30 Comments

A QUESTION OF FAITH?

To any new readers, Fred is a character and any resemblance to real people is purely accidental. PG

To all PA readers, my name is John Paxford, and I’m a relation of Fred Paxford, who died about a month ago. We found in his last papers this note that he was hoping for me to write up and send to you as we did in the past but that wasn’t possible. I know it gave him great pleasure to read or for me to read the responses to his thoughts and in a world where he felt increasingly alienated, Positively Arsenal was a sometime oasis. I leave you with his final words…

Hullo there, I’ve found out I’ve got that blasted virus and I wanted to write something to you as Im not sure what will happen. I’m not frightened but its a bit uncomfortable. A lots happened since I wrote last, about a year and a half ago some kids got into my house and garden, sprayed obscene things on the walls, nicked a load of bits and peices and trampled my runners and bloody set fire to my shed. Normally it takes me a couple of hours to get to the shops and back and they must have been watching. The fire brigade was there waiting for me, having put it all out, they did their best but really it broke me. So I moved out after nearly 60 years and ended up here in Milton Keynes in a sterile little flat for one person, no garden nor much else, certainly no runners or my irises, I miss cutting my lawn and looking at the smooth green. After all those years in the same place its been a tough one to deal with. I had to get rid of most of the old furniture and much of my wife’s things–that was a real sore one for me. It was great comfort to still be able to look over at her chair and imagine her lively, witty conversation. You would have liked her.
There’s a widowed late middle aged social worker, Mrs Partridge she calls to see if I’m alright and has a natter, and some of my family are close by but its not the same. Finally life and time and age caught up with me; ignored on the street and ignored in life. Unwanted, But to me its just another thing to take in your stride. Plenty have experienced this before I wound up in this situation, no need to make a fuss.
Then I lost my faith. All those years with the Arsenal, 80years is a long time. It happened sometime before the Cup final, (it was maybe even a year before) and that all seemed a right old to-do, not really a cup final, more of a practise game, but even when he dropped the Cup old Aubameyang has that winning smile that could charm anyone and get through the worst storm. Its never one thing in life that breaks a situation, but many things together. My Grand Nephew comes over and shows me things on his phone and funny flat pad thing. I saw again the Arsenal fan television people, and thought what a load of silly sods, but then they would think the same of me. Not very sporting are they, getting so hot under the collar about it all, yet happy as Larry when Arsenal win. I used to think they were just potty but then I saw the poison working its way deeper and deeper into the clubs veins. I’m not sure what a man of my age was doing looking at them but I simply was always interested in Arsenal and what was happening, but some trains I dont want to climb aboard. The computer world just seems another human dream gone wrong. But that’s just my opinion, Im sure it has great things too—like old PA for instance!
