Bunches of our players were jetting around the planet yesterday playing in almost entirely meaningless games in unfamiliar circumstances, and as of right now it appears they all managed to make it through without getting hurt. So everyone can chill out for the rest of the week, until the Big 4th Place Showdown at Anfield on the weekend.
So let's get to it then, shall we?
Arseblog talked a bit about the players off on internationals, but the part I liked best was actually something related to the Beijing trip this coming summer (which I also wrote about), and American fans. You know, like us. He voiced surprise that the team hasn't come here, and (presently) doesn't appear to be doing so this year.
The Gooners across the Atlantic are some of the most passionate and dedicated overseas fans we have, getting up really early (or staying up really late) to watch games. Not that this makes them any different from our friends in other far flung places, but that kind of dedication to the team is always amazing, wherever you are. Also, if you want to base a tour on appeal to fans then I can tell you that based on traffic figures for Arseblog the UK comes first and it’s the US second by a long distance. I know that has as much to do with numbers of people, and their online access, as anything else but still.
And surely the bottom line is that if you’re talking commerical appeal, spreading ‘brand awareness’ and all that other marketeering guff, then the US is a market and a fanbase we should be doing more for? Maybe it’s in the pipeline for next summer, with a US owner and all that that entails, you would like to think so.
So yeah, that.
Also a personal favorite of mine, Tim Stillman, announced yesterday that he'd completed his life's work (well three years really, but then who's counting?) by finishing The Arsenal Tome, a collection of writing about every single major trophy the club has ever won. Knowing him it's sure to be an invaluable resource for fans new and old. So if you've ever been curious about the 1936 FA Cup win, now you're sorted out on that count. My favorite part is at the bottom though.
Another of my personal favorites, Jamie Sanderson, writes over at the Independent about the England U21 side's thrashing of a non-awful Belgium, starring West Ham backup goalkeeper and Arsenal loanee midfielder (yeah, you heard me right) Henri "No I Don't Know Why My Name Is Spelled That Way" Lansbury and cult leader Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Henri Lansbury's two goals effectively won the match for Engerlund, but The OC's penalty won and converted at the death will likely ring through the halls of history for generations to come.
And it's never too early for some Liverpool news. Kenny Daglish says that Daniel Agger is certain to miss the weekend's game with a broken rib suffered in the Carling Cup final (too soon), and confirms that Steven Gerrard is doubtful after injuring his hamstring in one of those completely pointless games I was talking about earlier. Which just goes to show you that playing for your country in a game with nothing on the line days after playing 120 minutes in a cup final is typically not a great idea. (All joking aside, if I were a L'pool fan, I would be livid over this. LIVID.)
Off topic bit of the day: say it with me now, all together - DEUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE