At this hour of the day, it’s unsurprising that I can’t remember the name of the current UEFA president. I struggle at other times to recall it which ordinarily is no bad thing. In football terms, it’s quite a good trait, being anonymous, especially after the wrong ‘uns whose tenures saw unparalleled greed and corruption. Some of the tales even had Robert Mugabe blanching, before he berated and battered a hapless aide for not thinking up some of these scams first.
Anyway, I’d planned to serenade Aleksander Čeferin – yes, I did look it up – about the Champions League and plead mercy for the next round but it probably wouldn’t do any good. It would do more harm than good, ultimately. I mean, he’s going to think, “JFK gets Marilyn Monroe, I get an Arsenal blogger; not such a good deal and frankly I have as much power over people’s lives as the US president”. So I’ll keep quiet and wait for the inevitable Pretty Good Side v Arsenal in the Champions League Round of Sixteen.
It’s going to be interesting this year with the second leg at home. We’ve always been undone by our failings first time around so how we approach the tie will be interesting. Benfica would be good; we could really scare them and play Yaya Sanogo although it would probably scare us more.
But Aleksander would be right of course but it’s better than his FIFA counterpart, dear old Gianni Infantino, deserves.
He looks like the sort of bloke who enjoys X Factor and serenaded by Cliff Richard; or worse still, Phil Collins. Of course, Gio would criticise the X Factor format for not giving enough time to performers from obscure nations. He’d have sixteen categories with just three contestants in each. Make it easier for the less talented to progress. He’d probably come up with some crap bonus points scheme. Instead of the proposed penalty shootouts at the end of each game – seriously: we know you’ve just been humiliated with that 1 – 7 defeat Brasil but let’s go, you could get a bonus point here!
I suppose the X Factor would be about who gets close to holding a particular high note. Louis Walsh’s response – you took that falsetto and made it your own – would be decisive in awarding the bonus point in this instance.
Actually that would probably improve the X Factor but 48 teams in the World Cup? That’s a recipe for disaster.
The Arsenal Bits Not About The Champions League
Elsewhere, Santi gave a thumbs up to the Paps after his operation and the little grinning cheeky chappy said it went well. See, look at the photo and tell me that the world isn’t a better place with a Santi smile. Forget the scammers, the con artists and scumbags – usually the same person thinking about it – for just a moment and savour the smile which launched a thousand toothpaste sales.
Mesut and Alexis continue to vex. Özil was close to signing his deal but because it didn’t happen inside an hour of Arsène’s comment, he’s off. Well, he’s cosying up to his idol, Zinedine Zidane, as if that’s ever going to happen. Does anyone seriously think Real Madrid will win their appeal in the CAS? They won’t be signing anyone next summer. Or next winter and frankly, the £100m would be smashed if they wanted him next month.
Alexis is a different kettle of fish. He’s doing a Theo, considering all offers whilst producing his best Arsenal form. Perfect negotiating skills, I’d say. £400k per week offers have flooded in from China which apparently means we’ll have to spend £156m on wages over the course of any new deal. Me either.
There’s a lot of posturing and supposition at times like this. Alexis and Mesut, both in fantastic form; if ever we had two players who deserve mega salaries, it’s those two. Some complain about the money floating around but it isn’t anything new. Salary levels are but in the last two decades, wages have reached a point where there’s no point in worrying about it any longer. They are utterly divorced from reality.
Sorry, what’s that Ivan? Busking? I’ll give it ago. What message on the board? “Two sad dogs to make happy?” Consider it done.