Baskary Sagna, that Catalan lad + Arsecast 318

Baskary Sagna, that Catalan lad + Arsecast 318

Happy Friday to you all.

The week of FA Cup basking is coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to bask if you feel like it. Especially as it’s the weekend and some lying around smiling to yourself as you replay that goal from the Welsh Jesus again. And again. And again.

I managed to get the whole thing downloaded (in 1080p HD an’ all), but really haven’t had time to look at it properly since I got back to Dublin. I think, at some point (when book mountain dwindles), I’m going to sit down and watch it all again, from pitiful start to glorious finish, over a few beers or glasses of wine.

No nerves, no sweating this time because I know how it turns out and when it turns out. And I might text some random people to say ‘We won the cup’, and then I’ll hug the dog who won’t mind at all because he loves hugs, especially FA Cup winning ones.

At some point the glow will fade, I know that, but I’m determined to keep it going just a little bit longer. When you look at what else we have to deal with between now and the start of next season, with transfer speculation and the rest of it, it seems sensible to stay grounded in some kind of delicious FA Cup Winners 2014 reality.

As you might expect there’s not a lot going on this morning. A few more stories emerged yesterday about Bacary Sagna going to Man City and if that’s the case, then so be it. The man played his heart out for us for seven years, never gave less than 100% and was with us through the one of most difficult and frustrating periods. He didn’t agitate like a van Persie or a Nasri, he stuck with us, and now that his contract is done he’s perfectly entitled to go where he likes.

Would I have preferred if he’d gone abroad? Sure, but it doesn’t taint anything he’s done in red and white for me. When Man City can pay a 31 year-old £100,000 a week for three years and pay him a substantial signing on fee which would essentially bump his weekly pay to the £140,000+ mark, then I’d suggest that’s hard to resist. And while I’m sure the money on offer has played a part in his decision making – because what Arsenal were offering wasn’t too far away from the City package really (and certainly an awful lot of money by any standards) – he’s also going to join the Premier League champions.

Whether he plays as much as he’d like with Zabaleta in front of him, who knows? Frankly, I don’t care. Maybe they have plans we don’t know about. The bottom line for me though is that as much as I wanted him to stay, when a player gets to 31 you’re going to have to replace him sooner or later. And by that I mean sooner.

His departure should come as no surprise to the manager or anyone at the club. I was told way back before Christmas that he was nailed on to go, so there’s no reason at all why we should be caught on the hop by this one. A decision should have been made by now. If we’re going to replace him via the transfer market, then that deal ought to be as close to done as possible at this point. If it’s an ‘internal solution’, then we’ve got Jenkinson and Bellerin who would vie for that position.

Personally, I think we’ll make a signing. While there have been a couple of less than successful captures in the manager’s tenure, he has brought us two of the best right-backs in the club’s history in Sagna and Lauren, so let’s hope he can replicate that and not Ebouefy it.

There’s also a gansey-load of Cesc talk and while I’d take him back in a heartbeat I just don’t really understand why Barcelona would let him go. With Xavi not getting any younger, and Alex Song just an injury away from being a first team regular, the idea of letting a player of his quality go makes no sense to me.

Still, if they want to do it, I think we should bite their hands off. ‘Where would we fit him in?’, people ask. How about we cross that most interesting of bridges when we come to it. I mean, it’s not as if we have loads of players who get injured all the time whose absences cost us dearly so having super-quality across the squad would help us cope with that, or anything.

Oh.

Plus he could get the band back together with Rosicky and Flamini and Hleb could be his butler. I still think it’s fanciful, but then isn’t most of it?

Right, time for this week’s Arsecast and it is the final Arsecast of this 2013-14 season. The ‘cast packing its bags and heading off the beach (although looking out the window here this morning it would want to pack its galoshes and bring a warm jumper as this has been, so far, a very Irish summer. Boooo!).

Anyway, I’m joined by Goonerholic, Tim from Arse2Mouse, the Man from East Lower and Andrew Allen to look back on winning the FA Cup, what it all means, what might happen this summer, as well as the season as a whole picking out some of our favourite bits for your aural delectation. It’s over an hour long so extra value this week.

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 – 46mb 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.

Remember though, that your Arsenal podcast needs will be taken care of as Gunnerblog and I will continue the Arsecast Extra throughout the summer.

Now, a day of packing and posting ahead. Till tomorrow.

Arsecast Extra Episode 317 – 19.05.2014

Arsecast Extra Episode 317 – 19.05.2014

Here’s this week’s Arsecast Extra: I’m joined as always by James from @Gunnerblog.

