We’re nearly there. Just Sunday’s match against Everton and next Saturday’s FA Cup Final against Chelsea to go and then we can all walk away from domestic football for a couple of months and boy do we Arsenal fans need a break. Some sunshine with a bit of luck and sand between our toes if that’s what floats your boat.
For the club though, they’ll be little rest. Perhaps a week, maybe two but with so much needing to be sorted out before the new season kicks off, maybe the board members are more likely to be working overtime than playing volleyball on a beach somewhere.
There’s players contracts to sort out, the coaching staff, the Board of Director recruitment if one is coming, new signings and finally, the future of Arsene Wenger if that is yet to be resolved. I’m hoping he hasn’t, not yet. Stan Kroenke is reported to be jetting in for our FA Cup Final which is nice of him to spare his time to watch the club he is the majority shareholder of and apparently, whilst he’s here, he’s to hold ‘crunch talks’ with Arsene Wenger. It’s always polite to tell someone he’s no longer required face to face eh……
With a summer comes transfer rumours. Some outrageous, some silly and some are seriously worrying as Arsene goes all out to find another unheard of with hope that he can turn him into the next Henry, Campbell or Vieira but the chances of such a thing happening these days is slim to none. Harsh some might say but we’ve seen to many promising young footballers arrive at the club, only to stagnate or worse still, regress. Tony Adams has been quoted as suggesting that ‘Arsene Wenger couldn’t coach his way out of a paper bag’, a sentence written in his latest book. A sentence which our old defender says probably ensured he’d never return to the club whilst the Frenchman was manager. After second thoughts though, he removed it which is a shame because I don’t think he’s far wrong. I’m not a football coach but when watching the team play, logic would suggest something isn’t quite right and it hasn’t been since Arsene ditched footballing men, to footballing boys. The men could work it out for themselves, the boys needed guidance in order to improve, something which a few clearly didn’t get, otherwise Ramsey wouldn’t still be trying flicks and kicks and Walcott wouldn’t still look like a rabbit in headlights so often when he gets the ball. He’d have learned, or been taught at the age of sixteen when he first arrived how to beat a defender, when to get in behind his man, when to cut into the penalty area and go for goal. He’d be able to drive at defenders knowing full well his pace and strength would give him the advantage but no, he’s been left to stagnate to the point that so much of what he does is habit and it’s not that good.
Aaron Ramsey. The poor bloke looks like he doesn’t know if he’s the Arthur or Martha in midfield and to be honest, he’s neither. One minute Wenger says in the media that he has to be more defensive, then he needs to play with more freedom, then he needs to forget about scoring goals or something like that. No wonder the Welshman has had just the one great season since he arrived.
There’s been others too but if I go through them all, I’d be writing until midday so I’ve used both Ramsey and Walcott as examples as they are still at the club, whilst others have long gone, many not having a great career which in itself perhaps tells a story. I used to believe it when the words ‘Wenger got it right’ were written having offloaded yet another player whose career didn’t really go as he’d hoped it would at his next club, but perhaps the reason they didn’t go on to excel in the game is because like Ramsey and Walcott, they’d already got into bad habits which were far too ingrained in them to be removed.
I was going to throw Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s name into the mix, but with Arsene Wenger having switched to three at the back, the Englishman has hit some good form. Shame the same can’t be said of Kieran Gibbs, although injury hasn’t helped his cause, just as it hasn’t Jack Wilshere..
There’s a nice story related to Arsenal FC in The Mail this morning which relates to last night’s big fund raiser. Can you believe that someone stumped up £24K to have dinner with Arsene as the event raised just under half a million pounds for The Arsenal Foundation.
See, not all is doom and gloom.
Finally, as I mentioned transfers, here’s today’s rumours hot off the press:
Arsenal eye Corentin Tolisso transfer with French midfielder set to quit Lyon to boost his World Cup chances. (Mirror)
Arsenal are determined to do a lot of business this summer, with Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar another on their summer hit-list . Meanwhile, No2 goalkeeper David Ospina says Wenger is willing to let him leave Arsenal for the right price and Giroud wants to move on for the sake of his French career, that is if Wenger signs another striker. (Mirror)
Arsenal have been linked with a summer move for Malaga midfielder Pablo Fornals as Arsene Wenger gets set to re-tool his squad this summer. ( Marca, earlier this month)
What did I say about enjoying the summer break…….