In my work life I have to podcast. It is not as much fun as talking about The Arsenal but I do enjoy it. So when you have to record a podcast and you’ve lost your voice, it really does throw a spanner in the works.

Anyhoo, back to The Arsenal, who were generous enough to take time away from their primary objectives and existence as a club who makes football transfers, to play some actual football, which was nice of them. Unfortunately I was at a work event and as a result saw the square root of naff all of the game, but I’ve watched the goals and seen a few bits of the highlights, so I am of course totally qualified to dissect the game and give it a 1000-word analysis that you should absolutely believe every word of…

Of course the slight worry from yesterday is those knocks to Odegaard and Trossard that Arteta spoke of at the end of the game. He mentioned how Martin picked up something in his calf in the warm up and whilst we don’t really have enough information to start getting all fearful about him right now, the hope is that it is precautionary. By the sounds of it I suspect it was just a little tweak he felt and they decided not to risk it with three weeks of the pre season remaining until we play Financially Doped Nation State FC, but if it is anything more than a precaution you wonder about how it might impact his start to the season. I’ve been speaking over the last week about how missing chunks of pre season can have an adverse effect on players as they start behind schedule compared to their peers, so even if this is something that means Odegaard is out for a couple of weeks, it is hardly ideal preparation for your captain to be missing this vital part of pre season.

The same is true with Trossard and you hope that both can get back up and training within the next week. If that is what happens then this is just a simpleton bloggers irrational worry, but what we don’t need is for players to start breaking down before we’ve even got going. On the upside though, William Saliba got some much needed minutes under his belt and I think given how his season ended, we can all be pleased that his back injury seems to have healed itself. Of course we don’t know for sure, but having him out there getting 45 minutes as part of his recovery was certainly one of the plus points of the game yesterday.

What was also a lovely plus point was the goal from Saka. It felt like a very ‘Saka-esque’ move as well, didn’t it? Picking the ball up on the right hand side, driving in, then cutting back before rifling the ball into the net – it feels like it’s kind of becoming a bit of a special move of his. You know how Thierry used to do the ol’ “open up body when bearing down on the left hand side and stroke the ball past the ‘keeper? Or how Merson loved the ol’ “outside of the boot pass/shot2? It feels like Saka and his close control, cutting in and then finishing from the right hand side is going to become a trademark of his play in the coming years. Let’s hope so because if he keeps on doing it and it keeps on hitting the back of the et, it will never get old as far as I’m concerned.

Speaking of concerns, I’m sure Karl Hein will have one or two following his boo-boo for the Nurnberg goal, eh? He dallied on the ball a little too long when it was played back to him, he played a poor pass to Jorginho and whilst we all know it is not as if he’s being dropped in to play that Community Shield game in a few weeks time, I think him as our third choice ‘keeper hardly fills me with immense reassurance. I’m sure I heard somewhere – maybe on a podcast or something – that Arsenal are looking at potentially bringing in an experienced head as a number three and based on that and a couple of other moments yesterday, you can kind of understand why. It wasn’t a great look for anyone but I guess the reality is that this was the first proper pre season match and there will be plenty of rust knocking around, so there’s probably not too much to get all bent out of shape about.

And so we are underway. The team travel to the US this weekend and then they begin the pre season tour stuff in the States and I’m sure we’ll get plenty of news coming out from that which will hopefully be interesting to tune in to. There’s talk of Besiktas going after Holding for €2.5million but whilst he’s clearly not getting game time this season as and when we confirm Timber, they have obviously not got the memo that we’re a fire sale club any more. So if you want Bob and his hairline, you need to cough up the coin, guys. I suspect something around the €5million mark will probably do it for Arsenal, who do need to start looking at those outbound players now that we’ve got most of our primary targets in at the club.

Right, that’s me done for today. I’m off to a nice restaurant in Islington tonight so I might swing by the ol’ place this evening if the weather is looking nice. See if they’ve started to put up the Rice and Timber banners yet.

Catch you all tomorrow.

Peace out.