As inauspicious as our last day over at the WordPress site was (what with the loss of Felipe Melo as a potential signing) it’s looking like the first day of the new blog is inversely, erm, auspicious!
First off, we have some great news out of L’Equipe (whom T-Town Alex assures me is a very reliable source) that Mikael Silvestre is being tracked by Bordeaux. I’m not going to re-hash the whole “Mikael Silvestre was the one player who was involved in every Arsenal blow out last season and the worst signing in Arsenal history, ever” thing and instead will just simply say thanks for the “service” and good luck in Bordeaux — you’ll need it.
This is followed by the news that Cappy Gallas intends to honor the last year of his contract with us despite reports linking him to Inter.
I am at Arsenal, my contract is still valid for a year, so I am an Arsenal player. We have not talked about renewing the contract, but I am relaxed and looking forward to next season with Arsenal.
It’s funny, there was a time when I joked that William Gallas was a Chelsea plant, that Mourinho sent him to Arsenal to get in as deep as possible and destroy us from the inside. But as it turns out he’s a pretty damn stand up guy. He’s our best defender, probably the most experienced player on the squad, a man who wants to win, and a man who has shown honor in the face of huge criticism. To put it bluntly, I don’t think I would be half as respectful of a club that stripped me of the captaincy.
Anyway, the point of the two stories is that when we signed Vermaelen there was a lot of speculation about who would leave with people wondering if it would be Kolo or Gallas. Well, it’s looking like it’s neither of those two and it’s Silvestre who is headed out the door.
I mean… uhh… thanks Mikael! Have fun in France!
The other goods for the day are that with the press thrown off the Felipe Melo scent they have sniffed around and targeted three other potential midfield signings: Lorik Cana, Mesut Oezil, and Gaetano D’Agostino.
- Cana: Big, strong, robust, churlish, talented, good in the air and Arsene even tried to bring him into the team when he was a lad. All of which point to Arsenal wanting to sign him, right? The problem is that Wenger has bought a “destroyer” since Vieira (you don’t have to tell me that Vieira was more than a destroyer, I KNOW) and it’s looking like he’s trying to build a more “continental” team one that challenges more for the Champions League than for the Premier League. So, I’m going with 6/10 on this one, which should be a 4/10 but every time I watch this video that number jumps up one point and I’ve watched it twice this morning. Hell, I might watch it at work again!
- Mesut Oezil: So, a 20 year old attacking midfielder, silky passing skills, keeps the ball on the ground, destroyed Theo and Gibbs in the U21 tournament, and probably available for around £15m. Ladies and gentlemen, the only question left is how we pronounce his name! Is it “Weezil?” 7/10
- D’Agostino: left footed, tall-ish, relatively unknown, late bloomer who currently plays on the wing for Udinese. Supposedly a bid has come in from an English team and “an important Italian club” and the speculation is that the bid is either Arsenal or Chelsea. I really don’t know of any Italians who have played for Arsenal, which could just be my ignorance, but seriously, can any of you think of an Italian who played for Arsenal? The only reason that I give any credence to this story is that Wenger has a history of plucking unknowns from the continent. 3/10
Maybe it’s not really “bad” but just kind of funny; Aston Villa is reportedly linked to Senderos and Campbell. Welcome to Arsenal 2006, Villa!
I’m not sure what the execs at Nike and Arsenal are thinking. First they come out with a blue kit, which you could make an argument for, I’ve seen Arsenal in blue, I own a blue away kit with Henry’s name! There’s at least some historic precedence for the blue kit. Albeit, pinstripes are not historically an Arsenal thing, they’re more a New York Yankees thing. Still, I was only kinda put aback by the blue kit. I wasn’t going to buy one, but I wasn’t going to write some angry screed about it either.
But the white kit is just full of fail. First off, a white kit was first introduced the season that we lost Thierry Henry and there were pictures of Henry in the white kit right before he went off to the sunny beaches of Barcelona. That white kit also was the kit of the season where we lost Flamini and Gilberto as well. So, frankly, the white kit is a curse and I had hoped to never see an Arsenal player in a white kit ever again as long as I lived.
But, to introduce both blue and white in the same season? What the fuck are you thinking? White and blue are the colors of Chelsea, Everton, and Tottenham. Are we Chelsea North now? Tottenham 2? I mean come on, this is really a slap in the face of anyone who has supported Arsenal through these last 10 years or so. Especially since they ruined the home shirt by turning the white sleeves into stripes.
And then there’s the accompanying advertising spiel, which is both perplexing and insulting:
Further shirt details include a panel of horizontal stripes at the back of the shirt, to mirror the craftsmanship of a fine English shirt. Inside the collar is a high quality woven label that reads Arsenal, while engineered in to the side seam is a small red label featuring two Arsenal canons either side of the club motto, ‘Victoria Concordia Crescit,’ which translates as ‘Victory Through Harmony.’
What the hell is a fine English shirt and how, exactly, is it crafted? And what do horizontal stripes have to do with the whole thing??? And then, the coupe de grace, they explain to us what ‘Victoria Concordia Crescit’ means… fuck me.
I buy a shirt every year when I travel to London to see the club, it’s one of my pre-match rituals, and I am seriously considering a boycott of the shirts this year. I can’t think of any way to get these folks to reign in the stupidity and give us a proper red shirt with white sleeves for home matches and a yellow away kit.
For the record, I’m not calling for a boycott, but Jesus, someone needs to tell them that this latest color scheme is a disaster. Maybe if a huge section of supporters all wore last year’s away kit for the whole season they would get the idea.