By Bulldog Drummond
There seems to be little more to be said on the game tonight. It goes ahead, the alternative stadium appears to be ready, all the Uefa bits and pieces are adorning the ground and so that’s that. And yes, we found the Uefa rules that insist that all clubs nominate an alternative stadium – something none of us knew before.
And that in turn raises the question: which stadium has Arsenal nominated should Arsenal Stadium itself not be available for a game?
The most obvious would be Wembley, but with the Tinies playing there at the moment and with American football destroying the pitch, I wonder if they have changed to another ground as the official backup for this season. There doesn’t seem to be any way of finding out, although it certainly isn’t WHL, and I can’t believe it would be Chelsea as that is quite a bit smaller.
It appears there is no restriction on how far away the backup stadium is, so I guess it could be a deal with Manchester United – the idea being they are our backup stadium, and we are theirs. It would be interesting to find out, if anyone knows how to get that information.
Anyway moving on, we can have a look at the injury table in relation both to today and Sunday.
|PLAYER||What’s up||When back||Any news?||Next two games?|
|A Lacazette||Groin Injury||No Return Date||Appears to be ready for Sunday||Slight Doubt|
|D Welbeck||Ankle Injury||No Return Date||“Far too early to say how long this will take.”||No|
|N Monreal||Hamstring Injury||December 13, 2018||“Expected to return to full training in two weeks.”||No|
|K Mavropanos||Groin Strain||December 16, 2018||“Expected to return to full training in December.”||No|
With him having played in the under 23 game Koscielny is back in action and thus no longer on the list. That doesn’t mean he is ready to play in either of these upcoming games of course but he will be back in the near future.
Interestingly a few tweets appeared on his return to the under 23 match, slagging him off and saying the club should have ditched him, and this started me thinking: it was such an odd moment for anyone using twitter to start writing about Kos in a negative way, I wondered about the origins.
And it struck me that for people deliberately to choose this moment to knock Koscielny they presumably have some sort of ulterior motive. OK, I know that they might just be nutters, but there is also the fact that a couple of bloggettas picked up the twits and made them to lead story.
So why would you do this? Why bother to write tweets about a player who has played over 200 league games for the club, just as he is coming back from injury, and there is no sign of him playing?
Obvioulsy the tweets could have come from absolute nutters whose mental states are so curious it is hard to explain anything they do. Or they could have come from supporters of another club, deliberately seeking to undermine anything and everything about Arsenal.
Or, and this seems the most likely, it could be that the blog itself wants to find something to say and so has got a couple of twitter accounts and just uses them to post things which it can then report on the web site as “Some Arsenal supporters are angry that this player is back on the scnene” or whatever it is they want to write. A sort of simple way to create a story without any thinking except, “Who is the next Arsenal player we should start knocking?”
What interests me with this sort of approach is that it can only harm the club – making it more likely for the player to want to leave, and making it more likely for new players to want to sign for Arsenal.
But this explanation would explain why, through the summer, every single member of the first team squad got negative stories about him, along with tales of him leaving.
Of course there may be other explanations both for the tweets and for the publicity one particular blog gave to them by making these tweets the lead headline of their story, thus drawing in more readers. One could of course follow each person who tweets in such a way in order to find a pattern, but it is a pretty tedious thing to do. I’m not volunteering.
Anyway, we seem to be set for the match, let’s hope we just get through it without incident, and get the guys back from the Ukraine without incident.