Monday, May 20, 2024

Touchdown

Good morning from a misty East Lothian. It was like this yesterday but turned into gorgeous sunshine by 10am, so I’m sure it’s just a haar what with me being not far from the coast. Anyway, you didn’t come here for a weather report, did you? If you did, well, that was fortuitous for you (assuming you’re in East Lothian) – but that’s your lot.

The lads, and I presume Arseblogger, arrived in New York yesterday for the start of their visit to the US. You can watch a video of the players on the plane, along with their assorted completely anonymous devices, on some airline or other – it’s really not clear who it is – over on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UACUC_onkKc

Arsene Wenger has been talking about how this is a good time to visit the States:

I can tell you something I’m completely convinced of – before people didn’t know who you were, but now every American guy I met knows Arsenal, knows England and knows the Premier League.

The enthusiasm about soccer in the States is new but big. I expect us to have a good crowd there.

And the enthusiasm really is noticeable. I’ve made six or seven trips over in the past year for work, and on each occasion, someone has noticed my accent and said something about “soccer”. The USA team were really good in the World Cup, winning a lot of friends with their effort and attitude – not to mention their quality – but ultimately they didn’t have quite enough to beat a good Belgium side.

In particular, I should mention someone that works for a company my own does business with who was absolutely thrilled to hear that I was an Arsenal fan – since she was too – and it improved our working relationship no end. In a bizarre twist, she said her husband was a Sp*rs fan, which either means he’s some kind of masochist, or their marriage thrives on regular humiliation. But I suppose, whatever works.

The ever changing demographics of the country will inevitably work to improve its national side too, with the self-evident influence of south and central America. Good luck to them, I say, not least since it means individuals like the horrendous Anne Coulter will be even more unhappy (don’t feed the troll).

In unsubstantial transfer news, there’s still nothing about David Ospina on the official site, the club obviously waiting until he’s actually played a game before they think anyone will believe they signed a player in a position we badly need one.

There’s other various nonsense about Khedira, Iker Casillas, and Santi Cazorla, but none of it of too much interest. A couple of outlets pick up on a story that instead of signing a defensive midfielder, Arsene Wenger might try and have Jack play in that position, but I’m not sure that seems terribly likely.

And in more substantial, actual, transfer news, Thomas Eisfeld has left the club and joined Fulham in a permanent deal. I feel it’s a bit of a shame. On the brief occasions we saw him play, I thought he looked like he could become a tidy enough player, but given our options in midfield, he was always going to find it very hard to make a breakthrough. I wish him well (except when he plays us, of course).

Finally for today, a couple of quick stories. Firstly, if you’re so inclined, you can check out some (more or possibly new) pictures of Mathieu Debuchy wearing an Arsenal kit, and secondly, Gedion Zelalem, has said what a dream it is to play with the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Abou Diaby (and Zelalem should know, what with his surname sounding remarkably like a type of sleeping pill). I can only assume it’s like a dream to play with Ramsey because he is, well, the Welsh Jesus, and it’s like a dream to play alongside Diaby because [insert your own joke about him only ever being not injured in anyone’s dreams].

That’s your lot. More tomorrow.

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