Layth Yousif's opinion column: Rivals ready to pounce as Arsenal stay silent
PUBLISHED: 10:42 25 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:50 25 June 2017
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It's that time of year when loyal Arsenal fans conduct their summer checklist.
FA Cup win celebrated with ales for as many weeks as humanly possible: Check.
Arsene Wenger renews managerial contract on back of domestic cup success: Check.
Season ticket renewed on the back of euphoric optimism? Possibly.
Season ticket renewed on the back of habit and loyalty: Check.
Noises coming out of the club hinting at ‘major’ signings. Check.
Club goes deathly silent in updating fans on aforesaid ‘major’ signings. Check.
Team on the verge of being weakened by not offering its established stars the contracts they deserve. Check.
Club continues to be deathly silent in updating fans on aforesaid ‘major’ signings. Check.
And repeat ad nauseam.
To jumble John Cleese, Bill Murray and baseball legend Yogi Berra – it’s not the hope that kills you, it’s the prospect of Groundhog Day making it feel like de ja vu all over again.
For Arsenal not to sign Kylian Mbappe is not something that leaves you frothing at the mouth,
Let’s face it, can you see anyone at the club signing a check for more than £100 million for the ridiculously talented Monaco forward? Beating off Real Madrid in the process?
Never mind the lift it would give the entire club, nor the statement of intent Arsenal would show the world by such an improbable act?
Nor the goodwill created by such a dream signing possibly allowing the beleaguered Wenger a modicum of breathing space from fans opposed to him.
Because we know in our hearts without a David Dein to facilitate a deal it won’t happen. Despite noises from the club we are soon to clinch the signing of someone who can sign players. And how utterly Arsenal-ish is it the contract of a person employed to sign players hasn’t actually been signed yet?
No, what will stick in the craw, and cause howls of outrage, frustration and resentment among legions of fans is the fact Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud appear to be on their way out of the club – because no one in authority has seen fit to offer them what they’re worth.
Oh the irony of ironies – just as The Ox appears to have found his best position as wing-back and set to excel in that pivotal position – we let him go without a fight, and to London rivals.
Ditto the loyal Giroud, who only wants to play for The Arsenal.
Of course we won’t ever win the league with him as our first choice forward. But we can certainly win it with him in our squad, coming off the bench to net vital late goals as he did so this term.
To see them leave will be a kick in the teeth – to them and to Arsenal fans everywhere.
Disappointment in the close season? Check.