Morning all.

I feel sorry for Japan because they could have beaten Croatia, perhaps even should have over the entire two hours of football but when it came to the penalty shootout, I don’t think I’ve seen one as bad as Japan’s in a long long time. What it means for Takehiro Tomiyasu though is good news for Arsenal as he’ll soon be joining his teammates in Dubai.

Should England v France go to penalties, Bukayo Saka isn’t afraid to step up.

I’ve obviously matured and progressed a lot since that moment. I wouldn’t have stepped up in the times take penalties for Arsenal if I wasn’t confident. If the moment comes and I’m selected to take one, I’ll be more than happy to. To be honest, I feel like personally I’ve tried to move on from that moment. I know I can never really forget as it’s going to be in history but at the same time coming out here and scoring those three goals has lifted me a lot. I keep saying the love from the fans that I keep receiving lifts me a lot and gives me a lot of confidence. I love to see this from the fans.

I hope England won’t need a shootout against France because if any player misses their penalty, social media will go into overdrive. The media too but then they’ll be on England’s back unless football actually does come home this winter. An expression I never really understand as football is always at home, proper domestic football I mean.

Gabriel Martinelli and his Brazilian teammates carry on though after beating South Korea 4-1 last night. Today sees Granit Xhaka in action against Portugal, one of just four Arsenal players left in the tournament.

As yet, there’s been no official statement from the club about the injury to Gabriel Jesus, or what’s happening with Ben White but neither are heading to Dubai any time soon it seems. I’m sure we’ll hear something before too long and when that statement comes, I hope it’s good news for both.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have two friendly fixtures in Dubai. Our first test comes on Thursday against Lyon at 3.30pm UK time, then on Tuesday next week, we play AC Milan at 2pm UK time. If you want to watch, it’ll cost you £5.99 per match or £9.99 for both – both options are only available through the club’s official website.

The transfer rumours are up and running as they usually are this time of the year. The Mirror report that Mikel Arteta and Edu were at the SoFi Stadium on Sunday to meet Josh Kroenke and discuss their approach to the January transfer window with a reported £50million transfer budget.  (Mirror)

Youri Tielemans is back in the headlines, yawn, Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk too and according to reports is available for £40million. Well that’s the budget gone then. Lol

Paris Saint-Germain’s Carlos Soler is another Mikel Arteta is reported to be interested in with the ‘French Giants keen to sell him in order to raise funds for new arrivals, with financial fair play impacting the French giants’ plans. Mikel Arteta is a known fan of Soler, having pushed hard to sign him from Valencia back in the summer of 2020’. Considering PSG only signed him in September of this year, I very much doubt he’ll be up for sale next month.

It’s going to get worse you know. Rumours I mean…