Saturday, June 10, 2023

Sunday round-up: Defeat to Juventus, World Cup final

Good morning to you. If you’re the taxi driver I got home last night, I hope your car breaks down and all your teeth fall out, you massive prick.

Anyway, I did not see our 2-0 defeat to Juventus yesterday. Nor have I seen the goals, one of which was an own goal. I’m not saying this is the worst defeat in our history or anything, but I’m not interested in Juventus goals. If you’re into the old goal masochism, go right ahead, but it’s not for me.

Mikel Arteta didn’t sound too despondent though, saying:

It was a good learning as well for us – games are decided in the boxes. I think they had one or two shots and scored two goals. We had 19 or 20 and had two on target. That’s not enough. Overall, I think everything else was really positive. But that final thing you need to win the games wasn’t good enough today.

Hmmm, could he possibly be referring to ‘firepower’ and the need for it? Or simply more from the players he has? I guess publicly he’d say the latter while thinking quietly about the former and whether we can do anything about it January.

Reading around this morning, it seems that Reiss Nelson picked up an injury, and whatever role you might envisage for him in the second half of the season, we need as many fit bodies as possible so it’s not good news. Hopefully nothing too serious. The manager also spoke about some of the other absentees, and it’s not especially positive yet with regard to Emile Smith Rowe:

He hasn’t been able to train in the last few days but hopefully he can start next week. He’s been out for a while now – he needs some time to get back to speed. We really need him and we’re going to welcome him with both arms, because he’s a really important player for us. We need him fit on the pitch.

I was hoping he’d be closer to first team action at this point, because he is going to take a few weeks to get match fit, but ultimately the most important thing is ensuring he’s 100% and can maintain that going forward. There’s also Tomiyasu and Zinchenko, about whom he said:

Alex is progressing well and Tomi is running on the pitch.

There was no Albert Sambi Lokonga last night either, but I saw that described somewhere as precautionary. Still, with so much football to come when things resume, hopefully we can have a relatively clean bill of health at that point. No doubt we’ll find out more during the week.

Elsewhere today there’s the small matter of the World Cup final between France and Argentina. Will be a Messi masterclass or an Mbappe … erm … Mbasterclass? I don’t think there’s a clear favourite for this one to be honest. Both sides have their qualities, both sides have some flaws. From the neutral perspective, that could mean an exciting, entertaining game.

Or a drab 0-0 decided with a scrappy goal that deflects off a defender’s arse in the 83rd minute. Which defender? Which arse? Hopefully the it’s former though, and if we get some magic from one of the superstars – or anyone else – all the better.

I’m gonna leave it there now, but James and I are recording the Arsecast Extra for you later on this evening. 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.

Enjoy the game later, and we should have the podcast for you around 9pm.

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