I know we all rolled our eyes and manifested our delight of a signing by exhaling a big ‘about time’ when Mohamed Elneny was confirmed yesterday, but having listened to Arsène’s video about the player too on the official site, I do wonder if he was the same as us. He readily accepted beginning the process of the signing in mid December, so the fact that it’s taken a month for it to be official, just goes to show how much of a pain in the backside some of these deals can be. 

People will inevitably point the accusatory finger at the manager, because it serves the purpose of their agenda, but the reality is that this was a complicated process made more complex by visa issues. It wasn’t Dick Law buying an Anderson shelter instead of getting on a plane to negotiate, because he thought Elneny was a typhoon, it was simply that the Home Office decided a while back to chuck all kinds of crazy rules around players. Number of caps internationally, whether the player plays for a team in the top 50 of the world, it’s all a load of old tripe. You’re telling me that if the next Messi is found on the Island of Samoa, the Home Office would be the ones to stop him from joining a club? Of course they wouldn’t, so why the bloody hell do any team have to go through such a pointless process.

Still, he’s here, it sounds from what Le Boss is saying that he’ll make an impact sooner rather than later, which is good for the team because we have some cover, just as the noises start circulating that Rosicky, Jack and Welbeck are all set to (or have already) start training again. Only, at The Arsenal, eh?

We have some really tough games coming up, but this period is crucial, because in February it looks like we’ll have enough of the squad back to be able to give the manager a headache on selection. With the pressure to be mounted as we tick towards the end of the season, each new arrival from the treatment room will be greeted with more gusto, because it allows us to change things up if it’s not working. 

All the existing players have to do – famous last words here, and I’d love to touch some wood as I say this, but I’m on the Met Line surrounded by metal and plastic – is to pick up the points in tough games away to Stoke and at home to Chelski, then I think our title chances will only get better.

We’ll get more of an indication today about who makes the trip to Mordor on Sunday, but I suspect it will be more of the same from Wednesday, the exception being the collective breath we’re all holding for Alexis to be fit. I expect Arsène to be complimentary about Hughes, but I would be surprised to see him wax lyrical, because he’s hardly bosom buddies with the guy. How could you be? He looks like he’s just stolen your car. He’s got that grizzly look about him that he’d admit it to your face as well, just because he wants a fight, yet me being a pacifist n’all, I’d just let him take it. I have insurance. And I can just give the police a good description and point them towards a Staffordshire town where he might be residing. They just need to make sure they have now and arrows ready. And lembas bread. Never forget the lembas bread.

There’s something else I wanted to touch on before I bugger off for another day into the Big Grey Smoke, which is the whole ‘Ramsey/Flamini’ debate that appears to be going on, after it seemed to be obvious from the Liverpool game, that the pair isn’t quite working. I’ve been thinking about this overnight actually, after a friend on Twitter, Clive, was revealing his ‘when all fit’ team. In midfield the obvious choice from two positions is Coquelin, but I went for Ramsey alongside him, as he offers more ground covered and is more of a goal threat than any other option. But now I’ve had the chance to digest, I wonder if the Coquelin/Ramsey combo would work as well as Coquelin/Cazorla. After all, Cazorla is never far from Le Coq to distribute the ball too, which means his role as the deep-lying playmaker means he is the one that needs to use his vision and range of passing to get us going. Ramsey doesn’t have that range of passing. He will be the guy wanting to make the forward runs and is more likely to be alongside Mesut Özil than Coquelin. So do we then become over-reliant on Coquelin to become the distributor too? Is he consistent enough with his range of passing? I’m not too sure. He’s a good passer of the ball, is Le Coq, but we’ve only ever had to see it in small isolated doses. Not over the whole duration of 90 minutes.

So would Coquelin/Ramsey work as well as Coquelin/Cazorla? Or would it just be a slightly less erratic version of Flamini/Arteta because Coquelin is an overall better player? That’s the worry.

But it’s a worry for the manager to sort. I just shout at them all from the stands. But it is something they’ll need to look at when ‘everyone’s fit’ again. Har-har.