Hello hello party people, hope you are keeping well? You are? Well that’s smashing indeed. Shall we talk about something? What would you suggest? Arsenal? Well why ever not!
The Arsenal squad travelled to Germany yesterday, and whilst the PR executive that manages the Arsenal Twitter account thought it would be mighty humorous to send out the occasional message saying ‘more news towards the end of the week’, keeping gooners everywhere on tenterhooks, the rest of us were left scrapping around the online Arsenal space looking for something interesting to feast on.
Unfortunately, all we seem to have at the moment is the Russian Michelin man himself Alisher Usmanov emerging from his pit of bitterness to cast more stones in the direction of Highbury House. Yesterday evening ITV ran with a story of Russian origination which detailed how Usmanov feels Arsenal are in decline. He spoke of his love for Arsenal as a fan and how he is not happy that Danny Fiszmann ostracised him from the board as soon as it became clear he wanted to run the club and invest his mega millions into Arsenal.
Usmanov maintains he’s been a fan for years and won’t sell the club. Sounds all very admirable, but there was one sentence in his interview that raised my eyebrows higher than a Holly Bleasdale pole vault. When asked about his purchase of shares from David Dein, Usmanov states that he was looking for a possible Premier League club to invest in and Arsenal were by far the most attractive offer. I’m sorry Ally, but I actually happen to be an ACTUAL fan of Arsenal, which means that when I think of other teams I don’t think ‘ooh, wouldn’t it be good to be involved with them somehow?’. How can you pertain to be an Arsenal fan and then in almost the same breath talk about investing in another football club in the same league? Now, I’m not going to get bogged down in the semantics of what a true fan is, but what I will say is that I don’t know many Arsenal fans that would be pleased with the thought of an Arsenal supporting owner injecting billions into West Ham, Fulham or Stoke. Many might say that it is an irrelevance because he has shares in Arsenal, but he has the financial power to gobble up any shares should Stan Kroenke walk away. And then we are left with just one owner who can say and do what he wants, sack who he wants and bring in who he wants – a la Roman Abramovich.
I have to say that at times, at those deepest and darkest of times when ne’er a transfer was to be seen or a captains word spoken, I looked at Usmanov’s position and wavered, contemplating how bad life would actually be if he had more involvement. After all, surely he would not be as bad as a silent owner that never says anything. However, it’s media attention seeking articles like the one posted online last night that i see a steely resolution from within myself not to think like the spoilt rich kids at Citeh and Chelski. After all, the very fact we’re entrenched in a transfer saga as farcical as the one with Malaga at the moment shows how perilous the situation could be if a club is left to the whims of an owner like Usmanov. He is a rich man looking for a toy to play with and sees Arsenal as a great opportunity. Then, if and when he gets bored of his toy, he’ll simply move on to his next venture and leave the real Arsenal fans behind to pick up the broken cannons. An English Malaga if you will.
So my overriding hope is that he doesn’t get any closer to owning the club. Again, don’t get me wrong by thinking I’m in the Silent Stan camp: I’m not, I’m in the Arsenal Football Club camp.
Elsewhere in the Arsenal world we’re likely to see the unveiling of Santi Cazorla today as an Arsenal player. Everything is done and dusted bar the Malaga admin team filing the faxed agreement in a draw somewhere and Arsene has a press conference today so I would have thought he’d at least give us a smile and a hint that the deal is done. There are even rumours that Cazorla will play at the weekend despite nothing being official. I have to say I think that is unlikely, but you never know – remember when we signed Carini in goal for Juventus, played him in a friendly and then there were complications and he went home from Arsene’s training camp in Austria?
Anyway, I think there will be something today, then we could even hear about the possible Sahin transfer as well which would cap off what is essentially a fine summer of transfer dealings by the club for which Wenger, Gazidis and Dick Law should be rightly praised. All Le Boss would have to do now is choose his best team and see if he can’t turn these nearly boys of a squad into genuine title contenders. And I think we just might be you know.
One final thought that I might come back to after RvP leaves the club: when he made his announcement a couple of weeks back, he stated that Arsene and Ivan had not discussed money at all during their meeting before the Euros. Was that because all parties already knew how much would be on offer from City/United/Juventus? So the club couldn’t match it anyway? It seems even Juve are giving up at the moment and turning their attentions to Suarez at Liverpool. Could put the player on somewhat uneven ground when it comes to his final destination given Mancini’s comments yesterday as well. Food for thought.