WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT.
The MIGHTY TOUGH GUY Troy Deeney has gone and done it again. His Watford side taught the fairies over at Stamford Bridge a thing or two about how to be big cajoned man beasts. A storming victory for Watford started with him scoring a dubious penalty. 4-1 is quite amazing, Antonio Conte taking fucks given to levels not seen since Jack Wilshere chained a box of 20 Marlboro at a Vegas pool party.
So what does that mean for top 4? Well, it means it’s very much on. The gap between 6th and 3rd is now a tighter than Wayne Rooney’s belt buckle, sitting at only 5 points. If Arsenal destroy Spurs this weekend, things could get very sexy.
Is it my dream to get excited by the top 4 trophy. No. But is it my reality? Yes.
No man ends it all because he can’t convince Clare Tomlinson to be his best friend in a stealth move to make her fall in love with him.
No. You accept that she’s out of your league and you pull the same move on Chantel from the Wimpy Bar. Do you think about Clare? Absolutely. But you don’t dwell on it. Chantel has potential.
Know your level.
Arsenal knocking about in the race for top 4 is great news, because a month ago, we were staring at Burnley and wondering if they were going to Leicester us out of 4th place. Like making a play for Clare then finding yourself locked in the gents with Keysey and Gray.
We sold our dross. We bought in some great talent. We ignored the defence. Ignored the midfield. But look, we’re more than capable of putting up a fight. Hey, we might even pull a surprise this weekend against Spurs?
Worst case, we’ll get to sing funny stories about Delli Alli’s misstep that’s doing the rounds on Twitter.
Exactly what football is all about.
A good article from Miguel Delaney here on the sale of youth prospect Marcus McGuane to Barcelona.
The Greenwich lad is just the latest young British player to opt to continue his development on the continent. He follows Benfica’s Chris Willock, Borussia Monchengladbach’s Mandela Egbo, Willem II’s Dan Crowley, Wolfsburg’s Kaylen Hinds, Sparta Rotterdam’s George Dobson and perhaps most notably Borussia Dortmund’s Jordan Sancho.
It could be valuable for England but, much more importantly, valuable for the development of young players.
The trend also highlights something of a problem for English football, given that many are moving because they want the regular competitive football at that age that will properly develop them. The demands at top Premier League clubs are now such that academy players between 17 and 20 can fall into a troublesome grey area, where they aren’t yet ready for the first team but also aren’t really being given the proper football that will make them ready. The reserves just don’t cut it in that regard. Neither does safe no-consequence youth football. It means so many just stall, and maybe don’t become what they might have been given that properly exacting experience at that age is so important.
Very worrying news, as we have quite a few players that would be interesting to foreign clubs. Reiss Nelson is refusing a new deal, Eddie banged in another hattrick for the reserves yesterday, obviously, everyone wants a piece of Rave-wobi. Arsenal need to up their talent retention offering, which really is a weird thing to say considering how many kids are landing games with us right now. What’s going on? Is it the upshot of seeing players like Theo and Chambo stagnate despite getting all the games? Who knows. Can’t imagine Wenger helps these days. Literally no young man wants him as their second father these days.
Injury news. Ospina is starting the Spurs game.
At first, I was worried. Then I slapped myself with a clamy hand. There’s literally no difference between him and Cech. It’s like getting choosy about Tesco own brand ready salted crisps and Morrisons own brand ready salted crisps.
It’s literally the same crisp. I’ve been to the factory. Don’t be fooled into the illusion of choice in own brand crisps, and don’t be fooled into thinking there’s better choice between the keepers. Sad times. We don’t have a good keeper for a major game. Another nail in the Wenger recruitment coffin. He’s only known about this issue for 3 years.
This article about data crunching with Philly was fascinating.
In fairness, Frigo (co-founder of EdjAnalytics) said, he has never seen a franchise behave quite like the Eagles, one of several teams that subscribes to EdjSports’s predictive tools. The Eagles’ shrewd application of analytics to everything from roster management to in-game strategy helped propel them to a 13-3 record and a berth in Super Bowl LII against the New England Patriots on Sunday.
Analyzing every team’s risk-management style, EdjSports determined that Philadelphia optimizes decisions — on fourth down, especially — better than its peers by a substantial margin.
“The Eagles capture value at every turn,” said Tony DeFeo, the president of EdjSports, “because they understand where the value lies.”
I don’t know what that means, but I’d say any data system that puts forward Xhaka and Gabriel as valuable is either shite, or the people crunching the data need a quick hit on finding the value in the numbers they’re looking at. When it comes to on-pitch data analysis, again, it’s very rare you see Arsenal doing anything of interest. Teams in Germany are working out the best places to lose the ball, so as to regain quickly and create chances. We’re trying to work out whether it’s advantageous to find someone who can make it past the front post with corner kicks.
Give me some visionary thinking over here.
Talking of visionary, why don’t you try our podcast? We have Dan from the comments, notorious for a viral tweet about Delli Alli last year, which is very topical.
Listen. Enjoy. Rate. Then share it with your grandma and get me some more listens.