If you’ve gone anywhere online in the past 24 hours, you’ll know all of proverbial Hell is breaking loose amongst Arsenal’s community of online friends and lovers. People do love a good argument or to be wound up by something that’s completely innocuous. There was an example of this on my Twitter timeline in which I engaged in a bit of it myself, so I’m no better. I often get find myself doing stupid things in the name of what I consider just and right. – which it often may not be. So when I say it’s all gotten a bit silly and it’s time to just calm down and focus on other things, you know I’m talking as much to myself and I’m not one of those who operates on the assumption of a loftier perch. Nope, not me.
It’s for the best to move forward, forget what’s happened and try our best to support what we have. It may not be entirely what we’d want, but we can only play the cards we’re dealt. No amount of bleating will change anything and the players still need our support. The games still come thick and fast and we’ve a League Cup semi-final to play on Wednesday.
On the news front, most of the talk today has been about comings and goings, and there’s been rather a lot of it. As usual, there are no means at my disposal in order to tell the difference between what’s hogwash and that which holds a fragment of delicious, truthful goodness. Alas, friends, I’m neither an ITK or a mind-reading meta-human. Although, that would be f*cking cool. I’d be like Professor X, but with more hair and a Bristolian accent…
“Ere, Wolverine… I’ve got a good ideal I has, my babbers!”
Now, where’s that Dark Phoenix, she be gert lush”
I realise many of my readers from Nigeria – or indeed anywhere outside of the UK – won’t get that joke, but I assure you it’s hilarious.
Transfers. Well, it appears January might be quite interesting after all. The first in the newest wave of potentially tall tales involves Francis Coquelin. It’s been alleged Arsenal would be willing to sell for around the £10m mark, which seems a little cheap, but probably not too far from accurate – my ability to judge price or supposed value is way off these days. Several sources ranging from the relatively reputable to hideous shit-rags like The Sun have run the story and it’s across quite a few online outlets as well. West Ham and Crystal Palace are both said to be keen.
I know it’s popular to hate on Coquelin because he’s not a drifting trequartista with ambidextrous distribution, but I’ve always kinda linked him. Sure, he’s a “limited footballer” (I’d hazard a guess those that use that term haven’t so much as breathed anywhere near a professional pitch, let alone represented a club like Arsenal and won trophies) but he always put in 100% for the shirt and was, for a time at least, a solid holding midfielder. I recall watching him a few years back when we beat Liverpool 4-1 and he was outstanding that day.
The other news covers the inevitability of Alexis moving to Man City, which I am beyond caring about at this stage, and Theo Walcott, who, like Francis Coquelin, it seems popular to malign. Theo has been often singled-out for his performances (again, I’ve done it myself in the past) but it is very easy to forget how many he goals he’s scored for Arsenal and some of them have been memorable – the opener in the 2015 FA Cup, that stumble at Stamford Bridge, the hat-trick against Newcastle. I wouldn’t disagree his Arsenal career has come to an end, but hasn’t done anything to warrant being cast aside without mention.
When you compare his goals to games ratio with Oxlade-Chamberlian, then it’s baffling why he seems so under appreciated. Without injuries at crucial times, his Arsenal career could have been a different story. It’s looking increasingly likely Theo will head back to Southampton and I’d wish him all the best should that occur.
Should those 3 leave, and I’d assume at least 2 of them will, we’ll need to look for replacements. You’d hope – HOPE – Arsene Wenger isn’t going to allow potentially useful squad players to move on without some sort of plan, but very little would surprise me at present. Much has been made over our attempts to get Thomas Lemar at Monaco, but that’s going to take something utterly ridiculous, and I can’t see that happening with someone as parsimonious as Wenger in charge. I imagine he’d suffer some form of nervous exhaust should he ever have to bid over £55m.
The most likely player would be Riyad Mahrez – he’s been trying to leave Leicester for a while, he’s Premiership proven and ready and wouldn’t cost an absolute fortune. I don’t think he’s as good a player as Sanchez by any means, but he does play for his teammates and he’s not selfish. It’s not inconceivable he could make us a better team.
Whatever happens, I hope it galvanises the players that remain. The next 6 months have to potential to be a new low point in the tenure of Arsene Wenger and I’ve a hunch things are going to get worse before the sun starts to shine again. Think of it like going on a rollercoaster… You can only plunge downwards shitting yourself for so long before things slow down and straighten up.
That’s all for today, folks. I’ll be back tomorrow to preview the Chelsea game.
Until then, and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.
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