Morning folks. It’s super-early O’Clock for me today, on account of an early finish and trip to Portugal for a bit of R’n’R today and as I sit here blurry-eyed thinking about Sunday’s game and Emery’s press conference that will happen at some time today, there are a few things spinning around in the old grey matter.
What to make of the Mesut situation
Of course my hope is that this ‘situation’ is absolutely nothing, that he’s fit this weekend, that he starts and plays well in a game that might just need his guile to breakdown what invariably will be a stubborn opponent.
Plenty has been made of the ‘discussions’ that have been had at Colney about how Emery wants him to work harder when we don’t have the ball, but whilst some quarters of the footballing fraternity question whether or not Özil will respond to Emery’s instructions, I have a more hopeful outlook.
He’s a guy who is intelligent enough to know that maybe, just maybe, adopting Emery’s approach could result in him improving as a player too. We still don’t know whether or not Emery wants more in terms of his tracking individuals, or getting back to cover space more, but if it’s the former then that’s just a case of a player being able to be switched on more to a specific opponent.
That is something that if he keeps his head up and watches runners and his ‘man’ when they have the ball, it’s a quick fix, and it’s something that Giles talked about in reference to Jorginho on Wednesday night’s show. Giles reckons that Mesut was assigned to stop him from having time and space and he never quite managed it. To me that’s nothing a bit of time and coaching can’t correct, providing Mesut is willing, which I’m prepared to believe he would be.
Torreira from the start
This is something that we all need to happen sooner or later. I spoke about it on yesterday’s blog so won’t go over old ground, but I think his addition to the base of our midfield will make a huge difference in the composition of our team and I’m hoping that Emery feels that he’s had enough time to ‘bed in’ and that he’s ready to go from the off now.
Cardiff City away feels like a good time to let our Uruguayan ball-winner loose.
The importance of cup competitions for competition
Leno needs to be able to impress. Holding and Mavropanos need to be able to show they can step up in case of injury to one or both of our centre halves. Smith-Rowe will want to show he can be a first teamer within the next two years. Nketiah will want to show he’s kicked on.
There are many more but ultimately what we need from our squad players this season is for them to show us just how far they’re willing to impress the new manager with the style of pressing and build up they can deliver for Arsenal this season. We already know we have Brentford and whilst the Capital One Cup is lower down on the list of priorities, these players need us to go far so they have had enough minutes during the season to warrant a shout for the first team. If we’re dumped out against Brentford in the first game at home that’s not exactly going to help. It leaves us with just the Europa League – of which we’ll find out who we have today – and whilst that will give some experience to some players, having the League Cup is not something that any should underestimate.
It’s still a very interesting time at Arsenal at the moment and despite almost being a month in to the season we still have many more questions we need answers on. Each week Unai appears to be up for answering them, which is a good thing, but it’s clear there’s still a lot of work that’s needed to be done at the club.
That’s me for another Friday. Have a good one and I’ll catch thee tomorrow.