Happy good morning my pretties.
Slumped out of bed this morning and tweaked my hamstring. Nothing says, ‘you fat bastard get down the gym’ quite like needing a warm up to support your own body weight.
Also had passport dramas this morning. I need two passports. TWO. Double the workload and I failed first time. But fear not, my dad delivered me to the airport 20mins early and didn’t even lose his temper at my flapping.
So we have some time to Le Grove and chill.
Arsenal are in good shape. Sitting pretty at the top of the league. Focus has now switched to our tough run in. I know there are some beastly games in there on paper, but I think when you look at them with this seasons fresh ‘WHAT IS HAPPENING’ eyes, they’re not that bad.
We’re all worried about Liverpool away. Heading to the Kop. Playing against the charismatic German we’d all have liked to have had stroking our Arsenal curls in a post Wenger era. But look, as a side, they’ve been utter shite under him bar one result against Southampton (ok, ok, and City). Nothing has really changed, crap results, underwhelming individual performances and no semblance of a vision yet.
I think the worrying game for me is the Stoke one. There’s no better case study for money in the league than those boys. Power, pace, organization, brutality and some absolute class. Stokelona as they call them on the continent (pretty sure they don’t, actually). They are going to be a problem, mainly because they are a mental block that now has real quality. The on-story of that game is if we lose, we then have Chelsea at home.
Now, Chelsea on paper have been shite this season. We have been great. Is there any reason this pattern should fail to continue? They should fear us. Creaking defence, fragile confidence and general sluggish play. This shouldn’t be tough, but we know it’ll be a ‘show us you’re champs’ game. But look, Hiddink has been a mega failure in his last 4 jobs, he looks like he should be reading storybooks to kids in Victorian films about the meaning of Christmas. I don’t fear Chelsea under him. Well, not right now.
February for me looks pretty good. Rest assured, Leicester will be dead and buried and I reckon Claudio will be under job pressure. Southampton at home will be revenge for us and look, if we’re having issues with Bournemouth away, then what’s the fucking point? We have a tricky game against Barcelona and possibly a rematch with a Mourinho United as our last game.
I see maybe a couple of draws in there, but I’m pretty confident. We just need to pray we don’t pick up anymore injuries and we have to hope there’s no more news of the dreaded ‘setback’ that we seem to get every other injury.
The run in is all about freshness. Who has it. Who doesn’t. Who managed fitness the best? Great news for us is the way we manage mid season freshness is breaking our players early on. The old ‘NoVenger’ 3 week hamstring rest has proven quite the strategy over the past few seasons. Coq, Ramsey, Chambo, Theo and Sanchez should be flying! They’ve had their midseason break.
So basically, I don’t have the fear like many others. My main fear is the switch off. The lack of drive kicking us over the line. Wenger not having it in him to motivate his players to the end.
… this for me is where leaders used to take over. Who is our Adams? Who is our Sol Campbell kicking Paddy up the arse? Who is willing to slam Chambo up against the wall when he makes a dunce mistake? Who is there, ready and willing to make the dressing room a scary place to be when someone steps out of line?
We’ll find out in due course… but hey, isn’t it exciting! (And marvelous that Spurs dropped two points. The dark horses this season.)
I’m about to hit my flight back to NYC. Can’t wait to spend the next two months pretending I get Super Bowl! See you on the other side!