Thursday, September 29, 2022

Bridges, new away shirt + Arsecast 197

Good morning to you from sunny Edinburgh. Actually, that’s a lie. It’s not sunny. But I am in Edinburgh.

In football the names of great players live on. Passed down from father to son, grandparent to grandchild, their on pitch exploits capture the imagination and memory. The goals, tackles, moments of skill, the fights, the night they did something extra special for the Arsenal.

It’s rare, however, that the names of directors do, save for some tragedy which has been the case elsewhere, or passing of batons, which is something we’re familiar with. Arsenal had planned a ceremony for some time to pay tribute to Danny Fiszman and Ken Friar, and the work they’ve done, but unfortunately only one of the men was in attendance yesterday.

Two bridges are now named in their honour. The south bridge, by the large ARSENAL is now The Danny Fiszman Bridge, the north bridge, close to the Arsenal tube station, is now The Ken Friar Bridge. It means that the enormous contribution both men have made to the club will never be forgotten and their names will live on down the generations.

I’m sure every supporter of every club thinks they do things with a touch of class but although I come at this with red and white tinted specs I don’t think anyone does it quite like us. Whatever you might think of the team at the moment, or whatever other issues you might have, they ought to put to be one side while you thank your lucky stars you support Arsenal Football Club. There is none finer.

We now have to start looking ahead to the football and the upcoming schedule really is enormously testing. Liverpool, Sp*rs, Bolton, United. It would be fair to say that there are no easy games and it would especially fair to say that about this particular team at the moment. If we were facing Blind Amputee over-6os XI I’d still probably cack myself every time the ball came near our penalty area.

Still, the win over Blackpool on Sunday will have gone some way to restoring confidence and frankly, if we scrape through every game it doesn’t matter a jot once we scrape through. The manager is avoiding talk of takeover, on one hand for legal reasons, on the other because it’s really not important to the team. Their job is the same if we’re owned by Stan Kroenke or Wee Jimmy Krankie. The boss says:

I have a responsibility to bring success to the team, to be consistent at the top and to manage the club well. My focus will be on ensuring the team has a successful run in to the end to the season. We have a lot to play for.

So we do and it’s down to the manager and the players that that continues to be the case. One game at a time, one result at a time, each game providing different challenges, but we’ve got to give everything we have to push this right to the line. You just never know what might happen if we do that.

In terms of early team news there are returns mooted for Szczesney, Djourou, Song and Denilson, while doubts remain over Sagna and Almunia. I suspect the young Pole will be thrown right back in and if Djourou is fit enough he’ll play too. There was also a hint from Arsene that Thomas Vermaelen is back in full training and maybe, just maybe, he might be called upon before the season end. We might just getting ahead of ourselves there though.

In other news, Arsenal Insider has got a picture of the new away kit. I was aware that it was going to be based on the blue away kit from the 90s but I have to say knowing that did not prepare me for the sheer horribleness of what they’ve come up with.

We hear all the time about how fans are consulted about our new kits. Ceiling fans, perhaps. It’s the only explanation for the sheer number of terrible shirts foisted upon us in recent years. Comparisons have been made to jockeys outfit, and as Tom said on the way back from the airport, it does look like something Sp*rs would wear. No finer compliment can be paid to it than that.

Arsene’s press conference today will most likely not touch on the issue of this ‘Oh shit, I left a bic biro in the pocket of my Coventry shirt’ abomination, but we should get some real clarity as to who’s available this weekend, as well as some more thoughts about everything that has transpired this week. Coverage of that in tomorrow’s blog.

Before the Arsecast just time for the winners of the Paul Merson autobiography competition. The answer to the question was Middlesbrough and the two winners, selected at random by the RNG, are: Ian Davies and Shaun Bicheno. Well done to you, I’ll be in touch in the next couple of days to get your details. For the unlucky rest of you, fear not, more competitions to come.

Now then, on to this week’s Arsecast and joining me to discuss what has been a rather extraordinary week, in many ways, is Amy Lawrence. You can pretty much guess what’s on the agenda, you don’t need me to tell you. Internet Joe had some 28.8k issues this week so doesn’t make it but Mick Bendtner pops his head around the door.

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.

[audio:http://arseblog.com/podcasts/arsecast_episode197.mp3]

Right then, that’s about that. To everyone who bought something from the store since it opened, the draw for the signed shirt will take place when I get back to Dublin and I’ll announce the winner of that on Sunday morning.

Time for some haggis on toast and a steaming hot cup of Scotch. Till tomorrow.

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