Bukayo Saka, you absolute beauty, rocking New Balance like peak Aaron Ramsey. The young superstar inked a new deal with New Balance and immediately leveled the brand up about 15 points. Good for him, let’s hope the new boots bring him many goals and many assists FOR ARSENAL SPECIFICALLY.
Let’s continue the news… Dino Mavropanos landed Rookie of the Month in Germany. That’s a nice accolade. No one saw his resurgence coming, bar the might Sven (gone too soon). It’ll be nice to have more centre-back options for next season. It really is imperative we don’t renew contracts of players that’ll stifle minutes of players that have high ceilings.
Talking of summer… there are reports that we’ll enter the battle for Hakimi this summer. One can dream. Think we need to be realistic which market we play in when it comes to right-backs, I have my doubts it’s for someone of his quality and price. Still, nice to be linked.
The focus this week is all about Olympiacos in the away leg. We head to the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium to take on a side that’ll likely contain Sokratis. He’s been giving them all our secrets apparently.
‘let them fuck it up themselves’
… is probably the gist.
The game plan is clear. We’ll need two goals and a clean sheet. That’ll make the return leg comfortable, and honestly, for once this season, it’d be nice to just do things the easy way. Don’t get sent off, don’t play headed through balls to the opposition, don’t pass to their strikers, and take your fucking chances.
Last season, Auba missed an absolute sitter in the last minute of extra time, and we limped out of the competition. He really needs to pull out the big guns and give us some of that Auba magic. He’s finding form of late. I loved his goal at the weekend, but we need more of that.
Each game we progress in is another chunk of change that supports a better summer in a pivotal transfer market. I think the semi-finals is more than realistic, and providing we avoid a British team, there’s a good chance we do something interesting. The worry is Spurs or United over two legs. I tend to fancy us in a final.
We have to beat the Greeks though. They’re smashing it in the league this season, sitting pretty at the top by about 400 points, so this is basically a Champions League Group Stage game. It will be a tough game. I think we’ve lost 5 of our last 10 against them. I remember one of their centre backs (Morrocan?), a bald chap, having a worldie against us when they knocked us out of the Champions League way back when. We don’t need any such reruns on Thursday.
Also key for Arsenal… we need to put on a show against Spurs who have their leg as the home fixture. That game always has a residual impact on the mood of the fans. If we win the two games, everyone is happy, we lose, and everyone goes into pitchfork mode which will make it very tough for Arteta in the ground next season.
My view on the manager is this close of season is about fan capital building. If he puts on a good show, snatches some exciting wins, and progresses in the Europa, the atmosphere next season in the ground will be sexier. If we clunk to the end of the season, it’ll be tough for him.
Let’s see what he had this week. One final trophy to player for, let’s make it simple.