Arsenal’s Spring Break
Last nights victory for Southampton against Liverpool results in the Premier League tie away to Southampton at St Mary’s on 25th February will be rearranged. This is great news for Arsenal.
As winter turns to spring, Arsenal will have around 14 days between the FA Cup 5th Round (if Arsenal beat Southampton this weekend) and an away trip to Liverpool. With 12 games to go in the Premier League season from that point, it will give the side a welcomed break before the title run in.
The break could be further extended to 17 days if Arsenal lose to Southampton this weekend. I am fine with just the 14 days off thanks!
Anyone who has taken a week holiday from work will know how much fresher you come back. Arsenal players will be able to down tools after the FA Cup match for at least 5 or 6 days, before having to return to full training. It also gives the side further time to prepare for Liverpool away.
The downside is the Southampton fixture now needs to be fitted in somewhere.
If Arsenal go on an FA Cup run to the Semi Final, a further 2 Premier League ties will have to be rearranged to mid week. Matters could be further muddied if we have to face any FA Cup replays.
The Premier League should apply to UEFA to host Southampton v Arsenal on the 14/15 March. With UEFA rules stating that no domestic top level game is played at the same time as their beloved Champions League, this date will be in doubt.
21/22 March is also free, although this is slated in for FA Cup 6th round replays.
The last possible date is the 28th February / 1st March. Just 3 days after the original fixture. Whilst this date would be advantageous for Arsenal, as we would have the weekend off and Southampton will be suffering from the fall out of whatever the League Cup result is, it would reduce that Spring Break and give us less time to prepare for the Liverpool away fixture. Suddenly Southampton’s victory is not such great news.
Klopp’s Liverpool Form
In 2017, Liverpool have won just a single game, an FA Cup 3rd round replay victory over Plymouth Argyle of League two. Their form reads:
1 win in 7 since the New Year.
Even more interesting is Jurgen Klopp’s near identical record to that of Louis van Gaal. One has been considered as a great success since coming to the Premier League, the other was labelled as a massive flop. It just shows how media reporting can change your perception.
Now this is not an anti-Klopp, pro-Wenger rant. You are an idiot if you do not think Klopp is not a very good manager, and would have been an ideal candidate to replace Arsene at Arsenal. But what Klopp’s struggles show, like with Pep Guardiola’s highlighted last week, is just how hard the Premier League is.
If Liverpool end up 5th, or even 6th below Jose Mourinho’s much derided Manchester United team, will Klopp continue to get such an easy ride from the British press?
On the thought on media perception – and this is something I might write an expanded blog on this subject another time – something has caught my eye / brain / 6th sense recently.
The media made a big fuss over Arsenal going 9 years without a trophy. I knid of remember the press picking up on trophy-less run after the 5th year. Certainly before the Birmingham League Cup Final defeat the press were making a lot of noise about it. Arsenal had not yet gone 6 years without a trophy by that point.
Liverpool are now up to 5 years without a trophy. Their last being the League Cup in 2012. But there is no noise from the press. Maybe they are worried to upset the mentally fragile, reactionary Scousers? They have not won a major honour (FA Cup, League, European Trophy) since they beat West Ham in the 2006 FA Cup Final. That was near on 11 years ago. 1 trophy in 11 years. 0 trophies in 5 years. Interesting how the press pick and choose who to create a narrative about.
Then you have Tottenham. I always laugh when the media talk about a ‘big 6’. There is no big 6. How can a club which has not won a league title since 1961, not finished 2nd since 1963 and made the top 3 just once in 30 years be considered in any sort of elite class is a joke.
Since they last won the FA Cup in 1991, Spurs have been knocked out of the FA Cup as many times in the 3rd round as they have in the semi finals. Six times each.
Spurs last trophy was in 2008. Like Liverpool, it was the League Cup. 8 years without a trophy. But like Liverpool, there is not the media interest that there was when Arsenal were at 8 years. Maybe it shows that Spurs are just a small club of little to no interest?
We all know by now, it is 25 years since Spurs last won the FA Cup. 55 years since they last won the league. The media pretends their is a big 6, and people believe them. But the reality is they are not in any sort of elite.
Has there ever been a transfer window where Arsenal have been so quiet. And not just the club’s own activity, but the fans.
Usually at this point of a January transfer window we are all going mental. 5 days until it closes, we still have not signed anyone of note, and yet social media is not awash with people demanding Arsene Wenger “Spend some f**king money”.
Why is this?
Are we content with the squad, realising there really isn’t much else better out there? That we will have to make do with what we have? It is interesting that no one in the Top 6 of the Premier League has made a move for anyone. The biggest signing this summer as been 19-year-old Ademola Lookman to Everton.
Maybe we are now seeing the death of the January transfer window. It is a market for the desperate, those so concerned about being relegated that they end up spending £15million on some bloke called Wilfred Ndidi.
Or are Arsenal fans just bored of it all. Have we accepted that the club will simply not do much business in January. Are we all suffering from Stockholm Syndrome? Just counting down the days until Arsene Wenger leaves. Why get angry about something not in your control. It will not change anything, just increase your blood pressure, leaving you purple face in anger as you scream and shout at your friends.
I would be very surprised if Arsenal signed anyone in January.