Archive for May 20th, 2009

That ought to be that, then.

Add comment May 20th, 2009

So, last night Arsene Wenger put any speculation about Real Madrid to bed with hot milk and a lullaby, stating:

“There’s nothing to worry about, it’s not an issue for me. I’m staying here. If that changes I will let you know, but don’t worry about that. It’s not an issue.”

It’s a topsy-turvy world, football.  Just days ago there were articles questioning whether Arsene was still the right man to lead this Arsenal side to glory, and now back pages are declaring: “Arsenal’s Genius: I’m Staying!” (Not that he said that, in that manner.  I’d like it if he did, though.  Imagine him running out of Highbury House, all languid and strangely camp, shouting “I’m staying!!!”).

A similar turnaround appears to have occurred with the fans – admittedly it was a minority who barracked Arsene Wenger at the shareholders’ Q&A, but now REDAction are planning a retaliation in the form of a pro-Wenger demonstration on Sunday.

The AST, meanwhile, are insistent that Arsene must stay:

“Arsene Wenger is one of the greatest managers we have ever had.

In the last few years he has performed his best work by delivering Champions League football within the financial constraints created by the move to Emirates Stadium.

Arsene must stay. Ivan Gazidis understands the importance of providing both the funds and support for the manager in the transfer market so that Arsene can take us back to the top.”

I think that latter part is crucial.  If, as seems to be the case, Arsene has been working within significant constraints during recent years, then now is the time to reward him with the funds required to build a competetive side.  We have been prudent, and survived – now we must speculate in order to accumulate.  Not only do the board need to be less conservative, but Arsene needs to relax his puritanical economism.

On that note, I wasn’t actually going to give the “£13m” stories any coverage at all, but I suppose I ought if only to state that they are not worth the paper they’re printed on, nor the webspace they’re taking up.  I would guess that they’re either:

a) The result of yet more negative spin from Usmanov’s ‘Red & White’
b) Released by the board to strengthen our negotiating position in the Summer
c) Completely made up

Option c) really does look the most likely.  Perhaps our budget is just £13m.  Hell, it may be £1.3m, but I strongly doubt it.  The point remains that these stories almost certainly have no base in fact.

Any budget will probably be boosted by the sale of Emmanuel Adebayor, though the striker’s agent is playing his cards close to his chest:

“I have read Berlusconi’s comments, but I can tell you that there is nothing new regarding Milan and Inter.  I haven’t been contacted and I still have to talk to Arsene Wenger. There are things to discuss with him and it’s too early to discuss these things.

All I know is that soon I will meet with Wenger to evaluate the situation because Emmanuel is being booed by just a small section of the fans and he has a good relationship with the coach.”

Adebayor is like a man on fire who is trying not to burn any of the many bridges he’s straddling.  Whatever the outcome of this particular tale, I hope it is decided early in the Summer so as not to prove too disruptive to our plans for next season.

Finally, it’s adeus e boa sorte to Rui Fonte.  Till tomorrow, Gooners.

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