As we head towards the big game on Saturday, things start to heat up between Arsenal and Tottenham in the press. Mostly this comprises of journalists intentionally trying to lure either side into saying something controversial so they can, in turn, gleefully present these remarks to the other.
Arsene was asked about his opposite number’s recent remarks on the subject in diving in which, in a roundabout way, he said diving was okay. Well.. that might be a bit of a stretch in fairness, Pochettino’s words were along the lines of saying it’s okay to trick an opponent because football is about tricking your opponents. Make of that what you will…
Arsene’s response to it all was:
“How far was it an apology for diving? I’m not sure. I don’t think he would.
I think you have to get rid of diving out of the game. I remember there were tremendous cases here when it was foreign players who did it.
But the English players have learned very quickly and are maybe the masters now.”
You could argue he’s directed that remark towards Kane and Alli’s tw*tty antics and shared penchant for simulation. I’m sure certain media douchebags will present it as exactly that when the chance arises. I just think he’s having a bit of fun. And it’s probably true. In the past, the likes of Rooney and Gerrard have been known to tumble theatrically should an opponent breath on their neck heavily. We all remember what happened to end our unbeaten run…
And I’m not going to suggest Arsenal players haven’t dived in the past because they have.
Elsewhere, there was a brief piece of insight into the communication between Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan before they both signed for Arsenal. In an interview with Arsenal’s weekly podcast, Aubameyang spoke of the Mkhitaryan factor in his decision to move to Arsenal:
“He called me a few times, he asked, ‘Will you come or not?’ I said, ‘First you have to tell me if you sign or not’.
He told me all was done and of course it was a big factor in coming here.
We understand each other on and off the pitch, that’s why it’s easier on the pitch
The fans have to be happy to see us together, we will do our best of course, like we did in the past.”
That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and is another reminder of their friendship – a friendship that will benefit Arsenal on the pitch. If the performance against Everton is anything to go by, then the rest of the season should be exciting in an attacking sense at the very least.
Lastly today, because I figured I’d not have too much to write about, I put out the call to the wonderful folks of Twitter. As usual, I asked for suggestions for something to blog about and, as usual, the responses were a mixed bag of the pertinent and the peculiar. Here’s a few:
Favorite “small moment” during an NLD to you
— Dougie Cazorla (@Dfresh10) February 8, 2018
Great question. Here’s my top 3:
- Theo’s ‘2-0’ gesture as he was being stretchered off – view here
- Szczesny’s cheeky wink and smile to camera after having wiped out Gareth Bale – view here
- Ian Wright’s skill and cross to Dennis Bergkamp – view here
To name one Arsenal player to fill all 11 positions simultaneously during a game…..?
— Brody Dick (@brody_dick) February 7, 2018
That’s quite a tough question to answer. I had to give it 5 minutes of solid, unwavering thought before I came up with Aaron Ramsey. I’m sure that may not be a popular choice. However, one player to fill all 11 positions would have to have a great engine and be the most versatile. I gave thought to both Nacho Monreal and Mohammed Elneny, but Ramsey would be my choice should I ever manage Arsenal and successfully develop a process to clone human beings.
NLD in the 1950s
— Cataphonics (@Cataphonics) February 7, 2018
Bloody hell.. That’s a little before my time. I can only assume North London derbies of that era all took place in black and white, without any seating in the stadium and those attending had names like, Ginger, Alf, Biggles or Sandra. Curiosity got the better of me so I did a quick search online and found this picture taken during a NLD in 1959:
Okay, that’ll be all for today, folks.
You can leave your thoughts and views in the comments section. I’ll be back with more tomorrow as the fixture at Wembley gets closer. We should have a little more in the way of concrete team news by that time.
Until we speak again, and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.
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