That proved to be a false dawn, didn’t it? Let’s hope Arsenal are better prepared for action tomorrow evening than I was for a return to writing.
And Pele. He ended up disappointed at Heathrow when he found Britain was struck down by a case of
Thankfully, Newcastle United’s visit is close on the horizon. Yesterday’s win for Manchester United proved no surprise in the end although only after allowing Watford several chances during the game. It leaves us fifth where I expect us to stay despite Chelsea battering Cardiff City today.
Liverpool’s match with Tottenham is a no-brainer for me. Home win all day long, to keep the visitors poor form going. Yes, Liverpool will return to the top of the table but having played a game more. That game in hand, incidentally, is Cardiff City for Manchester City. At home. You should never take three points for granted, but honestly.
Ahead of the Newcastle game, the attention focused on fringe players. Denis Suarez was first up. The Spaniard presumably answered some social media critics about pumping iron when he basically told the world to shut its’ mouth because they didn’t know what they were talking about. More politely than that and definitely not as weirdly as Julian Cope seemingly fornicating whilst perched on a microphone stand at Guildford Civic Hall. A tale for another time and place, I think.
Unai Emery leapt to Suarez’s defence. The player who turned up isn’t the one Emery remembers, it seems, but that’s wrong. It’s been an adaptation period for the midfielder, believing “It is normal to take time [to settle].”
I don’t disagree but I expected him to be ready for the first team sooner than now. We have, however, been fine in the meantime. For the most part…
Emery was cautious about his compatriot’s contribution, however.
We have a lot of players ready and with a big mentality and a big performance for playing and helping us. For me, like that, we can be stronger, more competitive for taking big performances. With Denis, or with another.”Gee, thanks boss.
Hardly a ringing endorsement.
Therein is Suarez’s problem. It’s all very well pulling out a performance in a friendly but it is the Premier League and Europa League which count. There’s an element of the Kallstrom’s about his signing – someone is better than nothing – but without the broken back as a get-out clause.
Next up was Carl Jenkinson, who is still living the fan’s dream. There is some revisionism going on regarding his place in the squad, which is almost counter-intuitive to the assessments of others. A ‘man of the people’ emerges from the interview with the time which takes on a romantic view of the situation. Most people don’t include him in their matchday XI’s and if we extended that to the bench, he probably wouldn’t make that either.
There’s a hint of sadness about that. Jenkinson is, after all, a fan at heart:
havealways had class and always will. A lot of other clubs probably envy that. You can’t buy class.
havesuch a rich history. The stadium, atmosphere, the people . . . Arsenal is a very classy place.
He also sees the banners hailing Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Ian Wright and David Rocastle.
I look at the great players who have played for Arsenal over the years. I’m immensely proud to have been given the chance to play for Arsenal. I’m incredibly privileged.Carl Jenkinson sums it up
Injury robbed him of his peak years and of a move to regular first-team football
Burdens and Millstones
The reality is that his time in the first-team or chance of cementing a place has gone. Bellerin and Maitland-Niles are ahead of him in the queue, so too the more experienced heads of Lichtsteiner and Mustafi, even when they are lost in a fug of mistakes.
That move to Crystal Palace which fell apart, reportedly over wages, seems a long time ago.
Another who may be hanging around longer is Danny Welbeck. Out of contract this summer, he was seemingly set to flee the nest but that may not be so clear cut.
He’s unlikely to make the first XI starting line-up, according to Emery:
He is working and starting to touch the ball and to work on the pitch. His progress with such a big injury is going very well. It’s difficult for him to play matches this season, but maybe the doctor will tell us he can come train with us in the last weeks of this season.”Will Danny Be Welbz Again?
Innuendo and social media hints aren’t much to base a career on but could Welbeck stay? I think that depends largely on whether any of the big earners move on. Certainly, there are strong rumours that one of Mkhitaryan and Ozil are for the chop – the former would be the universal ‘favourite’ for that, I think.
And I’d say Welbz staying eases the pressure on the likes of Nketiah in their development. Having an experienced striker to play in the minor cups as well as the youngsters is the ideal scenario to stop the burden becoming a millstone around their necks.
We shall see but first and foremost, it’s good to have some football back.