But looking around all my old Arsenal friends have gone on ahead so its just a new generation I suppose, but what a load of much ado some young-uns make about things? I then looked at the owners and like most dealings today they seem concerned to only make a profit? They forget, yes the object of the game is to win, but we play and watch for the sheer excitement and enjoyment of it all, not some bloody profits! Old flyby nights I call them! I’m sure you like the manager, he was a decent player but he’s not my cuppa, I still reckon he needed a few years before taking the job, yes I know we grabbed the Cup, but Sheffield United were formidable with that home crowd, could we have beaten them under such pressure from their noisy fans? Sometimes I wonder if old Wenger walked off with the clubs soul under his arm when he went, just to keep it safe for sometime in the future? I know its state of the art but the shiny stadium seems a bit sterile for me, and seeing it empty isn’t so bad but its seems a bit hard and characterless. But for the new ones Im sure its home just as Highbury was to me and my friends for all those years. Trouble is I just started looking at what I was still following. I saw it was unrecognisable! Who would have believed that Arsenal could have changed so much. I then stopped feeling connected with a lot of the players, they seemed distant, like I’m too old to be doing all this, at my age, the old heroes have all died or gone into obscurity: fame, is only obscurity waiting! For Arteta’s boys time will also come too. When you look back it makes you feel sad really, all that effort and doing your best to just become a memory or just plain forgotten.
I then stopped looking at the results, and just tried to get through each day. It was bad enough losing my wife, but losing your faith in life, your friends, your community after 80 years is no mean thing. It sort of led me to black moods and a strange hopelessness. 
Then one day a few weeks ago, I was going through some of mine and Joan’s things, and I found a book she gave me when we got married as a wedding gift, it was the Little Prince by Antoine Saint de Expury. I think there’s a bit of an accent somewhere, but my French wasn’t too hot, Joanie could speak it though. So I dusted it off, and the inscription brought a tear to my eye: “To my darling Frederick, on the occasion of our wedding, April 1956. Only with the heart can one see rightly, what’s essential is invisible to the eye. Ever your wife, Joan”
I found myself thinking about this, and I sat down and thought for a bit. And recalled of all those years, those eighty years of Arsenal, not just the Rolls Royce that Wenger built, nor the new hope George Graham gave us or Terry Neill but way back beyond Bertie Mee and the 70s glories and mishaps, but back the 50s and old Billy Wright and Mr Whittaker from when I first went, my first loves and my first identification with something. Nobody talks about those days and all those faces, all those goals those moments of joy and sadness, the years of frustration, how things changed from rosettes and rattles and jokes on the terraces to the crumbling old lady that Highbury was in 70s and 80s and the shocking fighting and then the new building work, how clean it was on the new North Bank. My last game was Feb 1999. Ha! I was still a young -un then!
 I thought of my old mates and the laughs we had, and my old Dads mates, some of whom went to the old Invincta ground, old gaffers but nice fellows who worked at the Arsenal but later still made the trip up North to Highbury, till it got to difficult. All those laughing faces, red shirts and white sleeves and stubble came out of the mists of time and were as real for me as Henry is perhaps for you. I saw them with the heart, Arsenal, my second greatest love. Not the same as the love for my wife but a love  as deep as any other you can have for things. My loves were my wife, Arsenal and growing things in my garden. Joan’s last gift to me was re-reading the dedication in the book, even if things are falling apart or no longer what we want we can still see with the heart and hold on to another day.
 My Arsenals gone, but its still your Arsenal, and new dreams will be made and hearts broken, in life’s big, daft relay race to who knows where, will carry on?
Well, time for a cup and a slice of jam and bread. All the best to you. Keep your faith as best as you can, do it for me if you cant find another reason. One day it will all pick up again. Take care of yourselves.
Cheerio!

