What to do if you have five minutes to spare: go to yesterdays article – (Arsenal Sign a New Defensive Enforcer). If you have a particularly large amount of free time you can skim through that – the bit about the enforcer is at the end – but then, much more importantly I’d invite you to read the commentary supplied by readers.
Taking in the overall range of comments I’d say this is a real set of insights into Arsenal and its strategy. There’s a tremendous piece about Mr Usmanov (to whom we mean no harm, and everything about him is just a smattering of post-modern irony – rather in the same way that a journalist, a female journalist’s “friend” and photographer followed Bendtner to a bar jostled him, distracted him and pulled down his trousers – that sort of postmodern irony) by Terence who dreamed the idea of Mr Usmanov playing in the defensive hole, and generally a great range of wit and insight.
I’m really overwhelmed by the fact that you read and enjoy these pages so much. A twinkling idea has hit my head that after we publish “Making the Arsenal” this year, maybe we ought to take some of these pieces and (much more importantly, the commentaries) and publish them as a book. 2008/9 seen through the Untold Arsenal community.
It would raise copyright issues (you may have noted I’m quite attached to my own copyright since some of my earnings come that way) but if we could get agreements it might be nice for there to be a book commemorating what Untold Arsenal has come to stand for: the positive take on all things Arsenal.
Anyway, moving along, today the Lord Wenger has said that he might buy one or two players EXPERIENCED this summer if he can get the ones he wants, and Sir Alex F Word has said that he doesn’t intend to splash out this summer. Liverpool Insolvents, as we know, are controlled by the banks who won’t let them spend a penny until the £350m is resolved.
This is a different story from the one about Manchester IOU buying Ribery for £50m – but of course that was last week’s story.
I guess most of this inactivity will be covered by the purchases by the new man at the KGB headquarters. But it still shows an interesting possibility: Arsenal’s two buys could be the main transfer news this summer.
Lastly: In the Youth Academy play off Arsenal beat Man City 2-1 away in the opening leg. If you know nothing of the academy team, may I add a few notes.
We won the 28 game championship by 25 clear points (that is not a misprint). In the first leg of the play off final we were missing Jack Wilshere, Benik Afobe, Luke Freeman and Oguzhan Ozyakup because they were all away playing in the under 17 championships (which are actually being shown on Eurosport if you have any interest in such things).
And there is, lurking in the squad, a young man known as Rhys Murphy (who if you follow this side you will know scored a sensational goal against the Totts this year). Also there is Gilles Sunu, and Francis Coquelin, both of whom have made occasional appearances on the fringe of the first team – and yes they are academy players, like Jack W.
These are the players we would lose if we abandon the youth policy at the club and start buying top stars because we believe that insane propaganda that it matters that we have not won something this year.
Academy games are played on open playing fields in front of crowds of 50 or so. There’s no charge. Try it sometime – true some of the playing isn’t at the highest level, but in between you see goals, and defensive twists and turns that make you think, “why isn’t he in the first team?” And more to the point – its the Arsenal.
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