Arsecast Extra Episode 30 – 25.08.2014

Arsecast Extra Episode 30 – 25.08.2014

Here’s this week’s Arsecast Extra with myself and James from @Gunnerblog.

On this week’s show we discuss the weekend’s 2-2 draw with Everton, the way the team was set up, the impact of Olivier Giroud and the absence of Lukas Podolski. As well as that we answer listener questions about William Carvalho, how we might fit all our best players in the team, the role of Mesut Ozil in the current formation, striker signings, and what exactly is going to happen with Arsene’s Coq.

Remember, you can send us questions via which we’ll try and get to each week. Send them to either @arseblog or @Gunnerblog (or both) using the hashtag #arsecastextra. Best to send them Monday morning so they get noticed more easily.

Arsecast Extra is brought to you by Audible.com – you can get a free audio book download and a 30 day free trial. Click the banner below to sign up or go to audibletrial.com/arsecast

You can subscribe to the Arsecast Extra on iTunes by clicking here. Or if you want to subscribe directly to the feed URL you can do so too (this is a much better way to do it as you don’t experience the delays from iTunes). To download this week’s Arsecast Extra directly – click here – 32mb MP3.

The Arsecast Extra is also available on our SoundCloud channel, where you can leave comments and such, as well as via the SoundCloud app for iPhone and Android.

You can also find it on the Stitcher podcasting app for iOS and Android. Or, you can listen without leaving this page by using the player below. Remember, you can also leave comments on each episode on Soundcloud, and reviews/ratings on iTunes are much appreciated! Thanks.

Word destruction, transfer thoughts, Jack + Arsecast 320

Word destruction, transfer thoughts, Jack + Arsecast 320

‘Blah blah blah rabble rabble rabble something really racist.’

‘Blah blah blah rabble rabble rabble something quite sexist indeed.’

‘Blah blah blah rabble rabble rabble some bizarre homophobic reference.’

Hey, don’t worry folks. Don’t get offended, it was just friendly text message banter, it’s all right!

I think if I was in charge of the world I’d take the word ‘banter’ and push it off a cliff. It’s tainted beyond all repair now. I was watching a TV show last night and one of the character used the word banter in the manner in which it should be used and even then it made me cringe.

So well done Richard Keys and the LMA (whose statement about Malky Mackay is, possibly, one of the worst things ever written), rather than add to the lexicon, you’re destroying language. Banter, as a word, is now like a house where an entire family was murdered as they slept and the killer drew pictures in blood on the wall then killed himself and haunted the place in the shape of a gigantic clown with wings (the most terrifying thing I can think of).

Once again football shows its disdain to address issues that really matter. Watch Mackay go silent for a while, try to mend fences with a pathetic mea culpa to one of the tabloids, and then get a job somewhere. That’s how it works, right?

Anyway, onto more palatable things and that’s Arsenal’s trip to Goodison Park tomorrow. At his press conference yesterday the manager said that the only doubt was Mikel Arteta (I’m assuming he means on top of Kieran Gibbs’ absence from the Palace game).

Somewhat ominously, he said he’d have the results of Arteta’s scan by 10am yesterday but as of now we haven’t heard anything. Is it a case that no news is good news? I hope so. I touch on the Spaniard and the reaction to his injury in today’s Arsecast, so I won’t repeat myself here, but ultimately it comes to this: You can’t complain on the one hand that we always have players injured then try and justify celebrating the fact one of our players is injured by dressing it up as being a ‘blessing in disguise’.

As for what he might do if the injury is serious, the manager said:

If it’s a long-term injury that puts us in a position where we have to be creative.

Some have taken that to mean that we re-train David Ospina as a midfielder or something as hilarious as that. The feeling I got yesterday from watching the press conference is that we’re still very much in the market for new players and that the final week or so of the transfer window will be quite busy – again though, it seems like Wednesday’s Champions League game is hugely important when it comes to this.

Wenger was asked about transfers, he gave the usual kind of answers about how he’s open to strengthening etc etc, but when asked specifically about signing a defensive midfielder he uhmed and aahed before saying with a smile, “I’m not against that, no.”

So I think there’s stuff being worked on and it wouldn’t surprise me to see us do a bit of business before 11pm on Monday September 1st, when the transfer window closes. That will include players going out as well as those coming in although on any potential departures, Arsene said:

We have had no offers for anyone to leave.

Offers, eh? There’s the key word. Offers does not mean lack of interest, just that nothing’s formal yet. However, we’ll see how it plays out.

Finally, before we get to this week’s Arsecast, Arsene Wenger has urged Jack Wilshere to ignore the critics who have the knives out already for him this season, saying:

I believe at the moment he should not respond to it, just focus on his game. If Wilshere can maintain physically to be fit then he will make a huge career.

Yes, he has not developed as far as everyone expected him to from when he was 18, but that’s because he was injured, not because he doesn’t train seriously.

