Poldi Off, Theo Update & Football’s Back


Arsenal return to first team action this afternoon. Yes, it’s only a pre-season friendly at Borehamwood but who cares? I’m just going to party like its 1984 which by a quirk of fate is the playlist that is here or in the right side bar in Dad’s Jukebox. The playlist isn’t the only thing returning, Jose Mourinho’s incoherent babbling about the signing of Cesc Fàbregas might just be the biggest hint yet that rivals are concerned about the strengthening that Arsenal have undertaken this summer. Mind you, if Mourinho is detached from reality, he is still in touch with his sanity than Nicklas Bendtner. And any number of headline writers who still claim Loic Remy is a target for Tottenham despite carrying ‘Appy ‘Arry’s quote that the forward wants to play Champions League football.

Good morning club football, where have you been old friend.


On which note, let’s get the transfer gossip out of the way. If you want to know why footballers and social media don’t work, Lukas Podolski gave the perfect answer with this hastily deleted tweet. What does it mean? Is he advertising his impending departure to the Andaluz club? Is he lost in the southern Spanish city and looking for landmarks, joyous that he has found something he recognises? Has he got his wires crossed about where the Champions League final is being played? Who knows but I think we should be told…

To the Spanish media, it’s manna from heaven, something different from Khedira or Casillas. With everybody’s Hamez seemingly likely to stay in Monaco this summer – according to Arsène that is – they needed something to feed the supporters of the other top flight clubs. Podolski’s departure would be no surprise following the signing Alexis Sanchez but also indicative that the club were actively seeking another forward. On the face of it, claims that Podolski has fallen from grace with Wenger are not difficult to substantiate. He was under-par against Hull at Wembley, Wigan as well in the semi-final and substituted in both. The player has a long-stated ambition to be considered a central striker but the manager doesn’t seem him that way. Having won a World Cup, perhaps the a desire to play regularly in a first team is now his over-arching ambition.

Or perhaps it was a joke. The anatomy of a football rumour…

So to the business of the day. Arsène has stated that the club will be sending a mixture of youth and experience to Borehamwood this afternoon, one that will feature the players who didn’t participate at the World Cup. In addition to the list of Wojciech Szczesny, Kieran Gibbs, Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey, Nacho Monreal, Mathieu Flamini, Yaya Sanogo, Abou Diaby and Carl Jenkinson, we can surely add Cazorla, Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain because neither Spain or England turned up in Brazil.

One name missing from that list is Theo Walcott. That may not be the case for much longer with the photos of his return to some sort of training, accompanied by comments by Arsène about the timescales we are looking at for his return,

“He’s worked very hard during the summer and we expect him to be back in full training at the end of August. Once he’s back in full training it can be very quick.”

Which immediately translated to Theo being fit for the first of England’s Euro2016 qualifiers. God, I hope not; England don’t exactly have the best record in returning players to the club fit at the best of times, let alone one who has missed six months of football.

From the club’s perspective, there is no reason on paper why Walcott should be rushed back; there is depth on the right with the arrival of Alexis Sanchez offering the prospect of either he or Cazorla deputising, and that’s without Oxlade-Chamberlain or Gnabry coming through.

It’s the benefit of investing in the squad. The downside, if it can be considered such, is the interminable gossip. Sami Khedira is in the headlines in Madrid, this time thanking everyone for the support he received whilst injured. Somewhat more savvy than Podolski, he deleted the line, “but now I’m off“, before posting the tweet.

We shall see in the morning’s papers whether or not that is any time soon or to Arsenal, I am sure. In the meantime, this afternoon’s match is on Arsenal Player and as the heavens have opened with little sign of abating, it might be something to while away the hour whilst the players are off at Lords.

For the first time this season. Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it.

’til Tomorrow.

88 thoughts on “Poldi Off, Theo Update & Football’s Back

  1. Maureen just showed in those comments what a total idiot and arsehole he actually is. 🙂 keep it up is what I say.

    Podolski off…… perhaps he just meant a holiday to Seville and mistakenly put the FC at the end?

  2. Hello NB I played there last year. I’ll be passing through to see a few friends who are playing. It’s a beautiful setting but the facilities(sanitation) leave a lot to be desired. It’s al about profits. The Organisers are all about profits and do not give a damn about the punters.

    Last year I had the great fortune to stay in the most idyllic chateau less than a 1km away.

  3. Ras

    It’s just that my ex missus lives a couple of kms from Bagnols and if you’re there, we could meet for a drink. at a bar in Bagnols or you could come to the house?

  4. Shame if Poldi goes, he’s a good character to have in the squad, but I’d understand why he might want to leave/Wenger might want to cut him loose. He’s been a bit-part player for some time now, including for the German national team.

