Thursday, November 30, 2023

Quick Saturday round up

Hello and welcome to Arseblog from – wait-a-goddamn-minute-this-isn’t-my-house! In fairness, it does appear to be the house I went to sleep in, but it’s not my house, with my bed, with my things. Tis not unpleasant though, I’m staying with some friends in the wilds of Aberdeenshire. We shall call this place something imaginative and completely original, like The Upside Down. Things are not what they seem.

For example, there’s a mouse in this house. In fact there are two mice. One is merrily scurrying around in its cage, the other is apparently in a toolbox, in the garage, being an ex-mouse after it contracted some disease that necessitated its demise. Long time readers may know I have two large Maine Coon cats. I can only speculate as to what they’d do to either or both of these mice, but I can’t see any of it ending well for the not-yet-dead mouse. The ex-mouse probably wouldn’t care.

On to things Arsenal and a quick Saturday round up for you ahead of the game against Newcastle this afternoon. It all seems to be quotes from the manager today, starting with some chat about his compatriot at the helm at Newcastle:

He is the first of the Spanish coaches to be working here. He knows the Premier League. He got the best performance with a lot of teams and above all with Liverpool.

I remember a few interesting games between the two teams when Benitez was still at Liverpool, both getting thumped and giving a thumping. Let’s hope today is a case of the latter rather than the former.

Emery also had a bit to say about our style:

We need to improve on the pitch with our personality and our ideas. We want to do better than the last match in Cardiff. We want the same result but we can be better on the pitch.

Let’s hope so. The new system and processes Emery is trying to put in place are obviously going to take some time to work, and a win is a win however it comes, but it’d be nice to see us put in something of a performance too.

Emery also had some words for the Europa League, a competition Arsene Wenger didn’t seem to take too seriously until the latter stages when he started to play what he felt was his best eleven. Speaking of the first Europa League game, against Ukraine’s FC Vorskla, he said:

I have proven with my experience to know the best way to manage the players. My idea isn’t to change 11 players between one competition and the next competition.

Which makes it difficult to see how younger players are going to get a look in, but maybe he’s reserving the Caracaracarabou Cup for that type of experimentation. We’ll have to wait and see, I suppose.

Emery has also had something to say about Mesut Ozil, who has yet to register a successful through ball or assist this season:

The reason we are working is to prepare each match with our players to have the possibility to arrive in Newcastle in the best condition for every player.

That’s the same for Mesut. He working well. He is OK. I want to push them, I want to be demanding to prepare this match – Mesut the same.

I want to find with him the possibility to do the best, to make decisive passes, to do more near and in the box to score. Also I think he is working for the team to help us with his quality.

But he is feeling like I am feeling. He can improve, he can do more. In this process, we will work, we will help him, give him the possibility on the pitch to be together, to find his qualities for us.

All well and good, but as our best paid, and probably best player, he needs to start delivering, so hopefully he can start that today.

Sticking with the manager (finally!), Emery has little to say about Ivan Gazidis’ proposed move to Italy. Having been pressed on the CEO’s situation, in not at all unreasonable comments, he said:

I answered this question and every conversation with me is speaking about us. About our performance. About our ideas. Our process. Then, for his future we didn’t speak. I think it’s one question for him.

Which is exactly as it should be. We’ll wait to see what happens, but it does highlight the new structure and how the Chief Exec and manager are sufficiently far apart from each other that one or the other leaving doesn’t really make much difference (to each other; obviously the manager/coach leaving is a bigger impact on the club).

Finally for today, in team news, it seems from what I can tell that we have no new injuries, so we’ll hopefully see Auba link up with Lacazette some more, with potential for Lucas Torerria to his first start, presumably alongside Xhaka in midfield.

That’s it from me. As ever, we’ll have a liveblog for you this afternoon, so tune in for that if you can’t watch live.

Until next time. Come on you Gooners!

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