Good morning to you from a hot and sunny Yokohama. It’s a nice 25C today, and all is well. As we know, Theo Walcott signed his new contract yesterday and it’s great news for the club, no doubt. Let’s hope it is a sign of things to come from our new CEO Ivan Gazidis. I wonder how long he has to be at the club before we stop referring to him as our ‘new CEO’. Next on his agenda should be the contract of Robin Van Persie. Theo, of course, is delighted with having finally put pen to paper on his new deal and is looking forward to a more stable future with the club. Let’s hope he is an integral part of our starting eleven for years to come.
Thankfully the boss yesterday said the words that we have all been longing to hear regarding his transfer policy over the coming months:
“If we buy players it certainly won’t be players who lack experience. We have enough of those. We spend the right money for the right players.”
I for one am delighted to hear him say that, though I would have preferred if he had left the ‘if’ out of it. It should be ‘when we do sign players’ rather than if. But, it’s a refreshing thing to hear him say it nonetheless.
He went on to say:
“We can go further because we have a young team. It’s not a team that is over the hill. It is a team that is at the start of the hill. You have to accept as well what we have done. We are in the last four in Europe and we have not lost a [Premier League] game since November. We have lost in the Champions League semi-final to a team that is better than us, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. United are the world and European champions.”
I wonder how long this team can remain at the start of the hill and will it manage to progress up the hill. the longer it remains at the start of a hill the less likely it is to progress and we have been at the start of this hill since the end of the Invincibles season. So, either we are not progressing or the hill is getting steeper. No doubt losing Flamini set us a little further down the hill going into this season.
Elsewhere the line-up for the Emirates Cup was announced and I have to say that it isn’t a particularly mouth-watering prospect as the participating teams are Rangers, Atletico Madrid and Paris St Germain. Not exactly top quality sides, but it will be nice to watch the competition via a stream all the same.
In his press conference the boss said that our attitude in training was spot on, if only they carried that attitude into our recent games against ManUre and Chelsea.
He also said that basically the players opinions over signings the club should make don’t really matter, which you can understand, though you would hope that he would also take on board that they are making these comments because they feel that the squad needs improving.
“It’s human – every player wants to play with big names because it is reassuring. You ask them if they feel they need to sign players, you will get everywhere a positive response. If you ask the players in what position, you will never get their position. Everyone can have opinions but the people who make decisions have responsibilities for the longer-term of the club.”
The boss also stated his disappointment over the Bendtner photos and said that the player has been fined by the club, even though he was set-up in order to get a photo. Apparently someone pulled his pants down from behind as he was exiting the club and apparently he wasn’t drunk.
“I was angry but he has been set up. He was not drunk. He did not put his trousers down, somebody did it for him and somebody was posted with a camera. It was somebody he doesn’t know, from behind. That’s what he told me. I fined him not for that, I fined him because he should not have gone out.”
If that is what the player has said, we will just have to take his word for it and consider it case closed.
More good news is that the manager has said that, as it is now basically the end of the season, we will be trying to extend the contracts of a number of players. Great news, I think we can all agree. He had this to say about the Van Persie situation:
“I am hoping he will sign a new deal and I am trying very hard to get him to sign. I want Robin on board. He is a very important player in the squad and on the pitch he is a very efficient player. We want him to stay because we gave him a chance when he was in a very bad position at Feyenoord. I think he developed well here and I don’t see a reason for him to go and he loves the club.”
It’s good to see the boss giving him a little reminder of what the club has done for him and that he owes us some loyalty.
Team news for tomorrow sees us with the same squad as Tuesday as there is a huge doubt over the fitness of Arshavin as he is still suffering from flu. So, I think that we can expect the same starting eleven against Chelsea as we did against ManUre. I hope that it is the same side as that will give them a chance to bounce straight back, to prove something to themselves as well as the fans. The manager also assured the media that all of the players will have trousers. Hehe.
A quick congratulations to Andrey Arshavin on picking up this month’s ‘Player of the Month’ award. He has been in great form for us since his arrival and there is a lot more to come from him over the next few seasons. Well done, comrade.
Right, that’s about all for today. Have a good one.