Good morning to you from a very windy Dublin. The poor old basset had the shite blown out of him first thing this morning. Literally. Yes, literally.
Arsene’s press conference took place yesterday so there’s plenty to get through. Of course much of it revolved around Cesc and the ongoing media furore over the tunnel comments. Shouting things out loud really is a scourge on the game of football and the assembled press pack wanted Arsene’s view on it. So he gave it to them. Firstly he said:
There is nothing to clarify. If Cesc is guilty, he would have been charged. But he has not been charged by the FA, there is no action against him so I don’t see why we should spend any more time to defend somebody who is not guilty. For me the incident is closed.
A fair point, well made, you have to say. Then he stuck the knife in to David Moyes a bit, saying:
I believe that it is wrong for Moyes to come out on what he pretends to have heard in the tunnel. If I come out with what I have heard in the tunnel is the last 10 years, you would be amazed.
To me that’s interesting. The bit about Moyes pretending to have heard what Cesc said is quite the barb. We know that Phil Brown went on TV to mouth about Cesc having not seen anything himself, he’d been told by his cohorts. So Wenger’s words make Moyes about to be a telltale and a gossip and in Phil Brown’s gang. Horrible. As well as that he rightly brings up the old ‘What happens in the tunnel stays in the tunnel’ thing.
If we had TunnelCam©® I suspect there’d be a non-stop barrage of YouTube clips featuring players and staff shouting, pushing, shoving, swearing, casting aspersions of all kinds, punching, scratching, hair-pulling, bitching, shrieking (in the case of Robbie Savage), scrapping, headlocks, wedgies, chinese burns, nipple pinchies and anything else you can think of. Which is exactly why we don’t have TunnelCam©® and why there’s a convention within the game that you just don’t talk about what happens in there.
Ok, from time to time stories leak but for the most part we don’t get to hear what goes on. Which is a shame in one way because it’d be fantastic entertainment but right enough in another. Moyes has made himself look quite the fool, in my opinion. A manager who had benefitted from a goal like that really ought to focus on the failings of his own team instead of trying to apportion blame to someone who hurt his team with his football, not his half-time comments.
Will the media change tack and condemn Moyes? Will they publish articles about his Roll of Dishonour? I don’t think so. Anyway, it’s water under the bridge now. We can move on, thank David Moyes for the 6 points this season and concentrate on the important games ahead while he tries to get the best out of Jermaine Beckford.
In team news the manager confirmed Lukasz Fabianski’s season was over due to his shoulder surgery. It means Wojscez©® has a big, big chance to establish himself as number 1 at the club. Sometimes a footballer’s career can hinge on a piece of good fortune (Ashley Cole benefitting from Sylvinho’s passport being made from old toilet rolls and sticky-back plastic, for example), and it’s quite the turnaround when you consider where he was just a few months ago.
From not knowing if he was going to sign a new deal and there being talk of him leaving (both permanently and on loan) to this. Firstly Almunia’s injury opened the door for Fabianski, allowing Wojscez©® to move up to number 2, and now Fabianski’s injury means he’s the incumbent and if he continues to perform well will hang onto the number 1 position. I suppose it’s a measure of how highly regarded he is that none of us are panicking in the slightest about a relatively inexperienced keeper being given his chance.
We’re in a cup final, about to face Barcelona in the Champions League, and heading into the final stretch of a league season which will hopefully see us continue to fight for the title. We’re doing so with a young goalkeeper who has just made it into double figures in terms of first team appearances. Under normal circumstances this would be a bit scary but we’ve spoken before about players having IT and he’s one of them. He’s confident, doesn’t seem to feel the pressure and has performed well.
Now, like any young keeper I’m sure he’s going to make the odd mistake. The test will be how he copes with that but I suspect the confidence won’t take too much of a battering. I also hope there’s an understanding amongst fans that he’s currently going through a very steep learning curve and the usual reactionary nonsense doesn’t occur if and when that happens. As I said though, it speaks volumes to his potential and ability that we’re not worried about the goalkeeping position once he’s between the sticks.
Laurent Koscielny has been rewarded for his fine form by being called up to the France squad for next week’s international. Fair play to him, from a confidence point of view this can only do him good and it’s a reward for the way he’s settled in to English football. He’s still got plenty to learn but it looks as if he’s the kind of player who is happy to do that.
Right, that’s about that so on to this week’s Arsecast. Joining me on the show to discuss Cesc, Everton, Wojscez©® and more is Julian H from Gingers4Limpar. As well as that Internet Joe rounds up the week, Arshavin doesn’t find Arsene Wenger funny, plus there’s scientific analysis of the Cesc/Media storm plus an old friend sticks his head back in.
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So there you go. And if the Arsecast isn’t enough to get you through the working day, join me on Facebook for Flashback Friday. Five classic Arsenal moments to enjoy via the wonders of the YouTube.
A Newcastle preview, and more, tomorrow.