Domestic football bliss is about to recommence and I, for one, cannot wait to see the boys in red and white strutting their stuff again. It’s been a long wait, and boycotting the WC was not easy I can tell you, but Boxing Day is almost here and the real, winter club football is of course no match to the average football on display in most WC games.
Arsenal’s players have come through the WC games more than reasonably well, I think. Of course the loss to injury of the (perhaps) too eager Gabriel Jesus, is a big loss to us. Eddie will get his chance and he will score goals, no doubt, but what we really need him to do is make us play with the high tempo and unpredictability that the Brazilian offered to us so incredibly enthusiastically during the first fourteen games. Is that Eddie’s game? I hope so.
But other than Gabriel’s painful loss, we may have actually benefited from the WC shenanigans in the big sandpit:
Aaron will have learned a lot from being part of the England squad for so long. He stayed fit and did not get injured. The same goes for Ben White and our French Tequila CB. They will come back fresh, rested yet fit, and eager to kick a ball properly again.
Bukayo got through the tournament uninjured and by all reports played very well. He will have matured again. Young Martinelli will have had a great experience and I also expect him to come back more mature and ready to show everyone how good he really is.
Xhaka and Partey played all available games and came through unscathed. They had plenty of rest since then, so I expect them to hit the ground running again. To have our central midfield pairing back is a huge bonus. Tomiyasu also played some national team footie and he will be ready to rock, if required.
And then of course, Arteta had the chance to rest a bit and work with all those really good players who did not make it to the WC. It is great to have the likes of Gabriel, Tierney, Elneny, the Zinch, Eddie, Vieira, Nelson and the Ode available to fight for every three points again from Monday onward. Mikel now also had proper time to work with the youngsters and let’s see who will get some PL minutes in the remainder of the season.
Finally, the really good thing is that A&E have the whole of January to seek reinforcement for our attack. Any further injury to Eddie, Martinelli or Saka would really see us short in attack, so a loan or permanent deal is surely highly likely.
But first we need to beat the Hammers and the Seagulls, on Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve respectively, and that will of course not be easy. So let’s go back to OGAAT – one game at a time – and forget about the rest. The boys are ready; I have no doubt about that. Let’s hope the team will gel really well again and pick up where they had left things before the WC.
Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners!!!
30 thoughts on “The Long Wait for Proper Football is Almost Over: Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners!!!”
TA Reiss was injured in the friendly vs Juventus and initial reports have not been good. It may be his hamstring. Otherwise agree with everything you say, including your disdain for the WC which I boycotted too.
Ox, thank you for the clarification re Reiss. This did indeed escape me. Glad to hear I was not the only BKer boycotting it. 🙂
How is your mum doing? Has she settled a bit in her new home?
I did not watch a minute of the group stages, but as we got closer to the return of real football, I relented and started watching from the England-France match. So I only saw interesting games.. that one, and the exciting final.
I think we looked very good in the 2 mid/pre season games I saw. Same relentless pressing and pushing forward. I think we’ll do well the rest of the way.
Cozier-Duberry to be the next one off of the youth rank in 2023?
He’s really come on a bundle this season and has that directness and courage that Arteta likes in his forwards…
“L’Équipe” has it this morning that 23-y-o left-CB Ndicka will become a Gooner – on a free – next summer.
How’s that for a Merry Christmas, Pb?
I think that’s a quality and reasonable addition to the squad.
Auston Trusty will not be delighted (as he was supposed to inherit the back-up left footed CB position), but despite his amazing loans spell at Birmingham City (average rating > 7, 3 goals, 2 MotM awards already, by far the highest rated BC player above 700 minutes), Ndicka seems to be a better option, a level or 2 above Auston. I can even imagine Evan actually competing with Gabriel for the starting LCB, but despite Arteta’s huge and vast talents, his approach and skill to compete players and start the best-in-form lads is virtually non-existent.
Anyway, LG, this is really good news (apart from Trusty and maybe to Gabriel, unless the latter gets sold, which I seriously hope it will not happen). Yet, there is a slight risk, that is associated with all free agent signings (Kolasinac, Lichtsteiner, Willian – or Ramsey, Valdez, Sanchez) that he will be overpaid, which could disrupt the dressing room balance, but let’s hope it will not come to that.
On a completely different note; I am trying to raise/upbring the next generation of Arsenal support. It’s not a public mission by any means, I simply try to set the admiration of Arsenal to my son.
Well, so far I have not much to show. Patrik (5Y, 2M) loves to watch any display, and he acknowledges when I watch football on the monitor, but obviously too impatient to watch full games with me. However during the end of the World Cup he saw some parts of games (exciting and dramatic final minutes, penalty shootouts) sitting in my lap, and he seems to be engaged. Which could be good news from general principle, but currently he is obsessed with Argentina – he demanded that next time I cook something, that should be an Argentinian dish – and can already recognize Messi on the screen (only the one with the beard, but it’s a matter of weeks to associate the kid-Messi face to the legend). So we are a few years away from requesting an Odegaard jersey for his birthday. But maybe we are getting there… 🙂
And then there was two…
With the passing of George Cohen that leaves only two remaining members of the England team from 1966, Geoff Hurst and dementia ridden Bobby Charlton.
Will England ever see their like again?
Overpaying free players is a danger indeed, Pb … but Edu doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy you can easily fool around with
And this time there is a genuine career interest about becoming a Gooner for Ndicka. Being a regular in a PL top-team, and playing the Champions League might – provided he overthrows Big Gab of course, which won’t be easy – open up the gates of Les Bleus for him, since Deschamps is going to have to rebuild a squad, and there won’t be that much competition in it for a young left-footed CB like him.
