Today is KILLING me. It’s like a last 16 game in the Europa League, you’ve been 2-0 down all game, you pulled the game back with an own goal and a deflected shot… now you’re praying extra time will see the win over the line.
This is painful.
Let’s dive into some escapism with FOOTBALL.
Mikel Arteta said he was ‘fed up’ with the situation of William Saliba. I suspect he’s quite miffed there’s so much attention focused on someone who isn’t playing, again. When it’s Mesut Ozil, I can understand the fascination, when it’s a 19-year-old centre back the press are wondering about, it starts to get a bit boring.
Firstly, we’re pretty good at defending. There’s no need to wonder if we should be taking a risk on a player the coaching staff has deemed not ready. Secondly, he’s 19 years old, he is just a kid, there’s a long career ahead of him, he’ll be just fine.
If I’m reading between the lines, the problem actually sounds like they couldn’t find a club for him that matched where he is in his career. Going back to St Etienne for another season seems regressive, he probably doesn’t fancy Championship football, and I would say with certainty that most Premier League coaches would have the same worries about having him with them.
Arsenal has added Zane Monlouis and midfielders Omari Giraud-Hutchinson and Charlie Patino to their Europa squad. Not sure they’ll start, but it’s great to have some new names in contention.
My hope for tomorrow is that we see Joe Willock put in another good shift. Arteta said what we all think, namely that he has some special qualities we lack. The problem for Joe is that it is very rare that we see him do it in the games that matter. Still, another run-out, another shift, and maybe he’ll earn a chance in a Premier League game.
I’m also keeping them crossed that we see Smith-Rowe play some minutes. There’s a lot of hope riding on his abilities. We know he has a lot of energy, his passing is fast, and he can be a bit of an all-action hero. The question, as always, is can he do it on a rainy night in the Europa?
David Luiz might have to. He’s back in contention. Arteta clearly loves the Brazilian, but I am hoping that we’re going to see the slow phasing out of him as we move through the season. Aash made the point on the podcast… there’s a difference in confidence when you go into a game without the players that make big errors on the regular. Luiz is a beast of a player, but he is a box of chocolates player.
Two other Brazilians we won’t be seeing for a bit. Gabriel Martinelli won’t be back until next year. We just have to deal with that and imagine how exciting our frontline will be if he comes back strong. Pablo Mari (not Brazilian, but played there, so maybe?) is also out again. He suffered another setback on his return to the starting 11. I’m interested to know whether he’s a good player, or another of Raul’s special, special deals.
Right, short post today, I’m brutally hungover. See you in the comments. x