Monday, May 16, 2022

Sunday [the new something] round-up [which is the new wotsit]

Morning all.

It’s a pretty quiet Sunday. The press are talking Draxler again, saying he’s the new Thierry Henry. The boy must have some special talent because last week he was the new Robin van Persie. Is he so versatile and awesome that he can become the new anyone? Even somebody who isn’t part of the football world.

We sign him and Arsene introduces him to the squad. “Lads, this is Julian Draxler. This week he is the new Andy Sipowicz, grizzled detective from the 15th Precinct who was a popular character in 90s cop show NYPD Blue.

“Next week he’s going to be Holling Vincoeur from Northern Exposure, and the week after that he’ll do a turn as Vivian from the Young Ones. Then he’s taking requests.”

I like it when footballers are the new other footballer. It shows an imaginative and creative mind to assign such a label to a human being, and a wonderful willingness to overlook the inherent individuality of every one of us. Nobody, but nobody, should be taken at their own merits and fatuous comparisons should be made at every opportunity.

Meanwhile, Lukas Podolski (the new, more German, slightly less curly, much less ginger, more forward than midfield, same cracking shot power, less fire-extinguishy, Ray Parlour), says he’s still not quite 100% fit after his hamstring.

Speaking after the FA Cup win against Coventry, he talked about his recovery, saying:

“It was not easy, you work hard, you train hard and finally you’re back. I don’t know if I’m 100 per cent but I think I played very good today and we’ll see in the next week.”

Fitness (the new black, btw), has clearly been an issue since he joined the club. He went through the whole of his first campaign with an ankle problem, and it was a rare sight to see him complete 90 minutes even when he was available. Now, with the hamstring tear and the 4 month lay-off it still appears as if he’s got some way to go to convince the manager he’s going to be a regular starter.

Indeed, with everyone fit, I think it’s hard to fit him in into our best starting XI. However, one of the things this team has lacked in recent years is genuine quality from the bench and he definitely provides that. He showed against West Ham he can come on and make a difference, and he’s a good option to have if we need a goal or someone to smash one from distance.

Meanwhile, I love this from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (the new Shins McGee, a fella I used to play Sunday League football they are, like, the image of each other), who spoke about getting an earful from Per Mertesacker (the new …er … man … don’t they get tired of having to think of these things?) after giving the ball away on Friday night.

I gave the ball away and it resulted in them hitting the post. I knew what I did and I knew what I did wrong there and Per just gave me a friendly reminder. That’s what you need, you need to keep each other’s standards high and we’ll be doing it all season. If you do something that’s not good enough you can bet your bottom dollar that one of your team-mates will tell you when he believes you’re better than that.

No mercy from Der Per. As it should be. Short of smashing each other in the face Dyer/Bowyer style, on pitch ‘discussions’ like that generally come from somebody trying to get somebody’s head right, or to urge them do better. Its not personal and when the 90 minutes are up it’s forgotten.

I do love me some of that Mertesacker though. I wish he was my granddad.

Right, time for some breakfast (the new …. ARGH!). Till tomorrow.

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