It’s hardly a bolt out the blue given the Wenger’s own utterances about not wanting to leave his latest footballing creation in the lurch, but it’s great news nonetheless: Wenger has signed a new deal that will take him to 2011.
“Arsenal is the club of my life”, he told Arsenal.com.
It’s brilliant news for the club, and for the fans, as you just don’t pluck Wengers out of thin air. Three league titles, four FA Cup wins from five finals, a League Cup final, a UEFA Cup final and a European Cup final – wonderful.
As is pointed out, assuming all goes well and he remains until 2011, he will become Arsenal’s longest serving manager. How fitting that would be.
On the pitch
And here’s a Gilberto transfer story. It’s not the first one and you can see how these kinds of stories get written. Gilberto not made captain + Arsenal have Diaby and Denilson + then they sign Diarra = Arsenal will accept £8m for Gilberto. It’s early days but on current form we’d be mugs to let him go – he’s having a superb season already and was superb last season too.
The Diarra signing remains an interesting one though – where is he going to play and who is he going to displace? Unless that is he magically transforms into a potent winger with the pace of Overmars, the trickery of Rocastle and the eye for goal of Pires, in which case I can see what Wenger’s done there.
And as arseblogger mentions, Bendtner has some balls to be moaning about being dropped against Portsmouth. It’s quite refreshing to have someone like him running around like a bull in a china shop, on and off the pitch, and he can get away with it while making the kind of impression he is currently doing, but it’s the kind of thing that could quickly become quite tiresome.
A quick word on Lehmann. Personally, I was impressed with the way he bounced back having been dropped during the 2005-6 season, and I expect him to do a similar thing this time round. He’s got the focus of the European Championships to keep him going, but more importantly than that, even at 37 he is a better keeper than Manuel Almunia. I accept that the latter has improved, and that he’s a decent shot stopper and all that, but he is not a world-class keeper.
Off the pitch
The Independent this morning reckons Kroenke has cooled on making a full bid for the club – and would prefer to carry on the work he has been doing to raise standards in the MLS. Interestingly, it also claims he’s not interested in joining forces with Dein and Red & White Holdings – which if true, makes a bid chuffing tough to push through.
Especially so assuming Fiszman and/or Bracewell-Smith’s stance on not selling their shares is correct.
That’s it – bon weekend and all that.