Curiouser and curiouser. And very much a case of Arsene in wonderland in my opinion. For today our esteemed leader tells the world’s press that he is, indeed, considering a move to bring the great Paddy Vieira back to his spiritual home from Inter Milan. Well, new home a few hundred yards from Highbury anyway.
If he signs the legend that was PV4 I think it would be very much a backwards move and fly in the face of AW’s policy of promoting youth. And to my memory he has never re-signed a player — then again it is the man from Senegal we’re talking about here. And if he does sign, please Dennis (God) we draw Ipswich in the FA Cup so he comes up once more against a certain Mr Keane.
Of course, the thought of Vieira in his prime strutting around alongside fab Fab is very much an enticing image. Then again, who can forget the little Spaniard leading him a merry dance when Juve came to Highbury in the Champions League?
So does Paddy still have the legs to cut it in the top flight these days? Maybe AW can get a season out of him. Remember how he did just that with that left-footed genius Davor Suker when he was 31?
Wenger has kept the possibility very much alive with his comments reported in this morning’s publications. This from the Sun:
Asked about Vieira, the Gunners boss said: “It is a possibility. We do not rule it out and we do not say we won’t do it.”
He added: “There is a football decision and also a psychological decision over a player of that stature who could come in.
“We will look at the level of experience in our squad and then we will make that decision.
“Patrick is a legend. If he had the choice, he would come back to this club. He is a professional footballer and you have emotions towards the club you loved first.
“I speak with Patrick a lot. I keep good connections. He has gone through a difficult time as he was injured quite a lot last season.”
The key here is obviously the fitness. If Vieira can convince Wenger he is over his injuries then maybe, just maybe, the Gooner hoards can herald the homecoming of a terrace idol.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror claim that Wenger is poised spend the loot brought in by the sales of Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure to Manchester City on Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh (£6m), St Etienne midfielder Blaise Matuidi (£6m) and Roma forward Mirko Vucinic.
The Daily Mail report the Emir of N5 has had a “dig at managerial rival Sir Alex Ferguson and champions Manchester United”.
He told the paper: ‘They only won one game against the other top four teams, so they did less well than us last season. We lost the title in the first 14 games when we lost five times but after that we only lost one league game.’
But they did win the title, AW!
The paper also brings us news of our squad for today’s Emirates Cup clash with Atletico Madrid. ‘For Saturday’s game Wenger has an almost fully fit squad, though Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs have been allowed extra time off. Midfielder Tomas Rosicky, who had been out for 18 months before returning for 45 minutes in pre-season at Barnet, is in the squad.’
Check back at 2pm for Josh’s Emirates Cup preview…