I don’t know how Mikel Arteta does it you know. Or Tomas Rosicky. Yesterday evening I lumbered my way around a five-a-side pitch for an hour, picking up two blood blisters on the soles of my big toes, as well as aches in parts of my body that I didn’t know could get aches.
Perhaps it was the fact I haven’t played any kind of football since last summer, but at 32 years old my body still hasn’t come to terms with the fact I can’t prepare for football in the same way as I did ten years ago i.e. Leather the ball at a ‘keeper for five minutes. Warm downs were a waste of time. Not any more they’re not. Ice baths? You’re having a laugh my friend. So the fact that Micky and Rozza can both get themselves through matches and training in a week deserves a tip of the cap from me. Metaphorically of course, because I’d look a little silly a) wearing a cap in my suit, and b) tipping it to apparently nobody as far as the other commuters on this Metropolitan line train are concerned.
As far as Arsenal are concerned it is all eyes fixed towards Sunday’s game against literally the most hated team in the world. In the papers yesterday I saw an article saying that people respect the points total Chelski have amassed, but not Chelski, which is probably quite accurate. The Chelski assistant boss to Jose has been quoted as saying he doesn’t know why Chelski aren’t being given more credit. It’s the kind of inward-looking arrogance, added to a list of other unsavoury factors, that pretty much speak for themself if you ask me. From the fan base to the management, the very fact you have a senior member of the coaching staff whining about why everyone isn’t rolling out the red carpet, tells you all you need to know. They complain the most, harass the refs the most, have the single most bleaty manager in the world – complaining about he media ‘campaign’ then using the media to perpetuate his own agendas in acts of extreme hypocrisy – and have a catalogue of players who are just, well, unsavoury. Divey, rascisty, spiteful (Cahill on Alexis) and arrogant, they will never win any popularity contest. If we win the FA Cup we’ll get double the fans in Islington in the following days.
That’s why this poxy record they have against us is even more nauseating. They have the Indian Sign over us and I’ll be honest, I’m not expecting much more than a draw on Sunday. Chelski will let us have it and catch us on the counter. But more of that in the days to come.
As a quick aside – does it still feel weird to hear Cesc talking about coming to the Emirates for a win – as an opposing player? His largely anonymous self in the second half of the season has helped to make me forget about him, as has my own refusal to watch Chelski scrape another game through a ‘keeper error or similar fortune, but with him appearing in front of us again on Sunday we can’t ignore him. I just hope the game passes him by.
As for us, it’s the ankle of Big Per that we’ll all be concerned about, but I suspect we’ll have to wait a couple of days for any kind of announcement will be made. I’d be surprised if he’s back for the Chelski game, but in Gabriel we have an able deputy, so I think we’re covered. For the big effin’ German it will be more gutting if he’s ruled out for any prolonged period of time. Not just because it could mean he misses out on the final, but also he could end up losing his place altogether, if he’s out and Gabriel plays well enough to retain the first XI jersey. That’s the luxury Arsène has at the moment, as Theo and Jack are finding out to their detriment, but if it means that we are continuing our good form then I’m all for it.
It’s all still rather quiet in the Arsenal world at the moment, which is exactly what we want ahead of Chelski, because no doubt Maureen will stoke the fires towards the end of the week. So let’s just continue to bask in the fact we have an FA Cup Final ahead of us and enjoy the rest of the sunny week of weather we have.
Catch y’all laters.