Quality win, quality goods

Delayed: Arsenal 3-0 Seville

In an age of instant media gratification, I thought I’d offer you all a reminder of how we all used to devour match reports: a day or so late.

The thing is, I was at the game last night, then I retired to a bar for a loosener and didn’t get home till late. That’s the truth.

Enjoyable it was too. The football and the loosener. We were never going to enjoy the kind of possession we sometimes do in the Premier League, especially against a fine passing side like Seville, yet we never looked in too much danger either and in the end it was more comfortable than most of us thought it would be. I agree that Sagna was fabulous, Fab was sagnaulous, that Diaby is a bit lost on the wing and van Persie is quieter than he can be – but it’s a great start to the group against a side widely tipped to get through to the knockout stage.

Looks like we’re paying for it now though: Rosicky limped off in the second half and is out for two weeks (is that two weeks in Gallastime? In which case it’s two months). And now Hleb’s got water on the knee (anyone got a towel?) and Senderos has got some hip ailment or other. Then we’ve got the usual suspects out – Gallas, Eboue and Lehmann. So there’ll be some shuffling going on.

It has to be a good opportunity for Walcott. I know he’s only 18, but he’s got to get some games under his belt now to get the experience he clearly needs. And with Rosicky, Eboue and potentially Hleb out, if Walcott doesn’t get picked against Derby then it would be nice to know why not, what with the Milk Cup coming a few days later.

We haven’t seen much of mysterious signing Diarra yet either – a short cameo on Wednesday didn’t tell us much – so it might be that he gets his first start too in the centre of the park.

And finally: I got my membership pack the other day. Two beer mats and an ‘It’s up for grabs now’ bottle opener included.

Now you can open your beer cans to the sound of Michael Thomas’s ’89 title-winning goal.

Quality tat. It doesn’t get much better than that.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.