By Sir Hardly Anyone
The Prelims:… An audience with Mark Pougatch – live
Arsenal Independent Supporters Association (AISA), which I have mentioned many a time before, as I am a member, is inviting all its members to an audience with Mark Pougatch.
Mark Pougatch, the TV and radio football broadcast journalist is also an Arsenal fan, and has agreed to join us for an evening of chat and reflection.
The event is open to all AISA members and will take place at 7.30pm on Monday next, June 15th just ahead of the PL season’s restart.
If you are an AISA member you will receive details of how to log into the Zoom event in your email on Monday afternoon so for now all you need do is set yourself a reminder on the calendar.
If you have questions that you would like put to Mark then please send them directly to AISA’s chair firstname.lastname@example.org
And now, on with the show…
By Sir Hardly Anyone
What is happening? I mean, what IS happening!?
This morning we have this breaking news: Report: “Arsenal quoted £72m for 21-year-old Player of the Season, Arteta remains keen” from
Do you see the twist? Incompetent Arsenal buy a player for around £80m from Lille, find he’s no good, so now go back to Lille and offer another similarly whacking large amount of dosh for another winger, probably saying “This one had better be better than the last one.”
Is it likely? I mean IS IT ****ING LIKELY??????
I suspect not although this story has been all over the media for weeks starting with Arsenal making an £87m bid which is now down to £50m for an 18 year old who plays for Lille.
I suppose in one sense we can say yes the deal must be on. They quote £87m, we offer £50m and the clubs settle on £72m. But really, in this market, when Barcelona by their own admission are in financial meltdown and prices are tumbling and other sites are saying we are falling apart because we wasted all out money on Pepe. Are we really going to spend £72m on a replacement player? And what do we do with Pepe?
In fact the only thing that is missing is a report from Arsenal Supporters’ Trust own economist stroke accountant saying that Arsenal have £40m to spend. I mean we normally get one each year, and as far as I can see the group still has the same accountant.
But let’s dig a little deeper and see what murky muck emerges.
Osimhen went down with malaria in 2018 and no one wanted to buy him although he had trials with Club Brugge and others. So he went from Wolfsburg where he had failed to score in 16 games and from there on to Charleroi on a season-long loan. After appearing as a sub he got four starts and scored the club’s only goal in the period, but then started scoring with 20 goals in 36 games. Charleroi activated their option to acquire Osimhen and then in July 2019 he signed for Lille going on to score 13 Goals in 25 Games in Ligue 1.
But does that make him an £80m player?
The theme as ever is Arsenal chaos, clutching at straws, desperation and the rest, although there is one moment’s bright light because it seems we have signed Marcelo Flores on scholarship terms according to FoLo. The lad is 16, is Mexican and a number 10. The story has not been confirmed.
Meanwhile elsewhere all is normal, all is chaos.
For FoLo also says “Mikel Arteta could be without three defenders for the final fixtures of Arsenal’s season. That’s unless the club hierarchy takes swift action. David Luiz’s contract expires on June 30, the same day that loan agreements for Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares come to an end. Premier League rules allow players to sign temporary contracts through to the end of the season but these must be agreed by June 23, giving the Gunners less than two weeks in which to make up their minds on the future of three defenders.”
The implication, as it has always been, is that this club, above all others, has no idea what they are doing, the directors and management team are probably sitting around having tea and discussing what colour the grass should be next season, and players, so fed up with the inaction, meander off and find other clubs. Luiz, Mari, Soares? Oh these are details. Could we have a new pot of tea dear?
But hang on… Arsenal are also always linked with players. So how can the club so actively be following 100+ players when in fact those in the club are doing nothing? How can both total inactivity allowing players to leave, be combined with the chase for all these incoming players AT THE SAME TIME?
For this to happen a level of bipolar psychosis must have gripped the entire Arsenal work force. And yes, that must be it. A mass outbreak of bipolar psychosis hits Arsenal. In which case we shall probably end up buying the same player over and over again!!!!!
Well, let us hope that those pesky journalists who keep poking their noses around the club don’t catch it. Unless… unless they already have! Yes, that could be it. It is not the club that is gripped by inaction, but the journalists who are spending all their time in the Toppled Bollard public house.
[Sir Hardly, I think that is exactly the story we have been running all season – Tony]
Indeed Arsenal Fever (what an excellent name for the current situation) tell us that “Arsenal have already initiated preliminary talks with the agent of Canadian striker Jonathan David, according to reports in HLN – a Belgium site.
Why are these all Belgium stories at the moment? We’ll have to ask Walter! Anyway here is the Jonathan David story…
“Report: Arsenal set to do battle with Man Utd for 37-goal striker.”
“The 20-year-old who plays for Gent in the Belgian League (you see it is always Belgium) has been in fine form this season scoring 23 goals in 40 games. The forward has been one of the best players in the Belgian League this season with his pace and skills proving to be too much for the opposition. He has made his mark in the Europa League as well this season.”
But let’s look back – where did this story come from originally? Why Football London, the very site that has told us that the club’s management are in desperate need of getting off their backsides to take swift action and that they couldn’t sign a player if he turned up at the club armed with a pen and a contract.
The Metro tell us that “Arsenal have been given a boost in their pursuit of Philippe Coutinho as Barcelona are ready to pay a portion of the midfielder’s salary, according to reports. The Spanish club have made the Brazil international available on loan once again this summer after Bayern Munich indicated that they are unwilling to make his temporary deal permanent at the end of the Bundesliga season.”
The Mail’s take is not so positive as they say “Barcelona ‘are ready to cover a portion of Philippe Coutinho’s huge £200,000 a week wages in order to get rid of £145m flop this summer’, with Chelsea, Spurs and Newcastle among Premier League clubs keen on him.” At least they don’t mention Arsenal.
The notion that it is not just Arsenal that have problems is emphasised with the headline “REPORT: ARSENAL TARGET HAS PRICE-TAG HALVED, NOW AVAILABLE FOR JUST £7M” Adding that “Internacional have slashed their asking price for Arsenal linked centre-back Bruno Fuchs, with Pianeta Milan reporting that the youngster is set to be available for as little as £7 million this summer.”
And for once it seems it is not Arsenal who buy at ludicrous prices and then are forced to sell cheap as their stupidity is revealed. “Atletico Madrid are interested in signing the 29-year-old forward, who could cost as much as £60 million, according to ESPN.” According to HITC.
One is almost tempted to say that “it’s a funny old game”.
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