Righto, this is a new month, it’s a new me, one in which I have now formally given up alcohol until May and at a time in which my other habit – The Arsenal – has driven me to even more drink than usual, I’ll have to find a way of numbing the pain of defeat somehow. Unless…nah….but what if we won all….stop it Chris, you’ll only hurt…
I don’t care. The hope remains until the next game and the next game is tomorrow. It’s Arsenal versus Watford and a return of the hornets to a ground in which they despatched a woeful Arsenal team. So there could in all reality be yet more Arsenal heartache tomorrow. But until that happens, we have to keep the fire of hope burning in all of our hearts.
I’m sure that’s the message of Arsène today in his pre-match presser. By the time you’re reading this, that might have already happened, but at the time of writing, I’ve got nothing but a ‘Jack Wilshere back in training’ article on the official site to take a look at. I said my piece on him yesterday, so now it’s just about getting him fit and healthy and able to play for The Arsenal. An option for somebody like him to make an impact is always a welcome one.
There are a few other players who are also returning to full training and Arsène has already given his update on each of the players ahead of tomorrow. Wilshere and Rosicky in full training is welcome news, as well as Santi outside running again, and wouldn’t it be so very Arsenal to have all of our players who are similar in style to all be back at the same time? I suppose that’s Sod’s law, but it’s better to have those players available, than to have none. I do wonder who the first person thrown back into action will be. Arsène has said Santi is three to four weeks away from being back, but given both Rosicky and Wilshere have been absentees for so long, it wouldn’t surprise me to see both of those guys take another couple of weeks before they’re even risked for the bench, let alone a starting role. Which brings us towards the end of April and probably the end of the season before players are fit. Just in time for the Euro’s. Isn’t it nice of Arsenal to give players such a long rest before releasing the players they pay wages to, to their national teams, eh?
I hope the damage isn’t already done by the time any of the returning players get back to the first team though. I’d love to be sat on this tube line in one months time with the dream of pipping both Leicester and the Spuds to the title, despite my attempts at better judgement and reality, it does give me a slither of excitement and hope.
Come on Arsenal. Win and win well this weekend. Imagine what it will do for the fans if you do. Claw back that tiny bit of hope that we all thought had completely faded. Turn the flicker into a spark and see if we can’t ignite it again. Go on, I dares ya.
One more final observation for you, after Le Boss’s update on player availability yesterday, which is about the goalkeeping situation. I’ve long spoken about how Arsène has his hierarchies. He likes to have his favourites and often will play them despite their form. But I wonder if he is giving Ospina a bit of a reward for his good performances of late, by putting it out there that Cech might be a ‘bit short’ for this weekend. Cech himself has spoken in his homeland about how he is back in training and is fine, but Ospina has played really well of late and so perhaps under the pretext of Cech still being injured, he is giving Ospina one more game? We know he has form in that regard. I think he admitted once when Almuniaesque was in goal, that he sometimes said players were injured to protect them from abuse and whilst I don’t think this is the case with Cech, I do think Arsène might be saying privately to Ospina that he deserves his place in the starting line up. If you’d have asked me whether that’s a good idea six weeks ago I’d have laughed you out of town, but such has been his good form, that I am of a kind to say that his good form is such that it won’t be the most disasterous thing in the world if Cech isn’t available. I still hope that sentiment isn’t playing a part though. Cech is by far the better ‘keeper and we should be playing the best players in their best positions. Especially if we want a flawless run between now and the end of the season.
Anyway, that’ll do me for now. I’m off to work. Have a good’un.