Today I’m feeling the effects of a summer cold, which I am medicating by rubbing sachets of Lemsip Max onto my gums before gargling with Tesco Value Scotch. Now I can’t answer the phone but I haven’t noticed any sickness for about ten minutes.
The news today regarding the Arse is that there is no news. Cesc has not travelled to Cologne and Twitter was awash with ‘Cesc on strike’ rumour. The official line is, of course, that he remains injured. AW was quoted on the club website as stating there was “no movement” regarding the situation with Barca. Does that mean our position hasn’t changed and nothing is happening, or that the club are in further negotiation with a Barca delegation (headed, supposedly by club VP Bartomeu) but no agreement has yet been reached?
I have no idea what the real position is. However as I suggested in my last post, it was difficult to see where Barca were going to find the money for Cesc, and that was before they bought Sanchez for an initial £25m or so. So are their statements simple posturing for the benefit of their supporters and the Spanish media? This seems likely to be the case, as far as I can see. It just has the look of a PR operation to make us appear intransigent and obstructive.
On the subject of intransigence, we still don’t seem to be any closer to securing a new defender. If you’re on Twitter you may be familiar with @HayleyWright, who was suggesting talks with Everton regarding Jagielka were at an advanced stage. But, as usual we’re in the dark. At this stage I’d take Jagielka, or Cahill, or Samba. And leave Squillaci at the Eurostar terminal at Waterloo.
Unless a defender is signed I can’t see us being much more resolute at the back next season. Vermaelen is returning of course, but out policy is to rotate and even assuming we stay reasonably injury free, which on recent experience is unlikely, I fear it will be impossible to be consistently effective in the middle of our defence. I hope I’m proven wrong.
I have a back-up plan, however, which involves hiring a necromancer to resurrect the body of Wilf ‘The Ironman’ Copping and then getting him re-registered as a player. Wilf would provide just the physical presence we’ve been lacking – i.e. he’d put the fear of shite into every opposition striker from now until the Olympics. This was the guy who said “The first man in a tackle never gets hurt”.
Jesus, we’ve missed that kind of attitude. He was never booked or sent off during his career as a pro, though in fairness referees were a little more tolerant in those days. Unless you decapitated someone with a machete you were likely to stay on the pitch.
The only problem with this plan is finding a necromancer who can do the job. I’d make some calls myself, but I’d be a little concerned that I’d be confronted on my doorstep by a Scandinavian Satan-worshipping death metal band called something like ‘Analthrakk’ who’d set fire to my house and nail the neighbour’s cat to my dustbin.