30 comments on “A QUESTION OF FAITH?

  1. what an incredible piece of writing

    I drop back in today for the first time in about 10 or 11 days, just to say I’m still alive, recovering after major surgery, with a good prognosis. Still a long way to go in my recovery and I’m greeted by an outstanding article that sums up much of my mood at the moment, after all that has happened me in the last six weeks, the tests, the diagnosis, the fear, the hope, the operation itself, the prognosis, the first steps of recovery, and the nerves over what might or might not still come, and that article has me nodding along so often it really is thought provoking. I get the sense from it that the author would agree with something that was so evident to me during my stay in Hospital, you don’t have to look far to see someone in a far worse position that you are, and that it is not only pointless, but in fact ridiculous to let yourself get upset or annoyed by the trivial stuff, and Arsenal and football is trivial in the grander scheme of things. People look after yourself first and foremost, graveyards are full of indispensable people and the world trundles along without them. Do what you love, do what you enjoy, and put yourself and those that really matter to you first and try to let yourself only get upset at those things that are genuinely important.

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  2. Ed, I am profoundly saddened to read that youve had a horrible and difficult time. From my heart I wish you a speedy recovery and safe steps back to health and joy in life.
    All the best to you,
    Mills

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  3. oddly enough mills I’ve not had a horrible time, difficult time yes, worrying yes, but its all happened so quickly, first visit to the clinic was only on Feb 4th, and by March 4th I had the diagnosis, the operation was on the 16th, and I was home on the 24th. I really hadn’t time to get depressed or annoyed about it, and as I said above, when I looked around me any day in the clinic or hospital, I was seeing people with far more serious problems that mine, after all I was given real hope at the meeting where I was told the diagnosis, and the operation was less than two weeks after that. Oddest thing is that the point I felt the lowest was a couple of days after the operation and the Consultant came to me and said the operation went very well and that the prognosis was very good, I was overwhelmed with relief, I really had convinced myself that I was not worried by it at all, but I now think that I had to have been very worried or I would not have felt so low, so overwhelmed, when the Consultant gave me the good news. Thankfully that feeling only lasted a few hours, and my worst experience of the whole thing has been a very severe 24 to 36 hour bout of constipation after I got home from Hospital, that had me in agony and at near breaking point.

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  4. Just a word on my stay in Hospital, I made it a point to thank every member of the hospital staff that did any thing for me, or even to me, be it the wardsmaid getting me a bottle of water, all the way up to the Consultant giving me the good news, I even thanked the doctors and nurses when the were sticking needles in me for blood test, even when they had great difficulty finding the vein, I found each and every member of Hospital staff to be kind, caring and very good at their jobs, and above all else they all had such a positive attitude that it really helped to keep mine and other patients spirits up. I could see with some of the staff that the first few times I thanked them they were a bit surprised by it, even though it seemed to me that most, but not all, the other men in the wards I was in thanked them most of the time too. But I would thank the person who collected the food tray after meals the same as I would the nurse who helped me get into a position where I could sit with less pain. I was so taken aback by just how good the staff were, the place had loads of foreign staff, Doctors, Nurses, Wardsmaids, Cleaners, Kitchen Staff etc, every sector had a combination of both Nationals and Non Nationals, and I seen not one iota of difference in any of them and thank God that all these great people took care of me so well.

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  5. Welcome back Eddie. It must be heartening to be greeted by such a honest, soul-stirring story. Fred’s wife is right: “Only with the heart can one see rightly, what’s essential is invisible to the eye. “

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  6. Top work from old Fred and a reminder too of many who have left the sunshine bus, but with who it was pleasing to spend an hour or two.
    And wonderful to hear you are on the mend Eduardo. Kybo.

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  7. It was a real privilege to read and share Fred’s thoughts on love life and of course football.
    I identified so strongly with those Highbury days and the banter during good and bad times but supporting Arsenal was in your heart.
    The vitriol that surrounds the game now and the so called support, is it born from a love of Arsenal? Mmm not so sure.
    Anyway a thought provoking piece to read during the international break and maybe I approach the next bit of the season seeing with my heart.
    Good wishes for a speedy recovery Ed.

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  8. What a truly great read.
    “ one day it will all pick up again” agree with this sentiment. Don’t know when, and this might mean different things to different people, and only speaking for myself here, but I am starting to see some complex and quick passing movements just starting to come together in a meaningful way. Our Norwegian creator is certainly helping things along, as does ESR and others, but when I look, I see Xhaka at the root of many good things that are happening, my player of the season so far.
    Certainly not the finished article, and a long way to go. Not all these moves come off, the way they play can be risky. some players seem out of form or perhaps left behind on the new ways. And there can be a thin line between the spectacularly brilliant and another stupidly self inflicted goal against, as we all saw in the last game.
    I for one see ground for optimism , but can perfectly see why others don’t at the moment.
    Get well soon Eduardo

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  9. That Lot 0, Arsenal Women 3. Foord, Miedema, McCabe. Welcome back, Eduardo.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. interesting article to say the least.

