Exclusive – Michael Thomas Xmas Top Four Special Column

THE MICHAEL THOMAS COLUMN 

Top Four at Christmas! Who would have believed that a few months ago! Arteta is doing a great job keeping the players hungry and raring to go. We need to get through the busy Christmas period & the tough January fixtures. If by the end of January we are still in the top 4 then we have a massive opportunity to bring the club back to where we want to be.
I have mentioned Charlie Patino in previous columns, but even I was surprised he managed to score so quickly on his debut against Sunderland. What a young player! He can be anything as long as he stays level headed and works hard. He’s got a manager that puts a lot of trust and faith into the young players and this can only be a positive for him. The goal was just the icing on the cake to mark the hard work he has obviously been putting in to get close enough to the first team set-up.
Nketiah and Balogun were both starters as well and Nketiah responded with a hat-trick. It is really hard right now for Nketiah at Arsenal to be the first choice striker. Arsenal currently have Auba & Laca, both of them currently aren’t going to give you 20+ goals in the league & the club are crying out for a 9 that will produce that. Auba on form can produce this, but his situation isn’t looking great, and Lacazette gives you a different way of playing, which is really good for the team but still requires someone with killer instinct. I can say that if he does extend his time at Arsenal and given the two players previously mentioned may be leaving, it could be in his best interest to stay and he will get game time.
Balogun had yet another poor showing for the first team, but he is a young player learning his trade, and probably playing out wide doesn’t offer him the best chance of using his attributes to the max. He should definitely be offered the chance to go out on loan and prove himself so the coaches see that he can do it, and more importantly he gains that belief that he can do it at the men’s level.
Pepe got a rare chance and also came through with a goal. He can be an extraordinary talent as he has all the attributes, he is just too inconsistent with his game. He can score, assist and has brought the work ethic into his game under Arteta. The problem he has is that Sake will play at a 7/10 every game minimum and he fluctuates from 7,4,9 which at this level the club are trying to reach, is not good enough. There is a player there though, but it’s now or never for him.
So we had another great win against Sunderland, and we have now won three in a row without Aubameyang, and scored 11 goals. The form has been good recently without him which is a massive positive, but as said above, a goal scorer that just wants to put the ball in the net is very rare and can change a stale game into a 1-0 win which is vital. Whether that is him being that player or signing another, who knows.
I think Arteta will still be looking at bringing in a new young striker if Lacazette and Nketiah leave this summer. If all our forwards leave, we will be left with Martinelli who i believe will end up as a 9 but will still play a lot from the left for now, and Balogun who i reckon will have a full season loan. We must buy a striker possibly as soon as January, let alone the summer.
Granit Xhaka again showed his indiscipline again against Leeds and was lucky not to be sent off, He has always proven that he has an ill temper and can cause massive problems to the team in vital moments. In saying that, every manager seems to throw him back in the team straight away. Admittedly he does bring a certain balance to the team but he will never be a good enough player if he can’t produce professional displays as a start.
With Xhaka’s hot headedness, Partey not finding his form and Lokonga still very inexperienced, Arsenal NEED to get a CM in the club come January. We are going to be extremely short in there and need some quality to get us through. Hopefully the club see that and have made plann, especially give the COVID situation and how quick squads can change game to game.
Arteta needs to seriously think about strengthening in January. As said above a CM should be priority ,but to really keep the top 4 push going a striker and goalscoring winger could be great additions also.
As for the Covid situation which is playing havoc with the fixture list right now, with pundits talking about the volume of players that are refusing the vaccine. I think every person in this world should have the option to choose whether they want to be vaccinated or not and all of their choices should be respected. A lot of people outside the sport are not vaccinated and they are people also.
There are teams that have the majority of the squad vaccinated, if not all, who, as Jurgen Klopp said, are still massively affected by COVID, so with the virus being so overwhelmingly unpredictable still I don’t think I am in the best position to say what players should be doing with themselves in that situation.
Hopefully players don’t catch it and we can all enjoy the game as we want to.
Have a great Christmas and will speak to you very soon.
Michael Thomas

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14 Comments

  1. gotanidea says:

    If Smith-Rowe or other midfielder can play as a false nine as Man City do, we won’t need a new CF. It will depend on Arteta’s requirements and whether the fans allow him to try Smith-Rowe in the CF position again or not

    Merry Christmas, everyone

    1. SueP says:

      Same to you GAI

  2. jon fox says:

    When reading MTs piece, what stood out sharply to my perceptive brain is that he, THOMAS, is almost certainly among the irresponsible anti vaxxers himself.

