I wonder if Arsène will deliver his pre-match presser today, given that we’re away this weekend, or whether he’ll just leave it until tomorrow?
That’s the kind of thinking that goes through my mind first thing on a weekday, so it’s probably good that I have a medium with which to channel my constant Arsenal thought lines.
Either way, we should get some team news at some stage, even if it’s via a page on the official site. The real hope is that The Ox has returned and that our ailing squad is starting to replenish itself. If Alex is back, I suspect he’ll have to contend with a place on the bench, because I’d imagine Ramsey will be the one to come in, having had minutes on Tuesday night. Despite his assist, Ramsey is clearly the better option and I wonder if it will relegate Joel to a bit part player again, taking his place alongside Debuchy until January at least.
One player who won’t be worried about getting minutes is Mathieu Flamini, who much like Coquelin last season, has been handed a lifeline because of multiple injuries. Personally, I am hopeful that whilst he won’t be as successful as Le Coq, he will get better with the more games he plays. I guess in that sense, it’s good that we’ve not got any teams at the top of the league at least for another three weeks, as it will give the Flamster the chance to build up some momentum having played midweek Champions League and weekend Premier League games. Apart from away to the Spuds in the COC, he’s looked decidedly average, possibly down to the lack of match sharpness. But as he’s given a run of games I expect him to improve and show that he’s a little more than just shouting and pointing in the heart of the midfield. There was a time – when he was a regular at Arsenal in his first spell – in which he had everything about him that Coquelin had. It’s true he doesn’t cover the same ground as much any more, but he should be old enough and wise enough to be better in positioning, which I think every player improves on a little bit more when they’ve been on the pitch for consecutive games.
What we just have to hope, is that it doesn’t take him half a dozen games to find his rhythm, because we can’t afford to be dropping points at this stage of the season when the games are viewed as a little bit more winnable.
So whilst we have little choice but to put our faith in him, I am hoping that he will at least moderately surprise a few people, by hopefully not turning out to be as sh*te as everyone is expecting!
Aside from that, I’m not really sure whether there’s much more talking about at the moment, because the stuff on the official site is just a bit more bumf about getting out of the group stage, or players talking up each other like Lolo bigging up Alexis, or Per bigging up our chances in Greece in two weeks. You guys can have a read of those through the links if you like, but I have no particular thoughts either way, if I’m honest. All my attention is on the league and the nerves I get ahead of a game like Norwich away will be far greater than when we play against Olympiacos. Perhaps it’s because I feel we can achieve something in the league, whereas the path to Champions League glory is littered with better teams than ours, but I just feel more excitement about the league right now than I do the European competition. Maybe that will change and maybe I’m just compartmentalising the games, as cliched as it might sound, one at a time.
Anyway, enough blabbering from me, you’ve probably got plenty of things to do with your day so I’ll leave it there. Adios amigos!