“It’s so difficult to read on my iPad sitting on the penthouse balcony in the late evening because of the sunshine.”
“I wish my local store had better quality Quinoa.”
“How hard is it to find organic, hand massaged Barbary duck livers these days?”
“It takes nearly 4 minutes to illegally download a film on my fibre-Internet connection. #soooooobored.”
First world problems. Mathieu Flamini cutting the sleeves off his shirt is the football equivalent of that. Apparently he’s said he won’t do it again, but it’s very much the kind of thing that concerns people when you’re sitting top of the table and not worrying about leaky defences, skittish goalkeepers, lack of firepower, no creativity in midfield and a manager who keeps being linked with Salomon Kalou, the triangle-headed gimp.
Enjoy it while it lasts, folks. Bonus reading: Flamini threatens to cut off arms in shirt protest. Plus, comment of the day award goes to this man.
Meanwhile, Per Mertesacker has spoken about the prospect of a new deal at the club, and he says it’s a reward for his consistent performances. Speaking about the talks currently underway between him and the club, he said:
I think it is a little reward that we are talking, because I still have one-and-a-half years left. There is no rush, but it seems that some people are delighted with my performances at the moment. I am pleased with the situation.
Some people? Surely everyone is. I bet people who don’t like Per are the same people who don’t like puppies. There’s just something wrong their brains. There’s little doubt he’s a player we need to keep. His performances, his attitude, and his experience are are vital cogs in this current Arsenal machine.
Football’s obsession with pace meant he wasn’t quite appreciated straight away, but he’s shown that intelligence and the ability to read the game are just as important as being able to run quite fast indeed. You know me, I’m a sucker for a good centre-half, or even one that isn’t as good as I think or like to hope he might be, but there’s no question he’s become one of Wenger’s best buys despite arriving late in that terrible August.
That it took some time to settle in and get comfortable is hardly a surprise. He came into a team that was an absolute shambles, that had just been given a pasting at Old Trafford, and the injury he picked up didn’t give him a chance to show people what he was about in the second half of that season.
Now? Well, he’s right up there with one of the first names on the team-sheet, and while others catch the eye and stand out a bit more, nobody should be under any illusions as to how important the BFG is.
He’s also spoken about his German colleague Mesut Ozil who, despite a missed penalty against Marseille, set up Jack Wilshere for the clinching second goal. Rather than focus on what Ozil isn’t doing at the moment, Mertesacker is accentuating the positive:
We are very delighted with him. He gets himself into good positions so the goals will come for sure. He moves well between the lines so it is always difficult to defend against him. When the centre back comes out with him, there is always space for others to move into.
He helps us create more chances. We are playing well as a team and we should continue that in the Champions League and the Premier League.
It’s impossible not to think there’s more to come from Ozil. When he settles in properly and when he really gets to know his teammates, I think he’ll start imposing himself on games more. We forget it’s been just three months. He wasn’t signed early, thus having the whole summer to sort himself out. It happened late, and even the very best, the likes of Pires, Henry and Bergkamp, took a little bit of a time to feel truly comfortable.
When that happens we’ll see more, and get more, from Ozil, but even so I think he’s been important on and off the pitch. Even his presence is reassuring because we have that player who can see and make a pass that few others can. He can be decisive in an instant and it’s something we’ve missed. In the meantime, I suppose we’ll just have to make do with the 3 goals and 6 assists he’s delivered up to now.
Which, I suspect, brings us quite nicely back to the top of the blog. A footballing first world problem. Right, that’s yer lot for today, back tomorrow with an Arsecast and all the usual guff.
ps – Have a look at this, Bergkamp fans.