I’ve never been to Nottingham. It’s not like I’ve had a reason to, if I’m honest though, but all that has changed now that Arsenal have drawn Forest in the third round of the FA Cup. An away trip in January beckons and given that it’s one of the few games in which I can actually get away tickets on my season ticket, it’s a double boost for me, because it’s also the only time when I get the opportunity to pick up away points.
I could go into my rant about how many people with away points just snaffle up tickets and then sell them on, but there isn’t any point, because I can’t change the system and because of the way it is I perpetuate it because when I want to go up to the north east to see family members I have to call on mates to sort me out for tickets anyway. There’s no chance of me getting tickets these days because of demand.
Anyway, let’s move on from that, because we know who we have in the next round and it will most certainly be another chance for the players to be rotated given that we play Chelski in a midweek game a few days before that tie. That’s fine by me though because we need to keep a core of at least 18 players match fit given our propensity for injury and the more we can rest the first team for games the better it is.
Well, I say better, but it hasn’t exactly helped all season when you consider that we’ve already lost five in the league. But still, the option for mixing it up exists and I’m always up for that, so you’ll get no complaints from me.
Speaking of rotation, with the final Europa League game on the horizon we can hopefully start to put the bad taste left by the United game out of our mouths. It’s still in there for me. This one may take a while to get over methinks. So much so that I’m 100% going to the game on Thursday and I’m 100% looking forward to it. Mainly because I have no idea whether Arsène is going to go full youth team or a mixture of youth and squad players.
It’s a tricky one because he needs to give some of the young players a chance and I’m sure he’s conscious of the value of playing in front of a “big” crowd, but he also needs to ensure that should one of the first team players break down, we at least have a match fit replacement and even though Lacazette played on Saturday evening, the fact he was pulled at halftime in the Huddersfield game just serves to show how quickly the decision for rotation could be forced upon the manager. And in big games too.
I think we’ll see a side not too dissimilar to the Köln away game. More on those thoughts after the press conference of the manager I think. Then we’ll get a better idea on where his thinking lies. Maybe.
As to any other relevant news, Arseblog have done a good job on the transcript of the recent Sven Mislintat interview in Germany and he seems like a man all too aware of the pressure on him to perform. He talks about the pressure of joining Arsenal compared to when he first joined Dortmund and how he’s expected to be able to unearth the next gem so quickly. I’m not sure how many of us Gooners feel like that at the moment though. I personally don’t expect him to be able to find any diamonds yet, that’s for sure, but by the summer next year he should be bedded in and at least be in the position to be making some decent recommendations to the manager.
Of course that’s where his job becomes frigging hard, because he could have a list of players as long as a decent sized canal boat but if the manager just waves them away, then what influence does he have.
His appointment is kind of why I think we are 100% reaching the end of the Wenger era. Sven has a very good reputation across Europe, so if he thought that his ideas and suggestions were just going to be beholden to the whim of a man approaching his 70th birthday and known to rule a Football club like a dictator, then why would he join?
Mislintat knows that he’s joining at a time in which people are waiting for change to happen. We’re in a transitional phase at the club and that gives him the chance to ‘bed in’. In a way Arsène’s all powerful approach gives him the opportunity to get properly settled in because as long as Arsène is in charge he’ll also be the lightning rod for any issues that happen in terms of player recruitment. So in some weird sense, Arsène’s ‘all powerful’ approach can actually benefit those who are joining the club ahead of the full transition when we eventually get in a new head coach.
All conspiratorial for now I know, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see these changes happen quicker than we all thought and let’s be honest, few of us would probably have a big issue with it.
Right, time to be orf, so I’ll catch you tomorrow.