We like to be at the cutting edge of stuff here at Arseblog. We were, probably, the first Arsenal blog.
We certainly created the first Arsenal podcast, and we’ve invented new words which have become part of the lexicon. But how do you continue to innovate and keep things fresh and interesting? That is the challenge.
You can sit and think all you like about what new ideas to implement, many of them rejected out of hand before they even get out of the blueprint stage. There are things the world just doesn’t need – although I maintain Pundit Fights from this week’s Arsecast is a show that will happen at some point in the future and when it does I want you to remember where you heard it first.
Other times ideas just come to you, out of the blue. And today is one of those days. Normally on a Saturday we look back on the Friday press conference and chew over the soundbites and snippets that Arsene Wenger has issued as the bloke from Sky tries desperately to make it all about potential transfers even if the window won’t be open for months.
This morning, having watched the presser yesterday, it struck me! This is one that could be represented with few words but instead in graphical format. So, I went down to our state of the art graphics lab and got the graphics team out of their beds (they are lazy fuckers as anyone who has dealt with this breed of people will tell you), and had them work on a state of the art visualisation of yesterday’s press conference.
I wouldn’t listen to their excuses “Sir, you have not paid the licence fee for Graphic Converter”, “How do you expect me to produce top class graphics on this 16k ZX Spectrum?”, or “Mister, I’d like to go home to my family now. When are you going to pay us?”, and for your pleasure here is yesterday’s presser in one image:
Ta-daaaaaah! Not content with that, I then made them do one for Jose Mourinho’s press conference too:
Then, as they were crying and hungry and that, I paid them with a bottle of TK Red Lemonade and a packet of Wagon Wheels that went out of date in 1987, but I ask you, how would you know the difference anyway? Exactly!
So it was a Fabregas dominated event. Which is understandable, I guess, but I think everything that needs to be said about that has already been said and if you need a little bit more, here’s a piece I wrote for the Guardian about it. Now, let’s move on and discuss all the other stuff.
[Insert Tumbleweed graphic – note to self: perhaps the gone off Wagon Wheels were not the best idea when you still needed some 'creative'. Dealing with a dysentery afflicted gaggle of picture-serfs is not pleasant. Just lock the door until they stop crying].
The manager did touch on what happened at Stamford Bridge last season, calling it a ‘horrendous day’, but suggesting that it shouldn’t really have an impact on tomorrow’s game. He said:
It was of course a very bad memory, but football is not made of history, it is made of performance and performance in the next game counts. That is what we want to do.
Even Mourinho, in a snippet I saw of his presser, was saying more or less the same. That the games between Arsenal and Chelsea are usually very tight and this was a ‘Once in 50 year’ scoreline. They were very good, we were very, very bad. And I get that, there’s logic to it, but if you were one of the Arsenal players who experienced that, it’s going to be in the back of your mind somewhere.
However, for balance, there’ll be players out there tomorrow who didn’t play in that match for various reasons. Injuries meant there was no Jack Wilshere or Mesut Ozil that day. New arrivals Danny Welbeck, Alexis and Calum Chambers will come into this without the Platoon style strings and the flashbacks to Willem Dafoe’s body being riddled with Chelsea bullets as he tries to make the helicopter at the end.
Will that be enough? It’s hard to know, obviously, but what we have are two teams unbeaten in the league managed by two men who have remained civil in the build-up but you don’t have to scratch too far beneath the surface to find the festering animosity, and on top of it all there’s the return of that little Spanish fella to add a red-hot Ghost Pepper on top for a bit of extra spice. What more could you want?
We’ll look ahead to the game in more detail tomorrow, but if you want to hear some chaps talking about it and that extra spicy bit, make sure you check out this week’s Arsecast.
Finally for today, for those of you who have been patiently waiting for the audio book version of Together: the story of Arsenal’s unbeaten season in audio book format, it’s now available. It’s not on sale via Audible or iTunes, only via the site here – to find out how to buy it check out this post. Please make sure you read the instructions properly as you do have to follow the steps for it all to work without going totally Jeffers.
Right, have yourselves a good Saturday. Back tomorrow with all the pre-Chelsea stuff you could possibly want.