Morning all.

I hope the big fella in red and white delivered plenty of Christmas fun and joy to all of you yesterday.

Now though, it’s back to business, at least it is for Mikel Arteta and his players. We’ve played every club once now so today is the beginning of the second half of this 2021/22 campaign. A time when Arsenal can get revenge against teams who beat us and pour more misery on those we’ve already beaten.

I’m not sure where the ‘Mikel Arteta is a dictator’ originated from but he’s had to defend himself for his handling of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Rubbish I think and if anything, the Spaniard has been too soft with him. Arteta clearly has high standards and expectations and if any of Arsenal’s footballers don’t like it, then tough, move on. They get paid ridiculous amounts of money to do a job with so few rules attached to it, life should be a breeze.

I don’t establish my authority by being dictatorial or being ruthless. I just ask for respect and commitment. At this level, if I don’t get that I pack my bags and go somewhere else because that is the minimum I can ask for. I am sorry but I am going to expect that from everybody who works for the club. First of all myself, and the day I don’t do that I walk through that door and go and do something else. It is as clear as that.

Personally, I don’t think that’s a lot to ask. Arsenal has always been a club known for doing things the right way and it’s down to the manager to ensure that remains the case both on and off the pitch. But, players should want to do the same too, they’re not children who need watching over every hour of the day, they’re grown adults who should know how to behave, how to represent the club.

To be successful you have to be passionate about something and you want to represent a club of this size with its history, that is the minimum standard you have to bring.I am not going to ask anybody to put the ball into the top corner every time they hit it, but I will ask them to do the right things every single day for this club. That is for sure.

Amen to that, although I think our players could hit the top corner of the net more than they do. Anyway, we’re up against Norwich City this afternoon, a team now managed by Dean Smith, the man who orchestrated Aston Villa’s success against us last season, and the one before. Our opponents have had the last ten days off because of players testing positive for Covid. I read yesterday that Tim Krul has now been added to their list. In addition to Covid, Milot Rashica, Mathias Normann, Grant Hanley, Christoph Zimmermann and Andrew Omobamidele are all out injured.

Calum Chambers, Sambi Lokonga and Pablo Mari miss out because of Covid, Seas Kolasinac is injured and I think Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is still in the naughty corner.

Going to places like Norwich often worry me. They’re bottom of the League, have a -26 goal difference and unless a miracle occurs, they’re heading for the Championship in May. We’ve already played them this season and after an awful opening three matches, we got a win. We had 30 odd shots at Tim Krul’s goal, but managed to score only one. An an important one it was too because after then, we slowly but surely climbed the table to where we are today.

Now it’s time to kick on.

See you in the comments