Am hanging a wee bit this morn folks, so go easy on me, if you please…
The good news is that there’s not really a lot going on. Which means I can’t butcher an opinion on a breaking story in my current sorry state. I’ve seen a few murmurs about KT being a target for Newcastle, but until the end of the season it all kind of feels a little redundant and distracting, if you ask me. The reality is that this Arsenal team has operated with a very different type of left back ever since Zinchenko arrived and as much as we love KT – and most of us (maybe all but I don’t want to speak for everybody) really do – we are all probably coming to the realisation that as a player at his stage of his career he’s going to want to be regularly playing football and right now it doesn’t look like he’s getting it.
It’s a shame because Arteta had him first on the teamsheet just 18 months ago I reckon, yet the players injury record, as well as the shifting evolution of the Arsenal team means that our loveable Tesco bag carrying Scotsman will probably be looking for pastures new come the summer. You can’t blame him and if the noises about Newcastle being interested turn out to be true, then I suspect it would make sense for all parties to make it happen. It’s a two hours and 47 minutes car journey to Glasgow (just checked) from Newcastle, whereas it is just under seven hours to London. The Magpies need a left back because ‘Big Dan Burn’ isn’t one of those, just a guy filling in, so I can see why they’d be interested.
But the final party in any move like that is The Arsenal and I’d like to think Edu can finally complete his training and turn in to a good seller as well as buyer and negotiator of free contract exits. If I’m in Arsenal’s position in the summer and Newcastle – a potential future rival with bags of cash – come calling, I’m busting out a favoured line from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels:
“Show me the fibre of your fabric”
Newcastle’s fibre better be plentiful. And their fabric better be soft and sensual to the touch. In other words, cough up some serious cash and unless you drop north of £30million for him, we’ll be busting out a The Athletic journo to talk about how your first bid was, frankly, an embarrassment and the relationship between the two clubs is now damaged.
I’m being flippant, I’m having a bit of a laugh, but the reality is that Arsenal need to now step up into the big leagues when it comes to selling, as well as buying. People want what we’re selling now, as opposed to three years ago, so it is time we put our mark up on players. Particularly if they are ones we have such an affection for.
There’ll be a press conference today of some kind and Arteta will hopefully give us positive news on the injury front. I’m hoping that he confirms that Trossard is fine and will just sit out one, maybe two games in the next few days, as well as Eddie returning and Smith Rowe feeling fine after a bit longer on the pitch than the manager was hoping for. I’m also hoping we get an insight as to whether he’s going to be rotating very much tomorrow. I hope he hints at a wee bit of it; the likes of Tierney, Tomiyasu, Turner, Jorginho and maybe Nelson, for example. That’s a fair chunk of rotation I know, but if you’ve read my waffle for long enough you’ll know I am a child of The Championship Manager PC game generation, which means I rotate players left, right and centre to ensure their fitness levels stay as close to 100% as possible. I have a feeling – more of which I’ll talk about tomorrow in the match preview – that what we’ll see is an almost full strength side – but let’s see what Arteta says today and then tomorrow when he’s in Lisbon, let’s see what his actions are.
And finally….we’re STILL being investigated by the FA, apparently. I think it is inevitable that we get charged for the celebration on Saturday, but do you know what? It’s fine. As long as there are no points deductions that we see. Mind you, I wouldn’t put it past the FA and Premier League. Man City can break the rules for about eight years in a row with over 100 examples of them essentially cheating the FFP system, yet The Arsenal have failed to control their players on three separate occasions this season. They should throw the book at us.
And that’s it from me today. A shorter one on account of the fact that typing is giving me a headache. Gonna be a fun day sat at my desk for work today, that’s for sure.
Catch you wonderful people tomorrow. Have a good’un.