The Return Of Arsenal, Petit Pain & More
If Steve Bruce thinks that Arsène has done the bosses of teams at the foot of the table a favour by diverting attention, the Arsenal manager is probably grateful to Ian Ayre for daring to broach the last taboo in English football’s rampant commercialism. The Liverpool MD / CEO / Chief Dogsbody observed that the bigger clubs should receive a bigger piece of the overseas broadcasting rights since they have the most fans and it is they, not the football itself, which generates the revenue.
A grey area, one not helped by research which suggests that Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea would receive a bigger slice of the pie than Liverpool. I would suggest that it is not necessarily this which has brought the widespread revulsion at the idea but more that once the cartel for overseas goes, domestic rights will soon follow. And, in the end, is this not why the Premier League was formed? So that the rich got richer, the poor stayed the same? Those who drove the idea through back in the early ’90s have indeed left a wonderful legacy for the game.
In the meantime, before football’s bloated gut explodes, we can enjoy the return of club football. I wondered if I was inhabiting a parallel universe this week, injuries suffered on international duty healed before the weekend. Players returned to fitness in the break. Even Robin van Persie stayed fit. The Dutchman had to tempt fate by claiming that he had not been this “fit for years“; I don’t like to point this out but I’ve always had the view that the November international break was the killer as far as his injuries go. I could be wrong but that’s the way it feels – maybe I’m just amazed that he has got through this past fortnight without mischief.
At his press conference yesterday, Arsène set about killing off a few myths. The first is that he is not interested in the England job – another reason for Steve Bruce to happy as his spectacularly average managerial record makes him the perfect candidate as Capello’s successor – although I would disagree with Wenger’s assertion that the job should go to an Englishman. That was about the only area of sanity that the Coalition government’s response to the DCMS Inquiry; the FA must improve the standard of coaching in this country. Until that happens, the England job should go to the best candidate rather than the best of a bad lot.
Wenger has more pressing concerns to deal with, such as getting his Arsenal team working and winning. According to Emmanuel Petit, the club has dug its own grave,
Once the club used to let players go when they had reached the end of their careers, the likes of Bergkamp, Henry, Vieira, Pires or myself. Now they’re losing Fabregas and Nasri when they’re at the top of their game. If you continue to sell your best players, the club is dead
It is interesting that Petit believes his career was at an end when he left Arsenal since my memory – failing as it is – is that he went to Barcelona. Is he saying that was a mistake? I certainly don’t recall the ponytail wailing and bemoaning his ill-fortune at the time, even if he was Marc Overmars Jimmy Five-Bellies.
Petit will not get any argument from anyone that those sales were badly handled – the timing, not the fees – and the club would in the same situation, react differently throughout the Summer. I read recently that Dick Law is to try to open talks with the representatives of Vermaelen and Walcott, both have debts of loyalty to repay as the club has stood by them in difficult times with injuries. If he is going to talk to those of van Persie, I would suggest that he gets them trussed up as if they were Hannibal Lector because they might just eat Mr Law alive.
But the past is what it is. The time has surely come for people to stop wallowing in the sale of those two players, to look forward rather than bemoaning the mistakes of months gone by. We cannot change them, no matter how much we would like to; until January, this is it. The squad is what it is and injuries will heal to make the playing side stronger. Bright spots are beginning to shine through the cloud – recovery from injury, form of younger players coming, promising indicators from new signings – and there is the opportunity to put together a run of consistency.
It’s got to happen, it must, simply must, if the atmosphere around the club is to change. There are promising players in the squad, one of whom is garnering a lot of praise. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is on a rich run of form, rightly praised for his goals and overall performances for both club and country. There is a danger of expectations rising beyond their natural level in such cases and Wenger is right to ask for some promising youngsters to be moved stage left, away from the spotlight’s gaze.
Having seen the glare that confronts Jack Wilshere, the Arsenal manager is conscious that he has another player already being viewed as a potential saviour for club and country. The brickbats that dogged Theo Walcott wait in the undergrowth to pounce on anyone who treads the same inconsistent path, how dare they not play at the top of their game when they are still learning it?
That’s it for today, back with a Sunderland preview in the morning. ’til Tomorrow.
Posted on October 15, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 151 Comments.