Mother Nature has seen fit to reward my ten days of sunshine in Portugal with typically drab weather this morning. But as I sit here on the Met Line waiting patiently for my People’s Chariot to disappear into the grey smog of London, I am at least thankful that my holiday coincided with one of those interminable international breaks, which meant I missed little and was able to switch off from Football for a while.
You never really switch off from The Arsenal though and so I’ve been keeping abreast of the topics of conversation, the article about Santi, as well as the ongoing saga of Ivan Gazidis. Having made my bed firmly in the camp that he has delivered very little in his overall tenure at the club so far, it’s difficult for me to leap out and declare that I breathed a sigh of relief when it was announced that Milan were giving up their ‘pursuit’ of him due to wage demands.
Fancy that. Someone who professes to love Arsenal so dearly, who has taken a pretty decent penny or two from the club in the last ten years or so, now wants a big chunk of cash to move to Milan.
You only have to read some of what the excellent Swiss Ramble says on his Twitter timeline on his role as the business leader at Arsenal, to see that he’s achieved ‘par’ at best at the club. He’s hardly ripped up trees so I won’t exactly be shouting from the rooftops that he’s staying.
I wonder if Josh will either though…
Still, on the more important matters, at least we have some comfort in the fact that Koscielny is at least now running in training and if his progression to ball work and then returning to first team training can continue at the rate we’ve seen, maybe we will get him back before Christmas? That would be a dream scenario because let’s face it, the current defensive duo have hardly been rock-like in their solidity, have they?
Eight goals in four games will probably have brought a tear or two to Koscielny and Mertesacker’s eyes. Let’s not forget that at their best, those two were part of a unit that could string together clean sheet after clean sheet only about four years ago. Yet right now it looks like a clean sheet is more illusive than a Boris Johnson apology.
For the most immediate future it also looks like Torreira has survived an injury scare whilst playing for Uruguay and given that the noises for him starting are increasingly rumbling like that drum in Jumanji, it’s good to know he’s available for selection.
And I think we’re ready for it. Much like we were ready to see Auba and Laca from the start like we saw away to Cardiff, it feels like the time has come for Torreira and personally, it’d be with Xhaka and Ramsey in front of him in my mind. That feels like a combination of like to see, although given how we line up with Ramsey pressing higher up the pitch, the partnership most likely to develop will be Torreira and Xhaka.
Let’s just hope that we can see it sooner rather than later but more importantly, it’s one of those partnerships that can blossom because although Guendouzi has done well and is surely one we should be seeing taking a position in the future, it feels like right now those two should be working well together.
As always though, we shall be waiting eagerly to see what Unai says in his press conference, which I’d imagine is tomorrow as the team will be travelling up to the North East on Friday for the 3pm kick off on Saturday.
I’ll sadly not be making my way up to follow them as for the first time in a few years I’ll not be making my pilgrimage to see The Management’s family this weekend. I’ll be on a work excursion in New York so will be experiencing a very weird sensation for me, which is a morning kick off to watch The Arsenal. Have never seen them play at 10am before so should be a new experience.
If anybody reads my stuff and can make any recommendations on where to watch the game – ideally a heavily Arsenal influenced pub – then I’d be all ears (and eyes). So let me know in the comments or Tweet me.
Also, just before I go, a heads up to listen to the lads on LoveSport tonight. It’s the usual time of 7 until 8.30pm and the lads will be talking what makes a legend, previewing the weekend’s game, as well as lots of other stuff for you to digest. You can call in any time you like or just listen on 558AM or London DAB digital radio, searching for ‘LoveSport’.