By Walter Broeckx
In between the first (rather meaningless) cups we won this season and the first real trophy being at stake in the next weekend we are also still in the middle of the transfer madness season.
Let’s start with that. One of my board members of the Arsenal Belgium supporters club posted on the internet the other day a phrase using an expression commonly used in and that translated goes like this: I’m so fed up with it like with cold porridge. And that is exactly how I feel about it also. Imagine day after day having to eat the same cold porridge, who wouldn’t get fed up with it. Now we cannot open the internet and find ourselves confronted with all the rumours in the world and beyond.
A picture of a player in a plane is enough to make half of the Gooners go mad and start to speculate about things that probably were never on apart from in the minds of some media fillers who picked said player randomly and linked it with randomly Arsenal. Although that last part is maybe not so random as Arsenal has a global and big fan base so it is more worthwhile to link them with Arsenal than with let us say AA Gent. (The latter being the champions of Belgium by the way and so a team also playing in the CL).
And that is what said player would only go to as they have said: a Champions League side. Again a few players have been spotted in airports. And that is not a big surprise as most teams are actually flying all around the world to play friendlies that bring lots of money to the clubs.
So yes lots of players spotted at the airport. Mind you I think some pictures are taken out of their context or time scale. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out one day that a player who was with his team, allowed a picture to be taken from him alone as he was a few meters away from the rest of the players and then they recycle that picture a few days, weeks or even months later . Indeed why not years later, when they want to link that player with another club and use the picture as proof of him being spotted at the airport on his way to sign a deal with a club or to do his medical.
In fact I think I can remember having seen a picture once of Higuain on his way to London from Madrid in the middle of the summer. The only thing was he was wearing an overcoat and that is not the usual dress code in the middle of the summer in Madrid.
What a load of bollocks, but it is almost impossible to escape. Let me say this about the transfer window: I will welcome any new player to Arsenal. But I think even without any additions this team can fight for the title. The only things that can come in between us and winning the league are injuries and referees. And both are linked. If we keep our players reasonably fit we can go all the way. If we are being kicked to pieces by thugs who are allowed to do this by lenient referees then we could be in trouble. I hope that the refs will do their job and not the PGMO’s job.
What I am mostly looking forward to is seeing if any of our younger players will develop this season. That is for me far more satisfying than to seeing a big star arrive on the scene. I get more satisfaction from seeing Le Coq finally fulfilling his potential (long ago predicted by Tony). [Kind of you to remember Walter. Did I mention that once? – Tony]. I get an even bigger kick from seeing Bellerin growing in to the player I had predicted he would become. Of course the likes of Özil and Alexis also set me on fire but the feeling with them is different from a lad who joined us young and has now made it. I think most readers of Untold will understand the difference between the two types of players. I want all our players to be great but I just want our own lads to be great also.
And talking about young players I want to point to a tournament that is going on in South Africa for the moment. The Durban tournament with teams from all over the world and two South African teams. Arsenal are in a group with Celtic, KZN Academy XI and PSV. Arsenal won their first match beating Celtic 4-2. And if we can believe reports Gedion Zelalem was the main person on the pitch. If you want to read and see more about it I will link you to this article on Jeorge Bird’s Arsenal Youth excellent website, that show the class Zelalem has and we all hope he will produce at the top level for Arsenal one day. If I had the images somewhere else I would link to that but I haven’t found them yet. Zelalem had one great assist and scored a cheeky goal from the penalty spot.
The goals for Arsenal were scored by Tyrell Robinson, Ben Sheaf, Gedion Zelalem and Kaylen Hinds.
Next opponents will be the KZN Academy on Friday afternoon and I think the matches are broadcast on some sport channels as I found out too late yesterday. On Sunday they will play PSV Eindhoven but that match will almost coincide with the Community Shield.