A short Friday one + Arsecast 291

Apologies if you can’t read this because you can’t get on the site, there does seem to be an issue with something this morning. I’m not sure what it is and I’m having to use a proxy to access the site at all.

Of course, if you can’t read this then you won’t know that there’s a problem apart from the fact you can’t access the site and my words are meaningless. But I’m sure you’re figuring it out. At least this will serve as some after the fact explanation. Like ancient cave paintings.

In terms of news it’s a bit short on the ground right now, there’s the usual press conference this morning which should give us the latest in terms of team news ahead of tomorrow’s clash with the Mugsmashers. I’m assuming we’re going to be without Mathieu Flamini but as there hasn’t been any official confirmation from the club about the seriousness of his groin strain, I do wonder if we’re working on him behind the scenes. Cortisone injections in the gooch, and all that.

Other than that I hope we’ve got no new issues after Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup game. Serge Gnabry was due to play but picked up an ankle injury in training. There’s no word yet on how long that might keep him out for, but I’m sure Arsene will reveal all during his presser.

Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud has been talking about his role in the team as not just a scorer but a provider too. He says:

It is a quality when you are a striker to not always be greedy and when you have a team-mate well placed on the pitch, in a good position, you have to assist him. Strikers are judged on their goals but we must also provide assists and that is what I try to do: help my team-mates.

It’s fairly standard stuff, the kind you hear from every player when interviewed, but there’s little doubt Giroud is a real team player. We’ve touched on the improvement in his all round play, how he brings others into the game, but since day one he’s worked hard and filled an important defensive role too. He gives us another aerial presence when defending set-pieces and is extremely effective in our box.

The little flicks in and around the box don’t always come off, but when they do they’re played with such finesse and precision that it usually creates opportunities for us. And when you have players whose movement is as good as Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla etc, it’s a fine weapon to have. Particularly against defences which aren’t that mobile (something we’ll surely be looking at ahead of tomorrow’s game).

Elsewhere, Mikel Arteta has been talking to the Mirror about Luis Suarez, but frankly the only thing that interests me about Luis Suarez is us stopping him tomorrow. I don’t care about the summer, I don’t care about what he’s ‘gone through’, or anything else. I care about ensuring that he leaves the pitch tomorrow desperately, desperately unhappy that he didn’t score. Or create an assist. Or get to eat somebody’s arm. Or be top of the table. Or be in any way content with the result/performance of his team.

Bonus reading: Tim Stillman’s column touches on Arteta and Flamini and how it’s not simply an either-or situation.

Right then, on to this week’s Arsecast and I’m joined by Tim Stillman to talk about our recent form and our approach to the game against Liverpool. The Mugsmasher joins me to talk Mugsmashery stuff and answers the big question about Liverpool right now. There’s some Arshavin and the chance for you to win things, wonderful, warming things, from 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 28mb MP3) or you can listen directly below without leaving this very page.

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We’ll have news and updates throughout the day on Arseblog News. The Arsenal Gent is up here this afternoon, more from me early in the morning.

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