Saturday, February 4, 2023

Amazing finishes and a slight *boilk*

Morning all. Welcome to a brand new week.

Thank you all for the lovely messages yesterday, it made me quite emotional. So much so I had to go and eat Mexican food and drink some frozen margaritas, so it’s safe to say we are starting year 21 of Arseblog with a fun-sized *boilk*.

I guess that’s the way it should be. I will do my best to reply to all the emails I’ve received too, and a big, collective ‘cheers’ to everyone for their social media greetings etc!

As I was out, I didn’t get to see the Carabao Cup final, but I watched the penalties this morning (it’s here if you fancy). There’s always something great about a shoot-out going on for so long that the keepers are involved, and then for one of the keepers to miss the crucial spot kick is icing on that particular cake.

But, there’s a cherry on top of the icing on the cake because the keeper who missed to lose the cup final was the keeper who was brought on specifically for the penalty shoot-out who then let 11 penalties in before he clattered the ball over the bar like he was Thomas Partey or something. Incredible.

I’m sure it was all preordained but what must Edouard Mendy think this morning? It’s not that I care, don’t get me wrong, but he must have a pain in his arse as he looks at his loser’s medal over breakfast. He’s probably thinking ‘I’d have stopped at least one of those’ and if I was the number 1 goalkeeper at a club, hauled off in a cup final to watch my replacement leap out of the way of the ball on 11 consecutive occasions I’d likely be a bit pissed off.

I suppose he’s professional enough to deal with it, but as non-Chelsea fans the best we can hope for is that this sows the seeds of a blight of disgruntlement that spreads through the entire squad until there is nothing left but misery and despair and the higher-ups decide the only man who can fix it is Jose Mourinho. Fingers crossed, eh?

Speaking of incredible finishes, what about Katie McCabe for Arsenal against Liverpool in the FA Cup yesterday?

She spoke to Tim Stillman after the game and said:

“It was great to get on the end of it, it’s definitely one of the best I’ve scored. The ball just hung and it was begging to be hit and I was delighted to get such a good connection on it.”

I enjoyed Tim’s description of her left foot that is both a ‘jackhammer and paintbrush’. It was a strong win for the Arsenal Women yesterday, and how can you not love Katie McCabe? She’s from just up the road here in Dublin, and in the long, long absence of an Irish magician with a magical left foot in the men’s team, I’m hanging my hat on her!

As for the men, it’s basically another week until we play again, so news is likely to be thin on the ground over the coming days, I imagine. Hopefully this gap between games will allow Takehiro Tomiyasu time to recover from his calf problem. I don’t know whether I should be encouraged or not by the fact it was ‘the other calf’ according to Mikel Arteta. I suppose it’s good that he hasn’t aggravated a previous injury, but a fresh one isn’t good either.

To be fair to Cedric, he has done well in the last few games, and maybe you’d argue that Watford is the kind of fixture you wouldn’t have too many worries about in general. However, when it comes to some of the games we have coming up, it’d be great to have Tomiyasu back. When you’re going to face big teams like Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea, you want your strongest side out there and I just like the balance he gives us on that right-hand side. I’d also like him for games against the non-big sides, like Sp*rs, just for the record.

We might take a closer look at the fixture list during the week. It is going to get more hectic, there are two games (Chelsea and Sp*rs) still awaiting a date, plus an international break in March, so there won’t be many more occasions where we have these rest periods between games. It will be interesting to see how we cope and if we can get into a nice rhythm.

Right, I will leave it there for this morning. I would pay good money for someone to deliver me a bacon sandwich right now, not least because I don’t have any bread or bacon in the house at all.

As ever, James and I will be recording the Arsecast Extra later on this morning so 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.

Pod should be out by lunchtime. Until then, take it easy.

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