Well it has finally been confirmed: Auba has signed and will be donning the red and white shirt for at least three more years. If you have not watched it yet, go to Arsenal.com and click on the Ian Wright and Auba video. It will cheer up even the most miserable git. Great guy, great captain, great striker, great Gunner! Thank you, Auba.
It feels like another pivotal moment in the development of Arsenal football club, just as it did when the club successfully negotiated new contracts for Theo Walcott and, after that, Mesut Ozil. We all know how that worked out in terms of the performances of these players, but yet these were important signings for the stature of the club and its attractiveness to new stars. Auba signing will be a big sign to other top players about what Arsenal stands for, but I am also confident that Auba will make a much bigger impact on the pitch after committing the best years of his career to the mighty Gunners. Let’s hope it is third-time-lucky!
Auba offers an intrinsic and passionate commitment to do well for and with the club, and he is excited to work with our young talents and established stars to get Arsenal back to the top again. There is no doubt that Arteta played a big role in convincing PEA to sign a new contract, and had he not done so it would have been a big setback despite all the progress the Spaniard has made since his arrival. SO well done Mikel and the club for making this happen.
I don’t know about you but I couldn’t sleep last night from the excitement of the Auba signing. But that was not the only reason… I also started thinking about our line-up v the Foxes in the League Cup on Tuesday. I know we have a very important PL game to play before then and I am all for OGAAT – one game at a time – but that is a different competition in the end – and I don’t expect many changes to the line-up.
We will do a preview for our Saturday night encounter v the Hammers in a day or two, but I would like to talk about our squad depth by focusing on the team that could play on the league cup at the home of the 2015-16 champions. This could be the line-up:
As you can see above, there are no ‘new’ youngsters in the line-up. The Foxes away is not an easy game, even though they are also likely to rest a few first team players if not the entire first team. But it is also clear that all the above mentioned players, bar Elneny, need to play a meaningful game. I don’t expect Xhaka to play and see Elneny as his most likely and fitting replacement, so my guess is that the Egyptian water-carrier will be rested v the Hammers and Ceballos will get a start then. I also expect AMN to play Saturday night but if not then he will play on Tuesday in one of three positions, and seeing him play in the ‘Xhaka-role’ (unlikely) would be very interesting.
Macey needs to be tested, Kola and Big Sok need to be in the shopping window and our first team CBs need to be rested, Saliba needs another game, ESR and Nelson will be dying for an opportunity to show their progress, and Saka, Eddie, Pepe and Soares are basically first team players or very close to it, so they need to play to gain match fitness. It would be good to see a few youngsters strut their stuff in the second half but only if needed. We may still even see Ozil or Guendo on the pitch..who know?!
This is a great opportunity for all the above players to do the shirt proud. Unfortunately, it will not be televised but no doubt Arsenal.com will do live radio commentary. I cannot wait!