I decided to take yesterday off from blogging, on account of a half marathon on Sunday, finished off by a booze evening thereafter. Shall we say that I was a little ‘groggy’ the next morning so I fancied a lie in.
Of course from an Arsenal perspective little happened, unless you count the stories of people calling Alexis ‘fat’. I don’t. Not least because if he’s fat then I’m morbidly obese, which I don’t exactly fancy labelling myself as, if that’s ok with everybody.
Fat no, fit, maybe. Although travelling the world and not having had any real extended time off for about three years will eventually take its toll. Wenger clearly didn’t want to risk the Chilean and I suspect the same will be said for Thursday night.
Eugh. That still feels distinctly odd saying that.
The jeers from pockets of the crowd on Saturday for Alexis were interesting though. Not helpful and had I have been there I can’t say I would have been one of those jeering; all the guy has done is not sign a new deal which is fair enough given the disarray we’ve looked in already at times this season. It’s not his fault Arsenal haven’t been competitive for the league in recent years and he simply wants success that he doesn’t think he can get at Arsenal.
There are those that have said that it’s the cashola he’s after and I’m sure there’s a bit of that, but as the case of the Ox shows, Arsenal can throw cash at players these days and they still reject us.
Alexis getting jeered is unhelpful to everyone because it can strengthen his resolve to leave, it impacts the team negatively, plus it makes the fans look silly. What it did show though is that any time he – or Özil for that matter, given he also hasn’t signed a new deal – will probably be the lightning rod because of their situation. Sadly they’ve just got to accept that.
Old Pete Cech has been saying some nice things about them both though, so at least they both have the full support of their teammates, I guess.
One thing he did say in that interview that I noticed on Saturday was the defensive work Özil put in. I noticed three or four times that he’d tracked back and nipped the ball away from a Bournemouth player and coupled with his forward runs in behind their back line, it combined to provide us with the kind of Mesut Özil performance we all want to see more of. Of course doing it next weekend will be more of a marker for a player of his calibre, but to be honest with you, I feel like the annual defeat at Stamford Bridge is now such a ‘thing’ that it won’t matter a jot how well he plays. We’ll still get beat as we always seem to do against them away, whether it’s by being outplayed, or skanked by a referee, we just don’t win there and I’m kind of expecting the same come Sunday evening.
More on that later on in the week though, because before then we have an Arsène Wenger press conference coming up at some stage ahead of the Cologne game and that’s the one that we need to focus on, because it’ll be intriguing whether Arsène gives us a clear indication on just how much rotation he’ll undertake. My hope is for a complete overhaul from 1 to 11 (although these days it’s from 33 to 200 on the squad numbers) so the players can be rested for Sunday. They need all the help they can get so the hope is that we give ourselves the best possible chance at the weekend for resting players.
I guess we’ll find out more either today or tomorrow when the press conference takes place.
And that’s pretty much all I’ve got for today. I was thinking about writing something about Welbeck and how he’s talking about practicing more in training on his finishing and how that could have a big impact for the season ahead, but I’m reluctant to say anything specific unti we’ve seen him hit 10 goals, because I’m still not convinced that we’ll see this particular leopard change it’s spots. Not yet, anyhow, although I am hoping to be convinced otherwise.
Right, I’m off peeps, so I’ll see thee in the morrow.