  5. The special one has specific issues with AFC or more specifically AW , I am fairly sure that this behaviour can be read about in some journal by Freud and the need for love from a parent or father figure , perhaps he just wants some attention from AW.
    I can see him now holding an AW rag doll under the covers at night toutureously asking why he does not love him , Hitchcock would have a field day.

  6. I genuinely laughed out loud when I read what Maureen had to say. He must be a bit concerned if he is trying to get under our skin already. He’s only been able to get to Wenger once in all of his efforts and then I think the FA slapped him on the wrist for it as he overstepped the mark.
    The Poldi situation seems strange as only a few days ago he was yelling that Khedira was coming to Arsenal. He seems to have a real affection for the club and I’d hope that he is staying around, at least for another season. If he is going I think we still need another striker.

  7. Good Morning everyone, glad to see the boys back at it even if it is only pre season! Can’t wait for NYC gonna see them in action up close and personal, although I hate the Red Bulls, but still have a soft spot for Titi, always will a Gunner legend!

  8. The real question is why did he delete it. I suppose an innocent explanation would be that he realised it looked misleading but by deleting it he has certainly opened a can of worms. Maybe we are not giving him enough credit and he wants the club’s machinations known. ‘Anatomy’ indeed Yogi.

    I must say he’ll be a huge loss to the dressing room but he was under-appreciated by AW so it would not be a surprise to see him leave and it would be wrong for a player of his calibre to be denied regular playing time. Looking at it positively it would assuage my fear that our resident Ox is going to struggle for game time. I have the feeling this will prove a big season for the lad – glimpses of him starting to click promise big things.

    On a separate note, I must say it was good of a certain poster to stop by yesterday and again spell out the immutable FACTS of everything that happens at our club. Great to have someone with first hand knowledge come and lecture us. 😉

  9. Maybe Poldi’s spelling isn’t so good – maybe it should have been “Rode to Seville FC” – like on the back of a donkey from the beach, or on a motorbike.
    I’ll get my coat.

  10. Here’s a funny one (if true): Sunderland have allegedly paid £14 MILLION to Liverpool for Fabio Borini. Could be a typo of course – like £4 mil or £14,000. But if true, that must be ‘Pool’s best deal of the summer, including the bitey one.

  11. Jonny, to quote a departed commentator on this blog, “sometimes the scroll bar is your friend!”

    But you sure end up having to scroll for rather a long time! (And this from an admittedly long winded commenter…)

  12. I would consider that a good gamble but worry about wages at 150 or so. I’d hope we could negotiate 120 with performance bonuses. He’s still young and AW loves a bargain and a chance to turn a player around.

  13. Although I’m not a fan of Ballotelli at all, it would be adding real firepower upfront, wich we need. And at the price suggested it would be worth a go.

  14. @aligooner

    I have no objection to Mario. At that price, yes. The wages being quoted though, are quite steep by our standards. Especially when you consider there are other areas of the squad requiring attention. A non-story for me.

  15. Smells a bit like skunk shit though, eh? £15.8M??! AW is good but that’s, ermmm, ‘Borini territory’.

    Unlike Offside to peddle such outright donkey bollocks.

    In any case we have no need of Mario and his exorbitant wages to poor goal return.

    If I am honest, I am not remotely convinced we will sign another striker – not since AW admitted he plans on playing Sanchez through the middle.

    That still leaves us needing another two players, whilst coveting a third.

  16. Oh I scrolled through almost all of it LSG – I find the smug, supercilious, condescending tone virtually unbearable.

  17. caughtoffside.com should be renamed. I suggest:

  18. wenger said he was going to use sanchez through the middle?
    how interesting….
    but hes not 100feet tall and everyone knows our best football for the passed 15 years has been built around a striker who faces our goal…

    cant see mad mario coming now weve got sanchez and theo coming back…campbell in the squad as well…not unless we are selling podolski but i cant see that either..

    to be honest id rather give those wages to khedira..

    its all going a bit quiet on the rumour front isnt it now? most of it is the usual bullshit we get to hear every other year and wengers probably in the zone now where hes waiting to see whos available near the end..
    striker sorted right back sorted though pretty early, so hes given himself time to play his little transfer games without the fans tearing their hair out…

  19. JJ

    “so hes given himself time to play his little transfer games…”


    This time last year, I don’t think anyone would have called it quite like that?!?

  20. JJ,

    I think as you say, Giro seems to have become stuck in the ‘face the wrong way and fall over backwards’ style, while pointlessly appealing to the ref. Why?

    If he fell over forward he might just occasionally get the odd free kick — in the meantime it justs ticks me off.

