Carl Jenkinson, the banter king, Arsenal supporter as a child, posters of Theirry still on his wall… looks likely to move to Crystal Palace. He’s a hard worker, has an engine that’ll run for days and he looked like one of the nicest English players ever to grace an Arsenal shirt. I’ll never forget him looking like he’d accidentally walked into every picture ever taken of him. Good luck Carl, you’ll smash it down there.
In other news Dimitri Payet has apparently gone on strike in a bid to move away from the slags down the road in their shiny crap stadium everyone hates. LOL at the Hammers fans who thought it’d be an easy move and CL football was pending.
I DIGRESS. Payet going on strike. As football fans we look at players through a different prism of reality to our own. For me, if I were him, I’d have bombed off West Ham in the summer, especially at 29, ESPECIALLY if I’d smashed it up with a terrific Euros. He didn’t, he stayed loyal to his club, he’s gone back and it’s in absolute pieces down there. Bigger pitch the team can’t adapt to, a new home everyone hates and a manager who has made a few grim decisions… like signing the worst penalty taker in history.
Anyway, everyone is up in arms. He’s a slag. You don’t strike. He’s a piece of work we’d never want near our team. HIS HEAD IS GONE. Well, scratch beneath the surface of uproar and media offence and you see a different picture. Firstly, his assists and goals need to be put in the context of his awful team. West Ham flew last year, they haven’t this year, that’s going to affect output. But look, chances created… 72 so far this season. I think Ozil is on 42. Payet’s KeyP (key passes per game) is 4.1, a full 25% higher than City superstar KDB. 37% better than Ozil. 46% better than Messi!
This is one of those football uproars that doesn’t have merit, at least from a performance perspective. Jamie Redknapp criticizing his game this year.
‘I have watched a lot of West Ham this season and Payet has looked like he doesn’t want to be there. He doesn’t seem as fit as he did last season and his body language smacks of a player who wants to leave.’
It’s just not on. In the same article, as an infographic, they highlight that Payet compared to last season has run just 2 miles less, lost 1% on his incredible passing accuracy of 82% and has taken more shots (trying to help the team) but at a lower percentage of accuracy (likely because he’s doing it on his own).
Now, my point here, is if he’s available for £19m, would he not be worth a gamble? Santi Cazorla, apparently had to have more surgery, we’ve missed his movement and incisive passing / ability to break the lines and dribble past people, would he not be worth a punt if we’re serious about a challenge? We’re bodies down in midfield as it is, he’d be a pretty good solution for a good price. Can play across the front line, would be way more affective out wide than what we have at the moment, would bring goals, assists… if we can play Chambo through the middle, I’d rather Payet.
On the strike issue, if you personally, yep, you at your computer eating a bag of Wotsits looking at LadBible videos, hate your job, you can leave. Footballers can’t, and it’s kind of absurd when you think about it. Freedom of movement, within reason, should be the same for everyone.
Fully appreciate if any of our boys tried this, I’d be furious. But whatever. If you can’t be a little agendarised in your blogging, what’s the damn point?
As for Swansea. I’d love to know the stat for how often we are the first team to play a club with a new manager. For Swansea, it’ll be the second time this season, after their appalling hire BOB BRADLEY AMERICA FUCK YEAH was fired. This time, they’ve opted for what seems like an odd choice, in Paul Clement. Clearly a super talented coach, but the critique of him at Derby was his systems needed good players… when you’re in a dog fight with bad players, I kind of feel installing a Ferrari thinker might not be the best option. But hey, it’ll be interesting to see what he does with the dross he’s inherited.
For Arsenal, this is the chance to do the double over a team we’ve struggled with over the years. I still have nightmares of last year conceding a goal from a terrible Petr Cech hoof. Awful. Montero always looks like a god against us. Hopefully we can put them to one side and also pull our away form back into the respectable line having only taken one point from our last 3 games. We’ve also gone on an exceptional non-cleansheet run away from him, failing in 6 attempts, something to consider when you’re whacking skippy about our back 5.
Arsene Wenger spent his time talking about contract shiz. This on Ozil’s managerial Stockholm-syndrome.
“No, not necessarily. He would like to know what happens on the managerial front of course, but I don’t think that’s the main part of his decision.
“I think it’s part of it, but it’s not the only thing. There are many other ingredients in every negotiation. Hopefully we will find a conclusion with him very quickly.
“Let’s not forget that all these players [Ozil and Alexis Sanchez] have 18 months to go [on their contracts]. That’s a very long time in football.”
I just picture some sort of GoT thing going on there.
‘WHAT’S YOUR NAME’
‘That’s better, now run along and make a nice no-look pass’
A key ingredient to the game tomorrow will no doubt be Olivier Giroud who has banged in 12 in 17 games. Amazing what being called average by the fans of your club and country can do to your mental state. Great to see him proving the ‘haters’ wrong, but slightly annoying that we had so much joy with Sanchez through the middle, and we’re reverting back to a Giroud system which we know has mobility issues and it’s certainly not a viable option at the highest level. Dreading us playing him against Bayern Munich. They’ll eat that up.
This comes back to what I was saying the other day, we’re not about a system, we’re about a mix of players Wenger likes. We made a lot of progress with Sanchez playing like the best striker in the world, now Giroud is in form, we’re back to last season. Great if results hold, but likely it’ll hit a limitation roadblock at some point. I think this comment sums up the above thought, when Wenger was asked about transfers.
“We have Welbeck coming back, Giroud, Sanchez, Walcott. We have a high number of strikers.”
Everyone can be a striker. Everyone can be every type of midfielder. Crazy.
A nice 3pm kick off. Hopefully a lovely 3 points. See you on the other side and apologies for calling the blog a Friday digest, tbf, it hurt me more than you. I’m on a 6 day week now.