No news, so I’m going to ramble a bit I think.
I’ve been thinking about who’s off. Bright, positive thoughts as usual. Just because I’ve changed urls doesn’t mean I’m a new, glass-half-full man. No no no.
Anyway, I think it’s reasonable to assume that, even if most of the Arsenal wantaway stories come to nothing, we’re going to have a summer filled with transfers. This summer, perhaps more than last, there are a number of odds-on dead certs for departure. Pennant has not simply had a drink in the last chance saloon, he’s had about twenty rounds, and is the first absolute odds-on cert to leave. Joining him, by the look of it, is Jose Reyes, who has clearly had enough of our sunlit, humid climes, and cannot adapt to the language. Fair enough I suppose: When you buy so many foreign players, the chances are that some of them are unable to settle in their new country. What’s remarkable is just how little this happens – I remember Stefan Schwarz leaving because his wife did not like London, but I can’t think of many others who have left because London was just not their thing. The cosmopolitan nature of our fine capital means that, whether you’re from Scotland or Senegal, there are people just like you to lark about with.
Edu, too, is off, but his departure seems cushioned by the emergence of the raw talent of Flamini and Fabregas. I’d also be pretty surprised if one of our three keepers doesn’t go, and my preference would be for Manuel Faulty to depart. Sadly, I think it will be Stuart Taylor, who has fallen so far down the pecking order (it’s not like he’s second choice to a keeper of the standard of David Seaman, or Pat Jennings), that all he can hope for is a seat on the bench. He’s 24, and he’s going to want to play sooner or later. There’ll be plenty of takers if that’s what he does, too.
And this morning, the news that Jérémie Aliadière would relish a move back to Paris, with PSG. If he goes, it’ll be a blessing for me. All those accents, it’s a pain.
So ignoring any of the other rumours – Cole, Pires, Vieira, Cygan, name your player – there’s already work to be done up front and on the wings. Henry needs an experienced, top quality partner, and without Reyes or Aliadi[insert, symbol, e grave]re, we’d have just Henry, van Persie, the ageing Dennis and some rookies (Quincy, Bentley, Lupoli).
Wingers too: No Reyes or Pennant means just Ljungberg and Pires as recognised wide men. That’s probably why Shaun Wright Phillips is such a prized target, though yesterday it was claimed he’s already been pocketed by the rich Russians for £20m and on a salary the equivalent of the GDP of Belgium. If he does move, and he follows his wallet rather than any sentimentality towards his dad’s alma mater, we can forget it. Financially, nobody can compete.
So if Wenger wants a holiday, he’d better pack his bags the moment the season is over and head down the high street for a last minute deal to Magaluf, and get the relaxation out the way.
Just as long as he doesn’t choose Thomson Holidays, for obvious reasons.