The only true happiness in an FA Cup final between United and Chelsea is Kim Jong Un nuking it. Or they became immersed in an eternal penalty shootout when neither side wins. A Highlander for football, if you like, running through the centuries.
Jose Mourinho’s tears will have to do.
Thank god it’s over with. Now the crusading press wonders how Mourinho is wrecking United’s young talent. It’s easy to work that out: he’s breathing. Duncan Castles won’t, of course. He has yet to remove his head from the Special One’s arse so isn’t aware they have lost.
Mikel Arteta hasn’t been announced as the new gaffer yet, but it’s coming this week apparently. Presumably, he’s having a medical at the same clinic Yann M’Vila is having his. There’s something reassuringly Arsenal about the delays. It allows sneaky tales of holding interviews this week with other candidates or of how Arteta wants the power of veto on transfers.
Much the same way as with player transfers, we’re left waiting for it to be announced on dot com. The race is on between that event and hell freezing over, it seems.
The first task is assessing the squad. Some he will remember as a player; are their weaknesses assessed differently having spent time at City? You’d have to think so.
I wonder what he makes of Shkodran Mustafi, who for next six months is our senior centre-back. The frightening prospect will garner one of two responses from the German. He’ll either be a world-beater, thriving on the responsibility or sink to new lows of inconsistency?
We all hope for the former but quietly expect the latter. Talk of Sokratis makes me wonder if we will find it cheaper to buy Dortmund and use them as a feeder club?
What difference can a pre-season make?
The talk is whether Aaron Ramsey will be the first casualty. He won’t; Santi Cazorla, whose contract expires this summer, is returning to Villarreal, where he made his name. Pre-season training with them may see a new deal with them as he looks to make up for lost time.
It’s a genuine pity and if it works out, you kind of hope we get Villarreal in the Europa League to give him the proper farewell injury deprived him of.
Ramsey is the interesting question for Arteta to answer. He was a surprising choice as Player of the Season – Nacho for me all day long – but as one of the few saleable assets we have, is he the ‘sacrificial lamb’. All the players are saleable assets but Ramsey is a rarity in the sense is a fee which can make a genuine difference to our transfer budget.
The question is whether his departure affects the balance of the team next season. We certainly have the goal threat with Aubameyang and a (hopefully) rejuvenated Lacazette. Like Wilshere, the latter is missing the World Cup – barring injury – which when you look at how few are going, gives us a strong squad for the start of the season.
That ought to be to Arteta’s advantage in getting preparations completed during the summer. Will he give the any players who reach the final a full month off as Arsène did? I know FIFA regulations said players must be given four weeks rest, but if felt like we were the only club who actually adhered to them.
Anyway, it’s a quiet day today and the sun is peeping through so off into the world we go.