Morning all, welcome to another Friday and an Arsenal free weekend – booooooo!
I really, really don’t like Monday night football, and there’s just too much dicking around with the fixtures in general these days. Our next Saturday 3pm kick off is some time in the 2017-18 season, and even that might be moved because of some team’s participation in the Europa League (probably).
There’s not even any news to keep us going. The team bulletin from yesterday was exactly as I thought with Wilshere closest to a return but still out, while Welbeck and Rosicky play Battleships as Shad and the crew try to figure out what’s wrong with Danny’s knee.
Also, where did the term ‘Charlie Horse’ come from? It’s cramp, right? There’s a perfectly cromulent word in the English language for it, so why mess around? Going the doctor in America must be confusing.
“We’ve run the tests and it turns out you’ve got a Todd Donkey”.
“Yes, just take some paracetamol and this cold will pass in due course.”
“Not so fast, we really need to talk about your Mickey Wombat”.
I suppose we can start to look ahead to Monday’s game, and speculate on what changes, if any, the manager might make to his starting line-up. Having reverted to last season’s system and formation, with Ramsey on the right, will he be minded to change that after the win against Crystal Palace?
One of the things discussed on the Arsecast today is the issue of predictability. Is using Ramsey there in that system too obvious, in that opponents will know how we’re going to set up? His ability to get between the lines, apparent against Palace, could be negated if everyone knows that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Would the addition of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Theo Walcott out there provide that bit of variation that could lay waste to the tactical plans of Shark Teeth and other managers?
It’s hard to see him change a winning team but if we talk about squad depth and all the benefits of it, we can’t simply stick to an obvious first XI week in, week out. You need the guys on the bench to be relatively fresh and match sharp, not to mention the fact it creates competition in the squad and hopefully keeps people on their toes. Something to think about as we endure a football-free weekend.
Meanwhile, the club have confirmed the loan of Wellington Silva to Bolton, with Arsene Wenger saying:
He’s a creative, tricky, quick player. He’s absolutely stunning to watch and I believe Bolton will be surprised by his quality.
If he’s that stunning you have to wonder a) why he wasn’t used at all during the pre-season and b) why a club, with all due respect, in a better position than Bolton weren’t interested. Although Almeria were relegated last season, he played a full La Liga campaign, now he’s been farmed out to a team that’s not expected to do much in the Championship this season. Still, when he comes back after 33 goals and 90 assists, allowing us to finally sell the comparatively ineffective Alexis, I’ll be the first to eat my words.
Finally for today, the best bits of Michael Owen’s commentary in The Wisdom of Michael Owen.
Right then, time for this week’s Arsecast, and on today’s show I’m joined by Philippe Auclair to discuss the midfield balance, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott’s role in the side, what he knows about the Karim Benzema stuff and whether he thinks we’ll make any further signings this summer. There’s a quick chat with the Mugsmasher ahead of Monday night, the competition winner for Canvas Art Rocks, a chance to win some Arseblog t-shirts and all the usual waffle.
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We’ll have all the news, bits and pieces, and everything else from the manager’s press conference throughout the day on Arseblog News, so keep an eye on there, I’m sure it’s bound to be quite literally full of excitement and news than none of us thought possible.
The Gent will have his round-up later on, more from me here tomorrow.