It’s not going to happen, is it? The impossible Premier League dream, I mean, after Leicester rode a wee bit of luck to seal yet another 1-0 win at home to Southampton. I’m not sure there were two penalty decisions that needed to be made, but I’ve seen a fair few like the handball of Huth given, so that wouldn’t have surprised me.
From the weekend I took comfort in the fact the Spuds drew, but it feels like this title is Leicester’s now, especially because of some of the breaks they’re getting. They now sit top on 69 points and need another ten just to match the maximum points we can get in seven games. Were it any other side we’d have given up, but this Leicester team are getting wins like Champions, so perhaps we should forget the names on their badge and start treating them like a Chelski or a City?
When it does eventually happen, I and many other Arsenal fans will be asking plenty of questions about the manager and the players he is in charge of, but until that happens I’ll be holding on to my hope and getting behind the team.
It would be the lesser of all evils though. If a Spud meltdown happens then that’s at least some consolation. I’m not sure it will happen though. United aren’t great and Stoke will have nothing to play for in their next few games, so I suspect we’ll see that lot pick up more points, so we just have to keep going and take care of ourselves. That is the party line from the club.
There’s another line that the manager enjoys peddling too, which is one of ‘mental strength’ and the attitude of the team, which also came out on an article on the official site yesterday. Arsène called the team ‘mentally pure‘. He was referring to the Watford result in isolation, but can anyone give me a heads up as to what the bloody hell that means? I have no clue. Is he suggesting that they are untainted psychologically? Because if he is, I’d ask him not to tug that wool so far over our eyes; it scratches a bit and means we have trouble seeing what’s in front of us. What I saw on Saturday was a formula that should have been our blueprint long ago – more mobility, fluidity of player positions in attack and a team who trusts every other player on the pitch – but you’d be a brave man to suggest that the team were mentally untainted after what we’ve seen in 2016. We’ve seen an Arsenal team give up a slender lead in the league and turn it in to a massive chasm by April. We’ve seen players so devoid of confidence that when at home against a relegation threatened Swansea, they choke the second they are behind, running out of ideas and letting their heads go down. We’ve seen an Arsenal side who contrived to let the worst United team in my living memory pick up three points. None of that suggests any kind of mental purity to me.
But hey, let me stop myself for a second, because I did say I’d try to be a little more hopeful, which is hardly the route I’m heading along at the moment is it?
Aside from the comment about mental purity, he is right in his assertion of the balance of Elneny and Coquelin sitting behind the front four, which leads me to hope that we’ll see less Ramsey/Flamini and more emphasis on developing a midfield pairing that brings balance in future. I just hope that we’re looking at other options that will compliment players in the middle of the park in the summer. There are certain players that simply don’t work together and when you have spaces opening up to replace Arteta, Rosicky and Flamini in the middle of the park, you need to make sure you get it right. Elneny was not an expensive buy, but he’s proving to be a useful one. Let’s hope we can find more of his ilk in the summer.
The hope is that Jack Wilshere will be fit and able to play a part, but we’ll just have to see about that, depending on whether he has been hung, drawn and quartered for crimes against humanity. He was pictured outside a nightclub at some ungodly hour at the weekend and all of the papers have jumped on the story. Of course it isn’t great to see and you’d think with all of his previously publicised issues he’d probably try to avoid any spotlight like this, but really, is this anything for the world to be getting too excited about? A twenty-something male is in a nightclub with friends and there’s a bit of an argument. Is that something that never happens?
It doesn’t set the right example, he should probably be a little more careful, but this is a massive storm in a teacup and frankly I don’t know why I’m even dedicating two paragraphs to mention it. But there doesn’t seem to be much else Arsenal related to talk about at the moment, so that might be why, I suppose.
Anyway, it’s Monday, we’ve all got stuff to do (most of us boring work/school) so I’ll leave you to yours and I’ll go get mine over and done with.