Chelsea, yet somehow they won it. These cautious negative coaches seem to manage these cup matches advantageously. Moyes has those proclivities.

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