Morning all (at least it is still morning when I started writing!)
Later than usual blog from me on a Sunday. I took the advantage of being on part-time furlough to spend some time with family in Suffolk.
Cracking weekend for this to be fair. Bought a sofa. Got a great deal on it as the sofa shop I bought it from had a sale on.
Yesterday was all about Mesut Ozil’s return in an Arsenal shirt as we lost 3-2 in a friendly at home to Aston Villa.
Never read too much into friends results. Clubs use games for different reasons and teams can be at different stages of development prior to the start of pre-season.
Some saw the return of Ozil as redemption. That he has returned to Mikel Arteta’s plans for the new season.
But then we have the photo from our friends over at The Arsenal History – a great source of reading material written by a couple of lads who really know their stuff. Readdresses many a myth about Arsenal’s history. I digress.
So that photo taken by Andy Kelly.
In the Armoury printing area, there are two notable omissions on the wall.
Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi.
Hector Bellerin is on it twice, as is Bukayo Saka. Out-on-loan Kostadinos Mavropanos is also on the wall. And the likes of Sokratis, Lucas Torreira and Rob Holding. All of whom are likely to leave the club this week.
But no Matteo Guendouzi or Mesut Ozil.
So on one hand Arsenal are not advertising the 2 ostracised players names and numbers, and then on the other Mesut Ozil was involved in the friendly against Aston Villa.
Read into this what you will.
Late Friday night Arsenal confirmed Dani Ceballos’ return to the club on loan. A good deal.
This time round Arsenal are paying no loan fee, but the Spaniards full wages.
When you consider last season we were paying 50% of Henrik Mkhitaryan’s £180k wages whilst out on loan to Roma, Arsenal will be financially up across the 2 deals.
Ceballos is the 2nd piece in the Arteta 3 man midfield jigsaw. The first being Granit Xhaka.
Expect at least one more signing in the middle of the park to go the other side of Xhaka. Hopefully Thomas Partey who will provide a physical presence in the middle and defensive cover on the right hand side of the pitch.
That defensive cover could be important if we play Ainsley Maitland-Niles at right back in a back 4.
Partey performed well at right back for Atlético Madrid against Arsenal a few years back.
It would be an exciting attacking option for Arsenal to have AMN pushing forward and Nicolas Pepe cutting inside, with Partey dropping deeper and wider to cover them.
We might even get a 2nd new central midfielder (someone more creative such as Houssem Aouar) to give us 4 senior options for 3 places. Will give Arteta the choice to go more attacking, or more defensive depending on the opponent.
So remember, season ticket holders. If you wish to go to games this season, renew now and ballot registrations are open.
Enjoy your Sunday.