How is it possible to have a dream so awesome between the 9 minute snoozes that you wake up feeling mournful because you wanted it to go on for ages but instead the stupid phone went off again and then you have to get up and its cold and not at all awesome like the dream?
The sooner somebody invents a Sky+ kinda thing for dreams the better. ‘Oh, gotta get up. Never mind, I’ll come back to this later!’ Come on all you young scientists, make it happen.
As we play early tomorrow the manager’s press conference took place yesterday and there’s not much in the way of team news. Mikel Arteta is fit, which is hugely important, while Jack Wilshere ‘might’ be available. I suspect he’ll probably make the trip but may start on the bench. There’s no word about Thomas Vermaelen who failed to make the squad for Palace, so I’m assuming he’s out. Our lightness at centre-half worries me, it really does.
I didn’t realise that we’d been the only team to stop Suarez and Sturridge scoring in a game they’d started together this season, and we dealt with them very well at the Emirates. The manager says the best way to stop them is to keep the ball away from them and:
To dominate the game and leave them as few balls as possible. That will be one of our targets of course. At Liverpool the task might be a bit more difficult but the philosophy on our side has to be the same – to master the ball and to have the ball and to dominate the game.
He also spoke about the upcoming DEATHRUN1, saying:
Mentally we are prepared and we have shown a great response throughout the season when we had difficulties. Physically we are prepared as well. It depends how many injuries we have because we need to rotate and it’s important that we have as many players available as we can. Big injuries can of course question the end of the season.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that we’re not scuppered by tears, ruptures, sprains, strains, pulls, tweaks, niggles, breaks, twists or anything else. If we can keep everyone fit, we’ve got a good chance.
Also, rather hilariously in his press conference, a good week after the window had closed and a full five months before it opens again, Sky couldn’t help themselves but ask him about potential transfers for the summer. The manager’s reply was diplomatic:
You understand certainly very well that at the moment my focus is on Liverpool and not the transfer market.
But it’s like they can’t help themselves. Arsenal are playing 4 games in the space of 11 days against Liverpool, Manchester United, Liverpool again, then Bayern Munich. And they can’t find enough in that to talk about? They really have to ask about transfers which cannot happen for months and which are probably as far from the manager’s mind as what he’s going to have for dinner on June 19th 2014?
They are relentless. Like Principal Skinner when Bart bunks off school, they just keep on and on. Transfer Terminators. I mean, the guy could be under orders from editors and so on, but they really need to put a lid on it at this point. We’re heading into the most exciting part of the football season with incredible football matches for football fans to watch, and they want to focus on tittle-tattle. Pffff.
Anwyay, we imagined a couple of scenarios here where the manager can’t find peace from being questioned about new players.
Beyond all that it’s surprisingly quiet ahead of what’s going to be a really challenging period. The calm before the storm? I suspect there’ll be plenty to get our teeth into as the week goes on.
So, we might as well get on with this week’s Arsecast. I was supposed to be joined by the Mugsmasher to discuss the Mugsmashers, but just like our arrangement was a most excellent Arsenal mug, he broke it. It wasn’t his fault, in fairness, being stuck in work until past 10pm last night is grim, so with another game against that lot coming up I’ll try get him on next week’s show.
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Right, that’s yer lot. Back tomorrow with a full preview of the Liverpool game and of course a live blog.
ps – Paddy Power are running a new account special for the game tomorrow, check out the details here if you fancy a flutter.