Morning all.

Thomas Partey, Nicolas Pepe, Mo Elneny and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will all be available for our New Year’s Day fixture against Man City as Sky Sports have confirmed all Premier League players will remain in England until the 3rd of the month.

The rescheduled Africa Cup of Nations will be played in Cameroon between January 9 and February 6, 2022 and Sky Sports are broadcasting every single one of the 52 fixtures live. Around 40 Premier League players are expected to take part in the competition.

As a football fan though, are you interested in watching the ACON? I can’t for one minute think it’ll be top of my things to watch list.

As much as you or I might be glad to see the back of one or two of the players heading off to Africa, they’ve all played a part in us reaching the League Cup semi-final and getting to fourth in the league. The problem Mikel Arteta will have is who will replace the players who have often come off the bench to replace one, two or three of the starting eleven?

There are rumours going around on NewsNow suggesting AMN is close to securing a loan move to Roma. Personally, if I were Arsenal, I’d do absolutely nothing to help Mourinho, or Roma, not after their summer antics involving Granit Xhaka. If of course the reports at the time were true, which considering he signed a contract extension at Arsenal so swiftly, I wonder if the stories were nothing more than his agent working his magic. In any case, won’t Mikel Arteta need AMN to call on? Xhaka and Sambi Lokonga can’t play every fixture between now and the middle/end of February as there’s far too many.

Another player back in NN headlines is Phillipe Coutinho which is hopefully nothing more than regurgitated rubbish. Arsenal have been down the route of signing older players who come cheaply and in the main, it hasn’t worked. But, and there is a but, Barcelona reportedly want Aubameyang. 2+2=? Would a swap deal be good for Arsenal? We’d certainly get a younger player and perhaps one who has a point to prove.

Back in the real world of Arsenal, AMN is back training after his time out for testing positive for Covid-19. I read that on Jeorge Bird’s website. Lokonga must soon be back too unless the virus hit him hard. No doubt all will be revealed in Mikel Arteta’s press conference in a few days. Hopefully there’ll be no additional Covid cases within the squad.

Lastly, Thomas Partey has been talking to Arsenal Media.

It is very enjoyable, I enjoy a lot playing with them. They are good talents, a lot of people around that can play with them and they have a lot of quality in front of goal and they can score at any time, so it is a joyful moment playing with them. We feel very happy. This is a game we really enjoyed. We have had a couple of games now where the team is doing very well and performing and I think this is what we have to keep doing.

I think we are working harder, we are doing what we have to do, everyone is playing their role very well and that is the mentality that the coach wants us to play with and enjoy one the field and that is what we are doing.

He is of course, referring to playing in a team with young talented players around him. We are working harder he said, a sly dig at his ex captain perhaps but it’s true, the players have been working harder in the last few games. The fact that Norwich City believed they should have had a penalty proves how hard the team is working because it was Alex Lacazette back in his own box committing the ‘foul’. Gabriel Martinelli just doesn’t stop moving either as one minute he’s in the opponent’s box, the next he’s back in defence helping Kieran Tierney. The work rate of Tierney is incredible too, as it is with Takehiro Tomiysu. I could go through them all but I won’t. Lol

Anyway, I’ve rambled enough on a day when Arsenal should be playing Wolves at lunchtime but instead, we have to wait until New Year’s Day to see the team back in action.

See you in the comments.