WOW, I leave you for a day and everything goes crazy.
Arsenal borrowed £120m for a special covid loan to tide them over until the TV money drops. It’s not a shock. We built our future on having fans in the stadium. There are no fans in the stadium. £93m down the drain with many huge outlays.
This money is for cashflow. It’s not there so we can put in a cheeky January bid in for Haaland. What it does remind you is that we’re really not in great shape as a club. Kind of maddening that we dropped such huge wages on certain names if this was what was going to happen… but here we are. Also odd that KSE doesn’t put the cash up. Tells you all you need to know about the idea they’d bail the squad out this summer.
So, as I said in my last post. The priority is going to be clearing people off the wage bill this month.
We moved on Saliba to Nice. He had a mixed bag first game, not surprising considering how little football he’s played, let’s see where he is after 10 games. Because the French media can’t stop crying over this whole debacle, we keep getting drips of information. This is from the player himself.
“I couldn’t train outside, couldn’t play. I arrived there as they were finishing the league season, so I was training alone.
“As soon as they came back from holidays, we quickly had the first friendly matches where I lacked rhythm and was a bit insufficient physically.
“The coach immediately told me that I was not ready. I would have at least liked to have a chance to rediscover my rhythm, but this is football, it’s like that.”
Errr… didn’t the French media run stories that he was totally kept in the dark? They did. Arteta gave more weight to the reasons and they’re basically the same as they were before: At 19, he’s not ready…
“I’ve always been very conscious that when he came back [to London] he hadn’t done the step he needed to do before joining us.
“I want to protect the player that we signed and the future that we have alongside him.
“That’s why we made that decision. I know sometimes it’s difficult to explain or understand after the money the club has spent trying to bring him in only to send him on loan, but a lot of things have happened to him.”
This is logical. What is tough to digest is that Arteta played Runarson in the League Cup knowing he was shite. It’s also hard to piece together the Europa League omission. If you’re good enough for the Nice first team, you are good enough to play against Dundalk. That was the baffling bit and it looked vindictive. The club shouldn’t have allowed Arteta to do that, especially as he kept people like Mustafi in that squad, a player we all knew was leaving.
Talking of vindictive. Mesut Ozil looks ever more likely to move to Fenerbache for the rest of the season. Quite unbelievable listening to his adult fanboys defend something the have ZERO insight into.
1m50 onwards is what you’d hear off the record on Ozil if you spoke to people that worked with him.pic.twitter.com/wbH3VqTlgc
— Le Grove (@LeGrove) January 8, 2021
If you want a little insight into what people behind the scenes tell you about the player, go to 1.45 on this Keown interview. These are the things that bothered Arsenal. The injuries, the illnesses, a whole manner of things that said he didn’t really give a fuck. That was Keown speaking at the end of the Wenger reign, did it get better? No. Emery dropped him, Freddie dropped him, Arteta binned him for good. If you need to find a conspiracy with evidence like that, you have deep problems. Weird that there’s literally a Qanon like group that follow some of our players.
If the player is moving now, it’s because it suits him, and I’ll make a £10 bet with you… he’s not going to lose a penny from his final 5 months. Let’s also see where he goes next, his fans are hoping it’s an elite club, myself suspicion is the clubs he’s being linked to are the level he’ll find. A real shame for someone of his age and talent.
Anyway, we move, it’s 2021, I have no time for toxicity.
The Arteta presser was a whole different mood. He seemed upbeat, positive about how the form had changed, and happy that things are moving in the transfer market.
He’ll be taking the game against Newcastle seriously this weekend. The FA Cup is a backdoor into Europe. One that we’ll likely need if our inconsistency continues this season. I’d also be looking at this game as a good way to bring players back into full fitness.
As I correctly reported, Thomas Partey should be available. I hope they put sensors on that knee and massage it with horse placenta. We need it strong for the remainder.
I haven’t checked, but I’d assume we’ll have Gabriel (defender) back in the mixer again. It looks like we’re starting to get some choice back in the team. I think Pablo Mari has done an excellent job. They like him at Arsenal because he’s a hugely positive influence behind the scenes. It’s a minor thing, but our squad has quite a few Debbie downers, positivity helps, especially when you’re looking to bring kids through.
Will we see some game time given to Pepe, Willian or Luiz? Maybe. They’ve all been showed up by the Hale-Enders. Our run over the next couple of weeks isn’t shocking. We have 4 days recovery after the FA Cup game before we play Palace. Then it’s 3 days until we welcome Newcastle again.
There will have to be rotation. I’d prefer it to happen in the FA Cup. Newcastle will have one thing on their mind this season: Survival. They aren’t going to win a cup this season. They might stay up. They have a HUGE 6 pointer against Sheffield United on Tuesday at their gaff, so I expect efforts and minds to be there.
3 games has changed the mood around the club, the players, and the manager. That could all change over the next 10 days. If Arteta slips back into old habits again, we could find ourselves in trouble again. These next three fixtures are all about momentum. Arguably, the two most important games of the season are at the end of the month. Southampton is gunning for the top 4 and United, as it stands, are title contenders. Bring home 4 points there and we will be right where we needed to be heading into February. The run-in becomes a cup run. This team is built for that.
However, 4 points against United and Southampton will mean fuck all if we botch the next three games. Arteta needs to show us he can defy our low expectations. He’s had his shocking run. We can brush it off as a horrible blip. What he needs to do now is show he can take this squad to greater heights using the ingredients that helped him escape his nightmare.
Let’s see what he has.