It’s a rainy Tuesday morning in the UK as I’m writing this but, thankfully, the international break, which feels it’s been going on for ever this time round, is almost at an end. My only saving grace, the return of the A League which meant a four game feast of live matches at the weekend, but best of all, it’s nearly time for the Arsenal once again….
We’ve got a run of games coming up which really should see us start to accumulate some serious points in the Premier League and, with a Champions League double-header versus Anderlecht in the mix too, secure early qualification for the second round of games in that competition.
You know what, it wasn’t a bad performance against Chelsea last time out and personally, I thought the team did a lot of things very well. It just wasn’t enough though to break down a resilient and well-drilled Chelsea side which also found two moments of magic to secure the three points, while Arsenal toiled unsuccessfully.
Arsenal will now have to find that magic without Mesut Ozil in the squad for the next couple of months or so, the German returning to London from international duty soon after the Chelsea game, having apparently picked up a knee injury at Stamford Bridge. The injury dramas continued with Laurent Koscielny also returning home with Achilles tendon problems and while this was described as ‘precautionary’, it is I think, a long standing injury that may need sorting for once and for all.
All will be revealed ahead of this weekend’s game against Hull City at The Emirates no doubt, but the possible loss of Kos (see what I’ve done there!) would surely be a much bigger blow than that of our (cliché coming up) mercurial German.
Ozil has shined only in flashes so far this season and, while his huge talent cannot be denied, I refuse to believe that he is either firing on all cylinders or performing miracles on the pitch that I can’t see because I know nothing about football, which a certain section of the Arsenal’s fanbase would have us believe. There’s nothing wrong with a loss of form and / or confidence, it happens to everyone at some point, and let’s hope he regains both when he is fit and back in the squad.
Having said all that, seeing that Theo Walcott and Serge Gnabry have returned to full training was a real boost and, amid all the injury negativity, a story deserving of its own photo special on arsenal.com I noticed!
The thought of Walcott and Alexis’s pace will give defenders sleepless nights I would think, and with the other creative options also available to the manager, conversely, Danny Welbeck must be sleeping soundly and dreaming of goals galore! As might Olivier Giroud, who the manager revealed this week is well-ahead of schedule in his recovery from injury. More good news – whatever next!
With Arteta and Ramsey’s return not too far behind, and league games against Sunderland, Burnley and Swansea to follow the clash with the Tigers on Saturday, we’ll learn a lot about this Arsenal side in the next few weeks, as maximum points shouldn’t be an unreasonable expectation.
Before all that though, this Thursday sees the Club’s Annual General Meeting and, as ever, it will be interesting to see what the manager says regarding a host of topics, notably transfer activity, or inactivity, depending on your perspective!
Until next time, all the best from the UK and come on you Gunners!