Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Pre-Swansea team news + Arsecast 208

Morning all,

the silence from inside the club continues. Normally, on a Thursday, there’s an interview with the manager and we get a snippet of it, at least, to tell us the latest in terms of the squad for the upcoming game. So far there there hasn’t been a peep.

Which I find a bit odd, I have to say. Given that it’s usually with the editor of the official site it’s as friendly an interview as you’re likely to get and certainly one which Arsene would have more control over than just a regular old press conference. It’s also interesting that said editor can now be found in the press conferences, pre and post game, asking the first three or four questions, generally about the team, who’s injured and who’s not.

It would seem to be a deliberate move by the club, perhaps the press office have decided upon it, maybe it’s to set an agenda or just take up some time so the ladies and gentlemen of the fourth estate have less time to interact with Arsene. You don’t have to dig too deep to find journalists complaining that the access they used to enjoy is being scaled back considerably.

Whatever about that, but Arsene will face the press today for the first time since Old Trafford and since buying five new players. There will be no shortage of material and as I said earlier in the week it’ll be interesting to see what line of questioning will emerge and what the manager’s mood is like. There will surely be one or two of the notepad wielders who will scent some blood, looking for an angle for a juicy story in tomorrow’s editions, but that’s par for the course. When you lose 8-2 to one of your great rivals I think you’re going to have to expect some difficult questions.

And as I write, the team news update has emerged (in text form) on arsenal.com. There’s no Wilshere or Vermaelen, as we already know. Tomas Rosicky may not make it due to a kick on the knee but apart from the suspensions we should have everyone available. Gibbs returns, Theo is fit, and everyone who was away on international duty has come back with all their bits intact. Andre Santos probably won’t start this weekend due to the fact he hasn’t played since the Copa America, which is sensible, but maybe he’ll make the bench just in case.

The manager spoke about Wilshere’s injury too, saying:

We have got the best specialists in the world to assess his case because it is an unusual one. He said he felt it the first time for England against Switzerland, although he did suffer from a similar problem years ago. He thought it would go away but when he came back in pre-season it became slowly more painful again. It got to the stage at Emirates Cup where we had to stop him.

Amidst all the other injury factors, one thing that’s overlooked quite often is the player himself and the information he gives to the medical team. It’s not at all unusual for them to play down the discomfort or try and play through the pain in the hope that it will go away or be manageable. I remember a few seasons back Robin van Persie told the medical staff he was ready to go after a spell on the sidelines, and immediately aggravated his injury because he wasn’t ready.

The impetuousness of youth and the desire to play is definitely something that can play a part. If a player tells the manager and the medical staff he’s fit then, if it’s something they need to trust him over, it’s hard to blame them if the player breaks down again. I’m not saying that’s necessarily the case with Wilshere but it’s not at all uncommon amongst younger players.

Still, we’ve had more damaging Interlulls, that’s for sure, and once we get back the suspended players (Song and Gervinho) the squad will take on a much stronger look – assuming we don’t carry on our record of having someone sent off in every league game this season. I wonder is that a record? I can’t remember it happening to us before, but has any team had a player sent off in each of the first three games of a season? One for the stattos there.

We got our first words from Per Mertesacker yesterday and his English, while still a bit uncertain, is surprisingly good. I mean, can you imagine someone like Jermaine Pennant going to Dortmund and having passable German straight away? Anyway, he’s been talking about great Arsenal centre-halves and revealed an admiration for one of Arsenal’s finest:

We didn’t get many pictures of him on the television but Adams was a legend here. He is a special one for me.

When I was looking at English football I always looked to Arsenal and he was one of the great defenders when I was ten or 12 years old. I knew he was the centre-half for Arsenal.

I find that last line quite endearing, really. I’m sure he meant to say something a bit more than he simply knew Adams was the centre-half for Arsenal but it comes across quite matter of fact. Like if he was telling you a joke – “How many doctors does it take to change a lightbulb? One”. Anyway, looking forward to seeing our new boy in action at the weekend.

Aside from that not much going on, that will change as we get the press-conference lowdown later on, so keep an eye on Arseblog News for updates throughout the day (immediate notification of new stories available via Twitter too).

So, we move on to this week’s Arsecast and joining me, from the bowels of the Arseblog News HQ, is Andrew Allen. There’s a brief look back, a brief look forward, and some stuff inbetween (it’s been a quiet week!).

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 (20mb MP3) or you can listen directly below without leaving this very page.


And that’s your lot this Friday. Tomorrow, a good look ahead to the Swansea game as we look for the three points to get our season moving.

Till then.

ps – any of my US readers work in the publishing business (fiction)? If so, and willing to be questioned at length, please drop me an email – thearseblog at arseblog dot com. Thanks!

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