    Also get well soon Ed. glad surgery was successful and u are better

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  11. Arsenal defender Konstantinos Mavropanos has earned his first international cap with the Greek national team

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  12. Glad you’re ok and hope you’re recovering well Ed.

    Honestly, NHS feels to me like a great miracle in this world, all things considered. Know plenty appreciate it but wish even more did, so no bums could undermine it or threaten its future.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Was trying to get my bearings this weekend : clocks forward an hour, year into pandemic and, I think, about 3 months into this international break…

    Seriously, though, what a weird thing international football is. The end result/tournament can provide the very best of the game; the qualification stages are, to me at least, mostly abysmal.

    Even when you find something that seems good among the dung- Eddie and Smith Rowe against Portugal!- it more often than not disappoints (though I think that one was on the frankly disastrous choice of coach they have, a failed 90’s style manager.)

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  14. Unfortunately Rich the 40 year programme to sell off the NHS whilst us plebs didn’t notice is far underway, the local surgery near the Emirates stadium which was built at the taxpayers expense has been just flogged to a US company with some of that good old wall mart boyz networks. Along with many other surgeries. The NHS has just been Arsene Wengered whilst people were applauding!

    Something eerily familiar about the whole process when you see who built he emirates and the clowns pirating the club at this current time. sport tells us much about ourselves perhaps more then a few can accept!…trust the process eh?

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  15. All of which makes me appreciate the Hale End grads playing in the premier league let alone for the Arsenal or for England. A glorious tradition (back to pat rice?) and legacy is represented in the current squad.

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  16. Fins, Yep, sadly, I’m sure it is a long way down that road.

    It’s the antithesis, really, of all the ideology and deeds of the people who have most of the power and money in the country/world, so inevitably it would be attacked so.

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  17. I’ve enjoyed watching Saka and ESR over the last two seasons.

    And with Martinelli and potentially MO that will be an exciting and fun group of attacking players to watch as they develop.

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  18. Turbo capitalism has either no heart or a cold heart or a rotten heart. But if its going to survive its going to need one, that or start developing a bit more compassion? The positive liberty ate the insides out of the Soviets, but negative liberty seems to need a lot of maturity and decency for it to work. Our human systems as they are mean all votes for ideas of what some form of liberty might mean, mean a loss for someone else. Bread and sports dont fill you up and Arsenal “pafetik” tv shows us ( etc etc etc).
    I havent a clue, but a sense of alienation and fear seem really evident at the moment and that is certainly not a good thing from where I stand. I agree with Fred and Ed about love, but love gets stuck as a noun and it does nix;standing there before us saying “this is the answer!” and we cant reach it or go inside, yet as a verb its a wonderful thing and all doors are wide open. But getting in that state and staying in it, seems to be humanities most difficult hurdle and we all seem to go over like Grey Sombrero? Sorry, just sometimes wish for a world that was less like it is now. Said the Dinosaur.

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  19. I still can’t like anything on here, mills (literally now, when trying to press by the blue star), but nice post.

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  20. Interesting you mention Martinelli, fins. Through no fault of his own, he’s associated with irritation in my mind at the moment.

    In the twit world, there’s tons of talk about it being an outrage he isn’t playing more etc, with plenty of it overlapping with those who don’t rate Laca. No mistake, I was very impressed with Martinelli before injury and still have great hopes for him, but since his return hasn’t really been happening, aside from Chelsea game, when he’s had opportunities.

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  21. Must admit I’m struggling at this point to see exactly how he fits in. Seems abundantly clear to me at present Laca best choice centrally for most occasions, as he brings vital link play which is crucial for Saka, Smith Rowe, Odegaard and, simply, our attack.

    Kind of see it staying that way this season then take it from there. What’s your thinking on him short term?

    I responded to relatively big twit account other day who was berating club/ Laca. Asked if they thought we needed striker who could link, come deep, battle centre backs. They just responded ‘no’

    Made me laugh as I can’t imagine how they, one of those so sure of everything, so ready to bash players/club, have seemingly not noticed how it’s been going when we don’t have Laca central recently. be great of course if teams played high line and gave us endless chances to play in Auba, Martinelli and co behind, but they don’t.

