Well good morning to you, this will be a BIG week of writing and podcasting. I have a VERY special backroom guest lined up on Wedneday and I just know it’s going to be a banger. We’ll be powering on with a lot of writing because no doubt, because there will be a lot of people trying to take things off track this week.
Arsenal lost their first game since Manchester City away at Anfield to a team that has lost 1 in 27 games.
It was brutal.
A lesson in the true meaning of elite.
Fear not. This won’t be a blog post catastrophising the result because we have moved well beyond that sort of stuff. We’re not at the end of the journey with this squad. We’re at the start. Unbeaten runs are welcome but don’t think they will be the norm for at least a couple of years, there’s still a lot of work to be done.
Losing 4-0 to any team is always going to sting, but it wasn’t the same as City at home, there we real positives. The first half was very good as far as I’m concerned. We competed with Liverpool, there was good structure, and everyone was up for the fight (including Arteta on the touchline).
The game didn’t turn on the first goal. We came out for the second half firing and we looked like a team that was going to have a crack. Sadly, the game turned on the second goal. Nuno Tavares, a player that has been very impressive, won the ball in defence, broke forward, and passed directly to Jota who did extremely well to finish past Ramsdale.
An away day at Liverpool is always huge. More so over the past half-decade. Liverpool is an institution, Anfield is a legendary stadium, and Klopp is a top 3 manager in the world.
The stage is set.
Mikel Arteta usually underplays our chances, but the talk was a little different in his press conference.
Thomas Partey is FIT for the Liverpool game. That’s massive news. We need all our best soldiers ready for the fight in Liverpool. The Ghanaian midfielder also avoided a long trip to Africa, so he should be very fresh. With him in the side, you feel you have a chance. Let’s be frank, this season, he’s felt like the £45m signing we bought last season. It’s always amazing when people savage our 8th placed finish last season, they forget that our star signing wasn’t available 50% of the season. You think there’s a chance if he’d started the whole season, we’d have picked up an extra 6 points? I do. He’s so much more than a defensive midfielder. He gives us control, power, and vision from deep. Maybe his shooting will start delivering this season?
Arsenal had THREE players in the starting 11 for England last night. Say what you will about the current project, but that is absolutely immense stuff. The sort of thing that makes local and international fans proud. It’s not like the crop of players we have currently are duffers, this is a team good enough to make the finals of a major tournament.
Even better than that? They all contributed. Ramsdale kept an outrageous clean sheet, keeping one shot on target OUT. Emile landed an assist and his first international goal. Bukayo Saka scored late on.
There are two kinds of people in the world, those that book early morning flights home, and those that try and max out every minute of a holiday by leaving really late.
I am an early guy. The idea of hovering around with suitcases in a hot country scratching at things to do around an airport does not fill me with joy.
Most people that stay with me are late leavers. That last day is always the killer. I hate my friends and family more than ever in those 4 hours before they leave. There’s always a red wine accident, or one of their children hit a wall with a Cheetoh hand swipe. Which is why I exit early. Ghost out of there. People will be grateful for your foresight.
Today, I am late guy. My flight out is 6pm. I don’t know how to act. This is average dead time. I can’t really get drunk. I can’t really do anything meaningful. So I’m in holiday purgatory.
320 days ago, Mikel Arteta was looking down the barrel of a gun, with a bullet named: YOU’RE FIRED.
His team lacked creativity, energy, and drive.
He went full-on wild card to change things up, he picked a young kid called Emile Smith Rowe to start against Chelsea. We won the game. This young player stole the show. He could pass round corners, he had fire in his belly, and he could move.
Arsenal is a better side with him in it. No doubt.