Morning folks, how we all doing? Having a good one? I’m struggling to shift a bloody annoying sore throat and cough at the moment, which isn’t ideal, but I guess it’s the time of year n’that…
It’s also the time of the season where the dust has settled on the transfer window, the second half of the season and the intensity of matches come with that, plus you start to work out whether you are on this ‘train’ that everyone keeps talking about.
Why does it have to be a ‘train’ anyway? When did it evolve from a bus to a train? Besides which if it’s anything like the trains in Blighty it’d be unreliable, on strike half the time, plus cost a fortune. But anyway, let’s get back to The Arsenal and specifically, looking ahead at what lies in front of us in the near future. Arteta will most likely have his press conference today I suspect, as the team has an early kick off on Saturday on Merseyside and therefore they’ll probably be travelling up tomorrow in the afternoon I suspect. So we’ll get a team news update and hopefully the prognosis is good. There are still those questions about Partey though I reckon. I know plenty of journos have said “he’s fine” but it would still be good to hear that we have a clean bill of health.
Of course Arteta will not give any specifics away but if he doesn’t mention Partey unless specifically prompted to, I think we have to take it as a good sign. Of course if he has a little doubt and they are not wanting to risk anything, I wonder if Arteta would be minded to throw Jorginho straight in? He’s bought him because he loves him, he himself pushed for the transfer and I suspect he’ll talk up his quality today in his press conference when inevitably asked about the player. So I could see a scenario in a game like this where, if Thomas has some bruising on his ribs and they just want it to heal a little longer, away to Everton might be the time they choose to maybe put Jorginho in. Some will not like that idea, I’d prefer to see Partey at every opportunity, but I suspect there will be a little less reluctance to use Jorginho from Arteta than he had for playing either Sambi or Elneny. And Jorginho has been a regular this season for Chelsea so he’ll not be coming in too cold.
Again though, for those at the back, let me reiterate: That would not be my first choice and of course I want to see Partey play all of the league games and important Europa games this season too…
The other thing I’ll be interested to start thinking about, although I might leave it until the actual match preview, is this idea of us facing a) a Sean Dyche side, and b) facing the dreaded ‘new manager bounce’. I can’t profess to have be the one to do the research on this, but I listened to The Arsenal Beat podcast and they had Charles Watts on their podcast. He said he’d been thinking about the challenges of a new manager bounce for Arsenal but when he looked at the data, we’d played 16 new managers in the Premier League and only lost once to Slaven Bilic’s West Ham. And that was the first game of the season so not so much a new manager bounce as it was the start of the season. Now, perhaps you could argue that caretakers could also count, in which case Michael Carrick got a victory against us last season at Old Trafford before Ragnick came in I believe, but we kind of always lose at United so I’m happy to just disregard that.
What we shouldn’t be doing – and again I’ll not dwell on that today as I want to save a little something for the match preview on Saturday – is disregarding Dyche and the threat his arrival will prove. Everton may not be in very good form, they may have a very disgruntled fanbase, but Dyche knows how to make his sides difficult to play against. If this was at The Emirates i’d expect the lowest of low blocks, as he’s done that with his Burnley teams, but maybe not this weekend. Anyway, more on that in the coming days.
Back to our new arrival though and it has been good to read some of the comments of the Chelsea players with the loss of Jorginho. Thiago Silva has described him as one of Chelsea’s ‘great leaders’ and we must have all seen by now the video of Cucurella when asked about who was the best technically at the club, responding with ‘Jorginho’, only for him to be told ‘he has just been sold’ and the player to reiterate ‘still Jorginho. What that says to me is that, above anything else, we’re getting an experienced head who will add much value to the dressing room and that can’t be a bad thing. He’s one big trophies and having that experience can’t hurt at a time in the season where we may find ourselves psychologically under the kosh as Man City begin their usual relentless pursuit of yet another title.
I know the transfer wasn’t what we all wanted a week ago, I know that it is just a ‘stop gap’ and I get the frustration of not getting another one of the top targets, but as every day passes I keep thinking that the Jorginho move was a smart ‘plan B’ and the club should be applauded with their quick decision-making by getting a player like this in on such small notice.
Anyhoo, that’s me done for today. Back tomorrow to pour over what Arteta has said in his presser.
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