Two major talking points from yesterday included the unveiling of the new kit, as well as the noise about Cech hotting up even further, with his coach Christophe Lollichon (what a name that is, eh?) saying that Petr loves Arsenal’s philosophy and he is settled in London.
Let’s start with the new kit though, which I must admit I’m pleasantly surprised with, because it looks quite traditional and tidy when worn by a selection of the players showing it off yesterday. How it will look on a man who is quite clearly morbidly obese and middle-ageing remains to be seen, but regardless of that I’m pleased that there isn’t any whacky attempts at veering away from what should be a fairly straightforward design: red and white.
Hector was asked for his thoughts on the kit. He responded appropriately: it’s red and white.
Good on you Hec. You’ve given the perfect response, because it’s a kit, nothing more or less. Puma need the fanfare around it to generate worldwide sales on the purchase of next seasons shirt, so need to stoke up the hyperbole, but for the players and most of the fans it should be seen as a plain old football kit.
I do like the white shoulders though. It does remind me of the 90/91 league title winning shirt, sans the different patterned tones of red diamond-looking shapes on it. Hopefully we can get the same outcome wearing that shirt as we did back in 91.
Me personally, it’s unlikely I’ll be buying the new shirt, on account of the sheer cost as well as the fact I only ever wear an Arsenal shirt to some home games. I’ve got enough in my wardrobe in that respect, so another £60 spent on a shirt that would probably only make half a dozen appearances a season, isn’t really my cup of tea.
I love how some people get so worked up in the hum-drum of it all though. Particularly when they see certain players in it and think “well he’s been pictured in the new kit so he won’t leave”. Guys and gals, all I’ll say is this: That Dutch Bloke.
One player who might be edging his way to The Arsenal is Petr Cech, if his coach Lollichon is to be believed. Heh, Lollichon; sounds like a genetically modified gherkin-flavoured iced snack on a stick.
Anyway, our pal Christophe has told the world that Petr wants to be happy, loves London, likes Arsenal’s style of play and has all but turned up at London Colney with a bag of balls, cones and some headgear. This seems to be rolling into one of those ‘no smoke without fire transfers’, but whilst most parties think that a deal could probably be done, the chief protagonists in any kind of halt in proceedings are unlikely to make it easy. First and foremost, we haven’t really heard from Arsène in any detail about this and having seen this type of speculation before, I know that we could only be a day or two away from an Arsène “no, we are not in for him”. We know that he rates him and that he has tried to sign him before, but I just have this weird feeling that despite all the noise being made about him signing, it won’t happen. It all feels a bit too public to me. Sometimes I have wondered in the past if Arsène has pulled out of deals because he’s just finally got the hump and pulled out because of all of the publicity. It’s an irrational thought I know, but are you telling me you haven’t had a thought like that about Le Boss in the past?
So whilst everyone else seems to have had their say, Arsène is on the down low and I think this transfer will not be as straightforward as everyone thinks, especially when you take the other chief protagonist into question.
Jose Mourinho is an ‘orrible little oik. And I can say that with some confidence, given that two weeks ago I went to Madam Tussauds in London and he was there as a waxwork, almost a full foot shorter than me. He’s a little man with a petty streak in him and regardless of all of the Chelski platitudes coming out about the service Cech has given the club and what he deserves, the Portuguese will make this transfer as difficult as possible. First he’ll try to make the price as prohibitive as possible for Arsenal, knowing we don’t pay over the odds. Then he’ll try to drag it out as long as he can, probably by insisting he needs a replacement first. He’ll then possibly even try what he’s publicly suggested and go for a home-grown Arsenal player. But we all know that should fall flat on its face. Why? Because the only players who he will want will be too close to the first team for us to consider. And if he does like the look of Walcott and the Englishman doesn’t look like he’s going to sign a deal, do you really think Theo’s value is not as high as Petr’s?
It’s not. Theo’s value is greater. Forward players are always more expensive in value and at 26, Theo has more of a career ahead of him (in theory, although I know ‘keepers tend to be able to go on into their late 30s) than Cech. So if any deal like that were to be done, you’d expect it to be more like a player-plus-cash deal for us than anything else.
It ain’t gonna happen.
So with that in mind, I cannot see any way in which this deal can be done quickly, assuming there is the desire from Arsène’s and Arsenal’s side. We all think we need a new ‘keeper, but remember when we all needed a defender last summer? Hold on to your Puma headgear folks, we’re in for a bit of a ’round-the-houses’ ride yet.