Ahh balls. Big sh*tty balls. Thomas Partey has a hamstring strain.
Are we not allowed nice things? Is that what it is? Isn’t it the most Arsenal thing ever to sign a player with no history of injury (I sent the link around of his record on Transfermarkt record after the Tottenham game and on Twitter but here it is again) who subsequently gets crocked and spends most of the season out injured? So unlucky but yet that seems to follow us around. Some clubs lose their best players with a limb practically missing and they horse-placenta their way back to the first team within a week or two. With us it feels like the opposite.
Exhibit two is Kieran Tierney, who was left out as a precaution, was pictured training in the snow three weeks ago, but we now haven’t seen for a month. It feels like we suffer more than most.
And not our squad players either. Oh no, it has to be the game changers for us, it has to be the ones who make an impact and drastically improve us. Yep, that’s who we miss. I swear this season can just get the hell in the bin. I am just ready for it to end. Unlucky with injuries, shafted with some decisions (not a conspiracy, but I think just bad luck, or a distinct lack of good luck). some naive tactical decision making and the decline of players who nobody would have expected to tank so hard. To add to that there has been some pretty drab football played by Arsenal and this is all contributing towards a general feeling of discontent I have for everything that has unfolded this season.
We now go in to the Leeds game with a drastically weakened side because Dani Ceballos is nowhere near Partey’s level and Mo Elneny should be nowhere near Arsenal’s first XI. Xhaka has performed well of late but it has helped with somebody like Partey besides him. No we’ll have to make do with him probably getting caught out of position and targeted because teams will know that if you stifle and cut out his time on the ball, you cut out Arsenal’s ability to progress it.
It is so frustrating and I can only hope that the injury is a short term one.
I think the reason I am so irked is because of the rumours coming out that Partey’s injury was not as bad as first feared and that he could play again this weekend. That had me hoping it was just a precaution last weekend and with a week of training and rest he could be back. But to get that club update yesterday felt like a very bitter pill to swallow. Who knows, we might get Mikel telling us he isn’t being risked but he’ll be ok for Benfica in midweek, but I suspect that will not be true, which we’re then looking at Man City at home the following weekend as a possible return. But I suspect if it is a hamstring strain then even that is a doubt and at best we’d have him from the bench.
Seriously guys, if I could just go to a desert isaldn with no wifi or phone coverage and no TVs right now, it’d be amazing, because I just want to see all of this cr*ppy season out until May now.
I should probably chill the eff out. Try to become a bit more zen-like, but when you are stuck at home all the time and your weekly routine of work, dinner, walks, running, rinse, repeat, etc, etc, is all you’ve had since Christmas, it really starts to get to you when every week there seems to be more and more sh*t happening in your one bit of escapism which is the football. That passion is supposed to give you something else to think about, but all it does to me now is think “I wish I had something else away from football to think about”!
More stuff will come out from Arteta’s press conference about Partey, but I’m also really hoping to hear something that reassures me about Kieran Tierney, because for a situation that has never properly been explained to us about where the problem is it is a little worrying. The player has had an injury record at Celtic and we now find ourselves with him being out for a prolonged period of time with no proper answers. WE had that with Vermaelen. We had that with Rosicky. We have a long history of players not really being diagnosed with a problem and yet being long term absentees. He is due to be reintegrated in to first team training next week supposedly, but how long before he breaks down again?
This is where Mikel needs to make some tough decisions and perhaps one of the big learnings for him this summer will be when to pull somebody out of the team even when they are telling you it’s all fine. Lee Dixon told a story on the Athletic Podcast Handbrake Off a couple of months back in which Arsene Wenger came to him after a training session and told him he wouldn’t play at the weekend. He had been playing a number of games and Wenger thought that he was close to that ‘red zone’ and should have a week off to ensure he can continue long term. Dixon admits that he was furious, but also said that the week after he was back in the team and he went on a blistering run of good form. He in his own body couldn’t see that he needed to rest but Arsene could and it ensured that we kept him on the pitch for as many minutes as possible that season.
That is what we need Mikel to learn and we need it to happen with players like Tierney and Partey, as well as others, I suspect.
Anyhoo, I’m offski, because it’s a long Friday of work ahead and I need to get meself started.
You have a good one.