Mmmmm…Liam Brady, eh…Big Willie…Rixy stroking Liam Brady’s balls into the middle…mmmm….five-minute final…jumpers for goalposts…
How long after last night’s FA Cup 4th round draw did 1979 pop up in conversation? Best game I ever saw, eh…
There you go, I mentioned the “1”-word. Be ready for it on whatever day the match takes place, be it Friday night or Saturday lunchtime. We play Cardiff City on the following Tuesday so unless that is moved, television is going to have to do one. Well, as much as television does one by screwing with kick-off times.
Meanwhile, we’ve appointed a loan manager. Just catching up with the real world, really. Chelsea have two former players in such roles because they have 200+ players at other clubs. We have 7 so it won’t be a taxing role just yet. New regulations – or proposals, I forget which – suggest that clubs won’t be able to loan more than eight to overseas clubs. Domestic club loans and those for under-21 are where Chelsea and their ilk will be screwed.
However, there is talk that FIFA bottling that decision which I struggle to believe…
Loans are a key strand to Arsenal’s business model. You get the loan fee to contribute to costs but more importantly, a player in the shop window. However, as supporters, we tend to look at the loan as a testing ground; will the player make the grade?
There’s a tendency to look at other clubs and think they do it better than us. Quoting a fee Liverpool received for Divock Origi and wondering where our comparable fees are misses the point. Origi is 23 and signed for £10m back in 2014. He’s not a product of their youth academy, he’s a failed signing but one who has 25 international caps.
Always in the Kitchen at Parties
That’s not to say that other clubs don’t do better when it comes to selling youngsters. It’s easy to forget, however, that big fees are rarely received for academy products. They aren’t the norm. Someone somewhere will do the analysis which compares that.
Chelsea, for example, are surely tempted by the £30m Bayern are reportedly offering for Callum Hudson-Odoi. A prodigious talent and one we expect ol’ Diamond Eye or BFG to deliver in coming seasons. Have we had similar players in the past? Of course; hindsight points to selling Jack Wilshere at 18 for circumstances where we might have received a comparable fee.
However, can you imagine the uproar had we done so? We’re close to wanting our cake and eating it as far as the academy is concerned. The reality is that ‘Project Poverty’ worked; we got the message. We want the money to invest in a first-team squad which is desperate for the cavalry to arrive.
The cavalry are taking different shapes each and every day. We’ve been handed a boost in our ‘chase’ for Denis Suarez when the player rejected a move to West Ham. It says a lot when the boost is a move elsewhere being rejected. It’s a long way from an offer being accepted yet we’re supposed to believe this is a positive.
Yannick Carrasco is another being touted as arriving. He’s “given his blessing” to a move to Arsenal after a year in China making loads of money. That will shore his bank balance when he signs for “cash-strapped” Arsenal.
One man seemingly signing for us is Edu. He’s been offered a job in the ‘football operations’ department. Some assume it’s a ‘director of football’ role which it may well be. That job is vacant mainly because it was never officially created but if we can create a loan manager role, why not a director of
There’s also the South American connection which I’ll lazily make. Edu knows the Brazilian league and national squad, as he currently works with them. How long before the ‘Neymar to Arsenal’ rumours start. When they do, remember you read it here first.
Edu hasn’t yet decided to take on the role. It’s just a case of finding his passport…