Morning Gooners, happy match day to you, even if it is only a ‘fitness developing’ exercise today when we play Benfica on home soil.
I think I will watch the games this afternoon, because I suspect we’ll get a better indication on how much work is needed for this team after today’s workout. The usual state of play is that a relatively strong first team starts and then it all gets a bit ‘bitty’ when the midway point in the second half kicks in, so I’ll be interested to see how Arsène lines us up today. If I’m honest, having looked at the squad who are available and playing in this competition, that midfield is slightly worrying and it does make you hope the Seri rumours are true. When you get beyond Ramsey and Xhaka the ability for distribution is pretty limited and so let’s just cross our fingers that options are being considered.
Wilshere is still recovering though and although none of us probably believes we can get a season out of Jack these days, it would have been nice for him to be fit to at least show his face, but I guess you can’t have everything.
Or in Lucas Perez’s case he’ll feel like he can’t have anything. He’s not in the squad, frozen out, and along with Gibbs probably won’t be seen anywhere near the Emirates ever again unless its with the away team. I must say I’m a little disappointed by the way they’ve both been treated. It’s one thing for them to not be part of the plans, but we could at least involve them now, because if we were buying a player we’d want the selling team to have given them the best possible chance of being fit for the new season, no?
It just seems a little unusually cold from Arsène. Of course if they’re gone within the next few days then it’s understandable, but I’d have thought that they would have been moving along a little quicker than this, if I’m honest.
We’ll just have to wait…and wait…and wait…
This ‘catalyst for change’ so far doesn’t really seem to have kicked in, does it? I mean, a real stepchange for the club would have been to sort out the incomings and outgoings before mid July, yet here we are about to hit August and there are still no news on contracts, nothing major on any big incomings, as well as little noise surrounding outgoings. It’s almost as if we’ve talked a good game and don’t seem to be walking it. Again.
I know there’s still time, but unlike Arsène I consider the start of the season as the point in which all business has been done, not 31st August. So to me that really only means he has two weeks, or one if you’re going to integrate players in to a team with at least a little bit of time before a proper ball is kicked in anger.
I suspect we’ll be having the same conversation as most recent summers gone in two weeks time. That Arsenal and Arsène haven’t quite done enough. That we don’t quite look ready for the new season. That the first couple of games have been a stuttering start. I hope I’m wrong and I could still be wrong, but having kept my counsel in terms of ‘losing my sh*t’ this summer, I’m starting to waver.
Anyway, let’s just focus on the football this weekend, hoping that the club are also taking care of business off it as well.