It’s Friday… welcome. Welcome one and all.
First up, my friend had a weird Arsenal dream, he needs your help in deciphering the underlying message.
‘I had a dream last night that Van Persie was my tattoo artist and gave me way more tattoos than I asked for. Did two sleeves and my back, all with skeletons, couple pairs of dice, and other weird shit. No idea what it means but I needed to tell someone. That’s all’
So much confusion.
COMPETITION: Yes people, we’ve complained there’s not been enough of it over the years, but now we have TOO much of it. Yes, too much. Players are lightly moaning as well. This from Perez who expected a bigger role.
“The teammates that are playing in my position are doing a great job,”
“We have won seven games in a row and, at the end of the day, the coach wants what is best for the team.
“I had hoped to have more playing time, but what I have to do now is make the most of the opportunities I get.”
Well, you know the answer to that, don’t you? When you get the chance, come on and make two assists. That’ll do the trick. I think it’s great players can’t get in the team. Chamberlain was moaning at the weekend, he comes on and has a terrific game. I mean, part of the trick Arsene has to manage is keeping players interested. Perez needs game time, and not just when someone picks up an injury. The squad players need to feel a part of it… so when they’re called upon, they’re fire.
Theo Walcott is another who has accepted his lot in life, he’s taken the wide position, added defensive steel to his game and he’s on absolute fire. Martin Keown reckons it’s because of application.
‘It is down to a change in his attitude and application, which has brought him a greater end product – he has already scored more Premier League and Champions League goals than he did in the whole of last season.’
His numbers are impressive, especially the defensive side, which has been a marked improvement, making more tackles this campaign than the last two combined. WHOPPING NUMBERS.
Talking before the Boro game, Wenger took a moment to big up the sport science crew at the club. I take this side of the game very personally, because look, this might be a brag, but I was banging the drum for better analysis at Arsenal for years… back in the days when people didn’t know about the redzone and people didn’t know that injuries were not incurred by spiteful hamstring hating bat fairies. Wenger has taken to the spreadsheet side of the game and it’s working out.
“Everything is a bit more scientific. Maybe that makes you a little bit more able to predict what could happen. We know the players very well now because we have data for a few years. And we can analyse, when did he get injured? The repetition of some signs, some warnings, that we know much better now.”
We certainly don’t have the traditional collapse of injuries like we used to… a bigger squad helps there, but also being smarter about how you train and rest players. It was nice to know that last year, our failing were not down to ‘bad luck’ with injuries, they were down to us just not being good enough.
OR THE REFS. DAMN THEM.
On the injury front, Santi took a kick to the achilles… which sounds painful. Xhaka is suspended for being mean. It’ll be interesting to see what the line-up looks like. Does Perez get a start? Does Chambo continue out on the left? Will Mesut bang in another hattrick?
Hopefully we make it 8 wins in a row… and keep our run going in a lovely build to our second major game of the season, SPURS. That’ll be exciting.
Anyway, have a great day, remember to help my buddy with his dream!
P.S. Happy 67th Birthday Arsene… feel like we’re celebrating something with him every damn week? He’s like that friend we all have who has a home stag do, a university friends stag do, a London one and a foreign one. So selfish.