A Saturday without The Arsenal always feels a little empty but, today, I’m kind of ok with it. I’m up north visiting The Management’s family ahead of an annual family meal tomorrow and although I am a traditionalist who would want for nothing more than every team playing at 3pm on a Saturday, I can’t really bring myself to be too upset that I don’t have to sit through the inevitable hand-wringing that seems to occur when Arsenal play away from home in 2017. Because let’s face it; we’re pretty bad when not on our own patch. 

Yesterday Arsène gave an update on the latest team news ahead of the trip to Goodison and thankfully we have some returnees to welcome back to the fold. Koscielny will be back, along with Alexis and Ramsey and despite the fact that I’d love us to start the process of phasing our Özil and Alexis from the team, we all know that they are our best players and will give us something different. And at a time when the character of this team away from home is rightly criticised, it’s important to have those players with an ‘X factor’ about them available.

Although with Özil you do wonder how much that star will shine, because he feels like the sort of player who is affected by his future and if I’m honest with you, Wenger’s comments about the supposed move to United hardly filled me with any belief that he’ll be an Arsenal player come next season. At first I thought Arsène sounded completely unconvincing in his response, but having reflected and remembering that two weeks ago it was being reported that Özil was close to signing a new deal, the only thing that is clear is that nobody has the foggiest what is currently happening and the gutter press is capitalising on that.

I remain 90% sure he’s gone in the summer and my only hope was that it was abroad, so I’ve been feeling particularly sour about the United news this week, because I love watching Mesut glide across the pitch. And you just know that if he joins United Mourinho will have him playing about 20% better than Arsène does and with players like Lukaku, Rashford and Martial he’d have a field day in a similar way to how he played at Madrid. 

Eugh, how to depress yourself on a Saturday morning, the Arsenal fan way.

Still, at least we have the hope that Jack will be integrated in to the weekend first team, with Arsène confirming that his time is drawing ever closer to some minutes. I reckon we might seee a cameo this weekend depending on how the game is unfolding and at a time when there feels little to like about Arsenal right now, a Wilshere regular return feels like an oasis in a desert of ‘meh’. Let’s hope he can start his integration from this weekend.

And that, boys and girls, is your lot from me. I shall see you in the Steve morrow.