October 10, 2012
Ding Ding!! All aboard the international break bus. If you care to take a look out of your left hand window you’ll see that…absolutely nothing is going on! Because it’s an international break. And nobody cares.
Which is presumably why I’ve been reduced to reading stories about how, to everyone’s evident horror, Lukas Podolski has been using the bus to get around North London. Woopety woop. I mean I’m not saying it wouldn’t feel like a bit of a coup to look up from my copy of the Metro and see the hammer footed German excitedly humming ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ right next to me, but just reading about it is hardly getting my juices flowing.
Apparently he doesn’t find it unusual to be using the bus either as… it saves him from having to find a parking space. Aargh! He could at least have made a crack about wanting to make sure every mid-table team weren’t able to park the thing across their goalmouth next time they visit the Emirates.
A touch more interesting is this story emanating from the Arsenal Supporters Trust that the club have taken a £5.5 million hit in their accounts this year by completely writing off the value of Park Chu-Young. The move makes apparent financial sense as by swallowing the hit this year when we’ve made £30m plus profit anyway will mean we don’t have to factor Park’s wages over the next three seasons which would help us should we struggle to meet the FFP requirements in any way.
Still, it essentially meant that we had to prove to the taxman that currently Park has no value whatsoever, which seems like another particularly harsh body blow for the South Korean who must be questioning why he ever left Monaco in the first place. There’s a suggestion that this accountancy tactic might explain the manager’s reluctance to use the player last season – the best way to prove that he had no value was to never use him – and I suppose that explanation is as good as any other that’s been put forward for this mysterious situation (not counting these of course), but frankly it seems like a bizarre way to go about running a football team and treating a player. Knowing the amount of loyalty and care Arsene Wenger shows towards all of his players, even those who have under performed consistently or flat out betrayed him, I’m not convinced that this could be something that he would sanction.
The mystery continues.
Bacary Sagna sounded delighted to have made his comeback for the U-21s on Monday night but he still took time out to acknowledge the contribution of young Carl Jenkinson while he’s been away:
He has been really good, and has learned a lot. He is a bit more confident with the ball, and is very solid as a defender.
He brings a lot to the team, and I am very happy for him because he is a hard worker, a very good guy and is going to be one of the best.
He stopped short of addressing whether or not he thought Jenks’ form might make his own return to the first team anything less than a formality but it surely must have crossed his mind so it was particularly interesting to read that Italy’s Corriere Dello Sport have this morning linked Sagna with a move to Inter Milan. Apparently the Italians are keeping an eye on his progress with a view to coming in with a bid this summer and while I’m pretty sure they’ll be told to do one, it’s a mark of how far Jenkinson has come that you wouldn’t put your house on it.
Finally today, as I suggested might happen yesterday, Arsenal are looking into arranging a friendly match for some time in the next week to keep Bac and Jack on the comeback track. Good news. For them and anyone who’s desperate for any sort of Arsenal shaped distraction from another interminable international break.