Thursday, December 7, 2023

Q not G, Jack + Arsecast 219

Morning to you from the vaguely more familiar surroundings of Arseblog Towers. A reasonable night’s sleep is a nice thing. And it just goes to show what an undemanding person I am. A great night’s sleep is not necessary, I don’t want a spectacular night’s sleep, just a middle of the road, perfectly all right one. Middle of the road Zzzzzs.

Anyway, I’m sure there’s plenty to get through this morning despite the fact I haven’t so much as looked at a bit of Arsenal news yet. As of yet there doesn’t appear to be any team news ahead of the Everton game tomorrow. I’m assuming Andre Santos is out and the manager will have to decide how to fill that particular gap.

The obvious candidate is Thomas Vermaelen who has played there before. Or he could use the young Spaniard Ignasi Miquel (note to commentators: there is a difference between a Q and a G – so pronounce his name – Meekel NOT Meegel or Meegwell) who has looked a decent player on the few occasions we’ve seen him.

Either way it looks as if we’ll face Everton with four centre-halves making up the back four and with Wojciech Szczesny back in nets the manager way well plump for Inanimate Carbon Rod as his back-up for the day. No doubt there’ll be plenty of team news to come when Arsene holds his press conference later this morning.

As well as that tomorrow is the 125th anniversary game. The referee will use a sixpence for the coin toss but despite intense lobbying from the Arsenal Gent the players won’t be announced as Vermington, Sir Percy and co. Shame, that would have been a nice touch. Let’s hope the players can respond to the occasion and ensure the celebration is celebrated like Kool and the Gang were doing it their own selves.

Meanwhile, Jack Wilshere is hoping to make his return to football next month having missed the entire season thus far due to a festering bells palsy in his ankle. He says of his recovery:

It’s coming along well, I’m working hard in the gym every day and feel I’m in good hands at Arsenal. We’ve had a few injured at Arsenal in recent years, like Aaron Ramsey but they are helping me through it.

I can’t put a specific date on it, but some time in January I’m hoping for if all goes well.

And what a boost that would be. I’ve been impressed with our midfield triumvirate this season but come January adding a fresh, eager and willing Wilshere to the mix would surely only make us stronger. You have the question about which of the three you’d leave out – and in reality you’re really looking at Wilshere competing more with Arteta and Ramsey than Song – but this is the kind of problem any manager would love to have.

What might be interesting is that for most of his career in the youth/reserves, Wilshere was a more attacking player. On his introduction to the first team he has, for the sake of his own education and for the needs of the team, played a much more disciplined, almost defensive role. So, it might well be a case that Jack gets a chance further up the field when he does come back and he can start to show the creative side of his game, which would be fun to see. Anyway, no doubt that’s something we can start thinking about in a few weeks so fingers crossed his recuperation continues without problem.

As for the comments in which he says he’d love Arsene Wenger to be England boss, pfff. Not gonna happen for a wide variety of reasons. Plus I think if you asked Jack if he’d like Arsene Wenger to be anything he’d think that was a great idea. “Arsene Wenger as prime minister, yeah. Why not?! The boss proves it every year”, etc. Anyway, it strikes me that the press fascination with who is going to be the next England manager is fueled by a willingness to know who they can put in their sights and crucify with their lyrical stylings the minute anything goes wrong.

Beyond all that not a great deal going on this morning so I’ll get on with the other business at hand. Firstly, there is the small matter of the Robin van Persie signed shirt competition with thanks to I’ve been doing competitions on this site for years now but never, ever, have I seen such a response, so thank you all for entering. The Randon Number Generator nearly told me to fuck off with the amount of numbers I had to put into it this morning, but he chugged and chugged and churned out a winner.

Congratulations and well done to Damian Bonse. I’ll be in touch with you to get your details and to have your rather fetching prize sent out. Thanks to everyone for entering and commiserations. Don’t forget to check out and their range of Arsenal memorabilia.

Ok, and now onto this week’s Arsecast which isn’t quite as full featured an Arsecast as usual due to my late arrival back in Dublin last night. Nevertheless, I’m joined by the Man from East Lower as well as Internet Joe and there’s just about half an hour of waffle, if not much else, in there for you. As always, brought to you in association with Savile Rogue.

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 (this is a much better way to do it as you don’t experience the delays from iTunes). To download this week’s Arsecast directly – click here (18mb MP3) or you can listen directly below without leaving this very page.


Also, if you want to purchase any Savile Rogue scarf, using the code ARSEBLOG11 at checkout gets you £5 off – and with this cold weather a warm neck is essential.

And aside from all just a thank you to everyone who bought So Paddy Got Up on iTunes yesterday, making it the number 1 book in all categories (in Ireland at least). I’m still waiting on Amazon to approve the Kindle version but will update as soon as it is (keep an eye on my Twitter for that).

And for the many people who asked if the book would be available this weekend at the Everton game, the answer is a big fat yes. There are copies in The Tollington which you pick up tomorrow if you’re there pre or post game, and hopefully I’ll see a few of you there for a half a flagon of ale and a few shots of homemade mead.

Right, that’s yer lot for this morning. Till tomorrow.

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