Morning folks, how we all doing? Coming to terms with reality right now? I think I am. Yesterday was a time to feel a bit down, to be a bit sad, to feel like we might never ever win the league again and Pep and his nation state club will go on forever and accountability will be never sought from the powers that be. That latter part may still bear out because of perceived corruption in football (apparently City’s first goal had KDB offside but VAR never checked it – I’m not going to bother looking in to it because it doesn’t really matter now anyway), but today I’m more minded to start moving on and starting to think about the future.

That has to start with getting Mikel Arteta signed down to another deal at the club and I think KSE and Arsenal should be absolutely making that their number one priority before anything else right now. I suspect Stan and Josh will be in the stands on Sunday as it’s the last game of the season and I hope that if that’s the case, both spend the entire time after the matching convincing Mikel that he can realise his ambitions at our great football club. There are still very strange people on the internet that want him out, but I can’t believe any real Arsenal fan wants that. Not truly. Not when you see where we’ve got to. In life sometimes you need to take one step back to go two steps forward and in the four-and-a-half year’s he’s been at the club, anyone looking objectively at what we’ve done will see how far he has taken us.

Just look at the team he inherited when he took over. It was a bit of a structural mess. We had a back four in his first official game of Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, David Luiz and Saka at left back, for gawd’s sake. It was a hotch potch of an assembled team and although we slowly managed to build a bit of stability, COVID quickly hit and it all got weird. But he still won an FA Cup.

The next season wasn’t great and the drop for those October and November months in 2021 was the one step back, but you feel like you could see what he was trying to do – it just wasn’t working at that time. Since December 2020 though it has pretty much been an upward trajectory and here we are three-and-a-half years later and we have a carefully assembled squad who have consistently competed towards the top of the division.

Life isn’t linear and just because we’ve improved season-on-season it doesn’t mean next season will be unequivocal success, but I’d be backing that if we get Arteta signed up for another three years, that we’ll see more goodness happening to us than not.

So the sadness and melancholy that existed yesterday and will still be there in the background for at least the next week I suspect, can quickly be changed to excitement on what the future holds if we get our San Sebastian Spaniard signed up again.

And congrats to him for being awarded a Spanish civil order of chivalry and honour by the Spanish King this week. The King clearly knows his onions because this guy is doing the business right now and I hope he continues to do it for a few years more for The Arsenal as well.

A lot of that will depend on how the squad is tweaked and refined in the summer but I’m still not that minded to go in too hard on transfer stuff right now, if I’m honest. There will be a whole summer for that and if you go too early it really does become quite tedious. There’s a final appreciation match to be focused on this Sunday and that means tomorrow I expect we’ll get a pre match presser from Arteta at some point and I’ll probably have a look at how Everton will line up on Sunday too. I’m not sure how much it will matter though, because they’ll be on the beach as much as West Ham, but it might still be useful to work out what we could potentially get from a Sean Dyche side who would find it quite funny to spoil any final day party.

There’s not really a lot else going on, to be honest with you, so I might start to wrap up. There was some talk I saw on Sky Sports yesterday about how the Premier League will vote on VAR being scrapped, but it won’t happen. Pandora’s box has been opened and you can undo that. Plus, as many of us already know, it isn’t the technology that’s the problem it’s the PGMOL and their frankly atrocious set of referees that are. The best example of that was earlier in the season with the Scum against Liverpool; it was the VAR guy who was saying “are you sure? You’re happy with that?” when the goal Liverpool scored was deemed offside. It was the incompetence of the match official with the VAR guy that caused the goal to be ruled out incorrectly. Sort the PGMOL out and get rid of some of the incompetence there and maybe we get a better system that is applied more robustly.

Anyway, that’s enough from me today. Back tomorrow with some more rambling. Have yourselves a good one.