You acclimatised to it, didn’t you? Early morning posts which were actually late ones, because I was writing them before I went to bed in Alaska. I’m going to try and write them at night moving forward so you have something ready for your morning.
So what did I wake up to today?
Bayern Munich, last 16 of the Champions League. Like a ground-hog nightmare this, isn’t it? Barca or Bayern. Standard. If we’d finished 2nd, we’d have landed Barca as well. Doomed.
Still, I’m not going to cry about it. It is what it is and I think things are slightly different this time around. Firstly, we have a mobile, clinical, athletic striker… no, not Yaya Sanogo, Alexis Sanchez. That’s massive. It allows us to press hard from the front and it means Bayern can’t push up high against us like they did last time. We might even have WELBZ back in contention by then, and I really think he could be excellent for us in the back half of the season.
We also have a squad this time. Providing we don’t have a bad December, we’ll be able to choose two sides that can do different things. We can press with power and pace, or we can sit deep and protect using Xhaka and Coquelin in a double pivot. What were our options last time? Arteta and Flamini? Pretty grim in comparison to what we have this time around.
Also, and this is a nothing comment, we really are due a horrible win at some point. Blind squirrel, broken clock, out right luck out… we deserve a win we’re ashamed of. Amirite?
Some pretty exciting games elsewhere.
Manchester City v Monaco
Real Madrid v Napoli
Benfica v Borussia Dortmund
Bayern Munich v Arsenal
FC Porto v Juventus
Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid
Paris St-Germain v Barcelona
Sevilla v Leicester
I’d say City lucked out, but Monaco have been free scoring this year, undoubtedly a tough tie. Leicester vs Sevilla is going to be interesting because judging by the teams in their group, they’re being underestimated. Even Pep was guilty of that at the weekend.
Madrid vs Napoli is a must watch, as is Benfica vs Dortmund. Finally, the games are about to get interesting.
As for Tottenham, Gent in the next round of the #Spursday League. Crying with laughter emoji.
In transfer news, club secretary David Miles reckons the talks with Ozil and Sanchez are going pretty well. He also said Wenger might be looking to strengthen this January. Which is weird, being that this feels like the first Jan he doesn’t need to buy… maybe the new scouts are impressing him?
‘Obviously that’s Arsene’s domain, and it’s in very safe hands,’
‘I know he’s already looking for opportunities to strengthen the squad.’
That makes the news that we’re about to sign Riechedly Bazoer, the Ajax midfielder I know nothing about, all the more believable. Apparently Ajax can’t fit him into their system, which is a 4-3-3. He’s a bit of oddity, in that he has good defensive ability (was a centre back), but actually sees himself as a midfielder. His strength lies in transitioning the ball from defence to midfield. Is he a potential upgrade to Coquelin, or is he an understudy for Xhaka? Here’s a more detailed overview here because I don’t damn well know.
Right, that’s all you’re getting. See you in the morning. x
UPDATE: That signing didn’t happen, he went to Wolfsburg. Apologies for piquing excitement there.