Thursday, November 30, 2023

Interlull: Walls and some Ozil stuff.

For those of you even vaguely interested, the mirror did not hang yesterday. It’s a very heavy mirror and although I successfully drilled the hole in the wall to put the wotsits and the yokeymibob in, the holes weren’t big enough for the industrial hooks I had purchased.

As I did not have a larger drill bit I had two choices. One – enlarge the holes myself by carefully sculpting the cavities. Two – give up. Two was much easier. But look, that’s a fairly typical story when it comes to DIY and me. Some people are good at things like that. Carpenting and wiring and fixing and mending and all that. I’m quite good at writing and cooking things. And making delicious things to drink.

The very essence of a modern man, I suppose, but if I were cast back in time to an era when those kind of skills were necessary for survival I don’t think I’d fare very well. If I had to make a shelter for my family, or build a house, I would struggle. Seriously. I used to love Lego as a kid but the only things I could ever build were a wall, or a tower (which was just a really narrow wall). Anything with joining corners or angles of any kind was too much for me.

I remember I had Meccano too. I have literally no idea what I ever did with that. Other than stare at it and its confusing spanners and bewildering bolts before trying to make something on an Etch-a-sketch that didn’t look like Jackson Pollock had a joined up, aluminium powder based fit of some kind. ‘That’s supposed to be a house?”, I couldn’t even make one on a toy.

Anyway, away from me and my lack of handyman skills there’s very little going on this morning. After a week of exuberant glow following the signing of Mesut Ozil, it’s all gone a bit dull now because of the Interlull. The final games are tomorrow, after which we can start getting excited about the weekend, but until then it’s likely to be quiet.

The latest from our new number 11 is more of the same, regarding how important Arsene Wenger was to his signing:

Arsene told me exactly how he saw me, how he wanted to use me, what he expected of me. In some way, that conversation flicked a switch in me and made me realise what I had lost at Madrid – transparency, trust, respect. I would have even joined Arsenal for free.

And I’m sure if there were any possible way of Arsenal paying that much for him, we would have. It’s our favourite number after all! I kid. But still, I like the fact that Ozil cares little for what the fee is, seeing as it has nothing to do with him whatsoever. Or is he talking about playing for us for free? Perhaps that’s why it took so long to sort out.

Comparisons have been made (in terms of style of play and not looks, obviously) between Ozil and Robert Pires. Fleet of foot, wonderful vision, creator, scorer etc, and there’s a strange parallel in that Pires made his Arsenal debut against Sunderland and Ozil is set to do exactly the same. Hopefully the result will be different. On the opening day of the 2000-2001 season we went to the Stadium of Light and got beaten by a scabby Niall Quinn goal.

Reminiscing on that debut, Pires said:

Let me tell you a story about my first game with Arsenal. It was away to Sunderland and Arsene Wenger said to me, ‘I’m going to put you on the bench and you’ll be able to see how they play football in England.’ I can tell you that after 20-25 minutes I wanted to return to France because I could tell how difficult it was going to be here.

I don’t think Ozil will be intimidated in any way, nor do I think di Canio’s team probably will be as physical as Peter Reid’s, but it’s a vaguely interesting, not quite a coincidence to touch on during an Interlull. Also, not terribly interestingly, Steve Bould was on the bench for Sunderland that day but was an unused sub. Patrick Vieira was also sent off late on. Then he got sent off in the very next game against Liverpool by Graham Poll for two yellow cards, and was so pissed off by the whole thing he threatened to quit English football. The man had a temper, for sure.

Right, instead of continuing this review of the 00-01 season I’m going to call it quits for today, but in the absence of any real football news, how about a 24 minute video of new boy Mesut Ozil to keep you distracted? Check it out over on Arseblog News and thanks to @CulannDavies for his fine work as always.

Till tomorrow.

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