HELLO I AM BACK.
A sorry mess of a week. I was peeling a potato and a peeled one of my best typing fingers. Not a good look. Though I did realise through the process that the peeler works down the potato… and back up. Did you know that? I did not.
Less about my injured finger, more about Arsenal, I hear you, I hear you.
Thomas Partey is out again. The Ghanaian superstar is struggling once again with injury. I don’t think he’s managed 3 games in a row for us this season, which is pretty devastating considering he barely missed a game during his entire term at Atleti.
A lot of people are asking questions of our medical team. I think that’s a huge miss. The player, for me, is struggling to adapt to a new league, I think there’s some bad luck in there, and you also have to consider what a horrible year it’s been to be in the Premier League. Too many games, too little training, total abuse of the talent that entertains us by the governing bodies.
Most teams are struggling with injury problems this season. We tend to minimise our own issues as impactful on the overall football, but sympathise with others. Our injuries this season have been detrimental to our form and position in the league.
Look at Liverpool. They’ve fallen off a cliff. They’ve lost 6 in 10. That’s terrible for a team that looked invincible last season. Lose a few key players, drop a couple of big points, lose one of the best keepers in the world to Karius form and it all falls apart.
Arsenal hasn’t had their best midfielder all season, and arguably, we’ve not had our best striker in the right frame of mind since August. You have to search for reasons why those problems are occurring, but the problems certainly give you some mitigating circumstances that are hard to avoid.
If we beat Leeds tomorrow, we’ll be 6 point off Liverpool. I know we’re not making a go at the Premier League table, but that’s kind of nuts at this stage of the season considering they’re 4th.
Beating Leeds is going to be tough now. Very tough. Thomas Partey is THE RESISTANCE when it comes to pressing. Granit Xhaka is… well, let’s be kind here… really not very good against high octane sides that’ll apply pressure to his every move and see his weaknesses as an opportunity.
The manager can either risk it and hope our midfield works under the stress or he’s going to look at other options.
There was an early picture of Martin Odegaard and Dani Ceballos sitting on balls talking to Arteta. Dani Ceballos doesn’t have buckets of pace, but he can certainly move with the ball. Martin Odegaard is more than capable of playing in a double pivot. He’s press resistant and he has sexy abilities when it comes to fastballs zipped in behind pace. We saw that with one of his passes to Nicolas Pepe last week that the Ivorian should have done better with.
We saw every available combo last time Partey was out and it was very, very miserable for a long time. I think we need to play against Leeds United, I don’t think we can afford the risk of having a midfield that doesn’t have any legs or energy to deal with their attack.
I’m not quite sure what we’re going to do in attack. Leeds can be got at if you can beat the press. Their centre backs are susceptible to being stretched on the break and they aren’t very good at defending setpieces. Auba looked really poor when he came on against Villa, but he’s our talisman. Willian shouldn’t be in the squad. We really need energy in our front three and we need to give Leeds something to worry about tomorrow.
Arteta has to show up with a solution. The three points here are the difference between a decent run in the next few games and an absolute disaster of an order of magnitude I don’t want to contemplate. I don’t have the sympathy to give for another bad run. Let’s work with what we have, take strategic risks, and try something interesting… because we really, really need to move on from the last two games and take advantage of other teams dropping points. I know it’s an ambitious thought, but wouldn’t it be nice to see a full 90 of good football after a week on the training ground?
A little bit of contract talk. Arteta is confident Arsenal are going to keep Flo Balogun.
“I’m still very positive that Flo is going to stay with us and it’s what we’re trying to do as a club, and it’s what I’m trying to do as a manager,”
“As far as I know from last week again, the player wants to be here. So, so far I’m positive.”
I don’t know how the sell is going down, but it’s clear there is a path for him at Arsenal. He’s a teenager. Lacazette will be gone this summer. Flo will be 22 when Auba’s contract ends. I’m not sure Eddie is going to be here much past the summer. He will land chances, I’m just not sure holding the club to ransom for minutes is the right way to go about it.
Going to Germany would probably work out for him as well, but really, does he want to go to another league and watch his mates he grew up with smashing it in a superior league? I have no idea tbh, but it would be a smart decision to stay with a club in transition. If he was an established 9 at 22 years old, that’d be kind of spectacular. Doing it in Germany? Not so much. Impressive, but the path to glory is here.
There’s also some talk that we’re chasing down Sporting forward Tiago Tomas. I take any rumour out of Portugal with a huge grain of PR, but he looks decent and I’d be game for Arsenal signing any young talent that looks like they could blow up into a future mega sale. The striker moves a little like a cross between Lewandowski and Auba. I wonder if we’re going to be in the market for £20m 18 years olds this summer considering the climate, if we are, then it’s a good time to find them with the football world reeling financially.
Big summer ahead. Matteo G is going to fetch decent money, Dino Mavrapanos continues to impress, some of our loan signings will find homes and we have a few Hale-Enders that’ll fetch a pretty penny.
FINALLY. Arteta and his family recieving death threats? It’s grim. If you put a video on Twitter that has a copyright infringement, you are suspended fast, if you do it twice, you lose your account. Call me optimistic, but there must be an algorithm that can detect ‘I WANT TO KILL YOUR FAMILY.’
There has to be some accountability at these platforms at some point. Football Twitter is disgusting at times. The public comments on Instagram are beyond disgraceful as a standard. Racism, homophobia, and violence just seem to be part of the discourse if you have more than a 1000 followers on these places.
Sad thing about all of this, the people that do it really want the moment of attention that comes with being called out. These people are cowards. They have no power in their real lives. The internet is an opportunity to feel important for a moment. What a pathetic way to live, but, that is 2021 for you.
Right, BIG game tomorrow, let’s see a big result!
See you in the comments. x