Morning folks, how goes it? Hope you’re all doing well? The Management has COVID so I’m in isolation until the end of the UK isolation, which kind of sucks because I won’t get to do any exercise – something that has been really beneficial for me during this weird ol’ year, but hey ho. Them’s the breaks.
Speaking of breaks, it sounds as if David Luiz had a go at trying to do Dani Ceballos’ in training this week, as the pair apparently clashed over a tackle in training that the Brazilian didn’t take too kindly too. Sound familiar? If it does it’s because Eddie Nketiah also had a bit of fracas with the Spaniard during a pre-match kick around (or was it halftime? I forget…) on the pitch at Fulham. Both were named as unused subs and both were at each other a little after neither took it too well when the other one left a foot in.
But here’s how much I care……….
Yep, not very much at all, in fact I hope it was a bit of spark and frustration that had risen to the surface as a result of what had happened in the last game. I like that spikiness in a team and it appears as though Dani has that about him. His form has been patchy like the rest of the team but if they are competitive in training I think it augurs well for their competitive spirit when it actually matters in competitive games. So to me I am taking that news as a positive for the weekend.
I hope all of the players are pissed off. I hope they are pissed off that the defeat still lingers in their minds and I hope that has caused them to train harder, try to impress the manager more, so that they can win a place in his first XI. We want them to show controlled anger and aggression on the pitch because the game this weekend is going to be bloody hard I reckon. It’ll be a tactical showdown and we are going to need to be 768% better than we were against Villa in order to get the result. The team has something to prove and I hope Arteta is telling them that in training today and tomorrow in training, assuming they train tomorrow and are not just travelling up there. But even if they are, I hope Arteta is shouting it in the team bus, as well as whacking a video on of the Villa game with subliminal messaging flashing up every few seconds telling them not to be as sh*t as they were during this game.
The crap news is that Partey is still out and with Elneny out too it means we will be forced into a midfield with Xhaka and Ceballos. Both players will need to show something more than we’ve seen from them at times this season but they were both much improved from Project Restart so the hope is that they can recapture some form.
At least Martinelli is now back in full training. On the official site it says he’ll be integrated in to first team training in the next couple of weeks but we have to hope to be able to see him in some capacity in December at least, fingers crossed.
I think it is fair to say it has been a pretty sh*tty couple of week’s for us as Arsenal fans. We got hammered at home to Villa, lost a player in Partey who had basically never been injured at Atleti, missing six games in five years before this season when he signed for us. Hopefully it will only be a short term thing but you do have to curse our luck at times. Added to that the fact we have a couple of players COVIDED, along with players having played a bunch of pointless international games that is sure to get them into that dreaded ‘red zone’, and we find ourselves looking at this game with trepidation. It isn’t exactly what we need.
But most of us have faith in Arteta and hope that he can find a way to get a result on Sunday. He’ll need to pull something magic out of the hat because there’s lots of moving parts in terms of the players he has at his disposal. But I have hope that he’ll have spent a lot of time looking and analysing what went wrong and what he can tweak for the game against Leeds. I don’t think he’ll make mass changes – other than those that are enforced by the injuries and absentees – but I do think he will tweak slightly. He has been speaking about it this week and saying he won’t be forced in to making drastic changes, and nor should he, but I do hope he makes personnel tweaks other than those he is forced in to making by injury or fatigue because some players need to step out of the first team based on form. We’ll get a little more from him today I think, as I think there is a press conference, so let’s see what he has to say about the team and how he might line up this weekend.
Catch you tomorrow for more isolation thoughts.