It's been a long week. Defeat against the mugs on Saturday was merely the start. On Monday night my five-year-old developed a vomiting bug, causing me to come home early from a stag day I had organised. Then, of course, was Tuesday night's embarrassment. Finally, to top it all off, the baby caught the same bug as his brother and had us up all through last night. I am more tired than a tired thing, that's been certified with exhaustion. The only bright spot from last night was that I was able to sit in front of the live Ashes coverage. It's just a shame that England's batting was about as good as Arsenal's defending. All in all I can't wait to get this week over with - but I have a funeral to attend tomorrow before that can happen. Like I say, it's been a long week.
In the land of Arsenal FC it has been announced that Cesc Fabregas will be missing for two weeks. This would see him return in time for the game with Manchester United. I have to say that, having struggled with hamstring problems for more than a year, I don't see how a two week break will see Fabregas recover properly. The Captain needs to be rested properly if he is to regain fitness. I have criticised Fabregas heavily in recent weeks, but his injury has surely had some kind of impact on his performances. Having said that, as I pointed out last night, I am not that concerned at his absence. I believe the other players are becoming intimidated by the presence of Fabregas and the fact that he is genuinely World Class. Without him in the side I think our football might be a bit more expansive, with less attempts to pass through the central minefield of the opposition defence. Nasri and Wilshere, and possibly Rosicky (though hopefully not) will be likely to share the role vacated by Cesc in the games ahead and I think they will both fill the gap very comfortably.
I watched Johan Djourou's interview after the match on Tuesday and I was impressed with the words he came out with. Djourou was honest in his assessment of the team and their performance. He was also quite candid about what mistakes had been made on the pitch. I notice on the official website that Denilson has apologised to the fans for what has happened this week. Again, this is very noble and particularly refreshing (Cesc Fabregas, meanwhile, has been suspiciously quiet on his Twitter feed since Saturday). However, for all the honesty and the apologies from the players - and neither of these two would be considered first-choice - I would like to see a tangible response to defeats. The Manager refuses to criticise at the best of times so we can count out any gestures from him. The fact is that the players can talk as much as they want to, but the evidence of their remorse for awful performances will be seen at 12.45 on Saturday, in Birmingham. Talk is cheap Arsenal. Do your stuff on the pitch, then you might begin to claw back the respect of the fans, and you must start to do it at Aston Villa.
There will be a preview of the Aston Villa game posted tomorrow night. I wonder if I'll get some sleep tonight?