Morning Grovers, we have plenty of defensive talk to plough through this morning, so lets dive straight in!
I crowd sourced a bit of content yesterday, someone raised a great point. Has Andre Santos achieved cult status already? I mean, it doesn’t seem to matter how woeful he is on the pitch, people wade in to tell me I’m wrong and he’s great.
This type of irrational behaviour has all the hallmarks of Eboue.
So what makes us love him so much? I say us, because I must confess, I too like the guy. Is it his casual Brazilian swagger? Is it his ability to bomb forward and create? Is it the fact he has a Twitter account and he shares pictures of his suped up Smart car? I’m not sure… I just hope he becomes a cult hero for the right reasons.
He no doubt has qualities, he’s just struggling with the boring stuff, you know, like defending and running. Our backline really isn’t in a state to be dealing with that type of nonsense, so we need him to pick his game up sharpish.
Still, it’s early doors…
On the flip side, everyone seems doubly keen to jump on Mertesacker for being a bad player. Now this I’m struggling with. I’ve in the main been impressed with how he’s adapted to the pace and physicality of the game. I think he gives the team a calmness that wasn’t there last year and he’s a very good reader of the game. I think we have a great buy there.
A player who does appear to be gaining plenty of fan love is Koscielny. He’s changing opinions fast with his no-nonsense performances and his strong work ethic. He has all the ingredients to be a top player, he just needs to cut the mistakes out of his game.
I feel I’m in the best form of my life. I’ve improved a lot. I keep working on the basics, my controls and my passes.
I’m also more rigorous. I make less fouls and get less booked as I needed time to adapt to England. I also cope better with the pressure of playing in a very big club.
And I know I can improve even more. Chelsea was one of the best performances of my career, along with the win against Barcelona at home last season.
I might as well make it a clean sweep with the defence, Thomas Vermaelen said,
‘What can I say about it? It does not worry me at all. I am on the pitch to do my best. I am confident and don’t care what people say’
Thomas, it should worry you if your defence concedes loads of goals. However, as you didn’t concede any in the week, I’ll let that comment slide.
In other news Gervinho has been talking about the qualities of Eden Hazard, a player who has been hot on the lips of the Grovers for 3 years now. He’s looking to leave Lille and we’re rumoured to be interested.
‘Hazard is a young player with enormous quality. He has everything it takes to triumph in England.
‘Eden has learned a lot at Lille, and I believe he could succeed abroad’
Firstly, someone should tell Gervinho that Hazard has already succeeded abroad, being Belgian and all. I think Hazard is a great player who already knows how to win trophies, with Theo likely to depart next summer, he could be top replacement signing. I’m just not sure that’ll happen. We have Ryo and Oxo coming through, so it wouldn’t make Wenger sense to spend £30mill plus.
Talking of Gervinho, I do love his flagrant disregard for Wenger’s ban on shooting. I thought the below quote merited a place in the dressing room.
You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take. ~ Wayne Gretz
I’d send it to Stan, but as Billy Beane didn’t say it i’m unsure he’d like it.
It’s a good point though. How many times have we been undone at Spurs alone with pot shots from outside the box? It would be nice if some of the
midfield would have a go every now and then. It creates space if teams know they have to press you outside the box. I’m not sure teams worry about us shooting at the moment.
Aaron Ramsey says he’s going to the Olympics if he’s picked. Now, that works for me because he’s Welsh and the likelihood of him ever making a major championships are very slim and who wouldn’t want to play in a once in a generation (unless you’re American) home soil Olympics?
My concern would be if Jack was picked. He can’t play two summer tournaments. His current injury is almost a blessing, because a broken bone is not a ruptured Achilles, something that could well have happened had he been run into the ground again this season. He’s had a rest, he’ll be flying from January. That’s great news for our 4th place title aspirations.
In other news, there are a couple of articles I’d like to draw your attention to, one is about Arsenal and their social media plans over the next few years (Football&Socialmedia) and the other is something I wrote about what Manchester United (The Wall blog) creating their own platform for fans.
It’s apparent that as football fans,we’re all hooked when it comes to blogging, Twitter and Facebook. How clubs take on the challenge of social will have a big impact on future commercials. Obviously, the best way to widen your reach is to win a few trophies, but as reported last week, we’re already seeing massive benefits from our tour of Asia. Hopefully that’s started the ball rolling and will give us a larger chunk of the Asian Pie (do they eat pies in Asia?).
Andrey Arshavin has been doing his best to take apart any argument I had about him being more than a luxury player. He stated,
‘Speaking honestly, I think my performances for Arsenal have been average…I’ve done some good things, but I don’t assess my game on goals or assists. I look at the whole picture.’
Oh, ok Andrey, so you’re saying I don’t see the bigger picture are you? I thought contributing 18 assists and 12 goals last year was pretty good. I know he can appear lazy, but having a player with that flash of magic to change a game is always important. He did redeem himself with this.
‘Ideally, I’d like to play closer to a forward’
Well, I wouldn’t mind seeing that. However, if he can’t motivate himself to work hard, he’s not going to get that opportunity.
Finally, it looks like Capello is going to pick John Terry for the upcoming friendlies. That’s odd, what with Italians having such a fine and upstanding record when it comes to racism. What does JT have to do to get dropped? That’ll be a shameful blot on our country and once again show that if you’re an ok English footballer, discipline matters not a jot.
Disappointing in the extreme, but not surprising.
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Right, see you in the comments!