    I like Ollie, and he puts in a prodigious amount of work, but I think it would be better for him if he developed an alternative style against defenders — can I suggest a little more use of sneaky nudges, tripping over his own feet and blaming the opposition, and he might even get a £75m transfer to Real Madrid just like Bitey Bollix – and score a lot more goals for us in doing so. 🙂

  21. Nice to see the lads getting a run out. Looking a bit rusty so far, but I suppose that’s to be expected. No big boys in the attacking line up, so we look a bit lightweight. Ramsey hoping for a sight at goal so he can let one go, but not sure about Sanogo at the moment. Again it’s pre-season so its hard to gauge, but he hasn’t offered much of a threat. Toral really unlucky just then though.

  22. Sanogo gets through one on one and plays it straight at the goalie without really looking up to see where he is (sounds like I’m picking on him now).

  23. @Wavey

    Yeah, very rusty but then first match of the preseason so what can really expect. A lack of chances over all at both ends though of course Arsenal have had three chances to get on the goal sheet. Rambo looks just as rusty as the rest to be honest. I expect the game to open up more in the 2nd half, well be interesting to see how many changes are made. Sanogo needs a goal, at least he is hitting the target but he really needs to score.

  24. @Wavey

    I don’t think you’re picking on him, just making some accurate comments. No one has really stood out, though Zelalem’s passing has probably been the best on show. I wanted to see more from Toral, some of these lads need to stand up to get a chance to fly to New York.

  25. Just as rusty? Rambo has been utter bollocks 🙂

    Le coq has and hasn’t surprised me. Still goin to ground but his work rate? (Mac donalds face).
    Really like the look of hayden and wilock.
    JEnks has probably been most disappointing for me.

    Yh I know they rusty.

  26. So I get home from the bar, a bit Brahms, log on and see… 0-0 against Boreham fucking wood at half-time. Well what can be said….. looking forward to the season 🙂

  27. @colts

    “Just as rusty? Rambo has been utter bollocks 🙂 ”

    Don’t hold back mate 🙂

    I like Willock a lot but didn’t feel he did much to get himself in to the game. Pretty obvious that Arsenal are playing at a very slow tempo, but again these games are about fitness not cricket scores. I thought Hayden was solid.

  28. Miami

    Don’t understand the hype around Ramsey and now the manager has rightly pulled him off 🙂

    Chris did look a bit anxious, miss took him for gideon at times.

  29. Yeah i’m hearing it was very quite.

    Watching the second half now, seems better.

    Diaby shot and Akpom shot.

    Rosicky, Olsson, Diaby, Akpom and Bellerin playing well.

  30. Commentator on Arsenal Player ” are we gonna now park the bus and stick with one nil” ffs sake it’s a friendly against Boreham Wood… laugh my fucking head off

  31. Rosicky and Rosicky V2 link and score a great goal. Definitely more lively now and Diaby has been moving around the midfield well. I want to see Olsson in the Emirates Cup, he seems to have come on again from last year. It is only Boreham Wood though and Brentford beat them 3-1 in a friendly last week.

  32. Are they playing with a balloon? All of our corners seem to be going too long. I know we haven’t got much height on the pitch, but let’s mix it up then. Maybe a short corner and some movement.

  33. Bellerin gets down the line and chooses to check back and hold up play, then we pass it around outside their area again. A quick ball in from Bellerin initially could have presented a chance. We don’t need to play a slow possession game against this team, we just need to take them apart.

  34. Nice penalty. Akpom was classy there. You would expect the players to show their class against Boreham wood, just a shame the players in the first half couldn’t.

  35. Yh afobe should be real worried. Didn’t know chuba could play left wing also. Lookin forward to seeing more game time for him. When’s Campbell back?

  36. You’ll be pleased to know I scored some ‘fresh’ Chorizo at Lidl today, NorthBank.

    This afternoon has been spent cooking a spiced swede/sweet potato & potato mash, which I have just eaten with rare rump steak & sliced chorizo avec roasted garlic & baby plum tomatoes and a rocket salad dressed in a chorizo-oil based vinaigrette (pan juices).

    Controversially I went with a white wine – a strong, robust chardonnay – it’s too hot for red today. Rather good it is too.

    I have the cricket ambling away in the background and The Arsenal on my laptop and the sun is streaming in like a motherfucker.

    Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

  37. @Wavey

    I think the major thing you want from these opening fixtures is a lack of injuries and evolving fitness. Anything else is a boon. I think Boreham Wood have been largely compact and organized, so credit them for what they have also done right. Still, the difference between the energy from the 1st to the 2nd half is obvious but then the lads in the 2nd half enjoyed playing against lads who had also played 45 minutes.

    Good day, 2-0 and a further step along the match fitness trail.

