Morning all.

So the FA has taken the fun out of the FA Cup as there’s to be no more replays from next season. Better for Premier League clubs? Some yes but not all and certainly for the rest of the leagues. Apparently they weren’t even consulted before this decision was made which I think is totally wrong and disrespectful. For the lower league clubs, grinding out a draw at home to earn a replay at one of the big clubs could make such a financial difference for them. Survival in some cases. On the flip side, grinding out a result at a Championship/Premier League Club’s ground knowing that a replay at home on a very different surface might work in their favour, has gone.

I think this decision sends a message to lower league clubs which is that the FA doesn’t really care about them. Yet without them, thousands of young footballers wouldn’t get their opportunity to break into the game, or indeed work their way to the top.

The winter break in England has been scrapped too, another ridiculous decision in my opinion. Maybe it was Arsenal’s new lease of life after time in Dubai behind this decision. Even though I’ve written that with tongue in cheek, a part of me wouldn’t be at all surprised if there’s an element of truth to it. Instead of a winter break, the season start date will be pushed back to mid-August, leaving a longer summer break which the FA said was in line with “expert advice from medical and technical departments which values a longer period of complete rest in the summer rather than a short break in the winter”.

Two crazy decisions in my opinion.

Both West Ham and Liverpool excited the Europa Cup last night. I thought Liverpool would somehow find it in them to get the result needed but all they managed was one goal and that came from the penalty spot. West Ham drew their game 1-1 but Bayer Leverkusen had already done enough at home to go through. Aston Villa managed to progress past Lille after extra time and penalties. Martinez is an arrogant p***k but he knows how to play a penalty shootout.

Anyway, it’s back to the Premier League for Arsenal tomorrow, the only hope of breaking our silverware drought. In a nutshell, we have to win every game and hope that City lose one of theirs. Wolves will make it tough though, very tough. Wolves have nothing to play for other than pride and their fans but in my opinion, the two most important parts of football. Only Liverpool out of the current top five have won at Molineux this season which tells us how hard a game we can expect tomorrow evening. Man Utd managed a victory though so there’s hope. Lol

There’s an article about Reiss Nelson on the in which he talks about life coming through the ranks. He’s been at the club for 16 years now and yet he’s still not what I’d call a first team player. Squad yes but for a 24 year old, his career should be about playing regularly rather than sitting on the bench hoping for minutes.

The last bit is about how Nelson has his real family and his Arsenal family and how both have become intertwined over the years, having spent more than half his life as an Arsenal player. He says the spirit right now within the squad is as good as he’s known.

It’s amazing. I’ve been a part of loads of different groups here, coming through the age groups, and I feel like there’s no divide at all between any of the players here. I feel like any player or any of the staff can go and sit on any table here and speak to anyone. And the good thing is we know each other so well that we don’t have to just speak about football. It can be about anything, and that’s really nice. I think the boss has done really well to get that team camaraderie, where everybody gets together and understands each other on a personal level. It’s really good.

That’s all well and good because being happy in and with life is one of the most important things in life but what about his career? We often talk about which players the club should sell but what about the passion and desire inside a player to become successful. Sitting on the bench for 80% of the season must be so frustrating and I don’t think I could do it. I’d want to play as many minutes on a match day as possible and even though I might love where I was and being around colleagues, I’d have to move if it meant playing the game I loved. Maybe he is simply Arsenal through and through now and just being at the club, in and around what has been his life for so long, a move elsewhere doesn’t cross his mind. After all, he’s under contract until 2027 with an option of another year and a £100,000 a week isn’t bad for a few hours training a week.

You wait and see, now I’ve written all of that, he’ll move away in the summer….

Catch up in the comments.