Good morning all.
An early 12.30 P.M. start away at Villa to quickly look forward to. I think despite the loss to Wolves, we have seen enough of an improvement to actually “look forward to” in a positive way. There can be no doubting that there has been a genuine improvement to our recent performances and results.
I have long said that Xhaka is a top player who generally always plays well. I have maintained that he has suffered from being put in midfield with the wrong players and in a poor set up. He was blamed for the teams shortcomings rather than any of his own, Of course I received dogs abuse for this opinion and despite me providing his personal stats to back up my opinion, I was told by the “I used my eyes” brigade, that I was an idiot. Well, Arteta has basically said the same thing now, as Emery and Wenger before him did, so I wonder if these fans will claim Arteta is an idiot? Partey is a good player, but i’m sure he will benefit from Xhaka, just as much as the other way around. I feel it’s a midfield partnership as good as anything in the league. I believe that centre midfield is the most crucial part of a good team, so there is much to be pleased about with these two lads.
Leno will be missing so I expect to see a half fit new boy, Mat Ryan, between the sticks as Alex Runarsson, has done all he can to convince us that buying him was a mistake. Good luck Mat.
Luiz will be missing and I think Gabriel will replace him. The lad was showing signs of vulnerability before he caught Covid so it could go either way with him, he might be less physically ready, but more mentally rested? Let’s hope he is at his best, which we have seen is quite good.
Smith-Row and Saka will surely play ,if fit, and Pepe has eventually shown enough to keep his place, so for me, it’s either Lacazette or Aubameyang in the middle. There is a good case for either and whoever Arteta picks, I won’t be criticising in hindsight, should all not go well.
I think Villa have been playing better ,as a team, than us, but we have better players. However, our team play looks better than it was, so that, and our better players, gives us a really good chance of revenging the hiding the gave us at The Home of Football.
It’s great that we can again be excited about a game and today is not the time to harp on about what has gone on for most of the season, lets leave that until May.
Enjoy the day and the game. Stay safe.