Morning folks. Hope you’re all feeling in fine form on this here Wednesday morning of darkness in the UK. Dark because I keep on with this annoying little habit of getting up before most of the world feels awake. I should look in to that. Taint natural, I tells ya.

We should be having the last stragglers from the international break back to their footballing office today and tomorrow with Guendouzi and Torreira – two players of whom I spoke about yesterday – seemingly coming out of their respective games unscathed. The latter was certainly one we didn’t want to pick up any kind of knock but he played 74 minutes yesterday and appears to have come out without any niggles so we can be pleased of that for sure.

He’s been part of the praise that the new team at Arsenal have been getting over the course of 2018 and with the news that Sven Mislintat is about to be promoted to Technical Director at Arsenal, it appears as though the tectonic plates at Arsenal are still shifting as we try to fully settle in to the new post Wenger/Gazidis Arsenal.

It’s hard to argue Mislintat hasn’t had a positive impact in unearthing players like Guendouzi and Torreira and whilst Leno has had a couple of wobbly moments, he’s looked very good in the main, but I wonder what this move (and the move that supposedly takes Huss Famy to Head of Football Something-Or-Other) does to the power distribution at the club?

One of the bits I’ve read about Sven is that at Dortmund he began to acquire a lot of power in relation to not just player recruitment, but also style of play, which I’m not sure whether I’m wholly comfortable with if I’m honest. I don’t know whether that’s because I still have some old school footballing principles which are making the idea of anyone but the coach setting up our style of play, but it just feels a bit odd for a guy like Sven to be setting the tone for the overall ethos of football at the club.

Perhaps, as I say, that’s just the uncomfortable feeling of change I feel. After all, if you spread the footballing power across different people it means the risk of all changing so rapidly, as we’ve had to do moving from an autocrat like Wenger to more of a collective committee approach. The parts become more interchangeable too, as the football model at Dortmund has since shown, although Barcelona is probably the best example of that, even if they are essentially in a league in which nine times out of 10 it’s only two teams that win the league.

The challenge I have – and maybe we all have as fans – is to embrace this change and hope that the relationships within the senior team at Arsenal remain strong. The Independent article suggests they are so far and perhaps it’s easy to believe so when you’re at the beginning of the project with so much goodwill from the fans. But in 18 months time will the same goodwill be there? And more importantly will the relationships between the men at the top of the club still be so strong?

I hope so. I hope so because if that is the case and we can continue to evolve the football team, we’ll find ourselves in a very competitive position, providing Unai can continue to motivate and drive his players forward. We keep talking about this being the beginning of the project, of it being something that we need to be patient with and I think Arsenal fans are certainly showing that, but it’s the longevity of good feeling and positivity that will be the biggest challenge to sustain at the club.

Here’s hoping to the continuation of that.

There’s still little else going on at the moment and with players only just returning in the last day or two I suspect the medical team will be getting a god look at them all with a few to putting something out in the ether tomorrow at some stage. We’ve seen pictures of Laca and Auba training and both of those guys pulled out for their respective nations, so it looks like they’re fit. Hopefully that includes Nacho too and if that is the case then we’ll be in good shape going in to the Bournemouth game.

Righto, that’s me done for another day, so off I go into the London darkness for another day of desk jockeying.

Laters party people.