So yesterday I write a blog about ‘soon-to-be’ ex-players Arshavin and Bendtner and mention that I don’t know whether to be happy or annoyed when they play well in Euro 2012, and what goes and happens? Step up Niklas ‘The World’s greatest and the new Messiah’ Bendtner to score twice against Portugal. Way to go ‘Big Game Bendtner’, hopefully this is the footballing equivalent of dressing you up real nice for the shop window with all bells and tassels and stuff.
I should have also randomly commented on the Redknapp situation and said something along the lines of “I think he’ll sign a new deal and Spurs will be a real threat next year”. Oh well, can’t anti-predict them all.
You see I believe I have a special gift. Anti-prediction i calls it. Whatever i predict, the exact opposite will happen (wait a second – is that me predicting i can’t predict? Dies that mean it will work in my predicting ability? Brain…melting…). When the Podolski rumours came out during the end of last season, I decided to go out on a limb and announce that I didn’t think the club would announce the signing until the end of the season, so not to expect much. Lukas and Arsenal shortly thereafter announced a deal had been struck.
So, without further ado:
There is absolutely no way that Arsenal will sign Giroud by Sunday. It will never happen in a million years.
There, can’t say I don’t do anything for cosmic Arsenal karma, can you? I guess I’ve been helped somewhat by the fact that Arsene was probed on French TV and said that he can’t say anything, even under torture, which I find the concept of quite amusing I have to say:
“Igor, stretch Monsieur Wenger further”
“But Master, the rack is only built for small people, he cannot be stretched any taller”
So like I say, absolutely no way is Giroud signing by this weekend. Ain’t gonna happen. No-sir-ree. Over to you Arsene…
Last night we got another glimpse of our new (confirmed) arrival Lukas Podolski as Germany squared up against Holland. He was very quiet again and only flitted in and out of the game, but i’d be a hypocrite to criticise given the fact i’ve spoken about the differences in International football in relation to Arshavin and Bendtner’s performances. It works both ways in that regard and a quiet Euro’s doesn’t mean Lukas will go all Chu-Young Park on us.
So two of the powerhouses of European football squared up and I have to say, again ill go out in a limb, the two teams that I still fancy to qualify from the group. I know the Dutch have to beat Portugal and hope for a miracle, but I think the Germans will want to send a statement to the rest of Europe by beating Denmark. Even if they rotate, they’ll still be a strong team. If that is the case how important will Robin’s goal be if it all comes down to goal difference?
Anyway, on to more domestic fronts and given the news that emerged late yesterday about Harry Redknapp’s impending departure from the Cocks round the corner, I wanted to touch on what this means for them slightly but at the same time bring this back to what it means for us.
There were two ‘down’ periods for Arsenal last season – at the start of the season and January – where it looked like our 14 year stint in the Champions League would come to an end. Many (and I include myself in this) began to question the ability of the manager to turn our situation around to secure our seat at Europe’s top table and what was made worse by the whole situation was the rise of the Spuds into the Champions League spots.
Here’s a stat we shouldn’t underestimate: Arsene Wenger has seen nine Tottenham Hotspur managers come and go during his tenure. And that doesn’t include the interim managers like Clive ‘no shake’ Allen. The new Spurs manager will be the tenth. I would imagine we’ve seen more ‘broken cannons’ on the back pages of the red tops than we have ‘broken cockerels’ during that time. I wonder if we’ll even see one in the papers this pre-season? Quick to proclaim the balance of power has shifted, quick to talk about how plucky Spurs play great football and therefore deserve to be in the Champions League, the media has only turned its gaze towards Arsenal, Arsene and the Emirates Stadium when short term disappoint appears at our door. Do you know what that tells me? Arsene Wenger has elevated us to a level whereby our expectation is so high that we are not happy with third, we are not happy with no trophies and we are certainly not happy with last season, despite still playing some good football at times. And that is because we all know we should be doing better. But what about the Spuds? They have just sacked a manager who 19 seasons out of 20 would have qualified them for a Champions League spot and has just equalled their bet ever Premier League season finish. What is his reward? No new deal and a parting of the ways. I’m no fan of ‘Arry’ but what he has done has improved a pretty average team. I’m not sure what this will mean for some of their ‘star’ players, but I’m sure they will all be looking around at each other wondering who’s in the boat next season and who’s about to abandon ship. Spurs are taking a big gamble in my opinion. Just ask Liverpool how their recent managerial decisions have worked out. Continuity brings a lot of things and we should probably be thankful for what Arsene has given us. I’m not saying that ‘Arsene Knows’ as its obvious to everyone that he makes mistakes. As does the club and last summers decision making was nothing short of disastrous. But under a period of serious transition at the club through the new stadium and rebuilding of the commercial deals in place, maybe we should be thankful we don’t wake up this morning with Europa League football on our minds, no new signings to think of, no manager and the threat of players potentially leaving (alright, we do have that with RvP but three out of four isn’t bad).
All is not right for us gooners in the world, but it could be a whole lot worse, so lets give Arsene some credit for that.