I didn’t expect Newcastle to do us any favours yesterday, did you?

Nah, didn’t think so. Even when they went 2-1 up and there was only 30 minutes left to play, I was like “they’ll probably lose”. And they di, with the cheat code that is De Bruyne. I don’t know about his barnet choices, but he’s such a good footballer and having him back in their team will only increase the likelihood of another boring and predictable end to the season in which they win 17 our of their next 18 matches or something like that.

Then when they get Haaland back it’ll be even more difficult and it goes to show you just how damaging that Christmas period was for us. We’re sitting in fourth with a goalscoring problem and even by the end of play this evening when Man United eventually sh*t the bed at home to the Scum, we’ll see ourselves dropping down to fifth for the first time this season I think.

Man I hope the Middle Eastern air is working some magic.

On the way back, maybe they could pick up Karim Benzema from Jeddah, perhaps? I’ve seen a few stories linking us to him as he’s apparently not turned up for training for the last six days at Al-Ittihad and apparently he’s got the hump with their manager Marcelo Gallardo, who has also excluded him from their mid-season camp in…you guessed it…Dubai.

Is it meant to be???

I don’t really ever see something happening here in a million years, so I’m clearly saying these things a little tongue in cheek, but it would be an interesting deal to do as a six month loan option. The player has experience of scoring buckets of goals in Europe, he’s clearly a quality player, but at 36 would he really be able to deliver in the Premier League? Especially given that he’s been running around in a Mickey Mouse league for the past six months. I know it was only this time last year that he was banging in goal-after-goal for Madrid, but could he really come in and be a difference maker at The Arsenal?

And even if he wanted it and was up for it and we could make the finances work, how on earth is the player dynamics going to work? Arteta is a man who values the personality and camaraderie above all; would he really want such a dominant personality coming in and doing an “I’m Cristiano Ronaldo. Everything goes through me” impression to the detriment of the whole team dynamic? I doubt it.

I suspect this clamour this morning for such a move from some Arsenal fans is just the latest manifestation of our worry that we have a big goalscoring problem and that strikers score goals, so chuck another one in. Personally I think we probably need a player who can play in the wide forward positions and occasionally step in to that false nine role, rather than an out-and-out striker. Imagine being able to rotate Saka or Martinelli fit hey are tired, or being able to play Gabriel Jesus in one of the wide positions whilst Player X is able to step in to the middle? Or even give more air time to Kai or Trossard in the middle and have Gabby J out wide, with other player able to play out wide as well, perhaps?

This is what is happening on a weekend in which Arsenal don’t play and we see other teams like Newcastle – and then inevitably the Scum – get wins and see our dream of the title slipping ever-so-slightly more away from us. We go in to crisis mode and start to look at knee-jerk reaction signings that we hope will be the panacea that will cure all of our problems.

But those problems need to be sorted out in Dubai and the players need to be coming back on Tuesday or Wednesday (I think that’s when they get back) looking fresh and looking like they are ready to start picking up wins, because we can’t really afford any dropped points at all if we want to achieve any kind of success this season.

There’s also some stuff about the Getafe striker Borja Mayoral that I’ve seen knocking around, but I can’t really see that being anything other than agent talk. The guy is 26, he’s having a good season this season but last season hit nine goals in 38 games, the season before he got seven goals in 29 games, so he’s hardly ripping the world apart and at that age it’s not as if you’re investing in future talent. It feels a little spurious to me, but then again at this time of the year most of the rumours feel like that, so I think i’ll tune out of any others until they really start to hot up and some of the more respected journos start talking about them.

Like Fabrizio Romano, for example. Some call him a tap in merchant, he isn’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea, but he’s been talking about Ben White and Tomiyasu and potential new deals and that’s the kind of thing I’m inclined to believe. Both players have a couple of years left at the end of the season I think and both have shown that they are important players for The Arsenal and Arteta, even if Tomiyasu spends a fair bit of time injured each season. So I can imagine Arsenal are keen to get those deals sorted soon and I can see some news about that happening in the coming weeks for sure. And I think it’s the right thing to do. I love both of the players; they both have versatility about them and they’ve always been good players for us when fit and stepping on to the pitch. If Tomi was not at the Asia Cup right now you could bet that he’d be starting in the league and that serves to highlight just how importantly Arteta values them. Get it done Arsenal.

And I think that’ll be me done for today too. I started building a 3D jigsaw puzzle of the Emirates yesterday, so I think I might finish that off this afternoon as my Sunday activity. You guys have fun in whatever you are doing and I’ll catch you all tomorrow.