I think it’s safe to come out now, isn’t it, after all the international friendlies and Euro qualifiers are done right?
I took the horrendous decision to watch the majority of a disjointed and unimportant dead rubber between England and the might that is Lithuania, which is two hours of my life I’ll never get back, as I saw white shirted player after white shirted player try their best “Me sir! Pick me above any of these other players!” schoolboy football attempts to earn a place on the plane for next summers tournament. I’m not sure a single player really stood out and that was a direct consequence of some of the “me-me”-ing going on yesterday evening.
From an Arsenal perspective we had The Ox and Gibbs playing and whilst Alex did get a pretty well taken goal, he had one of those nights that are becoming a little bit too familiar for my liking. He seems to have developed – and I’m sure you will correct me if I’m wrong – a recent habit of losing possession in dangerous areas for his team. Perhaps this is not something that is new, but I have only found myself noticing this season, so to me it is a fresh flaw in his game that has emerged.
He’s still a precocious young talent for us, but at times he seems to not quite find the right pass, or dwell on the ball a little too long. Perhaps it’s because he is shorn of confidence and it is manifesting itself in a way in which he is over-thinking and over playing. The Ox is a playing who always looks happiest when the ball is at his feet and he’s driving at players, so perhaps rather than some players short of form where they tend to release the ball as quickly as possible, he is trying to do that little bit too much with it and as a result often runs in to opposition traffic.
It’s a shame because I tipped him for a big season and whilst it is still relatively early in the proceedings, he’s not going to be afforded lots of time to get back on track, certainly not at The Arsenal and certainly not if the team is in form and challenging for the league. I’m not in the slightest suggesting that his card has been marked at the club, just that I am not sure how he’s going to get enough games to play himself back in to form.
I can only hope that what he really needs is just a goal and one really big game for us, which kick-starts a confidence spurt and we start to see The Ox we all know and love.
Gibbs did well I thought and got in to good positions, but given Nacho has weirdly had a week off (why he’s not in the national team is a mystery), I can’t see Gibbs getting the opportunity to build any kind of momentum against Watford. I just hope that he doesn’t get all ‘Lassana Diarra’ impatient with not playing, because he will get his chances and I’m convinced that were Nacho to pick up even a slight knock that keeps him out for a few weeks, Gibbs will win his place back and keep it. That’s what healthy competition is all about and that is what Gibbs has to realise. It’s odd really, because as a fan I don’t want to see Gibbs not playing, but equally I don’t want to see Nacho pick up a knock. Is that a footballing Catch 22?
Anyway, we’ll start to see the players trickle in from their respective international detentions over the next couple of games and Arsène will get to assess the damage. There’s no noises about any players picking up any knocks and Walcott was rested yesterday, so hopefully he’ll be fresh, as will Santi who I don’t think played last night either. Giroud bagged a brace for France and hopefully that will soothe his melancholy soul, because I think he’ll get used in some capacity against Watford on Saturday evening.
Other than that, there’s not really a lot on, unless you count Arsène Wenger’s “EVERYTHING’S OK” alarm, also known as the “stating the obvious” soundwave of telling the official site that fans make an impact when you win at home. It’s filled stuff really, which I don’t blame the guys at the official site for doing, not when they have content starved Gooners everywhere like you and I, just desperate for the return of The Arsenal and needing a quick fix. For some that news item might have worked, but for me I’m just getting more and more desperate for Saturday, and those filled stories don’t quench my thirst. Think Louis from Interview with a Vampire when he drinks the blood of rats so he doesn’t have to go after humans. It sustains him, but not enough for him to do anything other than exist.
Righto, I’m done for another day, so I’ll see you when we’re 24 hours closer to the good stuff.