Morning folks, hope all is good with you, on this Saturday which should have been the end of the season.
Except, as we all know, it is far from the end of the season. We still have another ten games to play and the Premier League met this week to work out what the next steps are in terms of fulfilling the season. Apparently all the clubs want this season to be concluded, but let’s not pretend it’s to preserve the integrity of the competition. It’s about cold, hard, cashola and we all know it. And with that in mind it’s been a bit of a struggle to motivate me to write stuff every day. But I thought i’d spew some thoughts on to the page today as I have a little more time on my hands.
Firstly, how about we talk about the fact that the start of this final run down to the season will actually on paper make Arsenal stronger, in theory. We had Tierney not fit, Kolasinac out injured, Torreira’s season basically over and we were only partially being able to get some momentum together. But with the season effectively given a restart, all of the clubs will be in the same boat and players will most likely all look a little leggy, but at least the ones that were injured will be fit.
The only problem is that it normally takes about five games at the start of any season before the football starts to really hot up and the players start to tune their bodies into physical fitness, so by the time the players are up and running again in *laughs a cynical laugh* June, the season will nearly be over anyway. Add that to the fact the stadiums will all be empty and eerie like some kind of post apocalyptic world, and frankly, it hardly makes me excited and desperate to get back to writing about the sport I’ve spent the best part of nine years writing about. It’ll feel a little alien, the passion and intensity will be taken out and selfishly, I wonder if that will do the same ton my desire to write daily.
I hope not. I’ll try, but I guess we’ll just have to see, which is why it’ll be intriguing to see what the Bundesliga looks like this weekend. I suspect it’ll be an odd feeling for many fans and I might reach out to a few family members over there and see what they say about the experience. I can’t imagine it’ll be a glowing reference but at least it provides a test bed environment for the Premier League.
Back to Arsenal specifically, and we’ve got noises from Lucas Torreira’s agent saying that he wants to return to Italy at some stage. It’s an interesting one because I think Torreira was having a difficult time under Emery and then I’m not sure how fit he was under Arteta, because he didn’t play that much, but with the transfer window set to be drastically lowered in terms of value and what teams can afford, selling him to Italy will hardly bring us up mega money if the player wants out. If Arteta only wants fully committed players then I suspect he’d let him go, but that means once again we need to find that destroyer in midfield and it took us over a decade to find the last one, so I can only hope that if Torreira does leave, then the current transfer committee have a better job than the idiot that was Gazidis and his team.
At least Torreira might see some game time. He’s fit now and he might not have got anything had the season finished in normal time like this weekend. But as it stands he has another chance, as does players like Tierney, to at least get some matches under their belt and then integrate themselves even more into Arteta’s thinking. I do wonder what it’ll do for Bukayo Saka though. Will it push him further forward if Tierney comes back in? Will that then mean he doesn’t get as many opportunities at a time in which Arsenal are trying to convince him to sign a new deal?
It’s a delicate time at the moment for a number of reasons, but the Saka contract situation is one that is playing on a lot of Arsenal fans’ minds I think, so it’s one that many of us are rightly concerned about.
My hope is that it’s just logistics getting ironed out but the longer this drags on the more we’re all probably going to be a little worried about Arsenal ‘Arsenaling’ up yet another contract situation. I don’t think anybody does running down of player contracts like we do. So in that sense I think we’re all justified in our concern for one of the best academy prospects coming out of the club since Cesc.
That’s pretty much it from me today, but just before I go, how about we raise our eyebrows at Unai Emery once again. He’s been talking in the Guardian about his time at Arsenal and as I’m sure you can expect he’s talked a lot about what went wrong. What I find fascinating about him is his self confidence. He talks about being self-critical in the article, he says he did some things wrong, but doesn’t actually explain what they are. Then he starts talking about some of the farcical decision making as if he isn’t the one to blame. That’s not being self-critical mate, that’s just being critical, and doing it of other people which actually reflects quite badly on you. He even tries to deflect his influence on the sh*t show that was this season and the collapse in the Europa League final, by talking about how he had to rely on the likes of Raul and Edu to do their bit for the club and so it wasn’t all him. Let’s be clear though; this went wrong with a lack of leadership, motivation and at times communication and knowledge of what went on, on the turf. And that is Emery’s domain. He failed horribly and that’s why he was sacked. End of story.
The good news is we’re rid of him now, he can go and bugger up some other team, like Gazidis. And hopefully our own healing process can begin.
Might come back tomorrow with some more musings.
Catch you peeps then.