Thursday, June 20, 2024

He’s at it again!

Morning all.

That’s it. Goodbye Interlull. You can get lost now until next season when I will remember how much I dislike you. Until then, pah. You are nothing to me.

From what I can gather, Martin Odegaard came through Norway’s 1-1 draw with Georgia unscathed. He played the full 90 away from home though, so let’s get him back, rubbed down and into the sweet embrace of our post-Interlull masseuses to get those legs shiny and ready for Leeds on Saturday.

I’ve seen various reports regarding Kieran Tierney. First off, a storming run down the left helped create Scotland’s second goal in a 2-0 win over Spain. Sure, this was the poorest looking Spanish team I’ve seen in quite some time, but take nothing away from our Celtic cousins, that’s a brilliant result.

Secondly, he went off in the 75th minute, a little while after being on the end of a heavy challenge from … Rodri. Him again! I didn’t see it, but I can only assume that once more he saw an Arsenal player, not a Scotland player, and those pre-programmed instructions from evil genius Gru Guardiola kicked in again as they did when he saw Martin Odegaard at the weekend.

It’s obvious my thoughts on this are clear now, and I don’t want to go overboard lest I upset some of the more sensitive members of the Man City community again:

Suffice to say, I just hope that as Rodri comes back from international duty and returns to his dwelling, a concerned Arsenal fan – who has access to the full catalogue of the ACME Corporation’s incredible range of products – drops a massive anvil on his head from the tip of a nearby cliff peak, squashing him into a literal pancake which is then peeled off the ground and dispatched into a nearby garbage truck.

We’ll wait and see with regards Tierney. I’ve seen people talk about how he sat on the bench for the rest of the game, and looked more tired than injured, but he’s someone you worry about a little because of his injury record and when he’s tended to pick them up. Fingers crossed on that one. We need all hands on deck, especially when Pep reinflates Rodri with a comical foot-pump of some kind.

There was an assist for Leandro Trossard in Belgium’s 3-2 friendly win over Germany, a nice run and pass for Kevin de Bruyne to score. And that is just about that when it comes to the internationals. Now it’s about getting everyone back, assessing the few little worries we have (Partey, Tierney), and then focusing on the weekend.

The other slight concern we have going into this weekend is William Saliba. He went off in the Sporting game, but while we had an update on Takehiro Tomiyasu who was injured in the same game – and a bad one at that – we haven’t heard anything yet about the Frenchman. I thought Rob Holding did well against Crystal Palace, but Saliba has been a key part of our team in every other Premier League game this season, so it’d be good to have him back for the run-in.

I think it’s also fair to say that as impressive as Saliba has been, the partnership between himself and Gabriel has been even more so. Individually they have both been very good, but not flawless. Defenders are always going to make mistakes, and during this season both of them have had moments they’ll look back on and think they could have done better. Which isn’t criticism, it’s normal, not least because one of them is just 21 and playing their first season in England.

However, as a duo they have probably been the best in the Premier League this season. They are basically everything you want in the modern centre-half. Physically imposing, quick enough to deal with even the most fleet-footed of opponents, both read the game very well, good passers of the ball, and there’s just such a nice natural balance between the left and right foot combination. For me, that partnership is a crucial component for our title run-in, so let’s keep everything crossed Saliba is able to play his part.

Ok, that’s it for this morning. We’ll have any news throughout the day on Arseblog News. For now, have a good one.

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