Wenger speaks + Arsecast 131 + win books signed by Arsene Wenger

Morning, it’s a busy one so let’s crack right into it.

Arsene’s pre-match press conference took place yesterday instead of the Friday before a game but as usual he had plenty to say. Starting with injuries ahead of the weekend’s game he said Andrei Arshavin would miss at least 3 games due to a recurrence of his groin injury. He said:

We are upset because he should not have played. He was not in a condition where he could afford to play 90 minutes. We took him off against Manchester United because he was injured already at half-time. He will be out for Saturday, Wednesday and certainly next Saturday.

A lot of headlines suggest Wenger was upset with Guus Hiddink but Hiddink made it clear that the decision whether or not to play was up to Arshavin himself. If your best player tells you he’s fit then as a manager you’re not going to leave him out, are you? So I suspect the boss is unhappy more with Arshavin than the Russian management. I could be wrong though. And if he was that injured why didn’t we just withdraw him from the squad, or are you not allowed do that anymore?

Whatever about the Liege and Wigan games but he’s going to be missed badly against City tomorrow and his absence is frustrating, to say the least. As of this moment we don’t have any further injury worries but the press conference took place before many of them had returned so there’s the possibility of further frustration today. Hopefully not though. More on the City game tomorrow.

He spoke about Eduardo and all the fuss surrounding him. Rightly enough he said he’s been through worse in his career. When you come back from the kind of injury he has a few braying morons isn’t going to affect you. He did say though:

The worst is that now he is not given penalties when they are penalties. That is much worse. The one last night against England was a penalty.

That’s just something he’ll have to live with, us too, I suppose, but with Wenger banging the drum of fairness and having everyone treated the same I think things will return to normal soon enough. He also put it to the media again to look at their part in it, saying:

Being a hero or a cheat depends very much on what side of the camp you are on. England are in the World Cup and if Rooney does that in the last minute of the game and England win the World Cup, do you really think Rooney will be slaughtered the next day?

And that about sums it up really. I hope we can move past all this now. I’m as bored of diving and the associated furore as I would be reading a Dan Brown book while listening to Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car over and over and over again (this is because scientists have proved this is the most boring song of all time).

He then spoke passionately about transfers involving young players in the light of the Chelsea transfer ban. It’s clear this is a subject close to his heart and it’s well worth watching the press conference for this if you have the Arsenal TV online stuff. His main concern is that it prevents the best young players from progressing. He says:

If you have a child who is a good musician, what is your first reflex? It is to put the child into a good music school, not in an average one. So why should that not happen in football?

And it’s very difficult to argue against that. Particularly as the whole thing is natural. A kid starts at one club, moves on to a better one, to a better one again and so on. That happens at every level. The issue of compensation is what needs to be looked at, not draconian measures like preventing players from moving to further their careers. But then this is FIFA we’re looking at, lobbied by know-nothing morons who have accused Arsenal of ‘child trafficking’ in the past. Nothing would surprise me but in this case everything Wenger says is absolutely right.

Right, that’s about that in terms of news. There’ll be a more detailed look at the Man City game tomorrow. Now it’s time to go book crazy and get on with the Arsecast. All week you’ve had the chance to win a copy of the new republished ‘Forward, Arsenal‘, which details the early history of the club. The question had to do with the author, Bernard Joy, and which club he was with when he represented England as an amateur.

The answer was c) Casuals. There were loads of entries but with 6 copies to give away your chances of the RNG (Random Number Generator) pulling you off out were good. So it’s congratulations this morning to Ollie Angot, Rodrigo Feijó, Peter Spencer, Robert Allen, Suzanne Noble and David McNamara. Well done to you, I’ll be in touch for address details and so on. In the meantime my thanks to the publishers of Forward, Arsenal, GCR Books, for their generosity and the book, which I highly recommend, can be purchased through their website.

Ok, on to today’s Arsecast and there’s a bookish flavour to this one as well. Joining me on the show is Alex Fynn, co-author of Arsènal: The making of a modern superclub (out now in paperback with four new chapters). We chat about Arsene Wenger, his transfer business this summer and his overall policy, as well as things at boardroom level including Ivan Gazidis, what’s going to happen to Lady Nina’s shares and former director David Dein.

Not only that though, Alex and co-author Kevin Witcher of the Gooner, have been kind enough to give me three copies to give away in the Arsecast itself. And not only that, those three copies are signed by Arsene Wenger himself, so they’re real collectors items. For details on how to enter the competition simply listen to the Arsecast and remember, if you’d like to buy the book, you can use this link and the code ‘rocky‘ at check-out will get you £1 off the cover price.

As well as all that on the show there’s some poetry and a rather desperate Sylvester looking to make his first appearance of the season. On the pitch, I mean.

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. To download this week’s arsecast directly – click here (20mb MP3) or you can listen directly below without leaving this very page.


So, there’s plenty to be going on with. Till tomorrow, Arsechums.


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