Morning folks and welcome to the last day of this decade and I think I can speak for most Arsenal fans when I can say that it can pretty much f*ck the f*ck off to be honest with you. Whilst we started the decade kind of alright, and we’ve won a few FA Cups, it has essentially seen the Kroenke’s take over, the club slowly decline and be overtaken by high-spending owners at other clubs, whilst we have fallen further and further from the top. So, in essence, it’s hardly been a great decade. Especially in comparison to the previous one.
And specifically, 2019 can most definitely get bent, because it’s the year that has seen the most rapidly decline in my Arsenal living memory. We started off 2019 with a 4-1 victory over Fulham and apart from only a few sparks of good football, like beating Valencia away, there hasn’t really been too many highs ever since. Last season’s collapse was the beginning of the end for Emery, the start of this season was a disaster and has pretty much been like that until only the last few games under a new manager, but even then we still haven’t been able to pick up too many points. So I’m looking back at 2019 as a real annus horribilis for us Arsenal fans, hoping that the start of 2020 can be a lot better for all of us and hopefully the year can end with Arsenal fans feeling positive about next season, because let’s be honest with ourselves and admit that this season is well and truly over apart from some faint hope of a cup run in the Europa.
The transfer rumour mill and injury news situation doesn’t feel too much fun at the moment either though. There are noises that the Chambers injury is a serious one and if the words ‘ACL’ get mentioned then his season is effectively over and it’s one of the few positive players of this season who is out again. It will mean we could be facing Man United tomorrow evening with one of the most patched up defences I’ve ever seen in my life. So, not only are we in the worst form I’ve ever seen, we’re also going to be with one of the biggest injury problems I’ve ever seen, with a defence that is already wildly recognised as one of the biggest jokes about The Arsenal right now.
Hardly makes for good reading, eh?
We’ll still have hope for tomorrow night though, at least Mikel has instilled that in us, so that’s something. David Luiz spoke of it after the game, Willock has spoken of it, Saka has spoken of it and even Aubameyang has in his captain’s notes against Chelski. It’s just a shame that Aubameyang doesn’t sound like he wants to be writing those captain’s notes for much longer, if the ever-increasing rumours are to be believed. The Times are reporting that he’s handed in a transfer request, whereas there are a few other outlets reporting it too. We haven’t had an Ornbomb yet but I suspect David Ornstein is currently compiling feedback from multiple sources and if he starts talking about it then we know we have a problem.
I think most of us are probably accepting that we have Aubameyang until the end of the season at best as it stands. He’s 30, about to turn 31 and at the end of the season he will be on one year left. He’s proven he’s an elite striker and the likes of Madrid and Barca could help him to potentially win trophies and also bag even more goals in a better team. The goals he gets means that he’s probably also one of these players that will still be prolific until he’s around 33 or 34, so a move to Madrid gives him a good two or three years to bag plenty of goals and finish his career with a few trophies. I kind of understand that and I think Arsenal probably do as well.
But losing him in January is suicide for our season. At the moment he’s our main and pretty much only goal threat and with Lacazette misfiring so badly, as well as Nelson, Pepe et al all failing to chip in with enough goals, losing Auba in January would mean we really have written off this season – even the likes of the Europa League. It also means that for all of the talk of backing Mikel Arteta, he’ll be given an even more difficult job than he already has. Taking away the only goal threat to the team will be a hammer blow. I hope Arsenal realise this, Aubameyang realises this and there’s an agreement from all parties that he stays at the club to the end of the season. The only way I could understand it being sanctioned is if we have a prolific striker who has scored goals in the Premier League lined up so he could slot right in, plus we have a heck of a chunk of change chucked at us from a Madrid or a Barca. Something around the £70million mark, for example. If that came in and we got an instant replacement then you’d say fair enough. Otherwise you’d have to keep that door at London Colney firmly shut.
That’s about it from me today. If you’re celebrating your New Year’s Eve in style then I hope you have a good one. Othewise I’ll catch you on the other side of this year and see you for a match preview tomorrow.
Have a Happy New Year.