You can tell a club’s situation by the stories which surround it. Currently, you’d assume correctly that we’re stuck in a certain creek without a paddle and are pointing an RPG at the centre of the boat.
It’s no surprise to read Granit Xhaka is house-hunting in Milan at the behest of the Snake Oil Salesman. He ought to know the city well enough by now given the interest Internazionale showed in the summer.
As much as his situation is of his own making, it sums up the malaise which consumes Arsenal Football Club at present.
I genuinely don’t see the Swiss international playing for the club again unless there are exceptional circumstances. He commented recently that he didn’t feel in the right frame of mind to return to first-team action for the club. That isn’t a surprise and to be honest, it is in all parties interest if he departs this winter.
Which ought to leave the door open for a long run in the side for Lucas Torreira but don’t count on it. He, according to his agent, isn’t a happy little bunny.
“Torreira is doing well at Arsenal,” claimed Pablo Betancur. “Although the change of role doesn’t make him happy,” he continued to the crux of the matter.
In some respects, Emery paid Torreira a compliment, viewing the Uruguayan as a player intelligent enough to play several roles albeit not very often in the one he favours.
That unsettled the midfielder and left, it seems, a question mark over whether the club wants to keep him. Betancur certainly thinks that is the situation.
His playing days will be seen out at Boca Juniors if he has his way but Napoli is a possibility because it “is an environment very similar to that of Boca.”
Back To Life
Being the international break, stories about discontent are never far away. Last week, it was Hector Bellerin who was the target of an unnamed Italian club. A clue came with the bald man calling everyone to gather round. The Snake Oil Salesman is preparing his pitch.
His agent, Alberto Botines, reckons it’s a lot of talk about nothing. Bellerin, he said, is “focused on the team’s commitments” after his “bad injury”.
A man of the world and given his interest in fashion, it is little surprise to find “he likes Italy.” Botines wants to spill the beans about which Italian club is interested but Ivan told him to keep it all on QT.
With speculation over Aubameyang and Reiss Nelson, you might argue that it is a typical international break. I’d agree to some extent. Worst of all, those whom we won’t be sorry to lose are the ones who don’t attract speculation.
Maybe they don’t sell advertising space?
With the uncertainty over the future of the manager, I would expect a low-key January. Even if Xhaka leaves, I doubt we’ll strengthen the squad. Raul said during the summer that he isn’t a fan of the winter window. It’s a time for panic buying, he said.
We are panic-stricken but not buying, it seems.
The Wembley crowd took one look at Arsenal’s stake to be the so-called ‘worst fans ever’ and put in a belting bid for the title. Joe Gomez copped the flak for being the victim of a lover’s tiff with Raheem Sterling. No guesses which side a sizeable number of the crowd took.
In all this, questions remain over Gareth Southgate’s handling of the handbags. Football dressing rooms are full of quarrels, fisticuffs and cliques. They have been since the game was founded and will remain so until it dies on its’ arse.
It was a situation which should have been dealt with in-house. Instead, it was blown out of all proportion with the punishment ill-fitting the crime, sating only the media.
As it was, England won 7 – 0. The disparity between the sides emphasising the necessity for UEFA to hold a pre-qualifying tournament. They won’t, of course; this is an organisation which thinks having a UEFA Europa Conference as a third club tournament is a good idea.
They can’t even get the format of the other two right but hey, third time lucky?
I doubt it somehow.