Good morning all,
This afternoon at 5.30 Arsenal take on United in what I see as a pivotal game for both sides.
Arsenal need to win to squash the lingering doubts that our recent run of good form is more down to our good play than it is to how poor our opposition has been. It’s been 16 points from 18 and I know you can only beat what’s in front of you of you, but Newcastle, Crystal Palace, West Brom and Brighton are about as easy a run as it gets. Still, we have taken advantage and since Smith-Row dispelled the ridiculous notion that we didn’t miss a creative player in midfield, we have in spells looked a much better unit and we can push to the back of our mind that we only managed 2 points from 21 previously when without one.
As for United, they were top of the table and cock-a-hoop until the worst team in PL history brought them crashing down at Old Toilet the other day. They will be keen to show that was the blipiest of blips and that they can mount a challenge for the title. Both teams have much to prove, so let’s hope it’s us that do the proving in a positive way.
We have had an extra days rest so that’s a slight advantage, but we need it because it seems some of our key players are carrying lingering knocks and strains, Partey, Smith-Row and Tierney, all may or may not be fit for this encounter. How many of them are fit and ready will have a big effect on how confident I feel when the whistle goes.
Will Martin Odegaard, the young man we have brought in to replace Ozil, the man we apparently didn’t need, be included in the squad or even the team? I can’t imagine it, but one never knows.
Which Brazilian will partner Rob Holding at centerback? The Covid hit young Gabriel or the age hit Luiz? Perhaps the outstanding game Luiz had in the reverse fixture (Have I remembered that correctly?) will tip the balance in his favour. It’s what I would do if Mari isn’t fully ready to start.
It seems our captain is not yet available either, so Pepe on the left seems likely.
Whatever happens we go into the game much more optimistic than we would have done a few short weeks ago and United will be less confident than they would have been a few days ago. I’m sure we are all looking forward to this fixture, which in itself is a bonus. The result and performance of both teams will tell us a lot today, let’s hope it tells us good news.
Enjoy the game and the weekend and stay safe
also add that if Southampton or Leeds win their game in hand they would overtake us in the table too
Staff of aesculapius@HaleEndGooner
@m8arteta’s 25 for 2nd half of 2020-21 season
if we win tonight we go 6th
It the Wenger era fans were all about “spend some f*cking money!”.
Now they are happy we are “saving” money on wages.
You can’t make this shit up
PR is King, and the biggest change since Wenger left is that the bloggers and twitteratti are willing to run with and feed Arsenal FC’s PR lines
our january transfer business, looks very much like we are shit arse broke
Martin Ødegaard [Loan]
Mat Ryan [Loan]
Sead Kolasinac [Loan]
William Saliba [Loan]
Ainsley Maitland-Niles [Loan]
Joe Willock [Loan]
our current squad has 3 loan players in it, and David Luiz is out of contract in the summer, plus by then we will have Kolasinac, Lacazette, Eleney, Nketiah and Chambers all into the last year of their contracts.
So possibly 4 out for nothing this summer, with another 5 with decreasing value due to contract length.
What was that the club said about never allowing players to get into last year of their contracts again. Yeah this window has been a massive success, has it not.
I’ve said it a few times but I fully expect the likes of Bellerin and Xhaka to be pushed to leave this summer. Think we will also want Pepe to go too if we can get any reasonable fee.
reports that our EL tie with Benfica might be a one off game at a neutral venue, due to covid restrictions. It is more risky but if we were to go through that way it would not go down well with our rivals
In a normal season I would think having games in hand a good thing for a club, this year I’m not so sure given all the uncertainties. It is precisely because we have to play all of those clubs ahead of us that I feel confident.
Think there are at least two very different ways of looking at this transfer window and the current state of play.
On the one hand a shameful waste of money, no fees recouped, good players sent away either due to poor management or dictatorial purging. Those players left likely to mistrust the manager from now on, and feel angry at the treatment of team mates. Squad now dangerously thin in a time of uncertainty. All class lost.
On the other, excellent and brave decision to remove players disaffected by no longer being first choice and losing no opportunity to belittle the manager and create an air of cyncism. Fine career building decision to send a couple of nearly men out on loan. Able now to build team spirit and cohesion with a group of players who are 100% behind the manager.
And most likely bits of both of those.
And I suspect The Arsenal are not the only club to be broke right now.
since Wenger left we have brought in a massive amount of new signings, and spent close on £300M on them.
But this is £73M worth of those signings not in our squad
Lucas Torreira £25m
Mattéo Guendouzi £7m
William Saliba £27m
Pepe who so far has not nailed down a starting spot also cost £72M
other big money signings have been Leno, Tierney, Partey and Gabriel, for about £115M, with two of them proving good value and the other two, only signed this season, with it all to prove yet.
Marseille manager André Villas-Boas announces that he has offered his resignation this morning after the club signed Olivier Ntcham when he didn’t want him.
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