Morning friends and happy Saturday to you. It’s an FA Cup weekend and in my opinion it’s the best FA Cup weekend – cup final day aside if you’re in it – of all of the round. It’s the one in which all the Premier League teams feature, there’s a shedload of games going on, and a lot of hope going around.
“Is it our year?”
Maybe. Probably not given some of the other teams in the competition but at least Arteta’s arrival has given a little hope. There’s a bit of an adrenaline shot into the metaphorical arm of the club right now after three good performances, even if we’ve not got all the points we probably deserved and whilst the League and Champions League places are probably done to be honest, cup competition offers some hope that we could still finish this season with some success.
We don’t play until Monday and that brings its own apprehension given how well Leeds are playing, but I’ll save some of my thinking until Monday’s March preview methinks, so until then I’m going to sit back and watch the tonnes of football that is on the telly this weekend.
I’ll probably also watch more videos, read more content, stare at more pictures of Arteta’s Arsenal in training too. Even the little things, like Arteta talking about the instant rapport he’s built with Edu and with the transfer window now wide open, those types of relationships are vital.
Remember when we all got so excited last year when we thought Monchi was on the verge of joining us? That was because Monchi and Emery had delivered silverware and unearthed some really good players that Sevilla made a ton of cash on. We all projected how amazing it would be and of course Monchi never materialised and Emery crashed and burned. But what we can learn from that instance is just how important and aligned it is that you have your manager and your Technical Director so aligned. They need to be on the same page and if they are one would hope that it would also speed up the process of bringing the right player into the club, but also quickly, because you don’t have internal debates about whether a player is worth going for or not.
Two guys who have the same values, are aligned in their football philosophy, as well as fully trusting of one another, makes for better decision making and I for one am all in on that.
It gives us strength. Strength with exits as well as entries too and with the noises that Roma are trying to get Mkhitaryan on the cheap at €10million, it’s good to hear the club are standing firm, because let’s face it we need the cash right now. There’s a lot of expensive assets that need to be shuffled and we need to make some acquisitions and so if Mkhitaryan wants to stay at Roma and they are keen to keep him, they need to cough up the cashola.
I doubt Arsenal will hold out for too much given his wages, but if Mkhi has done well at Roma and has impressed, you’d at least hope that we’d get closer to £15million for him. That sort of money would be valuable in our own search for reinvestment, particularly in defence, so my hope is that the deal can be done quickly so we can look at incomings.
It’s the same with shifting out some defenders too. Mavropanos needs a loan but really we probably need to look at getting some coin for Mustafi. He wasn’t even in the squad after his performance against Chelski (remember he was the one turned inside and out easily by Abraham for their second goal) and you have to look at his age, profile, plus the fact he could fetch around the £15-£20million mark, as another guy who could be an asset worth cashing in on. We need decisions made on these guys quick and that’s where a football admin team acting in unison will be so valuable to us.
But it has to happen soon. There’ll be rotation this weekend and then there’s another week until the Palace game next Saturday, but it would be useful to have made some headway by then, because Arsenal have a history of fannying around when it comes to January. It would be good to see some decisive moves soon. We know Chambers’ season is done. We know that Bellerin’s fitness is in and out. We know Holding has struggled this season and we know the positions we are light. So make the moves, get the job done, then we get on with seeing how much Mikel can build us up this season.
That’s what I’m hoping anyway. Let’s see how it all unfolds but for now let’s just enjoy the FA Cup weekend and hope one or two of the Premier League ‘big boys’ get knocked out.
Catch you all tomorrow.