Friday, May 24, 2024

Training ground tragedy + Arsecast 188

Morning all.

It’s unusually quiet today considering we’ve got a game tomorrow. Normally on a Thursday afternoon/evening there’s a bit of team news ahead of the weekend but so far nothing. My spider senses are tingling. I suspect shenanigans of some kind. Like everyone came back fine but Eboue ran over them all in a golf cart while he was trying to entertain everyone by driving with his feet and juggling puppies at the same time.

The Colney Creche has become a temporary morgue with toe-tags flapping the wind as Arsene Wenger surveys the disaster. And then gives Eboue a four year contract extension.

The other assumption to make, and possibly a more likely one, is that folk are fine and not … you know … dead. One would have to assume that Cesc and van Persie will have recovered from their midweek contagions while we’ll have to wait and see what happens with Alex Song and Johan Djourou. There’s a suggestion the latter might be in contention but I think, with Barcelona on the horizon, he might well sit this one out.

As for Song, well I have no idea. He got a kick on the leg and couldn’t walk but hopefully that’s all muscle damage under the bridge at this stage. Arsene’s press conference takes place later this morning so we should get a better idea of what’s what and who’s what and Sanchez Watt and why.

Meanwhile, Theo Walcott has revealed the secret of his most injury free campaign to date. Smiling. On his face. He says:

I just want to go out there and express myself every day when I train, when I’m with my team-mates and do it with a smile on my face.

And it’s not just confined to training either. He does it in matches too:

I think in the past I was going out there thinking I was going to get injured. Now I’m going out there to express myself, playing with a smile on my face.

Maybe it’s just me but I’m picturing him with a cheshire cat grin on his face for 90 minutes. Get kicked in the nuts? No worries, I’m smiling! Miss a chance? Forget that, I’m smiling! Cross goes out of play for a throw on the other side? SMILE SMILE SMILE! And on my face too, hurrah!

I’m all for it though. I think a happy worker is a productive worker, which is why many sweat shops feature stand-up comedians to help the children get through the day with good humour. And when they go home with three barnacles and a nickel for a week’s work they feel all the better knowing the €100 sneakers have been made with love and a twinkling rictus grin! Certainly I feel better that the urchins enjoy themselves more. Oh, smiling, is there nothing you can’t do?

Look, you might scoff but it’s working for Theo. He’s having his best ever season of all time … ever … and if he’s feeling happy about himself then all well and good. However, he’s been a little bit bold too talking about Christian Eriksen. The young Dane is a very, very good player and showed some nice stuff in the England match the other night. However, we don’t like it when other teams and players talk about our players in the ‘Yeah, it would be great to sign them’ way so I don’t think we should do it at all.

I know Theo probably said it with a smile on his face but still. Best off not to. Especially as there appears to be another raft of stories coming from you know where with you know who talking about … erm … also you know who. Yeah, the guy who loves to discuss the biological make up of our captain has been at it again, this time in a slightly more restrained fashion, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less irritating.

Instead of one straight out smack in the face he’s poking us gently but repeatedly in the ribs. And as for stories about Real Madrid, well, pffff. Pffff, I say. Actually, it seems the Xavi stuff is coming from an interview in the Guardian and as much as the DNA talk has annoyed me, and continues to annoy me, it’s a very interesting read.

And speaking of Spanish teams, Abou Diaby has expressed his desire to one day play for Barcelona or Real Madrid. He apparently said:

At some point I would like to play for Barcelona or Real Madrid, but I would prefer to play for Barca, because I prefer their style.

I suppose he was asked the question, ahead of the upcoming games, but sometimes I wish footballers would just use their heads a little bit and say something like: ‘It would be rather foolish of me, having just come back from injury, and having just been stupidly sent off, to express my desire to play for a team that we’re going to play in less than a week. So cock off with that question”.

The fear, of course, is that Diaby did use his head and that was the best answer he could come up with. It’s hardly a big deal, to be honest, and not the ‘shocker’ it’s being reported as, but he might have had a bit more sense. A footballer making an ill-timed, vaguely injudicious comment shouldn’t really upset too many though.

Right, that’s about that so it’s time for this week’s Arsecast. Joining me to sift through the wreckage of the Newcastle game, as well as looking at Wolves and Barcelona, is Tim Stillman from Vital Arsenal. We’ve also got Internet Joe, Arshavin and more.

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 (23mb MP3) or you can listen directly below without leaving this very page.


Ok, have yourselves a good Friday, keep fingers crossed that Eboue wasn’t driving the golf cart. Till tomorrow.

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