Morning folks and welcome to Tuesday, which will probably be the last of the regularly released rambling utterances from yours truly on here, because in about 13 hours from writing this I’m off to New Zealand for a few weeks. I’ll try to get a few blogs and thoughts penned in during that time, but because of time zone differences it’ll probably be a bit random I’m afraid.

On the plus side for me (or so I thought), I was thinking on Sunday that this week would probably go off without much Arsenal palaver to be honest with you; we’d delivered a comfortable (in the end) win against Burnley, a fair few of our rivals dropped points, we were heading into the International break tedium. So of course the footballing gods decided to give us something to chew our lips over, didn’t they!

I am of course talking about the fact that:

  1. Martin Odegaard took a ball to the face last week and got concussion, which is only really filtering out to the mainstream media over the last couple of days.
  2. Gabriel Jesus is ridiculously being told to report for training in Brazil despite being injured and not playing for us for about three weeks.
  3. The PGMOL have supposed ‘warned’ Arsenal that they will release the tapes of the calls on the Newcastle goal that patently should never have stood in the first place.

So, what do we reckon then, eh?

On Odegaard

In some weird way, when I read that news I was sort of glad, because it means that protocols were being observed, Arsenal were doing the right thing and all of the checks and balances were kept on player welfare. But more than that, an injury anywhere other than a players’ legs or lower body usually means a smaller amount of time out. As a result of him not playing he is also not picked for Norway and that means that he will get some much needed time to recuperate and hopefully that means we get a fully recharged and raring to go Martin when we face off against Brentford away from home in just under a couple of weeks time. The Norway manager did sound a little bit miffed that Arsenal were – as he put it – ‘reserved’ about the injury he sustained, but anyone who’s watched a single minute of Mikel Arteta talking away from the pitch, will know exactly why – he wants to give nothing away.

But what he and the club have admitted is that Odegaard had been playing through the pain a bit before the concussion injury, I think with a hip problem, so the fact that he now has a solid two week’s to recover from that, will hopefully mean that particular niggle goes away. And besides which, Norway have a friendly against the Faroe Islands and their last group match in the Euro qualifiers which they can’t qualify for either, so it’s not as if it matters that he stays at home. Which is more than we can say about the other contentious point for the day, which is…

On Gabriel Jesus

Honestly, how much of a joke is it that he has to travel thousands of miles across to Brazil to be told that he’s still injured, eh? If Arsenal were trying to be careful with the player – which they should be given he’s already picked up a couple of knocks this season that have meant he’s spent more time out of the matchday squad than in it – why on earth wouldn’t Brazil have come to a sensible discussion on the best thing for the player? There are so many ways in which this could have been handled better and if Gabriel Jesus goes out there not fully fit, gets banjaxed because he hasn’t been able to properly rehabilitate, Arsenal will be spitting feathers. And they’d have every right to. We are the ones that pay his wages, we are the ones that have him with us much more than they do and we are the ones with which his longer term fitness is of more importance. Brazil can just play him, destroy him, chuck him back for three months knowing it doesn’t impact them. It’s a disgrace.

If they aren’t happy with the situation from the last time the international break came around – which was one flipping month ago by the way (FFS) – then surely they could have a medical staff member travel over to the UK to run tests and report back. Why do they need to have him in Brazil? Because they don’t really give two craps about him. He’s just an asset to be used and chucked back to the club to pick up the broken pieces of. There’s nothing the clubs can do either, because of the rules that have been put in place to mean national teams have even more power than they should have already.

I do wonder what this might do to the relationship between the club and the Brazilian national team. I would have thought given the number of Brazilians we have, as well as the presence of Edu at the club, that there would be quite a good relationship there, but perhaps not.

Still, at least that isn’t as much of a joke as the PR exercise that is…

PGMOL releasing the Newcastle tapes

Honestly, what is the point in it at this stage, other than for it to become a heavily redacted PR exercise to make Howard Webb appear as though he’s delivering some kind of faux transparency. They released the Scum/Liverpool footage pretty sharpish after the incident, didn’t they? So why has this taken around 10 days to release? Because they want to line up their story so Arsenal appear as though we’re the ‘bad guys’. We’re the ones that were mean to the referees and as a result they need to drive home that point having also enacted phase one which was to get high profile ‘mates’ who work at Sky to say things like “disgraceful” and “unacceptable” when referencing Arteta’s words and Arsenal’s subsequent statement. That was last week, then this week Howard Webb can ride in acting like some kind of beacon of truth when in fact we all know the reality; he’s just picking up where Mike Riley left off and is keeping some of ‘the Lads’ in the game when in reality so many of those people are just not fit for purpose.

It’s a joke, but then again that is PGMOL’s modus operandi these days, isn’t it? Notice how it was ok for Carragher and Neville to criticise European referees and their application of VAR, but wo betide you if you call in to question the competency of people they can have in the Sky studios on a Monday night.

I think that’s probably enough ranting for one day from me. I’ve got a day of desk-jockeying before a flight from Heathrow, so I should probably get on and do some work.

Have a good one folks.