I hope you’re having a fine Monday because I’m not. I was earlier, but I’m not now. Probably because it dawned upon a couple of minutes ago that today is going to be a pivotal of the season. Because today is the day, we announced that Robin van Persie would be sold. Not that what I said is really going to happen though.
But let’s not hide behind the bush. The players who went to joined up with the international teams either for the European Championships or World Cup qualifiers, will be back in the training ground. While other start serious work to build up their fitness and strength for the new coming, some would be more concerned on thrashing out the future of RvP.
Everyone comes back to the squad today. There should only be one single focus in the minds of the players. A focus that starts today until the end of May – if I may be bold enough to suggest a Champions League final appearance. The focus to win every single game that Arsenal Football Club has to play this season. If we do that, we don’t need to worry about any other permutations, the trophy cabinet will have new silvers. For that focus to be 100%, the doubts needs to be cleared out.
A repeat of last season when the Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri transfers dragged on for ages and surely caused a lot of uncertainties within the squad. It is not good for the morale of the squad to be wondering whether their captain wants to stay on or not. Neither is it good for fans like me to be wondering whether he will go or stay by view of him joining the team on the pre season tour. The position of the club has to be firm and the action taken has to be swift. We can’t dilly dallied about with this situation. Another bad start like last season and we’ll be staring at another frustrating season.
Probably the best outcome of this today’s planned discussion between both parties would be an agreement to transfer out to a foreign club. In that way, it would be easier for the fans than to see him wear a rival shirt and probably reduce the threat on the pitch against us. Ray Parlour may want a swap deal involving Edin Dzeko but that’s not for me. I don’t think we need to add another striking option and would rather see that we add options to the creative midfield side of things, but that’s a discussion for another day.
In the event that we somehow miraculously managed to convince RvP to stay, I think the armband should go to someone else. It would not be in the best interest of the club to have the person who authorised such slamming remarks about the club and the manager to be posted on his personal website, to be allowed to remain as club captain. That immediately sends the wrong message to the others in the group. That disrespecting the club is an act that can be tolerated. Which it should not. In fact, I think that offering RvP an improved contract now, would also send the wrong message.
Arsenal of course, did start the pre season by winning the Marcus Liebherr Cup on Saturday. 1 tournament, 1 trophy – we’re unstoppable. In the two 45 minutes games against Anderlecht and Southampton respectively, it hardly featured any of the more senior members of the travelling party. I haven’t seen the full game yet and it would be unfair to comment without a complete look at the game.
In any case, it’s less about who’s producing what and more about who’s not in need of an oxygen mask at the end of game time. Yes, stamina building over performance. Yet, for some it’s a two-fold thing, especially the younger, less established players. Henri Lansbury being one and while his goal was very nicely taken, would have a lot more proving to be done if he wants a spot in the first team this season.
So the team has another week of training under their belt before flying off for the Asian Tour by the end of this week. The next game is against Malaysia XI, by which you will be heaped with numerous updates and pictures and what not from me. A lot could still happen in a week’s time. Perhaps Carlos Vela would finally get his move to Real Sociedad confirmed, so that he doesn’t have sit in the same table of the other also-ran during the meet and greet of the Asian Tour. Or maybe Andrey Arshavin converts his loan to a transfer back to Zenit St Petersburg. Of which a poll I did yesterday saw many thinking his time at Arsenal is over. Limited as the number of voters are, it is a outcome which I agreed on.
No doubt there’s plenty more to talk about before the first teamers get their first taste of pre season action. Have a good Monday.