Monday, August 19, 2013


On Arsenal's team sheet against Villa yesterday, Higuain and Suarez at the front. Gustavo slotted straight in for injured Arteta. Ivan Gazidis and Arsene Wenger, for the first time in a long time, came through to buying early in the summer. Walking the now infamous June talk.

Then opening day disaster happened. 1-3 to Aston Villa.  

Let's go into the details eh, of this alternate reality Arsenal find themselves in.

Higuain is on the periphery of the biggest team in the world, only 19 starts but with 16 goals to show. Only 25 years young, heading to his prime, what's there not to like after a season watching Olivier Giroud. Higuain is however not brought in by the incumbent president, unlike Karim Benzema Real's preferred no. 9. Real's kind early valuation was 'agreed in principle' at £23m.  but gazumped by Napoli at £35m led by their new manager whose nickname is The Fat Waiter. 

There are a few undercurrent this summer which played its part over this shamble of a which defined this summer, Napoli's Cavani to PSG for £55m, so Napoli has money to reinvest. Ex-Chelsea and PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti replacing Jose Mourinho, wanting a better deal for Higuain.

If you pay peanuts, you get Sanogo (no racist pun intended). My personal view is Arsenal was a bit naive to walk away, just because someone else bid higher for a proven 25 year old Real Madrid striker with Champions League pedigree. 

Final word on Higuain, salt to wound, he turned up at Emirates in one of many Arsenal's money grabbing pre season tournaments in Napoli sky blue. Ugh.

What is there not to like to a chomping, diving racist valued at £40m. Oh brilliant striker too.
If I were to be a fly on the wall in Arsenal's boardroom, this was probably what happened:

Ivan: Fat Benitez put £35m for Higuain!
Arsene: I thought it was a done deal, Fat Waiter is with Chelsea no?
Ivan: Napoli now mate. That's a good £12m more I have to fork out of my pocket.
Arsene: Cest a dire?
Ivan: Um, I mean Arsenal Football Club has to pay. We have to make a profit and return money to the shareholders and Financial Fair Play whatever.
Arsene: Si si. You know what chief, Pep Guardiola's brother told me Suarez is only £40m. 
Ivan: Ok if he is related to Pep he must right then! Alright we'll go after Suarez then (all the time gnashing his teeth at the price like he lost his arm)

Bringing us to date, to the very public courting post Suarez's transfer trigger ala RVP/Fabregas that Arsenal as a selling club is becoming accustomed to.

Young midfielder who is part of the treble winning Bayern Munich. He even came on the Champions League final match. 

Well he made too much sense for Arsenal to buy. Yep too much sense. Off he went to Wolfsburg for 15pence.

Alas, while I tore myself apart with this offseason's logic defying shenanigans above, Arsenal could do no worse with a decent keeper (Begovic) and few more functional defenders (Sagna is not a central defender). Unfortunately there has been not a whisper of a transfer gossip about defense.

The saving grace has been well documented that a whole heap of deadweight has been shipped out (hi Chamakh, hi Santos to namedrop a few), but it just translates to saving the salaries and increasing the stake of cash stashed under AFC's pillow. 

When Roman's image was shown at Stamford Bridge, there was a round of applause by the home fans. Any decent Chelsea would have clapped in appreciation for his vision, his enthusiasm and more importantly his willingness to getting players (and manager, ha) to Chelsea every new season. No money for guessing what will happen if Ivan 'the Terrible' Gazidis is spotted.