“All Out Politics follows the news. Adam, what will you be discussing this morning?”
“Well, we’ll be talking about Brexit with half-a-dozen MPs, drongos and loons about how Westminster and the country are out of goosestep with each other, and whether this ends with World War 3? After all, the 1919 Peace Conference was an abject failure…”
“Thanks, Adam, can’t wait. So, today is Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year…”
This morning’s welcome from Sky News really fired up the enthusiasm for the day like no other news organisation can. All we needed was Clive Dunn sitting in for Bonecrusher Boulton with Ian Lavender as his sidekick and we’re good to go.
Thank God we beat Chelsea.
The Premier League enters hibernation for a week or so with the FA Cup moving front and centre. But not before we find out the extent of damage suffered by the unfortunate Hector Bellerin.
Saturday must have been mixed emotions for the Spaniard; a good performance, back in the XI without skipping a beat and generally at his marauding best. Arguably, for the hour or so, he thrived with the pack mentality of pressing Chelsea into mediocrity.
Injuries never come at a good time but Bellerin’s was untimely from Unai Emery’s perspective, coming minutes after Ramsey and Lacazette were withdrawn. Would it have changed his thinking had it come before the first change? I’d like to think so, leaving one of the subbed duo on the pitch and not ceding so much possession and territory for the final quarter of the match.
A lot of ifs, buts and maybes. The reality is we expect the worst news about Hec’s knee but hope for the best. Even the ‘best case’ seems to involve him missing a couple of months while the worst points to a September return, around the same time as Rob Holding.
Still, if you want to find some comfort in their misfortune, it means there won’t be any transfer gossip about Bellerin or Holding this summer. No big clubs swooping on plucky little Arsenal.
As is always the case in these circumstances, someone always gains from another’s misfortune. Ainsley Maitland-Niles is that man, even though he recently stated without skipping a beat that central midfield was his favoured position. Full-back is better than not playing at all.
Unai Emery’s options are thin on the ground. The inconsistent Lichtsteiner or the erratic Jenkinson are the other choices; it’s hardly encouraging but not all doom and gloom.
This comes down to the composition of the squad. Lichtsteiner was viewed as a good short-term option. Maybe as a
Jenkinson, who would run through walls and every other obstacle known to man for this club, is likely to be released on loan or for a nominal fee this winter and sacrificed at the altar of FFP.
Blue Sky Thinking
All of which points to a headache for Emery and whomever is deciding on transfers come the summer. We’re in ‘make do and mend’ mode at the moment; we can’t even land a loan deal with Barcelona for a midfielder they do not want. Expecting us to land a right-back in the remainder of this window is a step too far, surely?
Which is something of a problem. According to the media, we’re looking to appoint Marc Overmars to the technical director. It seems we find recruiting suits easier than players which is definitely not a healthy state of affairs for a cash-strapped club.
There is another internal solution being worked on by the club, I think. Recent photographs showed Mesut Ozil working hard in the gym, bulking up and getting ready for a role on the right-side of the defence.
Let’s face it, most of the players we stick out there only have a loose understanding of defending as a concept, so Ozil should feel at home…