Far be it for me to actively encourage a little bit of schadenfreude on a Thursday morn, but I couldn’t help but chuckle at the Spuds result yesterday against Monaco, as they were sucker-punched in to a 2-1 defeat at ‘home’.
Perhaps it was because of some of the mitigating factors that I experienced on my commute home. I have to go via Wembley Park tube station on the Met Line towards Uxbridge each day, which usually means I only ever have to contend with ‘Eng-ger-land’ fans and their moronic chitter-chatter. But yesterday evening it was an all-Spud affair, which made my commute all the more unbearable, especially when hearing some of the conversations. Conversations about how they have attracted the biggest ever Champions League attendance for a UK team. Like that’s some sort of prize to be on display!?!
So seeing them fall foul of the Champions League on their second return to it since it started in 1992, does make me feel a wee bit smug, I must say.
But hey, this is an Arsenal blog for Arsenal fans, and unlike that lot, we don’t spend half of our time talking about their bitter enemies. So on with the Arsenal show!
How about a little from our new boy Lucas Perez, who has been speaking about how time in Ukraine helped to mature him as a person and taught him about what he wanted and where he wanted to ultimately be. I like that. I like the idea that you have to go through trials and tribulations to truly appreciate what hard work and graft will get you. Arsene has previously spoken about that with Lucas and it’s interesting to hear him say it as well. We still have a lot of work to do as a squad to feel like we’ll compete for honors at the moment, but I can’t help but think how valuable it is that there are a variety of different people who have had very different life circumstances, who make up the composition of our first team squad. There are those like Hector and Iwobi who have come through from the youth ranks, those who’s stars have always shone brightly like Alexis and Ozil, those who were wonder kids like Walcott, the Ox and Ramsey, or those who have backgrounds coming from lower leagues before Arsenal, like Koscielny, Giroud and Lucas. It’s good. We need more people who will walk over hot coals for the team. People who realise that the only way to stay at the top of your profession is with continuous hard graft.
There was also a bit of post match reaction to the game on Tuesday from Mustafi that I missed, with the German talking about the poor start to the match, but the importance of getting the point through Alexis’ goal. He of all people will have been a little relieved, because it was he who probably should have been able to get in front of Cavani to stop the goal, so to come away with a point means that the early defensive mistakes were rectified in the end through a battling point.
Mustafi is an interesting one. His ‘shiny new player’ status will afford him a little bit more leeway than Chambers had, but that’s a couple of wobbly moments he’s had in his first two games. Hey, it is his first two games and so I can’t really make any kind of snap judgments so early in to his Arsenal career, but you just hope that he’ll not carry those little kinks in his game into the rest of the season. He’s still got to adapt to a new team, new teammates, a new style of play in the Premier League and the unrelenting nature of the Champions League, so there’s absolutely no need to panic at this stage, but I just hope he can find his feet alongside Kos and we can start to see a proper partnership forming. Ideally, this should have happened at the beginning of August to mitigate the issues around players finding their feet during the football season, but I won’t go over old ground on that one. We know the issues of the summer and we’re in to the football season proper now, so let’s just hope Mustafi can adapt quickly.
Right, that’s me done, but just enough time for another quick ‘HA-HA’ at Spurs.
Catch you tomorrow.