Today is quite a big day in Unai Emery’s Arsenal career, if you think about it, because in just over an hours time from me penning today’s thoughts the Premier League fixtures will be out and we’ll know whether he has been granted an opportunity to play a series of ‘winnable’ games or whether he’s being thrown in at the deep end.
I am hoping for the former rather than the latter. What everyone needs – Emery and his team, Ivan, but most importantly us supporters – is to get back some hope that we have turned a page in our illustrious history and what is on the next page is something equally exciting.
Momentum in football is everything and that’s why I’m therefore hoping he can get a selection of games that sees us go on a bit of a winning spree to start the season.
A bit like the time I started a season on on Mega Drive for FIFA 95 and due to a glitch in the system I played the first half of the season entirely at home. If some such similar glitch could happen that would be great, especially given our good home form last season, which we could then take into the second half of the season with some momentum and hopefully something like a 12 point lead.
Alas I doubt the algorithm that computes the fixtures will afford us such luxuries. Although there are a few consistencies that I always notice, like:
- We always seem to play the Tiny Totts at home first this side of Christmas, then get them away in the new year
- We’ve often played Liverpool at home early on in the season
- We seem to get Chelski – home or away – close to Christmas
- Newcastle is usually at the beginning or end of the season
I know that last one particularly because the Management’s family are from up there and so we always end up going when it’s a little warmer. Which is no bad thing to be fair because when you’re up there in the Gods at St James’ Park it can get a bit cold for her fragile skin.
So yeah, there’s part of me that is half expecting a similar outcome for us when the fixtures are announced and that usually means a ‘Death Run‘ at some stage. It’s probably because I don’t pay too much attention to what other teams do but it always feels like we get a set of fixtures that all are difficult and all come at once, where as other teams – particularly United it seems – have their difficult games spaced in between easier fixtures.
Not that I’m a classic football fan and calling ‘conspiracy’ or anything…
Aside from that there is of course the World Cup starting today and I’d like to say I’m ‘super psyched’ to be watching the Russia game but a) I’ll be in the office, and b) it’s hardly a hum-dinger or an opening game, is it?
I’m probably just a bit bitter because 75% of our office qualified for an incentive and so are disappearing off early to watch the game, where as I have a conference call and also was not eligible, so will be stuck in the office for the duration of the match.
Such is life I guess. I’ll get over it. There are plenty of games to watch and I have catch up TV and besides, it kind of feels like the World Cup starts in earnest tomorrow anyway, because that is when we’ve got some tastier games, plus a bit of Arsenal interest in Elneny and Torriera playing against each other. I’ll certainly be doing the old ‘fast forward to watch every touch Torreira makes’ when I get home on Friday evening.
The only other Arsenal news that is doing the rounds is Fulham after Chambers. I’ve heard that they are interested and certainly he is on their radar, but whether or not it goes through is another story, because I reckon Arsenal will want north of £20million and whether or not Fulham find that agreeable or not is another question.
He has the British Premium Player Tax that has to be factored in, but I suspect there will be other clubs sniffing around him, because I think he’s a good player that hasn’t really been given a proper chance. If he goes somewhere and plays regularly I’m convinced he’d be a success, but as I’ve already said on a blog earlier this month, with the number of centre halves we have there has to be some movement and so I’m not surprised the club are thinking of cashing in if they can get a good price.
That’s it from me today. We’ve got a month of football in front of us so plenty to talk about I’m sure.
Right, I’m offski, so I’ll see you all in the Steve Morrow.