I AM BACK IN THE GAME
Locked in and back in the UK tomorrow, so this will be brief. Apologies for missing posts over the weekend, there wasn’t much to talk about and outside that I was in an internet dead zone. For summer holiday recommendations, I’d give a massive thumbs up to Asheville, North Carolina. Great beer, great food, and loads of shit to do if you like being outside. Max Patch, one of the greatest sunsets I’ve ever seen.
‘FORGET ABOUT THE LOCATION RECCS, WHERE IS MY AFC FIX’
Right here babes, no need to shout.
Szczesny talk is back on the radar. Gigi Buffon made a comment in the press that leads many to believe the Polish selfie machine could be heading over to the Old Lady this summer.
“I’ve always been a rational person and I’ve always looked for the meaning of things. It’s right that Juve want Szczesny and that there is a good player like [18-year-old AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi] Donnarumma at the national team.”
Sounds like Gigi is either an F5 Newsnow whore, or he knows something. For me, I’m still struggling to jump back on board the ‘HE’S GOOD’ bus. I’d love him to come good. He has many solid attributes, a pretty decent shot-stopper, massive frame and a more confidence than Zlatan on a bag of festival sweets.
However, even with all the stats about his improvement – like 11 clean sheets in 38 games – I still can’t get hard for him. He still conceded 38 goals in the other 27 games, 1.4 per game. One must remember, that in 2013-14 season, he was our number 1 and shared the Premier League Golden Glove with Petr Cech, amassing 13 that season. Were we impressed that year? No. He is capable of excellent games, but I still question his consistency, his erratic capabilities with balls into the box, and his poor concentration (1.76 penalty area Cruyff turns per game).
If Arsenal are serious about a keeper this summer, we should be going all out for someone like Oblak at Atletico. I really like Handanovic at Inter Milan, appreciate he’s a had a rough time of it, but he’s very good… and look, if we wanted to go all out mental, there’s always Donnarumma.
Good that we’re having these conversations, I really think we should try and put the keeper issue to rest this summer. It’s been as big an issue as having a NOT having a decent striker over the past 5 years. Would be really great if we just went all guns blazing and sorted the issue once and for all.
The very slim chances we had of signing Kylian M’bappe seemed to have faded with his proclamation that he wants to win the Champions League.
‘[The Champions League] is a dream, a competition that everyone wants to win and that only a minority can win – the most important are the titles.’
I mean, really, you’re the best kid in the world, you’re not going to move to a club that’s been in transition since 2004. Banter that Liverpool are in for him, imagine moving from the French Riviera to the Croxteth Estate. Crazy thing with this kid, is if you blow £100m on him, look after his talent, he’ll be worth 30% more in a few years. Football is MENTAL.
I mean, a perfect segue into the news that the Premier League is being pushed to show MORE LIVE GAMES.
‘But among several options discussed by clubs was making more than 200 matches available – a major increase on the current 168 – in order to maximise any uplift in the staggering £5.14 billion paid by Sky Sports and BT Sport two years ago for the 2016-19 rights.’
The above was off the back of Virgin Media successfully arguing Premier League fans have a raw deal compared to their European counterparts because they only see 168 lives games, and in Europe they see more. I still think it’s nonsense that living in America, I can sit in bed from 8 till 4 and pretty much watch any game I want across Europe. The argument that fans who go will stop going if there are more games feels weak, and actually, it’s not true.
‘The regulator also said it had considered consumer research that found 46 per cent of match-attending and armchair fans wanted more Premier League football to be televised, compared with only four per cent who wanted less.’
Here’s an argument, if more TV happens, and gates start to drop… MAKE TICKETS CHEAPER AND BRING THE YOUTH BACK.
Wouldn’t that be terrific?
I really hope one of the major content players slips in for the next batch of rights. Twitter and their deals in American sport have been pretty successful, helping to revive a platform that was deemed to be lagging (it added 9m users in Q1). Facebook has been a bit slow in the content game, but they’ve dabbled in Super Bowl, are creating platform specific shows, and are desperate for people to give a fuck about their Live offering. Amazon has the infrastructure and the cash to go hard for the content, could be a very smart way to bundle more people into their excellent Prime service. Apple are lagging everywhere at the moment (bar MEGA profits), and they could do with a juice up for their TV platform… what better way to force people into buying your hardware than the threat of not seeing football? There’s also Youtube.
Anyway, it goes without saying here, the new deal will top the £5.14 billion Sky and BT are paying right now. So expect to see the first £150m player dropping shortly.
Right, that’s all I have for today, see you in the morning.