So, gotta be honest, absolutely no idea what to make of this.
It’s been a mad hour or so for Arsenal fans on Monday night – and football in general, probably – as the world learned of a raft of changes all set to take place at the Emirates Stadium.
Andrea Pirlo’s testimonial, despite all eight of the first half goals, just hasn’t seemed to be enough. Alexandre Pato looking like the world’s greatest footballer while on the field with Francesco Totti, Alessandro Del Piero, Pirlo himself, Andriy Shevchenko and Clarence Seedorf (despite that banger of a header he just scored) hasn’t seemed to be enough.
Why? Well, this is why.
UNAI EMERY IS GOING TO BE ARSENAL’S NEW MANAGER. NOT MIKEL ARTETA. It’s probably the most underwhelming big surprise in football history. Ever. Emery has just recently been relieved of his task of managing Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, and had flown in to London for talks earlier in the day on Monday.
Things moved at a rate of knots, and the Ornacle himself, David Ornstein, announced to the world (as we were getting set for some football played at a tempo Jose Mourinho would be proud of) that Emery was the man to replace Arsene Wenger at around a quarter to eight.
It had appeared to be Mikel Arteta who was the man with the plan. But Ivan Gazidis found that his feet were a bit nippy and changed his mind, instead leaning to the more experienced Spaniard, who’s actually won some Europa League titles with Sevilla. Might well do Arsenal some good next season, tbf.
This, though, was preceded by the official news from the club, an hour before, that the one and only Santi Cazorla – another Spaniard – was to depart. His most likely destination was Villarreal. Time now to throw you over to tha Twittah, to see how you guys digested the double header of breaking news.
To Emery, the response was mixed…
To Cazorla, it was not. They loved the guy, and with good reason.
But as outlandish and frankly, weird, as the Emery news was, Arsenal were not done. Not yet by a long shot.
Instead of just letting us all digest what was going on ahead of the Emery announcement this week, the club’s official Twitter account then insisted on letting us know a whole host of new squad number changes ahead of next season. It’s May, remember. May.
Despite being chastised for time by Arsenal fans, Petr Cech was handed the number one jersey.
Hector Bellerin was next, getting that number two shirt he admitted he was eyeing up just recently.
Again guys, it’s May. The domestic season literally finished two days ago.
But they weren’t done there. Next, Mohamed Elneny.
Nope, not done there either. Granit Xhaka will now be failing to fill crucial pockets of space as the opposition attacks in the number 34 next season. It’s his favourite number, as this little video points out.
I’m currently hoping that Arsenal are done for the night, to be honest. I’ve missed a bunch of Italian blokes do awesome stuff on the pitch really slowly. So I’m going to go and do that again now, hoping that you can save this weirdness for another day.
I’ll leave you with one more, though.