Morning all and welcome to another middle of the week nothing-a-thon. I am of course talking about Arsenal and perhaps unsurprisingly given the general level of malaise felt around our performance last weekend, it is all a little quiet from the club at the moment.

I’m kinda ok with that though. Long gone are the Johan Djourou days of “we know we need to do better” and “we need to learn from this” because, frankly, it doesn’t feel like we do learn sometimes and it is better for us to just all be quiet and wait for the next game in the hope that we can pick up the required victory to get us feeling better. That next game is at home to Dundalk and that is tomorrow night, so I’m sure there will be a press conference or at least some kind of interview with the manager about the team ahead of the game.

I’m hoping he rotates the hell out of the team and after he cited fatigue on Sunday I really don’t think Mikel has an excuse if he doesn’t tomorrow. We’re at home, we’re playing a team sitting third in the Irish League and a team with which we should be able to turn over with a heavily rotated squad. In a way I could understand a stronger team against Rapid Vienna away as that was, on paper, the most difficult of the group games to navigate. Plus you don’t want to have to start your campaign with a defeat and immediately play catch up. But with United on the horizon this coming weekend I really hope we see quite a large-scale rotation and I hope Mikel gives us a hint of that when he speaks to the press today.

The likes of Lacazette could start and in some small way I hope he does. He’s had back-to-back stinkers and so I don’t want him anywhere near the first XI on Sunday at Old Trafford, but we’ll have to see what Mikel is thinking, because I wonder if he gives Eddie a go tomorrow.

I must admit though; I am very guilty of not looking at the game in front of me and focusing more on the one at the weekend. Our record against United is horrendous and against the ‘Big Six’ in general it is terrible. So the thought of going there – where we haven’t won in 14 years – out of form and with players who might be not 100% in terms of rest time, doesn’t exactly fill me with glee.

Nor does the prospect of having Mike Dean as the referee for Sunday. I know all fans feel like they have been ‘Mike Dean’d’ at some stage, but some of the stats doing the rounds are a little scary. I think there’s one which says Mike Dean gives United a penalty just under once in every four games. Where as for us it’s something like once in every 20 games. And I think back to the two Sheffield United games last season where Sokratis’ shirt was clearly tugged in the box with Mike Dean staring straight at it, then followed up by the game at the Emirates in which Pepe was scythed down in the box, only for Dean to go with his trademark over-the-top cross arms motion to say no penalty.

There’s also the last game of the season at home to Watford a few months back when Mike Dean waved away a penalty and was then told to give it for us. Remember that? The look on his face was one of utter contempt because he had to give it and whilst David Luiz was shortly afterwards a bit silly in a challenge in the box that did us over for a penalty in the same game, the whistle was practically blown by Dean before contact had even been made.

Mike Dean and Bruno Fernandez – a match made in heaven.

Other than moaning about Mike Dean and wondering who on earth plays for Dundalk, there really isn’t a lot going on. Part of me wants to still talk about the Leicester game because, quite unbelievably, that is still weighing on my mind. But there’s another part that thinks it is just like opening up a wound that hasn’t quite healed and then knocking it to make it bleed again. Nobody wants that.

What we do want is for Arsenal to get back into winning ways and for Arteta to get back on the winning wagon. A victory tomorrow night will help, but given the calibre of opposition it won’t fully restore the belief like a win away from home at United would. Which is why I hope we have a fully rested team and a manager who has a master plan for Ole’s ailing team.

Catch you all tomorrow for a match preview.