Morning all.

The headlines on NN, the back pages and social media relate to Mikel Arteta and a suggested two year contract extension. Inevitable really after previous headlines in the same place, suggested Mikel Arteta was being lined up to replace Pep Guardiola when he calls time at Man City. Arteta’s contract with Arsenal is set to expire in the summer of 2023 so it’s only natural that the club would be looking at his situation regardless of what City are planning.

I know I get the hump when the club allow players to run their contracts down, so it shouldn’t be any different for a manager should it? If the Arsenal board think Mikel Arteta is the right man to continue to take the club forwards then yes, tie him down beyond 2023. If Arteta doesn’t want to commit to the club, then that’s a whole different scenario but why wouldn’t he if he’s as serious about our club as his words over the last two years have suggested?

In one of his recent press conferences, he said he needs a squad of 20/22 outfield players if we’re to compete. Really compete and he said that takes time. Money too of course which is why a top four place is so important. We’re not equipped to compete in the Champions League but as I’ve cynically suggested before, if we were to qualify and then finish third in the group, we might just have a chance of getting to the Europa Cup Final.

There’s a long way to go yet though before anything like that is decided as we’re only just into the second half of the season. The fixture against Burnley tomorrow is crucial. Of course we need the points but we need a bit of confidence too before going into the winter break. So far, January has been a stinker.

This weekend has thrown up a couple interesting fixtures.

Today: Man Utd v West Ham
Tomorrow: Chelsea v Totts

Points are going to be dropped somewhere but if we can’t or don’t beat Burnley, then we we’ll have missed a golden opportunity to gain ground on one, maybe two of the clubs above on the table.

As well as the new contract for Mikel Arteta has hit the headlines, Bernd Leno has made it too as he’s rumoured to be off, with Newcastle a potential destination. Arsenal are suggested to be replacing him with American number one Matt Taylor who is 6’ 3” and 27 years old.

Here’s his finest moments thanks to Youtube.



See you in the comments.