Goodbye International Break, Hello Sydney ATMs

The international break has finally ended and our focus can return to what really matters – The Arsenal.  In particular The Arsenal playing football matches, and hopefully picking up three points.

When our players headed off with their respective countries we had, of course, just picked up three rather tasty points at Anfield courtesy of a two goal victory, thanks to our shiny new players Messrs Podolski and Cazorla.  The return of league action sees us in more homely surroundings as we welcome Southampton to our humble abode.  Needless to say its imperative that we pick up where we left off.  After a disappointing 0-0 draw with Sunderland it would be good to get our first home win of the season, and a goal from Giroud would be the icing on the cake.  With Manchester City away followed by Chelsea at home being our next two matches (in the league) it’s key to pick up all three points against newly promoted opposition.  That said we only need to look at the effort both City and United had to put in to secure victory to know we can’t take them lightly, in particular Lambert and Lallana who have started the season well.  I guess there will be more on that game tomorrow when Arsene has held his pre-match Friday press conference.

As is often the case with international breaks it’s about passing the time as best you can.  Excluding the tracking of our players progress from a performance, but more importantly fitness point of view, there has been little news from an Arsenal perspective to help our cause.  Things kicked off with Bacary Sagna speaking to L’Equipe, where he discussed the sales of a Dutchman and a Cameroonian and also the lack of a new contract offer for himself, all of which sent Twitter into meltdown and people starting to doubt the once quietly reliable Mr Sagna.  Fear not Bac, you’re still my favourite player (watch out though as Koscielny is in hot pursuit).

After the Sagna storm had calmed there was then Abou Diaby talking about taking revenge on time, only for this to be predictably followed by his absence through injury.  Latest reports indicate that this is precautionary due to his much documented injury record, and that he’ll be back for our Champions League game on Tuesday.  Then, to round off our chatty internationals we had Santi Cazorla, who told the Spanish media he is loving the freedom Arsene Wenger is giving him.

Whilst all that terribly exciting “news” was going on there was a rather more interesting Q&A session held between the Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association and Arsenal’s Head of Marketing Tom Fox and Head of Communications Mark Gonnella.  For all the details you can have a read of the always excellent Tim Stillman, but the two bits that really amazed me were “95% of our revenue growth will now come from overseas” and the part where we learn that our commercial team has 13 full time employees, whilst United’s has 80.  Staggering and plenty of work to be done.

You’ll notice that a couple of the links in those last few paragraphs came from Arseblog News.  I’m sure you already follow the legend that is Arseblog, but if you don’t then you really should, it’s always of the highest order.  And if you don’t, but have somehow found little old me, then “Ha ha ha Blogs, in your fac…oh shit, run!!”

Away from Arsenal I’ve had a most enjoyable time passing the international break.  When we last spoke I’d just taken in the wonders of Sydney Harbour, which I will confess has been done a few more times again.  It truly is spectacular, I hope I never grow tired of its beauty.  In addition, I have now also taken in Bondi Beach (wearing my 1971 replica home shirt), Darling Harbour, The Powerhouse Museum, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Taronga Zoo, and the offices of two recruitment agencies.  I can highly recommend all, especially the recruitment agencies.  That said, the Royal Botanic Gardens really was something else and got me thinking of loved ones back home, as I know Mum and Dad would adore the gardens.  Which reminds me, my first Skype session with the family back home in London also helped to pass the international break time.  My nephew, who is nearly 2, wasn’t quite sure how his uncle was on the computer, but it was heart warming to see that he A) recognised me, and B) gave me a smile and wave which successfully melted this soppy uncle’s heart.  Love my little man I do.

I know my best mate, Sydneysider Mikey Hudson, will also want to know about the little quirky things so this parts for him.  The sky is blue.  I mean insanely blue.  I’m not sure Sydney knows what a cloud is, where are those little white beauties?  There are a lot of rather lovely white with yellow bill cockatoos, who make an absolutely bloody racket and scared the shit out of me in Oatley Park.  And why do ATM machines ask you which account your money is in?  Savings, Credit, or Cheque?…what are you talking about you stupid machine?  I opened an account with you and transferred all my money into that one place, so be a good ATM machine and try looking there for me.  Thanks.

Right, that’s enough for one day.  Apologies it’s another chapter of war and peace, but it’s my first post since our victory over Liverpool which was some time ago now.  I’ll be back again after the Southampton game, with hopefully another tasty three points to talk about.  Until then, come on The Arsenal.

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