Great news about your big boy, P.
Nothing wrong about falling in love with Argentinian football imo (even 5 days only after you-know-what), provided he pledges his allegiance to Boca – the club of the people – not River!!
Well that Citeh v Pool game was insanely good. Welcome back proper winter football ⚽ ⚽ ⚽
Here we go gents – my choices for the next round of our competition.
Wolverhampton v Manchester United *
AFC Bournemouth v Crystal Palace
Fulham v Southampton
Newcastle United v Leeds United *
Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal
Villarreal v Valencia *
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very merry Christmas and new year full of good cheer and great health. Make sure you all book for a PSA blood test – the earlier the detection the greater the chance of survival.
Great to have you and the competition back, GN5. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Wolverhampton v Manchester United * 1-1
AFC Bournemouth v Crystal Palace A
Fulham v Southampton H
Newcastle United v Leeds United * 4-4
Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal A
Villarreal v Valencia * 1-1
Ndicka surprises me because if he is as talented as we hear, there should have been many suitors. Most of which would have an easy path to start at CB. Even some in England that might pay more.
So I won’t believe it to be true until announced. There’s a chance the French just picked up on the story from the Italian source.
If he comes, I hope it will be for a similar role we had in mind for Lysandro Martinez. LB and CB, involved more forward and centrally. Maybe we convinced him with that plan?
If true, he could literally allow us to sell 2 players with good value. Holding and Tierney. ££
Thanks for the post, Total. Amen to your sentiments.
It is is Christmas Eve here in far flung Aotearoa. We have just seen the grand children off to bed and all seems silent and holy about the encroaching night. It is very peaceful, but the sunset has flooded our western sky in hues of red and orange, reminding us that afar off are places still in need of peace. May God bless our Ukrainian and Russian kin, may good sense and compassion prevail there and in other parts of our world where things are fraught with peril, evil and suffering.
I imagine this is the prayer of us all.
Thank you, Total for hosting us on Bergkampesque. Thank you to all who regularly contribute. I am engaged, informed, entertained, amused and uplifted by so much of what I read. It is good to have what I term, “Healthy distractions” in our lives. Ya’all are one of those for me. Bless you and your families, with peace in this most precious of seasons.
I will raise a glass to you all tomorrow over our Christmas lunch, imagine you each sitting down to meals in India, Scotland, France, England, Hungary, Nigeria, USA, Australia… and share our common hope for three points off the Hammers.
God bless and Arsenal forever.
Since december, 24th is … my birthday, a friend of mine mailed me the best Christmas Eve’s song ever, which I give to you now:
Merry Christmas to you all – I might not be as peaceful as Stu expect us to be though: hammering the Hammers is what my dreams are made on right now
Beautifully said, Stu. And the same goes for Canada and Singapore. And then there are quite a few Gooners who read but seldom or never comment (unfortunately).
I would also like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and/or a great weekend with your loved ones.
Stu, thank you for all your football and pastoral knowledge and support at Bergkampesque.com. It’s been invaluable again. 🙏⚽🙏
Joyeux Anniversaire, Legall! What a day to have your birthday! It must have been presents galore over the years around 24 + 25 December, and then nothing for the rest of the year. .
I cannot listen to that song early morning, Legall. 🤣
Yep, T. – actually, such a date of birth means quite a few presents never make it to your Christmas tree shoe
“I’ve been beat up, I’ve been thrown
Out but I’m not down, I’m not down
I’ve been shown up, but I’ve grown up
And I’m not down, I’m not down”
(I’m not much of a “present” guy anyway – hugs, cheers, … that I could do with all year long)
But tonight’s gonna be the best present of all – first Christmas celebrated in my house with the whole family, since my grand children were born … busy day ahead.
On the other hand, I can’t help thinking this’ll be your first Christmas without any of your parents; as your thoughts and prayers go out to them, count me in with you please.
That’s very considerate of you, Legall. Thank you.
I do take joy, though, from you having all your family around you in Christmasy Rouen tonight. Wishing lots of hugs and joy tonight, and a Gunners’ victory on Boxing Day. 🙂
My favourite Christmas song, especially the earworm of a tune, is this one. It’s also for all those poor soldiers who are fighting the horrible war in Ukraine 🇺🇦 🎄
Happy birthday LeG. I saw The Pogues open for U2 at Wembley back in the ’80’s. Enjoy those grandies, mate.
This is my all time fave Christmas song…
Welcome back GN5 and happy birthday LeG.
Wolverhampton v Manchester United * 0-1
AFC Bournemouth v Crystal Palace D
Fulham v Southampton H
Newcastle United v Leeds United * 3-2
Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal. A
Villarreal v Valencia * 1-0
I saw Jonah Lewie pre-covid at a folk festival. I know what you were thinking! Just him and his keyboard, it was great fun as were the drunken ladies of a certain age all shouting out ‘I love you, Jonah!’
Morning all, interesting weather event this Christmas eve.
Temperature feels like -30c.
Roads and sidewalks covered in ice and snow.
Blowing snow most of the day.
High winds gusting to 71km/h
It’s a grand day to stay home in the warm and listen to the wind howling and watch the snow blowing everywhere.
Oh to be in Canada! – just kidding Canada is an incredible country.
That’s funny, OX10.
Stay warm, GN5 and Mrs GN5 🎄
New Post 🙂