First Blood

Manchester United is delighted to announce it has agreed terms with Cardiff City for the transfer of Aaron Ramsey subject to terms being agreed and the player passing a medical.

Uhhh, not so fast there Man U. In the ongoing battle between Arsenal and Manchester United, it’s being widely reported that Aaron Ramsey, Rambo, has chosen Arsenal as his date to the prom. I haven’t seen anything on the dot com, but I feel good about reporting this as every single paper is printing a variation on the story: there’s a lot of smoke here folks.

Reports are that Sir Alex Ferguson was so busy cleaning up Ronaldo’s Jheri Curl drippings that he couldn’t even bother himself to show up for the meeting with the youngster. Meanwhile, Arsenal flew Rambo and his whole family out to Switzerland for lunch with Arsene Wenger. Over lunch in the bucolic mountain setting, I’m sure that Wenger simply listed all of the players who have been through Arsenal’s youth academy and gone on to play in the Premier League in order to turn the boy’s head. Then he mentioned that his youth teams play first team football in the Carling Cup and how there may be a hole on the left wing what with Alex Hleb off to Barcelona, no wait, Bayern. A world class footballing education, a boss with a personal touch, and plenty of opportunity for a candidate who wants it and it shouldn’t really surprise anyone that the kid chose Arsenal.

Meanwhile, United was offering not to educate the boy, but to simply ship him back to Cardiff. Which, while great for Cardiff, was not exactly a bonus for the boy: Cardiff isn’t exactly a hotbed of football achievement.

If all true, then Arsenal have done one over United and I consider it First Blood in the upcoming Premier League season.

The Squad

Walcott wants more playing time, which is great. He’s targeting more than 20 starts and more than 10 goals I guess. Well, I have news for you young fella: with Eduardo making an early comeback and Vela coming in to the club there are now a metric ton of strikers at the club (Bendtner, Ade, Eduardo, van Persie, Theo, and Vela). Which means that there will be some very stiff competition for places up front. Logically, Theo could slot in at the spot held down by the team jester (Eboue) but there are problems at that spot too. Because of the pace and movement of the team Wenger likes a strong defensive presence at that spot and for all his talents, no one has ever accused Theo of playing defense. Looks like Wenger will have a decision to make here or else he may have a very unhappy young man on his hands.

UPDATE:

Cardiff City boss Ridsdale is publicly claiming that Aaron Ramsey is going to Arsenal.  On their club web site Ridsdale claims Ramsey called him and explained he was off to Arsenal and why.  Still, I’m holding out until I read it on the dot com.

Other Teams

I know, everyone seems to love Luca Modric but some of us who watched that first Euro 2008 match were unimpressed. He’s undersized, a tremendous diver, and really didn’t show me anything special. Hey, maybe Spuds can put him along side their other £16m flops.

Meanwhile over at Liverpool, there’s some grave news about how much money the club lost last season. Reportedly, they lost roughly half what Man U lost last season; an astonishing £33m. Of course, they just loaded the losses back on the club and the fans, just like Man U and Chelsea have done the last 3 years.

I think, though, what’s probably going to burn the Liverpool faithful the most was that at a time of increasing debts, the owners were piling on £1.5m in personal expenses: like travel, personal assistants, and haircuts. It’s tough being rich. Who do you think pays for the hired car and burly bodyguards so the scions of these wealthy “patrons” can go out to a pub and have a beer?

And finally… Arsenal’s New Kit

I guess the guys at REDaction are in an uproar over the new Arsenal kit. I don’t like it, but then I’ve always disliked the kits where the white sleeves go all the way up to the neck. In my opinion, sleeves start at the shoulder and not the neck. The kit isn’t the problem, for me, because if you look at the history of the Arsenal home kit it’s really not that radically different. My problem is that when I first became an official supporter, they promised not to change the damn kit every year. They seem to have found a way around that and now they just change the away kit every year with this year’s away kit switching to a yellow and blue thing and the crummy white kit going to the third kit slot formerly inhabited by the Barcelona kit. White, Crimson and Blue, Yellow, Blue, Yellow and Blue… AAAAAAHHHHH stop messing with the away kits! Red and white for home and either all yellow or all blue for away. That’s it. Change the design every two years at most and leave it at that. Word to Nike: if you mess with the kits too much, people will stop buying them, and you want people to buy them, right?