Good morning! It’s Friday, and what a day. It’s my pleasure to be your host for one whole day during this particular Arseblog hiatus and my pleasure it most certainly is.
It’s been something of a strange week. I’m going on holiday this afternoon (Mallorca, since you ask), and I’ve spent the past few days alternately getting absolutely nothing done because I’m winding down, and panicking because I’m getting nothing done and I’m soon going to be out of time. This is the first time I’ve been on holiday abroad since 2018, and I’ve forgotten all the things I need to take and get ready. It seems to mostly be wires and chargers.
Fortunately for me, the beautiful, amazing, long-suffering and ever-patient Mrs Tom is dealing with much of the packing (she wouldn’t let me even if I wanted to), so I only have to deal with myself – and the kids, sort of. This will be the first holiday my daughter’s ever been on, though she tends to have things taken care of even more than I do. She is two, of course, while I’m a … middle-aged man. Fucking hell. Middle-aged. Let’s not even go there. I remember when I first got involved with Arseblog when I was … urgh, over twenty years younger than I am now!
How did we get onto this?! Why are we here? Oh yes, the blog. Let’s do that rather than talk about my midlife crisis.
So what’s going on with Arsenal? Well, as Andrew Allen reported yesterday, the lads are in the States for a very busy 11 days in which they’ll play three fixtures. First up is Everton on Saturday (or Sunday if you’re in the UK) at 7pm EDT/midnight BST. Given the time difference and how late it starts, it seems unlikely it’ll be available to watch anywhere over here in Europe. The official site is doing audio-only coverage, so it might be a case of huddling around a radio to listen in (or an internet-enabled radio, at least). Then, on Wednesday (or Thursday if you’re in the UK), we take on Orlando City at the Exploria Stadium in Florida. That one’s at 7.30pm/0.30am, so with the time difference added on, there’s even less chance of getting to watch if you’re over here in the UK – audio again available on arsenal.com. Finally, a week on Saturday (or Sunday if you’re etc, etc.), we meet those champions of history and class (*spit*), Chelsea, also in Florida – and even later in the day. The official site says it doesn’t start until 1am over here, which will make it an 8pm kick-off EDT.
It seems slightly odd that we go all this way to play in the States and mainly meet teams from our own league. I know these games are about fitness and conditioning, and they’re not really meant to be that competitive (although how could any game against that last shower of filth not be competitive?!), but it seems to me that if we’re going to go all that way, we should play against a local team. PR is a consideration too, of course, but even so, wouldn’t you rather see your local team play against the out-of-towners than watch two out-of-towners play each other? I’m pretty sure I would. I’d be interested to know what our US-based Gooners think, so drop us an arse in the comments and let us know.
What else is going on? I particularly enjoyed Andrew’s report from yesterday about the Arsenal Supporters Detective Agency and the rumours of Youri Tielemans’s house being up for sale based on a photograph from an estate agent’s listing. That’s some mad sleuthing right there – and definitely very creepy. Were they reading random estate agent listings, looking for evidence that the house in question might belong to a footballer – and moreover, that footballer might be one that Arsenal might possibly be interested in?! Or is this a technique that gets routinely employed and has previously proved fruitful? How tenuous does “evidence” have to be before people will say that no, there’s probably not a connection between a multimillion pound footballer’s transfer and a note on some bloke’s fridge? It seems the bar is pretty low – but hey, it’s not doing any harm, right? Right?!
In our own round-up of tenuous-transfer-tittle-tattle, it seems that Lyon playmaker Lucas Paqueta is being widely reported to have said that he’s “open” to joining the club (as an aside, when was the last time you said you were “open” to something? “Yes, I am open to the idea of going down the pub”). He certainly fits the age profile for the type of player we seem to be looking to bring in, and while it’s perhaps a little easy to say that the Brazilian connection via Edu will help get a deal over the line, it might not do any harm either. Lyon want an eye-watering €80m for him though, so I guess we’ll see what happens.
Righto, that’s it for today. I’m going to go and panic some more that I’ve run out of time to pack – and then spend a fortune at the airport on adapter plugs and all the other nonsense they sell that I absolutely don’t need. Take care of yourselves, and I look forward to talking to you again one day.