It is all a little quiet in Arsenal World at the moment.
The winter break followed by the FA Cup 4th round means it has been an age since Arsenal last played a game.
For once I am grateful for mid-week football. If it was not for Thursday’s trip to Wolves, we would still have to wait another 11 days for our next Premier League fixture.
Arsenal were due to face Chelsea this weekend. But due to their participation in some international friendly tournament, we have no weekend game.
On that, does anyone really care about the World Club Cup (or whatever it is called)? For me, it goes into the same boat as the Community Sheild and European Super Cup. Just a glorified friendly.
Held it football hot beds such as the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, it is clearly an attempt by FIFA to cash in on the lucrative domestic game. But does anyone actually care about Chelsea playing some Saudi Arabian team no one has ever heard of?
Fact that the European teams join at the semi-final stage, potentially face teams from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Mexico, Tahiti and Abu Dhabi sums the competition up.
Tottenham had to beat better teams to win the Audi Cup!
It seems the only people that care about such trophies are the wierd little kids that like to boast how many trophies a player has won – and then add all the friendly tournament. Or in Chelsea’s case the “we could win 7 trophies this year” but 3 of them are friendly tournaments.
Anyway, I have digressed a little bit and risk coming across bitter as Arsenal do not have the opportunity to play in a competition that I do not give two fucks about.
The only Arsenal related news floating about is the comments from Pablo Mari yesterday.
Mari made a solid debut for Udinese at the weekend, showing the leadership skills we knew he had. After the game he spoke about leaving Arsenal and his relationship with Mikel Arteta.
“I haven’t had any luck at Arsenal but when I’ve been on the pitch, I think I’ve given a very good level. In the end, there comes a point where you have to make decisions”
“Arteta is one of the best managers I’ve come across. He helped me a lot to understand football better. It’s an idea very similar to Guardiola’s, but with it’s subtle differences.”
It is interesting to note his comments about Arteta. He is full of praise for his managerial ability. A stark contrast to what Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang said.
I do agree with Mari as well that he was a bit unlucky at Arsenal.
He joined on loan in January 2020 and looked a solid option, adding leadership to a shakey backline. That deal was made permanent in the summer.
That same summer the Gabriel deal materialised and Arsenal secured one of the best left sided centre backs in football.
When the deal for Mari was done, the club did not know the Gabriel deal would come up a few months later. We needed a left footed centre back for balance and Mari joined.
Gabriel’s Arsenal career was pretty much over the day Gabriel joined. The Brazilian has been one of the best defenders in the league.
With no European football this year, Mari’s appearances have been few and far between.
In the summer, William Saliba is likely to return to compete for a starting XI place. That would have pushed Mari further down the pecking order.
Mari is on loan at Udinese, but if he puts in some good performances a buyer will come in for him.
Anyone, that is all for today. Have a good Tuesday.