We all knew there would be some surprises this season due to the current nature of the world.
But I don’t think man would have imagined Arsenal would be going into Christmas in a perilous position, with some now even considering them to be relegation contenders.
It is probably the biggest surprise of this season, but that is where we are.
There probably are a stack of reasons why a side with a few multi million pound strikers are four points off the drop zone.
Everyone thought it would take a while for Mikel Arteta to turn the tide at Arsenal, but they didn’t think the road to it would have this many potholes on.
Anyway, the point isn’t to analyse why Arteta’s charges are scrapping it out down the bottom.
The point I want to make is that it would be criminal for them to slip out of the Premier League, with one of the league’s best individual players watching from his front room.
There are a catalogue of reasons so we are told, as to why Mesut Ozil has been demoted to a point where he isn’t even in their Premier League named squad.
The reasons we are told, while on one hand are startling, are ridiculous when you look at the state of Arsenal’s league position.
Some commentators say he has been bombed out because he receives a huge bonus if he plays.
Why sign him onto the bonuses in the first place? Okay we are in a bad financial situation in general at the moment, but the lower you finish in the top flight the less money you get.
So leaving out your best player and in the process giving yourself less chance of winning, is nonsensical.
It was well publicised in the summer that Ozil refused to take a 12.5 per cent pay cut along with another player, when Arsenal asked players to do so due to the financial situation caused by the pandemic.
Personally I think he should be taking the hit, but if he doesn’t that is his choice and he is under no contractual obligation to do so.
If that’s the case, then its even more mad than the first reason.
The more political reason for Ozil’s emission could be fact he spoke up against the treatment of Uighur Muslims in China.
His comments were rebuffed by authorities in China to the point where they stopped showing Arsenal games for a while.
Arsenal are back on TV screens in the country now. Ozil then went on to play ever game for Arteta before the first lockdown.
Now he finds himself out of the squad all together. Some may argue his inclusion would see Arsenal taken of screens in China with the club then suffering the financial impacts of that.
The final reason could be the club don’t want to offer him a new deal and want to build a new side without him.
Even so, the fact the club is very much in a relegation scrap with him on the sidelines doesn’t not stack up.
Yes he’s on big wages and yes potentially revenue would dry up if he played again due to the China incident.
But surely remaining in the Premier League is a higher priority than any reason on that list.
And to me this smacks of a decision made above Arteta’s head.
Arteta is a smart guy who has worked on one of the greatest managers of all time.
Surely he knows that if he dragged the club’s prized asset out from the cold then he would make a huge difference to the club’s fortunes on the pitch.
On another note, I thought the information getting out about the Gunners planning for potential relegation was pretty embarrassing.
Whether it was leaked or not, you can’t be letting that information out.
Okay, if you’re a West Brom or a Sheffield United then you can understand that information getting out, because they are expected to struggle.
I think the fact Arsenal are planning shows prudent financial planning, but the fact it has got out about a club the size of Arsenal could potentially be extremely damaging to their fight.
A fight, as has been explained, is going to be an awful lot harder with one of the league’s best sat at home.
If they go down without calling for his help, serious questions will need to be asked.