Guys, I fell for a Fabrizio tweet that said Arsenal were going to move Emile Smith Rowe to West Ham on loan.
How could I be so silly?
Mikel Arteta came in STRONG in denouncing the rumor.
I’m really happy with Emile, he’s on the right trajectory now he’s settled and he’s training really well. You know that I’m not going to talk about any individual situation.
No change, Emile is Emile. He’s got incredible qualities, we are really happy to have him and what he needs now is chances to put all those desired qualities on the pitch. In order to do that, we have to give him minutes.
Now, this could be a negotiating tactic to get a bigger fee from West Ham for a loan, OR this could be the realization the manager had with Eddie a few seasons back after totally ignoring him for the majority of the season.
I’m going to take a big drag of hopium and say this… I really hope Mikel sees the light on ESR. We’re lacking final ball output and finishing. This is a player who brought that in bucketloads when he debuted during a nightmare period three or so years ago. If you can’t finish, why not give a player who can finish a go?
My bigger concern here is if this is just media guff, it would be better to send him somewhere where he’ll get meaningful minutes. He’s a long way off his £45m valuation when Villa were sniffing around. If we give him 12 minutes in H2 of the season, he’ll be lucky to fetch £20m. This is a player who will be pure profit on FFP, max out his value now, give him time to show his talent. Hey, maybe he’ll show that he’s a great again?
I will say it regardless: The biggest weakness of Arteta is the transactional nature of his personality. When you are hot, you’re given the captains armband and a £350k a week deal, when you are not, you are given away for free after returning late after seeing your sick mother. We let Auba go for nothing – Chelsea bought him back for €14 million. In a world of stringent PSR, every penny counts, especially with Hale-Enders.
The hot trend amongst the ITK accounts this season appears to be predicting players returning to the first team early. We had it with Thomas Partey in December when people determined he’d be back for the Liverpool game, 4 weeks later, he’s finally a consideration.
The rumor doing the rounds this week is that Jurrien Timber will be back in February because the Arsenal IG has him doing some ball work.
Don’t do it to yourselves…
Arsenal won’t rush him back and getting him into the squad in February really would be a miracle. He has to continue working on building his muscles and his game-day fitness, and then he has to go through the psychological pressure of stress testing the knee in training. This isn’t a quick recovery; there will be setbacks, and the club won’t rush it. I penned this blog last night, and guess what, Mikel came to give some clarity on whether he’d be back before May.
There is a possibility, but at the moment he’s still very, very far from competing, that’s the realistic picture of it,” said Arteta.
“Are we hopeful that he can have an impact at the end of the season? If everything goes well, it looks like there is a chance that that might happen but I think it’s too early to make that call.
If I were putting money down, I’d say it’ll be early April. Yes, I know Arteta said May, but I think at this point he’s protecting the player from desperate fans and setting expectations that this will be a complicated return. He could technically be ready by late March after the international break, but Manchester City isn’t the game you bring a player back into. Early April we have Luton and Brighton. I’d maybe expect Arsenal to arrange an international break friendly to get him into game action before he plays.
The main reason not to believe this new breed of early-injury-return-ITKs is you don’t rush returns from ACL surgery – the consequences are too dire. This player could be with Arsenal for 8 years, there’s no reason to risk losing him for 18 months by rushing his return.
Crystal Palace is our opponent this weekend, and I’m excited about the prospect. They had a tough replay against Everton midweek and lost the MIGHTY Sean Dyche. That’ll be a rough trip back and the extra fatigue is never great. Joel Ward, Michael Olise, and Jordan ‘killer only against Arsenal’ Ayew will all be missing as well.
This game is poised for an Arsenal loss or a total battering for Crystal Palace. No in-between.
I’m feeling positive about the game. Arsenal have had a summer break to Dubai, Arteta seems to be very positive about what he was able to achieve, and as Jacob said on the podcast ‘Arsenal are always better when Arteta has had a long stretch with them.’
It was great, it was a phenomenal camp in every sense. We worked really hard on things that we wanted to do, and we recharged our batteries. The context and the change in environment in beautiful weather helped, and the togetherness and the moments that we shared together were great. We feel fully recharged.
I think it gave us an opportunity to look at things with a bit of perspective and analyse what we’ve been doing, and I will take a lot of positives from the first six months of the competition. Even though results haven’t gone our way in the last few games, when you look at what we have produced in terms of the Premier League and any other team, we are up there.
This is an important piece of the December narrative. Results did not reflect performance. Perspective in a different environment can be really useful. The message of ‘keep doing the same, and the good times will come’ can feel counter-intuitive when combined with the painful feeling of losing games. But it’s true of anything. If you keep doing things the right way, eventually, performances will match the underlying data. Luck is not a long-term strategy, having a good system and coaching players to master it is. We can’t lose sight of our system being one of the strongest in the league, and we can’t forget that our lack of experience combined with bad luck hasn’t been helpful.
But don’t doubt Arsenal. Arteta sees the issues with clarity and if we’re thinking it, he’s thinking it. I’m sure we’re going to bang after the break. This is a faith-based assessment, but that’s what sport is about, believing that doing the right things will eventually pay off.
That isn’t to say there aren’t things we can be working on.
We have to continue to be ourselves but there are certain details and marginal gains that we have to improve and evolve, and the beautiful thing about my job is to constantly find the evolution of a team and what it needs to keep winning.
My basic assessment is the team needs to be working on moving the ball faster into our speed monsters, and there needs to be more aggression and killer instincts in front of the goal. If we want to win the league, we need more non-penalty goals than Nottingham Forest. We’ve lost collective confidence, but remember, it takes one individual moment of magic to get that back. We have to hope it comes against Palace.
3 wins out of the next 3 games is imperative to our campaign. I don’t want to be in the muck fighting for 4th and 5th this season. I want to be battling with Liverpool and City for the league title.
Ok, long post today. I hope you are enjoying the uptick in LG content. See you in the comments, but before, listen to the latest podcast with me, Matt, and Jacob.