Sunday 24 July 2022

Arsenal pre-season Q&A with TLC's editor

Thank you so much for sending in so many questions. Here are the questions that made it to the starting XI, plus one sub!

1. Will Gabriel go to Juve?

Probably not - unless silly money is offered

2. Will Jesus propel Arsenal into the top four?
Yes, there’s a chance. Look how many goals Arsenal have scored in the pre-season: 5 v Ipswich & 5 v Nurnberg, 2 v Everton and 3 v Orlando.

3. Will Tierney & Tomiyasu ever be ever-presents?
Tomiyasu had more chance, as you’d like to think muscular problems heal. Tierney must be getting the best medical help available, so maybe there’s hope. He’s determination is there, but can his body keep recovering? I’m not sure.

4. Do pre-seasons mean anything?
Yes and no. No points, of course, but if you’re getting hammered in pre-season, it probably means the tin tack for the manager eg Frank Lampard.

5. Will Saliba sign a new deal? 
Not yet. I think he’ll make Arsenal sweat. Maybe he feels that he hasn’t been treated well by the club. After all, he missed a cup final two seasons ago. Then last season, he was going to be around, but no! Off he went to Marseille. 
However, he may actually start a lot of games if he stays, so I think he’ll stay, unless a monstrous offer comes in.

6. Will Saka sign a new deal?
I’d expect so unless something terrible happens during negotiations. I can’t imagine that Arsenal will mess Saka’s deal up but, then again, you never know.

7. Who’s off then?
Torreira almost definitely, Bellerin probably, but it wouldn’t totally surprise me if stayed. Nelson probably, but it’s hard to say. I think he wants to stay and, if so, maybe he will.

8. Who’s in then?
At this stage it’s a revolving door. With Zinchenko in, it could be curtains for Tavares, some say. However, it may be that Tavares is Zin’s back-up, as Tierney is perennially crocked.

Additionally, it looks like Teilemans might come in. Not quite sure why it’s taken so long, so that makes me think it will never happen, but these days nearly all transfers are protracted sagas, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised.

If he comes in, there’s talk that Xhaka will leave. I can’t see it personally. He stayed when nearly everyone hated him, so why would he leave now that he feels the love. It doesn’t make sense, especially as Arteta rates him too. It’s taken most of us a long time to warm to him and his silly fouls and faux hard man approach, but in his old age he’s becoming slightly more reliable. Maybe he’s like a vintage wine, but I’m a bit worried he’ll turn into vinegar and leave us with a sour taste in our mouths. Even vinegar has its uses though: where would fish and chips be without it?

9. Is Thomas Partey good enough?
Yes, if he can steer clear of injuries. That’s a big if. So far, he’s not really managed it. On his day, he’s one of Arsenal’s best players, but have injuries wrecked him already? It’s hard to say, but I’m disappointed to see so many fans writing him off already. The end of the season will be the time to judge.

10. The captain: who will it be and will it be a good decision?
If it’s Odegaard, it’s a great decision. He’s not going to pick up silly yellow cards and he’ll lead by example. He’ll probably play every game as, dare I say it, he’s like Ozil for chance-creation, but he has Ray Parlour’s workrate. What’s not to love? At least, Arteta learned that Emery’s five captains idea was a dead duck. No more of that please!

11 Will the new Vieira thrive or will his match-stick frame splinter under the pressure of the Premier League. 
Well, I’m not saying he’s fragile, but arriving with a foot cast is not a good sign. I’m sure he’s got technical prowess, but we haven’t seen it yet. Stick insects can thrive in the Premier League, but if he has physical fragility, it’s going to get tested in the England, that’s for sure. No one takes prisoners: ask Eduardo! 
Anyway, let’s hope Vieira is more of a praying mantis than a stick insect!

12 Do Arsenal get enough protection from referees?
Have you got any more jokes? No! The red shirts cover the blood. If Arsenal changed to white or whiter than white or pure white, everyone would connote that with innocence. Maybe then Arsenal would get away with murder like a certain team that plays in white and not be considered a bunch of murderers, who deserve every foul they get. And Arsenal get fouled a lot, let’s face it! Even in friendlies! 

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