GOOD MORNING. Guest blog from @jblauphoto this morning. He’s back after finally getting over the Unai Emery period. Enjoy the piece and give him a follow!
I bought some Arsenal merch yesterday.
First time ever.
(Not including the few trinkets I bought for the kids at the Stadium store in London last year.)
For real, I dropped my own money on a sleek Adidas track jacket.
And I’m excited for it to arrive.
I do love the Barcelona strategy this summer.
‘BARCELONA INTERESTED IN HECTOR BELLERIN’
Small Print: ‘ᵇᵃʳᶜᵉˡᵒⁿᵃ ʰᵃˢ ⁿᵒ ᵐᵒⁿᵉʸ’
Still, they do have a delightful pink and green kit this season. The chances of them coming up with a fee for our right back seems very, very slim.
Finally, Auba signed da ting.
I do NOT want to see a ⌛ emoji EVER again. NEVER.
This moment is huge for the project. Auba is one of the best sharpshooters in the world. He’s the de facto leader in the dressing room. Charismatic, swagger for days, the absolute embodiment of everything we love at Arsenal. An adopted North Londoner. We are VERY lucky he’s dedicated his prime to us.
It didn’t come cheap. £250k a week over 3 years plus all the trimmings. The total deal could be worth up to £55m. Wow, wow, wow.
Totally deserved though. There’s no debate over whether this deal is worth the money. He’s expanded his game, shown that he can push through the downtimes, and he’s proved that he is the BIG game player we’ve been desperately hunting for over the years.
A slow news day yesterday, so we’ll get through the blog nice and quick so you can go for that morning jog.
Chelsea looked fairly pony against a well-coached Brighton side. They came out 3-1 victors, but I don’t think they were worthy of the win. Frank’s side looked fairly lethargic, the football was slow, and his mega signing Kai Havertz looked, well, not £80m worth of talent. They’ll get better… but I’m happy to be a knee-jerk reactor right now. RUBBISH. Liverpool will make mincemeat of them if they play like that on Sunday.
Well, that was a wonderful weekend.
Spurs lost to Carlo’s attack-minded Everton side. James looked every bit the silk machine from 2014. Spurs looked, well, they looked very Jose Mourinho. I’ve been watching All or Nothing, it’s a lot of fun, but I’m not sure the reimagination of Jose Mourinho really came through as strong as he may have liked. He’s living in the past, he’s tactically weak, and his man-management approach just doesn’t sit well with players of this era.
Just look at that headline, then remember how many people were envious that he was going to Spurs.
‘He’s had some personal problems, he’s finally happy’
‘This squad is perfect for him’
Let’s hope Daniel Levy’s teenage man-crush keeps him at the club for the full length of the deal. He’s the disaster they deserve. Spurs stagnation will continue.
Arsenal hit the ground running with a clinical dismantling of a hapless Fulham. The story of the day was all about the debutants. Willian landed two assists with a shout for a third and Gabriel kept a clean sheet and bulleted a header for his first goal.
The starting line-up looked very conservative, if Unai Emery had picked a starting 11 with so many defenders, we might have shrieked in complaint. However, this is a different era. Arteta’s 5 at the back is a little different. Maitland-Niles and Tierney added a lot to our attacking build-up play allowing us to play some joyful attacking football at times.
Well, here we are, the first game of the season. It’s pounced on us. I’ve barely had the time to miss football, yet here she is, back with a 3 game a week schedule for the next 3 months. I am VERY excited.
Fulham is a tricky game simply because we’re not really sure who is going to show up. Both teams could spring a surprise. Arsenal could turn up like they did against Villa. Fulham could roll over like they did that time we thought we had our Arsenal back.