Mertesacker’s Tailor

Italys finest cloth cutter gives his thoughts on Germanys finest centre back…..

GoG’s grumps of seasons past are on your right.

Ciao mein Freund and meine

So, Robin Van Pursestrings has moved
on to the Mancs: not a great surprise but why he couldn’t have gone quietly (a
la Manuel/Gael Clichy) rather than make the comments he did is a little

Also, our one and only Song has
somewhat bizarrely and quietly swapped a guaranteed starting berth at Arsenal
for guaranteed bench time at Barcelona: did Cesc want someone to sit next to him
and reminisce with him on the bench?  Still, £15m will now be wearing squad
number 17 for the rest of the season.  On the subject of squad numbers, after my
long missive last time Podolski has taken 9, Wilshere 10, and Santi Cazorla 19.
Park was allocated 30 just in time for a last minute printing run at the club
shop only for him to disappear off to become “banco de un Parquet” on loan to
somewhere in Spain.  The Danish Pastry has also moved out on loan, in his case
to Italian giants Juventus: is he really a suitable replacement for Alessandro
del Piero?

I finally decided on Giroud for my
‘Dennis the Menace on acid’ away shirt: I hope I’m not proved wrong in thinking
that his movement, chiselled cheekbones, hold up play, perfectly formed
features, ability to win headers, and stunning good looks, will be a real
benefit to us this season.

So, what of the start to the season?
After what was a pretty dull and uneventful game at home against Sunderland, we
secured a hard fought (and relatively comfortable) point away at Mordor.
Against the Orcs I thought we looked particularly solid: Abou was disciplined
in helping to nullify the aerial threat of Crouch and Per was majestic in
organising the back four: next time you are at a game spend a couple of minutes
just watching how he organises and talks to the rest of the back four – his calm
authority makes a massive difference.  After two goalless draws the knives were
out: no Van Pursestrings = no goals, we’ll never score again, etc etc.  Then we
visited the red bin-dippers and secured a very comfortable three points with a
classy display: Cazorla was imperious (what a buy he looks to be) and we
nullified the red scouse to such an extent that they were reduced to taking pot
shots from distance; again the press focussed on the red scousers’ ‘poor
performance’ (what have they gained after spending all that money?) though our
discipline, organisation and ball retention, coupled with great finishes from
Lukas and Cazorla meant that the result was never really in

After the interminable international
break we eventually followed up the Liverpool win with an absolute thrashing of
the Sailor boys: whilst they were poor our pace and movement in the first 40
minutes was exceptional.  Gibbs played brilliantly and was significant in the
Sinners scoring two own goals, and Lukas scored from a direct free kick: makes a
nice change from seeing Van Pursestrings blaze free kicks into the top
tier/wall/advertising hoardings.  We also played a new striker by the name of
Gervais Lombe Yao Kouassi who scored twice as well.  We spent the last 5 or 10
minutes trying to set up Giroud to score, though eventually Theo put one past
his old club and was classy enough not to run the length of the pitch to
celebrate in front of the away fans, preferring a muted round of applause for
the set up play; indeed Theo and AOC gave the away fans a good natured round of
applause at the end of the game, with the away fans being suitably magnanimous
in return (Adebawhore and Na$ri take note).  A classy quality display all round,
though not all opposition this season will be as ‘accommodating’ as

We’ve also started our champions
league campaign, for those that don’t know, that’s on Tuesdays on Wednesdays,
ITV and Sky Sports, and NOT Thursdays on Channel 5 (isn’t there a song about
this that helps to clarify the situation for Spuds and Scousers?).  Anyway, a
good first half was nearly undone by a tired and leggy second half, but we did
(just about) enough to secure a win with a goal each from Lukas and Gervais
Lombe Yao Kouassi after Montpellier opened the scoring with a dubious (but
beautifully executed) penalty.  Giroud was a picture of cool brooding (or was it
sheer nerves) as he stood in the tunnel before the game against his former team
with his head in his hands: I’m not worried about his failure to score in two
and a bit games (he set up Lukas for his goal with a lovely pass by the way),
I’m confident he’ll come good – remember how long it took Denis and Thierry to
score their first goal for us?

So, the next game is against the
United Arab Emancs at Middle Eastlands: that will probably be viewed as our
first ‘real’ test of the season: a positive result against Citizens will really
give us some confidence.

Til next time…

Latest Grump: Aston Villa (H)

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