It’s funny that at a time in which the England team are smashing it up both at home and away, I still can’t really bring myself to get excited about the national team, most likely because of the likes of Kane and Dier being such regulars. If that is the representation that my country has in it then I’d rather give it a hard swerve, thanks.
This international break has felt even longer than usual and given that we only have about six or seven weeks of the normal season remaining it serves as a good beacon to demonstrate to me of the impending nothingness that happens when the football season finishes. So I’m determined to embrace The Arsenal for as long as possible in these remaining weeks.
I’d like to say that stretches to the friendly this evening but perhaps in a similar way that this international break is reminding me of the summer, this match has a distinct ‘pre season’ feel to it. Only half the squad travelled, the other half is made up of youngsters, plus its on at a tune of day in which I’ll be at work and so can’t exactly pull myself away from my desk.
What I do hope we get to see in the highlights reels is more than 20 minutes of Denis Suarez. Mainly to prove that he is capable of it because so far Emery has used him as much as your common Park Chu Young.
Surely his loan spell at the club won’t be ratified come May? He’ll have to do something astonishing not to go the way of Mr Kallström and be sent back to his parent club. He’s played in patches of matches and from what I’ve seen he looks like he’s a technically decent passer of the ball, but he doesn’t exactly offer bags of what anyone else does.
So perhaps rather than look at him today – for anybody who does watch the game – we can look at some of the other young players Emery has brought out? John-Jules, Gilmour, Sako, as well as seeing Maitland-Niles in a more central position? Maybe Nketiah should be given 60 minutes too? I’d certainly be keen to see that from Eddie and let’s face it, he’s hardly had the game time for us to make any conclusions about his development this season, has he?
There are a lot of young prospects we should be looking at apparently and maybe that is what is driving the current rumour of a Steve Morrow appointment in the Technical Director role. I have to say that would hardly have me on the edge of my seat. It’s nothing against Morrow but he’s been the head of youth development and now suddenly he’s potentially being asked to step up in to a Technical Director role?
It’s a big drop down in terms of gravitas and name from Sven Mislintat – who was passed up from the role – and Monchi – who passed on the role – and given he’s also been at the club a fair few years it doesn’t exactly have any kind of whiff about ‘new regime’ does it?
Of course I could be completely wrong and he could turn out to be somebody who proves himself quite well in the position if he gets it. But it does feel as though the club are just shrugging their shoulders a bit and going “erm, ok then, you, over there, yes you. You’re the new Technical Director”. We’ve been linked with Edu, Overmars, the club thought Monchi was done, then all of a sudden we’re randomly going for ‘internal solutions’. Colour me unimpressed.
It’s also another little warning signal for me too if it happens. The other one was when we hear that Sanllehi wanted to ditch Sven and his data-driven football approach in favour of his own ‘contacts’ approach on the European scene, all feeling a little ’90s’ to me and with a club like Arsenal and the supposed lack of cash we have, it’s not like Sanllehi can walk in to Uefa headquarters high-fiving other chairmen and flicking fifty pound notes in their direction as he talks about their players.
This is a big summer for the club and we can’t be having another rudderless summer which is dictated by the whims of just one man. That’s why I hope Raoul and Vinny have something else up their sleeves. Our short term success could be crucial for it.
Catch you all tomorrow.