Thursday, June 20, 2024

HANDS!

Morning, a very quick Saturday round-up for you – mostly because there isn’t a great deal going on.

The squad is one lighter after Alex Runarsson joined Cardiff City on loan. We now have just four goalkeepers listed on the official website. Good luck to him there, he’ll be playing alongside another former Gunner, Aaron Ramsey, who has returned to his old club after leaving Nice. One down, just another 5 or 6 to go for Edu and his sales team.

I watched the arsenal.com training video to see how Aaron Ramsdale and David Raya were getting along. It appears the goalkeepers’ union is in full effect as they praised each other for catching and making saves by shouting ‘Good hands’ or ‘Haaaaands!’. Do outfield players shout ‘Feeeeeeeet!’ when they score a goal? I also have to say, the actual sound of a keeper catching the ball is very pleasing. Just the right amount of treble, coupled with a satisfying amount of substance. If this makes no sense to you, please just ignore it and get on with your life as a normal person who doesn’t even think about nonsense like this.

What else from the training video? Well, Oleksandr Zinchenko was there, which is a boost, and it remains to be seen if he’ll return to the side on Monday night. Is Palace away, after zero pre-season, the right game to make your comeback? I suspect Mikel Arteta might think an hour of Zinchenko could be a way to help us control the game, and if we need a bit more solidity in the second half he has the Tomiyasu/Kiwior option. Or the Kieran Tierney option, if he makes the bench this time. More on all that on Monday.

In terms of transfers, there’s nothing much going on. I saw a report to say that Chelsea were interested in Folarin Balogun, which makes total sense. There’s a little lad up the road from me who kicks a football around the small green all day, and I’m pretty sure they’ve tried to buy him too – offering him a contract for infinity years + 1.

Monaco reportedly remain interested in Balogun, they have a shortage up front now, and he knows the league well after his exploits for Reims. If they can come up with the money, it seems like it’d be a good deal for all concerned. As we head into the final two weeks of the window, this is one situation I’d expect to heat up a bit quicker than a few others. Let’s see.

I liked the video for the third kit. So much so I immediately bought it. Sucker, me? Sure. There was a funny moment in Los Angeles during the summer when at the event that Arsenal were doing for fans there, one dude (who will remain nameless!) rocked up wearing the third kit which obviously hadn’t been released yet. He’d got it off one of those knock-off sites which are so difficult to find on the old world wide web, and marched into the venue rocking the kit – which looked very good on him, in fairness. Until, that is, someone from Arsenal came over and had a quiet word and he was asked quite nicely to change into something else, which he did. We had a good chuckle at that.

Elsewhere in the Premier League today there are games where teams I desperately want to lose are playing each other, so there might be some small satisfaction that one gets beaten, but that’s immediately offset by the other one winning. On reflection, I’ll take a couple of extraordinarily violent draws, if the universe would oblige. Thank you.

For some Saturday listening, we have our Premier League preview podcast available on Patreon now. I chat to Lewis, as always, and I’m also joined by Dan from HLTCO to get some Palace perspective too. Get it here.

Right, I’m gonna leave it there, and assess the damage last night’s storm has wreaked. I think one of the garden chairs might have been blown over.

Have a good one.

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