After an emergency meeting held at London Colney on Monday morning following the Carabao Cup final defeat, Arsenal’s decision makers are believed to be ready to take the drastic step of cancelling the contract of Gunnersaurus Rex from the end of the season.
Despite changing the assistant manager, transfer negotiator, chief scout, performance coach, first-team coach, head of Academy, and even the tactical formation to surf the back-three wave, Arsenal have still been unable to identify the cause of the ingrained frailties which plague the squad no matter how many players they buy and sell.
The exact cause of this problem is certainly proving a perplexing one to identify. Even a manager with vast experience like Arsene Wenger has been unable to identify or rectify it. He has, however, pledged to remain at the club until the problem, whatever its cause, is fixed and will only charge £8m-a-year to do so.
“What is important is we look to the next match,” Wenger told the media after the decision had been made. “But it’s true, the situation is far from ideal. After the uncertainty surrounding Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, and Jack Wilshere, what is important for this club now is stability and a clear direction moving forward. If the board feel this move will help the club I am willing to work with whoever they bring in. I’ve worked with other mascots before, this will not change how I do things.”
Arsenal have tasked Raul Sanllehi with finding a replacement for the beleaguered dinosaur who was brought to the club by Peter Lovell in 1994.
Asked about the possibility that Rex could be shown the exit door, Lovell told me exclusively, ‘If they ever touch the mascot, we’ve got to revolt,’ and he seems to capture the mood of a number of fans who refuse to accept that a dinosaur could have such a negative effect on the playing staff or that it explains what they have been witnessing on the pitch for a number of seasons.
Others, however, are prepared to protest to ensure the dinosaur’s removal although it’s not clear how much impact, if any, their decision to boycott the game against Manchester City on Thursday night will have on the decision-making process behind the scenes.
The final decision is said to rest with Stan Kroenke who is believed to be such a fan of the dinosaur that he has Jurassic Park bedlinen at his world famous Waggoner Ranch.
Who Arsenal might turn to, to replace Gunnersaurus, is causing much speculation with many suggesting the inexperienced Ozzie the Ostrich, Dodo Dave, or Kos the Kakapo as possibilities.
The club have also been linked with a move for West Brom’s Baggie Bird Jr, said to be unsettled under Alan Pardew and available for a knockdown fee should the club be relegated at the end of the season.
A number of others are out of contract at the end of the season or in-between jobs after being sacked mid-season, but fans holding out for Clam, the one-eyed human that spent a brief spell as Barcelona’s mascot in the 90s, are set to be disappointed.
“Clam is only interested in Champions League clubs,” representatives of the cyclops told me this week. “He has had many offers since leaving Barcelona at the turn of the century, but he’s waiting for an opportunity that matches his experience.
“That must include Champions League football with a side capable of winning two-legged ties against teams that have been in existence for more than 30 years.”
Whatever happens, it seems clear that the Arsenal hierarchy are set on removing a dinosaur from the club this summer.
One can only hope that this will finally help the club arrest their current slide.