Morning folks. Can we extend a bit of a ‘thanks’ to both Man City and Chelski for yesterday’s 6-0 win for the current champions, because:

  1. It brought our goal difference with Chelski back to the same level having been a few behind them after their 5-0 hammering of Huddersfield last weekend
  2. It poured water on my theory that we’re the only club that seems to go to fellow ‘Big Six’ teams and get spanked
  3. It will hopefully have a detrimental effect on Chelski’s morale and coupled with the volume of games they have to play, hopefully, we can capitalise.
  • So all in all that was a pretty satisfying result for us and suddenly despite a bit of worry about the fact we didn’t play scintillating football on Saturday, we find ourselves in the hunt, with a couple of home games coming up, plus a Europa league tie with no football in between.
  • What I’m hoping the early FA Cup exit means is that Unai can send his strongest team out against BATE on Thursday this week and we can get a win – in an idea world a big one – then he can think about rotating players in what will be three games in a week from next Thursday.
  • That’s the hope anyway. We know our form hasn’t been great but this is where Unai should be earning his stripes in respect of his European pedigree in this competition. I just hope that’s the case.

    We’ve got a whole four days to come before then though which also hopefully means the mystery illness and injury some of the players had at the weekend will magically disappear. I suspect it might and when he does his presser – which is probably tomorrow – he’ll be able to give us some positive updates. Until then we wait with baited breath.

    One topic I have seen discussed online over the weekend is the way in which fans react to players. In the Arsenal corner of the online universe that has been the reaction to Maitland-Niles and him messaging back people telling him to work harder, to concentrate more, blah, blah, blah. To be fair to him he responds to a lot with a simple “I’ll keep working” and so it seems like there wasn’t too much damage done to him psychologically, but I also saw an article about Ben Foster and the pressure that he felt under when he was younger and particularly at Man United.

    I have to tell you I just don’t get it. Personally I don’t even get why anybody would want to follow footballers on social media anyway. The content they put out is usually very sanitised, they don’t tend to interact with fans too much (who can blame them when they just get abuse), so what is the point in following them? I don’t bother following any of our footballers because where I go online is to have a discussion with likeminded people.

    Then, when you come across the occasional crazy shouty person, I tend to just ignore. But why any human would want to spout some of the abusive stuff that some people do online directly aimed at people is baffling. Especially when it’s a kid of 18, 19, 20, 21, etc. These are young teenagers turning in to young men. Why on earth do they deserve that level of hate aimed at them?

    I’m not a fan of Iwobi. I roll my eyes, I tut at him, I even question on this blog why he’s in the team at all, but I’m not going to find out his social handles and start firing off tweets or posts at him that are ranty. Why would I? It doesn’t achieve anything.

    Well, the only thing it does achieve is that the player has a negative perspective on us as fans and if that ends up with somebody thinking “screw this I’ll go somewhere else” then sometimes you can kind of understand it.

    Ramsey had two or three years where he frustrated a lot of us. There were tiles when I’ve seen all kinds of ridiculous abuse aimed at him. We all know that his impending exit is money and contractual related, but what if there’s a little part of a player like Ramsey who thinks “well, I got years of abuse anyway, so why should I be that bothered?”

    And I’m not trying to say our fans as a collective are causing players to want to leave or not join. I’m just saying that it must be a teeny weeny contribution if a player gets consistent abuse all of the time.

    I don’t really have a resolution though I’m afraid, because we have a relatively unregulated social media world we live in and freedom of speech/abuse is something none of us want to be censored on. But there must be a way in which some of these ranty people who abuse footballers can be sifted out.

    Perhaps the answer is that as a footballer you just don’t bother with social media. Or you just have accounts that are protected so you or your PR company have to approve individuals based on their own profile and how mental they’ve proved themselves to be on the platform up until this point.

    I’ve got no idea. But what I do know is that we have a crop of young players with great potential and if that potential starts to get realised whilst at The Arsenal, then we wouldn’t want it tainted by 40-year-Old keyboard warriors aiming their vitriol directly at a person half their age, just because they have a platform to do so.

    Something to think about on a Monday morning.