Yesterday Arsene gave an update on the players available at the weekend and wouldn’t you know it, for the first time since the end of last season, everyone suddenly seems fully fit. Isn’t that just the most Arsenal news of all time? Three matches before the end of the season, when everything is done and dusted, when the season is petering out, all of the players have recovered from their various ailments. Blooming typical.

It will be good to see Santi back for a game or two, even if it is too little, too late to salvage our season in terms of delivering end product. I expect he’ll come in at the weekend as a sub, but i’d love to see him alongside Elneny. It’ll be like having a younger version of Arteta with less perfectly chiseled hair sitting in alongside our tiny little Spaniard. I suspect we’ll see it from the bench though, but more on who will start in a match preview tomorrow. What is important is that he comes back without any worries and we get to see how Cazorla and Elneny can potentially play together, because I think that is the formula for a future midfield; two technically capable midfielders who control possession, can win the ball back and are effective distributors of the ball. I see Jack as somebody similar in that mould too, but up until this point we haven’t been able to control possession in the middle of the park because we haven’t had the right combination of players.

So whilst I’m frustrated that we’re getting players back at a time in which we all want the season to end, I’m also hopeful that there can be a sign that shows us that we have a blueprint for a future style. I’ve read countless blogs, listened to many podcasts and watched a few videos in which Arsenal fan after Arsenal fan has questioned what our style is. It has been clear that we haven’t really had a ‘plan’, we’ve just tended to cobble together players from the first team, but we haven’t really been able to fashion an identity. My feeling is that this has come from the issues in centre of midfield. We haven’t had two players who are ball retainers or haven’t been able to keep the play ticking over when we have possession. Flamini is supposedly just a ball winner. He is not a distributor of the ball. Coquelin is an upgraded version of Flamini. Arteta has hit the age wall. Rosicky cannot survive for any length of time because of his injuries. The Ox has fallen woefully out of form and he’s clearly viewed as more of a wide man than a central midfielder. Ramsey isn’t a player I see as effective with the ball at his feet. He doesn’t control possession. He doesn’t keep a team ticking over. He is a box-to-box lung buster who covers ground and when in form scores goals. He’s like Lampard; a late arriving midfielder who contributes with goals. He simply doesn’t work in an Arsenal system I don’t think and that is why he’s struggled.

That’s why, to me, we need to have a proper look at Santi/Jack and Elneny, so I hope both are able to play some part in all remaining games. Because if they are and if the system works with two from those three in the middle of the park, then the team needs to be rebuilt in the knowledge that we need that type of technically gifted ball-retainer in the middle of the park. I don’t think there’ll be a big summer clear out, as it’s not Arsene’s style, but I do think that he needs to think seriously about who plays in that central midfield area, because it could mean that the type of players that are slotted in to the squad, have to play in a certain style. So in other words, no need for Coquelin, Ramsey or the Ox in the middle of the park. Harsh words maybe, but I’m just trying to work out what fixes our clear flaws this season, and that’s one of the main things I can think of. Of course, we also need another mobile centre forward, but that debate is for another blog.

Anyway, it’s Arsene’s presser today and we’ll no doubt be treated to more thoughts from the manager, so I’ll ponder over those and also the match itself against Norwich, tomorrow. Catch you then.