Good morning and welcome to Friday, welcome to the first day of the first press conference of the new season, and tomorrow we’ll have Premier League football again and all that that entails.
The good, of which there wasn’t very much last season (generally speaking); the bad, of which there was quite a lot last season (generally speaking); and the ugly, for Charlie Adam still walks the planet, devouring urchins and spitting out their bones from betwixt his tombstone teeth before applying choke-holds to those who possess a skill and ingenuity with the ball that scares him deep, deep down.
Another season of wondering why people pay Michael Owen to say things into a microphone, and another season of wishing that the TV companies would provide a ‘crowd noise’ only option to their broadcasts. We have the technology, give us the choice. Like they give us the ‘choice’ of having to subscribe to various platforms in order to see all the football. This choice is better for consumers, you know, because it means one broadcaster doesn’t have a monopoly – and it doesn’t matter one bit that choice is more expensive or anything.
But it could also be another season of Alexis being awesome, Ozil finding his groove, Santi making things tick, Ramsey rocking them in from midfield, and Petr Cech adding that bit extra at the back. Of all those things coming together in both the first and second half of the season in such a way that we actually have a good go at the title. That would be good.
Who couldn’t be looking forward to it all? Everything’s all shiny and new – apart from our squad which is like a comfortable old-armchair with the perfect groove for your arse, but a nice new bit of upholstery in goals. And let me tell you, I’m aiming to take my mixed metaphors to a new level this season.
We had the first bit of early team news from the manager yesterday too – that’s when you know things are really kicking off. And I have to say I laughed when I read what he said about Alexis and the possibility of him being involved on Sunday:
Alexis is back in training, but I don’t think he will be involved on Sunday, it is a bit early … maybe.
I don’t think there’s any real chance of him playing, nor should there be really, but the fact that there is such a caveat sums up the Chilean entirely. I bet if you asked him if he was ready to play he’d look at you as if you were daft for even thinking for a second that he might not be. But, as we saw last summer when players returned from the World Cup, being eased back into things is really important. As much running as he might have been doing on the beach, he has to get some training under his belt before he can be properly considered.
There was also confirmation of Jack Wilshere’s injury from the club, with the manager saying:
It is a hairline crack in his fibula that makes him a few weeks out. There is minimal damage apart from the bone damage – there is no damage at all apart from that. It was a collision in training and it was all completely accidental.
‘A few weeks’ is a fairly ethereal concept when it comes to Arsenal injuries, as we know, but hopefully Jack will be back sooner rather than later. We still have Tomas Rosicky and Danny Welbeck returning from injury, but overall the squad is in pretty healthy shape at the moment. No doubt we’ll get further updates from the manager today at his press conference.
Right then, after a very short summer break the Arsecast returns and with me on the opening show of the new season is Jeremy Wilson to talk Jack Wilshere, the Arsenal squad and what might happen between now and the end of the transfer window. There’s also a more general Premier League preview with Ken Early of Second Captains which may or may not include a lot of incredulous Mourinho chatter. There isn’t room for much of the usual waffle, but there’s some – I wouldn’t leave you without on the first show of the new season, and it all kicks off with a jaunty musical number.
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Keep an eye out later on for the now traditional Arseblog season preview in which I’ll look back at last season’s predictions in the context of what happened and then try and get things even more wrong when I look into my crystal ball for the season ahead. That should be available for you in the afternoon.
So, we’ll have all the news from the press conference over on Arseblog News this morning and throughout the day, so from me, till tomorrow.