August 1, 2012
Apparently today’s the day that the full squad finally get to train together. That’s the Asia tour lot, the late back from the Euros lot, plus new signings Podolski and Giroud. And I suppose even Robin Van Persie too.
With 17 days to go now until the big kick off you’d expect the coaching staff to be getting down to the business of fine tuning. Arsene Wenger must have a starting XI in mind already for the game against Sunderland and he’ll be honing that formation, making sure everybody’s comfortable in their roles, particularly the new signings. But it does beg the question – where does RVP figure in all that?
We’re still apparently no closer to agreeing a deal with any of the three clubs that are supposedly in for him and with the club indicating that if our asking price is not met then we’ll keep him to his contract does that mean that Van Persie takes centre stage once more at London Colney this morning? We could learn a lot this afternoon as the club no doubt release another set of pictures from the training ground. Will we see the greying Dutchman laughing and joking with his teammates? Banging a Podolski cross into the roof of the net? Or just one of those thoughtful poses, sat staring at the cones in the middle distance enigmatically as Arsene Wenger looks on, worry etched into those lines on his face.
We’ve said it before but with the players that Arsenal have already brought in this summer and with the rumours growing by the day that Santi Cazorla and possibly Nuri Sahin and/or Yann M’Vila could join too, Van Persie’s statement earlier this summer looks ever more ridiculous. Maybe if we bring these new signings in it could force a late U-turn and a decision to stay but more likely we’ll see what we suspected all along – that this move is money motivated and nothing more.
Le Boss has been talking, for the umpteenth time, about the difficulties we have in matching up to the unlimited funds on offer at some of our rivals:
We consider ourselves in a privileged position because we have a massive income. But overall we are not mega-rich because we do not have unlimited resources.
A club can buy players like PSG has done or Manchester City or Chelsea, with unlimited resources, but overall football suffers.
Europe at the moment is like the Titanic but we live in football like nothing matters.
We have to be ambitious but also make sure we are not getting in trouble financially.
It is difficult for us because the wages in some other clubs are very high.
But of course our players quite rightly compare themselves to the players of the other clubs.
You don’t have to look too far to see the sad effects of clubs overreaching financially. We’re in a position to take advantage of that very situation at Malaga at the moment as I talked about yesterday. But as in any industry or sphere of life, the fact that the system as a whole is creaking at the foundations doesn’t stop the individuals in that system from trying to get what they can for themselves.
As AW points out, the players compare themselves to players from other clubs. More specifically in our case they compare themselves to players from Chelsea and Manchester City. And we’re never going to be able to match those wages.
In other news there was great fanfare on the official site yesterday as Serge Gnabry signed professional terms for the club. It’s unusual for a youngster turning pro to make such a splash on the site but a) it was a fairly slow news day yesterday and b) Gnabry looks like a very promising prospect indeed. He was the breakthrough player from the youth team last season scoring six in eight from the midfield and then made the step up to reserves nabbing another two in six.
At 17 years old and clearly already fast tracked within the club I wouldn’t be surprised if he got the occasional look in for the first team squad this season. He’s got a decent build for a kid so physically he would be well suited to it and as we’ve seen with the likes of Cesc and Wilshere in the recent past, Arsene’s not afraid to chuck someone in there young if he feels they’re good enough. At the very least I would expect to see him get his chance in the Capital One (can’t get used to that just yet) Cup this season.
Finally and Park Chu-Young has been linked in the Mirror with a move to Blackburn Rovers. Having been the subject of a tug of war only last year between Lille and Arsenal that would be a step down indeed for the South Korean who was living it up in Monaco before he disappeared from view with us last season.
Maybe the Mirror were just excited to use the headline ‘EWOOD PARK!’. Expect him then to be also linked with West Ham, Aston Villa, Newcastle and Crystal Palace in the coming weeks.