Arsenal Football Club are currently in a tricky situation, wondering whether they should be calling security or even just doing the job themselves. Arsene Wenger still hasn’t cleared his desk and it has been nearly a week since he left the job he’s been doing for 22 years!
There does seem like there is a bit of a pressing need to get this done with Mikel Arteta in the phase of “choosing his backroom team” which could well have Steve Bould also being asked to clear his desk in the next few days. But, there is a slight curveball thrown into the mix. Sky Sports spent far too long yesterday suggesting that Arsenal also want to speak to Thierry Henry about the vacant position. If this is another, as Patrick Vieira would say, ‘token gesture’ then Tony Adams, Paul Merson and Martin Keown can all expect a call in the next few days.
Wenger, who said he is ‘still in shock’, is happily doing interviews whilst he works out what he is going to do next (presumably clear his desk at some point) and has given his backing to Mikel Arteta to become the next manager at the Emirates. However, Wenger also went on to say that Arsenal were ‘very close’ to signing Cristiano Ronaldo before he went to Manchester United and would have signed Leo Messi if it hadn’t been for ‘agents’. Just agents, Arsene? Surely the fact he was at Barcelona and you were Arsenal might also have been a problem?
Peppy G has signed a two-year extension to his original three-year deal to manage record-breaking Manchester City. His three-year deal had one-year remaining so if you add the new two-year deal to the remaining one-year on his original deal, how many years does Pep have left in his Etihad office? Very good, well done. Guardiola knows he needs to continue winning things, he said so after signing the new deal.
West Ham United are believed to be giving ‘serious thought’ to paying the £6m release clause to get Rafa Benitez away from Newcastle United. As much as I love having a pop at the Hammers, this could be the most sensible £6m they ever spend. 6m big ones to bring all the fans together, briefly help them forget they watch football in an athletics stadium. 6m spondoolies to get the best out of Andy Carroll and Manuel Lanzini. 6m smackers to turn Mark Noble into Jonjo Shelvey for the last couple of seasons of his career. This is money well spent. Which almost guarantees that West Ham will end up with Paulo Fonseca and it won’t work.
Mohamed Salah’s scoring boots, mint green would you believe, have been placed in the British Museum as part of a special Egypt collection. His boots are next to some very old sandals in a gallery near its mummies. Trust me, I’ve spent ten minutes trying to work out what the gag is for this one and I cannot find it. I just hope they weren’t the ones the Liverpool striker was planning to wear against Real Madrid.
Darren Moore has done well enough to be handed the poisoned chalice of trying to return West Bromwich Albion to the top flight at the first attempt. You would think this is good news, but as I have said over and over in this column Darren should retire now whilst his stock is very high. How many managers, experienced ones at that, bring a club straight back up? Not many at all. Especially when players like Jonny Evans are expected to hot-foot it to Arsenal.
Atletico Madrid’s Sime Vrsaljko clearly made a very good impression on Jose Mourinho when he got sent of after 11 minutes against Arsenal in the recent Europa League Semi-Final. Jose would love to spend the best part of £30m on the right-back. See, I told Jose is planning to win the title by going large on lateral defenders.