As expected, the FA return the middle finger to Jack wrapped up in the shape of a charge and one match ban just in time for Christmas, how very sweet. I don't expect much in the way of sympathy to head his way, he knows the rules and he knows that breaking those rules will lead to punishment. I don't think the Monday night off will do him any harm in truth. His last two starts for Arsenal against both Everton and Manchester City were well below his usual standards so even if he was available for selection, I would be surprised to see him starting the game. He needs to get his head down along with his fingers and work on his game and confidence.
I can't help but feel we have missed a little bit Rosicky at times. He may not be everybody's cuppa tea because his contribution directly to goals and assists isn't as high as others like Özil and Ramsey but for me he is the ultimate team player, he provides strengths that slip through the stats net like his constant running into positions to receive passes or his constant closing down of the opposition. It is just a crying shame that he is no longer able to play 3 times a week, or at least I suspect he isn't because Arsene has avoided doing so.
He seemed like the exact type of player we could have used at City. I didn't expect him to start that game because he started in Naples a few days earlier but switching Wilshere for Rosicky should have had a positive impact but you never can quite tell. Forget buying a striker in January we should invest the cash into a body duplication machine and give Tomas a new Ramsey body for Christmas. I guess all our players would require the Ramsey 2.0 wouldn't they such is the Welshman's insane engine. But that is not possible and I am being very childish once more.
The last few results haven't been much fun, our disappointment has been crammed in all at once however some of the reaction has been way over the top. I guess those declaring that the Arsenal world is falling down expected us to remain unbeaten until the end of the season and not have any dips for the rest of the campaign.
I remain pretty optimistic about the rest of the season, at least in regards to the short term. A very important part of our game has been missing almost since the season started and that is goals. Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski were among our four top scorers last season and have hardly kicked a ball this season, especially Poldi.
Theo has already made a difference in his first start since his volley against Marseille in France back in September. I have very good memories of Podolski this season one in what was one of my favourite games this season, away to Fulham.
Without a natural defensive minded midfielder we played the creative trio of Ramsey, Rosicky and Cazorla. They all played deep and broke on Fulham at pace on the counter. Lukas Podolski playing wide left scored two fine goals. His first almost bursting the net with a side foot finish from the edge of the area and the second was a true penalty box finish, skipping around a defender and then drilling a shot past the keeper from the angle.
Many of our games have been tight since the start of the season, our defence has won us plenty of games but now we can outscore teams again. I'm looking forward to watching what Mesut Özil will do with players who want to get into scoring positions.
As the excellent @goonerdave66 wrote in his blog, the returning attacking wide forwards can revitalise Oliver Giroud also from those wide positions. I would love to see Walcott and Podolski running off Özil but I wonder if Arsene's stance towards two direct wide forwards has changed or not. A few seasons ago Arsene dropped Gervinho for Benayoun to add more steel and creativity and he hasn't really looked back apart from a brief run of Poldi and Theo. As with Yossi, Arsene pushed Cazorla to the left in place of Podolski and spoke of the better balance the side has. We will see if Özil changes that.
We started the season with injuries to Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski, Chamberlain and Sanogo. All of those players are likely to return and contribute to a team that has already started the season very well. So well that we are currently sitting top of the table. Injuries in the past has ended our season so this is good news.
I am looking forward to Monday, the world feels like it is slowing down because of it. We can beat them. I am feeling pretty confident that Arsenal will pick up three points as along as we don't play into Chelsea's hands, something we've done all too often in the past.
'till the next time.