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..
Nothing like an early morning ramble .
Looks like the club is planning for the future and knows the value of experience when it comes to not only the rest of this season but an even busier next .
It’s always nice to be linked to new shiny presents but with the likes of Balogun and Patino on the horizon I can’t see the need for massive spending and no doubt there are a few more coming through too.
I will have to keep an eye on our Brazillian winger doing his loan at Norwich and get the locals view of him should be interesting.
Morning Rico and all.
It’s amazing how some players can be very exciting to watch, and then a week after signing a new contract, the play like they don’t care.
Eddie needs to start scoring, when you look at Jesus and ESR coming back and not to mention Flo Balogun knocking on Arteta’s door next season.
I think so too Potter, signing players is all well and good but sometimes, it’s worth looking in the back yard for solutions. If we play CL football next year, I can’t see MA taking it easy, we need players like Elneny etc for the domestic cups, if he’s ever fit again. Lol
I don’t think Marquinos has played a single minute for the Canaries yet Potter. Although he was on the bench last night.
Thanks Rico, Hi All.
I’m also a fan of Eddie, but he has to at least start getting shots on target. He looks tired to me because he doesn’t press like he used to. It’s so much nicer having players from your own academy in your first team. Lets hope Balogun and co can thrive in the Premier League with us next season.
Hi Mike, one could say the same about others.. 😆
I would like to know why Arteta has not given Kiwior a run, if he is not going to give him a decent run, he should have loaned him straight out for 6 months.
Crikey ! Yes Rico…Odegaard didn’t shower himself in glory I must say,
Whatever happened to Pepe ? I don’t think we sold him.
I’m desperate to see Kiwior play Geoff. He sounds really promising . I’m sure we’ll see him soon, especially in the Europa.
I reckon we’ll soon start to see the effects of this season being cut in half by the World Cup, injuries and fatigue, so far there’s not really been any discernible difference from any other season but April looks brutal.
Arsenal need to take maximum points from the next 5 games, yes it’ll be tough but that’s what champions do and not least that we’ll probably drop points in April – but then so will everyone else.
Eddie might be suffering with fatigue, or more likely he’s getting overanxious about his scoring drought, he just needs to settle down a bit and be a bit more composed, then the goals will come.
According to the injury website I go on Jesus could be back by the weekend after next and if it’s accurate then that’ll be on Eddie’s mind as well.
Geoff, we’ll probably see him in Europa, and the league too very soon. He needs a few training sessions imo.
Mike, exactly. Lol
Pepe is in Nice I believe, not really doing a lot though.
Agree Cicero. He must be feeling the pressure being constantly compared to Jesus. Not that there is a comparison really, other than height.
I’m being a bit unfair to Eddie , I know. Apart from Saka at the moment most of our shots have been soft or wayward. We seem to need 10 chances before we hit the target…… Mind you , as long as we move the ball a bit quicker and keep making the chances it should come.
Doesn’t look like we’ll make much money from Pepe if or when he goes then. He showed so much promise.
I kind of hope Mudryk has the same career at Chelsea.
I think Pepe’s contract might be up this summer, AMN, Azeez too.
Depending on how things go, we also have Lokonga due back at the end of year, and considering how we didn’t get all the players Arteta wanted in January, it could be a very busy transfer window coming up.
According to 90 mins, Arsenal have started contract extension talks with Granit Xhaka who is keen to remain at The Emirates.
A Marmite player who has matured into a popular and valuable member of the squad under Arteta’s guidance.
According to football London, if true and that’s a big if, Kroenke as has set a 34 million dollar price tag for Flo Balogun as, he does not want to come back to us unless Arteta can guarantee him game time.
I hope it’s not true, but if it is I would sell him as no young player has the rights to demand game time.
I thought Xhaka had recently signed a contract extension. Another won’t go down that well. 😂
Geoff, I strongly suspect that’s untrue.
I believe Xhaka contract expires 2024
Sad news about John Motson passing away. 77 is still young these days…
Good morning all. Another broadcasting icon lost. RIP Motty.
Saka is “close to agreeing a lucrative new contract at Arsenal” according to The Telegraph. The new deal will make him one of the club’s highest-paid players.
Hopefully Saliba next.
New post up now