Watford (A): Team News, Starting Line-Up And Contract Updatezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Morning, folks.

Isn’t it a greatly satisfying feeling knowing all that nonsense surrounding international qualifiers has taken a back seat where it belongs? I know some of you may claim it’s unpatriotic to have little enthusiasm for the fortunes of your country’s football team. Perhaps you have a point. Nonetheless, I find it all incredibly boring and I’m glad it’s over so we can focus on Arsenal.

In the few days since we last spoke, there’s been some light murmerings around the contracts of Alexis and Ozil, both of whom could stay or both of whom could leave. It’s all speculation and out there in the murky waters of hatchet journalism and click-bait; either party passing wind in a different note can be written into a story about their future. Much like international football, this has also gotten f*cking boring. Sky ran an entire story based on a innocuous quote from Ozil’s agent. Most of the larger radio stations took time out to discuss the subject, often brining on dribbling ex-players and pudgy, no-mark alcoholics to sneer at a player who sh*ts out more talent of a morning than they’ve ever possessed.

This is the quote:

“Ozil wants to play another two to three years in the Premier League.

Our contacts with Arsenal continue and are going in a positive way”

I don’t pretend to know too much about sports journalism, but from where I’m sitting, there’s absolutely nothing of any interest in that statement. It is a fabulous nothingness. It is all Ozil’s agent can say. He wouldn’t tell us if he is client wants to leave, he wouldn’t tell us if his client was eager to stay. It’s just a nothing, but it perfectly showcases how the sports broadcasting world works these days: you take one word from a sentence, and you make a story that can run for 24 hours across multiple outlets. All from f*ck all.

Alexis we haven’t heard much from because he’s busy having sex with his dogs in a wood cabin. Allegedly. Well…. probably not. He might just like to watch.

So, Watford tomorrow! Arsenal are back. Yeharrrr!

Today we make the short trip to Vicarage Road to face a very good Watford side. Although, whilst our friends in yellow do sit in a very respectable 8th place, it’s worth mentioning that they’re yet to win a home game this season – the kind of stat that invariably get wheeled out before Arsenal come to town.

Team news for today is a mixed bag. After his exploits with Chile, I’d say it’s unlikely we’ll see Alexis play from the start. Welbeck and Ozil have returned to full training and both could feature today, but, again. I would be surprised if either played from the start. Koscielny and Kolasinac require late tests but should be fit enough to take their places in the starting line-up. Mustafi suffered an injury on duty with Germany, so he joins Chambers, Coquelin and Cazorla on the injured list.

I think we’ll win today. The current ‘mini resurgence’ has seen us look a great deal more reliable in defence and Arsenal are always going to be a team that’ll score goals. When we go to the smaller grounds like Vicarage Road that have that claustrophobic feel to them, I feel our most important job is to keep the home fans quiet. If we allow Watford to build momentum and get the fans acting vociferous, we’ll have an evening full of problems. Watford are a compact, intelligent team, but they are capable of shipping a few goals if things don’t go according to plan. Man City gave them a good hiding a few weeks back and that’s the kind of gameplay we should adopt; beat them before they’ve any chance to allow us to beat ourselves.

I’m going to predict a 1-3 away win today. The comments are below, share your thoughts on the score. I’ll be back tomorrow with a review.

As always, thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

Soundtrack to this post:

The Clash –  ‘Clampdown’

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