Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Wanted: One Lunatic

Morning.

It remains very quiet due to the lack of Arsenal. I have to admit I’ve pretty much switched off. I don’t even know who has played in the FA Cup.

I should have a look.

Haha, Sp*rs. Blimey, Maidstone United beat Ipswich.

There you go. I’m all caught up.

Elsewhere, expect months of speculation from likes of Sport and El Mundo Deportivo about Mikel Arteta after Xavi announced last night he’d be stepping down at Barcelona in the summer. He said:

You often feel there is lack of respect, you feel that your work is not appreciated. It wears you down terribly, in terms of health, of mental health, your mood, your emotional state. I am a positive guy but the energy goes down, down, down, until the point at which you say: it makes no sense. It makes no sense to continue. That’s how I explain it.

Being Barça coach is so difficult. You see how they kill you, they criticize you, it affects you.

He’s not exactly selling it to to any potential candidates, is he? Not to mention the club itself is something of a mess. Camp Nou is currently being renovated so they’re playing their home games in the Olympic Stadium at Montjuic, the recruitment has been scattergun and abysmal, the finances are a shambles to the point that they’re selling future TV rights to stay vaguely liquid, and there’s that whole thing where they paid millions to a guy on the refereeing committee which has obvious connotations/implications.

At some point down the line, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Mikel Arteta fancied the Barcelona job, but he’d be an absolute lunatic to even consider it now. And whatever you might say about him, he’s definitely not that.

Still, there are two big jobs available now, and it will be fascinating to see how they are filled. Timing plays a part, obviously, but we know ourselves that the wrong man at the wrong time can have a serious impact on a club. I’d back Liverpool to make the right decision more than Barcelona though. The obvious thing for Barcelona to do is embrace the chaos they find themselves in right now, and appoint Jose Mourinho. Not for the good of the club, but for just how funny it would be for the rest of us.

Elsewhere today, Arsenal Women are away to Liverpool, Tim has a match preview for you here, and we’ll have the report and all the post-game coverage over on Arseblog News. And at AFCON, Mohamed Elneny’s Egypt take on DR Congo in the Round of 16.

Right, I’ll leave it there for this morning, but stay tuned for an Arsecast Extra which we should have for you mid-afternoon at some point.

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