Morning. Everyone else flued up?
The only real Arsenal news over the last 24 hours was the FA Cup draw.
It sums it up when the draw was more interesting than the Round 3 games. Although watching Liverpool get knocked out was enjoyable.
As the balls were pulled out, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United remained in the perspex bowl. 10 teams left. 8 teams left. 6 teams left. 4 teams left. The aforementioned plus Crystal Palace.
All that was important at this stage is we were drawn at home, regardless of who it was against.
A home tie against Manchester United is easier than an away game in South London.
Due to playing Cardiff City in the league on the Tuesday, Arsenal will play Man U on either Friday night or Saturday. It will be picked for TV.
It will be interesting to see what sort of side both teams put out, as they both play Premier League games on the following Tuesday. I imagine they will be very changed to the sides put out in the 3rd round.
Whilst the FA Cup is real news, there has been plenty of fake news in the last couple of days. Mainly to do with transfers.
It is that time of year when journalists earn their coin, fabricating (or exaggerating) transfer stories. Articles for clicks. Clicks for revenue.
In the last couple of days, Arsenal have had a £63m bid accepted by Real Madrid for James Rodriguez, agreed a £200,000 a week contract with Yannick Carrasco, approached Juventus for Medhi Benatia, been turned down by Pepe, and are set to lose out on Denis Suarez to West Ham as we can not afford the £20m fee.
What a load of rubbish.
So on one hand they are saying we are offering a club record transfer fee for a player who Bayern Munich have first option on (at half the price – they would just trigger the clause, then sell him to us. Easy profit), that we are offering a contract to a player far in access to what was on the table for Aaron Ramsey, but then there are reports we have no money. Want to loan a player from Barcelona, not sign him.
No one really knows what is going on. Not journalists, not fake ITKs who pretend to be journalists, not your mate Dave down the Dog and Duck.
Ultimately all these people are doing is trying to get attention (a bit like the idiot who moaned about Joe Willock after the teenager scored 2 goals for the club he loves in the FA Cup).
The last thing to talk about this morning is that lot up the road.
In an interesting interview, Mauricio Pochettino discusses parallels between his situation and Arsene Wenger’s.
Now ignore Pochettino’s complete lack of success compared to Wenger (or any manager to have won a trophy in English football), some interesting points were made.
Pochettino talks about an “unfair” expectation. That it is unrealistic to be expected to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool when you have huge financial constraints due a new stadium.
The most interesting part of the interview was when he talks about his future. He says he wants to be at Tottenham for 20 years, but then the doubt creeps in.
‘My only hope if I have the opportunity to talk with him is to ask if it was worth it. I don’t know what he would say. I would like to ask.”
He is wondering if it is worthwhile forgoing personal success for offers elsewhere where trophies are guaranteed (Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, PSG). Whether it is worthwhile trying to build something over a long period, only to be continually criticised for fans for perceived failure.
Pochettino is clearly talking about his own future.
Wenger turned down the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and PSG whilst at Arsenal.
At all of these clubs he would have made more money, and had a better chance of winning trophies then he did at Arsenal. But he remained loyal. Kept faith in what he was doing. Backed himself to return the club to glory.
Would he say it was worth it? I do not know. But if Pochettino is already wondering if it is worthwhile staying, then he is also thinking about leaving…
A nice week with no football. A chance to recover after the hectic Christmas period. No boozing and get rid of this cold.