There’s a couple of things on my mind this morning, as this season finally drags it’s sorry arse into closing, thank gawd, which I think is a sentiment all Arsenal fans can get behind.
The kids against Watford?
In my mind this is an obvious ‘yes’, but I am a child of the 80s and 90s and so ‘Championship Manager’, then in the 2000s ‘Football Manager’, makes me somebody who will always favour getting those fitness levels back up to 100% before a cup final. But in 2017 we played against Everton in a pretty nothing game and got himself sent off, which meant he missed the FA Cup Final. As it turned out Mertesacker had the game of his life and we were alright, but more often than not it comes back to bite you on the arse if you play with fate too much, so for my money I am hoping that key players get rested on Sunday. The game means nothing to us and whilst I know you can probably get a few million quid extra for finishing a place higher or not, at this stage I really couldn’t be bothered with the Premier League. Let’s consign it to history, treat Sunday’s game as a dry run for some players for next season, then get some minutes in the tank for the fringe players like Torreira. Heck, let’s even put some on display so let’s play Ozil, Guendouzi, bring Elneny back on loan and show the world who Matt Macey is in goal.
We don’t need any issues ahead of the cup final. Our form and performances in the league this season have caused enough of that already. The loss to Aston Villa has deflated me a little and so we don’t even have that winning momentum, so for me I couldn’t give a monkey’s about this result and hopefully Arteta is feeling similar. That’s because…
The FA Cup Final details are out
yessiree bob, the Cup will be played at 5,30pm next weekend at an empty and soulless Wembley Stadium, devoid of fans but probably still including the world’s most annoying and ear-splitting tannoy system. The game will be on the BBC and BT Sport and as a result it’ll be the first FA Cup final I’ve watched from my sofa and not the ground since 2005. That doesn’t fill me with happiness because the whole experience of Wembley – especially pre-match where I meet up with all the lads – is an amazing one and I’m a little saddened that I can’t be there. But it is what it is and we have to deal with it. Much like we have to deal with the alarming symmetry with 2017 in that even the referee is the same as back then which, until now, has been impossible. Supposedly referees are only meant to referee one cup final in their career and that means Antony Taylor – one of the worst refs we’ve had in recent years along with Mike Dean – gets to referee another cup final and another game with us. I still haven’t forgotten the defeat to Villa at the Emirates all those years ago, in which he sent off Koscielny as ‘last man’ even though it was at the side of the halfway line and other players rushing back, as well as avoiding sending off a Villa player for essentially spearing Rosicky in the same game. Last season he refereed the North London Derby at their gaff and was very happy to give Harry Kane’s offside goal, as well as ignore the fact Jan Vertonghen was about four yards inside the box when Auba struck his penalty that was saved, allowing the Belgian to gain an advantage and hack the ball away. I could go on but it’d be wasted air. Suffice to say that we have a poor ref who will no doubt make this season one we want to put even deeper into the bin by giving something to that scummy lot in West London.
The only hope is that he manages to actually pull off the second good game of his career, the first being in 2017 when he rightly second yellowed Victor Moses for diving to try to win a penalty. But again, I won’t hold my breath.
Coutinho shouldn’t even be a thought
This is the final thought buzzing around my head this morning, as plenty of people seem to be thinking that a Kia Joorabchian client on big wages could be shuffling his way through the door at The Emirates this summer, which really does worry me given the increased volumes of noises we’re hearing.
I really hope this is Kia leveraging his relationship with Arsenal to palm his client off somewhere else. You know, the old “well if Arsenal are interested in him and he’s played for Barca and Bayern, then surely he’s worth a punt” trick, but hopefully not with us. I don’t know if I’m missing something, but the Coutinho I’ve seen for Liverpool and Barca was one of the most overrated players I’ve ever seen. Far too often likes a long range shot that doesn’t go in, isn’t pacey, not really that much of a dribbler and I’m not sure he has the vision that we need in that creative midfield spot. You don’t have to look far on Google to get an idea of what type of season he’s had at Bayern. It has been poor.
My only hope is that this is a lot of smoke because we don’t need another high wage, low output, player on our books. We’ve got enough of those.
Catch you lovely people tomorrow.