Good evening my darlings, it’s a pleasure to be talking with you.
Mikel Arteta dropped his first press conference of the new season.
Weird right? Like, wtf is going on here? It feels like the Champions League final was only last week. Now we’re back in the mixer for the Community Shield.
Still, I can’t say I’m sad about it. BRING ON THE FOOTBALL.
The manager had a lot of interesting things to say. It looks like Matteo G is in out of the cold, which was a bit of a surprise.
‘Everybody starts from zero in football. What you did two weeks ago doesn’t matter. Everyone will have the same opportunities.’
‘Yes. (on chatting the player). He deserves to be treated exactly the same as the others.’
I’m not sure how much of this is just a rehash of what he’s been saying for months, or whether something has changed. We know Matteo has the potential to be an outrageously talented starter, he just needs to behave and apply himself.
The manager was pretty open about the Gabriel deal. It hasn’t been inked yet. He’s hoping to make it happen.
‘Regarding Gabriel we cannot announce the deal yet, it’s not finalised,’
‘You all know he’s a player we like.’
‘Everything is okay when both parties sign’
‘Sometimes that in the last stages isn’t easy but we are pretty positive we can do it.’
Arsenal fans are getting a little angry about this one. I understand the frustration, but at least we know we’re in for him. Let’s hope we can get the deal over the line. It’s the same thing with Dani Ceballos. I think we’ve all forgotten that he’s not available for the weekend as things stand. He’d be a huge loss to a fairly immobile midfield that has had no bolstering so far this summer.
Mikel was also pretty animated when it came to his two keepers.
‘I’d love to have two keepers of the quality of Bernd and Emi. They both know you fight for your place. I don’t want them to keep them both happy, I want the one that is not playing to be upset and fight for his place. I see goalkeepers like full-backs, hopefully they can make themselves and the team better.’
‘Bernd is fit. He was almost fit for the FA Cup final. He’s trained throughout the summer and he’s in perfect condition.’
My Youtube fave, Statman Dave, had the above piece about how Mikel could setup this season. Check out the stats on Emi Martinez. His keeping xG and passing has been better than Leno. It’ll be VERY interesting who we go with as #1. I can’t see past Emi, he was fucking majestic last season.
There was also a bit of chat about the transfer window.
‘Let’s see how we look at the end of the transfer window. It just started, everything looks slow at the moment, not many teams moving aggressively so a lot of things are going to happen from now to October 6. It doesn’t matter the squad we have, we will challenge for the top 100%.’
Firstly, I love that Arteta is unequivocal on challenging for the top 4 this season. Secondly, I think he’s bang on about the transfer market. There are some teams going balls out like Chelsea, but nearly everyone else is very quiet. Even United. It’ll be a slow one, I just hope we pull through with some smart buys. Lots of talk that the interest in Aouar is real and that we’re keen to do a deal. Though I love Ferrari’s, but I’m no threat in a showroom.
Finally, we all LOVE Saliba with his elite hair trim and clever defending against MK. The manager is in on him.
‘He’s been training really hard. He stayed here in London to do a better preparation and you can tell he looks ready. There are a lot of things that are new for him and he will need to adapt but certainly, he has the right qualities for this football club and the right attitude to keep improving and showing the player he can be for our future.’
I know he’s young, I know it’ll take a while for him to settle, but that will not stop me being INCREDIBLY excited about him joining Arsenal. Gabriel and Saliba is the future. It’s great that at the very least, we’ve addressed our defence moving forward. Now we need to sort that midfield.
There’s some good news brewing on the viewing front.
According to the Times, ‘top-level’ talks are taking place between the Premier League and the British government about fans being able to view games while they continue to be played behind closed doors or with restricted access.
Sky and BT Sport are also reportedly preparing to expand their coverage in case they are asked to do so, but the government will not push for any games to be available free-to-air (FTA) as it did previously.
Get in. The Premier League clearly read my post the other day hyping the potential of the virtual season ticket. Once this door is opened, there’s no going back. It’s about time the TV deals started to work harder for the fans.
Short one today, get the below podcast in your ears RIGHT NOW. It is a good one.