Sometimes you wake up and think, jeez, what is my life all about? My job in this cardboard box factor is souless and as a result, I am soulless. Then you go on holiday and the only channel you can get access to is E! and you hear…
‘We’re going over to our man Tim, who is everything Miley’
Fuck me. Imagine being referred to as ‘everything Miley’, you might as well be referred to as ‘totally pointless’. Your whole life dedicated to a celebrity who pokes her tongue out. Bad times. I mean, almost as bad as the Carlos Vela news website from a few years back. But hey, who’s having the last laugh on that site? The author. Because Carlos might be back. I expect the commenters on here to disappear pretty sharpish.
Kelly Osborne on a programme called Fashion police? I can’t get over this. That’s like Rick Waller compering a Tough Mudder trade show.
Anyway, forgetting all that, because it’s WORLD CUP DAY AND THE EXCITEMENT CAN NO LONGER BE CONTAINED.
Right people? Are we all looking forward to the 9pm GMT kick off of Croatia vs Brazil? I think we are. Poor Geoff, he’s on a flight to the states. What a joke. He moans about people planning weddings and births around football.
It’s interesting, looking around some of the big nations who are favourites, and I can’t help but be a little underwhelmed by their starting 11s. I watched Brazil play last night on a replay and their main striker is Fred. He scored a pretty smart goal when he’d been dragged down and somehow managed to smash a shot into the top corner whilst on the floor… however, is he really a Brazilian super hero striker like the names of yesteryear? Brazil just didn’t look that interesting. Very functional.
Then I saw Holland play Ghana. The African team had a very fancy kit with light detailing that added and air of style normally reserved for the cat walks of… say… Dartford. Smart though. Just football smart.
Holland boast some very good players, but at the same time, quite a lot of irrelevance, with Ron Vlaar the main choice at centre back. Just seems like some of the big teams are carrying some dross. That’s why I think this world cup is quite open. There aren’t any clear favourites. So hopefully we’ll see an upset this time. I’m really gunning for Iran. That’d really fuck the World off…
‘First they won’t let us look at their uranium enrichment plant, now they’re winning the damn World Cup.’
I remember a story from a few years ago about the Iranian football team.
‘Two Iranian soccer players have been suspended from the country’s professional soccer league and may face a public lashing on the pitch for an “immoral” goal-scoring celebration, according to numerous reports.’
Most news outlets ran with the story with ‘Butt-grabbing’… not sure that’s a standard celebration, but if your Sunday League team gets an away leg in Iran, no butt grabbing.
In more bizarre Chelsea news. Their latest, ‘what the hell are they doing?’ centres around the rumour that they’re going to offload Mikel (get it) and Ramires (don’t get it). Apparently Matic is being groomed as a starter and Chelsea don’t want to have a world class back up? Times really have moved on. They’re getting stuff done this summer. Mourinho is rebuilding the team in his name in a big way. Makes our total inaction so far frustrating.
I shouldn’t get frustrated, because I know there are big ambitions. Trouble is, there were big ambitions last summer… and sometimes, ambitions are so big, they seemed doomed to fail. The strategy that I’d most like to understand is the…
‘What if we fail?’
… because if we fail with our priority targets, what can we go after instead? Big clubs don’t let their big players go without a fall back plan. So Barca, Madrid, Dortmund and PSG aren’t selling unless they have people in place. Then you have to take into account what they plan to do. Madrid made us wait until the last minute with Ozil whilst they decided. Which scuppered our planning. They also spanked up the Higuain price to £32m, just because they could.
What are we going to do to ensure we get the players early at the price we want? GO SUPER BIG with fee so we blow competition out of the water. Or wait until teams are desperate to balance the books? What about timings? When do we say, sorry XXX, we can’t wait any longer, we’re going to go for the 2nd tier option to guarantee a name?
I mean, there are many questions you’d hope we’ve got nailed this summer.
Wayne Veysey has confirmed that Arsenal have signed Shad Forsythe. It’s a big move and it could prove an exceptional move if he…
1) Can handle the internal politics at Arsenal and push his own vision
2) Adapt his knowledge to club level football. A massive, massive ask, but doable.
3) Get enough of Arsene Wenger’s attention to make his views relevant when selecting the team
4) Change the managers approach to what players do when they’re not on the pitch. So, so, so important.
5) Impact what we do in preseason
So a massive job, but one you’d feel most 40 year old men with ambition could handle. He’s certainly not an obvious choice. It’s square peg in round hole. But hopefully, it’s putting a Thierry in a central position, rather than putting Nik Bendtner outwide on the right.
Still, I can’t moan. One of my hopes for the summer was that we’d replace the dinosaur we currently have. Which has been done. Let’s see how it pans out over next year… could be the most important signing of the year.
‘Get the best talent in your ranks, then keep it on the pitch’
Some American football coach said that… too true babes, too true.
I’m on a book purchase spree at the moment. If there are any great sports management books you could recommend, that’d be great. Preferably outside football, because I’m already expert at that (just jokes, but I’ve bought most of them, bar Terry Venables, which is laughably call ‘Born to Manage’).
A few more stories to wrap up the post. Alisher Usmanov wants more shares in Arsenal. He sees it as a long term investment. he’s pretty good at long term. Well, long term vision anyway. As we’ve reported before, he pumps a lot of money into tech start ups. Big wins with Facebook and Twitter. He’s also bought quite heavily into Apple under the assumption they’ll rocket over the next couple of years with their new product lines. Still don’t get the Arsenal thing. Unless he has a gut feel that Stan is going to give up the ghost at some point for a mega fat profit. I have my doubts there!
Finally, a Sky Sports News (Italy) are reporting we might be interested in Mario. I can also report that the Grovers in the comments have come up with the hashtag #BalosDeep in a bid to encourage Arsenal to go in hard for the Italian.
Sky Sport Italia pundit Mario Giunta suggested “Arsenal are very interested in Balotelli and Arsene Wenger would do anything to bring him to London.
“This operation could be pushed forward by the technical sponsor, who Balotelli shares with Arsenal.
“To have Balotelli in the Premier League for Arsenal would be an important investment.”
I like the sound of that. Go on Ivan, go #BalosDeep with Mario.
… jeez, that sounds so wrong… but the sentiment is true and creative. Love it. Good work Grovers.
Right, that’s it. Have a marvellous day, see you in the comments!