So what do we have here?
A new keeping coach. Sal Bibbo. Sounds like an extra from Lord of the Rings, but he’s not.
He’s Basingstoke born and raised, Havant & Waterlooville is where he played most of his games, Chillin’ out max, and relaxin’ all cool, and all trainin’ some keepers at the Nike Academy school. When a couple of guys who were up to no good (Ivan & Wenger), made him a nice offer to join the Arsenal neighbourhood
… and he did.
No idea how good he is, doesn’t sound like Lollichan, but whatever, he has a real chance at being better than Gerry P.
We have Lacazette onboard now. It seems clear that we’re bringing a wide player into the mix. Who that’ll be is a mystery. It appears we’ve given up on Lemar, because Monaco want proper money from him and have probably pulled their trousers up after being severely dealt with by the bigger boys in the elite playground.
The rumour is Leicester City enigma, Mr Mahrez.
Now, he’s no doubt talent. However, I do have my worries that we’re taking a punt on a guy who went well and truly missing last year. He has a character flaw, and £50m is a helluva punt for a guy who might not show up. I’d also be super worried about being dependent on the grit of him and Ozil when the chips are down. They’d probably spark up a cigarette and pull out a pack of cards for a quick game of bridge if weather permitted on a dry night in Stoke.
It’d go one of two ways… the dream, where we bring title winner Mahrez back to form. A little but like the rebirth of the whole Chelsea team, in particular, the rebirth of Eden Hazard.
Or he’ll just be an expensive luxury the Gen Z tactics and stats nerds rally behind as the genius that can only be seen through the prism of an Xg graph, wrapped in a radar, contextualised through an opta stat like ‘meta transitional semi-sprints.’
The same carry on that stats pin Aaron Ramsey as the most important midfielder in Europe no one knows about.
I had an interesting debate with Alfred that centred around the Welshman. He feels Aaron is the replacement for Santi Cazorla, so we don’t need a replacement. My view is that doesn’t work for me. He’s never come close to replacing the genius of Santi, and he’s had plenty of chances. We need a direct replacement for Santi, right now. He’s over as a first teamed. Aaron should only be seen as a squad player until he can be trusted to stay fit, stay in form, and contribute to more than 10 games a season.
We need to start getting ruthless with players who can’t offer 40 games a season to the club. That’s both Ramsey and unfortunately, fan fave, Santi Cazorla.
On the Lacazette front, I’ve come to accept that he is the level we’re at during these heady Europa League times. His stats looks comparable to our two most prolific players at the moment. Here’s some back of a fag packet math.
- Starts 45
- 37 goals
- 4 assists
- 115 shots
- 63 shots on target
- 32% conversion rate
- Goal per minute – 109
- Starts 54
- 33 goals
- 17 assists
- 182 shots
- 76 on target
- 41% shots on target
- 18% conversion rate
- Goals per minutes – 147.2
- Starts 27
- 24 goals
- 8 assists
- 83 shots
- 40 on target
- 48% shots on target
- 29% conversion rate
- Goals per minutes – 101.25
The way I see it is at worst, Lacazette is a faster version of Giroud. That goes a long way with how we hope to play. What we lose is having a bully up top. We’d be the only top 7 club without a lead striker under 6ft tall. But look, if we play fast, aggressive soccerball and we learn how to press in every game like we did in the cup final, we’re upgrading.
The absolute most important thing for the club is to keep Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. Keep those, and the summer could be a massive upgrade.
I also don’t buy into Alexis asking for £400k a week. You have to look where that’s coming from. It feels like propaganda to soften the blow of selling him. Reality is, Alexis is very unlikely to move to China, because that league is pony to cartoon like proportions. He’d also not land that sort of cash anywhere else in Europe. We should go all out to sign him, £300k a week would be fine by me if he delivers like he did this season. I’d not pay Mesut that, but be real, no one else would and no other club is in for him. His punishment for switching off last year. He must have forgotten Bayern Munich and PSG also have access to Nickelback soundtracked YouTube scouting montages.
So this summer is panning out real nice, some steady changes… still the underlying feeling we’ve been here before, but hey, you might as well enjoy things while they’re dreams and hopes!
Plenty of time for me to dash your dreams in September.
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