Still nothing really meaty from the club ahead of the weekend’s fixture with Newcastle, but that’s to be expected give that it’s Thursday, as well as the fact it’s a home game. Arsène liked to do easy on a Friday, being Spanish Unai preferred them later on in the day, but Arteta has so many games for his first six weeks in charge that it’s been difficult to get into a pattern of when to expect that juicy, juicy, #content.
What we have been able to expect, predict even, is the players coming out and saying how rosey everything is and the latest lad to add to that list is Aubameyang. He’s said that all of the players feel much better than the start of the season and that the winter break has been great for the team. Nothing out of the ordinary on that and you’d expect positivity, but the increasing volume of players who have come out and talked about how life is different with Arteta is somewhat damming on the previous regime.
I don’t subscribe to the notion that it was all Emery that caused the failure that this season has been so far. I think some of these players did give up at times, as well as the fact that they weren’t playing in natural positions for some of them, in addition to Emery’s confusing instructions. But we’ve had players who have even played well under Emery like Leno and Aubameyang who have now come out talking up the current manager and inadvertently talking down the old one.
You could argue that they are always going to do that, but players are media trained to within an inch of their lives. If they wanted to say nothing or keep it nice and bland without any hint of damnation for Emery then they could have done. Instead his time at the club has been effectively burned to a cinder. And given how he presided over the car crash that it was I can kind of understand it.
But until this Arsenal team strings some kind of winning run together then he will of course have his counter argument that it wasn’t all him. If the players want to show that it pretty much was him, then they need to step up and bag a load of ‘W’s on the trot. That has to start this weekend. No ifs, no buts.
The official site has also taken a look at the loan moves and the two they focus on with interests are Smith-Rowe and Mkhitaryan. Both are of interest for very different reasons. If Mkhi has a good time at Roma then they’ll cough up some cash and we’ll be able to add to what I think will be a meagre transfer kitty. The guy was so broken at United and Arsenal that I honestly thought we’d struggle to offload him for free given the wages he’s on. But it seems he’s doing ok at Roma and I suspect that means he’s got a shot at patching his career up elsewhere. Hopefully so because I’ve never had any gripe against him except that we never got the Dortmund version of the Armenian that many of us had hoped for.
The second loan – perhaps the most intriguing of the two for me – is Smith-Rowe. He’s a guy who looked good as a very young lad, got a couple of goals last season, then of course we all chatted and projected his rise to the first team. That hasn’t happened because of injury and so between now and the end of the season he’s got an opportunity for regular game time at Huddersfield in which I hope he continues his impressive form. Apparently he was good for them against QPR at the weekend, I know he also scored a couple of weeks back, so I’m crossing everything that he continues his impressive run. He’s a versatile guy who could find his way into Arteta’s plans with a good enough four or five months in Yorkshire and if he comes back with 15 or so games under his belt, I suspect he’ll be confident and we’ll see a better footballer as a result.
The key will be for him to stay fit. He’s already had his niggles in his short men’s team career and so he needs to build up his robustness so that when he rocks up for Arsenal pre season training in July he’s looking good and is a proper consideration.
Just think how massive it could be if we’ve got an ‘internal solution’ to play instead of the declining Özil? Willock has had a decent game there but probably needs four or five before people start to get really excited about him, but if Smith-Rowe can prove he can do it there then we have another option like to consider. He’s currently playing for Huddersfield in the middle of a three behind Mounie so he’s being given the opportunity in that position and with one goal and one assist the future looks bright.
I’ve got my fingers crossed that we’ll see more of him there scoring goals, getting assists, doing the business.
And that’s my business done blogging for the day. I’m off to work so will catch you all at the end of that working week. In the morrow.