Early derby chatter + Arsecast 324

Early derby chatter + Arsecast 324

Morning all and welcome to the day before the North London derby. It’s a Friday too so that means another hard week of work is over (unless you have to work all weekend and that).

The early team news ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Sp*rs is that Mathieu Flamini might be back after missing a couple of games with a dead leg (he probably exacerbated the injury by two-footed tackling his own leg for being such a yellow-belly), but apart from that we don’t have any problems bar the long-termers.

The injury fears over Per Mertesacker and Kieran Gibbs have eased and even with that they were both fit enough to be on the bench in midweek. Laurent Kosciely got a nice rest so he should come back in, and Calum Chambers will continue at right back with Hector Bellerin and his wondrous hair of delight providing some back-up on the bench.

There’s still no Theo Walcott but that shouldn’t be a surprise. A couple of weeks ago he shot down the idea that he’d be making a return for this one. And while it would be good to see him back in the side, it’s not as if we don’t have options for his position.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played there against Villa and I expect Alexis to come back into the side tomorrow so he can continue his goalscoring run and begin a sequence of scoring against them in almost every game in a Piresian fashion (I know Bobby shares that record with both Alan Sunderland and Emmanuel Adebayor, but if I said something were Adebayorian you’d think it was gauche, ostentatious, indolent and had a shirt number monogrammed into it somewhere and, frankly, ain’t nobody got time for that).

Speaking of Alexis, the Ox spoke about him yesterday and captured his attitude ahead of this game. He said:

Alexis and Jack played 90 minutes the other day and they’re usually on second-day recovery, but today Alexis really wanted to train and people had to tell him to take it easy. That just sums up how much everyone wants to be around the squad and training, and I think he knew we had a massive game coming up this weekend and, as a new boy, it’s good that he does know that.

Obviously everyone else that’s been here and been involved in a north London derby knows how big it is, so that just proves the intensity goes up in training and everyone just wants to be around and pushing for a start.

There’s a fear sometimes that the players from abroad won’t quite understand the importance of the game, and that might have been true for one or two over the last few years, but I wouldn’t have any worries in that regard now. Not only is there an English/British core that will ensure the full weight of expectation is known, we’re also dealing with players well used to big games.

Mesut Ozil and Alexis, for example, know only too well what a derby is like. They’ve experienced El Clásico as well as more local derbies against Atletico and Espanyol. Ok, in Spain it’s two massive teams rutting like stags and for this game it’s one massive club and a bunch of wannabes who want to build a stadium way too big for their fanbase and who can’t even build the stadium because a bloke likes to make sheet metal there so they’re going to have to do a groundshare with QPR or something and then, after finally coming to an agreement with the metal people, there’ll be some unexpected delay to the planning process due to an appeal and ENIC will get fed up and sell the club to a bunch of venture capitalists who will assess the business, declare it a serial under-performer, asset strip the whole thing, before turning the old ground into the world’s largest Aldi, but they’ll understand the importance nonetheless.

When you see Alexis sprinting his bollix off to chase down a ludicrously over-hit corner in a Capital One Cup game against Southampton, there’s no doubt he’s going to make life really uncomfortable for the Sp*rs defence tomorrow. And if his attitude is in any way infectious then that’s no bad thing either.

Not a lot else going on at this stage so we might as well get on with this week’s Arsecast. Joining me to discuss the Capital One Cup, how the youngsters fared, system tweaks and the either/or situation with Ramsey and Wilshere when it comes to midfield, is Adrian Clarke.

There’s some chatter about money, the competition winner from last week, a strange find in the archives and all 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, 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.

We’ll have all the latest team news and press conference chatter over on Arseblog News throughout the day. More from me tomorrow.

Have a good one.

Arsecast Extra live: tickets now on sale

Arsecast Extra live: tickets now on sale

As we mentioned on this week’s Arsecast Extra, we’re going to be doing a special, live podcast on Monday October 6th.

Tickets for the event are on sale now at £10 + booking fee and as it’s a relatively small venue they’re quite limited. The event takes place in the bar at Union Chapel on Upper St. Doors open around 7pm, the recording starts at 8pm.

James (Gunnerblog) and I will do the usual look back at the weekend and considering we play Chelsea on the Sunday there’s bound to plenty to talk about one way or the other. Then we’ll have a guest to join the chat, and we’ll close up the with the usual Arsecast Extra Q&A session.

The whole thing will be recorded and available as a podcast late on Tuesday (as I’ve got to get back to Dublin to put it all together).

Anyway, if you’re interested in coming along, the tickets are available now direct from the Union Chapel website

Click here to purchase tickets

Hope to see you there.

Arsecast Extra Episode 34 – 22.09.2014

Arsecast Extra Episode 34 – 22.09.2014

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

On this week’s show we look back at a hilarious Premier League weekend, take some time to laugh at our rivals (hey, take it while you can get it), as well as our performance and win against Aston Villa. Then we answer your questions about the Capital One Cup team, Aaron Ramsey’s form, Calum Chambers, which Premier League manager we’d turn into what animal, and give details of our exciting special event. Get it into your aural cavities.

