Apparently it’s not just Arsenal who are hit with the injury curse of the international break. Yesterday Sadio Mane was hit with the confirmation that he’ll be out for six weeks for Liverpool. Devastating news for Liverpool. Although six weeks leaves him handily placed to return in mid December and have a couple of games to get back to full fitness before Liverpool smash-and-grab us at the Emirates just before Christmas. It’s a lifeline for the Ox who can’t believe his luck I’m sure, because there was no way he was getting in to that team on current form, but now will find his path cleared somewhat to get game time. Not the same game time he left Arsenal for – centre midfield you remember – but back in the position he was playing for us over a year ago.
We wish him none of the best.
As for Arsenal related news, it’s happiness and joy for Giroud, Ospina, whilst commiserations exist for Alexis and Kolasinac. For the latter we can feel genuinely sad for, although a nice summers rest for him will certainly be welcome from an Arsenal perspective. For the former it just feels bloody typical that the Chilean’s one summer of recuperation will be the one in which he’ll exit Arsenal.
The real winner from that Brazil win last night? Pep Guardiola. Arsenal have had to deal with a half for Alexis at the start of every season but of course with all of their riches and all of the amazing players that City have, why wouldn’t they have absolutely nothing standing in their way for a fully fit Alexis come August next year.
If ever the case for shipping him abroad in January were there, it has surely been strengthened now, because none of us want to see what a fully fit Alexis can do when starting from August. Especially as you just know that the football fates will cackle at us by seeing him return to the Emirates with his new club come the first Premier League game of next season with his new club. It feels almost inevitable at this stage.
So I hope Arsène sells the Chilean in January to PSG or some other team we’ll probably only encounter once every five years and I hope we can just replace with another star who we can pin all of our hopes on until he eventually runs down his contract into 2021. That’d be grand, thanks.
But let’s not dwell on any negativity because last night Ollie G bagged himself another goal and just to confound the modern day Premier League tacticians, wouldn’t it be super awesome if Arsène went 4-4-2 this weekend, with Laca and Ollie up front? It’d have old Marcos Silva scratching his head on how to set up, having spent the last few weeks peering over the fence at London Colney watching Arsène and his ‘tactical drills’ of 3-5-2.
I would Kevin ‘Keggie’ Keegan luv it if we did that.
Seriously though, it does feel a little harsh that Ollie G isn’t getting any game time, although you do wonder if this will be one of those situations whereby as soon as Lacazette hits a wall in terms of games, goals or injuries, that’s when Ollie will have his chance and I’m convinced that he’ll take it. The reason being is that whenever he’s been in danger of losing his position he always seems to up his game. That happened at times last season when Alexis was preferred up top and I can see that happening again this season. He’s already got two goals with two starts (and seven sub appearances) and I think if he gets more time on the pitch he will rise to the occasion.
And that’s all any of us have wanted with him. The only frustration about him is that he hasn’t had that competition before and if he steps up and delivers for us over the course of this season then we can only be happy for him. But for us too because both he and Lacazette getting goals will vastly increase our likelihood of breaking back in to that top four.
But only the season’s unfolding will tell us if that prediction comes true.
And with that I’ll say good day for another one. Enjoy your Wednesday.