We play Everton tomorrow in our 2nd game of 4 in a row at home.
After 2 defeats in the opening two games, we have now won 4-in-a-row.
Victory would propel Arsenal towards the top 4 and would keep the club on course to get around 75 points this season – only once has a club got 75 points or more and failed to finish in the top 4 – ironically Arsenal in 2016/17.
Just as important as the victory would be the first clean sheet of the season.
Arsenal have already conceded 9 Premier League goals this season – the fifth highest in the league. Add conceding 2 against FC Vorskla and it is a slight cause for concern.
There is only so many times you can keep scoring 3 or 4 to win a game before you start dropping points.
I wouldn’t say no to a boring 1-nil to The Arsenal tomorrow.
The incredible thing about Matteo Guendouzi was when he came on against FC Vorskla on Thursday, no one saw him as a youngster getting a run out.
Making his debut in that game was Emile Smith Rowe, the 18-year old becoming the first player born after the turn of the millennium to play in Arsenal’s first team.
Guendouzi is just a year older than the Englishman, but the feeling around the pair is remarkably different.
Smith Rowe coming on felt like a kid getting a chance, Guendouzi coming felt like a senior professional coming on.
At £7million, Guendouzi so far has been a terrific piece of business.
Even if he was 22 or 23 years old, we would be saying that Guendouzi was a great find by Sven Mislintat, coming from the French second division. The fact he is just 19 further highlights how important good recruitment is in the modern era of crazy transfer fees.
He has jumped ahead of Mohamed Elneny in the pecking order, and whilst Lucas Torreira should start ahead of him, his signing and development is going to save us millions in the future.
Between Guendouzi and Ainsley Maitland-Niles we have two quality young central midfielders. Even if their potential is to only become squad players, that will result in about £50m worth of talent for just £7million.
Guendouzi still has plenty of rough ages to be polished, and it is too early to compare him with the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Patrick Vieira; but if he stays injury free (Abou Diaby, Jack Wilshere) and motivated (Denilson) there is no reason he can not reach the top.
Emile Smith Rowe
On Emile Smith Rowe, he had a great little cameo.
A lot has been talked about recently of young Arsenal players leaving the club in their droves.
Stephy Mavididi (Juventus), Marcus McGuane (Barcelona), Chris Willock (Benfica), Donyell Malen (PSV), Kaylen Hinds (VfL Wolfsburg), Daniel Crowley (Willem II) and Vlad Dragomir (Perugia) to have left the club in the last 12 months for a new challenge abroad.
Instead of it being a negative that Arsenal have lost these players, I actually see it as a positive.
Arsenal are either offloading, or not getting in the way of players who are simply not good enough, and ever really likely to make it.
Someone like Mavididi was let go because Arsenal had Eddie Nketiah coming through. Nketiah is a year younger than Mavididi and ahead of him in the pecking order.
Smith Rowe would have ended the Arsenal careers of a few players who were older than him.
On the list of players who have left, you have to think him coming through was why we did not work harder to keep Chris Willock or Daniel Crowley. He has also now moved ahead of Joe Willock – who is older.
Just 18-years old, he showed some nice touches. At times his passing was a little heavy, but I look forward to watching his development – both in the Europa League and against Brentford in the League Cup.
We have some very good youngsters coming through and are reigning Premier League 2 Champions (U23). If we have a talented 17-year old breaking through who is better than a 19-year old within the squad, we have to make the tough decision in the best interests of the club.
New Spurs Stadium
Over the months I have tried to keep abreast of what is happening at the Spurs stadium. This is more to do with my day job than my interest as an Arsenal fan.
It was well known back in March that there were major problems and that it would not be ready for the start of the season. Despite know this, Tottenham still sold season tickets based on playing at the new ground, and created an advertising campaign that the new Tottenham Stadium would be the only place in London to watch Champions League football this summer.
There has been more than one major issue during the complex build, and the chaos is starting to make national news.
The root of the problems is in how the deal to build the stadium was structured.
Normally with a build as big as this, you leave it to the experts. You appoint a main contractor to oversee the entire project, sub contract the packages out, and maintain full operation control of the build. All the “client” does is visit the site, keep an eye on things. Arsenal did this with Sir Robert McAlpine and the Emirates Stadium.
Teamwork and exemplary management made sure the award-winning Emirates Stadium was in a league of its own is the quote that go’s alongside details of the project on the McAlpine website.
Tottenham chose to have direct commercial relationships with individual subcontractors, which also meant it appointed Mace as construction manager rather than overall main contractor.
Some subcontractors have felt they were being “pinched” by the terms of these direct deals with the club. Tottenham pushing down the prices despite the cost of builds in London increases.
This led to some trades acting purely in their own interests, rather than also considering overall project progress, which led to further complications and delays. Cutting corners. Rushing jobs to get out of there.
Up against things financially, they did not want to spend any more time or resources on the project then they had to, and their work was unsupervised with Mace only able to “advise” subbies – normally onsite the main contractor would be at the top of the pyramid, in charge of all those below them. Instead everyone reports directly into the Tottenham project management team.
In construction, there is a long held theory of buy cheap, buy twice. It feels like by pushing down sub contractors and going for the cheapest possible options, the overall project is actually going to be way over budget. And it already extremely late.
At the time, Daniel Levy probably felt he was getting a good deal on the stadium, but as costs move past the £1bn mark and the stadium set not to open until 2019, the cheap route has ended up the wrong route.
And by maintaining full control, it seems the financial punishments for late delivery of a project that a main contractor would be liable to pay do not exist.