Another away game today, and this feels like yet another big weekend in the title race.
We are heading to Leicester for our first 3pm away game of the season. Meanwhile Man City face Bournemouth on the south-coast in the late afternoon/early evening kick off.
It feels like one of those weekends where all 6 results are a strong possibility, and I would not be too surprised if one of us or City drop points.
Leicester got smashed last time out against Manchester United, but they could have been 2 or 3-nil up before they went behind.
They have some fantastic forward thinking players, and a double creative threat in midfield in James Maddison and Youri Tielemans. Leicester will carve out chances today.
It is just whether Arsenal can hold out and defend when they have their spell on top. We will get plenty of chances to score ourselves.
Only Bournemouth have conceded more than Leicester this season. The Foxes have outscored 5th place Newcastle with 36 goals in 23 games.
A threat going forward, but very poor in defence.
I have seen a few people complaining that “it is 2023 and we can not watch The Arsenal on TV”.
“Our next 3 games are not televised. Why do I pay so much for my subscriptions”.
Two of those three games are at home. If you have decided to be a TV fan rather than match going, then that is your decision.
This is the first 3pm away game of the season. And just our 3rd 3pm Saturday match this year.
The other two were Leicester and Brentford at home. Bournemouth at home next Saturday is also 3pm Saturday. And I am loving it.
I think TV fans do not quite realise how games not being at 3pm can affect match going fans.
The early starts, the late finishes. Scrapping for trains for away games. We battle on. So I am sorry if we have 5 or 6 games a season at 3pm on a Saturday which means you can not watch your favourite television show.
How about turn the radio on? I am part of a generation that grew up with hardly any football on TV. And very few houses had Sky. Listening to 5 Live or Capital Gold was my childhood.
Football is not a TV show.
Other news is that Bukayo Saka is apparently very close to signing his new long term deal.
I do take this with a pinch of salt as I remember the same journalists writing similar stories about 4 months ago.
Saka will sign, I am sure of that. He (and his people) are just ensuring he gets what he is worth.
Last summer, you would perhaps have offered him around £150k a week. He has now kicked on again and is our most important player.
Saka is our top scorer in the league, and 7th top scorer overall. And with 8 assists, only Kevin de Buryne has more.
17 goals + assists, split almost equally between goals and assists, only Erling Haaland and Harry Kane have more goals and assists in the Premier League this season.
He is the biggest goal scoring and creative threat in the Premier League (Marcus Rashford might out score him, but he does not create much).
Arsenal’s strength this season has been we have mutiple attacking threats across the front line – Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Jesus. Opponents do not know where the goals or assists will come from. But one man is now rising above the others and that is Saka.
He is now well worth the £200k a week he will sign. Hopefully it will be a 5 year deal with an option of a 6th.
Saka is still just 21 and that deal will see him spend many of his best years at the club. Having started so young, you have to think his peak years will be 22-27 rather than 25-30.
It is not just Saka the player that is important, but also Saka the person. He gets what it means to play for The Arsenal.
Take it one game at a time, but it is hard not to think that by this time next week we could be back to 5 points clear.
On the march with Mikel’s Army.