Morning everyone, time to put that Interlull well and truly behind us now and get on with the real football. It’s gonna be busy over the next few weeks too, as not only do we have Premier League to contend with, the Champions League starts up next week, there’s the EFL Cup the week after that, and we’re going to see the squad being utilised to its maximum I would guess.
Tomorrow it’s Southampton at home and it’s so important that we take the goodwill that’s swirling around from our late transfer business and keep that going with a good performance and result. Compared to some of our main rivals our start to the season has been a bit indifferent, and while there is plenty of time and a long, long way to go this season, you just can’t allow yourselves to fall too far behind too early.
Hopefully the new boys can play a part in doing that tomorrow. We should get some insight into what the manager is thinking about his team at his press conference later, but it would be a surprise to me if Shkodran Mustafi didn’t start at centre-half. It might be construed as a little harsh on Rob Holding who has done well since his arrival from Bolton, but the season is long and he’ll have plenty of chances I’m sure.
It does look as if Koscielny – Mustafi is now the de facto first choice partnership at the back, seniority and transfer fee dictate that really, so the sooner they get used to playing together and building a relationship the better. We might also find out what the manager’s plans for Lucas Perez are, and how quickly he might be thrown into the action. Is he going to be a striker only or someone who can play from the flanks? We shall see.
It’ll also be the first time Arsene Wenger has met the press since the departure of Jack Wilshere at the end of the transfer window. I do hope there are some questions about how and why that deal came to be. Why was it allowed to go through? Is it really the best thing for his Arsenal future, or is it the first step to the end of his long relationship with the club?
Tim Stillman’s column this week touches on Jack’s decision to take a step down to play more regularly. He has concerns – which I share and have written about here too – that it could be very difficult to come back and stake a claim in the Arsenal team. His decision not to stay and fight for a place in a midfield when there’s genuine competition and a chance to make your mark is an odd one for me, but perhaps the manager will elucidate a little further at his presser.
Bournemouth have him on a special training regime at the moment, understandable to an extent, and so much will depend on him staying fit. Let’s hope he can do that. Meanwhile, Nacho Monreal has been talking about Mustafi and Perez and how they’re settling in. Both speak English, Mustafi the more fluent, but Perez can sell you four kilos of Octopus without even thinking about it. In seriousness, his English is pretty decent apparently, so that’ll help him settle in.
Time now for this week’s Arsecast and I’m joined by Amy Lawrence and Stuart MacFarlane to talk about their brand new book ‘The Wenger revolution: Twenty Years of Arsenal’ which chronicles the 20 years of Arsene Wenger’s reign through amazing pictures from Stuart, words from Amy, and Wenger himself who chats about the various photos. We also discuss the new arrivals, the transfer window business and the decision of Jack Wilshere to push for a loan move away from the club. I’m still sick so there’s probably a bit less of the usual waffle than normal.
There’s also one-day Fantasy Football with Fanduel in which you can win real cash. Sign up with FanDuel use the code ‘ARSEBLOG‘ when you do, you can play for free if you like, but if you want to play for some of the big prizes they’ll refund your entry fee if you lose up to £10. Good luck!
You can subscribe to the Arsecast on iTunes by clicking here. Or if you want to subscribe directly to the feed URL you can do so too (this is a much better way to do it as you don’t experience the delays from iTunes). To download the Arsecast directly, use the link below the player, and if you are a regular listener via iTunes, if you would be so kind as to leave a review/rating that would be greatly appreciated.
Right, we’ll have all the news from the press conference etc over on Arseblog News, along with everything else that goes on today. I’ll be back tomorrow with a Southampton preview, and hopefully our first live blog of the new season. And let’s hope three lovely points to go with it.
Until then, have a good one.