By Bulldog Drummond
When asked if Santi would play again this season, Mr Wenger, the Arsenal manager, said: “I hope so. Santi is far from starting to run again; he had a little procedure and we have a meeting with the medical people. Certainly he will not be available in the next six weeks.” That is actually what he said. In the Guardian that turns into a headline that says, “The manager also conceded that Santi Cazorla has had another operation and may not play again this season.”
Not exactly Fake News this time, but it’s getting there. But on the FN front there is more in a mo.
Meanwhile Mr Wenger also put forward the view that Mesut Özil as a goalscorer and Mesut as an assistant (which is presumably the word for someone who gives assists, although I suppose any moment now the media will start calling them “assisters” or maybe “assiterantariiums”) can both co-exist and that is what he is trying to get Mesut to deliver.
Mr Wenger said, “He is moving in the right way but always, from such a talent, you are maybe a little bit unjust because you always want more. You feel there is no limitation in his game…. The problem is that we have to first realise if we want more, how we get more and then, after, do it.
“I think Özil has a passion for the game. You do not get the technique he has just by the gift of God. You have to focus on every single pass you make from when you’re a kid to get that touch. So that means you have to have a passion for the game.
“I think I have the experience as well to see where I can contribute a little, but 99 per cent is from the player…”
On the newspaper tales that Mesut wants to know what Mr Wenger is doing before he signs, Mr Wenger said, “He would like to know what happens on the managerial front but I don’t think that’s the main part of his decision. There are many other ingredients. I am relaxed … because at the end of the day you can show a player how much you want him to stay, and after he has to make the decision. Ferguson said I would be a good poker player. Maybe he was right.”
The news today on Carl Jenkinson is that he is not going to be sold to Palace (as suggested in some sources) but rather will be loaned to them in the next few days.
Oh, and here is another surprise, Mr Wenger said Arsenal has not made a £56m bid for Andrea Belotti or Torino although the Torino manager is quoted as saying he had. “That is what you call today fake news,” Mr Wenger added. He didn’t also say hat fake news was initially created by football journalists in the British media, but then, he tends to be fairly polite when talking to the hacks.
The Swansea bits
- Swansea have lost three of their last four home matches against Arsenal in the Premier League.
- Swansea have conceded at least 2 goals in 8 of their last 10 home league games
- Swansea have lost 12 of the 14 PL games this season in which they conceded the first goal
- Incidentally, Swansea have 15 points so far, and fractionally under three quarters of the teams in that position at this stage of the season go down.
The good bits
- Arsenal have scored in each of the five previous Premier League games at the Liberty at an average of two a game.
- Arsenal have scored the opening goal in more PL matches this season than any other team.
- Alexis has scored or assisted 30 goals in his last 31 Premier League appearances.
- Arsenal are undefeated in 27 of the last 30 league games.
- Arsenal have scored at least 2 goals in 5 of their last 6 away matches against Swansea in all competitions.
The Oli bits
- Olivier Giroud has scored 12 goals from his last 17 shots on target. Just shoot straight Oli, it usually goes in.
- Giroud has scored in each of his last eight starts for Arsenal scoring ten.
- Arsenal has scored 11 headed goals this season (not all Giroudian but he did a lot of them) – no club has more.
The not so good bits
- We have not won any of the last three away games in the league
- We have also let in a goal in each of the last six away league games.
I have a complaint (yes I know it seems unlikely but I did) about the use of the term “on the beach” for the list of substitutes, the complainant saying that there is no beach, so it is stupid. We should say “the bench”. I told him that there was no bench either. I call that a 1-1 draw.
So on the beach, building sandcastles…
Ospina, Holding, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Reine-Adélaïde, Pérez, Welbeck, Maitland-Niles.
Please note that Reine-Adélaïde and Maitland-Niles both count as one each.
Swansea v Arsenal
From the Arsenal History Society website: