So, Gabriel Martinelli has his mojo back after being dropped according to a headline on NewsNow. The term dropped is harsh I think and seldom does it actually mean what it says because dropped suggests something quite different to being rested. Aubameyang, Ozil, Kolasinac, Mustafi, Pepe etc we’re dropped in my opinion but Martinelli? No. If Bukayo Saka isn’t selected tomorrow would anyone suggest he was being dropped? Of course not, he’d simply be having a rest. Perhaps I’m simply reading too much into the way other people sell their story.
Anyway, there’s a lot going on in the world of football. Speculation is that Antonio Conte is set to leave Totts in the summer, Barcelona are facing a transfer ban this summer as they need to sell £178 million worth of players just to break even financially and Erling Haaland dreams of playing for Real Madrid. There’s more… Tottenham are being ridiculed after their FA Cup defeat to Sheffield Utd which means it’s now fifteen years and seven different managers, since they last won a piece of silverware and lastly, ‘the fabric of success’ left Chelsea left the club when Roman Abramovich sold up. Apparently, the ownership of Newcastle Utd is under scrutiny too. All of the above is written in just one newspaper yesterday morning. Guess which one? Lol
Meanwhile, back at Arsenal, we’re ticking along nicely. One day at at time, one game at a time and one good performance at a time. Hopefully anyway, including one today.
Thomas Partey could start his first game for a few weeks today, Eddie Nketiah is a doubt though and both Mo Elneny and Gabriel Jesus remain out.
Bournemouth are missing Illia Zabarnyi, Marcus Tavernier, David Brooks and Lloyd Kelly.
I think todays opposition are another one of those teams which are probably better than than their position in the league table suggests. They’ve recently held Newcastle Utd to a draw, beaten Wolves away from home, lost 1-0 at Brighton but then last weekend, they were beaten 4-1 at home by Man City.
I watched the games they played against Brighton, Wolves, Newcastle and Man City. I’m really impressed by what they are doing. They are really aggressive, they haven’t conceded many in those games and they could have had different results in two of those four games. Against Man City, [City] showed some quality when they opened up, when finishing the actions to make the score really big, but it was a really competitive match again. Mikel Arteta
Ghana international Antoine Semenyo, Ivory Coast international Hamed Traore along with Dango Ouattara are quick attacking players. Dominic Solanke is no footballing fool either. Pre World Cup, Bournemouth we’re pretty steady after appointing new manager Gary O’Neil but it’s been pretty much downhill for them since Boxing Day. But, as Mikel Arteta pointed out, they don’t concede many goals.
As much as I’m quite fond of Bournemouth, probably because Dorset is my favourite place in England, I’m hoping this will be another clinical performance from Mikel Arteta’s team and another three points on the board. Whilst Mikel Arteta was pleased after Wednesday’s defeat of Everton, he wants more from his players:
There’s much more to come. We can do things much better in many aspects of the game, and we still have players with immense growth potential individually and collectively, and as a club as well there are a lot of things we can do much better. That’s the aim – we have to be really seeking that excellence and professionalism and trying to recruit the best people and all the time have the right mindset to achieve that level.
That’s the thing with a young team, there is always more to learn and higher levels to aim for. Our players are very very good but they can get better. Mikel Arteta can improve too, he said not long ago that he’d learned from the defeat at Old Trafford and I like that about him. When he says things can improve, he includes everyone at the club and not just the players. It’s easy after a defeat to lay the blame at someone else’s door but Arsenal are in this as a club, not as a group of individuals. I think that’s the reason you and I believe we as a club are heading in the right direction.
Remember this half-time team talk at Stamford Bridge, shown in All Or Nothing?
Whatever happens I don’t want one f*****g player complaining, one f*****g player walking.
We went on to win the game I believe.
The days of approaching a match against a club in a similar position to Bournemouth with complacency seem long gone. The message from Mikel Arteta is that no one fixture is more important than another and he’s right. It doesn’t matter if we’re playing Man City, West Ham or Bournemouth, the planning and commitment has to be right. Mistakes can and will no doubt happen but there’s no room for complacency. No room for laziness.
Catch up in the comments..