Hello my friend and thank you for visiting. Merry Christmas to you and yours and I hope this season brings you loads of joy and happiness. Yesterday was fun in my household as Christmas always takes a different meaning once you become a husband and father, and as a father of two little boys (two years with the other two months old), you derive your own Christmas cheer from watching them look great and have fun.

If you follow us on Twitter, you would have noticed I also spent a lot of time interacting with lots of Arsenal fans when I tweeted the question, “If you had one pick, which Arsenal player would you spend your Christmas with”. I really had fun responding to a little over a hundred responses.  See summary of responses below

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While 29% of Arsenal fans were picking him as their favourite for a Christmas hangout, Mesut was still looking for ways to assist us. Pretty clear Mesut Ozil has warmed his way deeply into hearts of Arsenal fans. I made certain to quiz Arsenal fans who picked Ozil to find out why and as expected, most wanted Ozil to assist them with something. Fair expectation given he was put on the planet to assist but you would think in the spirit of Christmas and giving we would offer to assist Ozil for one day out of 365 days in a year. Was all fun though and I really enjoyed interacting with everyone. Thank you for sending your responses in and to crown it all up, @doug7923 picked Emma Bryne @emmsb30 Arsenal ladies player and she tweeted back to say thank you which was very nice.

Three points today against Southampton would also be a nice have at a ground which has not been an easy place for us in recent years. Bar the heavy defeats against Chelsea and Liverpool, one of the worst Arsenal performances in recent times was the New Year ’s Day loss to the Saints. We were completely switched off on that day, compounded with news of Wojciech Szczesny smoking in the bathroom which effectively signaled his possible departure from the club.

I don’t know how much of the loss was due to it being a festive season fixture, but with Mesut Ozil’s stating his preference for World Peace and a Christmas break in the EPL as what he would want for Christmas in a video for the Premier League it is very important the Manager ensures all his players are completely switched on for this game. Everyone seems to love the holiday season fixtures except the players and coaches themselves. From a commercial perspective, with all football games in Europe on break the EPL always expect increased viewership which can translate to money, the match day fans love it as I believe it is now entrenched as part of the English Christmas culture and I think we the global audience love it even more.

For Arsenal though, what still is a little worrying against Man City was how jaded our players looked in the last few minutes of the game. Whether this had to do with the intensity of the game itself as we were chasing the ball for long periods or general fitness issues given the number of games some key set of players have had to play due to injuries to others. I suppose we can only know by how well they turn up against Southampton.

A win at the Stadium of light would mean a perfect December for Arsenal with 5 consecutive wins in all competitions scoring ten goals and conceding two.  Southampton seem to be on a rough patch this season and it’s up to Arsenal to take advantage of their current dip in form. Our rivals Man City host league whipping boys Sunderland and Leicester travel to the land of the Klopp, both look like wins for me so the onus lies on us to perform. Sadly, we would have to do this without Alexis Sanchez but judging by current performances we can trust Joel Campbell to fill in for him.

That how much I can muster for today, I hate writing previews anyway. Thank you for visiting and I hope you find something merry to do today. Whatever you do please do not drink and drive. There are no Arsenal matches or blogs for dead people so that’s not a pretty state to be. Stay alive and well. Cheers my friends.

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