feeling slightly better this morning. Hot whiskey + cough medicine + all the other medicine in the house in one large goblet seems to have made a bit of a difference.
Arsene’s press conference took place yesterday ahead of the Chelsea game and there wasn’t much out of the ordinary going on. The team news is that Fabianski is fit again and will probably come back into the side. Cesc and van Persie are also ready to start while Abou Diaby also returns. I suppose he’ll be looking to avoid Michael Essien lest he be on the end of one of these again.
It might well be a good time to play Chelsea. They’re going through as poor a run of form as I can remember in recent years. All the same they have to turn things around at some stage. We’ve got to make sure that their revival does not begin against us. More on the game itself in the days ahead.
A note briefly on some of the stories in which an ‘angry’ Arsene Wenger was said to have ‘blasted’, or ‘reacted furiously’ to Nani’s comments about how United and Chelsea were title contenders. If you watched the press conference you will have seen him laughing as he delivered his line about Nani being 1600 times more intelligent than him. Not a hint of blasting or fury. And anyway, Nani is clearly someone whose opinion changes with the wind.
Things are relatively quiet out there with little or no football. The sub-editors and headline writers are doing their best to create something out of nothing. Anyway, the point is that Nani should be fired out of a cannon into a wall and I think that’s something we can all agree on.
Where the boss might have got a touch grumpy is the Jack Wilshere situation. England’s U21s will take place in the European Championships in Denmark next summer. With Wilshere eligible for that tournament, and likely to be selected, the boss is worried about him playing too many games. We saw what happened with Theo a couple of summers ago and the boss thinks he should play for either the senior team or the U21s, not both:
Personally I don’t believe a player ever performs when he has been in the top team and then comes back down to the Under-21s. I have never seen it so it is always a bad decision.
The second thing is to sit down at the end of the season and see how many games Wilshere has played. If he has played over 40 games at 18 years of age – and he will – then he needs a rest.
You get the feeling this is going to get a bit ugly. Uglier than the offspring of Iain Dowie and Amy Winehouse. Arsenal will want Jack to rest, England will ignore the club and what’s best for the player because that’s what they do. If Wilshere breaks they have countless other players to choose from but Arsenal only have one Jack Wilshere. Again the anochronistic nature of international football is at fault here.
Until we reach a stage where the national associations are fully responsible for the players they take, financially, medically etc, then they should not have the power to do as the wish. Clubs pay the wages, clubs train the players, clubs need the players week in, week out. The balance is all wrong. In fact, there is no balance. No doubt this will raise its head again closer to the time.
And beyond that not a great deal going on really. There’s the story about Danny Fiszman moving his shares into a trust. We know he’s got an illness but it’s really not something we should be speculating on. You can draw your own conclusions from this, I’m sure.
So, onto this week’s Arsecast. Slightly shorter than usual as it is guestless and there hasn’t been a great deal of football to talk about. Nonetheless, Internet Joe is along, I’ll give you the winner of the Savile Rogue scarf and the Man in Bar pops in with his Christmas message (delivered in song form).
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 (14mb MP3) or you can listen directly below without leaving this very page.[audio:http://arseblog.com/podcasts/arsecast_episode181.mp3]
For those of you who wish to view the artwork described in the podcast you can click here.
And so it just remains for me to impart some seasonal greetings to you all. There’ll probably be a post tomorrow but it will be very, very brief indeed. Thank you all for reading, listening, emailing, Twittering, Facebooking etc throughout the year. Without you blah blah blah, you know yourself.
I’m going to head into town later for some traditional Christmas Eve pints. Whatever your persuasion I’d like to wish you all a very happy and peaceful (and drunken) Christmas.
Up the Arse!