It’s a full week until we have the joys of meaningful football again. Between now and next Monday’s fixture at Villa Park, it’s safe to say the news will be in short supply. Unless of course, something unplanned and jaw-dropping occurs. For all we know, Arsene could announce in his next press conference his intentions to elope with Gervinho and become a fabulous Vegas dance act. Unlikely? Yes, very. I’m just being idiotic.
The news circling around my head and the Internet today isn’t wonderfully enlightening or particularly intriguing. Yesterday, we received the FA Cup 4th Round Draw, and fortune has smiled upon us. I was expecting something tricky like an away trip to Chelsea or Manchester City. What we got was the relatively simple task of dispatching Coventry City in order to progress. I say “relatively” because we should beat them with little or no fuss. We should. However, if last season has taught us anything, it’s that lower league opponents are taken lightly at your peril. I’d fully expect Arsene to use the game to start players on the periphery and those in need of minutes. But I’d hope lessons learnt ensure we take obtaining the result as seriously as possible.
Elsewhere, we’re plunged back into interminable transfer rumours, and the re-emergence of one that simply doesn’t want to go away. For what feels like the 300th time, Arsenal are being linked with a move for Salomon Kalou – now playing his football in France with Lille.
I’d like to think that is utter b*llocks. We should we be aiming our sights a little higher than the ex-Chelsea forward. I wouldn’t say Kalou is an awful player – far from it. But I wouldn’t be able to wax-lyrical about what he could bring to the side, either. He’s a decent enough forward capable of bagging a few goals here and there. He’d probably do a reasonable job in the short term. With Theo having played well upfront and Giroud nearing a return, my biggest concern would be simple; he isn’t an improvement on what we already have. If we are to enter the market and splash a little of that hard-earned cash, that should be the first thing we look for.
With Nicklas Bendtner out for a month, our options are fairly limited, but not atrocious when you consider we still have Giroud, Walcott and Podolski available to play up front – albeit it with the latter two arguably more effective deployed out wide. As a direct replacement centrally, we probably could do with some new blood. Not only there. Currently, there are only 3 central defenders and a significant injury would leave us a little short.
With all the speculation reaching feverish levels, it’s near impossible to predict what will happen. It’ll only get worse as the days progress, so I shall be putting my faith in Arsene to do what’s best for the team. He certainly knows immeasurably more about those matters than I do.
Good news has appeared regarding the fortunes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. With the extent of Theo’s injury still unknown, having a player like The Ox return is perfect timing. Given Serge Gnabry’s recent excellent performance, the right attacking side of the team is certainly looking very strong indeed.
Speaking on AOC, Arsene said:
“He is close to being back in training,”
“That’ll be next week but it takes time to be competitive again.”
And that’s about all the news floating around the Goonerverse. Today I’m off to record a 2013 in review special of The Goonerspehere Podcast, and that should be available for your listening pleasure very soon. Until it arrives, might you all make your way toward the handy comments section beneath these words and use it as an opportunity to unload whatever thoughts might be swirling around those brains of yours. It’s always fun to have a read of what you all have to say.
As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.