A later one from me today, as the new job means conference calls first thing on a Friday, but given that it’s been an interlull week I guess that it doesn’t really make a lot of difference. Ol’ Unai has taken to doing his pressers in the afternoon anyway so it’s not like I have any benefit of his words and thoughts ahead of Sunday. I guess we’ll just all have to be patient for that little bit longer.
At least we have an update – of sorts – from the medical team. I say ‘of sorts’ because it doesn’t feel like we’re any closer with any of the players and in fact, it feels like there’s either been a bit of a cut and paste job going on because Mavropanos and Monreal have been a few weeks away from fitness for about a month! I’m pretty sure Dinos had an expected return date of the international break and now it’s been pushed back to December and with Kolasinac looking so dreadful against Wolves the weekend before last, I’m sure I’m not the only one who is seriously gutted that Nacho is still out. We must be coming up to two months and with the North London Derby looming on the horizon, missing our best left back is hardly ideal.
I thought we were over all of these ‘another two weeks’ type of injuries? I thought the arrival of Shad ensured that we were cured of all ailments? Now we’re back to the everlasting groin and hamstring injuries again?? Come on Arsenal! Sort it out! Lol
Anyway, I guess it is what it is and as will no doubt be on Unai’s mind as he prepares for Bournemouth, he’s just got to get on with it.
He’s done pretty well in that regard. Every time a journo or member of the media has dangled a little excuse carrot in front of him, he’s batted it away fairly easily. The games have been coming thick and fast but fatigue has been dismissed, so missing players for extended periods of time through injury will probably also be something he says doesn’t need to have as much impact.
But it will if Sead has another stinker like last week. He wasn’t good at all and with Nacho probably also needing a bit of time following what is now becoming a pretty lengthy injury, questions will start to be raised even more than they are now about the Big Bosnian. The club are supposedly looking at full back options and with Nacho 32 going on 33, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them have a little sniff around at their options, certainly in the summer.
On the other side of the flanks they’re supposedly looking at a right back as well and with Lichtsteiner hardly impressing so far this season it’s easy to understand why. Hector has been good and that’s masked the fact that Lichtsteiner has been poor, but I suppose he adds other value to the squad in terms of his experience and the support he gives the younger players as an older pro.
But it is an area we do need to think long term about. The whole back line needs a proper look at to be fair, but certainly in the full back position there is some thinking to be done with Sven, Raoul and Unai. Perhaps Sven can unearth a few gems. It certainly feels like we’ll need it given the positions we all think we need to strengthen in the summer.
Anyway, that’s a long way away and for now we’ve got enough football matches to worry about, starting with Bournemouth this weekend. More thoughts on that and what Emery has to say today later on in tomorrow’s blog.
Catch you on the other side of Friday folks.