There now follows a series of entries, exclusively commissioned by Arseblog, from the men’s first team squad detailing the warm weather training and other activities in Dubai.
It’s nice here. Spent some time with Aaron and Karl Hein. Couldn’t believe they have an entire mall dedicated to goalkeeper gloves. What a world.
Training was ok. Inaki was in a bit of a mood though. I don’t think he likes it when Aaron does the Updog thing. Session ended badly, someone mentioned Steve Round and he lost the plot.
He told us, “You think I’m in danger? I am the danger. Don’t forget I once convinced this club to buy a 5’9 Icelandic lad with hands like decayed herring. I can do it again, and you’ll all pay the price.”
Aaron just laughed, then went on a podcast with some cheeky-chappies who play competitive Frisbee.
C’est bon. Je suis content.
I like the sun. Not The Sun, obviously. That’s an awful thing, but the sun itself is very good. Of all the giant balls of fire in the sky, it’s the best one, in my opinion.
If you asked me why, in a kind of post-match interview setting, I’d say, “I dunno, I just like it.”
Some of the lads take the mick a bit about my tan, Zinchenko in particular, but I don’t really pay much attention. If I wanted to look like a overly-bleached sheet hanging on a washing line I could, but I don’t.
Thinking of getting a pirate earring during some of the down-time. Aaron told me they have an entire mall dedicated to pirate earrings. It’s right down the road from the Glove District.
Yeah, It’s amazing to be here. I’ve learned so much since I arrived. I’m learning different ways of going outside, being together with the lads, running around on the training pitch, kicking the football, it’s incredible really.
I don’t pay any attention to the price-tag of the 7 star hotel we’re staying in, that’s nothing to do with me. It’s just another level. I’ve been blown away. I’m flabbergasted. I can’t believe how much I learn. Even in the time it’s taken me to write this entry I’ve learned 19 new things. I’ve always remembered something I learned just five minutes ago but since then I’ve learned so much more.
I have a thirst for knowledge. So much so that after I retire I’m thinking of going to back to study sculpture at St Martin’s College.
Emile Smith Rowe
Arrived to find the snack cupboard in my room padlocked. What’s that about?!
Had a nice walk around the hotel complex. Saw the Gaffer. Said ‘Good morning!’, but he didn’t reply. Must not have heard me.
WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! FREE HOLIDAY!!!!!
Spoke to the boss about how the forwards aren’t delivering at the moment, so decided to plan an activity with them all to lift their spirits. A bit of bonding and so on. I couldn’t have been more precise about where and when we were going to meet, but they all arrived at different times, some early, some late.
I’m a bit worried.
I continue to thank Mikel Arteta and Edu for rescuing me from that awful place. I feel bad for some of my friends who are still there, but I have to think of me now. I can concentrate on what really matters: my donkey sanctuary.
We got a call to go down for a photo shoot at 4pm.
Of course it’s good be here with the lads and we’re all just going to do our best every chance we get. That’s what being at a football club like Arsenal is all about. Got a memo from Albert Stuivenberg to be downstairs to catch a bus to the training ground.
Hurried back to my room after training to hear the phone in my room ringing. I was expecting a very important call.
Enjoyed training a lot. I’m working on my finishing as I know I need to score more goals. Stu took a nice picture of me, Big Gabi and Midi-Gabi. I put it up on Instagram with the caption: The Three Friends, but I wish there was a foreign language version of that because it would probably sound better.
Had a chat with Ben White at the pool. I have never seen human mahogany before. It’s very impressive, but I left him to it. He seemed very serious about the whole thing.
Decided to go back to my room, and just as I got to the lobby the lift arrived. I ran across to get in but, you know, missed it.
It was all going well until I slipped by the pool and hurt my knee. I don’t know what Ben White meant by ‘Ooops, that’s my Ambre Solaire’, but I’m sure everything will be fine.
Went downstairs to the conference room for a one on one with personal coach Carlos Cuesta.
He missed it.
Hey … maybe that’s what’s going wrong …
Flew the plane over. Drove the train from the airport. Loaded all the bags onto the team coach. Unloaded them and delivered them to each room. Put out the cones for training. Took the cones back in. Sent Ryo Miyaichi a WhatsApp. He was before my time but his love of cones is legendary. At the training ground the boss has inspirational quotes on the wall, and his is my favourite: If you love football as much as I love cones, you will succeed.
Not 100% sure about that, but who am I to argue?
Made the dinner for the entire travelling party. Cleared the tables. Washed the dishes. Made and served dessert. Unfortunately when you make a Crème Brûlée there is a very short window to ensure that it sets perfectly.
Please note: Any reproduction or aggregation of these entries is entirely prohibited because they are completely fictional. Well … most of them anyway.