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 – 38mb 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.

This Arsecast Extra was recorded with ipDTL.

Questions galore for Arsene Wenger + Arsecast 323

Questions galore for Arsene Wenger + Arsecast 323

Morning all.

Yesterday my phone started breaking right before my eyes. Firstly, the speaker stopped working so I can’t hear any sounds unless I’ve got headphones in. Then, without warning, the screen started coming off from the rest of it. This morning, I was fully expecting to find it disintegrated on the floor beside me, but no, it was still intact – but the speaker was still knackered so I didn’t hear the alarm.

This meant a very involved dream I was having about how Archer (my dog) and other dogs owned by actor Timothy V Murphy (for a short time my boss in a Dublin nightclub and now he’s in stuff like Sons of Anarchy) were kidnapped by Asian pirates and I had to stop them with a gun someone gave me hidden in a frozen fish and it only had two bullets in it.

I got onto their boat, where a load of people were dining, and quietly told one of them, “If you want to get off this boat alive, keep very calm”. At which point he got up shrieking and blew my cover. It probably wasn’t the most subtle way of going about things. So, thanks Google and LG for the Nexus Crapsus 5. Less than a year old too. If only the new iPhone did cost as much as a bar of gold.

Anyway, here we are and anxiously awaiting the manager’s press conference this morning. They’re always fun after a midweek defeat so we should get loads and loads of pre-Villa hilarity about the team, defensive depth, players not doing what we want or need them to do, or why.

Or, to put it another way, the bloke from Sky will ask him some completely random question about something else entirely because that’s what’s on the Sky agenda for this weekend.

“Morning Arsene, if terrorists kidnapped Tomas Rosicky and would only let him go if you did a ground-share with Sp*rs, who are you planning on buying in the January transfer window?”

Fun, fun, fun. I do hope we get some good questions because there are good questions to be asked this week. I suspect the manager will want to play down the Ozil situation as much as possible, because he hates making things into things, even if the thing is already thing, and let’s be honest, we’ve got a thing going on with Mesut. Yet, much as he was keen to dismiss the idea that there was an inherent weakness with us when we kick off at 12.45, he’s not going to admit much beyond the fact that Ozil hasn’t played as well as he can.

But it would be interesting to hear if he’d expand how he’s being deployed and how the team is set-up this season. As Tim Stillman points out in his column this week, he’s not doing it because he’s having a good laugh or taking the mick, there must be a good reason for it. It’s definitely not something the players feel particularly comfortable with yet, but I doubt Wenger’s reasoning is arbitrary or whimsical or because he doesn’t know anything about football.

“Morning Arsene, in the light of the vote in Scotland, taking into account that Wojciech’s Szczesny’s distribution has been poor this season, what are your plans when the transfer window opens again?”

Apparently today is the day that we find out if Mathieu Debuchy will require surgery on his ankle. On his Facebook page he said he had a ‘broken ligament’, which may mean torn or may mean snapped or twisted or who knows. That, as we know, is a massive blow due to our lack of defensive cover, and the way we’ve been picking up injuries this season makes those worries even more intense. It seems like every game something happens. If it keeps up we’ll have to resort to playing in those gigantic inflatable bubbles.

I’m doing my very best to avoid sinking in the mire over this particular situation. With the transfer window closed a few weeks now, and all that time to try and make sense of it, my feeling is that we were certainly trying to bring somebody in but failed. Having had an entire summer knowing Vermaelen was going, we must have had targets, but couldn’t do the deal to bring one in. Whether that failure was scouting, managerial, administrative or a combination of all of those things is irrelevant now, but it’s one which, if things go even just a bit badly, could prove one of the biggest in recent seasons.

“Morning Arsene, people have said that bird suddenly appear, every time you are, so with Joel Campbell waiting in the wings for his chance, who are you buying in January and for how much and when are you buying them transfer transfer transfer badger badger badger?”

Right then, time for this week’s Arsecast and I’m joined by Dan Levy of France 24 to discuss all the midweek fun in the Champions League, Mesut Ozil’s struggles, how the team is trying to come to terms with the new system and loads more. I’ll give you the winners of the Paul Vaessen book competition, a chance to win a copy of the new Arseblog book Together, we’ll hear from the Angriest Man on Twitter and there’s all the usual waffle besides.

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 – 31mb MP3.

The Arsecast is also available on our SoundCloud channel, 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, we’ll have all the press conference news and updates over on Arseblog News. More from me, including a full preview of the Aston Villa game, tomorrow.

Until then.

Arsecast Extra Episode 33 – 15.09.2014

Arsecast Extra Episode 33 – 15.09.2014

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

On this week’s show we look back at the Man City game, the postives and negatives of the result and performance, Jack Wilshere’s impact and the injury to Mathieu Debuchy which has left us in such a precarious position defensively. We also answer questions about Hector Bellerin, Mesut Ozil’s struggles to influence games the way he should, reveal why dinosaurs couldn’t invent the fine arts and lots more.

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 – 39mb 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.

This Arsecast Extra was recorded with ipDTL.