Been absent without a post for a few days now. Plethora of reasons why I didn’t write anything new. From work to busy personal schedule (yes, there’s more to me than just football), to still being lost for words on what that goal on Monday did to me to just being pure and utterly lazy. The buck stops here and that’s as far as I’m willing to say on this matter. Now, let’s crack on. This will probably be a roundup of sorts.
Francis Coquelin was announced to have sign on the dotted line and extended his contract with us. This is really good news despite it coming on the back of his hamstring injury which will keep him out at least until after Manchester United. Whenever he has played this season, we’ve all been impressed. Best player in those defeat to Tottenham and United. Which tells that despite what happens on the pitch and to his team mates, Coquelin is still able to play his game confidently.
Then, there’s the situation with Ignasi Miquel. Not with his contract but rather where he goes for the rest of the season. He wants to go out on loan but with Arsene Wenger insisting that he does not intend to go into the transfer market for a left back, Miquel looks likely to stay. Coquelin’s injury meant that we lose the 4th option at left back. Miquel will probably get a run of games there until someone comes back. Hopefully, it’s because he’s most comfortable of the remaining lot to play there and not because he’s the only left footed player we have left. In any case, it would boost his experience to feature in these coming weeks.
One who will not be leaving any time soon, at least not until June, will be Marouane Chamakh. Wenger said as much after being asked about it in the press conference, in light of the rumours linking him to Fiorentina. Many fans (Arsenal ones, of course) wants to see the back of him. I would be lying if I say that I don’t think along the same lines. He’s at the African Cup of Nations at the moment and I sincerely hope he has a good tournament. That way, he could come back and be lifted by his own performance in the month long tournament and play his part. Mind you, a good performance from February until May not only helps us but also catches the attention of potential suitors.
Even if he does regain some of his confidence in that tournament, he will still no doubt come back to an Arsenal side in the shadows of one Thierry Henry. The immediate impact that Henry made on Monday doesn’t go unnoticed, though the Arsenal legend was quick to play down all expectations and just happy to be part of it. The celebrations was genuine and Arsenal is clearly something very important for Henry. He’s been putting in a lot of work with the club physio, Tony Colbert and in a way, try to force his way into the manager’s thinking.
One thing which he doesn’t want to play down, is the expectation of the club for the season. Top four is the minimum requirement and if Henry is to be believed, we are in place to achieve that. At this point, it’s hard to underestimate the impact that Henry could have. If we do bring his back to his full fitness (read as Premier League fitness), then we’ve got a really good experienced player on our hands. One who has seen it and done it before, with the world of experience to pass on to the rest of the squad. The impact of his departure when his loan stint ends could be huge, but try asking any Arsenal fan whether they care about that at the moment.
From the moment, Henry scored that goal on his return, it was supposed to be a really good week for Arsenal and to have a feel good vibe surrounding the club. That however, took a turn for the worse due to Wojciech Szczesny. His poorly placed jibe at Aaron Ramsey created bad headlines. It was an uncalled for remark, no matter the circumstances and the fact that it was on the social media for everyone to see, only made it worse.
To his credit, Szczesny did later apologised for it. Whether it was due to the insane amount of criticism he received on the same social media, a word of advise from a concern PR at Arsenal or just his own conscience acting up, is not important. I think it’s great that players are allowed on social media to interact with fans and show their personality outside of the football pitch. But, there must be a responsibility towards what they say/do because they represents Arsenal Football Club.
I distinctly remember reading all the quotes about Wenger saying that we’re “nearer to signing someone but as at the moment, nothing is concrete yet”. Strange I can’t find any of that quote anywhere today. What happened there? Was I dreaming?
That’s about all I can muster for today. Can’t wait for match day tomorrow.