Morning party people, hope you’re all well and happy Friday to you and yours, which is happy because…


Ok, it’s a friendly and ok, it’s against a Liverpool side who will probably batter us with our midfield. But at least it’s something to talk about and with that we also got Mikel Arteta giving us a press conference ahead of the game and he certainly gave us plenty to chew on.

Like the fact that the short break time between last season and this could mean that players are in a better condition than they normally are. I’ve been thinking about this recently and it does make sense if you think about it. Normally they get about six weeks off but in this instance they’ve probably only had a couple so in terms of the lack of conditioning their bodies will – hopefully – recover back to their peaks a little quicker.

Of course the down side of this – as Arteta said yesterday – is that we need to see how they react come December and I do wonder if some of the bigger teams are a little bit more tempted to have bigger squads as a result. I know you can only name squads that have a maximum size of 25, but you can name young players outside of that and so I wonder if there will be more young players training with the first team?

There are certainly going to be a few players who wouldn’t have been near the first team now in the mix now, if his comments on Elneny and Guendouzi are anything to go by. Tricky Micky was asked about both yesterday and on Elneny he said he is aware of his qualities given he played with him, but wasn’t sure if he’d still be an Arsenal player by 6th October, which makes sense. Arsenal need cash and they have plenty of saleable assets. If they’re going to be able to reshape the squad it’s players like Elneny – and securing a sale – that will help to add a few valuable shillings to the pot.

Guendouzi is an interesting one though, particularly given Arteta kind of suggested that the door was ajar for him to be reintegrated back in to the first team. He was asked about the young Frenchman and simply said that every bodies slate is wiped clean. That means that he’ll have a chance – presumably the same as Özil – to stake a claim in the team.

Balls now in your court Matteo.

Are you back on the boat? Have you bought another ticket?

It’s a clever move though because by stating it like he has Arteta has made reading in between the lines very obvious. If we don’t see Guendouzi at the start of the season then he’s clearly gone in to spoilt brat mode and the club need to move on. But if he’s there, he’s training, he’s making the bench, etc, then we know that regardless of his previous indiscretions he may well just have a future at the club.

I’m not sure though. I wonder if the club needs to make some cash and he represents a few that can see the club make some upside this summer, so I think that if the right offer comes on they’ll sanction a move. Even if he’s training well and playing.

If you think about it we kind of need him to either way. If he sulks and doesn’t play it hardly enhances his value, does it? We kind of need to hope that regardless of what the plan is for him from the club, he does buck his ideas up and train well, because if he’s a pain in the arse it’ll just be another asset on wages where we don’t play. We already have that with a certain German so we don’t need it again in this situation.

The other stuff that caught my eye was around the Gabriel situation, which of course you’d expect Arteta to toe the party line by not giving away any details, but by talking in the way that Arteta did yesterday you’d expect that to be confirmed at some stage either today or over the weekend. We’re still not quite sure why it has taken so long but hopefully we get some nice Friday news at some stage today.

Hey, you never know, they might also make it a bumper day on the news front by announcing that Aubameyang contract extension that we’ve all been hoping for. Again Arteta sounded pretty confident without giving anything away, which you’d expect, without giving anything away.

There wasn’t actually that much talk of Liverpool during the presser, which doesn’t surprise me but does make me frustrated when journos don’t ask that much about the opposition. He was asked about the importance of that win at home last season and he did talk about it being a platform, but what I want to hear is a journo asking him about whether we’ll see a different tactical approach from Arsenal to that game, or whether he thinks Liverpool will rotate much. That’s the kind of questions we’re all asking ourselves ahead of the game so why aren’t the press?

Anyway it’s just a small thing. The most important thing is that football is back, albeit for a glorified friendly, so we have something to sink our teeth into tomorrow.

Catch you then.