Morning everyone, happy Friday and the new season is almost upon us. Today the manager will hold his first press conference of the new campaign and there’s little doubt as to what he’s going to be asked. Having watched many of these I feel like I’m in a good position to guess at some of the questions he’ll be posed.
Just off the top of my head, I reckon he might be quizzed about the following:
- Buying players
- Bringing in players from other clubs
- Spending money on humans who happen to be footballers
- Which players he’s going to buy
- When is he going to buy the players
- How much is going to spend
- Purchasing footballers
- Adding to his squad
- Doing deals to get new players in
- Getting the chequebook out
- For whom is he going to swoop
And people will read things into his smiles because that’s what happens. Then someone will ask him something vaguely related to Manchester United and he might reply in a perfectly reasonable way before they scurry off to take a snippet of that quote which makes it sound like he’s called Jose Mourinho a war criminal and we’ll have a weekend of headlines which have nothing to do with football but sure who cares because football is just the thing that fuels the rest of pantomime and we can concentrate on the real things like faux outrage and, you know, transfers.
What might be more interesting is how he’s going to set his team up on Sunday given the defensive issues we have. Will be bring back Laurent Koscielny ahead of time? Is he confident enough to field a partnership of Calum Chambers and Rob Holding? Or will he shuffle Nacho Monreal across into centre-half until such time as he can bring in a replacement? I’m sure we’ll find out a bit more.
Another interesting question might be: who is going to be the captain this season? It was all set to be Per Mertesacker but the injury to the BFG means he’s out of action until the new year and a bit of thinking needs to be done there. I suppose obvious candidates are those who will play most often, so Laurent Koscielny, Petr Cech, Santi Cazorla or even Aaron Ramsey might well be the choices. I think it’s between the first two, to be honest, but we should get a better idea later on.
No doubt we’ll get a bit about having 11 leaders on the pitch, and to be honest I’m fine with that. The idea of collective responsibility is clearly a good one, but it’s still important to have a captain, a figurehead who has that little bit extra in terms of seniority or dressing room/on-pitch influence. I think the days of the classic Tony Adams style captain are more or less a thing of the past – primarily because players and characters like he was are few and far between really – but it’s still a big honour to captain your club, and an important job, so let’s see who he chooses.
In terms of transfers, there appears to have been some movement in the case of Shkodran Mustafi, although reports apparently from his agent that everything was agreed between player and club have left those directly involved somewhat nonplussed because he’s not his agent. The Guardian has more on that, but it’s still believed that he’ll be an Arsenal player early next week. Let’s hope that part is true, because boy do we need reinforcement at the back.
For some extra reading this morning check out Tim Stillman’s column about Alexis and Walcott working together (something they may have to do early in this season), and check back here later on for the traditional Arseblog season preview post, which looks at our readiness for the new campaign across all areas of the squad as it stands right now.
Right then, onto this first Arsecast of the new season and I’m joined by Ken Early from Second Captains to preview the Premier League, not just from an Arsenal point of view, but looking at all the managerial arrivals, what it might mean, how it’ll all go down and lots more. That’s in two parts, and I also chat with the Mugsmasher ahead of the Liverpool game on Sunday. There’s plenty of the usual waffle, some vintage news and you can win money with FanDuel, one-day Fantasy Football.
If you want to sign up with FanDuel use the code ‘ARSEBLOG‘ when you do, you can play for free if you like, but if you want to play for some of the big prizes they’ll refund your entry fee if you lose up to £10.
You can subscribe to the Arsecast on iTunes by clicking here. Or if you want to subscribe directly to the feed URL you can do so too (this is a much better way to do it as you don’t experience the delays from iTunes). To download the Arsecast directly, use the link below the player, and if you are a regular listener via iTunes, if you would be so kind as to leave a review/rating that would be greatly appreciated.
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For all the news and updates from the manager’s press conference, join us over on Arseblog News throughout the day. Enjoy the podcast, and I’ll be back tomorrow with a weekend update.