Readers of the last TGIF will recall that I am presently in Lala land, where for Gooners, if they thought that matters couldn’t get any worse then something always happens to prove them wrong. So it is from this parallel dimension that I report the latest chronicles. Tuesday’s performance in the Champions league actually shows what giving some members of the team a good telling off at half time can actually do for the focus. Following the acclaimed Pat Rice hairdryer, we went from zeros to heros. Dortmund got a draw from a freak goal which was fair enough as they should really have been three goals to the good at half time. Mertesacker was influential, in that he demonstrated that it is possible to defend consistently by putting bodies on the line and he led by example. Koscielny had for him, a wonderful game, in that he refused to give up despite a shaky start. Song was imperious but in my view he was edged out of MoM in my opinion by the assurance of Szczesny. This keeper is worth his weight in gold now at a time that we needed leaders on the pitch, Wojciech is our man. Which other keeper could come back from conceding 8 goals, and play with such authority as if it had never happened. He will I predict become the best Keeper in the Premier League and an Arsenal legend similar to the likes of Dave Seaman and Bob Wilson before him. In fact I am considering getting his shirt for my away kit! If the team as a whole could up it’s work rate when they lose the ball, then normal service would be resumed and the next time we play a team from Manchester, then the result would be very different. Anyway WELL DONE LADS!
Ok, all is quiet in Lala land, with all flying pigs fuelled and sitting on the runway awaiting their next sortie. Imagine my surprise when Arsene Wenger appeared in flowing robes and a long white beard carrying the staff of Saruman. He proclaimed in a slow deliberate and grave manner that he was predicting the end of the modern football world as we know it in the next 3 to 12 weeks which would put all things into perspective. Now, I recall my previously undisclosed trips to Lala land when I had the same dreams of prophesy. Two seasons ago our French Soothsayer predicted that we would win the Premier League, we didn’t, this was tempered last season by utterances such as we would win a trophy, and before our collapse at the end of the season, our Gallic modern day reincarnation of Nostradamus indicated that it was a “two horse race” for the title meaning ourselves and Manchester United. It wasn’t of course.
Now read his latest utterance below and my response is if Arsenal’s mighty warlock is intending to give this as an explanation for the lack of big spending during the transfer window, then “Forsooth Sire!, ye have scrapeth the bottom of the vat with that one!”
Wenger predicts a ‘huge financial crisis’
“I believe that Europe overall as a unit is going towards a massive crisis which nobody really expects now,”
“I am convinced that Europe will go into a huge financial crisis within the next three weeks or three months and maybe that will put everything into perspective again.
“Football is not untouchable. We live with people going to the stadiums as well and from advertising from people who buy products. All our income could be a little bit under threat in the next few months.
“We have seen the first signs of some resistance in Spain where everybody complains.”
For Arsene to suggest that Arsenal’s buying strategy and self sustaining model took account of Global macroeconomics is novel. The perspective that he refers to no doubt being that when big name clubs go into administration in the next few weeks then we will all understand why he had to run the club so tightly and cost effectively. We hear that several La Liga clubs are effectively in administration having not paid their players for months. We hear that Glasgow Rangers may be on the brink also with demands from HM Revenue and Customs, yet even closer to home with the likes of Everton.West Ham and Plymouth Argyle being near to financial armageddon. Yet wait, the double dip recession might affect major banks, but they will not collapse. The Euro is unstable and soon the countries like Greece, Ireland and Portugal will be cast aside by Germany and the Scandanavian countries, but how oh great one does it affect us at the Emirates in gaing ground on our rivals? Not at all I would argue, and the reason why? Because Oil rich Sheiks and Mineral and Gas commodity Billionaires will not be suffering financially anytime soon. Running a tight budget at Arsenal will not affect the massive broadcasting and sponsorship deals that Real Madrid and Barcelona can attract. Most of these clubs and the people who fund them have the wealth of several small banks put together. The staggering wages being paid to Manchester City players and the recently rumoured 300+ K per week of Samuel Et’o from the “well known” russian club Anzhi Makhachkala, confirm that in the absence of a wage cap from UEFA, nothing will change for the privileged few who are financed by these kind of people. Oh well… come back in 12 weeks and explain why it hasn’t happened oh Great One, and we shall see that all is truly well in Lala land!