So we have ourselves a new world cup winner and that country is the Argentinians, who managed to overcome the French on penalties last night, despite a Herculin effort from Mbappe to try to drag the French over the line. It was to be Messi’s World Cup, arguably the greatest of all time, who now have pretty much achieved all he needed to achieve for his international team and will probably not make the next World Cup.
For Messi and that fact that he has been such a phenomenal player, you have to be happy, but the rest of those Argentinian players aren’t exactly the most likeable bunch and for that reason I’m more than happy to just forget that there has even been a World Cup over the last month. The competition itself should never have been staged at the time of year it was staged, it should not have been afforded to a regime who were clearly sportswashing, it has had plenty of things about it that have left a bitter taste in the mouth, but it’s over now and that can’t be a bad thing.
Now all attention can turn towards the Premier League and one week from today we’ll be on the brink of our home game against West Ham. That’s the big one and the fact that only William Saliba will be the one question mark over who starts, is giving me extra impetus to get excited about the return of real football. Arteta was asked over the weekend and Martinelli and Saka and both players are – as Arteta has already said – doing fine and have ‘assessed well’ ahead of them rocking up in to training. I wonder if we’ll even get to see some London training pics today with those two players entering London Colney and getting some light training work done. I certainly hope so.
In terms of other Arsenal news, well, there isn’t really much going on. I had a little look yesterday online and all was quiet on the Western Front, so me being me, the next thing I did was start to look at our upcoming opponents and what their situation is. West Ham, it seems, have one or two concerns ahead of the game. Of course I must caveat this by saying that we have another seven days before our match on Boxing Day, which means players with knocks have time to return, but it seems they have some question marks over Maxwell Cornet, Aaron Cresswell, Gianluca Scamacca and Kurt Zouma. If those players are indeed all doubts or don’t make the team on Boxing Day, that would be a big blow. I suspect Rice and Paqueta will be back for West Ham to give them a boost, but to counter that we will have Martinelli and Saka. We’ve lost Gabriel Jesus, but the rest of the team looks **touches wood** like they’re doing alright.
Then I had a quick look at Brighton too, although that will be a fair few days later when we play them on New Year’s Eve. That’s 12 days away and their longer term absentees appear to be Moder, Webster, Welbeck and Mwepu. The main question mark they may have is on Mac Allister, who starred for Argentina last night and therefore won’t be around for Boxing Day you’d expect. But by the time our game comes around I suspect he’ll be ready and available. But before then we’ll have to make sure we dispatch West Ham at home and that will be no easy feat. Personally I am not looking forward to it because I’ll be with family on Boxing Day and they are all West Ham fans. That’ll make for a tense experience at home and especially if Arsenal lose. I just need to pray that it doesn’t happen because my brother and little nephew will be quite unbearable if that happens.
Anyhoo, there’s a whole week of worry about that match before it even begins to kick off, so I should probably save any of my usual butterflies until then.
It’s therefore a short one from me today, because there’s not really a lot going on and there’s no point sticking around if it’s all gone quiet. So I’ll take my leave and catch you wonderful people tomorrow. Have a good’un.