It’s Friday and there’s not that much going on but we still have time for Gabriel Magalhaes’ Arsenal medical, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saying he hasn’t received any paperwork to sign, Lydia Williams undergoing surgery, Arsene Wenger on Serge Gnabry, Sokratis becoming a Papa, and more…
Arsenal news & gossip roundup, Mega Update #5
Arsenal news (men)
Arsenal are getting rid of Pat Rice and Stewart Houston
Pat Rice along and Stewart Houston’s long association with Arsenal is coming to an end as part of the club’s behind-the-scenes restructuring.
According to The Athletic, Rice is no longer needed in his role as a video scout, bringing the curtain down on a 56-year association with the Gunners. Houston, who worked as assistant manager alongside George Graham, had been working as a scout and, as you know, Arsenal don’t use those any more.
Rice made 528 appearances for Arsenal after joining as an apprentice in 1964. He then served as Arsene Wenger’s assistant manager for 16 years before cancer forced him to step down.
Rice helped oversee an Arsenal side that won three Premier Leagues and four FA Cups.
Adidas designer explains thinking behind 20/21 away kit
Speaking exclusively to Football.London, Adidas creative James Webb said: “Season in, season out we want to keep things fresh and keep people guessing. We don’t want to become too predictable.”
Asked about the reasoning behind Arsenal’s newly-released white away strip, Webb said: “The seasonal direction being ‘United By Art and Football’, it made sense to link the Art Deco period with season two [of Adidas’ kit deal].
“From that, you can’t have the Art Deco of the East Stand [at Highbury] without the Marble Halls so that’s why we went in the white direction.
“Equally, we could have toned down the graphic but we wanted a bold, progressive movement, that punk mentality that’s so unpredictable in setting Arsenal aside from all other clubs in the UK and hopefully the rest of the world.
“The marble is going to be a huge talking point because of the contrast with the graphic itself. We felt comfortable delivering that jersey for the fans because, ultimately, the story is going to sell itself, it’s something the fans will resonate with and it’s quite a unique identity for Arsenal.”
Arsenal injury news (men, youth)
No new updates but you can keep up-to-date on all Arsenal injuries and news here.
Arsenal injury news (women)
Arsenal’s Lydia Williams has undergone surgery to correct a problem with her ankle, ruling her out of action for the next number of months. Fran Stenson will step in to replace Williams as reserve keeper for the Champions League quarter final match against PSG Feminines on Saturday.
Arsenal club gossip
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Arsenal dropped more hints that they’re set to announce a contract extension for him imminently.
The S*n, however, are reporting that Auba says the club have still NOT given him a new deal to sign which seems like a bit of a stretch.
“Everyone is showing the pen & paper [emoji] but I still don’t have the papers bruv!” he said in an Instagram live.
He signed off by saying, “Have a good night, enjoy and hopefully great news for everybody.”
Arsenal have an agreement with Aubameyang for a new deal, they just need to get it drafted by their lawyers, his lawyers need to check it and then he will have the papers bruv!
Sokratis changes his mind, wants to leave
Papa has also become a papa…
The S*n think Hector has been smoking
With just a picture of an unlit cig in his mouth the S*n have splashed it all over their website. He’s on holiday with his parents. He’s an adult. It’s not illegal to smoke.
What’s the story here?
Arsenal women news
Arsenal women continue to prepare for their Champions League quarter final match against PSG Feminines on Saturday with a series of interviews with Caitlin Foord.
Arsenal loan news
There have been no new loans or updates but you can stay up-to-date with our Arsenal Loan Watch page which is regularly updated.
Arsenal youth news
Arsenal have offered trial to ex-QPR teenager, Kayden Harrack, next week.
West Ham reportedly ‘looking to offload Jack Wilshere’ this summer
The Hammers ‘will offer to make up remainder of wages’ if team takes him on for less than current £100,000 per-week salary [Daily Mail]
Arsene Wenger on Serge Gnabry
Arsenal let him leave when they desperately wanted him to stay and there’s so much to this story that most people don’t know. Like his serious knee injuries that put a question mark over his playing future, which was the reason Arsenal delayed renewing his contract, or Bayern Munich signing him directly from Arsenal via a back door, something even the media and Wenger said happened.
“Let’s not forget Gnabry, I bought him at the age of 15 from Stuttgart and he was injured a lot,” Wenger told beIN SPORTS after Bayern beat Lyon in the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday evening.
“He’s creative, he can score goals, right-footed, left-footed, good power, good penetration, very, very clever with the timing of his runs. His tendency was a bit too easy, like I told you about with young, talented players.
“But he has matured a lot and he is one of the dominant players now in Germany.
“No, no [I didn’t want to let him go]. We had an agreement with him. I had given him out on loan to West Brom and he didn’t play a game, came back, he was injured.
“We worked with him very hard for six months and he went out with the German national team under-21s. Bayern made a deal with Bremen and in the end he didn’t want to extend the contract [at Arsenal].”
Could you imagine if this had been a Liverpool youngster?
We’d still be hearing about it. As it stands, Arsenal are just idiots for letting him go according to the vast majority of the media, even though they did all the could to keep him and the player really did owe Arsenal more loyalty than he showed.
Gnabry says, however, in his heart, he wanted to stay with Arsenal.
Arsenal transfer gossip
Gabriel has reportedly has his Arsenal medical
A number of outlets then followed suit with the Daily Mail saying on Saturday morning that Gabriel Magalhaes ‘completes Arsenal medical’ ahead of move to the Emirates from Lille ‘but Serie A giants Napoli still remain hopeful of late hijack for the Brazilian defender.’
The year is 2025. The media are reporting that Arsenal are ahead in the race for Gabriel Magalhaes, but Napoli are still involved, & don’t rule out United!
Fans flinch when they hear his name, rocking back & forth muttering “it’s the player’s decision now” under their breath.
— Dan Critchlow (@afcDW) August 21, 2020
Non Arsenal football news
Ruud Gullit is keen on taking Netherlands job after Ronald Koeman’s departure for Barcelona. It had been reported that Arsene Wenger had personally requested the Dutch job after saying no to Barcelona, but the Frenchman denied those rumours.
“If the national team comes and they ask you, of course (I would take it). It is an honourable job and I think every Dutchman who gets an offer like that would consider it,” Gullit told BeIN Sports.
Manchester United’s Harry Maguire is in a bit of bother
From @ManUtd: "The club is aware of an alleged incident involving Harry Maguire in Mykonos last night.
Contact has been made with Harry, and he is fully co-operating with the Greek authorities.
At this time we will be making no further comment."
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) August 21, 2020
The Daily Mail reports Michael Ballack is recovering well after undergoing surgery to remove a tumour during the coronavirus lockdown period.