How about a tasty dose of schadenfreude on a Thursday morning? Yep, I’m game too, so let’s do a little bit on the Liverpool defeat at home to Atletico Madrid last night, shall we?
I mean ordinarily I wouldn’t really be advocating too much of it but given what we’ve all – and I include every football fan in this – had to endure from some sections of their keyboard warrior fan base, it is with some delight that I saw Atletico knocking them out of the Champions League yesterday evening.
There’s also the fact that the media have been calling this Liverpool side “the greatest ever”, even with a few of them – like our old friend Migs Delaney – going around length to talk about how the Arsenal Invincibles side was an underachieving side given their talent. Perhaps they were. They were certainly better than Chelski and got knocked out to them, as well as being better than United but were knocked out to them in the FA Cup too. But if you’re going to judge sides on trophies then you need to look at this Liverpool side and say “yes, they are a very very good side, but they aren’t as invincible as everyone predicted”.
Anyway, moving back to The Arsenal and I’ve gotta say, I do love the humour of social media sometimes, as my timeline was flooded with Gooners predicting their own outcome of the Man City game that was postponed yesterday. The ‘Phantom City game’ was probably a lot more enjoyable from my perspective and we had variations on the results from the improbable Arsenal victory, to the ‘Arsenaling up’ of a game against Pepe’s men. It kept me entertained for an hour or two anyway.
On the Arsenal front the question remains what the situation is with the Coronavirus. Apparently there was just five players who were at risk following the Olympiakos game and the club have sought advice from the government on what they should do. No Arsenal players have, thankfully, shown any signs or symptoms of the virus but I’m a little surprised that the club have taken the decision not to get them all tested. After all, I’m sure if they wanted to they could fast-track some testing of all of the players and put the matter to bed quite easily.
I guess the 14 day period is over from today and so if players are fine then that should be it, but my little understanding of the virus is that it can still lay dormant so isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?
Hey, I’m no expert and the club will have people far more qualified to answer what the situation should be, so as long as we don’t get any nasty news today then we can all breathe a sigh of relief (no pun intended) and get the players to focus on the Brighton game.
And the hope will be that all being well, we have a team who has had a full week of rest and now is ready and prepared and less fatigued than they would have been having gone up to Manchester and played City on Wednesday. I’m genuinely not trying to downplay the seriousness of this global pandemic, but from a footballing perspective we’ve all probably thought we could do without the game on Wednesday night and as it’s transpired the fact it wasn’t played could work out to be a good thing. It means we have an opportunity against Brighton to build on our winning momentum and I’m hoping that the players can take confidence from three Premier League wins in a row to deliver us a fourth for the first time in god knows when. More on that tomorrow and in the match preview on Saturday morning though.
On the playing side, the charm offensive is really on for Aubameyang at the moment and he was interviewed on the official site which released a video yesterday in which he talked up how happy he is at the club. And I think that is genuine. When he arrived there was talk about him being a bit of a troublemaker for Dortmund but I think that’s far from the truth and what we’ve seen is a guy who is not only good for us on the pitch with his goals, but good for us off the pitch too, leading the team in terms of camaraderie and being a guy who everybody at the club clearly likes. It’s ironic because he has all the bling but when you hear him talk he often sounds so humble.
He’s been appreciative of the love he’s got from the Arsenal fans and cited the support post the Olympiakos game. It’s a great relationship between player, fans and the club I think, but I go back to what I said a couple of days ago; of/when he leaves in the summer, this will be on the club for not sorting out a four and a half year deal and going for three and a half instead. How on earth we didn’t do that when the outlay for a transfer fee was so big is beyond me. But we are where we are now and we should accept that Auba probably needs to leave to get his Champions League football and his final contract. And I think Arsenal fans will be very understanding if that happens because as my ol’ mate Charlie East has said on LoveSport a few times, if we don’t get Champions League football then we should all give him a pat on the back and say thanks for the goals. It is on the club that we haven’t surrounded him with players of similar quality to deliver our ambitions. This isn’t on Aubameyang.