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  22. This piece was fantastic and yet sad. The one nightmare about having a successful long running blog is the blog starts outlasting some of us.

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  23. Laca is the best focal point currently at the club however he quite often overplays and hasn’t learnt to receive, control and then lay it off.
    Oli knows and always knew the best front men who play with their back towards goal bring in colleagues as soon as possible.
    The youngsters have done fantastically this season but the fact we could be missing both ESR and Saka when we start again but still stand a chance shows how the squad has improved. However if MO and many others are also missing we could be in real trouble.
    Having said that I have always thought tenth is a realistic finish so as far as the PL is concerned that’s not a worry but the next round in the Europa will be far more challenging and if we have important players missing in that it could be end of season.

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  24. Mills, the very point of capitalism is it’s a race to the bottom with firms, clubs, countries and even races winning by destroying others. The circle diminishes until there is one all powerful being left.
    Dictatorships both left and right run by saying they know best for the people unfortunately corruption ruins even the best intentions.
    Communism (the power of a commune) can work but only if it is true communism and not the Russia/China versions that have bare it’s name.
    Socialism works because all decisions are made in the interest of society not individuals or money as Arsene pointed out.
    Football (as life) is a team game and to achieve the best all aspects of that team must be utilised and pull together.

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  25. Not really sure what Ive said isnt also what youve pointed out?

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  26. Heh
    In that case I agree with Mills and Ian both! Always .
    Even when they and I disagree with each other.

    The joy or horror of text speak is the lack of tone, endless misunderstandings all over the internet as alas none of us are as gifted with words as Shakespeare or Mohammed Ali.

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  27. Mikel Arteta was back in front of the cameras on Thursday morning as he faced the media for his latest press conference.

    A wide range of topics were covered, ranging from the latest on Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe to discussing Saturday’s opponents and paying tribute to Sergio Aguero.

    Scroll down for a full transcript:

    on the situation of the squad after the international break…
    There are still a lot that I haven’t seen yet. We will see them this afternoon and assess the squad tomorrow, see how everybody is feeling and make some decisions. But so far, no big news.

    on no fresh concerns…
    Not yet, no.

    on Bukayo Saka…
    He hasn’t trained with the team yet. He’s been doing some individual work. We had to pull him out of the England squad, unfortunately. He’s feeling better, but he hasn’t trained with the team yet.

    on whether the break gave him a chance to assess what has and hasn’t gone well recently…
    Yes. Obviously we analyse periods during the season and we’ve done that now because we’ve had some time to think, to reflect and see a lot of the things that we are doing and as well, look at the direction we want to take in the future. Of course.

    on the main areas we need to rectify at the back to improve…
    One of them is related to the attention and focus that you need during the whole game. For example, the way we conceded the second goal against West Ham, where we turned our backs on a free-kick close to our box, is something that we cannot do. It just gives a goal to the opponent. And there’s also the other face, that we really like, the way the team played and reacted, the character we showed and the quality that we provided on the day to come back against a really good opponent from three goals behind.

    on not being able to take the same risks against a potent team like Liverpool…
    Absolutely. Against these types of teams, with the quality that they have, they are going to punish you for every error that you do. Even when you don’t make errors and you do everything perfectly, they are still able to break your lines, to create an individual action and to score a goal. Obviously, it is a team where nothing has to be given to them.

    on whether he takes anything from the fact we are close to Liverpool…
    I prefer to look at ourselves. What they have done in recent years has been incredible. Obviously the competition that they were facing with Manchester City made both teams better and I think they’ve been pushing each other to a different level, one that we probably haven’t seen in the Premier League. That’s the level that we have to reach to compete with them. This season is so different, in particular they have had a lot of issues internally with big injuries. But they’re still amazing with what they’ve done.

