Thursday, September 29, 2022

Nightcap

I need to question the word ‘nightcap’. I know it sounds like part of a deadly fungus, but when you think about it, it’s a soft word. A pleasant word. One which denotes something pleasurable.

So, when you’ve had a couple of beers, and then had some wine and watched a movie and it’s time for any sensible person to go bed, you get the bright idea of having a ‘nightcap’ in the garden because it’s warm and who knows when you’ll get this kind of weather again so you might as well make the most of it.

It will, quite literally, cap the night, is what you think to yourself as you pour some delicious amber liquid from a bottle into a glass and ooops that was a bit large but sure look the bottle was nearly empty anyway so you might as well. Did you know that the Irish translation for whiskey ‘Uisce beatha’ (pronounced ‘ish-ka ba-ha’) is ‘water of life’. No wonder we’re a nation of deluded poets. Anyway, the water of life is in the glass, one of the dogs trundles out to keep you company (the young one, the old guy knows better), and you decide to cap your night.

In that sense, it’s accurate. It does exactly what it says on the tin, but it’s the next morning when you start to question the language. I guess the last drink of the night wouldn’t be as attractive if it was called ‘The Hangover Enforcer’ or ‘The Brain Slammer’ or ‘The unnecessary one that makes you want to slip into a mild coma for a few days’.

Was the night capped? Yes, yes it was. I can’t take issue with the accuracy. But does the cap have a load of spikes which stick into your head and feel like they are injecting fiery earwigs into my brain? Also yes. They don’t tell you about that bit, do they? It’s like if a sandwich turned your guts into a beach and then a cackling evil woman on a broom came along and put a spell on you. Talk about defiance of the trades description act.

Anyway, perhaps the issue is mine. A re-framing is required. Next time I think a nightcap would be lovely, I will replace the word ‘nightcap’ with ‘Head Thresher’ and I might just call it a night there and then.

As it’s Monday morning, not a lot happened over the weekend, but I feel confident/foolish enough to make some predictions for the week ahead.

1

An obvious one, but I think this is the week that we’ll get the Ben White deal done. Behind the scenes, it’s all complete. Personal terms and all that jazz have been agreed for some time. Last week it was reported that agreement had been found with Brighton, so now it’s just about making it all come together. He’s been on holidays, now he’s not, and beyond any last minute hitch he’ll be an Arsenal player.

2

It feels a bit quiet on the Lucas Torreira front, so I predict that we’ll start to get some stories about him soon. He was away at the Copa America, and by the looks of his Instagram he’s enjoying some holiday time, but his is a situation which has kind of flown under the radar a bit. It seems pretty clear he’d like to play football somewhere else, and a return to Italy has long been mooted. However, when even clubs like Juventus are trying to do deals for players which involve them paying in installments and using the barter system, it’s hard to know how much money is sloshing around Serie A clubs.

Would Sassuolo like a midfielder to replace Manuel Locatelli? Perhaps! But would that make Manuel Locatelli fancy a move to Arsenal. Probably not.

3

Granit Xhaka’s Arsenal tenure will come to an end. His departure to Roma will epitomise his very existence. Some will be happy he’s gone, others will bemoan the fee we have received for him, and so continues the very essence of Xhaka: a man who divides opinion, even when he’s not around any more.

I also predict a social media post from Granit which will enrage certain people even though it’s probably not going to be particularly incendiary or anything. It’s just that a lot of people really like getting angry at anything, not least stuff on Twitter that they could simply ignore.

4

We will have another departure but I don’t quite know who. If I had to guess, I’d say one of the young Academy lads like Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson or Joe Willock. We have some difficult players in the squad to sell, but they are probably the easiest with their homegrown status and all the rest. A club like Southampton, Crystal Palace or Brighton might be involved.

Right, that’s as much predicting as my brain can manage this morning. It will be in better shape shortly, which is good because James and I will be recording an Arsecast Extra for you. Keep an eye out for the call for questions on Twitter @gunnerblog and @arseblog on Twitter with the hashtag #arsecastextra – or if you’re on Arseblog Member on Patreon, leave your question in the #arsecast-extra-questions channel on our Discord server.

Podcast should be out around lunchtime, so until then, take it easy.

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