Effin insomnia. Screw you and screw you again. Jet-lag infused nastiness has meant I’ve been up since 3am this morning and I’ve got a long ol’ day in the office followed by an evening black tie do. I don’t think they make a caffeine-based drink strong enough to be honest.
Still, it can’t be worse than this interminable interlull. It really is getting on my wick and yet here we are, still in it, on a Wednesday knowing we have another five days before The Arsenal even show up to play some football. It’s maddening. The only stuff to talk about is how Matteo Guendouzi is nominated for the ‘Golden Boy’ award. Meh.
A big fat meh.
Those awards are pointless in a sport for which teams are awarded trophies. It’s not about the individual in football, it’s about the collective, so this type of award really doesn’t push any of my buttons I’m afraid. It’s like when Olivier Giroud won the ‘Puskas Award’ for the best goal. So what? It was great to watch it again and I’m sure Giroud was happy to receive a shiny trinket, but you can’t tell me that the next day anybody was jumping for joy and asking when the parade would take place, can you?
Nope. So this particular nomination does nothing but fill a bit of a void in the pointlessness of international football and even then it doesn’t really work. Give me back the proper game please. The one in which we play every weekend and see The Arsenal in action.
I guess the Eddie Nketiah hat trick for the under-21s is worth a mention though. I’ve just watched them a second ago and I have to say they all look like decent poachers goals. Very ‘Wrightyesque’ I think. You can see why Ian Wright made the trip up to Leeds to watch him a few weeks back because Nketiah looks like he’s modelling his game on the Arsenal legend. Playing off the shoulders of defenders, getting into space in the box, good finishing from close range, all hallmarks of Wrighty’s Arsenal career.
That’s why I’m hoping that Bielsa gets his head back on and starts Nketiah more. We’re into November now and some of the noises I’ve seen in the press are that Bielsa still doesn’t 100% trust him from the start and that’s why Patrick Bloody Bamford is getting more game time. Nketiah seems to be used as an impact sub for a lot of the time this season and when we had a Leeds fan on the GunnersTown show a month or so back, he was singing Nketiah’s praises, but did sound out the fact that Bielsa has a lot of loyalty to players, which may be why Bamford is starting.
Arsenal will be monitoring this closely though. Leeds had the most impressive PowerPoint on Nketiah by the sounds of it and that’s why he went there, but unless he’s starting on a more regular basis by Christmas, surely Arsenal should be sounding out Leeds for a recall? After all we could get him back, maybe give him an FA Cup third round game, then send him off to somewhere like Bristol City who were interested in him before. Bristol City have also been a good platform for Tammy Abraham and a few others (I think Afobe went there too?) and so if Leeds don’t give Nketiah more game time, I’d have thought Arsenal might be inclined to have words.
This transition for Nketiah into a first team regular needs to happen soon. We have an ageing Aubameyang who I reckon has another couple of seasons at the top before his star starts to fade slightly, so by then we need a ready-made goalscoring replacement. If that’s Nketiah I think he needs this season in the Championship and then maybe next season at a Premier League club, before he steps up to The Arsenal on a full time basis. But that trajectory needs to include regular game time, not just bench appearances.
We’ll have to watch this one with intrigue, but I bet Arsenal’s Loan Management Team are watching it more closely, because there could be a lot riding on the success of Nketiah.
Right, that’s about it from me today, I’m going to try and dose off (probably unsuccessfully) on this Met Line train into London. Catch you all tomorrow.