Sunday, February 5, 2023

Wenger fights the power + Arsecast 192

Most bizarre dreams last night. Samir Nasri was living with the lesbian couple who live across the road from me and he invented a machine which could fire footballs at cars and knock the driver out of them as they were driving along.

I asked him what purpose this machine served. “It’s for the dark future he said. It’s coming soon”. I’m now officially worried. My dreams have always been portents of doom. What can this mean? Why would we need to knock drivers out of cars? Are they the enemy? Alien beings of some kind? I never found out, stoopid alarm. Be warned though.

Anyway, back in the real world, Arsene Wenger wasn’t taking the UEFA charge lying down. He refuted any allegations of wrong doing and even told one journalist he’d pay for a ‘big holiday’ if he could find one incident in which he’d behaved inappropriately in the tunnel. *bites tongue*

He then suggested UEFA were rather too full of their own importance and drunk on power, like some kind of footballing Gaddafi:

You cannot come out with decisions like that and show a lot of arrogance on top of that. We can all understand that we can make wrong decisions, but after that it becomes a dictatorship. A bit more humility would do Uefa some good.

The problem is humility and UEFA go together like ‘not being a total cunt’ and ‘John Terry, or ‘Honest’ and ‘Dani Alves’, or ‘Correct’ and ‘Massimo Busacca’ or ‘Goalscoring’ and ‘Tomas Rosicky’ or … well, you get the picture. Suggestions that Arsene is a sore loser don’t sit right with me, if he feels he’s done nothing wrong then why shouldn’t he contest the charges?

In his press conference Arsene was asked what he said the ref. He said he’d like to keep that to himself. He was then asked if he swore at the ref. A small smirk crossed his face. I’m told that Arsene, despite his professorial visage and cultured exterior, has a potty mouth on him. Sailors have been known to bless themselves at the depth and depravity of the filth he’s capable of. It’s fair to say he probably had a bit of a swear. However, he said he’d stay silent on what was said:

I will keep that for UEFA if they really want to know because I will have some interesting statements to make about some statements made by people who were not supposed to say what they said.

So we can assume now that Wenger and Busacca had a swear-off in the tunnel. And it could easily have got creative. Busacca speaks five languages, Wenger the same, if not more, so when they ran out of invective in one tongue they simply switched to another. A five language curse-a-thon in the tunnel. Oh man, I wish I could have been a fly on the wall for that.

It will be interesting to see what transpires now. Wenger’s kinda put it up to them with his comments and we know they don’t like to challenged or have their authoritaaah questioned. Over to you, Plats and Pals.

Meanwhile, there’s the small matter of the FA Cup 6th round against Man United tomorrow. Just what you need after losing a cup final and going out of Europe to Barcelona, a trip to Old Trafford. It hasn’t exactly been a successful stomping ground for us in recent seasons. Was the last win that Adebayor goal? I think we had a goalless draw there at the end of the season before last too.

The team is that Robin van Persie is fit but Cesc, Wojscez©®, Song and Theo remain out while carrion birds feast on the corpse of Thomas Vermaelen. With regard to the captain the boss reckons it’ll be a couple of games while the extent of the keeper’s injury isn’t known fully just yet. Estimates say 4-6 weeks, but we await a specialists decision on that. In the meantime it leaves Manuel Almunia the only fit senior keeper at the club.

I know people complain about our injuries, as if our medical team are literally 11 Dr Nicks Hi-ing everybody around the treatment room, but I can’t remember the last time any club lost their two first choice goalkeepers in one season. Apart from the last time it happened to us. And freaky injuries too. Wojscez©® saving a shot, Fabianski doing his shoulder saving a shot from his compatriot in a pre-game warm-up. You can’t really legislate for that.

The boss has praised Almunia for his attitude. Having been dropped like a hot snot for the new and improved Polish lads he’s back in the side and, frankly, we need him. Bear in mind quite how fucked we’d be if we’d let him go in January. Not too many people would have shed tears back then, I’d wager, but I’m glad the manager’s caution nixed a late transfer window deal to Turkey.

There’s some talk of an emergency loan signing to cover us until things are better on the injury front. The boss says he has someone in mind but hasn’t approached the FA just yet to sort things out. You know, Jens is back at the club, doing a bit of coaching, getting his badges, I say give him a jersey, a pair of gloves, a bucket to have a mid-game slash in, and we’re all sorted. Probably not going to happen though, in fairness. I suspect a youngster on the bench tomorrow.

Before we crack on – check out Tim Stillman’s new post-Barcelona column: No half measures.

Right then, time for this week’s Arsecast and joining me to talk Barcelona, red cards, dodgy reffing and where Arsenal go from here is the Guardian’s Paolo Bandini. Also, the usual round-up from Internet Joe, Arshavin bemoans the lino from the Sunderland game plus the usual waffle.

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 (22mb MP3) or you can listen directly below without leaving this very page.


And that’s about that. A full preview of the FA Cup game tomorrow, in the meantime have yourselves a good Friday.

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