Morning all.

There’s seldom much Arsenal news at this time of the year, even less so this time around because we’re out of the domestic cups, sitting top of the League and Europa League football still a few weeks away. I’m sure we all wish we could have beaten Everton at Goodison Park and had someone who knew how to apply the offside lines on VAR for the Brentford game but nothing we or anyone else say, will change what’s gone by. Looking forward is more beneficial, looking to the next fixture rather than those gone by.

It’s tempting to look at our next few fixtures and think ‘we should win them all’ but so much can happen in this game. Who’d have thought Southampton would have beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge or City to drop points against Nottingham Forest, but they did. Newcastle Utd, the next big club to secure Champions League football said the media, but they’ve hit the buffers of late and having reached their first domestic cup final for years, I doubt many neutral football fans believe they’ll beat a rejuvenated and in form Man Utd team who look the real deal. No, that’s not my opinion, it’s what I’ve read in the back pages. Ultimately, football is unpredictable, especially this season.

Footballers are unpredictable too. For weeks they can be brilliant, then they have two or three games where nothing seems to go right for them. They have a dire first 45 minutes but after the break, can make a difference. Had Martin Odegaard scored on Saturday, Eddie Nketiah would have been praised for his work prior to laying the ball on a plate for his captain. Instead, the scoring opportunities Nketiah missed seem to be the focus. Certainly online and on social media. Yet not so long ago, he poked home the winner against Man Utd, his second in the game. Frustratingly for him, the team and fans, he hasn’t scored since. No one had until we went to Aston Villa, not from open play anyway.

Haaland, Kane, Rashford, Toney, all their respective club’s ‘main’ striker are well into double figures for goals we have Bukayo Saka as our leading goal scorer and he’s on 10. The rest remain in single figures. Yet as said the other day, we’re the second highest goal scoring club in the Premier League with Totts 7 goals scored behind us and having conceded 12 more.

I’m a big fan of Eddie Nketiah but I know he’s missing goal scoring opportunities, some of which you and I probably think he should be converting but, so was Gabriel Jesus before getting injured. Unless Arsenal and Mikel Arteta are going to change tact and sign a different kind of striker altogether, would we be not be hard pushed to find a better pairing than the one we have, bearing in mind one of them is likely to play less than the other. Flo Balogun is set to return to Arsenal in the summer, potentially giving Mikel Arteta three really good options up front. After all, there’s no reason Flo Balogun can’t repeat the form he’s been in for Reims with Arsenal is there? He’s joint top scorer Ligue 1 right now with 15 goals. Level with Mbappe and Jonathan David. Why spend £70 odd million on a striker when we already have one who is doing as well as our own young English American is? Tammy Abraham for example, has just 6 league goals so far this season, Lautaro Martinez, 13 for Inter Milan, Christopher Nkunku has already been snapped up by Chelsea apparently and after them, the best players are either close to retirement or already playing in the Premier League.

I only talk about our strikers as it seems to be one of two areas of the squad often mentioned as a weakness by pundits and on social media, along with the centre of midfield. I read something this morning which alluded to Arsenal could win the League but only if Thomas Partey stays fit and to a degree, I agree but, at least now we have Jorginho who knows this League inside and out.

Hopefully, anyone who doubted a £12 million over 30 year old player signed from Chelsea had much to offer a young and exciting Arsenal team are now thinking differently. I very much think he still has a lot to offer this team. Mikel Arteta clearly thinks so, just as he does Mo Elneny because yesterday, Arsenal announced the Egyptian has signed a year extension to his contract. Didn’t see that one coming I must admit but needless to say, he’s happy:

I’m so happy, I love this club and our supporters so much and I’ll give everything to help us be the best we can be, every day I’m here. It makes me so proud to have represented this amazing club since 2016. The spirit and togetherness we have in our squad right now is so positive and I’m so happy I have extended my contract.

Xhaka, Jorginho, Partey and Elneny are the old, wise and more experienced to compliment the young, enthusiastic and less experienced. So perhaps as the season comes to a close, if we’re still in with a chance of winning the League and or the Europa League Cup, those older heads will be crucial. Just as Jesus and Zinchenko will be as they know what it’s like to win silver.

I know we shouldn’t look too far ahead as far as fixtures go but April really is a stinker of a month.

Our April league fixtures:

Sat 1: Leeds United (H) 3pm
Sun 9: Liverpool (A) 4.30pm
Sun 16: West Ham United (A) 2pm
Fri 21: Southampton (H) 8pm
Wed 26: Manchester City (A) 8pm
Sat 29: Chelsea (H) 5.30pm

If we’re still in the Europa League, there’ll be two more fixtures to play. The first which is scheduled to be at The Emirates, would be on the Thursday after playing Liverpool and the away tie would be a week later, the day before we’re expected to play Southampton. Oops!

Anyway, I’ve waffled on for far too long about something which I suspect made more sense in my head than it does on paper… lol

Catch up in the comments..