On this week’s show we look back on the FA Cup final which saw us win a trophy after some number of years that nobody can remember. It’s full of cup final thoughts, plus your questions about Arsene Wenger, his hat, 4-4-2, our favourite goals of the season, which is the most delicious Arsenal player and much 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.

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 here31mb MP3.

The morning after + an FA Cup special Arsecast 317

The morning after + an FA Cup special Arsecast 317

*boilk*

Good morning from the second most uncomfortable bed I’ve ever slept in, and from a very warm London. It’s the morning after the book launch and it was fantastic to see so many of you there. Your appreciation for what we do on the site is great, but coming along and buying a book to support that goes a long way to help us continue doing it.

I do have to say thanks to Martin, Louise and all the staff at The Tollington for everything they did to help organise, and of course to Mrs Blogs and the Mugsmasher for their hard work – along with Tony, Nic, Shelley and of course my bearded co-author Andrew Allen.

The book itself really does look fantastic, and if you couldn’t make it last night we’ll be there this evening again if you fancy popping down for a beer and chat. There are going to be signed copies in The Tollington over the weekend and beyond too, so all your Arsenal unbeaten season book needs can be solved there.

Just to reiterate, the book will be available online from next week when I get back to Dublin, and the eBook will be released then too. Anyway, it was a fun evening, lots of Gooners in the one place, having a few drinks, in the build-up to the cup final, with everyone in good spirits, you really can’t get much better than that.

Obviously as yesterday was something of mad day, I didn’t see a great deal of what was going on in terms of the rest of it. A cursory glance this morning sees Mikel Arteta talking about what the final means, saying:

When you win a trophy it will look very different for us. With the history we have in the last eight or nine years without any trophies at all obviously it can be a great turning point. I think when you get to that line and you win, it creates a lot of confidence and builds something special. It will be something special between the players, the fans, the staff.

He also hit out at Jose Mourinho for his comments earlier this season:

I don’t like it when someone criticises my team-mates, the staff, the manager, the club because I see what he does every day to look after this club. When they are right maybe you can accept, everybody makes mistakes. You can criticise the manager, whoever, but when it comes in a certain moment in a certain way I don’t like it.

You know what? I like that he doesn’t like it, because that’s the way it should be. Some people might say it’s a negative to focus on a negative – and let’s face it, Mourinho is about as negative a negative as there is – but sometimes you need that too, and every little extra bit of motivation for this weekend is very welcome.

Now though, I’m going to get straight on with this week’s Arsecast because trying to work on this bed is genuinely painful and I’m liable to do myself more damage unless I wrap things up.

As it’s cup final week, I spoke to Amy Lawrence, Philippe Auclair, James from Gunnerblog and Goonerholic about their FA Cup memories and asked them the big goalkeeping question about tomorrow’s team. I also chat to Dara O’Briain who talks about the cup and the AFC Foundation ball last week that he hosted (including a rather hilarious Emiliano Viviano tale). And it all wraps up with three time FA Cup winner Martin Keown. We chat about the build-up to the final as a player, what it’s like preparing for the game, and loads more.

Martin was speaking ahead of this weekend’s match at Wembley Stadium connected by EE. Fans heading to Wembley this weekend can download the official Wembley app, created by lead Wembley Stadium partner EE. Visit ee.co.uk/Wembley.

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 here32mb 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 that. Maybe see some of you later at The Tollington or over the weekend. There’ll be a full FA Cup final preview tomorrow morning too … *gulp* … it’s very real now.

But would you swap it for anything else? You’d be mad if you would. Up the Arsenal.

Arsecast Extra 16 – 12.05.2014

Arsecast Extra 16 – 12.05.2014

Here’s this week’s Arsecast Extra: I’m joined as always by James from @Gunnerblog.

On this week’s show we look back on the final day of the Premier League season, goals for Ramsey and Jenkinson and what a Fabianski start might mean for the FA Cup final this weekend. Also, listeners questions about defensive midfielders, Puma, Bacary Sagna’s hair, and which Liverpool player might devour Carl Jenkinson

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 here31mb MP3.

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

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.

Arsecast Extra 15 – 05.05.2014

Arsecast Extra 15 – 05.05.2014

Here’s this week’s Arsecast Extra: I’m joined as always by James from @Gunnerblog.

On this week’s show we discuss the exhilarating win over West Brom and the fact that Arsenal’s place in the top four is assured, as well as comments by Arsene Wenger on his future. There are also questions from listeners about possible returns for Carlos Vela and Cesc Fabregas, who will replace Bacary Sagna at right back next season, Charlie Adams’ teeth, plus you’ll find out which of the presenters is going to find a unique method of transport in the future.

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 here28mb 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.