Well that’s it, another week has kicked off and we head into it, as Arsenal fans, with very little in the way of new stories to sink our teeth into.
No doubt, many of you will have at least seen the results from the weekends Emirates cup and noticed that anxiety experienced earlier in the day, remains un-diminished. While preseason results don’t generally tend to concern me as much as seeing some fresh faces have their chance alongside the more senior names. I also like to see how the squad is rotated over, what is, a pretty heavy workload. I think what we can glean from this weekends games and subsequent comments from the boss, is that we are critically undermanned in a number of areas. The fact that Per Mertesacker had to play two full games in as many days this early in the piece is worrying. And while I like that Sagna has been able to deputise competently next to the BFG at centre half, Jenkinson is still learning his trade and can be found out too easily at this stage in his career down the right hand side. We got our first look at Yaya Sanogo as he ran out 60mins against Galatasaray. He put himself about and had a couple of decent chances. Following the 2-1 defeat Wenger talked about his only signing of the window thus far in positive light, saying:
“Considering he just came back from holiday and only had three or four days of practice, what he did is encouraging.”
Switching to the as yet unbreached(heh) subject of the Suarez transfer saga, we have been flooded with a new chapter to the drama today after Liverpool boss, Brendan Rogers chose to question Arsenal and Wengers class during the convoluted transfer deal for their most bitey striker. Rogers, having been drawn into commenting (yet again) on the current situation with their marquee man, stated:
“I have to admit I was surprised by their bid of £40 million and £1, I always associated Arsenal as a club with class, so there was a wee bit of a game there. We will just move on and do our own work, and the message is constant – we do not want to sell. I think there will become a point when they will understand that.”
And so it continues. I don’t quite understand what Rogers means by “wee little game” when referring to our bid. It’s pretty much common knowledge that Suarez’s representatives were of the understanding that there was at least a verbal agreement between player and club that if there was a bid of over £40 million in a season where Liverpool failed (again) to reach the champions league, that the player would be allowed to speak to the bidding club.
If you want to talk about games and class, lets not look past the fact that the only reason this Saga has been conducted in the public spotlight was because the “surprising” bid from us was leaked to the press by Liverpool’s PR department. Wenger only finished stating, last week, that he always conducted his business with as much confidentiality as possible after he was finally drawn into the saga with repeated, direct questioning. Apart from that there has been no direct mention of their most shin rubbing finisher.
Perhaps Rogers has forgotten a few things about his own conduct since landing in the cock(pit) at Anfield? Things like his own clause triggering £15million bid for the 65kg paperweight that is Joe Allen from former club Swansea, where he would’ve known for a fact that that amount would suffice to get the deal moving. Or even more recently, Rogers bid for Brazilian striker Diego Costa, whose £21 million bid also triggered a release clause. I think it goes without saying that Wenger’s conduct in the transfer window is beyond reproach and we have come across yet another English team ready to throw the rattle out of the pram because they face losing their only world class player. (See Tottenham for further reading)
Lets look at the deal from an objective point of view. The facts are:
- Suarez had stated his desire to leave well before any bid was received.
- We, in need of striking options, made a bid for said unsettled striker.
- Liverpool made second bid public knowledge which forced additional media scrutiny on said unsettled striker and hence also the clubs involved in the deal.
- Liverpool buy Asap (or who ever) and bid for Diego Costa. Both strikers. While continuing to state that Suarez is not for sale/completely required.
- We sit back and allow Suarez to see where the real class is.
When you look at it, Arsenal do not need to increase the offer nor force the issue. Suarez is banned from the first 6 games of the campaign so really I can see us waiting this one out. Giroud/Walcott/Poldi are all more than capable of getting the work done during that period. Rogers doesn’t have that luxury. The offer is on the table, the player has stated his intent. The only party playing games, is Liverpool. Take the £40 million and get your new stadium off the design sheet and into motion. Although, I guess when you’re 20 years off your last league title its a bit harder to realise that particular dream considering it will just about guarantee your admonishment from the next half dozen summer transfer windows.
Luis belongs at a CL club, we can give him that. Come on home, Nibbler! Just don’t expect it any time soon.
P.S: In other news Arsenal have submitted a release clause triggering (kidding!) £6.1 million offer for German U/19 defender cum midfielder, Mathias Ginter.