If nations competing at Russia 2018 had theme tunes, England would probably be Dvoøák’s The Symphony No. 9, in E Minor “From the New World” (Op. 95), popularly known as the New World Symphony. Or as you know it, the tune from the Hovis advert. A no-nonsense return to the old days seems to match Gareth Southgate’s squad.
Nigeria would, I think, be George Clinton & co giving Shaft the full Funkadelic/Parliament treatment with Afrika Bambaataa mixing it. Why? Well, this is the coolest clobber seen since Huggy Bear loped onto our screens:
As you might guess, there’s not a lot going on in the Arsenal world. It’s a bit of an 80’s tribute act: Sampdoria are headlining and we’re talking Luca. Torreira, as you know, and we’re talking with the Italians but it’s unclear if anyone’s told him we’re in town.
Apparently, Sampdoria’s sporting director Carlo Osti told the media that “Torreira has a €25m release clause and whoever wants to sign him has got to pay that.”
Arsenal, it seems, are willing to pay more than that so we can pay by instalments. Around €5m more, according to reports.
There’s a sense that something’s happening which is good. The momentum of Unai Emery’s appointment hasn’t been lost which is good. It did cross my mind back then that it would be typically Arsenal if we replaced Wenger and then gave Emery nothing more than a 33-year-old goalkeeper.
Ivan was going to spend the summer spinning away like a top on speed, telling you how good it will all be now the boss is a chapter in the club’s history.
Which isn’t going to happen, thankfully. Such cynicism on my part was misplaced although I reserve the right to reintroduce it at any point in the future.
The weirdest story surrounds Sporting Lisbon. There’s little information about why their training base was attacked, but it was. It seems the trigger was missing out on the Champions League places to Benfica. Having a lunatic president doesn’t help and the sporting head honcho is a lunatic. If you put Gian Maria Volontè at his psychopathic best in the spaghetti westerns. That’s who Bruno de Carvalho reminds me of.
You can understand in the circumstances, why Bas Dost would want out of the club. The coach too, and he’s already left. But it strikes me that some are looking for a sharp exit and quick buck. Terminate the contract, walk away, and into a very nice signing-on fee as there’s no transfer cost.
Which is where the next three come into the thick of the story. Or are acting a bit thick in the story depending on how it pans out.
William Carvalho is linked with plenty of Premier League clubs and likely to leave in any case, although that’s been on the cards for a number of seasons. Will Sporting do a quick deal rather than risk losing out altogether?
Gelson Martins and Bruno Fernandes completed the quartet who filed notices with the Portuguese Securities Market Commission on Monday that they were breaking their contracts with Sporting. According to ESPN, they believe they have “just cause” to do so.
And in fairness, if they were among those who suffered the brunt of 50 masked men who walked in with sticks and belts to hand out a bit of meathead punishment, that’s a fair amount of “just cause”.
You’ve Gotta Be In It To Win It…
El Presidente, it seems, used to be an ultra although he denies the claim. He is, judging by the press coverage, certifiably insane. Erased Facebook posts, media criticism; all the acts of a rampant egoist and as damaging to a club as a majority shareholder who says nothing.
The world of football ownership is an asylum run by lunatics.
The long and short of it is that we apparently made two bids of €30m for Gelsen Martins. Everyone is suddenly an expert on him and he’s now some kind of fantasy signing. Presumably, there were nuanced differences in the bids, e.g. the structure of down-payment and bonuses. If not, that’s taking the whole ‘+£1’ business to a whole new level of tomfoolery.
Other than that, there’s not much going on. Just a reminder that if you want to take part in the ACLF World Cup mayhem competition, email competitions [at] aclfarsenal dot co dot uk. If you’ve already received the spreadsheet, please return by Thursday. There is a prize at the end of this, honestly. I may not have worked out that aspect yet, but there is a prize. Which is nice.