There was no press conference yesterday so it’ll mean we’ll get to hear from Mikel Arteta today and although today is titled ‘Good Friday’ in the Christin calendar, I’m not expecting any ‘good’ news from the injury front. I suspect it’ll simply be that the players that are injured are still injured, that we have no new returns and that we will have to find a way to overcome Southampton with the existing set of players who have so far conceded five goals in two games to mid table teams who had little to realistically play for. Well, Southampton also tick that box and every time I think about the game tomorrow I have a knot in my stomach. That’s what the decision making, team selection, as well as team output has done to me in these last two games, having had me desperate to watch the games beforehand as we were playing so well.

Arteta will hopefully be asked about the form, morale of the group and who is fit and I can only hope we get some kind of admission – however guarded – that what he did last weekend will not happen again. Even if he says something like “we tried something from the start last weekend and I know what went wrong, so I will change it for this weekend” would go some way to making me feel better. It would make me think that he knows his Xhaka experiment was wrong at least and hopefully we see the Swiss international back in the middle of the park. I doubt a statement like that will give us any insight on whether or not the woefully out of form Lacazette will start, but just from a set up point of view I need to know from the manager that he isn’t going to put any square pegs in round holes any more.

That includes decisions like playing Cedric at left back. I just don’t think it is something that will work much better and I think he needs to be coming out today and talking up Tavares. I saw something online which suggested that Tavares had been given ‘a bib’ in training, which some seem to think is an indication that the players are starting in the next game. I’m not so sure how true that is, but it is what I am hoping for. If we play Tavares at left back and give him cover behind, it feels more natural to me and something I think this team is more likely to take to. If we try to square peg it again I think we’re going to get the same result.

I hope he does give us confirmation that Tomiyasu is back after this game though. Once again he hasn’t been seen in training pictures and that worries me that the clubs announcement that he will be back after Southampton just isn’t true. Even if we have him on the bench for Chelski in midweek, I’d see that as a big positive and I have everything crossed that he can be in line for a start against United. But given his apparent lack of training even that feels a little unlikely right now.

What else is there to talk about really? We could talk about how Saka won player of the month in the Premier League and that’s nice for him. Maybe it gives him a little boost and that has a positive knock on effect for us, but honestly, I find these individual accolades a little ‘meh’ if I’m honest. What good did Mikel’s manager of the month award do us? Straight after he received it the team put in two of the stinkiest performances of the season. So good if it makes him feel better, less him to have a little extra swagger in his step for the game tomorrow, but in all reality it means little for us fans. What matters is results on the pitch and that needs to start tomorrow.

It really does too. Even a draw tomorrow puts us further out of contention for the Top Four. I’ve already said it’s gone and I believe that still given injuries, the form of the team, the fact we have the worst striker in the league and the apparent upward form of the Scum right now. They’ll sweep Brighton aside tomorrow lunchtime and before we’ve even kicked a ball tomorrow we’ll be six points behind them, so I’m not expecting the lunchtime kick off tomorrow to bring any crumbs of hope. So we need to be able to respond in kind and that means only victory will do.

In other semi-Arsenal related news, West Ham play their Europa League Semi Final against Eintracht Frankfurt at home on Thursday 28th April, having beaten Lyon away last night. Why is this important to The Arsenal? Well, the hope is that they will have their eyes firmly on that tie before playing us on the Sunday. Maybe by then Moyes will be looking at rotating his team to get rest in to players’ legs against us and if that is the case, then we have a better chance of getting a result away to the Hammers who might have an eye on that final. Our game is sandwich slap bang in the middle of their two legged tie and my hope is that Moyes is completely prioritising his team for that two legged affair. We need him to. Our games are hard enough so if we can have a West Ham team not fussed about the result against us (like that would ever happen!) then maybe it works in our favour.

But Arsenal need to be in a position in which that game actually means something. Three defeats against Southampton, Chelski and United in the next eight days and not only is the Top Four done, but so is the possibility of the Europa League places too. I’d wager that if that happens – and it is not beyond the realms of possibility – there will be a bigger selection of Arsenal fans questioning Mikel Arteta’s tenure at the club. I think I might be one of those people too. There has been so much that has been good about this season but if you lose five games in a row then your position should be questioned. Football is about results and if you are to getting them then you don’t last in a job. Arteta has three really tough games to manage with a paper thin squad against good opposition. If he’s worth the investment in time the club has made in his tenure so far, then he needs to repay that with wins in the next week. And probably all wins too.

Right, that’s me done for today. Have a good one and I’ll se you all tomorrow for a match preview.

Laters people.