FOOTBALL SEASON EVE DO YA HEAR ME!
Yes you do.
Really felt like football was gone for a long time this year. I’ve missed it greatly. I’m very excited about the next 9months. Why you say?
I’m at ease with the situation at the club now. I think when you’re drip fed faux ambition over the course of a 10 year period, you find yourself upset when things go wrong.
This year we know. Wenger signing was a new chapter in the greatest power swindle in professional sport.
The club doesn’t really care about anything outside keeping the manager happy.
If you know he’s not going anywhere, it allows you to reframe how you approach the season.
I have zero expectations of this year.
Straight up, we’ve not done enough to the squad to pretend we’re a serious club. That’s both in addressing deficiencies, shipping out deadwood, or signing our best players to new contracts.
WHERE WERE YOU HUSS!
We didn’t do enough to the backroom team. Jens Lehmann is an interesting hire, but when you juxtapose it against the backdrop of Wenger’s career of aggressive authoritarianism, it’s hard to see how he impacts what we do, level that in with his lack of experience as a coach, and well, it’s a veneer. I wonderful veneer, but kind of pointless unless he’s afforded power. Huss Fahmy hasn’t done anything contract wise. The new fitness coach isn’t here full time until next year.
We are status quo. There’s even a story in The Standard about Wenger overruling suggested transfers (Lemina) to reestablish the notion he is king.
Training is the same. Prep will be the same. Outcome will be the same.
However, pushing all that to one side, I’m still a fan. I like seeing new names in the side, and I’m pushing into full on 2011 mode.
‘What if the kids come good this year?’
Iwobi is a talent. He was drained last year, then his form dipped, then we all wrote him off. I think he’s silky on the ball, he’s an awkward talent to defend against, and he looks like he’s bulked out a little bit over the last 6 months. He reminds me of a cross between Rosicky and Hleb. Intelligent, tight control, and the potential for 10 or so goals.
Reiss Nelson. I hate to say it, because I’ve seen this movie. But he looks one step ahead of his peers. 17 years old, explosive pace, a deft touch, and the arrogance of youth firmly on his side. It’s been 10 years since we last had a break out teenage talent. Could this be the jewel in the crown of our slow attempt at cultivating local talent?
Finally, I can’t not talk about Rob Holding. A bit rusty in the Community Shield, but undoubted powerhouse in the making. He has all the elements of a northerner we traditionally don’t have in our squad. He’s a basically a kid and he’s bullying Diego Costa and getting under his skin. He’s not afraid of anyone, he’s extremely comfortable in possession, and he has a calm head on his shoulder. What a find. I really hope he’s given games this year.
Then we have the new signings. I appreciate that Arsenal are going to have trouble attracting top talent this year. We have a less than elite manager and the club was in a shambles backend of last year. I also think agents smell blood at the moment, they know this is the year 1630 and Wenger has taken a nasty flesh wound fighting for the Kingdom of France. He’s in trouble, question is, how long will it take for him to succumb to the fever?
So on that note, Kolasinac, the best left back in Germany last year was a steal. We’re all excited about an Eastern European powerhouse that can impose himself physically, but also bring class and final product to the table. I’m also pleased with Lacazette. In seasons past, we’d have messed around trying to sign M’Bappe and Benzema.
Instead we’ve rolled the dice, hopefully they come in good. I have my concerns about his ability to make an elite impact on our front line. What I mean by that is we had a 20 goal a season striker, but not one who could change a tight game with one chance. Lacazette comes across as hard working, calm, humble, and extremely focused. If he sharpens his movement and falls into sync with the rest of the team, his mobility will add a different dimension to our forward line.
There’s a very strong chance we could keep Sanchez. I’d move him on if we could get big money, but it’s past the point of no return if there’s not a 20 goal, 10 assist winger to move in for. I really hope we don’t buckle, but I fear the board’s love of money could see us do so. We’re also keeping Ozil, and for all my annoyances about his attitude, he’s a provider. He’s like a trust fund best friend, he’ll fork out when the going is good, but don’t expect him to step in when you’re getting a beating from 5 West Ham fans on the District Line.
A big chunk of our success this season comes down to how the contract rebels behave. Do they fight? Or do they take a February summer holiday and drop the mic on our season?
Finally, we could still move for an upgrade on Coquelin. I mean West Ham, who are having an epic summer, just landed Carvalho. If Matuidi is on the market, we should move for him. A perfect fit for 3 seasons. Even Kyrochowiak would help out. Is there nothing we could do about Mahrez? Seems a lot of players need new homes this summer, is there a chance we could boost our chances, because our midfield is looking threadbare.
So there you have it. A weird post. But this is a weird season.
Buckle up, it’s going to be fun.
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