Hello and welcome to this week’s round-up.
First up is the tragedy that is Abou Diaby’s injury situation. He has torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and will soon have surgery. This terrible news only serves to compound the theory that if you continue to smash players’ legs in half, only some of them will ever recover. It will be a reported ‘eight to nine months’ before Abou will grace our midfield again which is comfortably enough time to meticulously plan and carry out the ending of one Dan Smith. Chin up, Abou.
The finals of the Next Gen tournament were on at the weekend. The four remaining teams were The Arsenal, Sporting Lisbon, Aston Villa and the Russians. Each game was to be played in one stadium, over one weekend. It wasn’t the worst Italian pitch an Arsenal team has played on in recent years but this thing was sub-par. It was three over par! Despite an exciting first half, the young Gunners eventually lost out in the semi-final to Chelski and again to Sporting Lisbon in the third-place-playoff. Aston Villa went on to win it and we congratulate them, but only to maintain the appearance of graciousness.
It was announced this week that the team will go to Japan as part of this year’s pre-season Asia tour. Having seen the dancing on last year’s tour, one may safely assume that there will be more activities. This could see the team learn about extreme focus as they attempt to master the ways of the Samurai. Arsene Wenger said: “I have many good memories of my time working in Japan and the success I enjoyed with Nagoya Grampus. Yes, I have a little bit of regret for selling Thomas Cruise to Torquay. He’d have love it.”
The international break finally let up and Arsenal were at home to Reading on Saturday in what turned out to be a masterclass of passing, movement, spirit and flair. The cycling official did what he could to assist our hapless opponents but it was going to take more than denying Giroud a clear penalty and refusing to book Reading players for nasty fouls to curb the Arsenal enthusiasm. Rosicky was perpetually in motion, Ramsey was sharp and efficient and Arteta was the boss in the most dynamic display we’ve seen from an Arsenal midfield in quite some time. The first goal came from Gervinho’s natural prowess as Santi drove a low ball across goal. The Ivorian’s run was perfectly timed to tap home the first goal. In true goofy-weirdo style, Gervinho hit the roof of the net. 1-0 to the Arsenal! It was about how many from that moment on as Santi and Giroud were assisted by Gervinho runs and simple, square passes. Santi bent his around two players and into the bottom corner while Giroud allowed the ball to run across his body and thumped it low and back across the keeper. Reading got one back in what must have felt like a win on a scratch card but the game was up. The Ox came on and almost immediately won a penalty which was calmly, yet forcefully slotted home by Arteta. 4-1 to The Arsenal! Gervinho was as directly involved in almost everything threatening as Tomas Rosicky was in almost everything beautiful. A tough away fixture against West Brom will be the next task to negotiate as the march to third continues.
And finally, club captain Thomas Vermaelen has declared himself willing to “give everything” to win his place back in the Arsenal team. The skipper may however have inadvertently roused the interests of Manchester City when he said: “I’ve played many games in my career, and spending two on the bench does not mean the world is on fire.”
That’s all for this week, thank you for reading.
Up the Arsenal!