And you know what, if I had to listen to anybody’s opinion about Jack Wilshere it’d be the man who works with him daily, sees him on the training ground and knows him inside out, and not a pair of witless cretins who are tasked by Sky to analyse football yet one of them, for all his wealth, still can’t a find a suit that fits him well enough so that his groin isn’t poking towards the camera at every moment, while neither of them can speak their own language in the correct tense.

Nobody’s denying this isn’t a big season for Jack, or that he’s got to start fulfilling the potential he’s got, but fatuous psycho-analysis from a pair of morons isn’t something anyone, least of all Jack Wilshere, should pay any mind to.

Right then, time for this week’s Arsecast and I’m joined by author Alex Fynn to discuss Arsene Wenger, the summer, the way the club is operating in the transfer market and the new book he co-authored with Kevin Whitcher – Arsene and Arsenal: the quest to rediscover past glories.

As well as that I look back on the week that was, announce the winner of the book competition from last week (hardbacks still available here), get some ice-bucket challenges from a couple of old friends and there’s the usual waffle.

You can subscribe to the Arsecast on iTunes by clicking here. Or if you want to subscribe directly to the feed URL you can do so too (this is a much better way to do it as you don’t experience the delays from iTunes). To download this week’s Arsecast directly click here – 29mb MP3.

The Arsecast is also available on our SoundCloud channel, where you can leave comments and such, as well as via the SoundCloud app for iPhone and Android. You can now also find it on the Stitcher podcasting app for iOS and Android. Or, you can listen without leaving this page by using the player below.

And if you want to get Alex and Kevin’s book, we have a discount offer for you. Simply go here and purchase with the check-out code ‘Rocky‘. That gives you the book for £7.55 _ postage, instead of the rrp of £12.99. Have at it!

That’s that for this morning, news throughout the day on Arseblog News, more here tomorrow with a full preview of the Everton game.

Arsecast Extra Episode 29 – 18.08.2014

Arsecast Extra Episode 29 – 18.08.2014

Here’s this week’s Arsecast Extra with myself and James from @Gunnerblog.

On this week’s show we look back on the opening day win over Crystal Palace, why it was such hard work, the new boys making their Premier League debuts, and try and figure out why the knives are out for Jack Wilshere after just one game. As well as that we answer questions about Kieran Gibbs, our defensive personnel shortcomings, defending from set-pieces and the apparent change in system, and bird poo.

Remember, you can send us questions via which we’ll try and get to each week. Send them to either @arseblog or @Gunnerblog (or both) using the hashtag #arsecastextra. Best to send them Monday morning so they get noticed more easily.

You can subscribe to the Arsecast Extra on iTunes by clicking here. Or if you want to subscribe directly to the feed URL you can do so too (this is a much better way to do it as you don’t experience the delays from iTunes). To download this week’s Arsecast Extra directly – click here – 33mb MP3.

The Arsecast Extra is also available on our SoundCloud channel, where you can leave comments and such, as well as via the SoundCloud app for iPhone and Android.

You can also find it on the Stitcher podcasting app for iOS and Android. Or, you can listen without leaving this page by using the player below. Remember, you can also leave comments on each episode on Soundcloud, and reviews/ratings on iTunes are much appreciated! Thanks.

Pre-season Palace Palaver + Arsecast 319

Pre-season Palace Palaver + Arsecast 319

Morning all. Just a day to go before the new season kicks off and there’s all kinds of things going on. Not with us, really, but opponents Crystal Palace have parted company with manager Tony Pulis.

I don’t know exactly why. Apparently he and the Chairman have been at loggerheads (not sure if that’s naked in the shower loggerheads – what an image to start your Friday), but clearly it all came to a conclusion last evening. They say Pulis wanted more say over transfers and after winning Manager of the Year last season he’d never have had a stronger bargaining position.

Was he playing brinksmanship on the eve of a new campaign and they called his bluff? Who knows (apart from the people who know), but it’s hardly ideal preparation from a Palace point of view. Whatever you might think of Pulis – and regular readers will know I’m very, very far from being his biggest fan – he did a pretty amazing job there last season.

Does that make our life easier tomorrow? You’d like to think so. Some might talk about the effect of the new manager, but this isn’t a new manager. It’s the assistant, Keith Millen, who I suppose will continue in the same vein as Pulis. A day or two is no time to make your own stamp on a team’s style, so it’ll still be a Pulis-esque Palace we’ll see, but the fact that the manager has gone does create a measure of uncertainty ahead of their first game.

That said, it won’t change anything from Arsene Wenger’s point of view. He’ll have been preparing his team in his own way which, as we know, is more about ensuring they play the way he wants them to rather than worrying too much about what the opposition are going to do.

The good news from yesterday is that Laurent Koscielny is expected to be fit. Speaking to the official site, Arsene said:

Koscielny had a knock on his Achilles but he should be available for Saturday.

