‘A little bit of Arsenal dies’ and we crack up…

Date published: Tuesday 22nd May 2018 11:17


Yes, ‘a little bit of Arsenal dies’.

This is the club whose greatest manager of the modern era is a Frenchman they found in Japan. It’s not the sodding Boot Room.


Announce Brendan Mikel
As ‘a little bit of Arsenal dies’ with the news that they will not be appointing a Spaniard who spent five years at the club at the end of his career, it is worth remembering that he was by no means Cross’s first choice to replace Arsene Wenger.

Indeed, Cross championed Brendan Rodgers for the job over a period of two to three months. He described Rodgers winning the SPL title with Cetic as a ‘remarkable achievement’, before recommending him for the job in a column on April 20.

A few days later he appeared on a Mirror podcast, saying: “I know Brendan Rodgers gets a bit of a bad reputation but I do think he would do a very, very good job. I think there is a certain amount of snobbery about it and I think he would be a good choice.”

As part of that April 20 piece, Cross wrote: ‘I’m not sure Patrick Vieira has the experience, the same probably goes for Mikel Arteta.’

The next day he wrote that ‘Arsenal have not decided on one overall favourite and will speak to up four candidates on a shortlist likely to come from Joachim Loew, Luis Enrique, Max Allegri, Mikel Arteta and Brendan Rodgers’. Mentions of Unai Emery in a piece sold as the ‘inside story’: None.

By mid-May, when it became obvious that Rodgers was not actually a candidate, Cross was writing that the previously inexperienced ‘Mikel Arteta was born to be Arsenal boss’, because of course San Sebastian is within a stone’s throw of Highbury. Sod off Brendan; we are climbing aboard the Mikel train.

One question remains: Would a little bit of Arsenal have died if they had appointed Rodgers, John? After all, he has got pretty much the same connection to Arsenal as Unai Emery.

Or does that only apply to managers who you don’t already know?



First, a little bit of Arsenal died. And then it’s time to get optimistic (when you realise that you are going to have to talk to this fella).


What a difference a day makes
The last thing on this one. We promise…

John Cross, Daily Mirror, May 21: ‘Arsenal have been in talks with Arteta for several days as they look to thrash out an agreement which is believed to have been settled in principle.’

John Cross, Daily Mirror, May 22: ‘Club officials met Arteta last week and by Friday the former Gunners captain believed he was going to be offered the job. But Arsenal went quiet over the weekend…’


Quote of the day
The Sun give details of Arsenal’s meeting with Unai Emery several weeks ago and quote a source. This has been making Mediawatch guffaw all morning:

“He knew more about the Arsenal squad and every relevant detail about their career path and injury histories than people who had been at the club for years. They’d no idea where he had gathered his information but they were mesmerised by the vision he put before them.”

Mediawatch has an inkling it might be ‘the internet’.


Insight of the day
From Ian Wright in The Sun, who claim that their columnists ‘are the talk of football’:

‘I AM getting more excited by the day about the World Cup. England are not favourites  and we will need THREE men to emerge as genuine world-class talents to have a chance.’

The THREE is very specific. Can it be any THREE?


Dear Stan…
You will not be surprised to learn that Stan Collymore has been writing all manner of nonsense in his Daily Mirror column. Here we go…

‘THE difference between winning and losing the Champions League final on Saturday is night and day for Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp.

‘Win and he can pick from some of the best players in the world, players who will want to sign for the European champions. Lose and he will face the same old questions – is he destined always to be the bridesmaid and never the bride, a manager who can get you so far but not far enough.’

Firstly, winning the Champions League will not mean that Jurgen Klopp ‘can pick from some of the best players in the world’; they could batter Real 5-0 and Neymar would still want to join Madrid.

Take Chelsea as a case in point. They won the Champions League in 2012, desperately needed a striker, chased Edinson Cavani and Robert Lewandowski, and then started the season with Fernando Torres and Demba Ba as their only forwards.

But perhaps Collymore is remembering the heady summer of 2005, when Liverpool’s Champions League title meant that they could attract Antonio Barragán, Bolo Zenden,  Pepe Reina, Momo Sissoko, Mark González, Jack Hobbs and Peter Crouch? Would any of that have been possible if they had lost that shoot-out to AC Milan?

Secondly, he did win two Bundesliga titles.


Here we go again…

How dare he spend his own money to go on bloody holiday? Twice.


Ask a simple question
‘Arsenal reveal 2018-19 home kit as new squad numbers are announced…but do they hint at summer transfer plans?’ – The Sun.

No they do not.


Mediawatch has stumbled across its favourite ever feature from The Sun Online’s Features Guru Jon Boon. He has an ‘exclusive’ interview with Ryan Burge, who ‘took break from football to launch a fashion label and signed a lucrative deal with rock legends Pearl Jam’.

Our first thought was that it must have been quite some wrench to ‘take a break from football’ after a career that had seen him recently play for Sutton United and Eastleigh. He must really believe in the Ten Club London brand.

It begins: ‘WHEN footballer Ryan Burge took a break from playing the game, he could never have predicted he’d be cutting deals with American rock band Pearl Jam.’

Well no. You wouldn’t. The implication is clear: He has done a clothing deal with Pearl Jam; Eddie Vedder will presumably be wearing his pants. Let’s read the details:

‘Last month his success story took another exciting twist when he received a call from lawyers representing the 90s grunge group from Seattle.

‘They were keen on buying the naming rights to Burge’s website and wanted to negotiate a deal.’

Ah. It sounds quite a lot like Ryan Burge  ‘had no future in football so launched a fashion label whose name was associated with Pearl Jam so they paid him off’.

You’ll be shocked to learn that ‘Burge revealed he didn’t get a chance to deal with singer Eddie Vedder and Co. personally.’


Recommended reading of the day
Tom Adams on Unai Emery
Amy Lawrence on Arsenal
Ed Malyon and Miguel Delaney on Unai Emery, Mikel Arteta and Arsenal

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What happened to FC Kallon, the club Mohamed Kallon bought when at Inter? (Planet Football)

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