I tell you what, I’ve been listening to a lot of classical music this year. I’m not sure if that’s a sign of age, or that I feel disenchanted by the constant bickering between Kanye and Drake. Can’t you both just be friends?
Anyway, big up the classical music scene. Some absolute bangers from John Adams and Tchaikovsky pulling me through this post.
I know that it upsets people that I use references of the not-so-distant past to frame up where we are now, but look, for context, I’m the kind of guy who will make a beeline for a work colleague on a packed train, just to acknowledge that I have seen them… even if they are avoiding eye contact with headphones on. Simply put, I’m going to compare Wenger to Emery for at least another year, so get used to it.
Unai Emery showed exactly how different the mentality at the club is these days.
“I think we are doing our way and improving, but the reality is that we need more.
“Our ideas and work with the players is to learn together. All of us can give everybody new ideas.
“I think the players are open to listening to us about our new tactical work with our analysis in videos. We need to do this work quickly, but we also need patience.
If this had been 2 years ago, we’d be talking about winning the league and the big twitter accounts would be digging up tweets from 7 years ago gleefully proclaiming the victory was theirs!
Not anymore. Our manager is a pragmatist very much anchored to reality. We’re in 5th position, that’s not good enough, and even though we’re not losing, we could be doing better.
That’s a great attitude. That’s a message to players that complacency won’t be tolerated, nor will premature-back patting. We’ve achieved nothing this season and we’re still a long way off the levels City and Liverpool are bringing to the table.
This season is fierce, so many teams are on an absolute rampage. Spurs and City won again, Liverpool is likely to decapitate Jose Mourinho tomorrow when they host his shit-housing-extraordinaires. We have to keep up the pace, there’s no room for dropped points and that sort of pressure is hard to deal with.
It’s going to be very tough tomorrow against Southampton. You have a group of players who are under a new coach who is far smarter than Mark Hughes, so there’s an extra level of intrigue there. We also have a very old defence that is so worrying, you’d have to imagine even Southampton will fancy their chances. We could be rolling out with Hector, Lichtsteiner, Monreal and Koscielny. Two of those haven’t rocked a 90minutes in a while.
It’ll be very interesting to see how Emery deals with that. Do we sit slightly deeper to avoid counters, or do we just play the way we have been all season and try and drop them in the second half after going a goal down? I’d imagine there will be a tactical consideration here, because it does feel like we’re very exposed.
There are some rumours that are being fueled by Auba’s Instagram that suggest we could counter the age issue at the back by fielding Zech Medley. The U23 defender came into the side midweek and impressed in the second half. It’s risky, but these young players need game time if they’re to progress, and there’s no better way to know if a player can handle the pressure other than utilising them in an emergency.
Mesut Ozil will be back in contention for the game after a being out for a few weeks with back spasms, so we’ll see if the coach fancies him in the first team so soon… I’d imagine he’ll be benched and eased back into the first team. Aaron Ramsey is available again, which is great news. I do wonder if he’ll continue to be benched. We all want him to play, but it doesn’t make sense to get the fans used to his presence if we’re going to try and bin him in 3 weeks time.
There’s also the big NLD game that’ll be on the players minds. Spurs in the league cup on Wednesday is technically not as important as Southampton, but it’s huge one for the fans. How hard is Emery planning on going for that game? Is his priority #top4… or a trophy at any cost? So many decisions to be made!
Finally, just a few other items I wanted to check off.
People bringing Ashley Cole into the Sterling row are desperately revising history. He was an absolute darling of Arsenal football club until he betrayed Arsene Wenger in a shady backroom deal with Mourinho which he claimed was accidental. His book quotes were an abomination and a total embarrassment even for a mollycoddled footballer. Factor in the countless PR gaffs he brought on himself… like cheating on his wife with a hairdresser.
“We started having sex then he just rolled over and vomited on the floor all over the cream carpet, it was disgusting.”
“He had some mouthwash then jumped back into bed. We started having sex again but his mates piled into the room.”
For most men, that’s game over, so I have to give him credit for plowing on and being a solutions-oriented kind of guy… however, when you’re married to the most famous woman in Britain, you really can’t complain about bad press, especially when you sell your wedding to gossip magazines for a £1m.
Oh, he also shot an intern with an air rifle from 5 feet.
ALSO: Pavon and De Ligt being linked to Arsenal. Unrealistic, but damn exciting regardless!
Right, enjoy the game, I’ll see you in the comments.
P.S. I ran into an original Le Grove commenter in a New York laundry yesterday. The world is a small place when you’re a gooner!