Arsenal’s long old summer continues…
After about three months of willing the season to end as Arsenal Arsenalled their way into their usual end-of-season position, I don’t think anyone could have anticipated quite how long the summer would feel. Then again, you never can, can you? Summer in the UK at least is certainly being longed out by the fabulous sunny weather we’re not having in any way at all, and the only Arsenal we have to keep us entertained are Jack’s tweets from Wimbledon, randoms poking their noses into business that is not theirs, and photos of Arsene looking trimmer than most 25-year-olds on a slide in Corsica (WARNING: link goes to The Sun website, if The Sun is not the way you roll.)
I trust everyone has been well for the duration of this so far uneventful summer break. By the way, writing a word as pretty and summery as ‘summer’ is a right pisser when the rain outside is so heavy you can’t actually see properly. Never mind though, I have a tan brought back with me from Ibiza last week. Speaking of Ibiza, it seems every footballer on planet earth has been there over the past couple of weeks. Including Cescy Boy, but more on him later.
The only big move thus far for the Arse has been the departure of Gael Clichy to Manchester City. I don’t think anyone was particularly upset by that move, even if he was the final Invincible to depart the team. His move now means that my current desktop wallpaper is officially history now, since it is the boys at White Hart Lane post Premiership victory in 2004. It’s been funny (hideous) over the years watching the number of lads in the photo still in the squad diminish. Pires, Thierry, Jens (ish), Ashley, Keown, Sol, Stack (!), Lauren, Gilberto, darling Kolo, JA-R, Parlour, Edu, Vieira and now finally Gael Clichy. Sigh. I lovc Gael very much, so I personally am sad, but not footballistically. Perhaps it was time for him to move on, he was an excellent servant to the club and has moved on to pastures new. May the force be with him, but may he fail to settle at all and cause massive problems in the City defence, leaving as soon as is humanly possible. I also suggest we start calling Manchester City our bin.
As for other departing players, Cesc Fabregas continues to dominate the newspapers in Spain and here. Every morning in Ibiza, I would go to the local Spar and see Cescy beaming out at me from the front of Sport or El Mundo Deportivo and every morning I’d poke the front page viciously, call it a wanker under my breath or crease it just a little bit as I put it extra-firmly it back on the stands. Don’t mess.
Fairytale time is in full swing over there in Catalonelier-sin-Cesc, with Wenger being called all sorts for daring to put this interests of the club he works for first, for continuing to beat Cesc with a tyre iron, and for not providing the Barcelona squad with the specific brand of tea they requested when they came to use our training facilities back in May and left them smelling of diving powder and cheating dust. Except Messi’s corner, which was left immaculate and humble-looking (I don’t care what you say, I love him).
This one will run and run, guys. It is utterly arsetastic that somehow in the whole bloody fiasco Arsenal are being made to look the buying club without rights and Barcelona the crusading warrior only wanting to bring Cesc home, but that is the nature of this especially ugly beast.
Speaking of which, Dani Alves has also been opening his fly trap again, talking about Barcelona being business class and clubs that should not keep unhappy players. Of course I’m getting all of this from the translation from The Guardian, and maybe it didn’t sound arseholey at all when he said it, but given his reputation and his antics when Barcelona played Real Madrid in the Champions League this season, I think he probably meant it to be arseholey. There’s kind of an arseholey halo about him, dontcha think?
Pepe Reina also has been talking about Cesc, which is so utterly irrelevant to anything in the world that I’ll stop here. And that’s all so far in the Cesc drama this year. He should be off on tour with the rest of the team at the weekend so we’ll see how all that goes.
Apparently Samir Nasri is also off, with Arsenal allegedly having rejected a £20 million bid from him from our friends in the north (and Kent). No not The Bin, the other Mancs. I’m struggling to give very much on The Meh-ometer with this one. I mean I will care if he goes. And I will be happy if he stays. But the second players seem to be thinking of other clubs, I generally think “Oh well sod off to hell then”. Yes, admittedly I do not feel this way with Cesc. I don’t know why either, but the fact he’s actually from Barcelona probably helps with that one.
Ugh, I’m getting depressed now so let’s all get our hopes up only to be dashed at the last minute by talking about the incoming players, shall we? First up, Valencia’s Juan Mata. Now, I’m not exactly a La Liga aficionado but it’s definitely second in my Leagues I Watch list. And I have liked Juan Mata since 2009, and not just ‘cos he’s cute. It’s also so strange for me (or most of us) to have actually heard of a player we’re linked with, so I think the unneccessary excitement may stem in some way from that. ETA: Valencia’s president has apparently just stated that Mata won’t be going anywhere. So that probably means he won’t be going anywhere. Awesome.
Gervinho also has been having a medical at Arsenal now since late 2005, so that one should be announced any day, although his Wikipedia page at the time of writing had him listed as a Liverpool player. Although the link to the page had him listed as an Arsenal player. Another season at Lille it is then.
We’ve also been linked with about as many other footballers as Danielle Lloyd, so it’s nice to know we still exist. In other news, I think most Arsenal fans are all just feeling a little bit deflated and hungover to get too excited about anything at the moment. Maybe a socking great piece of news will come along that fixes the illness before the Emirates Cup kicks off at the end of the month.
Still, this feeling is better than the all-out war that commenced among us at the end of last season. It feels like the poppies are starting to grow back on the battlefield. Hopefully they’ll be in full bloom by August and a couple of new boys will have also joined the ranks.
I’ll be here, blindly faithful, continuing the countdown for the socking great piece of news we all know is right around the corner. By the way, the vicious rain just stopped, burnt away by the hopeful sun that is now streaming (kinda) through my window. If that ain’t weather-related foreshadowing I don’t know what is…