Hi there Gooners,
We’re coming at you with a slightly shorter blog than usual tonight, and that’s because we have just released the 2nd Episode of our Podcast, titled ‘Weekend at Bernies’, so we’ll keep this short and sweet to give you plenty of time to have a listen to it!
In the Podcast, we’ll be running through our thoughts on the pre-season so far; who’s stood out as far as the youth players are concerned, the first-teamers that look primed and ready to go, and of course the results themselves. There’s some discussion about our current transfer targets (or not so current, as a certain striker seems to have signed for a certain Italian team), hilariously named full-backs, Wenger’s handling of recent media questions and a whole lot more.
The Podcast was recorded on Tuesday night, so since then there have been further developments in our transfer dealings that are well worth discussing in today’s blog. Arsenal showed some real intent over the Luis Suarez pursuit and upped their bid to £40,000,001 which was rejected, but has led to Suarez being given permission to hold talks with The Gunners whilst Liverpool await a larger bid. There has been some debate about the nature of the offer, and what exactly it is designed to trigger within the striker’s contract, with the Suarez camp seemingly believing it to be a release clause. Liverpool are apparently of the opinion that it was a clause that simply required them to alert Suarez to the bid, which sounds a bit strange, and to be honest, pointless. That being said, which the rejection of the Arsenal bid, it seems that could well be the case, and Liverpool seem to be playing hard ball with the Gunners.
Arsenal now find themselves in a tough situation having seemingly turned their back on Higuain, who now looks set for Napoli. The eggs all look to be in the one basket, which it should be said, is a basket with a tiny hole at the base, a hole which could be ripped open at any time by the hovering spectre of Real Madrid. Marca has run a story today stating that the Spanish club have no interest at all in Suarez, which I honestly hope is the case. Years of drawn out sagas have made many Arsenal fans naturally pessimistic during the transfer window, but at this stage I guess all we can do is put our faith into the club’s hierarchy (again) and hope they bring home the goods (agai….oh wait).
A discussion about signing Suarez seemingly cannot go without a discussion about his integrity and morals (or lack thereof) either. I won’t delve too far into that in this blog (as we discuss that in more detail during the podcast), but I will say that although Luis is quite clearly flawed in numerous ways, I doubt that the club would offer the sorts of funds they are if they don’t feel comfortable with these aspects of his personality. It must be said, that although he has done some horrible things and behaved poorly on numerous occasions (the biting, the racism, the diving), his Liverpool team-mates always seemed to stand behind him, which suggested to me he was quite well liked in the dressing room, and not the destructive force that will bring about the end of Arsenal as we know it, which is what some would have you believe. As discussed in the Pod, The BFG and I have differing views on this subject, but I personally hope we sign Luis, and that we wrap it up quickly.
It’s also worth mentioning the rumours surrounding Bernard Duarte from Athletic Mineiro. L’Equipe reported (translated for your convenience) earlier in the week that Bernard was to have a medical at the club on Friday. We also touch on this in the pod, so I won’t go into too much detail here, but after playing quite well in the Copa Libertadores final earlier today, there have been several suggestions that he could indeed be on his way. Having only watched him briefly I cannot comment too much about his ability, but from what you hear the lad is quite a gifted player and could be a nice coup for the club.
Well, that’s it from me for now, don’t forget to hop over to our Podomatic page (http://gunnersdownunder.podomatic.com/) and give the Podcast a Download!
‘Til next time,