So much to get through today, that I’m not even sure the trip from Uxbridge to Moorgate will be enough time to see me include everything, such is the case after an interlull.
Unlike a tactically drip-fed Arsène Wenger beIN interview, we don’t get dribs and drabs, just the whole shabang.
Let’s start with dear old uncle Tony, Who’s said that he could do a job coaching the defence, but the door has been slammed in his face. I love Tony. He was a true Mr Arsenal and every Arsenal fan appreciates what he’s done. But how on earth do we know he’d be any kind of decent coach? He’s certainly not one for the manager’s job, as his various stints have shown, but perhaps defensively he would be able to do something? Not sure. Probably, but not sure, because he does come across as being a bit mental at times.
Mind you, our defence seems mental a lot of the times at the moment, so perhaps it’s one of those double negative situations that could end up being positive.
Either way, Tony ain’t getting near the Arsenal team for the next two seasons, that’s for sure. Who knows thereafter though?
So we return to the current predicament, which is assessing who is available and who Arsène can play at left back, given he’s running low on right backs. Apparently we have no new injury concerns, although Alexis et al that returned back to training yesterday will be assessed. In an age of enhanced media coverage and PR teams controlling social feeds, everyone suddenly looked to Alexis’ Instagram account for inspiration that last season’s variation of the Chilean will be ready to pick up where he left off, citing the strong arm emoji as a ‘good sign’.
Goals are a good sign. Lots of them. And now. So that’s what I want to see from him tomorrow. And that’s who everyone bar a small corner of the ground want to see from him too. Arsène will certainly hope for that, especially as he’s once again cited the fans and the need for everyone to get behind the team. Can’t argue with that and as always come kick off we’ll all be there. But Arsène himself has said that the players need to deliver in these situations, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the atmosphere turning if we see more of the same sh*t that we saw against Liverpool.
Effort. That’s what I’m talking about. Because at times at Anfield there simply wasn’t very much.
So yes, fans can play their part, but the time for talking about legends and how they need to pipe down (which I don’t think they do in the slightest) is done. Give your response on the pitch and for Arsène, do it by picking the best available team in their best positions. No more self sabotage. Please. The media don’t work hard to turn fans against the players or you, you do, I’m afraid, you do with baffling decisions and mollycoddling of players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
One thing Arsène and I will agree on though is most certainly the early closing of the transfer window on the Thursday before the first game of the season. Hurrah! Thank god for that. It’s the best news that could have happened to a club like Arsenal.
Why? Because it forces the club to act quicker. It will force the club to do their completely stupid last-minute decision making on players earlier in August and it will force the manager above all to make decisions. I have heard three or four journos – including Ornstein – say that it is common knowledge that Wenger dallies and often changes his mind. Had the window closed earlier in August this year we’d have probably been going through the same farce we did last week, but the only difference would have been that once all of the dust had settled, the team would be known for the first game of the season. No confusion. No playing players in the hope they’ll sign new deals. No players with a mind elsewhere (until January, of course). We’d have gone in to all three games knowing exactly who was in the squad and maybe we’d have been playing players in their natural positions, giving us a better chance of victory, which would be a novel idea.
So I’m totally behind this plan by the Premier League.
Of course, the cynics will say that we can still sell abroad and not replace, but imagine if we knew that we could get Alexis off to another country for cash, having pushed a little earlier to get Lemar in? Much more palatable than him donning a City shirt in either January or June.
So yeah, the transfer window changes, a great thing.
Do you know what’s also great? Hearing that Santi might be back after Christmas. Just to see him training again would be grand. That smiling little face lighting up the joint, that’d be a ray of sunshine for Arsenal. Oh how we miss him. I feel like he’ll be one of those players that when he’s gone from the club, I’ll really feel like I didn’t appreciate him at the time. In some ways I feel like that about Bergkamp. An absolute god, but when he first signed I was barely a teenager and didn’t watch football like I do now. I didn’t appreciate individual ability like I do now. Bergkamp and Santi will be those players that I should just watch and marvel.
That’s why I find myself leaping to Özil’s defence at times, because watching him at his best is truly something to behold. When that happens I just marvel. I drink it in. Wish I’d have done it with the Dutchman and the tiny little Spaniard more too.
I think that’s pretty much all I’ve got time for today I’m afraid. The tunnels of central London loom and signal is soon to run out. So it’s adios from me for another day. Have a happy Friday.