Man, it’s early. I’ve got a busy day at work today, which means I have to get the zombie train at 6.15 this morning, filled with all manner of the walking/sleeping dead. To be fair I’m squarely in that camp, although I am using the medium of this blog to try to form some cognicent thought pattern to wake me up.

It feels a little like a sleeplike state in terms of Arsenal lately, doesn’t it? We’ve all been wandering around in the non-football abyss, grasping at different pieces of Arsenal content to keep the hunger from overtaking our minds and sending us ‘full Stoke’. I’ve got back in to listening to some podcasts and I’d recommend some of my friends at the Gooner Ramble for a bit of interesting discussion. I haven’t listened to the David Hillier Pod yet, but apparently there were some interesting discussions, so that’s on the listening list at some stage today.

But content-wise, it’s difficult to get opinion pieces these days, other than Arseblog and the excellent A Cultured Left Foot. James over at the Armchair Gooner has started up with a bit more blogging and Jok is always an interesting read – as is the Gooonerholic – but there’s too much ‘five reasons’ or ‘transfer exclusive’ rubbish that goes on. That’s why I love the idea of the Highbury Library. They are trying to compile the opinion pieces rather than the clap trap. I hope they succeed.

I guess it’s difficult. People get so much football these days that perhaps having to read another Arsenal piece is grating on them. This past week there’s been no Arsenal, but every day there’s a couple of options for a game to watch and even the Beeb had FA Cup football yesterday. What with Sky changing a load of fixtures all the time it becomes really difficult for the average fan to track, let alone plan your football excursions. Take Middlesbrough for example. Let me make sure my sarcasm dial is turned up to 9.8 as I say this…

Thank you very much for moving the game to a Monday night.

It’s the Easter weekend that weekend, but low and behold, Arsenal are moved to an evening kick off. That completely rules out my ability to get to the game and probably does so for many. Middlesbrough is four hours by far from London (where most fans will travel to) and a good two and a bit by train. So if the quickest you’d probably get home if you’re going to that match is 12.30am I’d guess at. 

Once again the fans are being mugged off. It’s the same as the Newcastle fans the other night. Brighton to Newcastle must be around six hours. Imagine being punished with a 3am return to your bed on a weeknight, just because the TV companies wanted to have an evening spectacle. 

Mugged off completely. And what makes it more infurtiating is that there’s nothing we can do about it and the future will only see more situations like this. We’re not far from the death of the 3pm Saturday kick off, I can assure you.

But hey, at least all the footballers get paid more money from these deals, right?

Anyway, Arsène will return today for his press conference and we’ll get an update on who travels to Anfield for Saturday evening’s game. I heard some whispers yesterday that Özil was ‘ill’. Whether that’s true, or whether he’s picked up the old Almunia bug that keeps you out of a game despite no physical or mental signs of problems I don’t know, but I do know that Özil is one of our better players and I don’t care if he hasn’t been in the best of form, he should still be part of the squad. Keep him on the bench if you want to fire him up. Don’t just give him the excuse of taking a pass for a game. Heck, maybe starting on the sides would be exactly what he needs. He’s a guy who loves to play football and if he’s sat on the sides stewing, he can take the approach that to avoid this ever again he needs to pick up his form at all costs.

But if Özil is ‘ill’, we know that Arsène has probably decided that saving some dignity is more important than trying a different tactic to motivate the player.

Let’s see what he says later today.

Other than that, I can’t really see much going on that’s worthy of any kind of over-elaborate analysis. I’m not too interested in stories of Allegri telling ‘close friends’ that he’s joining Arsenal in the summer. That’s a bit like transfer tittle-rattle and until we know what Arsène’s plans are, there’s no point in speculating on a change at Manager level, because it might all become irrelevant if he takes another two years.

So with that in mind, I shall bid you adieu for another day.