Here we go, beers at the ready, football is kicking off on a Friday night this year which is super f*cking weird in my opinion, but hey ho, what can you do. It’s only annoying for people outside of the UK. If I were in London, I’d be amped to the max about Friday night beers then a bit of Emirates to cap off a warm summer evening.
Leicester come to town having been slapped down by the realities of the league last year. They lost a manager, flirted with an unceremonious drop, then steadied the ship after they rightly sacked said legendary manager.
This summer, they’ve done some nice business. Iheanacho coming in at £28m could prove shrewd business. Harry Maguire at the back injects a bit of fresh legs in their back four, and a Spanish defensive midfielder ups their technical ability in the centre of the park (such a casual pass about a player I’ve never heard of).
Difficult to know what to expect from the exChampions. They found their team spirit after Ranieri left last year, they showed some of that grit and fight that won them the league. Can Craig Shakespeare keep that going this season? Very doubtful, but it’s safe to say the game won’t be easy. Mahrez and Vardy are a lethal combo if they fancy it, and their new City signing has bags of pace and a lot to prove this season.
Arsenal will likely line up the same as they did for the Community Shield. Maybe we’ll see Ozil out on the right? I mean, if Leicester sit back and wait for the counter, it makes sense to have players that can unpick a tightly compact midfield and defence, but we’ll see. There should be no reason a fresh Community Shield side wouldn’t beat Leicester at home.
Wenger continued to crash through the communications challenge around what went wrong last season, whilst being sure of what’s going right this season, regarding the issue of unsigned contracts.
‘I created, with me not deciding, a lack of clarity in the dressing room and there is nothing worse than that in the dressing room.
‘When you are not completely in or the players feel you are not completely in, it is difficult to tell them we go (out to win).’
Make of it what you will, but I do find it amusing that he thought last seasons failure was because of his shenanigans, but this seasons success can be found in having six versions of the same scenario in the match day squad. The manager also spoke about his interest in Mahrez, which sounds less than firm.
“We were never close.
“I rate him as a player but we have similar types with Alex Iwobi, Jack Wilshere back, Mesut Ozil – we have plenty of the same type of players.”
The notion of Jack Wilshere being in the mix is interesting, that either says he’s staying because he wants to play him, or we can’t sell him because he’s not an attractive proposition on £100k a week. I love Mahrez, but our team spirit is wafer thin, adding his attitude to the unrest we’ll already be dealing with sounds like a disaster in the making.
The manager had good words and simple math for his most expensive signing of all time.
“With Lacazette, it’s simple. He is an intelligent player. We have a game backed on mobility and technique and I think he can integrate that well.
“After that, we get the efficiency. His record in France is to score one in 80 minutes. If he can maintain that record that would be ideal for us. As a game is in 90 that would guarantee you a goal.”
I love the numbers. If Lacazette drops digits like that, we’ll be on fire this season. I like that Wenger is talking about mobility because we’ve suffered from a lack of it up top for years. It still baffles me that the things that won Wenger the big trophies back in the day were dropped >>> power & pace. Seems we’re trying to get back in there. I just wish we’d beef up the middle of the park with a bit more power, finesse and fitness reliablity.
The game will be fun. There’s no second chances now. We need to win from the start because the run we have is very mean and we’re playing a bunch of teams who have things to prove with necks on the line.
Lets’ see how this pans out.
P.S. I spoke to the good people over at The Filbert Way about today. Read it and love it.
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