Happy Friday all. I have a slightly sore head, what with Thursday being the new Friday and my working running a ‘welcome to the company’ drinks for all of the new people that have recently joined the business (of which I am one). It’s great fun, is midweek drinking, until you wake up the next day having had little sleep and you just want to be able to say “not today” when it comes to work.
I wonder if that’s what happens with Özil then? I mean we were told by Unai Emery that he was a little sick on Wednesday and I’m wondering if that’s because he was at someone’s ‘welcome to the club’ drinks reception for all the new players, or something like that. There must be some sort of explanation because he has more sick days than a young man who is physically very fit should have. I try to go to the gym every day and doing cardio as well as weights has enabled me to reduce my propensity for recovering from illness to no end, yet he’s vastly fitter than me and seems to have more duvet days than anybody else.
At least he trained yesterday and that means he’ll be training today, which is something, so surely he should be available for selection tomorrow given that Emery said he and Kolasinac are 100% mentally ready to play tomorrow.
I hope so anyway. We all just want this unsavoury episode put behind us and I’m sure the two players just want to get back to the normality of playing football.
Emery spent a lot of time fielding those kinds of questions but I think he did get a bit of time to tell us about team news tomorrow too. As always he sort of said a lot of words without actually saying much, but the gist of it appears to be that the new signings have had another week and they – Tierney aside – are available for selection tomorrow. That sounds good to me although I do sympathise with Emery a little because it’ll be tough to drop some of the young players in favour of some of the new signings.
Pepe should be an easy one because Mkhi stunk the place out on Sunday, but Willock for Ceballos? That’s a tough call. Likewise Chambers for Luiz. Calum had a good game last weekend and probably deserves another chance so I’d be tempted to say to a few of the newbies that their time will come, they just have to wait a little longer, especially if this Arsenal Team is indeed the meritocracy that we have been led to believe under Emery.
Alternatively you can look at what challenge lays ahead and that’s what Emery said about Burnley tomorrow, citing their physicality as another reason for our team to be ready for the challenge that lays ahead. We know what to expect with Burnley and we know their game plan under Sean Dyche, so I’m not expecting anything other than a difficult lunchtime tomorrow. More on the game itself tomorrow, but for today we focus on that press conference and also some of the words of Kieran Tierney, who spoke to the official site and gave an insight into his style of play. By all accounts it seems like we have one heck of a grafter on our hands and whilst the lad himself is going to say those types of things, you don’t have to go far on YouTube to see the reality of what he says, which is good to hear and watch.
That’ll be in interesting battle – between Kolasinac and Tierney – because both are very good going forward but have question marks about them in defence. I’d like to think that at 22 Tierney has more growth in him, but it may be that we have found ourselves one heck of a player from Scotland here, I reckon. Of course we know that it could go wrong and you only have to look at the doomed Arsenal career of Matthieu Debuchy to see that injuries and a lack of game time can wreak havoc on a career, but Tierney has all of the tools to succeed it looks like so we can at least start to project a little on what he might bring to the team.
And with that I think I’m done for another day. Looking forward to getting back to The Emirates and cheering on the boys.
Catch you tomorrow with a match preview.