Clearly his removal at Wembley was precautionary and he’s come through the week without it being a serious issue. However, given that we follow up tomorrow’s game with a trip to Turkey for a Champions League qualifier and then prepare ourselves for an away trip to Everton, I’d still suggest a defensive recruit is something we ought to be working hard on.

Achilles injuries are not ones that should be messed with but hopefully Koscielny’s rather robust nature will be enough to see him through. He does pick up plenty of battle-ground whacks and aches and strains but never seems to be sidelined for too long. Fingers crossed that continues.

Also from yesterday came video (via his Instagram) of Theo Walcott back in training. On him the manager says:

Theo is, as I always said, end of August or start of September. That is back into training of course.

Which means another couple of weeks, at least, before he’s considered for first team action, but when you consider that a couple of seasons ago he was fit but benched for the opening weeks, it’s not as if it’s unusual for us to be without him. How his fitness affects the team will be interesting, of course. Alexis is likely to be played on the right hand side in the first few games, but that’s very much where Walcott operates.

Does that mean moving Alexis centrally? Or to the left? Will Theo end up spending more time on the bench than he’d like? It’s hard to know and it’s great that it’s hard to know. The fact that we seem to have plenty of options means there are ‘problems’ for the manager to solve but the kind of problem any manager would like to have. ‘Which of these good players will I play?’ is a much more enjoyable conundrum than ‘Which of these two dipshits do I have to pick?’

Meanwhile, with news of teams wanting to take Serge Gnabry on loan, there was a rather vague update from the boss about his fitness. He said:

He is not ready as well. I am not sure about the timeframe at the moment.

His last appearance came in Munich in March and he quietly disappeared from the squad after 1-1 draw with Man City at the end of that month. Whatever injury he has picked up is pretty serious (or weird), especially if the boss can’t provide any kind of schedule for his return. Best of luck to him.

Now though, it’s time for the very first Arsecast of the new season. Although James and I have been doing the Arsecast Extra all summer, the main one is a different beast, but we’ve got a hefty show for you to kick off the new campaign. To begin with, I chat to Philippe Auclair about the summer, the new signings, the overall mood and how it seems we’ve changed our ways in the transfer market. Then I’m joined by Goonerholic to look at the players we already have, how they might improve over the course of the season and more.

As well as that there’s a competition to win a signed limited edition hardback copy of Together: the story of Arsenal’s unbeaten season, and all the usual waffle you have come to expect of the Arsecast. So, get it into ya.

You can subscribe to the Arsecast on iTunes by clicking here. Or if you want to subscribe directly to the feed URL you can do so too (this is a much better way to do it as you don’t experience the delays from iTunes). To download this week’s Arsecast directly click here – 42mb MP3.

The Arsecast is also available on our SoundCloud channel, where you can leave comments and such, as well as via the SoundCloud app for iPhone and Android. You can now also find it on the Stitcher podcasting app for iOS and Android. Or, you can listen without leaving this page by using the player below.

Right, that’s yer lot. The manager will meet the press this morning so we should have plenty of stuff for you over on Arseblog News throughout the day. I’ll also be posting the traditional pre-season preview here a bit later this afternoon, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Have a good one.

Arsecast Extra Episode 28 – 11.08.2014

Arsecast Extra Episode 28 – 11.08.2014

Here’s this week’s Arsecast Extra with myself and James from @Gunnerblog.

On this week’s show we enjoy the thorough dismantling of Man City in the Community Shield, look at some of the stand out performances, and discuss the appointment of Mikel Arteta as captain in the wake of Thomas Vermaelen’s departure to Barcelona. In the second half of the show, we answer questions from listeners about optimism levels for the new season, the reception that might be offered to some returning players, defensive midfield, and which Arsenal players we’d pick to save us from the clutches of an evil, quite despicable indeed, kidnapper.

Remember, you can send us questions via which we’ll try and get to each week. Send them to either @arseblog or @Gunnerblog (or both) using the hashtag #arsecastextra. Best to send them Monday morning so they get noticed more easily.

Arsecast Extra is brought to you by Audible.com – you can get a free audio book download and a 30 day free trial. Click the banner below to sign up or go to audibletrial.com/arsecast

You can subscribe to the Arsecast Extra on iTunes by clicking here. Or if you want to subscribe directly to the feed URL you can do so too (this is a much better way to do it as you don’t experience the delays from iTunes). To download this week’s Arsecast Extra directly – click here – 33mb MP3.

The Arsecast Extra is also available on our SoundCloud channel, where you can leave comments and such, as well as via the SoundCloud app for iPhone and Android.

You can also find it on the Stitcher podcasting app for iOS and Android. Or, you can listen without leaving this page by using the player below. Remember, you can also leave comments on each episode on Soundcloud, and reviews/ratings on iTunes are much appreciated! Thanks.