Morning Gooners and happy Monday to you and yours. As anticipated I went on a proper bender on Saturday night and so was not fit to do anything other than lie on the sofa feeling sorry for myself yesterday, but I’m back amongst the living today – just – and thankfully it seems so are our players who played over the weekend for their national teams.

Rice played the full 90 minutes+, Jorginho got 67 minutes yesterday for Italy, Havertz played and scored for Germany who also had the decency to not even give Saliba one minute of football. Big Bill Saliba is arguably one of the top defenders in world football right now, but Deschamps continues to ignore that. It must be annoying for him, but at least it means our chances of him picking up a knock are reduced, so I am a-ok with that.

There’s another round of matches that happen tomorrow I think but then we should all be done with these interminable internationals and can start to fret over the obstacle we must overcome on Easter Sunday. I think it’s been on every Arsenal fans mind for some time now and what with there being no Arsenal men’s football (the ladies won 3-1 against Villa last night but given the way that league goes it is unlikely that they’ll make up the points difference on City or Chelsea) on at the moment, it has felt a little weird to me, I have to say. I keep finding myself checking in on the League table, seeing we are top, smiling, but then quickly realising what a daunting next month of football we have that starts this weekend. It does feel like it’s going to be so difficult to maintain the winning form we’ve had given the opponents we’re up against. Each game is going to be more difficult than the last but the next match feels the most difficult of all; quite the paradox indeed.

In some weird way though, I’ve enjoyed the serenity of it all – not playing I mean – because it really has felt like the calm before the storm. We’re all about to go through stress-related moments every three days from this Sunday, so it’s like the universe has said “we are going to give you a break before putting you through the ringer”, and I don’t know about you guys but I’ve certainly done that. I’ve enjoyed the serenity and right now I feel I’m ready for the stress. I probably won’t feel like this on Easter Sunday though; I’ll be I’m a nervous wreck, but at least I’ve given myself the mental rest now.

What we do need in this build up week, however, is to get a full and clean bill of health. We won’t know the true answers on Bukayo Saka until the team sheets are read our on Sunday an hour before kick off, but we will know hopefully about the others and hopefully Arteta will confirm that the players have all returned from international duty in one piece. He won’t give anything away on Saka though; you and I could probably already paraphrase what he will say, which will be something like:

I don’t know. He was injured when he left and he has not trained since, so I don’t know if he will be available this weekend. We will see.

And even if he has trained Arteta will not tell us. It is slightly annoying as an Arsenal fan, but I think we all know why he does it; he wants to create an element of uncertainty on who will be available and he wants to keep his opponents guessing. If only there was a way of him telling just us Arsenal fans though, eh? Some kind of secret press conference that you can only get access to if you are a true Arsenal fan and would therefore not in a million year’s want to give away any of Arteta’s secrets to any rivals. That would be handy. But alas no such system, secret handshake, special password on the website, etc, exists. So we have to be kept guessing as much as everyone else.

And with that I’ll shut the hell up for another day. A shorter one today on account of there being bugger all else on, but back tomorrow with some kind of musings of some kind.

You guys have a good one.