Super post from BennyDevito earlier. Addiction is a dark path, but Kenny, with a bit of guts and determination, the sort that made you an England and Arsenal hero, I’m pretty sure you’ll be good!
Raising an avocado, pheasant and quinoa smoothie your way! GET WELL SOON!
So, onto the football.
OH WHAT A NIGHT… LATE ON MONDAY IT FELT SO DIVINE (do doo).
That’s how I felt. Spurs went two up, my chirpsy football group started giving it some Spurs smug, I left the canteen I was watching the game in… then Cahill pulls one back with a fine first-time finish. You’re thinking, here we go, some jitters… and we know how the Spurs are… then Hazard finds a gap and curls an OUTRAGEOUS beauty of a shot into the top hand corner.
It got a bit silly after that. Spurs looked heavy legged, they started to lose their rag, egged on by the usually placid Pochettino… Kane was making rash tackles, Dier was doing the same, Dembele was eye gouging (hilarious that it was Costa), Ryan Mason was just doing, err, not much… it was all a bit embarrassing considering what was riding on the game.
Anyway, Chelsea held out, destroying another teams title hopes… and wasn’t it just perfect?
So there we have it. The greatest upset in English football history. A team that was 5000-1 to win it, not only won it, they took it at a canter. I actually can’t believe what an incredible story this is.
What makes it even better, is it massages what I’ve said for years.
Smart management can out power money.
‘No, no, no… it’s all about money. Arsene was never going to be able to topple City with his £120m wage bill + £30m in the bank’
Well, look what we have here. Leicester, taking out the lot. They have a brilliant infrastructure in place (we shared this back in 2014), they have a superb scouting network that’s worked absolute magic and they have a manager who has just pulled the biggest rabbit out of the hat EVER.
(and a board who wanted to invest and win things)
It’s a total madness. But my lord, how it’s put a lot of ill-informed commentary into perspective. You don’t fluke the league, simple as that. Smart management, empowered staff, investment in the basics, good players and boat load of sport science informed fitness luck. I also lived there 3 days a week during my early work years… looking out over that unspectacular stadium.
Anyway, what can learn from all this?
Players: You don’t need to buy a team full of £50m superstars to do great things. You need balance, talent and hard work. You also need smart players who can play a system. Leicester have all of those elements and they’ve rocked it hard. They’ve also spent wisely. Uncovering gems like Mahrez and Kante. Rejuvenating players like Wes Morgan. Inspiring players like Vardy and Drinkwater.
Changing manager can be a great thing: If I have to listen to one more petrified Arsenal fan spout off ‘careful what you wish for’ I think I’m going to explode. There are so many examples now of people bringing in new managers and doing better things. Whether it’s Tony Pulis getting shit canned at Stoke (AND PALACE) and being replaced by Mark Hughes, Slaven Bilic killing off any sadness about Allardyce or Ranieri taking over from a Leicester hero Nigel Pearson… change is good if it’s smart and well thought out.
The 10 (or 5) year plan is bullshit: Spurs have gone from dross to great inside 18months under a brilliant young manager. Leicester went from the team that spent the most time at the bottom of the league last season, to the team who just won the Premier League. Tomas Tuchel took over from Dortmund and he’s pushing Bayern with basically the same team that finished 7th under Klopp. You don’t need 5 years to create a winning team. You just need a very smart plan and the balls to deliver on it.
We’re spoilt: Yeah, people still going along with that one. Look at the party Leicester are having at the moment. Look at the memories that are being carved into people’s brains… ‘do you remember when Leicester took the Premier League by storm?’… we’ll all remember it. It was incredible. We need more parties like that. 2 in ten little parties in 10 years with our resource is unacceptable. Arsenal fans aren’t spoilt… the only people who are spoilt are the bean counters or the people like Arsene who are making mega money to prop up the portfolio.
Things you’ll see next season:
I’ve been having great fun with Spurs fans, because they genuniely think this is a turning point in their history. Oh my, do they no know what’s coming. For all the positives both Spurs and Leicester have been through this season, they’ve had a lot of things go in their favour… a lot of things they’ll lose when Champions League football comes in.
Games: Spurs bombed out of the Capital and FA Cups early doors. They rotated heavily in the Europa League, using it to keep players fresh and bombed when Dortmund destroyed their over rotated team. Next season, they’ll have to play first teams in the Champions League. That impacts:
- You ability to plan against Premier League opposition
- Your ability to practice that plan
- Your teams freshness. Late night plane rides, terrible nights sleep, playing 3 games a week on the regular and shite surfaces
Look at this way. Newcastle finished 5th under Pardew and hit 16th the next season after Europa football. Swansea did something similar. Liverpool made the Champions League and Brendan Rodgers was a year or so later after they bombed the league.
Leicester could end up relegated next season if they’re not careful and Spurs couldn’t hack the Premier League pace this season with no cup runs and a heavily rotated team in the Europa. They’ll have to bolster hardcore this summer, then hope things gel. Also, they had the most luck with injuries this season. Let’s see how a season of beasting the same 11 over and over + 5 of their players getting emotionally and physically brutalised by the Euro’s this summer.
Also, remember this… next season, you’ll have Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United with the Spurs / Leicester ‘fewer competitive games’ advantage. It’s going to be really fucking hard next season when mega clubs don’t have the Champions League to worry about.
So whilst you can’t guarantee order will be restored next season, you can be sure that great teams will be playing less intense amounts of football and they’ll take advantage of that.
We’ll see progress of the middle pack as they eat into that new TV money and we’ll see an attempted resurgence from the elite clubs left out of the major showpiece tournament.
It’s going to be exciting.
… I mean, just literally so glad our ship is being captained by a guy who has no f*cking clue how to make us a powerhouse.
OVER THE MOON.
But hey, at least out fans are pleased… seeing out old Arsene Wenger with a bag of party poppers and a gold watch.
What a classy bunch of sausages we are.
RIGHT, have a great day whilst I once again attempt to fathom why Arsenal fans are so eternally grateful to a man who is better at repackaging a predictable product than Apple.
GOOD DAY. x