Good things, as they say, come to those who wait.
I sat watching Sky Sports on 1st January expecting a flurry of new players to change hands within moments, and here we are some three weeks later with a 35-year-old prodigal-ish son having returned but not much else. This transfer window thus far has been a poker game, with few people yet prepared to declare their cards. Looks like we need to be patient and put on our flak jackets for a 31st January blowout.
We’ve also been waiting for some time for the pleasure of looking down from the summit of the league. Yes, I know we were top after a few games this season, but I’m not counting that. If we counted early season form, we’d be top every year courtesy of being alphabetically superior.
With perhaps the toughest string of games coming that I can recall, it would have all sorts of positive effects to enter that fearsome foursome/queasy quartet from the top of the league. Which is why an ordinarily mundane fixture against a side who a) are struggling and b) have never been the easiest on the eye has got a bit of a fizz about it.
We can worry about those four games later. For the time being, we just need to beat Bolton to keep the momentum up and the confidence high. We also need to work out how on earth our season has been scuppered – and yet not sunk – by our extraordinary run of injuries. I know I bang on about it, but the sheer number of crocks we’ve had this season seems more than mere coincidence. Evidently, it’s something the Arsenal hierarchy have been scratching their heads over too. As the boss said today:
“We have analysed absolutely everything. It is strange because the more injuries you get, you then seem to get even more because you always play the same players. Also, you rush some players back and then you have more chance to get them injured again.”
I can see what his argument is, but at the same time, it’s a bit mysterious how Gallas and Vermaelen, for example, have not missed any league games this season whereby others – Walcott, van Persie, Diaby, Nasri, Denilson etc – have been in and out like the tides. It’s hugely frustrating.
Onto tomorrow though, and after a few missed games over the festive period I’m gurning with excitement at the thought of getting back into the Arsenal saddle.
I’ll be there, irrespective of the state of my hamstrings, knees, shoulders, shinsplints and ankles. Arsenal players, take note.