Sorry folks, would love to have something interesting to say on this wet and drizzly London Sunday morning, but with all of the players still away on International duty, I’m really not inclined to bother. It does not interest me in the slightest whether Ramsey played and scored an assist, or if Alexis has a super game against Brazil, or if Gabriel gets his first cap for Brazil. This is the time of the season when we should all be focused on the Premier League as we race towards the potential of a trophy and a Champions League place, yet we have to contend with the football equivalent of picking from the bins around the back of a Tesco Metro.
International football is boring. All it serves to do is possibly take away some of our players, with Welbeck being the man on the radar now with a slight knee injury that rules him out of the Italy friendly in midweek. If that means he’s out for the Liverpool game again, we’re back to the ‘international gets injured’ klaxons going off as Arsenal players come back as the walking wounded. If he had a man-of-the-match performance then great, that’ll help his confidence, but if we don’t see the benefit of that display because he’s out for a few weeks, then I’m sorry but it might as well not have happened.
I’m in a grumpy old mood this morning, eh? Probably because the clocks have gone forward, which means I’ve had an hour less sleep, as well as the fact I don’t have Arsenal to focus my attention on. I’m not even going to the game next weekend, as I’ll have to contend with watching it from round the corner of Winston Churchill’s old house (long story, I’ll tell you later).
At least I’m off to see Burnley versus Arsenal at Turf more in a few weeks time, plus my tickets are in for the FA Cup Semi final, so give me a wave if you see me on TV – I’ll be front row to the left of one of the goals wearing some sort of stupid shorts or something no doubt. All this is to say, I’m really at a loose end to say anything new. Perhaps I should invent some sort of story? After all, that’s what the newspapers do all the time.
I tried it once when I was a kid. I made a newspaper/newsletter all about Arsenal when I was in school and I printed off a load of copies and tried to sell it to my mates who were all Arsenal fans. I called it the ‘Arsenal Times’. Bit of Clip Art tinkering and I even had a decent font for the masthead. Didn’t sell a single copy for the first two editions, because it was about real stuff happening at Arsenal. Then I decided I would just make up rubbish about transfers. So I started with Matt Le Tissier to Arsenal in a world record transfer and I managed to make about £3.20 in my school through sales. It was enough to buy myself a couple of Cokes, but wasn’t enough to pay the printing cartridge and paper costs, so I was shut down by the old man. But the important thing was that I knew that people wanted to hear inaccurate, mindless, fictional drivel from me.
That’s when I started wanting to be a journalist. Until I got to sixth form and realised that a) I couldn’t just write about Arsenal all the time, and b) it hardly pays megabucks. So I went into Marketing. Much more up my street. Anyway, enough of me…
…Why doesn’t Mesut Ozil speak English on camera yet? He’s been in the UK for about a year and a half and we know he speaks some English, so I’d have thought he’d be able to hold a conversation with a journalist/Arsenal Player interviewer. It is a bit weird. They say (who? I don’t know, just the universal ‘they’ used to describe a body of people that you can’t be arsed to go online and research where a phrase came from originally) that if you immerse yourself in a culture that you should be able to learn the language within about six weeks. Perhaps the problem with modern day football is that the footballers are so cocooned in their own world, that they don’t feel they need to pick up the language as quickly. Added to that the number of Germans already in our team, it means he feels more at home with fellow players who speak his own language as their mother tongue.
I think Reyes was the same. He basically hung around with Spanish people all of the time, never really tried too hard to learn the language and subsequently, never actually settled. He never properly learnt English and so I do wonder if he ever really felt like he was part of that Arsenal team that he joined during the Invincibles season. Which is a real shame because he looked like a real prospect at the start of his Arsenal career.
Football is about ability, it’s about being in a team that gels, but it’s also about having people who are willing to work hard to be a success. Reyes was an example of a person that isn’t prepared to work hard for success, which is where I think Mesut differs, because he’s gone through a difficult period in his footballing life with his form suffering post-World Cup followed by injury, but has now come out of that and is looking really good at the moment. Long may his good form continue and I’m sure as he gets better at Arsenal and spends more time at the club, the language barrier will be broken – at least from the interviewing perspective.
Anyway, that’ll do for me today. You have a good one, y’hear?