What has this International break done to me? I just don't know.
Our victory against Brighton at the Emirates saw us win 5 of our last 6 games in all competitions, the other match was the very creditable 0-0 draw at the Bridge. So I was in no mood for International football to spoil the Arsenal party.
My interest for International football is slim to none really, it has been since I was a kid. Even though this is the case, I accepted two VIP tickets for the England vs Slovenia match at Wembley as I thought my 10-year-old son may enjoy the experience. No joke, the most entertaining part of the evening came in the second half as fans deciding to try and land paper aeroplanes on the pitch was a far more enjoyable way to pass the time than to pay attention to the dour football down below us. Man that was bad, like real real bad. I paid £14 for two hotdogs and was made to watch that! What have I done to deserve that treatment?
I did my very best to ignore the rest of the football until now and have decided to wait for the Arsenal to return to get my football juices flowing once more. Usually, I'd be rocking back and forth in a darkened room, fighting for my Arsenal fix but for some strange reason I am not feeling it, I don't have the same excitement as I have felt in the past. Hopefully, that changes when I read the confirmation of the team line up, that usually flicks on the pre-match nerves and excitment.
So we travel to Vicarage Road to face Watford. I had forgotten that Marco Silva moved there from Hull City which kinda shows my ignorance for the rest of the Premier League these days. If it's not Arsenal then my brain tends to switch off from it, unless a team I dislike lose then I'm all over MOTD, match reports, interviews the lot.
I haven't seen a great deal (anything) of Watford this season, actually apart from the draw against Liverpool (decides against laughing) earlier in the season.
I had a quick look at their home results this season and they read as follows.
Bristol City 2-3
Manchester City 0-6
It hardly reads fortress, does it? And they do like to let in goals at home. Cue home keeper having one of those vs Arsenal games and grabbing a clean sheet.
Really and truly we should be beating them if we can re-find our groove quickly. That's always the challenge, find our groove as quickly as possible.
Mixed news on the injury front. Mustafi is out for a number of weeks after pulling up for Germany. Both Koscielny and Kolašinac were doubts but they both trained yesterday so hopefully, they are A-OK to start.
Danny Welbeck returns to the squad which is great, who doesn't need a little bit of Danny in their life? Speak all you want about his finishing or lack thereof but Welbeck has been a soldier for us so far this season. He must have broken the nearly forcing the opposition goalkeeper into a mistake record by now. Yes, he does tend to slice his fair share of efforts wide or over but I for one, appreciate the work he puts in whenever he wears our shirt.
Mesut Özil is back in the squad again after injury so it will be interesting to see if he jumps straight back into the team. Same goes for Alexis but for different reasons. Chile are not going to the World Cup which I'm guessing makes Alexis Sanchez very sad indeed, not to mention his late return and racking up of air miles.
Alex Iwobi will be in a different mental state after securing Nigeria's place with a winning goal so I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Iwobi retain his place in the team. Iwobi has looked good so far this season when he has been off the treatment table so don't be too disappointed if we still have to wait to see Alexis, Özil and Lacazette start together.
Mean Lean's Predicted Line Up:
Quite a tricky one to predict this time around, me-thinks. It would make sense to swap Mertesacker for Mustafi as he is pretty much like for like if you discount his lack of pace. But Arsene usually goes on his pecking order over continuity and I'd say Rob Holding is higher up Arsene's list right now. So I'm guessing he would rather juggle the pack around than just select Per.
In attack, having Iwobi and Mesut in the same team looks like it lacks a bit of a scoring threat but I guess we will look like that if we do not play either one of Alexis or Theo alongside Lacazette. Maybe Arsene says F-it and just plays Alexis to take out his frustration on Watford and Özil starts on the bench as he has been out for a while.
Ok enough of the guessing game, I will wait for confirmation of the team line up for my fix. See you on the other side,