Will have to race through this today because I have a mad busy day pitching.
So, first up, the Arsenal win juggernaut continues to power on at pace. The Palace game didn’t look pretty, but we did what we needed to do to take the three points. There weren’t many magical highlights for me, but there’s that unease watching Ospina flap about. I’m glad he’s been given a run, but I’m just sad he’ll probably have to drop a giant clanger before he’s removed. What he did in injury time, when he flew out to tip a cross away, was, well, pretty poor tekkers. He’s just not the ticket for me… frame aside, I think he lacks quite a lot of the top level basic skills.
Other good news? Well, teams dropping points all over the place. United dropped 3, Spurs dropped one against West Ham which kind of works and Chelsea opened the door for us in the title challenge. All exciting stuff. We’re pushing hard for third now. In the driving seat if you consider our fixtures list.
… and United. Superb eh? Hopefully that result at Swansea asks more questions of a squad being brutalised by a man with ego and power on the mind, over putting a system in place that the players can work to.
What other mega bits have we to clear up today? Oh, how about Jose on Soccer Saturday? I do like to listen to him, but that little act of petulance was really not befitting of a top flight manager. When you earn that sort of cash, have that sort of rep, you shouldn’t be hijacking TV programmes to push your messaging. It was car crash at times. He slagged Wenger unprovoked. Whether he was right or not, I have no idea why he felt the need to open up old wounds. Then he slated Sky for going on at his players when his boys suffer hard tackles. Just all felt a little surreal considering how nasty his players can be.
Jose uses slots like yesterday to gain a psychological advantage on opposition teams. That little show yesterday was about making referees fear making decisions against his players. He’s been trying to hammer referees for a while. I hope they stand strong. Refs should be independent and they shouldn’t fear managers trying to game the system.
Mourinho and his behaviour off the pitch is why he couldn’t land a job at Barca. That’s why a team like United will probably never sign him. He damages institutions to gain some extra percentage points. I don’t think I’d like him at Arsenal. A winner, sure, but he’s not a patch on Guardiola in my eyes.
Tonight, the club are launching the invincibles documentary. That’s going to be one of those things you watch when you’re having a down week. Whenever I watch stuff on that team, it takes you to another place. When Arsenal are doing well, it feels like you’re doing well in every area of your life. So many fond memories!
The AST also have Raphael Honigstein at their event this evening, worth paying the membership fee alone. If you get the chance to head down, I’m sure there will be a truck load of insight into Arsenal’s German players as well as what they do differently over in the Bundesliga!
Final point, that I don’t want to labour on, is Wenger and his use of tactics. There was a piece by Hoddle about using prozone back in the day to analyse teams and their approaches. A lot of people have used this snippet to showcase that our manager is really into analysis.
Look, firstly, there are plenty of player quotes around that point to our lack of preparation, but here’s the best way to know whether we do it… look at what you’ve seen on the pitch over the past 10 years. Look at the surprise on the pundits faces when we turned over City. Using a version of Prozone was big in the eighties, but hey, Super Mario Brothers on a black and white Gameboy was also state of the art back then, you wouldn’t put that infront of an 8 yaer old these days and expect a high five. If you don’t upgrade your tech, the way you think and the way you utilise that data, it’s all pretty pointless.
… and, if you think he is using tactics and data to its maximum, well, even more cause for concern, because you’re basically saying he’s doing it really f*cking badly.
Right, that’s me done. Have a mega day!