Morning folks. Right, where to start, eh? I mean there seems to have been so much that has happened in the last 24 hours, I don’t think I’ll get enough time this morning to jot it all down before I have to start my working day. Let’s give it a go though, staring with:
It seems Granit Xhaka is back in the team and I have to tell you it feels like a bit of a relief. Whether you like him or loathe him, his return – hopefully straight back in to the team for tomorrow night – will be the kind of boost Arteta needs. Arteta has put his trust in him from the start and Xhaka has responded to be fair to him. He’s played most of the time under Arteta and with him sitting in front of our back four we’ve had a distributor of the ball that seems to work in Arteta’s system. It was painfully obviously that Guendouzi and Ceballos together doesn’t work, so if we can break up that partnership by getting the Swiss into the side, then I’m all for it.
The news on Leno also appears to be better. I’m not going to say “good” because his season is over, but given that many of us were thinking we’d end up heading over to Kia Joorabchian’s office to see what bargain bucket goalkeepers he had lying around, we have to be happy that hopefully we can get the German back for when the ACTUAL new season starts.
But of course we can’t seem to have a day go by without some kind of injury to this Arsenal squad, as we learned that Martinelli took a bang to his knee in training and is now out for the rest of the season. I mean, seriously, is this some kind of sick joke that is being placed on us? It seems like the footballing gods have essentially decided that the end to this wreckage of a season needs to coincide with the worst Arsenal crisis to hit us since…oh wait…the LAST Arsenal injury crisis. Which feels like it’s every season. Add the Mari injury to Chambers and we seem to have a treatment room looking more like the red cross tent of a war zone.
Arteta took to the press though and you could see he was trying to put a brave face on. But he knows that Southampton tomorrow night will feel like one heck of a mountain to climb given our shocking away record there, our injuries, plus the fact that we have some players that just aren’t very good that he’s going to have to pick. Arteta did also talk about the expiry of player deals and the renewal of some of those players too, which leads me to…
What the actual FRIGG is going on at our club? Honestly, what is going on? Because from what I can see we’re coughing up big money to retain a high wage earner in Luiz, we’re taking a punt on a Mari that we won’t see until next season, plus we’ve delved into our pockets to make sure that Cedric Soares gets a FOUR YEAR DEAL. Four years. Kia must be delighted. I wonder if he’ll be able to hang out in the dressing room soon too? Or maybe he should attend board meetings now, given that he’s slowly ensuring he has more power at the club than the football Exec Committee themselves…
All the while we sit here waiting patiently for the real talent at the club, Bukayo Saka, to sign a new deal. What are Raul, Edu and the rest of them playing at? What are they actually doing to this club? The Wenger and Gazidis era was a car crash at the end but this feels like it’s heading that direction in rapid time right now. How on earth are we in this situation? I think Grimandi’s comments earlier in the week about there being no strategy at the club were probably a bit of bitterness on his part, but it’s hard to argue with his sentiment given what has unfolded after the last 12 months. We already look like a mess on the pitch, but Sanllehi is contriving to make us look even more of a mess off the pitch too.
He must wonder what wrongs he committed in a past life to get this kind of luck since becoming a manager. But then I hear stories from David Ornstein that regardless of what happens at Arsenal, there are so many clubs who would be willing to get him in if the Arsenal situation fails. Eh? Are we that much of an unmitigated disaster that we have an untried and untested manager, who has played for the club and professed his love already for the club, who might already be thinking about his exit?
I don’t think that’s the case and it doesn’t seem to me that Ornstein was saying that was a situation that could happen, but if things continue to tank and if Arteta is not given the obvious backing he needs, it wouldn’t surprise me if next summer we have a highly thought of guy in the game saying “blow this for a game of soldiers, I’m off” because of the mess we’re in.
Under Emery it felt like it couldn’t get any worse, but we had hope with the Arteta appointment that things can improve. I am 100% convinced they can if things remain in his control, but the alarming reality of our situation is the people running the club above Arteta are proving to be rather useless at doing so. And that is a massive concern right now.
Catch you all tomorrow peeps.