  38. Martin Hayes is talking absolute crap. Talking about players in the World Cup not being ready in time for the CL play offs. Sounds like he thinks the CL games are going to be played before the season starts. I think he is confusing the Emirates Cup with the CL play off.

  39. Borehamwood have been softened up by the team in the first half, and are pretty tired.

    Akpom has jumped to the top of the line for first team subs bench. Much better than Afobe or Sanogo. Bellerin looked like a good prospect too.

    Rosicky looked good unsurprisingly. Olsen looked good too.

    Diaby looked like he oozed class.

    Can’t say too much about the first friendly of the season – but it was OK for me. 🙂

  40. MA

    I know, just a little disappointing considering the opposition. They may have been compact, but the gap in class is huge.

  41. @Wavey

    I think the thing to remember is it is the first run out for the lads and we could see the rust. The score line is an aside, though clearly the lack of sharpness will need work. I thought Bellerin did reasonably well on the right, Akpom and Olsson probably stole the show with their individual play at times. Rosicky unlocked the opposition with a great pass, over all though a very rusty showing.

  42. @Colts

    I may be wrong on that, Jack and Ox are back Monday and I believe that Campbell is back Monday week. So not quite 2 weeks.

  43. Jonny@4.49. Got my mouth watering – which is more than the match did – who was that? Boreham Stiff?
    But Akpom did himself a few favours. Afobe scored the penalty but did fuck-all else – first touch still atrocious.
    Olsson and Bellerin look promising. Martinez was fantastic. And Diaby lasted 45 minutes – can’t ask for more I guess.

  44. Certainly too soon for Martinez to take number 2, but he looks decent.

    Apkom looked ace but a loan must beckon I fancy – hard to see him grabbing bench space at present.

    Ooo 2 quick wickets in the cricket! Another glass of vino I feel.

  45. Hmmmm question is, is Akpom ahead of Sanogo in talent?

    I like Sanogo, i really like him but Akpom does everything he does and can score too. Maybe Sanogo is better at hold up but that’s all i can think of.

  46. Oh ok, no worries.

    LOving the depth of this squad, Morgan and ospina and we’re good to go….

    What the hell, chuck a telli on top for 15m, might as well.

  47. Indeed Damon,

    I have to say I enjoy every wicket India loses all the more when they were blatantly ‘not out’. The more unjust the decision the better – if that’s what it’ll take to get their body to stop stonewalling DRS that’s fine with me.

    Brad getting some real spitters in now. Proper cricket.

  48. Quite agree on the DRS shit. I am a bit of a one for karma. I’ll take the long or the short game, but find it usually levels things out one way or another. Loving to see India getting theres served on such a short lead time!

    The umpiring so far in the test and series has been pretty diabolical. A symptom of DRS increased use in recent times, or just highlighted because it isn’t there?

    There is a spicy day ahead tomorrow if we can nab another wicket or two tonight?

  49. A good question. There is no doubt the right decision is reached more often but the fact they can no longer be counted on to adjudicate a no-ball is embarrassing.

    That said it has fundamentally changed how they evaluate spinning balls – so spin bowlers no take more wickets.

    Frankly part of this that one of the umpires is just not very good.

    Another wicket tonight could be crucial – if they get a lead of more than 270 it will be a tall ask – but the picth is still pretty good. Interesting.

    Hoping it goes well into Monday so I can go and watch the final day on the cheap. 😀

  50. Only two weeks until the way Emirates Cup. It may only be a preseason tournement, but it is clear that the clubs who take part in it do take it very seriously. In the past couple of seasons we seem to have come into the cup a bit off our game, having had relatively easy preseason games up to that point. This season Sanchez will be strutting his stuff in an Arsenal shirt for the first time at the Emirates Cup and I hope our boys are just reaching match fitness when it starts. Unfortunately the World Cup has meant that our lads only get a run out against Boreham Wood and New York Red Bulls before things start to get a bit more serious.

  51. I think Arsene made it pretty clear that he is still looking to strengthen the side which is great. If Tv5 does indeed depart he also stated he’d acquire another CB. I think these are the things you want to hear at this stage because we know a little or a lot more can be done.

    “on Arsenal’s summer signings so far…

    I’m very happy with what I could do until now. It’s not over – there’s still a long way to go.”

    “on Cesc Fabregas…

    I think people came out and said he wanted to go to Chelsea. I don’t know who tells the truth here or not. He landed where he wanted to go.”

    “on Thomas Vermaelen’s future…

    I cannot guarantee that [he will stay at the club] but should he go, I will bring another centre back in for sure.”

  52. Heard the lads played well especially Zelalem, Olsson and Akpom which is GREAT news plus we got the win.

    Spuds are losing 2-1 to the Seattle Sounders so overall a good day.

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