Morning all, welcome to Friday.
It’s been another pretty quiet week – you can tell because all the tabloids are just running last week’s transfer stories over again in the absence of anything else to talk about. Gonetic. Jovelons. Whatever. Let’s get to the summer then start worrying about these kind of things.
We got some early team news ahead of the trip to QPR tomorrow and there’s not much new there. Fabianski remains out after Grant Holt tried to eat his spare rib, Olivier Giroud serves the second game of his three game ban for the red card at Fulham, and apart from Abou Diaby that’s about it. It’s a relatively clean bill of health for this stage of the game, but even a small knock is season finisher at this point.
The boss has been talking about his options up front for tomorrow’s game and it looks like he’s going to continue with Lukas Podolski. He says:
He has the qualities because he is a good finisher. He has a good technique and because we have a game based on very quick combinations I believe he can be a part of that. Overall I am convinced in the coming games he will show it.
As we spoke about last week, he isn’t exactly another option, just the best fit in the absence of Giroud, but it would be good for his season to finish on a positive note. He’s had something of a mid-season slump, injury and the form of others have meant he’s been sidelined a bit too often, but his record isn’t bad. 14 goals and 11 assists in all competitions isn’t world entirely beating, but all things considered it’s a long way from being the failure some people suggest.
If he could get a couple of goals to ice the cake, I think it’s a return that would be generally positive, but there’s obviously a need for him to become more influential next time around. He was signed for his experience and ability to slot into a team without too much hassle. He’s at the right age, he seems to like it at the club (although I did read somewhere that his family stayed in Germany, which is a bit odd), and at this point we genuinely need him to do the business.
It’s not uncommon for more natural central strikers to struggle against Man Utd, but in a game against a team that has already been relegated, who’ve conceded more than twice as many at home as they’ve scored, it’s a good chance to show his stuff. We’ve seen what his left foot can do at times this season, a few final flourishes would be timely indeed.
Other than that there might be things for him to think about in terms of his midfield, with Wilshere and Rosicky competing for a place, right back with Sagna’s indifferent form something of a worry, and even left back as the Monreal/Gibbs merry-go-round continues. We should hear more from him at today’s press conference.
Beyond that there’s very little going on, a testament to the lack of fallout from any of our recent results. And at this point of the season that’s absolutely fine by me. There’s little enjoyment to be had from trying to figure out what went wrong, how it went wrong, and how little margin there is for putting things right. I like that we’ve just gone game to game, done what we needed to (for the most part) then gone silent. It might not be quite as interesting but it sure as shit beats the alternative.
So, without any further ado, let’s get on with this week’s Arsecast. Joining me to discuss last weekend’s draw with United, Bacary Sagna, Lukas Podolski and more, is @AAllensSport. We also have some exclusive news about new commercial partnerships and all the usual bits and pieces of waffle too.
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 21mb MP3) or you can listen directly below without leaving this very page.[audio:http://podcast.arseblog.com/arsecast/arsecast_episode277.mp3]
And that’s really about that. We’ll have press conference news and any other breaking stories over on Arseblog News, for now though, have a good Friday and we’re back tomorrow with a full preview of the QPR game.