Date:Friday April 25 2008
Ever laid awake at night and wondered what that infernal noise coming out of nowhere was? You're lying there, everything is still, not a soul about. And there's this infernal tapping. If it's in the month of april or may, then the chances are it's emanating from a sporting director/manager/player from a club in Italy or Spain, busy tapping up one of Arsenal's players.
Like Roberto Mancini for example, who earlier this week announced that Aliaksander Hleb was one of his close season targets.
Well, obviously Arsene Wenger couldn't sleep that night because of the taping, and boy, is he pissed about it. Setanta Sports quote Wenger's friday press conference, where Le Boss put it shortly and sweetly:
Statements from inside the club saying they are interested in our players, without calling us that is not acceptable.
You would never hear me saying that. If I am interested in a player I go to the chairman.
The newspapers may have the speculation but for a club to come out with a statement like that and not even call... I think it is disrespectful. It is illegal.
But we have not gone as far as reporting it.
I bloody well wish that we would. It's been said many-a-time before that Arsenal's PR machine may lag behind that of ManUre and Chelski somewhat, and this would seem to be an area where it does. It's like an annual event - not a season goes by without some player or other being tapped up, potentially unsettled by underhand antics.
To be fair, I'm not sure if much would be done by the authorities were Arsenal to report Mancini or Inter for an illegal approach, but it might serve to make clubs think twice before coming round trying to unsettle and then snaffle our players away.
Date:Friday April 25 2008
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