This week on ‘The Weekly Education’, I evaluate the potential
signing of Wayne Rooney and give my reasons as to why I think he’d not only be
a great statement, but an excellent addition to our squad. I also look at our
obsession with Cesc Fabregas that has once again surfaced amidst rumours that
Manchester United are interested in signing him and why it proves we all still
Finally, I’ll be putting into words my (and many Gooners) desire to
have Thierry Henry return to Arsenal in some kind of ambassadorial capacity a
la Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid.
The good, the bad and the
ugly: Why I want Wayne Rooney at Arsenal?
If you’d asked me this time last year whether we had a hope in hell
of signing Wayne Rooney, I probably would have laughed and wagged my finger at you
as if to say “good one!” A player who we all love to hate because of his
nastiness and dogged approach, because he loves scoring against us and because
he plays for the old enemy: Manchester United, signing for Arsenal? “No
chance”, I would have said and I’m sure many still do. However, now we find our
beloved club linked with this player who I must have referred to as “scum” on
many an occasion, but you know what? I love it. I love that we’re linked with
him. I love imagining him moving down from Manchester and sticking two fingers
up at the club and he who shall not be named. I love that there is a slight
possibility that we could do what they did to us last summer and end up with,
in my opinion, one of the best and most complete strikers in the world.
Now, as much as I love imagining those scenarios, the potential
transfer is still a very long shot. I’ll give you that. But here’s the other
side; here’s why it may make sense for both parties…
Wayne Rooney. It’s a name that I could say anywhere in the populated
world and have a good chance of getting a response from at least one person.
Now I wouldn’t go as far as quoting Master Gee from The Sugar Hill Gang and
saying that his “name is known all over the world/ by the foxy ladies and the
pretty girls!” No, I wouldn’t do that. Why? Because he’s about as ugly as
‘Sloth’ from The Goonies. Anyway, back to my point… Wayne Rooney is one of
Football’s great commercial assets. The talented English striker who took the
world by storm from a young age was the perfect man for Manchester United as
they complemented each other off the pitch as well as on it. In my humble
opinion Arsenal, being the financial savvy club they are, will see Rooney’s
commercial worth as something that may play into their hands, especially with
out growing global outreach and increasing number of impressive commercial
deals. The only reason that Arsenal would smash their wage structure, is if
they had a guaranteed (or near guaranteed) return on their investment. If you
look at other big strikers that are still available, such as Edinson Cavani,
they have nowhere near the commercial worth of Rooney, yet would expect similar
wages. For that reason alone, out of all the bigger strikers we’re reportedly
interested in, for me, Rooney actually makes the most sense financially.
As much as people would like to disregard it, Rooney does ‘fit the
mould’ as it were. He’s Premier League proven, English and versatile. Three
things that I think will make him a very attractive potential signing for Mr. Wenger.
In my view, his experience of winning in England would only help our players,
especially in those difficult points in the season when we wish we had someone
who had been there and done that. His intelligence and versatility on the
football pitch (as I don’t think he has much off it!) would fit right into our
team. Imagine him linking up with Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and
Oxlade-Chamberlain in a loose 4-4-2? Sitting behind a target man like Giroud
and connecting midfield/wings to attack effortlessly. That’s not even including
the goals he’d score!
Don’t feel embarrassed. Let Wayne penetrate your mind *pukes* and
join me in imagining what he could do for this team. It’s dirty and it’s
slightly sickening, but somehow it makes me happy…
I love Cesc Fabregas. There, I said it. I can’t deny it, he makes me
feel warm and fuzzy inside, especially when I imagine or remember him playing
with that gun on his chest. It just feels right. I’m adamant that those Barca
toss-pots don’t love him like we do and that the whole transfer was Pep
Guardiola’s wet dream and Barca’s PR masterstroke. I feel like now that Pep’s
gone, Cesc is feeling less and less wanted at his boyhood club and may just be
looking over his shoulder into Arsene Wenger’s adoring eyes like a young child being
taken off to boarding school for another term. Maybe I’m getting carried away
in my own imaginative dreamworld, but maybe there really is a chance the
Spaniard could yet return to Arsenal.
Some people try and tell me that they don’t want him back. Some tell
me that the way he left was disrespectful and that they’ll never forgive him. I
say: “Don’t kid yourselves!” Look at the way we all wait on every
Arsenal-related word he says or start crying over the utterly ridiculous rumour
that he may be joining Manchester United! We love him and if you’re in denial,
you probably love him more than most.
Put simply, Cesc was one of the most talented midfielders I have
ever seen play at The Arsenal and, yes he may not be a legend (far from it),
but deary, deary me, the boy can bloody play. Not only can he play, but he is a
leader of men with a passion and vitality that I value more than most other
attributes, especially in the modern game. Now, I don’t mean to make this
harder than it already is for most of you, I’m simply making the point that we
will always ‘need’ a player like Cesc and anyone who argues otherwise is a
In my opinion, there is always a chance that Cesc may return to The
Arsenal. Will it happen this summer? Maybe. We can only wait and see. Like I said,
I love Cesc Fabregas and I think he loves us, too.
The much needed ‘Return of
I was watching the Sky Sports interview with Thierry Henry on
Wednesday morning and thinking to myself: “This guy is exactly what we need in
and around the club”. It’s been mentioned before and is by no means original,
but I wanted to stress why I think it’d be a very good move to appoint Thierry
in an ambassadorial role of some kind.
As I understand it, he wants to play out the remainder of his
footballing days and then will push for/be offered a role at The Arsenal. I
think that’s bloody brilliant for a number of reasons.
Firstly, he is a man who wholly understands what Arsenal are all
about and what it means to wear an Arsenal shirt as a player. Therefore he would
be an excellent person to have influencing players and ‘selling the club’ as it
were. Zidane does this excellently at Real Madrid; he is an icon who players
look up to and manages to either directly or indirectly persuade promising and
I’m sure even world class players to join or stay at the club. Similarly, Henry
is an inspiration to many footballers and widely regarded as one of the best
during his peak. By having that iconic image combined with both his passionate
desire to see the club to well and understanding of the club, he could
certainly prove a very useful tool for attracting talent.
Henry said that:
“It’s very difficult
to see Arsenal playing, one day, without Arsene on the bench. It’s going to be
However, hopefully on and beyond that day we will still have the
King at The Arsenal.
Until next week.