Monday, May 20, 2024

Interlull round-up: Partey, Eddie, Patino

Good morning folks.

It’s 3C in Dublin today with a ‘real feel’ of 0C. On Tuesday it was 23C. I don’t care for this coldness one bit. I did enjoy my day off though, just pottering around town picking up a couple of bits for the kitchen. Who doesn’t enjoy spatula shopping after all? Then I made some nice food, and did not watch rugby as I do not care for that sport far more than I don’t care for cold weather.

From an Arsenal perspective, news is thin on the ground. Last night, Oleksandr Zinchenko got an assist for Ukraine as they beat North Macedonia 2-0, but it’s an assist in the most generous of terms. Who passed the ball to Thierry Henry for that goal in the North London derby when he ran the length of the pitch? What an assist that was.

Meanwhile, Kai Havertz got some minutes for Germany as they best the USA 3-1, and Thomas Partey played 45 minutes as Ghana were beaten 2-0 by Mexico in a friendly – which took place in Charlotte, North Carolina. Because of course. That’s where Arsenal were a few years ago, and I have to say I really enjoyed that town, but I’m sure Mikel Arteta was on tenterhooks given they were probably playing on artificial grass. I think we sent a physio with him, as we did last season, so hopefully those 45 minutes were just part of the plan and not because of anything else.

Today, there’s action for Martin Odegaard as Norway take on Spain at home, while Jakub Kiwior’s Poland play Moldova at home. I didn’t mention Eddie Nketiah making his debut for England on Friday night, getting about 20 minutes at the end of the 1-0 win over Australia. Congrats to him.

Elsewhere, Charlie Patino has cited William Saliba as an example of how his pathway to first team football at Arsenal might develop. It was widely expected that he’d leave the club the summer, there was a lot of reporting about how he wanted to go and how that desire would be facilitated, but his departure was just a loan.

He says:

Saliba is a different player to me. He’s a centre back, big, powerful, so for me it’s inspiring to see someone go on loan, make a name for himself and come back and show his qualities at Arsenal because it is a massive club.

Everyone’s journey is different. Bukayo went straight from academy to first team, Eddie went on a few loans, Emile went on a few loans, so everyone’s journey is different.

But ultimately, it’s about getting to where you want to get to, and that’s the same for me. I want to play in the first team at Arsenal and being here is a massive pathway to help me do that.

You can’t fault the ambition, and who knows how this season might pan out for him. He has a goal and 3 assists in 9 Championship appearances for a Swansea side currently in mid-table, but I think he’s going to have to deliver quite a bit more to break his way into the manager’s thinking. The reality of having a much improved team is that it becomes much more difficult for young players to make the breakthrough. The stakes are higher, the expectation levels are higher, and thus the quality has to be exceptional to be in contention.

When someone as talented as Emile Smith Rowe barely plays (although I hope that changes as the season goes on), it shows you have good you have to be – and it’s down to Patino as this season progresses to demonstrate he’s capable of that. The very best of luck to him.

Right, I’ll leave it there for now. Have a great Sunday, back with more tomorrow and an Arsecast Extra.

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