A Thursday morning press conference before a Saturday 3pm game? It’s almost as if Arsene was as bored with the international break, so decided to drop a line to the press team to bring forward the presser by his normal Friday morning job, just so he could put this dreaded period behind him snd save us all another day of having to wait before we start talking Arsenal.
I for one was overjoyed when I heard it was yesterday morning. It meant that the weekend’s football can officially start. Sadly, there was still a little too much about why Theo couldn’t perform for England, whether Southgate is too nice, plus his own future as a possible manager of the national team. I’m pretty sure he put the speculation of England on the back burner with his response on his own future, but was quick to praise Southgate and defend Theo. He told the journo that asked about Theo, that he was a bit harsh, but personally I’d have offered a slightly different assessment as to why Walcott couldn’t replicate his Arsenal form:
Because England are sh*t. They’ve been sh*t for some time and when you take a good player and put him in to a sh*t team, it can happen that they play a bit, well, sh*t.
Seems perfectly logical to me, no?
Hopefully we can ignore all future stupid questions relating to the perennial underachievers that is the England national team. I’m just pleased we can ignore that the national team even exists for the next month. It’s all about The Arsenal now.
And so it is with a game against Swansea and it’s Bob Bradley’s first in charge of his new club. Arsene obviously had nice things to say about the man, but there’s always that worry of new manager syndrome, so I’m sure he’s wary of the response of the Swansea players. Let’s face it, it’s not as if Swansea haven’t done us over a couple of times at The Emirates, so we need to ensure that the momentum of the pre interlull remains in the team. The good news is that we don’t seem to have picked up any injuries from international duty, but Olivier Giroud’s mysterious foot injury still keeps him out. Unless he’s developed some form of acute leprosy, i’d start to questions whether or not he’s going to get any game time at this rate. I know Arsene gave a good overview of exactly why he’s been out so long, but something smells a bit fishy to me. He’s been sat on that naughty step since PSG away and I would have thought Arsene would have had him back in the team by now. Perhaps Arsene is fast-tracking Perez, having seen how much the mobility of Alexis, Theo and Iwobi has worked? That might be a decent enough explanation. After all, we all know how much Giroud slows the game down when he’s in the team and if the blueprint has been set with what Arsene has seen over the last few weeks, perhaps it has informed Arsene’s decision and we’ll see a phasing out of the Handsome Frenchman.
That would be a shame, because he’s a good player and has been effective for us for many years, plus he offers an alternative. The thought that Arsenal have a plan B and plan C is certainly an attractive one to my eyes, so I’d be sad to see that we’re discarding one of those because we have a naughty boy who was naughty in France a month or so ago. We’ll just wait to see on what happens with this particular narrative, I suppose.
The other injury which continues to irritate is the Ramsey one. Arsene gave a bit of an update here too. I think this one is a little more believable, because we all know how much Arsene loves Rambo and over the years has always tried to find room for him in his team, even if it’s not quite in his natural position. Added to that, you’ve got the fact that he’s had a fair few injuries, so naturally you’d expect the club to be extra cautious. When he is fit though, if the team is performing well like it did before the internationals, it’ll be a fight for the Welshman to get in to the team.
Arsene also gave the two fingers to a possible bit of Barca tapping up with Bellerin, by telling the world that these days, where you originally come from doesn’t matter. Perhaps he’s right, but perhaps there is a little hint in there about the history of Arsenal players heading over to Barca. Overmans,Petit, Vermaelen, Hleb, and Song all failed to really impress at all. Henry managed to have a good season, but he was a special case and as for Fabregas, well if ever there was an example of a boy ‘going home’ going wrong, that would be it. Personally I think Bellerin would be more of a success than Fabregas if he goes, because right back is a little more forgiving than central midfield and Bellerin wouldn’t have the same level of competition that Fabregas had. However, I still want to see him tell Barca to bugger off, so when the inevitable tapping comes up let’s hope he does that.
And, my friends, is just about the from me for today. The Management got some not very nice family news yesterday, so I’ll be travelling up north with her, meaning I’ll miss the game. But back tomorrow with a match preview, and I thank the internet for iPhone streams :-).