Howdy Gooners, how goes it? Are you feeling good on a Saturday?
I had a bit of an unprompted late one, with a beer or two, some rum, a bit of champers and some fine Nepalese food, which was followed by going to bed about 1am watching a programme about all of the crap TV we had in the 80s. It was good. Fun. Enjoyable.
What’s not enjoyable is hearing that Santi Cazorla is still out, meaning that we don’t get to see his smiling face for a while, with Arsene giving an update on the whole squad yesterday in his presser. I actually thought the presser was an interesting one yesterday, because there were genuinely some different questions asked. There was the standard stuff about who’s available tomorrow, which you’d expect, as well as some comments about Giroud and how he’s not guaranteed a spot for tomorrow. That’s fair enough I suppose and to hear Arsene talk about choosing his team based on opponents is actually what I’ve been banging on about for years. Except it doesn’t really seem to be working for him at the moment, does it? We seem to have lost a bit of fluidity in the team with his selection decisions. Perhaps the moral of this story is that as humans none of us are ever entirely happy and certainly nobody is perfect.
So Giroud isn’t guaranteed a start tomorrow and Arsene never really gave any indication on whether he’ll play him or not. Personally I would, because Giroud is decent with his hold up play and I think Bournemouth will sit deep and try to hit us on the counter. To having somebody who loves a wall pass like Giroud does, might come in handy in closely confined spaces. But more on the team and how we’ll set up in a match preview tomorrow. For now, let’s get back to some of the interesting questions from yesterday, like the one about the Emirates crowd having an impact and the muted atmosphere. I’m not quite sure where that one has come from, because I don’t think I’ve seen the crowd any more muted than normal. It’s a difficult one for me to judge though, because where I sit ism in Block 5 and is in the corner where Red Action are, so the atmosphere for every game is very lively.
But as expected, Arsene batted back the comment and said it’s up to the players to get the crowd going. As always it’s a bit of a chicken and egg scenario; a symbiotic relationship that requires both parties to play their part at different times. On Sunday I think it will be muted again. People go out on a Saturday, feel a little hungover, have a bit of hair of the dog and then there’s a 2pm kick off. But if the game starts with Arsenal getting ahead early or there’s some chances that come close, everyone will get warmed ups quite quickly and the atmosphere is quite good.
He was also asked about finishing second in the Champions League and it potentially being a good thing, but I did like that he picked up on the away goal ruling and how stupid it is. Because let’s face it, it is stupid, isn’t it? I mean just take us at home at the moment. Teams are harder for bus to break down at home than away – particularly in the league – so for Arsenal it’s probably easier scoring goals. So why in cup competitions should that count for more? It’s just a bit weird and feels a little archaic if you ask me. Especially if you think that we could outscore PSG on goal difference, finish level on points and still finish second. Weird.
He was asked about Gerrard and all of the recent revelations about child abuse, to which he gave standard responses about Gerrard being great, blah, blah, blah, but I thought he made a good point about the historical abuse and the inquiry at Crewe going on at the moment. The point he made was that it’s not just in football that this disgusting abuse happened, and that it was covered up, and it feels like all of the stuff that went on with Jimmy Saville has been just the tip of a horrendous iceberg that is all beginning to become visible now. It’s good that people are now being held accountable, but you have to question some of these institutions and why people of power have been allowed to cover up their own perverse nature. I suppose you could say that this has happened throughout history, but whilst we sometimes lament the amount of information and data that everyone has at their disposal in modern day life, this is where modern thinking and the ability for people to uncover this atrocious behaviour, becomes so valuable. Because in today’s society we’re holding people accountable for their actions. If you’re a person that is going to commit unspeakable acts, you can and probably will, get found out.
Blimey, that’s all a little deep for a Saturday morning, isn’t it? Still, I think it’s something that needed to be said so I said it.
Right, i’m offski. Catch you tomorrow.