    on Emile Smith Rowe…
    He has some discomfort in his hip and that’s why they decided to keep him out. We will see today how he comes here, we will speak with the doctors and the physios and see if he is available for training tomorrow.

    on whether the Slavia Prague games are more important than our league games…
    The immediate priority is Liverpool. We know that if we want to climb the table and have a chance to be in Europe next season through the Premier League, we need some consistency now in the last nine games. We need to get on a run of winning matches and the only way to do it is to start against Liverpool. We don’t have any margin and we have to win that game.

    on what he puts Liverpool’s struggles down to…
    I don’t know, I’m not the one to analyse what has gone wrong for them. I can talk about what they’ve done and what they’re still producing and the stats will support that. They are, if not the best, the second best team in every department that we coaches have to analyse. But then this is football, the ball has to be in that net and the final action has to provide a moment to win a football match. Then you have some individuals that dictate the quality of your team. Sometimes you cannot predict those things, so I think it’s a lot of things.

    on Sergio Aguero’s departure from Manchester City this summer…
    First of all, I think anyone that has been close to Sergio would say the same thing. I think he’s been probably the main face, or one of the three main faces, that have lifted that project. You need some leadership, you need some quality and you need players to create moments when you start to build a project like they did. Sergio is probably the biggest face of that project. It’s not only the way he plays, it’s his personality, his charisma, the way he is loved by everybody at that club. It’s sad to see somebody leaving like him, but I think with what he’s done he will be there in their history.

    on whether Aguero can still score goals at the top level…
    For sure. Sergio has a unique quality to see spaces that nobody else can see and to score goals in a really easy way so I’m sure that he will find the right next chapter for him.

    on if he will call him and ask him to move to London…
    No, no. We will see what happens with him in the future.

    on if Thierry Henry was better than Sergio Aguero…
    Well, he [Aguero] is one of the best for sure. The consistency that he’s shown at this level and this league, I think it puts him right there with the best. We can discuss within the best, but for me, he’s one of the best.

    on Sergio Aguero getting a statue…
    I don’t know. I think when a club wants to have a gesture of recognition to somebody that has changed their history, I think it’s a really nice touch. Obviously, you cannot have the stadium full of statues but I think it’s a really nice thing to do if it’s the right one.

    on if beating Liverpool is the ideal way to regain confidence…
    Absolutely. To get the moral right, to get the confidence right, to get some momentum. The more games that we win, the team is going to be in a better state to compete in other competitions. That’s why my only focus is on Liverpool now.

    on if winning the Europa League is the best way of getting into the Champions League…
    That’s the other way. We don’t know what the first way will be. It will depend on our results and our performances and we need to go game by game and try to maximise every chance that we have in each of those games.

    on Eddie Nketiah and the England Under-21 campaign…
    I think the way the focus is at that age on development, they need results, of course, but it’s true that [the Under-21s] have fed the England first-team squad tremendously well. That’s when to reflect on some players needing time to adapt to that environment, to start to compete the right way like other players that were there a few months ago were doing. The coach has to get everything right and that takes time but I’m not worried about that. I think the way England is evolving as a nation in football and how much they have progressed over the years is remarkable.

    on whether we will play our own way against Liverpool this time around…
    I think the game dictates that. I think sometimes you have to adapt to the opponent because they’re just better than you and sometimes you can make the opponent adapt. Well see, depending on what they are able to do and what we are able to do as well. Obviously, the intention and the game we want to propose is different to the one that we played last year. When you play against top-quality sides, sometimes you have to be able to adapt your game to get the results that you need.

    on following Jurgen Klopp’s process of building a team to win trophies…
    I don’t like to compare different projects. I think what they’ve done is remarkable. It’s been really intelligent. The way they managed resources and the way they have maximised resources has been exceptional. They’ve done it really, really well and now it is about sustaining that. We are in different phases of that project right now but we know exactly where we are and where we want to be and in the first one of two phases. We had some priorities that we had to address to be in a position to now evolve the squad, evolve the team and start to compete on a different level and this is where we are.

