As far as weekend’s go, in terms of our result and in context of results for other teams around us, we can all be quite happy with our lot this Monday morning as I type. Liverpool, City, United and the Spuds all dropped points. Sure, Leicester kept up their winning habits, but let’s let them have it. I’d be surprised if they’re still top come February. So all-in-all we must be all feeling quite positive going in to Wednesday night’s game. The Premier League is more open than I’ve ever seen before and it wouldn’t surprise me if the eventual league champions lose as many as six or seven games this season. Such is the openness and mistake-making of most of the teams up there.
The only real downer for the weekend was Arsène confirming that Santi has undergone surgery for his knee ligament damage, which means he’ll face a minimum of three months out, but because he’s an Arsenal player it’s more likely that we won’t see him until April. Just in time for us to get him fit for the Euros. Happy-effin-days.
It’s a massive blow and there will no doubt he calls to replace him, especially if Jack suffers a ‘little bit setback’ as we’re all expecting, to which I have to admit that I’m starting to wonder if he will actually be back in January. It’s all very quiet on his recovery process. It’s mad that we should be thinking about augmenting the creative midfield options, given the number of different options that could play in that position, but unfortunately we have a team of injury-prone diminutive midfielders, Santi aside ironically enough. Jack, Rambo, Rosicky and even The Ox all pick up knocks and bumps of varying levels, so to say we’re overstocked in that position, probably belies the fact that most only play half a season. That seems ‘at best’ right now.
Perhaps that’s Arsène’s fault for not buying in that position, but like the crisis that we’ve had in right wing until now, I don’t think Le Boss could have predicted that we’d lose a load of players in one position. Not at right wing, anyway. I can understand the midfield, in hindsight, given the names I’ve just reeled off.
So all eyes – well, certainly that of the media click-baiters – will turn to the window opening in three weeks. I must admit I’m hopeful that Arsenal are already putting feelers out. If they were able to bring somebody in pretty sharpest at the beginning of January, then right now we’re just in a bit of a ‘make do and mend’ situation until then, but if we’re talking the end of January then we might be stretching ourselves a little too far. Timing is of the essence and let’s hope that Dick et al know that and are already taking counter measures on the injury problems we’re suffering right now.
Still, there’s one creative who goes from strength-to-strength, in the form of a certain Mesut Özil. Yet another assist at the weekend and he’s admitted he’s in the form of his life right now. Hard to argue with that. You can tell he’s in confident mood and the result is that he’s even trying audacious things that are coming off in games. Like the backheel dummy he sold a Sunderland player on Saturday, before being fouled as he advanced. He’s looking every bit the superstar at the moment and with Alexis out until Christmas at the least, his burden is bigger than ever before, because he remains the sole ‘x-factor’ creative in the team now. Don’t get me wrong, Rambo had a great game and can step up, Theo should start to bang goals in as he returns to fitness and we should expect more from Giroud and The Ox, but in comparison to Özil they all seem that level below to my untrained eyes. That’s why it’s important he stays fit. We need him to.
Right, time for me to pop off to work, so I’ll say my ‘goodbyes’ and catch you tomorrow.