I know you’re feeling it. That Christmas vibe, right? NO? You have that ‘oh my, we’re playing those horrible buggers from Stoke’ vibe instead?
Yeah. Me too. No Christmas cheer there.
Right, so, Alexis is loving life as the hero at Arsenal. For me, he’s loving it a bit too much.
‘The first year was OK and then the second year I was better, but I needed time. Arsenal play beautiful football, but Barcelona play in a way that no other team in the world does. English football is more direct, more end to end, but I like that. It suits the way I want to play.’
‘My team-mates have helped me adapt. If my team-mates were not so good, then I would not have done so well. It is that easy. The quality here is impressive. You only need to take a glance around [a training session] to see that. It is the same level, more or less, as there was at Barcelona. We do different things in training, but player for player, it is just about the same.’
This is a very interesting learning for player purchasing. I think the best strategy our budgets can stretch to is to take a look at the mega clubs and pick off their surplus players. We’re never going to a be a club that spends £70m on a single player. But hey, why do that when you can pick up two Sanchez like players for that type of fee? Even as we move into a more monied state, I still like the idea that as a club, we’ll try to unearth gems. We haven’t really done too much of that over the past few years. It’d be great if our new financial muscle allowed us to compete for players like Hazard when they’re still in France. Or pick off some of the big names in Portugal.
Anyway, it’s fantastic Sanchez is so happy. Be one of many icons at Barca… or be an absolute hero at The Grove! I know what I’d want… FOR IT TO ALL BE ABOUT ME. It’d be fabulous.
‘The game naturally goes through the strong point so in Barcelona the game goes through Messi. It means the other players become a bit more peripheral. You could see now when you watch Barcelona, Suárez was a super dominant figure at Liverpool and sometimes you think: ‘Where is he?’ I’m certain he will find his place but it’s not easy for the players there.’
It is really interesting that players go to these mega clubs and they’re just ‘ok’. I can see the appeal. All that heritage. All that adoration. But it’s even more fickle than it is over here. Their fans will boo loose touches. I mean, imagine voting Cesc out of your club? That’s a horrendous decision. Hleb left Arsenal to go to Barca and killed his career in the process. He was such a brilliant player for us. He could have had it all. Yet he chose the bright lights of Barca and ruined himself in the process.
Today, against Stoke, it’ll be tough. Good news is they played in the week as well, so they’ll not have midweek freshness over us. We’re also on the up. The team is slowly gaining a bit more confidence. Hopefully Begovic won’t have an incredible game in the same way Forster did for Southampton. It’d be great if we were a little more direct. As standard, we boast the highest possession stats, I just think we could be a bit more adventurous on goal.
I’d imagine it’ll be a similar line up to the one that played in the week. Hopefully Martinez will continue to deputise. Chezzer normally lucks out when another keeper is having a good run. I think Fabianski picked up an injury last year. I’d imagine Martinez is due a howler. Hopefully that doesn’t happen. I’ve enjoyed having him dominating his area.
Arsenal need to be strong today. Stoke will come to bully, but it’s important to note that they have some good players these days. Still, if United can beat them, so can we. So let’s have a positive game and rack ip some more points!
YEAH! COME ON ARSENAL! SCORE MORE GOALS AND STUFF!
See you tomorrow. x