Good morning to all. Some quick Sunday things for you.
With the World Cup kicking off today and England in action tomorrow, Ben White hopes to be selected in Gareth Southgate’s starting XI, because otherwise he faces the prospect of doing something he simply doesn’t like – watching football.
We already know this about him, and I remember there were people on Twitter who thought he was a big weirdo because of it. Like he couldn’t really be good at soccer if he didn’t like soccer on TV. It’s funny, because most of us really like football on TV, but in real life we’re not good enough to play for Arsenal or our national team, so it’s quite instructive when you stop and think about it. for half a second.
I’m not sure this thinking thing is going to catch on though, not on Twitter. However, Ben White spoke to The Guardian and reiterated his position, saying:
“Sitting down and watching a 90-minute game after training all day and having four or five meetings about soccer… the last thing I want to do is watch more soccer.”
Unfortunately, when you’re in a tournament, there are few options. You have to sit there and watch football. Of course, there’s a difference, because it’s not on TV to begin with and you don’t have to listen to it. [Insert name of interminable pundit/co-commentator here]. You can chat with your mates (making sure to have a hand over your mouth so no sneaky lip reader catches you saying “Can you believe he’s starting Harry Maguire? WTF man?!”) little to pass some time. .
For your sake, I hope you can play. However, if he doesn’t, he seems pretty relaxed about how his time is passing:
I sunbathed this morning. There’s not much to do. You rest and there are recovery things to do. Early to bed and watch a movie. It’s very nice around the pool.
Don’t forget the factor, Ben.
Elsewhere, there’s a little update from Emile Smith Rowe, who spoke about his possible return. The 22-year-old has only played 47 minutes of football this season in 4 brief substitute appearances, most recently in a 3-1 loss to Man Utd, after which he aggravated a lingering injury and required surgery.
Yesterday Sky Sports placed him in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and they asked him when he could return. He said:
“Hopefully for the first game back after the World Cup. In fact, I’m here doing rehab. Today was my day off, tomorrow I go back to training.
“I’m back on the field and all that, so it’s all good.”
And on what it’s like to see this Arsenal team top the table, he continued:
“It’s going very well right now, I’m very happy for the team, but sometimes it’s annoying when I can’t feel like I’m involved, I can’t be on the pitch with my teammates.
“It’s amazing to see them do so well and I can’t wait to come back.”
As part of the team, and as someone who grew up supporting the club, it must be great to see how well we’ve played this season. However, at the same time, there must also be an undercurrent of frustration at not being involved. Hopefully he can channel that into motivation for the second half of this season, and having been our second leading scorer last time out, he has some ground to make up this time around.
Ok, I’ll leave it there for now. James and I will be shooting Arsecast Extra later this morning. Keep an eye out for calls for questions on Twitter @gunnerblog and @arseblog on Twitter with the hashtag #arsecastextra, or if you’re a member of Arseblog on Patreon, leave your question in the #arsecast-extra-questions channel on our Discord. server.
We’ll have the pod for you by lunchtime. Until then.