Day 3 of my staycation. Things are getting boring. I have literally no unemployed friends. I’ve started knocking on neighbours doors…
‘Yeah, that Arsene eh? He’s a bugger…’
‘Mate, do you want something?’
Anyway, it’s fine. I’ve painted some walls. Watched some day time TV. Written a list of Sky Sports News presenters I’d like to take for a Peroni. It’s been great.
You know what’s not great? People telling me our injury issues are down to the World Cup. Or the worst, when a players from another club gets injured and Arsenal fans jump on it like some sort of Holy sign that Arsene Wenger is, in fact, not to blame for our problems.
A few things. This story that’s being pushed that all our injuries are world cup related really doesn’t add up. Ozil started 8 games for us before we found out he had an issue. David Ospina may have arrived injured, but then he came back for the Capital One Cup, then found himself injured after, that’s not sharp rehab. Ramsey didn’t go to the World Cup. Arsenal knew about Koscielny’s problem in February. Diaby, well, not worth talking about him. Debuchy was not injured at the World Cup, though he was very unfortunate.
I’m trying to think of any player that was injured at the World Cup?
Anyway, let’s stop pushing it onto the World Cup. Every major club is dealing with the aftermath. I don’t see Chelsea struggling. Let’s stop benchmarking ourselves against United, who have similar problems with a manager past his prime.
Our pile up isn’t in isolation either, like, say Bayern Munich’s is. Ours is consistently awful regardless of a summer tournament. Look at what happened last season.
Don’t take solace in other clubs failures, look at the best and ask how we can achieve that.
Anyway, enough on that.
How about ENGUUUURRRLLLLAAAND. I’ll have some of international football when we’re playing Scotland. What a good game. Hard, fair, of low quality… a great win!
Also, Chambo scoring a header. How about that? I love him. I think he’s such a talent. Explosive power, bold dribbling and so much enthusiasm for the game. Jack played pretty well as well… thing I like about Jack is I’d hate him if I was a fan of another club. He’s such a bastard on the pitch. He puts himself about, made some fancy passes and a looked like he enjoyed himself last night!
There were rumours of a WELBZ injury last night, but they are just rumours apparently. We need him ready for the weekend. Hopefully the locality of Celtic park will work in our favour, what with us having a lot of English players. More rest time, less travel.
United are having problems. De Gea is a doubt, as are about 43 of their squad. The really good news is Di Maria is a doubt. That’d give me nightmares.
The worrying thing about United at the weekend is though LVG isn’t exactly smashing it at the moment, he is a tactician. He will take a look at our line up and he might spring a surprise, or try and destroy our make shift defence.
This game is going to be about defence. I know that’s an obvious area to highlight, but both clubs are totalled there. It could be a bit of massive score. Or, knowing my powers of prediction, it’ll be a draw. We really need to take advantage of a bad United side. We really need to put some points on the board and we need to keep bubbling around the top four. It’s going to be pretty exciting regardless.
I’m hoping the team will all be pushing to make WELBZ look a hero. I’m hoping Danny is fuelled mentally to destroy them, because LVG mugged him big time when he sold him this summer. I’d also take some joy in seeing Robin lose. I know he left and got what he wanted. But he’s still a winner, the state of United will still be upsetting him.
Other things that have been going on in my boring little life? I’m reading a Pep book. It’s well good. I’m reading about Cruyff and La Masia. You can see what Wenger was trying to do with our youth team set up when he went hardcore project youth. He tried to build La Masia light. Trouble is, he missed all the values that make La Masia special.
The kids there live football. They go there and it’s an honour, a family privilege. Arsenal tried to buy a La Masia. We pinched the best kids from around Europe, ripping them from their homes with huge salaries as an incentive. It’s not a good way to kick off a career. It also seems like there’s way more freedom there. La Masia is like a camp, our school isn’t. I think Pep said at a talk, ‘when you sit in bed and you think about football and you don’t think ‘let’s have a quick ten minutes more play’ then you should consider another career’… I’m not sure you can do that in England. To many perverts and ‘no ball games’ around.
It’s a culture thing. It’s also a the culture they breed there. The kids watch the seniors play, I mean, there must be logistical reasons we have Hale End and Colney split, but it perhaps impacts the aspirational side that Barca have with their ‘Pitch One’ for the senior players. When you’re a kid, you feed off older people, if you can almost touch your idols, what a carrot… what a bloody carrot.
I also think there’s something in the amount of players they have that have touched the club since 1993. Pep, Vilanova, Amor, Begiristain and Zubizarreta to name but a few. Why is that possible? Is it because they’re indoctrinated into proper football values? Are they more educated? I mean, these are super smart people. Where are ours? How do we bring more into the club? If one of the most fascinating facts about the Invincibles team is that they’re all super smart… why aren’t we bringing that into the club? Lauren is doing a degree in Economics! I think Senderos had done a degree. Paddy always seems like a smart bloke. Lehmann is very articulate. Thierry immerses himself in the game, what an ambassador he’d be!
So many options to bring back the spirit of the Invincibles… and it doesn’t have to be in a decision making capacity. How can we bring a better culture to the club? How can we bring in expertise that can help non-playing board members? I mean, imagine sending two of them around the world to study best practice training methodology? It’d be great. I could go with them. They could help me cheat on my UEFA Licence, I could take care of the social branding. Symbiotic altruism at its finest.
My worry is that Wenger is the man stopping that sort of carry on… he wouldn’t tolerate innovative practices. Well, judging by some of his comments and omissions.
The book also talks about Cruyff and his training techniques. He was the godfather of the training ground. He believed in stopping training games to explain problems. He would beast players who’d done things wrong, but apparently it worked. The way Pep trains players now is an exact imitation of that style. It’s also interesting to read how Cruyff talks about the game. He believed in possession football, the same as Arsene, but also exploiting weaknesses of other teams… something Wenger doesn’t abide by.
Very good book. Pep Confidential. Essential reading if you’re looking to take over Arsenal in the next three years.
Right, enough from me, have a grand old day! x
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