FOOTBALL IS BACK SOON.
I can’t wait. Mikel Artea doing a Zoom prezzer is life right now. Having things to talk about. It might be a brutal restart to the season, but at least we’ll have things to talk about outside covid-19 analytics.
The manager is as upbeat as he can be about the game. He knows Manchester City at full fitness is going to be a hugely difficult challenge to mount. I think all he’ll be looking for is a mature performance that has positivity at its core. If this were Unai Emery, we’d be lining up with 8 at the back. I think we’ll be more attacking in our approach, but we’ll still have to be very careful… City are destroyers, so we can’t go full-on Arsene Wenger.
There was some chat in the prezzer about how United beat City in December.
I think every team is completely different, every game is different. We play away from home, United were playing at home. It was a very competitive game, a good game as well to watch on the tactical side. At the end, the boxes decided the game again, you know.
For reference, United used pace and width to get at City’s backline. Their wingers hugged the touchline when they countered. This freed up space they took advantage of. They still needed a lot of luck to take the win, but it was certainly one of United’s better performances under Ole G.
I’m not quite sure we have the players to deliver that sort of power and pace performance, though I could be persuaded. A front three that mixed and matched Saka, Martinelli, Auba, Pepe and Nelson could be problematic. It has the raw ingredients, but maybe not the finesse that comes with age.
One thing is for sure, we do need to be at our best.
I think we have to be at our best, for sure. If we have any chance to win the game at the Etihad against those players, we have to be at our best. We are in two different processes and levels at the moment. We have to try and match that both individually and collectively, we have to be at our best.
We had a great game against United at home, we turned up against Chelsea and we were unlucky, so there’s no reason we can’t have a good game against City. I’m just a little bit skittish after the Brentford game. Part of me is hoping it was a bit of complacency, the other part worries that it was complacency. We need a big game, total focus, no silly mistakes within 5 mins.
The manager still seems keen to keep Auba at the club and hopes Arsenal can prove they are the correct next step.
I think it is our responsibility to make him feel this is the right next step in his career. In order to do that, he needs to feel valued, he needs to feel he belongs to us and we want him, and then he really needs to believe that we can take the club forward in the way we want to do, and he is going to be a key player to do that. At the moment I am extremely happy with how he has been performing and behaving, I have a really good relationship with him where we can discuss face to face a lot of things. As far as I am aware, he is very happy at the club.
I’m a touch sceptical about whether we’ll sign him on for another deal. Hard to ask players to take a pay cut with one hand and dish out £300k a week deals on the other. Part of me wonders if we’re just going to take another hit and lose him on a free transfer next season. There’s going to be so little value in selling him in a market as deflated as the one we’re in right now. If Werner is fetching £50m as the hottest striker in Germany, I struggle to see how we get any more than £20m for a player that is 31 in the final year of his deal. I’d also imagine Raul is looking at the risk/reward if he stays next year and takes us to the Champions League.
Second most important deal is Saka.
The club is doing what it has to do. We’re holding a conversation and hopefully, we’ll get a result.
Back to the game. Arteta spoke glowingly of Eddie.
An important part of our squad, we had to make a very important decision not to let him go out on loan again after the spell he had at Leeds. I watched him train and I am convinced that he is the right player for us, to move us to the next level and that he can contribute in a big way to the way we want to play. He has been fantastic so far.
Arsenal fans can see there is something there. He’s strong, has a great eye for goal, and his confidence grows in every game. Hopefully, he can bring that into the final games of the season. It’s also apparent the manager is going to give some of the other kids a chance to show they are worthy of more consideration.
I think it will happen, for example in our case we have five games in 15 days, that’s a game every three days. We don’t know how the players are going to respond physically because we have had a really short preparation time. We have to use them, we have some really talented young boys that are asking for chances. I’m sure at other clubs the situation will be the same and I think at some stage we will be forced to use some of them with the amount of games that we are going to be playing in that space of time.
I think we’ll meet some new names as part of that batch. I hear the club is VERY excited about some of the kids that haven’t been given run outs yet, so hopefully we’ll be adding to our already impressive collection of teenagers.
We’re nearly there. Normality is returning. Exciting times. Let’s chat, in the comments, right now. x