So Cesc began his pre-season preparations yesterday at Members Day. He took to the field ahead of all the other players, was introduced by Bob Wilson, then spent much of his time with Robin van Persie. The two went all the way to the World Cup final so are some weeks behind the others in terms of their fitness.
Of course his mere presence was the story. Not this his attendance was really in doubt. As long as Arsenal maintained their stance against Barcelona’s onslaught then it was always going to happen. Various reports say that Cesc and Arsene sat down for a cup of green tea after training, Cesc told him he’s going to stay and an announcement making that official is forthcoming and imminent. At which point, I hope, we can draw a line under all this and get on with the rather important business of the football season itself.
Arsenal legend Bob Wilson has slammed Barcelona for their behaviour this summer while The Goon Blog has some interesting bits and pieces from the shareholder’s Q&A. The most newsworthy bit is that Nicklas Bendtner’s ‘small, small’ injury will keep him out until October, not good news. With Robin unlikely to be risked in the first few games there’ll be a lot of pressure on new boy Marouane Chamakh. I doubt he’ll be phased by it, every player would want to have more opportunity to play, but from our own point of view the fuller our squad the better.
I suspect Robin and Cesc will be left at home as the team make their way to Poland for a game against Legia Warsaw tomorrow. This game was part of the deal which brought Lukasz Fabianski to the club. [Insert obvious joke about giving him back/leaving him behind here]. I think it’s being shown via the official website but those of you who are lucky enough to get the dulcet toned Setanta Ireland it’s on live there too.
It’s the final game of our pre-season but what will frustrate the manager and fans is the ridiculous round of international friendlies that are taking place next week. For example, Spain are playing Mexico in Mexico. Cesc has been called up to the Spanish squad, Vela to the Mexico squad. Any vague hopes of playing the captain seem even more so if he’s traveling that kind of distance and we know that it generally takes Vela about a week to recover from any sojourn outside greater London.
There’s a full list of fixtures here, you can be sure many of our players are involved and to schedule these games in the week the new season starts is nothing short of outrageous. And I mean that not just from an Arsenal point of view but for every club. It’s insulting to the clubs and the fans to have international games which are utterly pointless so soon after inflicting that heap of shit World Cup on us. We can only hope that our usual raft of post-friendly injuries don’t scupper us too badly.
And I maintain that somebody needs to set Sepp Blatter on fire. Then put him out. Then set him on fire again. Then put him out. Then … you get the picture. Idiot.
Theo Walcott spells out his ambitions for the new season after admitting Fabio Capello made him a bit teary when he left him out of the World Cup squad. Tears, which I’m sure, turned to tears of relief and joy as he witnessed England’s performances. Anyway, he’s hoping to stay injury free:
The full pre-season will definitely help. It was an on-off season last season and it’s difficult to come back from that. I would just get back and I’d get another injury. This year I’m just going to get out there and show people what I can do. It’s all I can do really.
And it’s true. All any of us can do is what we do and hopefully Theo does more of the bits that he does well and less of the bits that he doesn’t. That’s all all he can do.
As the search for a centre-half continues it looks like the stories linking us with Emlyn Spatchcock are pretty much a load of old bollocks. I expect his signing to be made official by the end of the day.
The Arsenal Supporter’s Trust have just published a survey of their members covering pretty much everything you can think of with regards to the club, from the team’s performance, the manager, ticket prices and loads more. You can download it from here, there’s some interesting stuff.
Apparently Leeds, Hull and Crystal Palace have all had bids accepted for Jay Simpson.
And that’s about that. Just to remind you that the Arsecast will return next Friday. I was thinking of moving it to a different day, and I may still consider that, but it’ll be back next week anyway. Remember as well you can subscribe to the Mailing List and follow Arseblog on Twitter.