What can Arsenal learn from the Red Sox?

by & filed under News Review.

Enjoy the monthly column from Jonathan. Make sure to follow him @jblauphoto 

It’s Monday, January 28th, (as I write this,) and Arsenal are the 6th best football club in England.

(I don’t want to hear that we’re still ahead of United on goal different. Shut your mouth.)

It’s a cold, sunny Monday here in the Rocky Mountains, and I’m trying to synopsize the last month for you, since I wrote my “what the fuck is Emery thinking?” column at the end of the year.

At this point, 8 months into his reign, I’d say that the jury is still out on Unai Emery, but doubts are beginning to creep into the global fan base.

(Will he ever stick with one line-up? Or formation? Does he have a grand plan?)

Personally, I was pretty surprised he didn’t run out the same lineup for the United FA Cup match that crushed Chelsea earlier in the week.

Surely, outside of changing the goal-keeper, I thought he would have to play the same team, given how well they handled Chelsea.

Three DM’s supporting 2 (finally) capable CBs, with Ramsey feeding Lacazette and Aubameyang.

I was sure he’d go back to the well.

But, of course, I was wrong.

You can understand why he put Iwobi into the team ahead of Guendouzi, and it’s not like it was a crazy idea. It’s just that almost anyone else would have said, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

But not Unai Emery, who seemingly loves to chop and change more than my 6 year old daughter playing with her squishies and Shopkins. (Don’t ask.)

Lots of media coverage has focused on Emery the tactical coach, or lately, Emery the failed motivator. On and on, we focus on his rebuild or his vision.

But during the last month, lots of ink was also spilled about the departure of Sven Mislintat, and the nasty power struggle that ended with his shanking out back behind the basketball court.

Surely, to the outside observer, it looks like Arsenal are in turmoil, as there is no firm system in place to replace the “Arsene decides” battle plan that was wheat-pasted up in the board room for the last 22 years.

The truth of the matter is, if you want to understand where we stand in the Premier League right now, you have to look to the Boston Red Sox.

Really, the Red Sox have all the answers.

I’ve noticed lately that Pete has begun to make comparisons to the American sports leagues, but normally he’s cutting and pasting from other articles.

I can tell you right off the top of my head what you need to know.

For a hundred years, the Red Sox were laughing stocks. They were a joke, as they suffered under the curse of Babe Ruth. Having sold the famed ballplayer to the Yankees, their rival, they watched the Yanks win all sorts of things, while their trophy cabinet collected dust like my daughter collects little plastic toys. (She’s got enough to choke a blue whale.)

Always, the Sox were chokers.

They couldn’t win.

But then, a hedge-fund type with partners rolling in Cosby-show-money bought the team, and they became very early adopters of the now-ubiquitous use of analytics.

Yes, that’s right.

Numbers.

Around the time Billy Beane was getting famous for Moneyball, the Sox ownership group, (Henry, Werner et al) went out and hired the man who invented the field, Bill James.

Apparently, he was the numbers geek of all geeks, as he sent out his own photocopied zine that made waves around the sports industry, back in the day.

They hired Bill James, and all of a sudden, began coveting players who drew walks, and got on base a lot. They went after fat guys, (like Kevin Youkilis,) and at first, there was little competition for the players they wanted.

And unlike the Oakland A’s, whose penny-pinching drove them to look for undervalued assets, the Red Sox were a big market team in a sports-crazed city, and they matched their numbers-crunching with some serious investments.

You might not have heard of Big Papi, or Jonny Damon, but the Red Sox players of the early century became Boston legends when they came from 3-0 down in the American League Championship, against the dreaded Yankees, and beat them, going on to win their first World Series in nearly a century.

But that wasn’t the end.

Continuing to invest and innovate, and leaning on their back-room nerds, the Red Sox have now won 3 more World Series.

(Making 4 championships this century for a club that went forever without winning.)

Even better, another of their hero-number-crunchers, Theo Epstein, went to the Chicago Cubs, an equally big loser, and after installing the same operating system, he won a World Series there as well.

So that’s 5 Championships for the analytics team put together by the (gulp) Liverpool owners.

It’s been enough years that I don’t remember when I saw it, but at some point after they bought Liverpool, I read an article about how the owners were investing in football analytics, and expected to be ahead of the curve, as the “right” numbers were not completely understood at the management level across global football.

So here we are, in 2019, and it’s all worked out for them.

Klopp is great, don’t get me wrong, but really, their success has come from finding the right players, mostly for affordable prices, and then making good decisions.

Yes, Van Dijk and Alison were super-expensive, but only because Liverpool got to the point where they were minting enough high-level assets to afford them.

Just think: Mané, Salah, Firmino, Coutinho, Winjaldum… Arsenal could have bought any of them.

(Mané was playing in the Premier League, for heaven’s sake, and had already roasted Arsenal at Southampton.)

But Arsenal, perhaps using the wrong type of analytic analysis, bought Xhaka, Mustafi, and some old guys.

And here we are, in 2019, with a team in need of a massive defensive rebuild, and seemingly requiring player sales of improved assets of fuel the new purchases.

