So we know our fate for the semi final of the Carabao Cup and it’s a two-legged affair with Liverpool that we’ll need to contend with in January. Of course of the three teams left in the  competition we could have faced – The Scum, Chelski and Liverpool – it is the scousers who are the best side on paper and so it will be tough to overcome them over two legs. But  I am not in agreement that it is the most difficult tie we could have faced.

That’s because whilst Liverpool do indeed have better players than the other two sides, when you start to work down the list of squad players I think it is Chelski who have a better side. And I think this competition will be about squads rather than first teamers, because of the very nature of the time of year and fact that there is a lot of fixture congestion happening right now.

Liverpool cannot field a completely new set of players on big contracts and senior pros for their rotated side. Last night they played Kelleher in goal, as well as Bradley, Koumetio, Tsimikas, Morton and Williams. It was young team and whilst they were able to call upon those more experienced players in the second half, you only have to look at the fact Leicester went 3-1 up at half time to show that if Klopp plays those rotated youngsters, then they can be got at. And with the first leg at The Emirates we will need to make sure if Klopp does play those kids, that we are able to take advantage, because in the second leg he will field a stronger side and that will pose a big threat to us.

But perhaps Arteta will field a strong side over both legs? Whilst there is no European place for a League Cup win, getting to a final and winning it could be something that further validates that this ‘project’ is on track and so I suspect we’ll see Mikel Arteta go all out for it now we’re in to the semi’s.

The first leg is only a couple of week’s away though, so we won’t have long to find out, although there is still a lot of football that needs to be sandwiched in between and therein lies a challenge in itself for many teams. Apparently the Premier League are in discussions today about how to fix the fixture congestion that is currently threatening to cause big problems for Premier League clubs. So far we have been lucky in that we haven’t had a game cancelled recently because of COVID and providing Norwich goes ahead on Boxing Day then we’ll have less of an issue compared to the likes of the Scum, West Ham, Brighton, etc. If we play our games and manage to pick up maximum points this side of the New Year then it’ll be massive.

I do wonder what the options are for the Premier League though. Extend the season by two week’s perhaps? That would enable them to play those remaining games maybe a week or two before the season finishes and would avoid any fixture pile up. They won’t want to do it on the last weekend, because they always like running games on a Sunday and having them kick off at the same time so that there is an element of jeopardy for those fixtures in which decisions need to be made (relegation, title wins, top four, etc). So I don’t think we’ll see the last games happen and then the other games to play catch up. They might push that game back a week and then add in any lost games the week before perhaps?

If that did happen, you’d like to think that – as it stands – we’d be in a good position and hopefully even have a week off in the run up. Of course I’m making the assumption that none of our games get called off and in that it is in the hands of the gods as to whether too many players come down with COVID, but if we can manage  to fulfil our fixtures within their current schedule and dates, then it would mean a week off before what could end up being a decider of some sorts for The Arsenal.

So all -in-all what we have to hope for is that we can keep plugging away with our games. Norwich had an outbreak and had their game called off last weekend, so a week later and new  Government guidance of ending isolation after seven days might mean the game can continue, but we just have to hope that we don’t face an outbreak of some kind and only find out about it in the coming days.

So until then we play the  waiting game and hope that we get good news as Boxing Day approaches.

That’s about it from me today. A shorter one of course, but as the Christmas period approaches it all gets a bit quiet and with players probably told to stay at home, it hopefully will remain quiet.

Catch you wonderful people tomorrow.