I know Arsène remains steadfast in his public comments about Alexis Sanchez, and that the latest ‘injury’ to the player has come at a very coincidental time, but am I the only one thinking:

Tempt PSG into a large bid.


He’s not signing a new deal, I’d rather lose him now and reinvest the money in the squad, than gain nothing and strengthen a rival next summer. Because City are clearly going to snap him up.

The last season before Adebayor, Henry and Fabregas left were beset with ‘injuries’. Who’s to say that we’re not about to go through 2017/18 with a player constantly picking up ‘knocks’.

I’m a bit of a conspiracy theorist though, so to me the second I read ‘abdominal strain’ and ‘Alexis’ in the same sentence, I immediately thought the worst.

Perhaps I’m wrong and perhaps we’ll keep him and he’ll give us a fine farewell season. But to coin a cult phrase from a popular movie: 

Alarm bells are ringing, Willie.

The only thing that stops me from my eyebrows hitting the top of my forehead is that the club are at pains to give the detail on his injury situation. That says to me that they’re desperate for the world to know that this isn’t an Almunia or Wiltordesque ‘mysterious injury’, but instead is a short term ailment. Time will tell.

The team news ahead of tomorrow in general doesn’t sound great. Kos is suspended, Ramsey and Özil are doubts and this Alexis news is also not great to hear, but despite all of that we should still have enough to beat Leicester at home. Well I say that, but given our opening day record, it’s hardly a given, given that it’s Arsenal.

The Kos suspension will be made all the more difficult if Mertesacker isn’t playing through his head injury, but in that position at least we have loads of cover. Quality cover, I mean, not just those making up the numbers. Midfield is a bit of that although unlike some I rate Elneny. You only had to look at him on Sunday to see the value he adds covering the ground in the absence of Xhaka’s inability to do it. If Ramsey is out it will be a step down, but we’ll still get the industry from the Egyptian, so against a hard working team like Leicester that could be a good thing.

What does intrigue me is the front three, because that’s where we will be missing Özil, but we still have a lot of competition. I’ll do more of a match preview tomorrow, but I wonder if Arsène starts Lacazette tomorrow or if he sticks with Giroud, because Leicester will sit deeper and look to hit us on the counter. I feel like Giroud in confined spaces could be a good move, but let’s see just how the manager plays it out. 

Losing Özil would be a blow, but we have to deal with it and when you look at how the players responded against Chelski, the hope is there that they are ready enough to pick up three points on a Friday. 

We kinda need them too as well, because it isn’t exactly the most forgiving of starts for Arsenal this season, with tough away trips to Stoke, Liverpool and Chelski all bound to cause us some problems.

 But at least the season is upon us. At least we get back to fretting about football and not fees and at least we don’t have to wait long until we get our fix.

Before I clock off for the day I wanted to draw your attention to an evening event that took place yesterday in which Arsène was speaking. Go online and Google FWA Live and I’m sure you’ll find it. He talks about the uncertainty of him last season, of the risks in playing young players (alluding to Holding), and I must say that it was fascinating insight. Well, the small clips I saw anyway, when scrolling through my Twitter feed last night. I am a person that thinks that we need to move on. I think we need to move on beyond ‘the Arsène Years’, but listening to such an erudite man in environments like that, it’s hard not to have a respect for him at times. Whilst I am no ‘No.1 Fan’ any more these days, I can still appreciate the way he talks, his passion for the game and his candid nature of you catch him at the right time.

Speak tomorrow.