Good morning and welcome to today’s, a more positive, upbeat post.
Before I crack into it, I just wanted to comment on how fascinating I found the reaction to yesterday’s post. Tonally, you can think what you like about the way I write, I’m not the same in real life, so that doesn’t bother me. However, the content yesterday, to anyone rational was bang on. The window was run badly, Arsene ran it, and he’s put our run-in at risk.
Now, most responded with ‘fair shout’… but this crazy little community on the net who attack with no rational response with seemingly pointless excuses… ‘What are your qualifications’…’Wenger knows more than you’…’you said x about x player 4 years ago LOLOLOLOL’ (if you do that with your LOLs, someone needs to put you down)… and it goes on.
I think this website, 95% of the time, is pretty objective and pretty honest. We don’t suck up to either crowd to secure more audience (hence the summer where I was barracked for being too positive). We just say it as we see it. That’s why opinion changes and you can’t plot the same view over 7 years. Situations change, new info emerges, things get better, and things get worse…
… but these guys who have a singular mindset that the manager is infallible and can’t be critiqued totally skew conversation. I totally understand you can be rabidly angry the other way, but those people don’t have the same type of influence because they upset fragile minds.
Anyway, I’m all for backing the manager. I am. I don’t want to see him go, I just want him to act in a more ruthless way, cede some of his control and take on more modern management methods that would allow him to walk the league. Because obviously, he’s one of the best , he’s just not the best because he hasn’t taken a look at the reasons people like Klopp, Guardiola and Mourinho have been so successful.
… and as for this,
‘people wanted Laudrup to replace Arsene and he’s just been sacked’
‘They wanted Klopp and he’s 4th’
‘They begged for Mourinho and we’re top of the league’
Jeez, it really is childish. All those managers have won trophies in the last three years and Arsene hasn’t in nearly ten. Laudrup leaving Swansea was on the cards since the summer when his agent was banned by the club. Klopp has had the core of his squad ripped away from him as he tries to take on a Bayern that are more dominant than pretty much any oil sheikh driven side over here and Mourinho is right on our tails and has never lost to Arsene.
… interestingly, Wenger’s 1000th game looks like it could be against Chelsea. Good time to change that eh?
Management is a perception versus reality thing (my pal at work just raised this with me). When Laudrup took over Swansea, they went up a level, bought Michu, won a cup and everything looked amazing. This season, he’s been hit by Europe, which a small club like Swansea aren’t capable of dealing with, they’ve struggled domestically, that’s killed confidence, caused a terrible run and he’s been sacked. Success has ruined him. The same happened to Pardew. One year, he’s fighting for the top 4, the next, he goes into Europe and he’s nearly relegated. He didn’t get the chop and now Newcastle are doing pretty well again.
The perception is now that Laudrup is a bad manager, when the reality is that perhaps he’s not. Same with Moyes. He’s left Everton and Martinez is playing a more expansive game. Is that because he was left with a good squad? Or that Martinez is a better manager? Moyes has taken over an average squad and he’s getting average results. Is that his fault? Well, the media says so. So yes.
I guess that’s why managers leave so quickly when they do great things at a small club. Season two, the big clubs poach all your players and the chances are, you’re not going to fluke 3 great replacements, then you’re dead, then results go down the pan… then you’re a terrible manager and you never make it to a big club.
… and remember, big club, big resource, it’s much harder to fail if you get what I mean. Even Mark Hughes took City to the top 4.
There is talk that Arsenal are interested in bringing Balotelli to Arsenal this summer, with Puma interested in helping us do that. What a weird old story eh? They’ve just given us £30m to buy new players, and reporters think they’d be able to justify to their board giving us more money to buy a crazed Italian.
Marketing Manager: We think we should give Arsenal £20m so they can buy Mario
Marketing Manager: He’s good and stuff…
Board: Arsenal have £100m… do you think they need any more help?
Marketing Manager: I’ll get back to you…
I’ve sat in sponsorship meetings at professional sports clubs. Clubs look to get the most out of their deal and sponsors look to maximise what they can get their end. So coverage in the stadium will be touted, maybe experiential offerings outside, maybe half time competitions… but part purchase of £40m players? Jeez… that’d be an awkward conversation and a half.
In my opinion, I’d say this story is likely a no-go. We have plenty of money, Puma are in trouble as it is, there’s no way they could justify part funding a deal.
So looking forward, we have Liverpool this Saturday at Anfield. A nasty early kick off, which no one likes. I think it always stunts the atmosphere. We basically have the best striking partnership in the league against one of the best back 4s. Last time, Arteta did a pretty good job of marking Suarez out of the game. The Uruguayans’ form hasn’t let up in the slightest. My early season hope that his scuppered move would dampen his form was horrendously wrong. He’s been electric. Even when we shut him out earlier in the season, he nearly scored two or three times. So basically, tomorrow, we have to be at our best. Having Arteta marking him fills me with dread. He’s not particularly fast. Sure, he made the most successful passes in the universe against Palace, but he’s slow and immobile and he’s shielding the back four against two of the cutest strikers in the league.
Will Arsene give Chambo another go in the middle? Liverpool is a different kettle of fish compared to Palace. Could he step up? Maybe. Arsene might look to bring back Jack (if he’s fit) or Rosicky. I’m sure Ozil and Cazorla will start. Giroud up front is a certainty. I’d expect his to start Gnabry over Lukas as well… we’ll see. It’s a good chance to bury Liverpool out of the title race. A win against them would put us 9 points clear. That’d be perfect. Lose, and we’re right back in the mixer again.
It’s a massively exciting game and I’ll have more as the week drags on…
Oh, we’re the most popular club in China, edging out United, because we have German players and the German league is free to air over there. Here’s an idea China, stop bragging about your wealth and start spending it in The Armoury.
Right, now, there might be a Le Grove app in the Apple app store. The logo is screwed (awaiting an update thumbs up), but it’s there to test. Now, just as a heads up, if it kills traffic to the site, I’ll have to reconsider what I do, because this is expensive to run, but it’s there if you want to have a go. Let me know what you think. It’s only on Apple at the moment, if you like it, I’ll go Amazon and Android.
Final piece of the day, is this video that really made me laugh. When people harp on about negative fans, they don’t understand that most of what is said online is said with love at the heart of it. Would people tell him he wasn’t a fan? No way. Would people say he didn’t love the club? No way. Fans are fans, we all have differing views, which is why the factions the internet throws up are so ridiculous. I never get grief in the ground because debate and opinion is what drives an interesting pre and post-match conversation. Children of the web, you need to learn this… anyway, enjoy the video, it’s good fun.
JT visiting an ILC for people with disabilities. The boy in the pic is an Arsenal fan who typed ‘we are top’ pic.twitter.com/RIGxYvphPF
— John Murray (@Jdpk1981) February 3, 2014