One of the things I do like about some of the people at the club, is that they clearly do a fair bit of social listening, because in yesterday’s injury update the club went in to more detail about Mari and Martinelli’s respective injuries. It’s been a long-standing joke amongst the fanbase online that the club put out these team news updates with the usual ‘being assessed’ which essentially means nothing, but they went a little further yesterday and gave an update on the progress of both players. Whether this becomes a regular update on players when they are out injured I don’t know, but I say ‘kudos’ to them because it gives us an indicative idea as to how long we’ll be without both. And I think we as fans can be reasonable enough to know that sometimes players take long to get back and sometimes it takes a shorter amount of time, but ultimately we find ourselves in a position where we know that Mari might be back for the new season and that Martinelli won’t get playing time until December it looks like.
That’s a really big blow. For everyone. He’s a young player and at these formative years of your career game time is massive. Being able to develop on the pitch can be what separates the superstars from the journeymen by the time they get to their mid to late twenties, so what we all have to hope for is a full recovery and that when he comes back we see the same Martinelli that has had such an impact this season with his goals and running power.
There’s no doubt we’ll miss him but Arteta has to continue to rebuild his team and I’m sure he’ll have a place waiting for Gabby when he is fit again to play.
The other news coming out of yesterday is that Dinos Mavropanos has signed a new deal with the club and immediately gone out on loan to Stuttgart for next season, which I found really interesting, particularly given our obvious need to raise funds this season. He’s a player who we really haven’t seen enough of to make a judgement as to whether he’s good enough, but apparently impressed at Nuremburg and so the club are certainly protecting their asset by getting him to sign a new deal first. What is fascinating though is what this means for him. Many of us thought he’d be one of the guys who would be shifted on to bring in some cash but the more I think about it, the more I think that this is a Covid-19 related holding position by the club.
Think about it; the Coronavirus pandemic has sent shockwaves globally and none more so than in football, where very few but the financially doped clubs have money, so any market Arsenal might have thought would exist to shift on a player like Mavropanos would have most likely collapsed. However if they get a new deal to protect his contract length, then send him out on loan and he has another good season in Germany, he’ll be a wanted man. Think how we managed to get £10million for Bielik. That’s probably what Arsenal are thinking about Mavropanos.
The other option is that he develops to such a formidable centre half that Arsenal take a look and think he could form part of the squad for the following season. At the end of next season we know we will be without Luiz, Mustafi and Sokratis. Some might go this summer for a fee but even if they don’t, their contracts run out in 2021, so there is going to be space to fill I reckon. So tying Mavropanos down whilst being able to send him out for much needed minutes to see his development, makes more sense the more I think about it.
We just have to hope his injury problems don’t leave us with an unsellable, or unplayable, footballing asset.
That’s pretty much it for today. I will just touch on something that I didn’t mention in yesterday’s post match blog, mainly because I was so livid at the time during the game, but didn’t mention at all yesterday. VAR. I mean it is almost becoming so bad it is actually funny. Except it isn’t. It is costing teams points. Do you think we’d have had such a difficult second half if the rules that were applied on Eddie Nketiah for the red card he received, were applied in the same way to Alexander-Arnold? Of course not. These challenges happen and MIkel said as much after the Liverpool game, but what really irritates me is how they are not applied equally. You want to send Nketiah and Aubameyang off for a dangerous tackle having watched the replay 37 times? Fine. But apply the same logic to an opponent like that please. VAR didn’t even have a sniff at that challenge and yet we hear not a peep about it. It is an absolute disgrace and the sooner this season is over and the clubs can round on the PGMOL and their shoddy application of the technology (THAT is where the problem lies more than VAR tech itself), the better.
Catch you peeps tomorrow.