Hello, welcome to Sunday.
If you’re hoping for plenty of action-packed, cliff-hanging, edge of seat, thrilling and spilling Arsenal news then I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed. The only spilling this morning is my coffee from out of my new Bodum©®, and even that was only a little bit.
If there were a micro-community living in the grooves on the counter-top it will forever known as ‘Scaldy Tsunami Sunday’, when all of a sudden it rained a massive lump of brown liquid, but I doubt there is and it took only one sheet of kitchen towel to clean it up. Yes, it’s that kind of Sunday.
Some of the papers are talking about Roy Hodgson having ‘concerns’ over Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain because he didn’t play as well in the 15 minutes of the second half he was granted as he did in the first. Hodgson explains:
I thought he’d been very good through that first half. He’d done what we wanted him to do, and what I’d selected him to do, extremely well. But we’d made it clear to him we intended to take him off after 60 minutes, so I think he forgot to play in those first 15 minutes of the second half. That will be an interesting lesson for him as well. Especially when I tell him.
Now, far be it for me to offer advice to an experienced football manager such as Hodgson, but perhaps a) it’d be better not to tell a player you’re going to take him off after 15 minutes of the second half and b) wouldn’t he be better off hearing it from said manager first rather than reading it in the papers? Point a) in particular seems pertinent to me. If a guy has had a good first half – something Hodgson freely admits – telling him you’re going to haul him off doesn’t make much sense and is hardly going to inspire and enthuse said player.
I suspect it’s probably about him keeping his focus at all times, and it might not be a bad lesson to learn, but the more I think about this more I genuinely don’t give a fish’s tit. Frankly, fair play to Hodgson for only giving him an hour, it’s 30 minutes less chance of him doing himself some damage and missing Arsenal games. England play Ukraine on Tuesday and the Ox will probably start because Hodgson does seem to love him, so let’s hope for more of the same (in terms of uinjuredosity, not substitutions and that).
Elsewhere, Abou Diaby wants to revenge. Not on Dan Smith for shattering his ankle. Not on Paul Robinson or Michael Essien for compounding his injury problems with horrible tackes. No, he wants revenge on time itself. He says:
I have revenge to take over the time I lost but I want to prove to myself that I can go higher. I am getting to an age and to a time in my career where I need to show what I can do on the pitch in the long term.
It was my destiny, it was written [to come back]. I had to fight to put an end to all those injuries and to be able to express myself on a pitch again.
And yeah, we’ve done the whole ‘It’s great he’s back thing’ and ‘I hope he stays fit’ stuff. I like the idea of having revenge on time. And other stuff we don’t normally think of. For example, after another miserable summer I would like to revenge on Mother Nature. Perhaps starting with small stuff, like ringing her doorbell and running away, and having some pizzas delivered that she didn’t order, but in the end it would get epic.
‘Thirty days of rain, eh? How about this?!’, I would exclaim very quietly to myself as I transplanted John Terry’s head onto her cats body before injecting said abomination with Highlander’s blood so it lived forever and spent its days mounting cats that weren’t its wife whilst falling over at the most inopportune moments
‘Below average temperatures in June and July? Take this!’, I would bellow softly before installing an elaborate speaker system throughout her house which would then play Stairway to Heaven all day long. Forever.
‘Not quite warm enough to barbecue at 8 in the evening? You wicked witch!’, I might gently shriek before erecting a McDonald’s sign outside her house so that when she woke up there would be hundreds of foreign language students all sitting about on the road outside making it slightly difficult for her to get past.
As a concept it is wondrous. Diaby, like Tomas Rosicky, has missed a lot of his career through injury. The Czech spoke last season about how his ‘football age’ was only 29. Based on Rosicky’s calculations and the application of a Eulerian theorem (Euler? Anybody. Euler? Euler?) I estimate that Diaby’s ‘football age’ is a mere 23. They are, quite literally, Time Bandits.
And what better place to leave a Sunday blog than that? Till tomorrow.