Home again, so here’s some random blathering

Morning to you all. I’m back in Dublin now, and faced with a mountain of catching up, replying to things, and generally getting back to normal to get on with – but despite how daunting that is, the weekend was all worth it. Fun times, folks, fun times.

I know I normally do an end of season squad assessment pretty much immediately after the final game, but this is one of those things that’s going to have to be caught up on. All going well I should be have that done for tomorrow’s blog.

Some of our players will now be on their well-deserved holidays, others have international friendlies and perhaps even European Championship qualifiers which run as late as June 14th. When you consider our season starts again on August 2nd in the Community Shield it doesn’t leave much time for the rest they need and the pre-season fitness training they need to get ready for a new campaign. Still, the fact that we’re starting our season that early is a consequence of last Saturday’s success so you wouldn’t have it any other way.

I guess, as well, that there are things for the manager and the club to catch up on and sort out. Like it or not we’re going to have to consider the squad and what happens to it this summer in terms of arrivals and departures. Maybe not today though, that can wait, and I did enjoy these Tweets sent to us for the Arsecast Extra last night. I didn’t get a chance to use them but they made me laugh:

For some – I’m talking media organisations/websites – the football can’t end soon enough so they can get on with the important business of speculation, fiction and complete bullshit that they are so invested in. And look, we can criticise them all we want for being peddlers of the worst kind of click-bait bollocks, but they do it because there’s a very large audience desperate for the latest transfer news.

As ever, throughout the summer, we’ll try and sift through all the chaff to try and find the nuggets of wheat (do you get nuggets of wheat? – I don’t think you do but you know what I mean). I might go over some potential departures in tomorrow’s squad assessment but as for who’s coming in at this point your guess is as good as mine.

The manager said after the final:

I feel that we are moving forward, that we have made progress. The cohesion, the quality, the desire, the intelligence of the players is there. So we have some very good ingredients to do more.

He said some, but not all, and that’s where this summer is going to be interesting. Anyway, there’s plenty of time to get into all that. There doesn’t seem to be anywhere near the same clamour for ‘early’ signings this time around, and I think there’ll be a period of quiet until things happen.

Back to the FA Cup for a moment and you might remember last year there was a fantastic video showing fan footage from bars/clubs all around the world. If you have any, from wherever you are, please get in tough with @BLarsenAFC1886 as he’s making a follow up so it’d be good to have as many places worldwide featured.

I have to say I’m particularly interested in seeing the reactions to the Alexis goal. I wonder if there are moments like I experienced – a slight pause in shock and wonder before going absolutely mad. I suspect that might well be the case. And while I haven’t had much time to look at anything since the final, I’ve downloaded and watched that goal more than once. Ooooof. So hot.

For those of you who missed it yesterday, Arseblog News turned 4 yesterday – and we’ve put together a little post to celebrate that. From Andrew Allen and myself, and all the contributors who make the site what it is, thanks for your support over the last four years. Hopefully we’ve created a reliable source of Arsenal news and information and we can keep that going for years to come.

Finally for this morning, I did manage to croak my way through an Arsecast Extra with James last night. A podcast of the walking wounded in some ways. James with his smashed up arm, me with a voice that sounds like a smashed up arm. Still, it was an entertaining one I think as we looked back on the FA Cup final win and ensured – for the most part – that this was the focus of the podcast in general.

For all the download/subscription info, go to the regular post here, but for ease of access I’ve embedded the player here today so you can listen below:

Right, sorry for the rather disjointed nature of today’s blog, but I’m finding my brain and fingers aren’t necessarily on the same wavelength just yet. Back tomorrow with the squad assessment etc.

Have a good one.

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