    on raising funds to bring in new players…
    Obviously, we need support from everybody to try to do what we’ve done and so far we’ve had it. The commitment and the vision that we all share is unquestionable and we had a lot of meetings about that and we’re all on the same page. We know where we are and we are very realistic about what we are. The things that we have done have consequences because it generates some instability that is necessary to make changes, but we need some stability now to grow and evolve in the way we want to do it. That time frame is the tricky thing because we need to win immediately.

    on whether players who have been sent out on loan will be brought back into the fold…
    That will be the thing that we have to address at the end of the season. We loaned them out because we wanted to give them some game time and see the level that they can perform at away from here, try to develop them and then bring them back here to try to use them. That’s the first idea. After, we will evaluate what they’ve done, the level that they’ve shown and how much they can accomplish with the way that we want to play and the squad that we have in our hands.

    on if he is happy with the performance of our loanees…
    I am happier with some than others. You want to see your players play regularly and with some [players] that has not been the case.

    on Alex Lacazette’s good form…
    I think he’s been really good. I think he’s been in really good form for months now. I think he’s sustaining that level. He’s scoring goals and he’s providing the team with something different as well. His work rate has been phenomenal and it’s what we want. We need those types of players hitting the best level and we want to have the chance to do that. Over the course of the season we have been missing goals, we’ve been missing that creativity in the final third and we need those players to step in and make that difference for the team.

    on interest in Lacazette from other clubs….
    I am always happy when people talk about our players and speculate on that. It means they are doing well and getting attention from other clubs. The situation with Laca will get addressed in the summer. I will speak to him and just propose a future that we want and that’s it. Now I just want players focused and only focused on performing and getting the best out of them for the team.

    on whether giving Lacazette a big contract would make financial sense…
    Everything is related. At the end of the day, everything is related to where we are, how much we win and where we are playing next season. There are no exceptions and we all need to be clear with that and the context that we have around our industry.

    Copyright 2021 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.

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  28. Hope you’re on the mend Ed.

    I have a question for you?
    With nothing to lose in the league: Will Arteta go for it against Liverpool?

    Don’t know if you caught the West Ham game. I don’t object to the coach trying new things but: I just felt the starting set up was Emeryesque and for all his top moments during the season a continuously slowing and retreating Luiz playing is every three days can’t help. Since he’s been a starter again the clean sheets have got messy.

    I think the team would be better off with Chambers in there. last time he was the starting RCB he played the best of any over the last few seasons (the table reflected this) so if he’s fit again. I admit confidence in the coaching set up has been concussed by The Martinez & Runfastawayandsaythankstoyeragentson Affair. Amongst other things.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. We’ve checked-in with our medical team and here’s our team news ahead of Saturday’s Premier League match against Liverpool.

    David Luiz

    Right knee. David has experienced discomfort in his right knee and is being further assessed.

    David will not be available for Saturday’s match.

    Bukayo Saka

    Right hamstring. Bukayo did not join up with the England national team and has been receiving treatment over the past two weeks.

    Bukayo will be assessed ahead of Saturday’s match regarding his availability.

    Emile Smith Rowe

    Right thigh/quad. Emile developed tightness in his right quad on international duty with England Under-21s.

    Emile is being assessed ahead of Saturday’s match regarding his availability.

    Willian

    Left calf. Willian is now back in full training and available for selection.

    Granit Xhaka

    Granit was unwell on Friday morning and missed the day’s training session.

    Granit will be further assessed ahead of Saturday’s match regarding his availability.

    All other players in the men’s first team squad are currently available for selection.

    As part of Premier League protocol, all members of our first team squad and support staff continue to be regularly tested for COVID-19.

    Copyright 2021 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.

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