Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Maybe find a different keeper : Paqueta’s charge


Further to yesterday’s story linking us to Feyenoord goalkeeper Justin Bijlow, Andrew Allen did a cursory check of his injury record. Some hours later, when he had got through it all, he sent it on to me.

It’s actually almost impressive in a way, take a look. The sheer range and variety of things he has injured down the years is eye-catching. What was that kids song ‘Heads, shoulders, knees and toes’?! That’s his theme tune. With some other bits thrown in.

.🎶‘And wrists and spleen and calves and tonsils and vital organs and …’.🎶

I’ve said before I think part of the reason players become a bit peripheral under Mikel Arteta is related to their injury issues. I don’t know if it’s a case that he is less willing to use them lest they become important and then their absence is more acute, or if it’s a trust thing or he simply views them as weak, but there is something to it in most cases.

The thing about a second choice goalkeeper is that you need them to be reliable, and on the basis of this lad’s injury record, he’s anything but. Also, my brain has already done a thing where whenever I see his name, I immediately think of ‘Deuce Bigalow’ and given that is one of the worst films ever starring the acting equivalent of Maroon5, but much worse, my recommendation to Arsenal is that we find someone else. Thanks.

There isn’t much else happening from an Arsenal perspective, but the big story from yesterday was the FA charging West Ham midfielder Lucas Paqueta with ‘spot-fixing’. The charge says:

The player has been charged with four breaches of FA Rule E5.1 in relation to his conduct in the club’s Premier League fixtures against Leicester City on 12 November 2022; Aston Villa on 12 March 2023; Leeds United on 21 May 2023; and AFC Bournemouth on 12 August 2023.

It’s alleged that he directly sought to influence the progress, conduct, or any other aspect of, or occurrence in these matches by intentionally seeking to receive a card from the referee for the improper purpose of affecting the betting market in order for one or more persons to profit from betting.

Basically, they’re saying he deliberately got booked in a number of games to benefit those who had bet on such an eventuality.

Have a look:

Whether it was the player himself, people close to him, or other third parties, remains to be seen – but these are very, very serious charges. Quite distinct from the ones Ivan Toney was banned for, because he never bet on games in which he was playing. The potential ban for Paqueta if the charges are upheld could be up to a life-time ban, and you have to think the seriousness of that means there’s some pretty damning evidence to bring such charges in the first place.

Paqueta denies the charges. He was, of course, linked with a move to Man City last summer, and he’s probably full of regret today that the move didn’t go through. Given City’s ability to kick the can down the road when it comes to charges of wrongdoing, he’d have been retired a long time by the time they ever reached any kind of conclusion. Probably with a load of medals and suitcase full of asterisks, but he, like everyone else there, wouldn’t give a fish’s tit about any of that.

Ok, for some extra reading this morning, Tim’s new column is about attacking threat, an interesting thing to consider given how many goals we scored last season. Have a read.

For now, have a good one. We’ll be posting the audio/video of our live event as a podcast/YouTube thing a bit later today, so keep an eye out for that.

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