If you could map out a football weekend this season in which Arsenal don’t play, but you can have a thoroughly enjoyable time, well this weekend has so far been it.
Leicester lost on Friday. Chelski drew yesterday. But the biggest ‘tick’ of the weekend was Liverpool being spanked 3-0 by Watford. It means no gold trophy for them and it also means we get to continue crowing about our past glories.
And look, there are plenty of non-Arsenal fans saying that it’s a little sad that it’s the only thing we have to grow about, but do you know what? I couldn’t give a monkeys. Football is all about the Schadenfreude. It’s about banter. It’s as much about banter as it is about winning shiny silver trinkets. And you can absolutely bet your bottom dollar that if the situation was reversed the Liverpool fans would be doing the exact same as us.
But what results like yesterday do more than anything else is to highlight just what an achievement going an entire season was. There’s a reason that it’s only been done once and that’s because it’s really really hard to do. The fact that it was so long ago, or that we are pretty dire now, is totally irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that it was achieved by our club and we can – and should – be rightly proud for those of us that got to witness it.
History makers. The legend lives on.
Anyway, I’m hoping that the remaining games this weekend also serve up more delicious results for us. The Totts play Wolves at home and United are away to Everton. I’ve got everything crossed that the Toffees pick up all three points and if Wolves collect anything from them then that’d be gravy too. It’d complete a pretty spot on non-Arsenal weekend I have to say.
Of course we don’t play until tomorrow night in the FA Cup and ahead of that Tricky Micky Arteta drooped a press conference win a Saturday of all things. He spoke of the disappointment of Thursday and how he’s got to lift the players now – something I obviously talked about yesterday so won’t repeat in much detail – but at least he was also able to give us the positive news that Kieran Tierney is back in contention to play and is training with the first team. I’d love to see him tomorrow night but I wonder if it’ll be just a week or two too soon for him. That’s a shame because I suspect they’ll be a bit of rotation tomorrow and giving Saka a rest before the West Ham game next weekend feels like a good shout to me.
And it is time to see a bit of a freshen up I think. So that means perhaps shout for Mari to start, perhaps Maitland-Niles, Nelson, Willock, et al.!its a chance to see if Eddie can build on his form and also put more stark contrast in his form with that of Lacazette. I have to say the Frenchman’s recent form has been appalling and whilst I know that Nketiah isn’t the finished article, I’d be up for an extended look at him up top given how every week it seems that Lacazette is putting in poor performance after poor performance.
Let’s have Martinelli play more, let’s have Eddie play more, and maybe we could see Auba play more too? He got his goal against Olympiakos playing up top front and centre and he also missed a great opportunity there, but the fact of the matter is if you play him centrally, he’s going to get into that position even more than he already does, if you ask me. So let’s do it. Let’s have that shift for West Ham in just under a weeks time.
Short one from me today. More thoughts tomorrow on the team selection.