Hi y’all, hope you’re good, after all it is Friday. That’s something to be positive about. Right?
We also had Arsene’s presser to talk about, which he did a day early, as is the custom these days when the team travel away from home. He spoke of a great many things, some of which I’ll touch on, but inevitably it was transfers that dominated a lot of the discussion. Which is more that can be said for our actual activity this summer. But as usual, Arsene gave nothing away and said nothing about any individual players. He looked a little surly yesterday if I’m honest. He didn’t even give that customary smile when asked about a player by name, or a dismissal of a player we weren’t interested in.
Oh how I long for the days of the wry smile on a specific player. Or the quips that he used to do. You know the ones; the “I don’t know this player” about three days before we signed Cazorla. Or the “maybe we will have something for you” just before the Ozil deal was done. Those were good days. They gave us hope. But these days, we get deadpan Arsene. We get an Arsene irritated by constant questions about players. But do you know what? If we’d have done out business a month ago, no fan would be up in arms, and the media would be talking about something different. So perhaps the rod for his back is his own making?
Imagine a scenario where we’d sign Lacazette and even someone like Johnny Evans or Ashley Williams. Perhaps you and I would have turned our noses up a little at first on the defensive side, but at least we’d know the business was done. At least we wouldn’t have the waiting and worrying. We’d know exactly what course was chartered for us and it would just be a case of ensuring the fans get behind the team. It’s the uncertainty you see, that’s what’s getting people’s backs up.
But hey, we’re “ready to spend”, so that’s good news. Right? I’d hate for us to not be ready to spend. Like the bank is closed and it’s a Sunday and we don’t have any cards and besides we need to get more than £300 out of the machine anyway. That really would be embarrassing, wouldn’t it?
At least there was a little bit of positive news with Danny Welbeck having three months shaved off his rehab. I know it hardly helps us now and by the time Welbz returns we’ll already know what we’re fighting for, but you have to take all good news and embrace it like a sibling you haven’t seen in 10 years right now, because it does feel like good news is a little light on the ground.
As for the now, Arsene didn’t really give any concrete confirmation on who is available and who he might rush back, but of the three big players who are not match fit at the moment – Koscielny, Giroud and Ozil – the indication is that the defender would be the first one back to face Leicester this weekend, if anybody. It’s a tough one. Koscielny is experienced, he’ll bring ease to us all if his name is on the teamsheet pre-kick off, but a half fit Koscielny against the pace of Mahrez and Vardy? That scares me, if i’m honest with you. But what choice do we have? The manager and the club are in this position entirely of their own making and we just have to hope that their gambling pays off. Because that’s got a good track record, hasn’t it?
With Ramsey and Iwobi out, also confirmed yesterday, we really are running out of options too. The Great Arsenal Injury Crisis has started early this season, it seems. Probably to give us enough time to have another injury crisis come early December.
The way things are going at the moment, it wouldn’t surprise me if Serge Gnabry arrives off the plane and is chauffeur driven straight to the Emirates to be wrapped in cotton wool so he can play against Southampton. The German has been a star performer in Germany and if Arsene can extend his deal – as he’s said he wants to – perhaps we could have one of those fabled ‘internal solutions’ we’re all so familiar with. I wouldn’t be adverse to that in the wide forward positions. I think Gnarby is a good player and has been unlucky with injuries. Last season was an anomaly because he was ‘Pulised’ out of the West Brom side, but the guy has talent and if he comes back from t he Olympics with bags of confidence, that could be really beneficial for this Arsenal team at a time where we look a little shorn of confidence.
That’s all from me for one day.