It’s over and normal service is resumed. If you can let me know what normal service is, please do because I’ve lost all track of what it is.
The mid-season friendly went well yesterday. Look, you can laugh all you want at Mustafi’s slip or criticise it whichever suits, but it was a friendly. Not only that, it was par for the course; the German is accident-prone and that’s not going to change. He’s an ‘unlucky’ defender much the same as Senderos and Cygan. Capable of good things but you know there’s an accident around the corner. That’s the way we’re rolling at present.
Lacazette scored a fine goal, following a flowing move and he felt “it was a good idea by the club to bring the players available here to Dubai.”
“It’s been good weather, it was a good pitch, great facilities,” he continued. “Everyone enjoyed it and we worked well for one week. Now we have to come back to London and stay focused on the Premier League and Europa League.”
Winning was indeed a good way to continue recent form and takes us to seven unbeaten in eight. At this stage of the season, it’s all about momentum and we’re building a nice head of steam. Crucially, it appears we emerged unscathed with no injuries to key first-team players. The spread of fixtures between now and the end of the season means that progress in Europe requires Unai Emery to have as many available as possible.
Talking of which, the internationals are over with seemingly everyone returning in relative good health.
So, normal business really is resumed.
Which the begs the question: where were we?
Fourth, that’s it. Third, depending on results this weekend is definitely achievable with Tottenham travelling to Anfield on Sunday. It requires us to get the week off to a perfect start with a win over Newcastle at the Emirates. Which the form book says is a strong possibility. We’ll see how the weekend plays out, however.
Fair play to Sky who mocked both Liverpool and Tottenham’s lean years in the title race. The latter was a cartoon of a dinosaur with a voiceover of “not quite”.
Pre-season 2019/20 is mapped out, presuming we don’t finish sixth. The fixtures are:
17th July: Bayern Munich (Los Angeles)
20th July: AS Roma (Charlotte)
23rd July: Real Madrid (Landover)
There’s also mention of playing one more game with the Rapids touted as opponents in the KSE Cup final. Certainly, with the first leg of the Europa League second qualifying round taking place on 25th July the team for the Madrid game might be very sparse indeed. It’s the incentive to finish in the top four the club needs.
The pre-season is a global affair these days – unless your star striker is under investigation for rape allegations in the USA – with the likes of traditional pre-season fixtures taking a back seat. Most of the squad will have the summer off following the final game of the season so they will all be fresh for training. Aside from those who play in the European Under-21 championships which