In the post-international boredom haze that we’re currently wading through, there’s nothing like a boot in the proverbial balls by the England manager, stating that Danny Welbeck will probably be out for around six months. I’m pretty sure Arsene and some people at the club will have rolled their eyes on that one. The England manager has clearly not received the memo about the intentional vagueries of the prognosis for his return.
If Roy is right and we are looking at six months out, that brings us through to March, which effectively means we’re without Welbeck for almost the whole season, because he’ll need a month after that before he’s match fit and the season will be done by the beginning of May. It seems it’s the classic Arsenal curse once again, but also means that we really are shorter on attacking options than we should be. We’re effectively mired in the 2014 summer malaise before we signed Welbeck on deadline day last year. Back then the signing of Welbeck made us all a little more relaxed about the options, so to be without him now means that players like Walcott need to step up, both for Arsenal and England (although I’m less fussed about the latter).
Theo has his big fat contract and now, with the games about to become quite difficult, he needs to show his end product in big games. We have Stoke at home on Saturday, then it’s a succession of tricky away games that seem to be never ending. Dynamo Zagreb, Chelski, Spuds in the COC, Leicester away before we entertain Olympiakos in the Champions League at the end of September. Perhaps all of these away games will allow the team to express themselves a little more than the games at the Emirates, but personally I think we’d be better with a series of home games, because I don’t think the home troubles are a long-term issue. We need to rip it off like a plaster and get some wins at home and scoring plenty of goals. At least we have Stoke at home with an opportunity to do so. We’re by no means guaranteed goals and points against the Potters, but it’s a chance to get rid of the drought before we head out on our travels.
The Chelski game is the one that is standing out as a shining beacon of worry to me at the moment though. The Champions League is a tough one away but I fancy us to get something. The same can be said for Leicester away. The COC isn’t really a priority, but if we…somehow…can beat Chelski on their own patch, that will be massive in the context of our season. The Community Shield victory felt like a monkey was thrown from our backs, but the monkey had a cousin called ‘League record’ and that still claws to us. We need to take advantage of the supposed dip in form from Chelski and get something away from home. Heck, even a point would work for me right now, then perhaps we can take them back to the Emirates in 2016 and finally cast aside that pesky marsupial.
After that run of away games, it’s United at home and if we’ve got our confidence back, then I fancy us to be able to get one over on them too. It was an absolute travesty that they picked up three points at the Emirates last season, after battering them for most of the game. Hopefully by then the ghost of David De Gea will still be lingering, but we’ll have to wait and see.
For me, it’s an afternoon on the beach, so I won’t let a little thing like a Welbeck long-term injury get me down. I’ll save it until I’m back in England and it’s raining and I’m sat at my desk with nothing else to distract me.
You have a good one. Peace out.