Man, you wake up, look to the left, there’s no female, look to the right, there’s an empty box of fried chicken. Not a successful night, but hey, I’ll always have my phone. So I log on, to see what all my Twitter best friends have been talking about and bugger me sideways… they’re losing their minds over the new Arsenal shirt.
I know. Why indeed. Why would grown men even consider buying a full replica shirt. This people, is a question for another day, but the angst, well that’s about the tiered soccer shirt system. You can buy a replica shirt, or you can buy the player issue shirt which will likely retail at £90.
Sorry, but I’m not quite sure what the big deal is here. We want Arsenal to compete commercially. Well, that entails the commercial partners acting in a commercial way. If you’re an adult and there is a cheap and an expensive shirt… and by purchasing the cheap shirt, you feel emotionally brutalised by your peers… well, take yourself to one side and give yourself a dry slap. You’re a grown man, you shouldn’t be wearing that shirt in the first place, it’s not flattering at all.
If your friends laugh at you because they all have the expensive shirt… ask yourself this, should I really be hanging around with a group of adults who all think it’s acceptable to wear replica shirts? Maybe it’s time to intervene. Maybe it’s time to upgrade your friendship circle.
‘Daniel, I can’t be friends with you anymore.’
‘No , it’s nothing to do with the vuvulela.’
‘Ok, it’s the full replica shirt thing. I can’t be a part of it anymore. Goodbye.’
… but on the price. Face up to reality. Puma aren’t dishing out £35m a year to run at a loss.
Now, with the kids shirts, I can sympathise here, because it’s expensive, but it’s no more expensive than buying a computer game. Football shirts are an expense. They always have been and always will be. It’s just part of the game. It’s part of a commercial world. It’s difficult for Arsenal to control that retail price.
Now, the season ticket prices going up by 3%, we can round on that, because the club control it. But merchandise isn’t something we can do much about. We want the big dollars… the big dollars only come when you have a big fan base willing to buy.
Anyway, enough on replica shirts.
How about hair supplements? Arsene reckons players could be risking their health using them. And other dietry pills.
Onto today. Arsenal head to Goodison to take on the mighty Everton. It’s a massive, massive game and it could go a long way to deciding the top 4. If we win, we go 7 clear of Everton. Lose and they go one point behind us which would leave the top 4 in their hands. That’d be bad news people. Very bad.
So what can we expect today from Everton? Well, I’d imagine they’ll go for a hard pressing game. They’ll squeeze up the pitch because we won’t have any pace to catch them on the break… then they’ll hit in hard on our midfield, nick the ball, feed in their pacey wide players or Lukaku and look to break us down inside the first half.
Well, that’s what they did to us in the last game. What do we have to counter that sort of behaviour? I’ve no idea. We’ve just got to hope our players have recovered suitably from the City game and that they’re full of beans. When we’re on our game, we can’t be touched. I’m just worried our form, coupled with Everton’s resurgent game, will stop us in our tracks.
I was looking at our goal difference. Pretty weak really. It’s pretty much the same as Everton’s and United’s. That tells a pretty sad story when you look at the boys above us have nearly 20 goals on us.
Ted over at Statsbomb lay more misery with some eye popping stats on how many shots per game we have.
but basic shots and that differential captures the broad strokes. Going from a 7.2 shot differential per game – a number that would generally compete for the top of the league – to a 1.5 over the course of five seasons is staggering. Even more staggering is that Arsenal have done it under the same manager (and are still about 80% likely to finish 4th).
We’re tenth in the league when it comes to shots per game. A shocking stat. Also, another one of those numbers that creeps up over time and helps give you a good feel for how little Arsene must use data. That, or he’s happy with the decline in shots. Because our shot differential has dropped consistently over the last 4 years.
Anyway, again, today, I’m not sure where the goals are coming from. Hopefully we can catch them on the break, or someone from midfield steps up. Wenger certainly isn’t going to experiment with anyone difference. We still haven’t seen much of Gnabry, I haven’t seen too much of Sanogo and he’s never going to throw Chuba into the mix.
I have absolutely know idea what Wenger can throw into the mix today to shake things up, outside of Aaron Ramsey.
Still, we can but hope. Have fun if you’re up there, I’ll catch you tomorrow.
Finally, I’ll leave you on this tweet. Because it’s brilliant work.