It’s a good news/bad news kind of day. Laughter is, we’re told by cliche, the best medicine so news that Jose Mourinho got the tin-tack from Manchester United brings a beaming smile to our faces. This time, there is no controversy at the heart of it; no misogyny disguised as football’s ‘dark arts’ as the cause. This time, he was told to do one because he is a crap manager.
Then we have the beginning of speculation over Lucas Torreira with Real Madrid and Barcelona reportedly interested in acquiring him. It’s going to be that kind of summer next year; Ozil will get a pay rise funded by Torreira’s sale. And we’ll sign Phil Jones to strengthen our defence.
FFS, it didn’t even take half-a-season for that crap to begin. Thank god Jose was around; we’d have seen broken cannons everywhere otherwise. Never fear, that will be Thursday’s papers.
As it is, we’ve reached a make-or-break week for many people. Tomorrow’s Carabowwowwow Cup tie against Tottenham is vexing minds, with the now-traditional dismissal of the cup fighting for its’ survival. It’s Tottenham and for that simple reason, I cannot contemplate defeat tomorrow. It just can’t happen.
Does that mean a strong line-up, more seniors than youth? Damn right. That’s not without problems, of course. Bellerin and Kolasinac shouldn’t be risked, even if they are deemed ‘fit’. Lichtsteiner and Monreal are both fit, according to the latest update, so too Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Having faced Southampton with two full-backs and Koscielny in a three at the back, tomorrow is a strong case for a back four. The Frenchman and Sokratis giving the experienced base upon which to build? Lichtsteiner and AMN as the full-backs? Strong enough, surely, to deal with the presumed Tottenham second string.
Those pontifications are for tomorrow.
There are other reasons to take the cup seriously than bragging rights, however. Not least of which is winning Unai Emery’s first trophy. It’s not a monkey on his back at this stage by any means. Yet how long before he feels that weight?
We don’t know what ‘new’ Arsenal’s pain threshold is; this is a brand new world, post-Arsene. Is success binary with no shades of grey? We won’t know until next season, I’d venture.
Of course, there are those who argue the Carabowwowwow Cup isn’t a trophy anyway. A lot of that is coloured by the feeble performance against Manchester City at Wembley. No-one wants a repeat of that and after all, the squad is still the same players. Has their attitude changed that much?
The answer to that will be apparent as we seek a reaction to Sunday’s defeat.
Away from that, BATE Borisov are the next in Europe. UEFA’s ludicrous decision to play the second leg at 5.55pm in London will
If it isn’t, I might go into business as a procurer of sicknotes; saves people calling in favours, using holidays, etc.
We saw in Lisbon that the crowd turns up as the match continued. Not just five minutes late but 30+ minutes as well. Are broadcasting figures hit with two matches in the same city taking place simultaneously? It never caused a problem before.
It smacks of the sort of tinkering which sounds the death knell for a broadcasting deal or the competition itself. How long before the admission is made that the Super League is a real possibility?