One of the hardest things I find about consistent, daily Arsenal blogging is beginning the posts when the news is, well…. at a premium. The toughest words to type invariably are the first 3-4 sentences or couple of paragraphs – which I’m accomplishing here by telling you how tough it can often be to accomplish.
I’m basically rambling. Think of it as warming up before exercise.
My usual go-to starting point is something inane and trivial from my personal life that, in all likelihood, no one will especially care about. In this particular instance, I’ve recently started (today) trying to cut caffeine complete from my diet, which isn’t exactly a barrel of laughs. Instead of the copious amounts of tea I’d usually consume, I’ve switched to Red Bush which is hydrating and caffeine free. It’s really quite nice, too. Why not give it a shot if you’ve not tried it?
As wonderfully informative and jarringly relevant as that all is, on to things Arsenal related.
We’ve a strange run of fixtures coming up. We play this Thursday, then don’t play again until the following Thursday because of our painful lack of involvement in the FA Cup. Both Thursday fixtures are the Europa League knockout stages against Swedish side Ostersunds FK.
As the build up begins, a great deal of focus is being put on the climate over there at the moment and how bitterly cold it is. According to whereabouts you look for information, the temperatures range from -3 to -9, and don’t look like being pleasant on Thursday evening:
I think that’ll prove an important factor. Some of our players are not going to enjoy that one little bit – I can see Mesut Ozil sitting this one out and staying in London underneath a blanket made of silk. It’s always difficult to predict what type of team Arsene will field for such an occasion. My gut instinct will be he’ll go with the slightly under strength side he’s used for the majority of the competition. That said, the Europa League has added importance and remains the only way we’ll secure a Champions League place so fielding your best XI makes sense – especially with a clear weekend.
The opposition may not be the most glamorous and we should be able to dispatch them with ease over two legs.
Elsewhere, new ‘reports‘ – I use that term lightly – have surfaced about Jack Butland. It’s pretty much a given that we’ll need to invest in a new ‘keeper sooner or later, so it’s pretty much a case of adding 2 and 2 together and making a story. The same stories suggest it’ll be a direct completion between us and Liverpool for the very talented shot-stopper.
Arguably, Klopp’s side need a new No1 more than we do, given both of their options are horribly inconsistent. We do at least have Petr Cech who is relatively solid and assured by comparison. If it comes down to a bidding war, I would hazard a guess we’ll lose out as we have the lesser need of the two clubs involved. Only slightly less, mind you.
Plus, I’d hope our attentions are aimed towards the guy between the sticks at Atletico Madrid. He’s top, top quality, to use a managerial catchphrase.
That’s all for today, folks. The coming days should produce something a little more interesting in terms of team news.
I’ll be back then with more.
Until that time, and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.
Soundtrack to this post: