When I last spoke to you here, in writing my tribute to Patrick Vieira, one of the comments on the blog was that I should stop living in the past. As if there is so much going on in Arsenal land at the moment that I was neglecting some major news in favour of reflecting on the career of an Arsenal legend. I suppose there's something to say in the fact that I'd rather talk about someone who last kicked a ball for us six years ago than reflect on our current crop of players. But then, as I hope you know, the situation would be a little bit different if we weren't going through one of the most tedious pre seasons in living memory. And, by Arsenal's standards, that's some going.
Since we last spoke though, Arsenal have completed the signing of a proper, adult, footballer and Ricky Gervais has now been added to the ranks. Finally. I suppose that maybe seen as quite disrespectful towards the African, but I certainly don't mean it that way. I feel quite sure that the only laughs he will give us will be when he puts Patrice Evra on his backside for the fifth time in three minutes. I look forward to seeing him action next weekend, when Thierry Henry will give the nostalgia merchants amongst us another opportunity to sharpen our pens.
As Gervinho comes in, another pretend Brazilian departs. I once had a lot of time for Denilson, but I think the nature of his departure says a lot about the environment that Arsène Wenger has fostered at Arsenal. You play for Arsenal and you think you're special, so Denilson can talk about Italy and Spain as if they are realistic destinations for him. The reality is that nobody wants the kind of player you can only bring on if you're 3-0 up and especially not on the wages Denilson is accustomed to so he goes home to Brazil with his tail between his legs. I don't blame Denilson for that, by the way. That is the fault of one man and one man alone- stand up Mr Wenger. Despite what I have said here, I do wish Denilson well for the rest of his career- it seems reasonable to assume that whatever the outcome of his loan, he won't be wearing our red and white again. I also think that, as much as he aggravated pretty much everyone that ever watched him, if he gets the right manager in his life, he may yet have a successful career.
I can't let this blog pass, as tedious as the subject became last year, without a word about Cesc. From my, admittedly limited, understanding of the subject of his move to Barcelona, Arsenal have made it clear that they will let him go this summer. As long as Barcelona stump up an amount of money that will convince the Arsenal board to do so. Thus far, Barcelona have not only failed to come up with this money, they seem to labouring under the misunderstanding that it is they, not Arsenal, who will set the price. Almost as if they're doing us a favour by taking Fabregas off us. So, when you have Xavi bravely speaking up for his "suffering" friend, Cesc, as if it is Arsenal messing the player about, you just want to rip the guy's head off. And then scream into the bloody remains of his neck,
"IT IS BARCELONA AND BARCELONA ALONE WHO CAN END CESC'S "SUFFERING". ALL THEY NEED TO DO IS PUT £50M CASH INTO ARSENAL'S BANK ACCOUNT IMMEDIATELY! ENTIENDES?"
As for the £10m bid for Phil Jagielka, I'm starting to get the feeling we're not going to see a new centre back coming in this summer. Although I hope I'm way off on that one, along with thoughts of Xavi staggering around trying to reattach his head to his neck, that's probably the best place to leave you this evening. Sort of a grim place, but a funny one too, I hope.
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