Saturday round-up

Hello, my head hurts. I blame the Germans. I forgot that the only way to avoid a hangover when drinking Paulaner is to eat a meal between each pint. Stoopid delicious beer.

Right, Arsene’s press conference took place yesterday and I, for one, was disturbed by Arsene’s attire. He’s normally in his training gear, or on the odd occasion a suit, but yesterday he was wearing some kind of grey top which looked like a nun’s smock. Or something. Anyway, the story with injured players is that Cesc and Nasri were still unavailable as of yesterday, pending further tests today.

Unless they spent last night in some kind of miracle chamber then I guess we’re going to be without them on Sunday, which is a bit of a blow considering this is a game we need to win. Better news re: Thomas Vermaelen, however. He’s in line for a start due to one, him being fit again, and two, Laurent Koscielny picking up a thigh injury. Quite the prevalence of thigh injuries lately. A more cynical man than I might find them thighly suspicious.

As expected, the annoying Scottish bloke from Sky was annoying, and asked Arsene about his transfer plans for the summer. Do you need the quotes? Ok, here you go:

It is down to availability and quality. We don’t rule out any position and we don’t target any special position before the transfer market. We look to strengthen every year of course. But first we look not to weaken because we want to keep all our players, and then we try to strengthen. I promise you that if we sign a player we will inform you and when we sell a player we will inform you as well. I would like to keep out of all the other speculation before that.

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. I honestly, truly, don’t know why they bother even asking him. What Arsene thinks about transfers is locked away so tightly in that head of his it’d be like trying to get into Fort Knox. Fingerprint readers, retina scanners, multiple Chubb keys, 78 character passwords made up from the wingdings you get when you hold command + ctrl, voice recognition, facial whatsits and a secret phrase from a long forgotten copy of the first novel ever written in Esperanto. And that just gets you into the yard where you face razor wire, a moat, electric fences and a horde of angry bears who shit landmines filled with sulphuric acid and cat piss.

From everything I’m hearing there’s a busy summer on the horizon, in more ways that one, but don’t expect Arsene Wenger to tell you anything about it. Unless you’re happy hearing the same answer again and again and again. If we sign someone you’ll be the first to know. Yeah, yeah. We know. I realise they have to ask, perhaps hoping that one day an Arsene Wenger imposter will take the press conference and say ‘Well, we want to buy X, Y and Z and we’re selling A, B and C because, frankly, they’re shit’, but really, spare us.

Arsene spoke about Samir Nasri’s future and said he’d do ‘absolutely anything’ to get him to stay. Which puts Nasri’s agent in a rather wonderful position.

‘Anything?’

‘Anything’.

‘Would you wear this dress and stroke my back while I touch my special area’.

‘I said anything’.

He’d go all the way for AFC, would Arsene. The Mirror speculates that we’ll sell Nasri if he doesn’t agree a new deal and as much as I want him to stay, and I do, that’s the only thing we can do. It’ll mean taking a loss but it’d be nowhere near as bad as losing him for free next summer. And if that’s what happens, so be it. He’ll be remembered with some vague fondness but we’ll move on, as we always do.

After Paul Merson’s ‘revelations’ about being injected with his own piss, annoying Scottish bloke from Sky asked Arsene about it. He said:

I cannot take that comment seriously. If you find one player who I asked to take an injection to play one game, no matter how big the game was, I would resign tomorrow morning.

Cunning indeed. When you’re the boss you don’t ask people, do you? You tell them. ‘You there, slightly drunk bloke, you’re going to take this injection before the big game and that’s the end of it’. Well, that would certainly be how I’d operate if I were a manager. I’d have them jabbed full of panther jizz and wolverine spunk if I thought it’d make them play better. Which is probably why my managerial career never took off. Parents of the U12s really didn’t appreciate that kind of thing, but there you go.

Honestly though, does anybody really, really care about what Merson might or might not have been injected with? I mean, the info had been out there for weeks after the release of his book about wanking, it was only when The Sun made a story out of it that it became an issue.

Award for stating the goddam obvious : Set pieces have been our Achilles heel, says Arsene. I have to say the stat about conceding 17 penalties is shocking? Did we really concede that many? That seems a ludicrous amount and if true suggests we need to get back to basics a bit and learn how to tackle.

And finally, am I the only one who, when they read this – Wenger – Keep referees’ identities a secret – visualised referees dressed as Zorro so nobody could discover who they really were? I am? Oh well. You’re missing out, let me tell you.

Now, I must away and eat pig. Till tomorrow when we welcome back the oh so dreamy Robert Pires to the Arsenal.

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