Midweek action | Arseblog … an Arsenal blog

Morning at.

We play Man Utd on Sunday at home, but they were in midweek action last night against Crystal Palace. Given that we have a ‘free’ week, and they played 90+ minutes, that’s useful for us. As is the 80th minute yellow card picked up by Casemiro which means he’ll be suspended for the game. The former Real Madrid man has been very good for them this season, and while he brings control, craft, quality and experience, his likely replacement of him – Scott McTominay – brings kicking people with impunity. A lot of kicking. So much kicking. So, so much kicking and booting of legs.

How many times will he foul someone before the ref even bothers to take notice? I estimate – and this is based on past history – around 634 fouls until the official says ‘Hey, I’ve got my eye on you. Another 12 fouls and I might think about giving you a warning before I let you make another 60 brutal assaults on someone’s ankle at which point I will have no choice but to make the totting up gesture after which there’s no doubt a yellow card will be issued after another 6 fouls including a knee high lunge which puts an opponent in intensive care’.

It’s swings and roundabouts, innit. David de Gea is upset about the suspension for the Brazil international, saying, “I don’t get why Arsenal don’t play as we have to play in the same week and they don’t. Now we are missing one of our best players. I don’t understand.”

To be honest, I don’t really get it either. The Everton game has yet to be rescheduled and this would have been a good time to play it, but for some reason it wasn’t. I suspect Mr de Gea needs to take this up with the people at Sky Sports and BT Sports who ultimately decide when these games take place. Squeezing it later in the season when the stakes are even higher and the pressure is mounting even further probably makes for a good broadcasting decision and decent ratings, but that’s not on us. I think if you’d asked Mikel Arteta if he’d fancied a midweek game against an Everton side who are so bad their fans have been driven to making protest banners which read like kindergarten poetryhe’d have been well up for it.

As for last night’s result, you have to say it’s decent. It looked as if United were set to take all three points before Michael Olise’s ridiculously good free kick grabbed Palace at the point of death. How long before we get the ‘Olise to Arsenal’ stuff chundering away on social media etc? Don’t get me wrong, he’s a very good player and I think he’d actually give us some genuine depth, but I think we’re at the point now where anyone who does anything good and looks remotely like he’d fit is going to be spoken about as a potential transfer target. How realistic is Olise? With just over 10 days left of the window, realism starts to merge with a bit of panic, but I’d say ‘Not very’. Is this a reverse jinx? Absolutely not.

Speaking of which, Man City take on Spurs at the Etihad tonight, and after what happened in the derby with that absurd offside goal, they will be out for revenge. Not to mention the fact that Spurs beat them twice last season, so you can basically bet your house on City destroying them tonight. At the end of this game, Erling Haaland will stand over the barely breathing semi-corpses of Eric Dier, Lenglet and Romero, laughing at their pathetic attempts to suck air into their lungs as he enjoys the plunder of his four goal haul.

“HA HA!”, he will think to himself (that’s Norwegian for “HAHA!”), and afterwards, having kicked off about being the only one in front of the cameras after a bad result, Antonio Conte will drag Daniel Levy by the ear into his post-game press conference, and say, “Now, you explain why we are so bad. Fuck are you doing, loser?!”

That will mean our lead is cut ahead of the United game on Sunday, but as we’ve shown this season more than once, when the pressure is on we can respond. There will, of course, be plenty of time to look ahead to that game over the next few days. For now, I’m gonna walk dogs.

Have a good one folks, back tomorrow with more and a brand new Arsecast.

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