Theo, Pod, Coat and Vote

Morning, we’re well and truly into the Interlull now.

Arsene Wenger did a Twitter takeover yesterday, that’s how much into the Interlull we are. As far as I can tell the questions were all about his coat. About the zip on his coat. The size of his coat. How big his coat is. How he struggles to fasten his coat. The enormous nature of the coat. And how he has a hard time doing up his coat.

Unfortunately Arsene simply laughed off the questions so we didn’t get any closure. Much like the boss himself I guess.

“Is this thing on?” *taps mic*


I’m very much of the opinion that he should simply wear a different jacket each week just to keep people on their toes. One week the classic parka, a Chesterfield the next. A morning coat for those early kicks offs, the pesky late ones can be dealt with by donning a velvet smoking jacket. And on the last day of the season, when we clinch the league title, he should emerge from the tunnel wearing an Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Far, far away somebody would be weeping (Mourinho). The Twitter Q&A sparked many articles about how boring the Twitter Q&A was but obviously it wasn’t boring enough to stop publications writing about it on their own click-friendly websites. Either that or they’re keen to foist boring stuff on their readers. Like nonsensical transfer stories and deliberately misrepresented quotes topped with a skanky headline. What? Oooooh.

Anyway, I think we’ve spent far too much time already on the manager’s over-garments. When he brings back the hat, then we can talk further. The world was a better, more sepia-toned place when men wore hats. Now we’re men without hats, and look where that’s got us.

From an Arsenal point of view there’s not much happening really. Jack Wilshere is involved in the England squad and apparently we only want him to play against Chile this weekend and not next week against Germany. Hardly an unreasonable request given his injury problems in general and the recent issue with his other ankle. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see what England do.

There must be some common sense in there. Roy Hodgson isn’t Stuart Pearce, for example, and he seems to be aware that if he wants Wilshere fit and available for next summer’s World Cup then it might not be the best thing to play him in a friendly game that is, essentially, meaningless. Sure, it’s Germany at Wembley, a good chance to test yourself against one of the best, but that is smaller picture stuff. There is a need to look at the picture which is slightly larger.

Meanwhile, Laurent Koscielny has warned of Olivier Giroud being fatigued as France go into their play-offs for Brazil. He said:

He’s playing game after game and hasn’t had a rest, so maybe he’s feeling a bit of fatigue. He’s very important for us – strong and always answers the call on the pitch. If you look at the games, he weighs enormously on the opposition’s defence. All the balls he wins are in the air with his back to goal. He works very hard up front.

The difficulty of course is the lack of alternative, something we’re all very aware of, but even without that there are two players who, if they returned, could certainly share the burden. Last season Theo Walcott scored 21 and made 14 assists, Lukas Podolski scored 17 and made 11 assists. That is a lot of goals to be involved in, and it’s why, when we went behind to United, coming back was made more difficult.

Sure, the players on the day didn’t quite click, but we just didn’t have any genuine goal threat on the bench. Nicklas Bendnter was only called back to Arsenal for this kind of eventuality – where we have literally nobody else to turn to. There’s no Walcott, no Podolski, and it’s a measure of how forgotten/irrelevant (at this point) he is that nobody has mentioned Yaya Sanogo for weeks. He doesn’t even get a mention in the fitness updates.

I think he’s got some kind of a back injury – at this point it could be a case that it’s simply fallen off and he is currently backless. Which would make football more difficult. Hopefully we’ll have both of them back once the Interlull is over because they both offer threats different than we currently possess. Walcott’s pace can open up and stretch defences, while Podolski’s delivery from the left, and ability to twat the ball with a left foot like Thor’s hammer, are things we just don’t have going for us right now.

As an aside, I do wonder exactly what Podolski did to his hamstring, it must have snapped in two or something.

Finally for today, a couple of plugs. Firstly for 8by8 Magazine, a new football quarterly which this month features a big spread on Arsenal including something by me. And there are people like Philippe Auclair and Raphael Honigstein writing for it too. Check them out here.

And closer to home, Arseblog has been nominated as Best Independent Website in the FSF Awards. If you felt like voting for us that would be very much appreciated. Click here to do that (and vote in the other categories too!). Cheers.

Right, that’s that, back tomorrow with more Interlull fun.


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