Morning folks and welcome to another bloody weekend in which Arsenal aren’t playing, because we’ve got a poxy Monday night game going on. It’s bloody annoying I can tell thee. But it is what it is and I guess we have to deal with it. I suppose if you’re going to look at the positives it’s that there is an extra two days to recover for the team from Tuesday night’s game against Chelski and with the team playing with ten men for two thirds of the match, it will have taken a lot out of them. So if the glass is half full you’d say there’s more recovery time and hopefully we’ll get a better performance.
Hopefully bit-by-bit there is also more confidence and belief flowing back in to this Arsenal team. Picking up an unlikely draw against Chelski, coming back twice from behind, showing the spirit and resolve they did is very positive and I’m sure Tricky Micky has hen emphasising this to his players.
He was up in front of the media yesterday for the pre-game presser and one of the first things he said was how much joy he got from the attitude of the players from that Chelski game. They are responding to him. The results aren’t exactly what we want but it feels like in every game we’ve played there has been a little something that has gone against us and that won’t happen forever. In the Chelski game we finally had a bit of fortune go our way with the Kante slip, but in my mind we’re owed about half a dozen more of those instances given what has happened. It’s been a month since he took over, we play Bournemouth again away, but in that time we’ve had some red cards, some player errors, some decisions go against us and yet more draws. He of course needs to start turning them into wins but we’re seeing things go in the right direction and I think that’s why a lot of Arsenal fans still feel buoyed by what Arteta is doing.
Of course yesterday he was asked about transfers – both in and out – and he poured some pretty cold water on the Auba rumours, whilst deflecting any answer about Matvienko, the centre half from Shaktar. This is an interesting one and like fans we always read so much in to what managers are saying, but he was pretty clear last week that there was absolutely nothing in the John Stones rumours. This week he just said that he didn’t know and would let the press know when we have something to announce. That is hardly a denial and given the media sources talking about this kid, I suspect there’s probably something in it.
Whether or not he comes in, and even if he does whether he’s any good or not, that of course remains to be seen. But there seems to be some interest and if that transpires it’s probably going to happen sooner rather than later because we have a week until the window slams shut.
Until then what we have is the players that are already in through the door and that currently includes Ceballos, although how long that lasts for I don’t know. Arteta was hardly jumping up and down to say how fantastic Ceballos was, instead just saying that he needs to fight for his place like everybody else. He didn’t pour cold water on the rumours of the loan deal being cut short and I have a feeling we might see the Spaniard return in the next week. That’s because he’s still very highly rated in Spain and there will be teams who will probably guarantee Real that they will play him for 75% of matches, whereas Arsenal have clearly not given that guarantee. So I wonder if that’s got some legs. If so it’s fair to say the signing was failure, but I think that would be down more to Ceballos not sticking it out other than anything else. He’s been here six months, two of those he was injured and the last month he’s spent getting back to fitness. That’s half of his time out and so to throw him back in is hardly something Mikel would do. But he has been on the bench and if Mikel was desperate to get him in then he’d have at least given him minutes from the subs bench.
It’s a shame because on paper this looked like a great move for us and after that Burnley home game we all thought we had a maestro from midfield who could pick up where Santi left, but Ceballos has had nowhere near the impact and as a result his Arsenal career may be over before it even got the chance too get started. Ce la vie, I guess.
I think i’ll leave it at that for now. Perhaps we’ll get some transfer rumblings tomorrow but unless that happens it’ll probably be a quiet ol’ weekend for us Goobers.
Catch you guys tomorrow.