Torreira sounds like a man who missed training, stayed in his hotel room watching Jay and Silent Bob, whilst dealing with 5-6 fat blunts.
‘Arsenal are a good team, one of the best in the world, but at this moment I am focused on playing for my country. Am I an Arsenal player at the moment? I don’t know.’
I can’t say I’m disappointed, man’s gotta relax.
You know who can also relax now? The whole Argentina team! The Croatians put in a masterclass yesterday, decimating the Argentinian’s 3-0 in a devastating second half. I mean, it could have been helped had Messi’s boys fielded a keeper who’d played extensive amounts of first-team football last season. Much like Colombia, they fielded an Ospina like figure in Caballero and he helped break the deadlock with some terrible sweeper keepering.
As for Messi, he’s taking a roasting in the press for not being able to carry his team. I don’t understand why people think he needs to support a side with Mascherano, Higuain, Aguerro and Dybala. Look at the state of the Portugal team Ronaldo is LITERALLY carrying on his back.
I also think the absolute hot take of ‘He can’t be deemed the greatest if he hasn’t won a World Cup’ is amongst the most appalling of opinions in world football. He’s been an incredible figure in the game over the last 15 years of his career. A man-monster of a player, his intelligence, grace, goals, assists, movement and penchant of the spectacular in big moments will cement him as the undoubted greatest for many years to come. I understand how Ronaldo makes the ‘maybe’ list, but as a friend said the other day, Ronaldo’s biggest compliment is that he’s even entertained in the conversation of GOAT. You can’t tell me with a straight face he’s at Messi’s level. No is or ever has been. I also can’t buy into going too far back in time. Messi is operating in a game that is more technical, fitter, faster, more powerful, knowledgeable and more analytical than at any time in history. He’s still dominating. Even Bergkamp was playing in an era where players had to be taught not to drink before games.
Gareth Southgate popped off at the press for publishing his team sheet.
“Obviously any time, if we were to give the opposition the opportunity of having our team it’s a disadvantage to us. So of course our media has to decide if they want to help the team or not.”
Amusing to see the press pop back saying that NO HUMAN MUST MAKE MISTAKES. Ahhh the hypocrisy of a press core that LAMBAST Sterling for turning up late and spoiling the team spirit, but are quite happy to reveal the team sheet to the world if it’ll generate some clicks for those ads everyone has blocked these days.
It’s also nice to read England coaches talking about tactics like they know what they are. This piece in the Guardian is really interesting.
“I spent a year with Antonio when Chelsea won the league with a 3–4–3, with [César] Azpilicueta, a full-back, in a back three, Gary Cahill on the left and David Luiz, as it was then, in the middle. The first time we’d tried it [3-4-3] with England, in the friendly against Germany [in March 2017], we lost the game, but it was a more than reasonable performance. So the next stage was how to get the midfield balance right. We had good forwards and if we played [3–3–2–2] we could get two on the pitch, rather than one. The only criterion, after that, was: ‘Do we have the wing‑backs?’ And the wing‑backs are the least of our problems: we have all sorts of different types of wing‑backs. So it made sense.”
When I read that, I thought, damn, this is exactly the sort of chat going on at Arsenal right now. Can you imagine how fucking great it’s going to be to see our coach experimenting with systems next season?
Then I started thinking about what still needs to be done at the club. Then I started thinking about Danny Welbeck saying goodbye to Jack Wilshere on the internet yesterday. Then I welled up, but held it together to write this post.
It’s clear we have our backroom team sorted. Rightly or wrongly the club has let the new manager import an entire team. A lot of people have been telling me that’s a normal thing to do, I won’t go into the details of why that’s not a modern approach when hiring non-Galactico managers, but just take a second to think about it if you’re having trouble… the manager brought in a fitness coach of his own. If we’re operating a decentralized corporate setup, you don’t bring in your own fitness coach.
Squad wise, we’re really shaping up. Banega and Torreira look like the final pieces of the jigsaw, then we’re good to move into phase two of the project.
Balancing the books.
We’ve added what looks like more than the £7m or so we’re allowed to add to our wage bill by the Premier League.
This was January-ish.
- Theo: £140k
- Sanchez: £140k
- Giroud: £110k
- Coquelin: £80k
- Mikki: £200k
- Auba: £200k
Net Spend: £70k (£3.6m)
So far this summer if all the deals drop.
- Ozil: £210k
- Lichtsteiner: £60k
- Sokratis: £80k
- Leno: £60k
- Torreira: £60k
- Banega: £80k
Total Spend: £550k (£28.6m)
Jack Wilshere: £100k
Arsene Wenger: £192k (net £96k)
Net Spend: £406k (£21.1m)
Now, it looks like we’re massively over budget at the moment. We need to sell, and we need to do some serious cash juggling.
- Ramsey £100k
- Ospina £60k
- Cech £100k
- Nacho £90k
- Welbz £100k
Where do the new deals go?
Here’s what we do know. Arsenal have very publicly stated that Ramsey is a priority, he was our best player last season, and he’s most suited to an Emery system. He’s going to be asking for Ozil money. Why not as well? It’s his last major deal. He’s at his peak. He’s fit. He’s on form. He’s rested. He’s our longest serving players. His agent will feel the leverage, especially as the fans universally love Rambo. Question is, how do the club drop another net £200k+ without blowing that wage limiter?
Where else can we save money this summer?
Now, I won’t pretend to be an expert, the above is very topline and it’s not 100% exact. I’m not considering the Rwanda deal impacting our ability to push the wage bill up. But topline, that’s not going to impact £21m worth of deals.
Are the club preparing for life without Ramsey, or do they have some deep cuts they can make that we’re not aware of?
All we do know is this: There will be a plan, because the club have proper people looking after it.
Let me know how wrong this assessment is in the comments below.
P.S. Someone fetch yer da a cup of water, Neymar just lost a penalty because VAR caught him cheating. If you’re not happy about that, football isn’t the game for you. Shame Costa Rica couldn’t hold on…