I’ll confess straight up that I don’t have a hot line to Leningrad, nor do I have the ear of Mr Usmanov.
In fact I don’t even have his email address. But I think we are going to sign Arshavin, today or tomorrow.
First, the whole saga has been full of deadlines – the last two of which were saturday and sunday. Both went by without anyone saying “ah well, that’s it, all over”. Which means the deal is still on.
Second, it has all gone very quiet on the shouting front. The agent is quiet (which is just about a first), the player is quiet, Arsenal are quiet, Leningrad is quiet, everyone’s so quiet, there must be a good reason. Indeed watching these things over the centuries has always made me feel, when it all goes quiet in a protracted deal, it is actually just being signed. The silence is of everyone holding their breath in case the pen has no ink in it.
Third, this is the first time Mr Usmanov has thrown his not inconsiderable weight around in a football matter. He’s the big bad wolf at Gazprom International which owns Zenit and has the power of life and death (or at least heat and light) over half of Europe. If the deal dies it does not look good for him.
Fourth, it is the first deal that our new Director of Everything has been involved in, and he’ll not look too good either, if it falls flat on its face.
Fifth, Zenit are onto a loser if the player is kept back. He wants to leave, Arsenal want him, and his contract doesn’t have long to run. I suspect the “I’ll go on strike” line from the player is the usual stuff made up in the Hen and Basket but no club wants a player who is unhappy and whose value is declining at a rate akin to the plummeting pound against the Energetic Euro.
So there we are. Who needs inside information?
And I have form here. After months of yes/no on/off stuff with Nasri, I did the same thing, based on the same lack of information and wild guesswork, and called Nasri’s signature four days before it happened.
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If I am right, you read it here first. If I am wrong, well, it’s only a stupid blog written by that strange guy who thinks Denilson is Gilberto II and who always calls the manager Lord.
(c) Tony Attwood 2009. If I’m right, please give fullest acknowledgements to this blog. If I am wrong, I didn’t write it – it was put up by another blog that is trying to make me look stupid. As if I’d say anything about a transfer! Huh.
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