Happy Monday to you and yours. I hope it’s a good one. The Algarve remains blisteringly hot and I’ve taken to eating peaches for breakfast.
Speaking of peaches, it was an absolute one which saw Shkodran Mustafi be an unused sub for their 3-0 away victory against Norway yesterday, wasn’t it? It would just feel all very Arsenal if we lost our new signing for a few weeks due to a thigh strain, or something equally as annoying, so the fact that he seems to have navigated through this particular international break without any major injury, is a good thing. Now he can concentrate on safely returning to these shores, meeting his new teammates, rooming with Mesut and playing with each other’s hair and stuff.
Awfully nice of Arsene to spend £30million on a friend for Mesut, wasn’t it? Handy that he plays in a position where we need strengthening too, I might add.
I didn’t get to watch any of the games yesterday, as I can’t justify time inside when on holiday to watch any of the international matched, but it looks upon first glance as if all of our boys have come through unscathed. Ozil played 90 minutes yesterday, Theo got around 20 minutes and sounds like he had a good finish that was just offside. The fact he’s hitting the net though, can be seen as a positive as far as i’m concerned. France play tomorrow and the hope will be that Ollie G and Kos can get through that fine and if they do, then by the time Saturday rolls around and Southampton rock up at the Emirates, then we’ll hopefully have a decent squad to pick from.
The only other stuff knocking around at the moment involves the loanees. First up, Joel Campbell, who sounds to me as if he’s pretty much given up the ghost when it comes to playing more regularly for Arsenal. He was talking about last season and has said that he thought he deserved more game time.Given his performances at times when others were shying away – Swansea at home comes to mind – it’s hard to disagree that he probably should have played more. But personally, I’ve never really felt he was ever going to make it.
I don’t know exactly why, but he never quite felt like an Arsenal regular to me. Arsene clearly didn’t fancy him and chopped him from the team at every opportunity when others were fit. So he was never going to make it under the current management. But I myself never quite felt he did enough. His positive attributes of tracking back, winning tackles, were admirable, but I never quite saw enough of the man going forward. He scored a few good goals and even had a few very good moments where he was involved in some of the goals of others, but I just didn’t feel like he did it enough. At times when I watched him, when I thought he was going to have a go at beating his man on the flanks, quite often I’d see him check back, lay the ball off and then move in to another space. He seems like the reverse of the Ox, who will always look to take on a man, but perhaps sometimes doesn’t quite do the distribution side of his game justice. Or the defensive element.
There are loads of Arsenal fans that talk about how Santi and Coquelin are a duet that feels like it should be one player able to do both of their roles. That feels a little like Campbell and the Ox. It feels like if we could merge the positive attributes of both of their games together, then we’d have a hell of a player on our hands right now, probably one that would start week-in, week-out. But as it stands we don’t and one has gone out on loan, whilst the other struggles to impress in a side that should have aspirations on the title.
Quite whether we’ll ever see the Ox make it, I’m even starting to question now, because he’s soon going to run out of time in terms of chances to impress. Perez’s arrival means that there is another option out wide, even if he was primarily signed as competition for Giroud and eventually Welbeck. But with Alexis sure to return to the wide left position and Theo looking more useful as a right winger these days, the Ox has Iwobi possibly ahead of him too, to worry about.
The other loanee that has been the talking point so far is our boy Jack. He’s spoken about how he thought the move to Bournemouth is the best thing for him and I hope, I really hope, that he can stay fit. Because if he does, it he can show the form of five or so years ago, then I am holding out hope that he can come back to Arsenal and fight for a place. The Arsenal midfield looks stacked at the moment, but with Santi getting older, with Coquelin as limited as he is, surely there is a future for Jack at Arsenal? Please, somebody tell me via the medium of a crystal ball that there’s a future for Jack?!?
He’s one of us. He’s grown up with Arsenal. He loves the club and Arsene also loves him too. I think if he has a full season this year, then Arsene will find a place for him. Call me blindingly optimistic, but that’s what I hope for, so I’ll be cheering him on at Bournemouth and hoping he can find his old self again.
Laters all. Have a good’un.