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.

Arsecast Extra Episode 27 – 06.08.2014

Arsecast Extra Episode 27 – 06.08.2014

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

On this week’s show we discuss all the Arsenal news such as the Emirates Cup, what happened at the Emirates Cup, what the Emirates Cup taught us and so much more. As well as that we answer your questions about the signings we’ve made thus far and if we’ve really made progress, a hypothetical (but possible) choice between Arteta and Flamini, who we’d like to stay injury free for the season and figure out one player we really need to bring in before the transfer window closes.

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.

Arsecast Extra Episode 26 – 01.08.2014

Arsecast Extra Episode 26 – 01.08.2014

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

On this week’s show we discuss the signings of Calum Chambers and David Ospina as well as what Carl Jenkinson’s loan spell at West Ham might mean for him. As well as that we answer your questions about potential further signings, Jack Wilshere as ‘DM’, why aren’t any young centre-halves breaking through and, on the occasion of his 83rd birthday, our favourite Kanu moments.

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 – 28mb MP3.

You can also listen directly from this page using the Soundcloud player. Remember, you can also leave comments on each episode on Soundcloud, and reviews/ratings on iTunes are much appreciated! Thanks.

Arsecast Extra Episode 25 – 21.07.2014

Arsecast Extra Episode 25 – 21.07.2014

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

On this week’s show we discuss the signing of Mathieu Debuchy, the first pre-season friendly at Boreham Wood and the manager’s comments about his transfer plans. As well as that we answer questions about Arteta, Flamini, Ryo Miyaichi, what kind of centre-half we should be bringing in and what to do if given a difficult choice by an evil wizard.

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.

This week’s Arsecast Extra is brought to you by Explora, a phone rental service for people travelling to the USA. For just $8 per day you get a phone with unlimited nationwide calls, texts and 4G data. Tell them where you’re staying and they’ll have the phone delivered and waiting at your hotel when you arrive.

You save all those ghastly global roaming charges plus they pack the phone with handy apps designed specifically for US travel. And the best part, if you use the code ‘ARSEBLOG’ you can get a 10% discount. So, if you’re heading Stateside this summer, or any time in the future, check out Explora’s phone rental service.

EXPLORA

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 here42mb MP3.