You mustn’t, you mustn’t, you… ok, I can’t resist. Isn’t it wonderful watching Jose Mourinho tank for United? It is.
United were completely out-classed, out-fought and out-managed by Chelsea in an embarrassing return to the Bridge for Jose Mourinho. His team were abject, pathetic even. He spent the best part of £150m in the summer and all he has to show for it is a better-looking piece of paper, but pretty much the same turgid Louis Van Gaal / David Moyes output.
Chelsea looked very good. Conte has gone three at the back and the turnaround has been promising. Chelsea move the ball around with more purpose, the pace of their play has improved as has their fluidity. Hazard looks reborn… and jeez, even Moses is looking dangerous.
… but United. What is going on over there? Ibrahimovic, as expected, is looking pretty rank average. Sure, he’s not exactly getting vintage Ozil service, but he needs the ball into feet at all times, he’s pretty damn easy to mark and he has no turn of pace these days. He’s like a slower Giroud. Statistically, he reads like text book Giroud. He’s missed the most BIG chances in the league so far this year. Imagine that, becoming a crap Giroud?
‘BUT HE WINS TITLES EVERYWHERE’
Sure he does. He also picks his battles cleverly. A talent, no doubt. But a great PR man and a superb club selection strategist… not a miracle worker… and whatever happens, he’s not winning the league this year and us passing on him was smart.
Jose is struggling… the man who ran the length of the touchline back in the day bitched that Conte tried to humiliate him by going nuts with the fans. Errr, Jose, really? Conte hit back…
“I have great respect for everyone. Nothing happened with Jose, especially as my behaviour seemed normal. I didn’t make fun of anyone, as I always demand respect.
“If you want to cut the emotions, we can stay at home and I will change jobs. I did something absolutely normal. I didn’t do anything to humiliate Mourinho.”
What a whinger Jose has become. Moaning another manager humiliated him? A bit insecure, wouldn’t you say?
Cannot wait for him to tank us in 2 weeks.
Anyway, all the tears and histrionics from our own fans insistent our title race ended were put in perspective yesterday. Manchester City dropped two points against Southampton after another defensive gaffe. Beautiful. Nice to know they’re not invincible. They’re in a mini rut at the moment, rumour has it Pep locked them in the dressing room for 45minutes after the game for a bit of light hair dryer treatment.
I think this was always the worry with City. They’re a collection of great players, but they’re only a team when they fancy it. Pep has a lot of work to do and he has to do it while making ‘new boy’ mistakes along the way… like binning Joe Hart for Bravo. South American keepers do not look great in the Premier League. It’ll be interesting to see how smart that buy will look in May.
Jack Wilshere said in the press that he doesn’t really know what Jamie Redknapp is talking about when he says his career is over at Arsenal… though he does admit he hit peak comfortzone with us. Like being in bed, exactly one minute before the alarm wakes you up… that kind of comfort.
Abou Diaby is back in London… for the opening of a gallery? For a film premiere? No, ankle surgery. Just couldn’t give it up could he? Loves that hospital vibe. They certainly know how he likes his tea!
Casting a sweet eye around Europe at the moment, interesting to see Lucian Favre back in the game doing good things with Nice… he’s 4 points clear on 26 points. 2nd in the Bundesliga, no, not my boy Tuchel… he’s fucked it, nope, it’s Ralph Hasenhüttl’s Leipzig. Then to cap it off, South American favourite, Sampiola is taking things next level with Sevilla after they beat Atletico.
O. M. G. Looks like the world of football is getting pretty interesting all over the place. I mean, unlikely to last. But when the smaller teams get a bit more cash, everyone gets better. It’s like one giant socialist experiment, without the need of a Bernie Sanders or Jezza C to drive through the change the working class football fan needs.
Today there’s an AGM and as usual, there’s literally nothing to complain about. Questions will centre around the state of the toilets, the price of Bovril and there will probably be some smart arse who will ask about Arsenal’s succession plan, just in case Ivan had forgotten… we know how that one is answered… as scripted as Hillary.
‘I fu*king love Arsene and I’d like him to sign right now’
Then I’ll be all sad.
One agenda item being pushed by the AST is to deprioritise fans who buy season tickets then don’t use them.
I like the sentiment, but the execution. Is off for me. Firstly, it’d be interesting for the club to release the data. Are there tickets that are consistently empty? Or are the empty seats just a case of ‘everyone misses a couple of games a during the season’?
I think deprioritising people for not being good enough fans is a bit draconian. A bit nanny state. A bit ‘Jeremy Corbyn let loose on Phillip Green’s tax returns’, if you get what I mean.
What’d be interesting is making it beyond easy to sell your ticket back. I’m talking one click.
I’d also get on that e-mail shaming policy.
Small child, face reddened through crying, looking wistfully at the ground as the game goes on inside…
MESSAGE FROM GABRIEL:
‘FUCK HEAD, YOU MISSED LAST THREE GAMES, CLICK HERE TO GIVE YOUR TICKET TO THE CLUB YOU FAIRY PERSON’
Not that fairies miss games. Wouldn’t want to get the PC brigade on me about how more fairies should be DIE HARD AWAY FANS in Marvel films. But you get my point.
Arsenal should be upping their tech game. If I can get on a plane with a ticket produced on my iPhone, I should be able to get into the ground using the same tech. If I can order a gluten free pizza with caviar through my iPhone, I should be able to sell my ticket through my season ticket app. I should be able to share my season ticket through the app to people who don’t have the app, so they don’t have to fuck about with printing. I should be reminded that every time I don’t go, a child misses out on their first game with their dad. Maybe we could have a game miles system?
Also, once you have credit card details, linked to the app, you can start making it pay hard… preorder of shirts through the app. Alerts to offers in the Armoury. Do special tie-ins with brands.
CAN YOU IMAGINE. THE WORLD IS YOUR LOBSTER IVAN!
All of that cash money, just because people can’t be arsed to go to games.
Make it easy. Don’t make it draconian.
Right, final piece for you on this stiff Monday morning. This gumph about Ozil and Sanchez insisting on Wenger signing a new deal for them to sign there’s. Now, this is either paper people making stuff up. Or worse, it’s Arsenal PR, to soften the new Wenger deal for people like me.
My take: There’s a big difference between respect and dependency. I’ve no doubt that Ozil and Sanchez respect the boss, but depend on him for their futures? For what reason? The only reason you depend on a manager is if they can offer you CL glory. Both those two know that’s unlikely under Wenger. Both know he’s not won a major trophy for 12 years for a reason… and it’s not bad luck.
If those two haven’t signed deals with us… let’s be super real for a second here… it’ll be because they both want deal of the century. Not because they’re wondering whether Wenger is going to hang on for another three years.
RIGHT, that’s your lot. Have a terrific morning. x