Sunday, March 3, 2024

Man City inevitably close the gap : A legend departs

Morning all, a quick Friday blog for you.

I didn’t see Chelsea v Man City last night as I was sure of the result and I just didn’t want to see it unfold. I thought it would be more comprehensive for City, so 1-0 is a bit frustrating – especially when they scored the goal they did.

What on earth is Kepa Arrizabalaga doing here? Kepa Arrizabagrobbelaar, imo. Ask your dads, kids.

So it means Man City have cut our lead at the top of the table to 5 points, but it really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. This is the scrap we are involved in this season, and they are going to chase and chase with a relentlessness that we’re just going to have to get used to between now and the end of the season.

As for Chelsea, it’s just one win in eight games under Graham Potter. In some ways, it’s a bit reminiscent of that run we endured under Mikel Arteta in 2020, our winter of discontent, but I suppose Arteta had the goodwill of the FA Cup in the bank. Who knows what Chelsea will do. They’ll probably spend a load more money to add to their Frankenstein’s monster of a squad and I for one hope the bolt falls out of its neck and they collapse into an infinite black hole of nothingness and existential dread.

Speaking of spending, Shakhtar’s Director of Football Darijo Srna was in London, and attended the game last night as Chelsea maintain their interest in Mykhaylo Mudryk. There were pictures of him in the Director’s Box with a walletless Todd Boehly, and I suppose some Arsenal fans will be concerned we might get gazumped for the player.

Speaking on NBC last night, David Ornstein said we continue our interest in the 21 year old, and that we’re not overly concerned about Chelsea:

“There is optimism at the Emirates that with patience they will get this done, given that the player has very clearly indicated that he would like to join them.

“I don’t think they’ll be too concerned at this point about a potential hijack from Chelsea.”

He also hinted that Arsenal might ‘bring forward’ some other business as this one drags on a bit. Again, there was talk of Joao Felix on loan, and I’m sure that with Barcelona’s financial situation being as desperate as it is, our ongoing interest in Ferran Torres is something of a safety net. I’ve also been told that we might have sent an sms or two when it comes the central midfield area. No guarantees there, but let’s see what happens as the month progresses.

There’s no Premier League action this weekend of course. It’s the FA Cup third round and we don’t play until Monday night when we face Oxford United, so there’s time for things to move before the North London derby.

Elsewhere, it’s a sad day for Arsenal Women as Jordan Nobbs has left the club after 12 years to join Aston Villa. She departs with 270 appearances, 81 goals, a load of silverware under her belt, and as a true Arsenal legend.

You can read how much her time at Arsenal meant to her in this lovely piece on the official site.

Tim will have more over on our Arsenal Women section too.

For some extra reading this morning, Tim’s column on how a grounding in futsal is evident on how Gabriel Martinelli plays is well worth your time. I remember talk of how life in the ‘football cages’ was part of Robin van Persie’s development, and I do think there are some similarities in the way they play (although I hope that’s as far as it goes as he makes progress here).

Right, I’m gonna leave it there for now, but there is a brand new Arsecast for you. I chat to Clive Palmer about the Newcastle game the way the managers spoke about it afterwards, as well as transfers, Arteta on the sidelines and much more. All the links you need to listen/subscribe are below. Enjoy!


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