I’m so glad that this December is chocked full of football matches, specifically Arsenal matches, of course. All thanks to the Europa League and continuing League Cup status of the club.
The reason I’m pretty chuffed is that it somewhat (sadly not completely) drowns out some of the unsavoury noises of transfer tittle-tattle that we’re forced to endure ahead of the January transfer window.
We’ve been linked with Steven N’Zonzi by all accounts, although I have no interest in directing any of you to any of the rags that are leading with this story. I’m not quite sure how I feel about it though. I remember him at Stoke and he always looked okayish, but I don’t remember him being a world beater. Then again under a Pulis regime even Messi could be made to look like an industrious journeyman Pro, so I guess it’s hardly a barometer of a players ability.
He did look good in the Emirates Cup in the summer though, so I suppose if it turns out that the gutter trash click-baity press are right, then he’d certainly add more to our midfield. It’d pretty much put the death-knell on Jack’s Arsenal career though I suppose. Which is probably why I’m sort of against it; I’m a dreamer like the rest of you and in a season where we have no hope of winning the league, we need to look other rays of light to brighten 2017/18.
But back to my original point, which was that I’m glad there are so many games in December, because it means we spend less time focusing on which story is the least bullsh*tty and more time on actual football matches.
Tomorrow we have BATE, Sunday is Southampton, Wednesday is West Ham, the following Saturday is The Arsenal, then it’s West Ham again, before Liverpool on the Friday and Crystal Palace on 28th December. Then finally it’s Pardew’s West Brom on New Year’s Eve.
Now that’s what I call a welcome distraction from the transfer guff. We pretty much have a game every three to four games between now and 2018 and whilst in seasons gone by I might have worried about the fatigue of the players, this season I couldn’t care less, because I’ve seen Arsène rotate and so the excuses for players being played just aren’t there.
By the time we get to Christmas our first XI would have spent most of the season playing just once a week. So fatigue shouldn’t be an issue and my hope is that it stands us in good stead for the new year.
But I also hope that the squad players step it up. I’m not too fussed about the result tomorrow but what I do want to see is a performance from some of those players. I also want us to be able to turn over West Ham in the League Cup. It’d be nice going in to January knowing we’ve got two games before potentially another Wembley trip. I’m getting the hang of this Wembley lark now and to be there in February for a cup sounds like an a-ok plan for me.
But business needs to be done this side of Christmas so let’s hope that the positives from the game last weekend are taken and that we don’t come up against ‘keepers having the game of their lives again.
Catch you all tomorrow for a match preview and an idea of who’s getting the nod.