    No responsible person who has had the jabs and booster and who totally believes in its benefits, would or should ever say as Thomas says in this piece.

    If football crowds are soon limited in number or stopped altogether from watching, then you will all know who to blame; the simple minded anti vaxxers themselves

    I HAVE NOW LOST MASSIVELY THAT RESPECT I FORMERLY HELD FOR MT.
    It is all anti vaxxed players who make all managers jobs during this pandemic almost impossible to do and who also endanger the health of us all.
    Just as anti vaxxers who are not sportspeople also do.

    Selfish and simple minded, all of them!

    1. John0711 says:

      Why does it matter if someone doesn’t want a vaccine. Don’t you want freedom of choice or is it just your choice that matters 🤷🏻‍♀️🤦‍♂️

    2. Admin Pat says:

      Jon, he clearly said that it is a personsl decisiopn. And in fact ALL liberal people should believe in freedom of power over their own bodies…

      And i dont agree with anti vaxers for the record…

      1. jon fox says:

        Pat, The true undertstanding of exactly what the word liberal means is so often completely wrong. Liberal democracy, as is oft claimed, does NOT mean the freedom of each individual to do or not do precisely as he/she wants.

        It meanswhat brings the greatest freedom for all society, often at the expense of the individuals personal freedom to choose what suits him or her alone.

        That is how liberalism should be defined by all; ie the greatest freedom for the greatest number of folk. It follows that an individuals selfish choice to avoid being vaxed limits and harms the freedom of the rest to live unharmed by that individuals refusal to do what is best for all.

        Therefore I DISAGREE WITH YOUR DEFINITION!

        PS; I have given many public lectures over many years to all sorts of organisations, ranging from WI to political groups, on what the true meaning of liberalism actually is and how it needs be applied to help the greastest number.
        No individual is, for example, free to break the law and that is correct and right.

        Anti vaxxers are breaking the moral law to help other humans They are therefore selfish and also low in intelligence, as they refuse to listen to the worldwide body of scientific evidence as to the vaccines proven effectiveness. They instead prefer to indulge themselves in stupid and wrong conspiracy theories.

        They are then, by definition, both selfish and stupid and need to be told so. They are also practising the opposite to true liberalism, while falsely claiming to exercise their own “freedom ” to choose. THAT is not liberalism but wilful stupidity and you know that as well as I.

        1. Admin Pat says:

          Have you heard of the Darwin Awards?
          Why worry? The most sensible will survive, to the improvement of the human race……

          1. jon fox says:

            Pat If you are prepared to put your money where your mouth is , so to speak, I amquite prepared to write a substantial article on thewhole question of vacced or not vacced.
            It will not however be in any way Arsenal specific, since fools like Michael Thomas are in all clubs and all supporters everywhere. If you wish, I will do it in the legal style of my last one on MA and examine and cross examine both sides in great detail. Similar to yourself, and as an actor myself, I have often and convincingly played Devils Advocate and would try to do so as impartially , albeit only in print, as possible.
            You, I, and most of those who know how much the vaccine reduces harm to the population, are of course among the subststantial majority of sensible and non selfish fans among all clubs.
            But truly sensible fans never say that the non vaccers have a moral right – I accept, albeit with regret, they have a legal right – to refuse the jab.

            THAT is a key difference in wishing to help people at large between those such as you, who excuse ThOMAS’S nonsense view as being liberal, compared to those such as I, WHO KNOW IT IS PROFOUNDLY ILLIBERAL. And also harmful to mankind!

        2. chris says:

          Couldnt have said it better myself.

  3. Kobin says:

    I think your should treat the COVID like a normal cold. Report says this new variant is highly transmissible but less deadly. So why the worry. It has come and its here to stay and its going to be like any other disease like HIV and Tuberculousis. We will learn to live with it.

  4. Jakes Mradu says:

    A lot of people who took the vax either died or were effected in some way…..I’m very afraid of the vaccine……and it doesn’t work…….players feel the same…..!

    1. Admin Pat says:

      Died?
      Do you have evidence?

      1. Jakes Mradu says:

        ….yep….I can’t post screenshots or vids on here to show you…..I’m very afraid of the vaccine and I’m not the only one……

  5. Indian Gunner London says:

    Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to all @ the JA family.

    Stay Safe & Well.

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