A no news day! What? Is this a sign of things to come? This can't be good. I'm looking forward to all the rubbish transfer blogs coming out of hibernation in time for the summer display advertising gold rush. Some of it has already started...
'Arsenal agree ¥17,0000,,73fdh000 deal with Madrid's class clown'
It's so boring. Newsnow used to be my first port of call, now I just use the filtered newsfeed I get in the comments section here.
So what shall we talk about? Ok, how about the profit warning Puma put out the other day. The German kit maker who have already announced a a projected 23% dip in operating profit had to share further bad news on their performance. Still, like all good businesses, when the chips are down, you don't shackle the marketing costs, you make an effort to bring in new revenue streams. Arsenal being a very, very big statement.
Talking of the kit, @LAGVILAVA7 has knocked up a very tasty iteration of what he thinks the strip should look like. He also pulled together the Le Grove Twitter backdrop. If you want to get yourself out there as a young designer, there's no better way of doing it. The kit is probably a nicer version of something Puma haven't even thought of.
Quite shambolic that Caught Offside have run the story and clipped the originator off the post. Bad internet practice...
Theo Walcott has spoken of the half time team talk that happened on Tuesday.
"We got a rocket, we'll keep that in the dressing room. But it's great that the manager has that passion and it got a bit more out of the players. We all knew how big it is, not just for the manager but the fans, the players and the club itself. It's massive to be in the Champions League. The manager gave us a kick up the backside. I felt we did show some good play in the first half but we didn't manage to take our chances. Thankfully we did in the second."
Sometimes seeing the passion of the person in charge is enough to kick you into gear. Hunger is a top down thing. If you're managing people and you take the foot off the gas, they do too... even if it's not a conscious thing. Alex Ferguson never let that hunger disappear... which considering his age is a miracle. It's nice to see Arsene can turn it on when it matters.
One person who won't have mastered that art is Alan Pardew. People constantly reference how he's signed a load of French duffers... and that many Arsenal fans were wrong to have called for them... but for me, they're good players. It's just they're being badly managed. The players clearly have an issue with one season wonder Pardew... so for him to come out and say he wouldn't care of they lost 4-0... well, it's sports management suicide.
Anyway, back to Theo Walcott... the performance he put in the other night showed he has what it takes to be a fearsome player. Whether he was coming in from out wide or playing through the centre he played with aggression, purpose with a bucket load of confidence. You felt he was playing like he believed he was a £100k a week player. Yeah, sure, it was Wigan. But it was a high pressure game and he stood up and ensured he was counted. His stats read pretty well... 6 attempts, 4 on target with a goal to boot. His passing was a little off with 64% accuracy off 14 attempts, but I guess a few of those would have come from failed crosses.
I think we can only look at his season as a success. He's taken his game up a level. Does he have another level of performance within him? I'm not sure. He's developed instinctive finishing. He hasn't yet worked out how you play against top defences. When his pace is nullified... he has to work out what his game looks like. Players like Theirry Henry had a game for every occasion. He has to find that. Is he naturally gifted enough? Maybe not. Can he work his socks off to improve to those levels? Again...a big maybe. It was fascinating reading the bio of Thierry Henry... he wasn't a natural finisher in the mold of David Trezeguet. He had to work to become that good. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I've put my mind towards growing a Thierry Henry style beard... it's fearsome. Though it has been noted I'm starting to look like a sex offender. No amount of mind magic is going to change that, so I trim could be in order.
I was reading through The Standard last night and I came across one of those smug articles journalists pen at the end of every season when Arsene makes it into the top four. 'Arsene Wenger will be chuckling to himself after proving the doubters wrong once again' type articles. It's amazing how predictable some papers can be. If Wenger is chuckling to himself after a season like this, I'd be very surprised. Bumbling into the top four on the last game of the season is nothing to be smug about. It's a serious issue if the objective of the year was to challenge for major honours. We've hit a serious stagnation point at the club... hopefully, after the uneasiness of this year, that will be recified. Wenger can chuckle to himself all he wants when we win the league next year by 15 points.
Anyway, rant over... I just can't stand smug journalists picking holes in the concerns of fans who pay for their tickets.
The sun is out... enjoy the day and remember this... the football season is nearly over, which means you might actually have to pay attention to your family this summer.
... but there is the Confederations Cup... and so much beer undrunk.