The one thing Arsenal excels at is a reshuffle. We do like a good one, no matter who is at the helm. Ivan, Raul, Vinai, Unai; the only one who didn’t was Arsène, with the Frenchman preferring the serenity of the status quo. No heavy metal football for him.
The latest move is on the training side. Freddie Ljungberg forged his coaching reputation at under-23 level and replaces Steve Bould in the first-team set-up. Bould, of course, forged his coaching reputation. Sorry, forged his coaching reputation at under-23 level…
And that is where he returns. Back to the academy, under the watchful eye of Per and taking over a successful team. Good luck to both Bouldie and Freddie in their new roles.
The idea, apparently, is the Freddie will help the youngsters adjust to first-team football and make us more astute with their subsequent sales. Previous sales point to the fact that we have much work to do in this area. We get fees but not as big as other clubs, such as Liverpool.
Of course, it’s easy to point to their successes and our failures. Well, our failures are easily found. However, don’t imagine they are all successful in selling their young and hopeless. No club is.
That’s not to excuse Arsenal. Some of the sales left a lot to be desired. Sell-on or buy-back clauses. Football evolved and we failed to keep pace.
Which first-teamers will still be at the club is open to debate. Stefan Lichtsteiner retired and left a nice social media message which basically said, “So long and thanks for all the fish”.
Heading for Glory
Granit Xhaka is moving to Inter Milan to be closer to Ivan. Close, but not too close; they weren’t that buddy-buddy. His cousin claimed a fee of €55m in a social media post written so badly that Google Translate refused to convert it into English.
Step forward Enver Xhoxa Translate; edit out “the glorious leader” beginning and hey, presto! Others, however, claimed it was a hoax. Xhaka’s performance in the semi-final last night rated so badly that we’ll be lucky get €55.
Of course, it might all be true and Inter are willing to part with that much money. In which case, I’m not advocating biting off their arm but let our full cannibalistic tendencies surface. Feast on the legs and rest of the torso as well.
We’re all long enough in the tooth to know that there’s as much chance of Inter paying €55m for Xhaka as there is us signing Alberto Moreno on a free. Don’t tell me he’s a European champion. That’s a bit like saying Mustafi is a world champion; neither would be if they’d played any significant role in the respective campaigns.
Still, we never imagined Arsène would sign Mikael Silvestre. Anything is possible in football…
Team PEA let the side down when his Instagram account removed all mentioned of being an Arsenal player from the bio, fuelling anxiety in a group of pre-teens. Jack Wilshere trod this path but at least he had the decency to be openly on his way out of the club when he did the same.
Aubameyang may desire Champions League football but it was UEFA Champions League football not Asia Champions League football. £300k per week might change that view but not just yet…
It’s going to be a long summer…