Hello hello fellow gooner. Happy Tuesday to you. I hope you’re getting through this international malaise by entertaining yourself with many enjoyable things. Like ham. Ham is a glorious thing, especially when it’s thick-cut, so if you’re a fan of the hog you should definitely eat and enjoy ham.
As you’ve probably already guessed, there’s very little going on at the moment, so I suspect today’s blog will be cut somewhat short. Plus, I’m off to a vineyard today, so I don’t want to delay my middle-class excuse for drinking wine at 11.30am on a weekday.
There’s a story doing the rounds from Diaby today, who has been interviewed about his time at Arsenal and his career in general and having read it this morning, it’s hard not to once again feel a little sad for the carer of a very talented individual. There are plenty of Arsenal fans who will say that the club paid him handsomely enough and yes, he doesn’t have to worry about money, but imagine being prevented from doing what you love. Not only that, imagine having to be so close to everything, by going along to where your teammates are and watching them. It must have been quite a blow psychologically to a guy who seems decent enough.
All because of some North Eastern mug who was completely unnecessary in a challenge at the end of a game.
Diaby had some brilliant flashes and the way he could glide past players with the ball at his feet, made him such a joy to watch, a joy we’d probably still be enjoying now were his fortunes to be better. You hear stories about how when footballers can’t play football, many spiral in to depression and the Gary Speed story is one of the saddest of them all, but it serves to show just how mentally strong a player like Diary must be. He suffered setback after setback, injury after injury, yet is still fighting to play football. I hope he can get the 20 games in a season that he craves, because it’d be great to hear that he’s had somewhat of a renascence at Marseille as his career inevitably draws to its conclusions.
Elsewhere, it appears the Arsenal gravy train for players linked is still chugging along, as West Brom are about to offer Johnny Evans a bumper pay deal now that Arsenal have ‘failed’ to land him. Those kind of headlines are laughable now, especially as Arsenal have clearly got a better option, an option that was first choice ahead of Evans anyway, signed sealed and about to be delivered back to London Colney this week. You’ve got to love that media narrative and click baiting. I know i’m also partially to blame for even linking to the article, but given we’ve done our business, we can all have a laugh at the hyperbole of the journalist. Than afterwards, we can all just mentally black list him as another click-whoring nobody and avoid his articles in future. Simples.
So we ‘missed out’ on Johnny Evans, which we’re all sooooo sad about, but if we can drag ourselves from our self-imposed grief, let’s all take time to have a look at our new German international, World Cup winner. I watched the video this morning and found the comment about the role Mesut played interesting. Not least because we get an indication on exactly how long this transfer had been bubbling along under the surface. The Euro’s were in June and finished by mid-July, yet Mustafa and Ozil were talking about the club at that time. I always underestimate the impact other players have in moves, you know. I think I get so myopic in my view that footballers will go where the money and then trophies are, I forget that actually these guys are human and they make friends at work like we all do. Mustafi has everything to make him a great player at Arsenal and when you think how Gabriel has struggled at times with the language, etc, you wonder whether all of the conditions are right for us to see Mustafi become the leading figure in our team.
Time will tell, it seems, but I have a positive feeling. Everything just feels right about this transfer. It ‘feels’ like he’s the right age, speaks perfect English, has a contingent of friends and there is enough competition to challenge him. I think there will be an adaptation period given that it’s a new team, but hopefully he’ll come through that initial phase and emerge ads one of our key players. I remember when Big Per first arrived. Everyone said he’s too slow, he could never adapt to the Premier League, but he became one of the first names on the team sheet and I still think he’s got loads to offer the Arsenal team. He may have a contract that runs out at the end of the season, but I can see Arsene extending it, because he’s already spoken about the value of his personality in the dressing room.
That kind of support network can help new players like Mustafi bedding in and if it means he finds his best form quicker, then all the better.
Right, off to sample some grape, so I’ll see y’all tomorrow.