Good morning and welcome to the poem that never happened. Well, it started happening and then I deleted it because I am not happy with the final result. The topic is the eve of Arsene Wenger’s Sweet 16 and I suppose I still have time to work on it as the official anniversary of his appointment isn’t until September 30th. Perhaps I will finish it, perhaps I won’t. On a related note, have you ever read a sweet sixteen poem? They are horrible, cringe-inducing, schlock so I suppose I should be happy with anything that I come up with. Hell, I could write it in Japanese and it would be better than the standard fare.
As for my writing poetry at all on an Arsenal blog, which bothers the traditionalists because it’s poetry and the elitists because I’m crap at it, suck it up. You don’t have to read it and if you do read it you don’t have to like it but it’s something I want to work on. It took me four years to get this good at blogging* so I’m expecting a similar learning curve before I can write good shitty sports poems. And before you knock the art form or my attempted adaptation of it, if the famed Robert Burns can write an Address to a Haggis (WARNING: written in Scottish) referring to said foodstuff as “Chieftain of the sausage race” then I can certainly be afforded the latitude to write that Arsene Wenger is the erm… Commodore of the Gooner race.
Ugh. No I won’t.
Anyway, there’s a match today and I have some further refined team news to report. Looks like John Utaka is out for a few weeks with a groin injury so he won’t be appearing for Montpellier tonight. It also looks like “Arsenal target” center back Mbiwa is fit and that Giles Grimandi is at the game “scouting” him along side Arsene Wenger, who is also at the game tonight.
The Mbiwa story is nothing more than reporters laying down markers so that if he’s ever signed for Arsenal they can claim to have been on the spot and if he signs for any other club they can use it to say that he’s “one who got away”. I will admit that Montpellier are a good defensive team and that Mbiwa is a big part of that but Arsenal are scouting players all the time and while it’s slightly more meaningful if Arsenal’s “Chieftain of the scouting race” (Grimandi) is at the game it hardly means anything significant. Arsenal have a glut of center backs at the moment and I’d be surprised if we are looking for another.
There are also a number of stories about Theo Walcott circulating this morning and all of which purport to break the news that Arsene is holding back on starting Theo because of the unresolved contract situation. I think it’s pretty clear that the fact that Theo is a free agent at the end of the year is exactly why he’s not starting League games and is also why he’s featured along side Arshavin and Chamakh in the League Cup ads.
I’ve maintained all along that Arsenal are going to sell Theo in January not because I have some ITK knowledge but because it fits with all the quotes that we have seen about an agreement being reached with the two parties, it fits with the way Theo is being used sparingly so as not to get injury, it fits with Wenger’s weird denial/confirmation that the contract is playing a part, and it fits with the silence coming from the Walcott camp.
I think that the club underestimated Theo’s desire to leave and/or some offers on the table for the player and as such needed time to find a replacement. Selling Theo in January is a win-win in that it allows Arsenal to recoup some of his value and gives the club time to find his replacement. That replacement could easily be waiting to see if Ryo comes good on his promise as a player or Grimandi could be scouting “The Tank” (E. Herrera) and Benni Stambouli today.
Or not. I’m happy with this Arsenal squad just the way it is**, I’m happy with the manager being a bit more ruthless to these wantaway players like Theo, and I’m happy with Steve Bould, so far. I don’t think I’m alone in that. The fact that this story about Theo is being greeted by a lot of “meh” is indicative of a general ease with the club right now.
Funny what a string of good results on the field can do. Here’s to one more today.
*I’m pretty fantastic at this now.
**Ok, I’d like an experienced keeper.