Morning Grovers! Long-time no speak, its Alex here. I’ve been away for a while, focusing on other things but, like a long lost father, I’m back with presents and a hug to make it all better. Let’s enjoy this while it lasts because just like a long lost father, after a few minutes you’ll realise we have nothing in common and wish I was dead.
So the election was pretty good/shite right? Depends on who you voted for I guess. Personally I’d opt for shite and am not looking forward to another five years looking into the cold, dead eyes of a man whose only interaction with me in real life would be to order a bottle of veuve clicquot off me before making me clean the mud off his terrier’s hunting jacket. But then he did save the economy right?
Right that’s enough political bantz, let’s get on to the football bantz. So today’s Arsenal news is dominated by transfer ins and outs.
Walking pile of festering silage, Jose Mourinho, says he doesn’t want Cech to go to Arsenal but that it’s out of his hands. Interesting I guess, I’d love Cech at Arsenal, he’s miles above Szcz and David OOOOOOOOOspinaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa in terms of quality. Does Jose really have no say over this though? I guess you have to take whatever he says with a pillar of salt on account of him being a massive wanker.
In other news Lukas Podolski (remember him) is open to a return to us. Well that’s great Lukas but you’re not exactly killing it in Seria A; where football goes to die. When he was with us, I was constantly banging the drum for him to get more game time but, if anything, his loan spell has exposed him as a true footballing fraud: good for scoring the odd screamer but not the kind of guy who’d run through walls to win a game.
Arsene also wants Walcott to stay. I’m torn on this one. I’ve a lot of time for Theo. We’ve invested in him, seen him grow, and on his day he is the deadliest finisher at the club. However, again in terms of work rate, he’s not on a par with Ox or Welbz so is a bit of a luxury we can’t afford. I also wonder with him what tactical instruction he’s given when he comes on as a sub. His off the ball movement is sometimes baffling and infuriates some of the punters around me. Is he being told to stick out on the right or to drift inside and support the striker? He often looks a bit out of sync with the rest of the team and so his contributions as a sub are a bit meh.
We face Swansea this Monday night at the Ems. Another scheduling masterstroke by Sky there – can imagine Swansea away fans will be savouring the trip back to Wales at 10pm. This game might feel like a bit of a dead rubber now that we are all but guaranteed CL football next year. Not for me, it’s absolutely vital we win our remaining games – especially against United – and finish as close to Chelsea as possible.
I wrote earlier in the season that this was a groundhog season, it was fourth place all the way. Oh god how I want to be proved wrong. We’ve overcome so many of our hoodoos this season – beating big teams away, managing fitness properly, using “tactics”. Second place (and an FA cup) would feel like real progress and make next season a really exciting prospect.
If we can finish second, the challenges for us next season will be fourfold:
• Overcome our remaining “hoodoos” – FINALLY beat a Mourinho team and progress beyond QF in the Champs League;
• Strengthen the squad – Cech, Schneiderlin, Sterling in; Szcz, Flamini out;
• Keep up the tactical work – good progress but more to be done;
• Keep up the fitness work – this season we had our first month with no injuries since 2005. That is not only completely insane but a real turning point. If we can keep key players fit for the entire campaign, we CAN win the league.
Right so that’s pretty straight forward – just do all that and we’ll win. I will be back again with some more garbage #insight before the end of the season. In the meantime, enjoy your weekends!
You can follow me on twitter @aldo_doel