SWEET MOTHER OF MARY, A FUN FOOTBALL MOMENT.
‘It’s the history of Tottenham. They always create a lot of chances but they always miss out. We always believe in the history’ Chiellini
Spurs dropped an utter classic of a performance yesterday, totally dominating Juventus until a smart tactical switch in the second half saw two goals in 3 minutes washout out Spurs dreams of anything outside a marginal gains season.
If you’re not enjoying this, you need to pack up being an Arsenal fan and go hibernate, football and the surround counter-joys are not for you. Going out at the last 16 of the Champions League isn’t acceptable for Arsenal, it shouldn’t be for Spurs. Absolutely hilarious that even at Wenger’s worst, he’s still making Cup Finals.
Anyway, I shouldn’t be too noisy, we have to go to the San Siro tonight and make something happen. I mean, let’s be real, is there a more perfect place for an Arsenal away tour? Beautiful fashion, fine wine, stunning food, and the fact it’s totally acceptable to roll a hamper into the ground. Their working-class fans probably think we’re peasants, but who cares, let’s just enjoy being middle-class in the ground free from criticism.
Wenger has been in banterful mood. This is what he had to say about giving advice to Gattuso.
“I don’t give him much advice. He was a great player here and he’s doing very well at moment. I’m not doing well so maybe I can get advice from him!”
Gattuso returned the favour, with a funny comment of his own.
“When I go to bed I dream of Mesut Ozil and Wenger, not about my playing days. That’s in the past, this is something different. You can’t compare it.
“Compared to Wenger I’m in the children’s team, I’m just starting and he’s been coaching for 30 years. In that regard it’s not a contest.
“He’s won so much in his career. My path is still very long. It will be an interesting match, with more of a new philosophy like mine against him and his experience.”
Back to Wenger, who clearly knows this is his last chance to make it happen this season.
“This is an opportunity we have to take,”
“It increases the pressure on it even more on this competition.
“It is difficult when you go through a patch like this, but it is a good opportunity to show you have the quality and the strengths and you can only show that when it is difficult.
“It is a good opportunity to show we can deal with that – and in the longer term it will make the team even stronger.”
I’m not sure Wenger or the players have the guts to go all the way in the Europa League, however, I do think there will be a buzz around the camp after watching Spurs tank.
There’s also a weird way of the universe, and it’d make a pretty good headline if we beat Milan, especially juxtaposed against the failing of our north London rivals.
Gattuso also needs to make a good showing for the home fans. The top 4 race is a little closer for him, but still pretty unlikely. The Europa presents a very good opportunity for him to become an even bigger hero than he already is, and their form is strong heading into this unbeaten in 13, after just beating Lazio in the cup.
“We have definitely improved mentally, technically and tactically, but we can’t make mistakes and we need to keep our composure. We must not be afraid of the 70,000 fans that will be at San Siro and show our qualities, both technical and physical. We must make it very difficult for Arsenal.
“The Italian teams are doing well in Europe, yet, we can’t compare English football with the Italian football nowadays. Ten years ago it was the opposite, but today the top players go to the Premier League.”
What I love about the Italian is his presence. When an English manager is passionate, it’s almost a dog whistle for ‘a bit thick’, but reality is, passion goes a really fucking long way. People can laugh, but they’re normally the sort of people who hack e-mail accounts in their spare time. Energy, charisma, fire, whatever you want to call it, is something football players tune into. This is Gattuso…
“I don’t want to hear anything about fatigue, we have no excuses, we have to get on the field with a knife between our teeth.
Wenger has an aura about him, but he doesn’t exude the presence he used to. Can you imagine him saying the above? When you’re a young kid, what do you see when you look at Wenger? Why would you listen?
The other part about the Gattuso I like is that he hasn’t just appeared in the game because he’s a fan fave.
‘ This was no case of an entitled ex-pro being parachuted straight into the top level; Gattuso had done his time in spells with Sion, Palermo, OFI Crete and Pisa before returning to Milan as coach of the primavera (youth) side. “I’m not a great coach,” he said after the cup semi-final. “I’ve had to cut my teeth and learn a lot.” But Milan’s physical performance, in particular, has improved under Gattuso. They have conceded only one second-half goal in 2018 and approach Arsenal feeling upbeat when, two months ago, this would have resembled a broadside of blanks between two sinking ships.’
Now, he’s certainly been privileged, but at least he’s done the rounds and cut his teeth.
We know Milan are not a great squad of players, but we know they’re organised, tactically resolute, and they’re definitely going to know we can be ruffled. Our players don’t like it up ’em, especially at the moment.
We’re without Hector Bellerin, who amazingly picked up an injury after earning a well-earned ‘you’re dropped’ in the last game. Aaron Ramsey will be back, which is nice. My biggest concern is I have no idea what Wenger is going to do. What’s the surprise? What’s different? How is he raising morale? How do we win?
A lot of questions I don’t have the answer to.
A couple of interesting stories in The Times. Basically, one says Wenger has said he’s not leaving Arsenal, they’ll have to fire him. An interesting strategy, but one with solid grounds, because no one was able to fire him last season. The second one, from the same journo, basically states there’s unrest about the money being earned by Mikki, Auba and Ozil… because they’re delivering fuck all to the team. I can understand those feelings. I feel that way about the whole damn squad.
Finally, we’re being linked AGAIN to Joachim Löw. This time by ESPN. Firstly, I have a hard time believing Arsenal are leaking candidates to any people outside the trusted few, secondly, I just can’t get behind this. It’s like Ivan is purposefully trying to ruin my life, why would he do that? I’m just a blogger ffs…
So, Löw found his calling in life. He re-engineered the German FA, he helped make the greatest generation of German players winners, he saved children from bears. He’s done incredible things.
However, club football is a different beast. Some say I should respect an unorthodox hire, but I just can’t, especially if it doesn’t feel well thought through. Our mission is to topple the mighty Pep G, a guy whose ideas are so complex, it took his player a year to learn. That’s what we’re dealing with. We need a manager who is in club football, doing trailblazing things, ready to take over a big club and blow up the league. How can that be Löw? Club football and international football are so different.
Outside the simple difference of 6 weeks work versus a year-round slog, there are so many things an international manager doesn’t have to deal with. Day to day bitching, unmotivated players, disruptive agents, players wanting to move, and here’s the big one… substandard players. Not only that, managing fitness over a season, rotating a squad, dealing with a relentless schedule, not having time to plan between games, the aggressive press in your face every day, transfer windows!
Löw has been managing the Real Madrid of international football for 14 years. Before that, he was average in an era Wenger was dropping invincible seasons. In fact, had you even heard of Tirol Innsbruck? That’s the last club he managed in 2004. What do people think has changed in those 14 years that’s going to make him an elite club manager?
Do you really think the club is going to hire someone to motivate Ozil to put in a shift more consistently? What are the key areas of his management that we need at the club? Is he the best at those?
Can he out develop Leonardo Jardim?
Can he deliver a better pressing philosophy than Hassnhutl?
Can offer a more innovative approach to football than Nagelsmann?
Is he less of a risk than Arteta?
Does he do tactics better than Allegri?
Makes no sense, especially when there are so many talented managers that aren’t as risky. There are so many brilliant names doing innovative things that might topple Pep under a bigger budget. There’s no reason to go with a manager who has to adapt to so many things he’s never been good at.
I would be completely devastated. You might as well just hire Carlo Ancelotti if you want to do this. I am PRAYING it’s a terrible smokescreen.
Right, that’s me done. Exciting news if you’re a podcast fan.
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