Morning folks, and happy Monday to you all.
I suppose I should start by talking about yesterday’s Premier League action. I have nothing to say about Man City (ugh), and I just don’t care enough about Aston Villa to pass comment, but Liverpool’s 2-1 over Newcastle is definitely worth a mention. 1-0 down, and with 10 men, two goals from Darwin Nunez gave them a sensational late victory at St James’ Park.
And look, it’s hardly as if I’m a fan of the Mugsmashers, but objectively that was very, very funny – and another example of just how mad football actually is. When Newcastle’s assistant manager Jason Tindall – a man who must seethe every day of the week that he plays second fiddle to a man with marshmallow for a head – shushed Jurgen Klopp, you had to hope it would come back to bite him on the arse, and so it did.
The defending for the first Nunez goal was terrible but the finish was perfect. He had a look, then got his head down, and instead of blasting the ball to Sunderland as you might have expected, he rifled in a shot which cracked in off the post. More awful defending gave him another opportunity in injury time, and his finish beyond Nick Pope was excellent again. Time waste that, you filthy magpies.
Here’s the thing. Newcastle are going to build something with all that PIF money, so they are going to be a pain in the years to come. Like, insufferable. So I’m leaning into the disdain early. I advise you all do the same. It’ll just be easier in the long-term. Get on board the Hate Train, there’s plenty of room. I’m not here to see Liverpool happy, but if Newcastle are sad, I can cope with that. Maybe Newcastle might regret the fact they didn’t use 0.00000000000000000000000000000001% of their owner’s wealth to buy a left back, you know, like Kieran Tierney or something.
In any event, I’m glad he didn’t go there. Instead he has officially joined Real Sociedad on loan for the duration of the season. I watched the video of him speaking to their official site, and thoroughly enjoyed him speaking English in a very slow, highly pronounced way. Much like the Spanish they will speak to him as he settles in, I suppose.
My first impressions are so good. Everyone I meet is so friendly, the city is so nice and the stadium is beautiful as well. Yes, it’s a big change, but something I’m looking forward to so much. An exciting challenge and I am delighted to be here. So Martin [Odegaard] and I speak a lot and he says the fans are so good, the people are so good. Everyone is very welcoming and you’ll just love your time here. The club is in a good place, especially the last few seasons and this season’s Champions League, so an amazing club.
And, as we said on the Arsecast Extra on Friday, San Sebastian is the Scotland of Spain!
The Basque Country is similar to Scotland and it’s a place I always wanted to come visit at one stage in my life.
Hopefully he does well there. Tierney had his injury issues during his time at Arsenal, but was a player who never gave less than 100% when he did turn out for us. His situation is quite something when you think about it. When he arrived, he was like a kind of left-back messiah. We had suffered for so long. There’s only so much of Sead Kolasinac a normal person can take. He brought us out of the darkness and into the light. It was like chowing down on gruel every night, then somebody brings you a delicious home-cooked meal, and the difference was so obvious.
But, as I mentioned above, football is in essence a bit mental, and here were are a few years down the line and things have moved on to the extent that someone touted as a potential captain not too long ago, is now surplus to requirements. Don’t get me wrong, I think he could have remained a squad player easily. While the team has undoubtedly moved on, I don’t think he became so redundant that he’d have been useless or anything close to that. However, his minutes would have been limited and he needed to go somewhere else to play.
Now, he has a season in one of the world’s best towns, with Champions League football and a chance to expand his horizons both footballistically and culturally. I really hope he has a great time there. Now, we wait to see what else might happen this week before Friday’s transfer deadline, but that’s something we’ll cover over the next few days.
James and I will have an Arsecast Extra for you a little later on this morning. 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.
For now, have a good one.