Happy Tuesday to you my dearest, most wonderful internet friends.
Hey, did you know that 95% of the Le Grove Audience is male?
Pretty steep. A big chunk of manlove right there. But for that 5% of women, big love to you. Tell a friend today you read and suggest they do too. So much diversity up in here.
So, sorry for the inconsistency of posting over the last few weeks / months. Moving country is a total expensive bitch. You have to see everyone. You have to get drunk with them because everyone acts like you’re literally dying and if you don’t go out until 5 in the morning with them, you’ve utterly disrespected their friendship / love.
I also spent the weekend on a Barcelona stag in what can only be described as the most rock and roll event of my life. Obviously it was arranged by a Gooner for a Gooner, so it was going to be special. But jeez, what a place.
Anyway, I’m out of the country. Living in the Lower East Side… with…. you guessed it… A GOONER CONNECTION. How crazy is that?
I won’t harp on about this. But it’s pretty mad the amount of doors that have been opened in the last 8.5 years just because I about Arsenal.
Anyway, reality is, I’m a foreign fan now. That means I take absolute offence to being called a plastic. That means you can never ask me how many game I attend, because it’s f*cking zero smartarse. That means I watch games with beer at 0845, which makes me and my new friends cooler than you. That means I attend the bar with a foam finger and facepaint to feel authentic. It also means that I follow a hipster sport, not a thuggish working class game that makes me a total slag.
Am I right?
The sweet thing is that I now have an Arsenal season ticket with whatever the cable package is.
What a joke, right?
We’re not allowed access to all the games in the UK because home fans might not go to the home games. For me, this totally misses the absolute major point. If your tickets are too expensive for young people to go, you don’t ever indoctrinate them into the ways of the live game, so when the season ticket generation dies… YOU HAVE EMPTY GROUNDS.
Because the generation coming through will all be streaming for free. They have no connection to the live experience. A horrible thought.
What about dat game?
I think Alex and I have been pretty spot on lambasting LVG over the last couple of years. Considering his outlay, he’s not really getting much from that squad. They have some nice players (Martial and Depay), but if you’re coming to Arsenal and you’re not playing Schneiderlin and you’re playing the pressing game against one of the fittest and fastest teams in the league with Rooney and Schweinsteiger leading that charge… well, you’re a bit of a joke.
Where did that come from? It’s completely upsetting in a way. Because we have a very good squad of very good players who turn up when they want to.
Theo Walcott looked a menace. He worked hard, he pressed, he made decisive tackles and he made yet more decisive contributions (is it odd that you can be completely unsatisfied with a striker who gives a lot of end product, but not a lot else?).
Ozil looked out of this world. I read some crazy stats about how average his big game contributions have been over the last two seasons. Sunday. He totally made it count. Strong, dominant with his skills, sublime touches and clinical contributions in his passing and his finishing.
Alexis Sanchez… now there’s a player who just took a face slap from the form fish. He was immense. He’s never stopped working hard, but I haven’t seen him totally dominate a game like that this year. The first finish was so good it was almost disrespectful. The second finish could have seen him arrested after the game for assault on the net.
What I also loved about that game was the sensible preservation in the second half of the teams legs.
So that’s a very good win.
The only negatives I have in my head are these…
Firstly, I don’t think Manchester United are a particularly good side. That was a big game, sure. But I don’t think United are going to be a major bother this year and I suspect they might implode. Under the circumstances, that was massive. But I don’t think we just beat title contenders there. I’d wager that Chelsea will surpass them at some point.
Also, you can’t ignore what happened in the week. You can’t ignore what happened against Zagreb. You can’t ignore what happened against West Ham and Chelsea.
We’re very inconsistent. We have very good players. We have a lot of them. We have the ability to destroy most teams when we’re in the mood. But if the attitude isn’t consistent and our hunger to win at all costs isn’t there all the time, it’s not going to end in anything spectacular.
What was the difference at the weekend? What changed? Was it that the team we were playing was on fire? Was it the nice weather at our home ground?
I have no idea. But we don’t have a… ‘ahhh, but our players have finally gelled’ excuse this season. Because we only signed one player. We have no injury excuses. We don’t have fitness issues because we only really had Sanchez away. The only problem we have is one that’s in the head. That this squad isn’t always focused. That this squad don’t die to win every week.
So this match can either be a platform for a strong run until the end of the season. Or, it can be a delightful blip in a season that’s going to be dogged by up and down performances.
This season has setup as a huge opportunity for us to win the league. Chelsea are shite, so are Liverpool, Spurs and United. City are as inconsistent as us. We’re also pretty much out of the Champions League. If we go on a run. We could be in contention come the end of the season. It’s a big if though. Because that side don’t have an aura about them just yet. It’ll take more than one win for that. We need to see performances every single week.
Also, in other news. Brendan Rodgers sacked. A lot of Arsenal fans jibing me because I liked him as a manager. For me, his sacking says a lot about the game. That’s a man who took Liverpool closer than any manager had in 25 years to winning the league. He lost all his best players. He made some bad buys. Two years later, 6 points off the top of the table and he’s been fired.
Shows you how lucky Arsene Wenger is. Managing a bigger club, with bigger budgets, delivering tepid success and total regression in the Champions League. No one even utters the suggestion he might not be performing.
Football is brutal. Well, it’s brutal in most set ups!
Good luck to Klopp. Could be incredible. Could be a complete car crash. Not sure how I’d feel about bringing a manager in who did that to Dortmund. We’ll see though.
Right, have a great day. I’m off to get a deep fried mac ‘n’ cheese subway with a side litre of coffee and buttermilk for my breakfast starter meal before heading out to get a bacon waffle biscuit with a double creamed milk milkshake and some fruit.