You peeps. Hope everyone is fine and dandy? I am nursing a stinking hangover this morning. You know it’s been a big night when you see McDonald’s packaging when you wake up in the morning. It’s all good though; you can celebrate when your team has just won the derby!
Yep, Arsenal Women emerged victorious in the North London Derby and whilst I don’t think it will make too much difference in the grand scheme of their league season, it’ll be a nice boost for those Arsenal players.
I didn’t bother watching though. I’m just not the biggest fan of Women’s football. Don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with it, I’m not one of these people who think it shouldn’t exist, I’ve just never really got in to it and that won’t change now. I already have enough stress and emotional investment with one Arsenal team, so doubling down with another one feels masochistic, so I’ve long been happy to give women’s football a bit of a swerve.
There appears to be a growing market for it though. When people return to grounds again for next season I do wonder if Arsenal should look to have a few of the big games at The Emirates. It would give people who can’t get to the games the opportunity to go there and if it’s given to people cheaply enough it would probably also fill a fair chunk of the ground. Especially if it’s a North London Derby. There has been so much to raise the profile of the women’s game in the last few years, that this feels like the next step for Arsenal, so hopefully they act on it.
It’s a clever move to have it on an international break weekend too. There are so many of us that have absolutely no interest in international football, so turn to games like that one yesterday, so it’s good to be raising the platform, which is grand.
Anyhoo, on to the men’s stuff, in which I’ve seen a couple of rumours about new contracts for players. The players mentioned were Tierney, Xhaka and Saliba that I saw and I have to say I find that really interesting.
Firstly, on Tierney, I think that’s a no brainer that we can all get behind. When he’s been for and playing this season he’s been immense and with each game he grows more and more impressive. Getting him tied down to a longer deal feels like an obvious move and hopefully the player thinks so too and we can get get it inked.
On Xhaka, this is the one most likely to get some people’s blood boiling, because I think many people have been hoping that this summer he gets moved on. Here’s my thinking though: we have so much more business to do in terms of outgoings, that keeping Xhaka around feels like it makes sense. Think about it; Elneny, Torreira, Guendouzi, Willock, Maitland-Niles, Nketiah, Nelson, Lacazette, Luiz – all of those players need their futures sorted and they should probably all move on too. That’s a massive bit of churn so why would Arteta be looking to make more change by getting rid of players who already feature heavily in his team?
I just don’t see that happening. Which is why I can understand Arteta and Arsenal starting talks with Xhaka. The reality is that we should probably be moving on from him, but I think in Arteta’s mind he represents stability and in a summer which is bound to be one of flux I think that will be welcomed. Personally, if I were Arsenal however, I’d just be thinking of running that contract down for another year. Xhaka has a deal until 2023 and that gives him two years left in the summer. We could keep him around next season and use him, but slowly find a way of phasing him out before selling next summer, so for me a new deal doesn’t seem to make much sense. The only way it did is if you add an extra year on to his existing deal to protect his value next summer. But I don’t see that happening if I’m honest.
The final rumour on contracts that I find most interesting of all is the William Saliba one. It’s also one that probably makes me the most heartened to see. It is just rumour at the moment but these rumours usually come from some kind of source and if somebody is briefing that Arsenal are looking at that, it suggests to me that they are confident he’ll be playing regularly next season, as well as the fact that he’s going to be a star in the future. Apparently he’s doing really well at Nice and that’s good to hear, but with some decisions needing to be made at centre half for us in the summer, I am hopeful that getting Saliba in to that first team is one of them.
There’s been a lot of people who have suggested that Saliba just isn’t going to make it at Arsenal and that Arteta just doesn’t rate him at all. If these rumours prove to be true then it shows that nothing could be further from the truth and that’s good to hear. We’ve spent so much money on the guy – more than we really can afford – that getting him in an Arsenal shirt and on the pitch playing feels a little more real with rumours like that one.
Right, that’s enough for one day, I’m off to drink lots of water and paracetamol. Catch you lovely humans tomorrow.