Happy Monday folks. Well, it is if you are not a fan of international football, because we’ve seen the last of it for this year, which is a-ok with me.
I did put the second half of the England vs Croatia game on in the kitchen as I was preparing lunches for the week ahead and it almost for a split second made me vaguely interested in patches, but bringing yourself to cheer when that crayon-eating chump of a Tiny Tott Harry Kane gets to be the hero, well that’s a little too much for me I’m afraid.
I’m more interested in the fact that Jadon Sancho looks like a real talent, he’s from London, plus his best mate is a certain Reiss Nelson currently on loan at Hoffenheim. Ahem, can anyone give young Reiss a heads up on the fact we’ll have some spaces in the wide forward positions available within the next year or two?
We’ve had so many free contract sagas falling the wrong way of us in recent years, why don’t we just start sewing the seeds of a Sancho freebie back to us, although we’d have to wait a while given he’s contracted to 2022.
The sad reality is that he’ll probably be snapped up by a City, United, Chelski, or one of the two Spanish clubs before then I suspect. At 18 now he’ll be 22 when that Dortmund contract is up and if he continues his trajectory then I doubt we’ll get anywhere near his signature.
It’s why the signing of Nelson on a five year deal, then the subsequent good spell of form he’s having, shows just why Arsenal need to make sure that they are getting the most from Mislintat’s knowledge and contacts book. Quite simply we don’t have the sugar daddy or the wealth to compete for three or four £70million+ signings a season and we don’t do ‘creative accounting’ (or financial doping depending on which way you want to skin that particular greasy cat) to snap up these players like some of the other superpowers can.
But we can build on some impressive young players coming through and the likes of Holding, Torreira, Guendouzi, Maitland-Nile’s, Smith-Rowe and Nelson can – assuming they continue to build on their impressive starts to their careers – kick on and show us that they are as good as we hope.
The initial signs are good and if those players evolve well enough then perhaps an approach that will combine younger talent development with the occasional inspired signing will mitigate the fact we can’t drop a ton of a Sheikh’s cash on players like Sancho in the future.
But moving away from the speculative and the future, it’s the present we should all be concerned with and that means a date down on the South Coast on Sunday with Bournemouth, a team with whom we’ve hardly had the best of time in recent seasons. A pretty limp defeat last year after going a goal up, followed by a 3-3 draw last season, shows that it’s hardly a ground in which we’ve dominated our opponents on in recent years so I hope Emery has a decent plan he’s ready to hatch on how we’re going to overcome a Bournemouth team that’s looked better than any of its predecessors in the league so far.
The hope is that we don’t have to put together the pieces of a broken squad from the interlull but whilst we’ve been used to seeing Alexis make long-haul flights back home from South America down the years, at least this time around Torreira won’t have had to travel too far to get back to training this week. Uruguay’s game against Brazil at The Emirates means that he was on home soil and so hopefully he’s not going to feel any after effects of travel.
The rest of the team that I suspect will play this coming weekend should also have less of a concern on that front, given that they’re all Europeans and only Auba is the potential player for a longer flight, although he didn’t travel due to ‘injury’ so hopefully he’s back and ready to help us cause damage against Bournemouth at The Vitality come 2pm on Sunday.
As for the rest, well, I guess we just have to wait and see, cross our fingers and hope that one of the most pointless excuses for a competition – the UEFA Nations League – hasn’t had too much of an adverse effect on the players.
And apart from that there’s not really a lot else going on. We’ll no doubt get some more news trickling through each day as we run up to the re-opening of Premier League match weekends, but for now I’ll leave you, hoping you have a good ol’ time of it wherever you are.