Because unlike the Liverpool ownership group, Stan Kroenke is famous for not wanting to put one of his own dollars into running the club.

So where does that leave us?

Most of you guys probably read this blog each day, and know that Pete has taken on this subject rather often, whether we’ll be a development/analytics club going forward, or a “let me pull out my Rolodex” kind of club, with Raul running the show.

At this point, unlike the last few years, the Kroenkes are finally experiencing genuine success in LA and Denver. (The Washington Post even did a cover story on Stan’s big stadium play in Inglewood.)

The mustache-dude is not averse to spending money in all cases, apparently. And now, he’s getting some serious visuals on how brand-building and winning turn into hard currency.

So that’s where we are now.

I’m hoping that Arsenal will see the writing on the wall, invest in scouting and asset building, and buckle down to work our way back up into the Top 4, and then hopefully into genuine contention by the time Klopp and Pep leave in 2-4 seasons.

There is a blue print out there for us, if we follow it.

Unfortunately, given the resurgence of Man U, and the unlimited funds available at City, plus Abramovich’s addiction to winning, the future does not look rosy.

Not yet.

Not now, at the end of January, 2019.

But, as usual, we’ll know more in May.

Remember, follow him @jblauphoto 

528 Responses to “What can Arsenal learn from the Red Sox?”

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  1. Bamford10

    Dale

    “Bamford, you’re dumb….end of.”

    What is this comment even in reference to? Your dumb fucking claims re Iwobi criticism and racism yesterday? Please explain.

  2. Pedro

    Ooof, fucking hell. Just seen those scores. What a week so far.

    You guys are right, Sarri, Allegri and Poch are all useless. Good observations.

  3. Receding Hairline

    Azed Allegri was battered against Lazio over the weekend but somehow ended up winning

    Football isn’t the computer games many on here will have us believe.

    Every manager deserves patience to do the job he was hired to do, not hound him and call him bland every single day simply because you didn’t approve of his hire. Basically putting your needs and feelings before the club

  4. bennydevito

    Un na naaiJanuary 30, 2019    21:15:34

    Benny

    Why because he believes in his fellow countrymen?
    Because he doesn’t march for Syrians?
    Because he would prefer a few Englishmen at his English club?

    Makes perfect sense to me

    >>>>>>>>>>

    Un nai,

    Ok.

    I have no problem with wanting a British core, I too would like a British core and have defended CG for saying so.

    However, I also don’t have a problem with foreigners and as far as Arsenal are concerned I’d rather us have the best players available and not put a British passport as the priority above the quality of the player, their nationality is irrelevant to how good or not they are.

    If they’re good enough they’re good enough and their nationality is irrelevant.

    Whenever CG criticises Emery and Raul it is always prefixed with Spanish this Spanish that – What do their nationalities have to do with it? This proves that CG has an underlying issue with non British people and the fact you can’t see that would suggest you do too.

    And what the fuck does my marching for Syrians have anything to do with this, CG, his Spanish hatred or Arsenal??

    I voted Brexit by the way, just in case you’re interested.

  5. Kiril Hristov

    @batistuta … agree again. In my opinion once we get the right guy in behind the scene, with clear strategy we can have more expectations from the coach. I am big fen of dortmund’s system. But also I can’t see many english clubs have internal strategies. More like it depends of who the coach is and they synchronize the system accordingly. Bit odd if you ask me.

  6. Leftsidesanch

    Takes the gloss off what would be a great week for Arsenal results wise in the Prem, this and Utd rescuing points yesterday

  7. Chris

    Marc

    Pretty sure. Then they lost at home to Chelsea the week after the Saints loss of memory serves. Even Fergie teams lost 3 in a row.

  8. Kiril Hristov

    I prefer the club to has identity , not to wait some coach to bring it. Arsenal doesnt even know what they are, but we expect the coach to knows. Are we a rich club or poor? Are we in debts or on profit? Are we buying superstars or make them?

  9. Chris

    Have to say it is a little remarkable that Spurs haven’t drawn one game yet this season in the league. That ever happened before at this stage?

  10. Cesc Appeal

    Not impressed with Chelsea or Sarri.

    ‘Special sauce’ manager who inherited a side that were champions the season before last, has added a £70 Million keeper, a £50 Million central midfield player and a world class ST and they still look average.

    We can very much land 4th.

    Quite clear who is having the better first season out of Emery and Sarri when you apply context and remove agenda.

  11. Charlie George

    Bd

    “If they’re good enough they’re good enough and their nationality is irrelevant”

    All fine words.

    But u criticise me -but you CONDONE
    Emery and Raul who have not signed a British player or a British coach – but have let our British players (3) out on loan and want nothing to do with chambers and Ramsey.

    If anyone has inherent fear of foreigners – I would say these 2 Spaniards do of British FOOTBALLING talent..!

  12. Bergkamp63

    I said on here at the start of the season, I was surprised at Chelsea appointing Sarri,

    What exactly has he achieved ?

  13. Mr Serge

    I agree cesc appeal Chelsea are there for the taking just need pool to draw I can’t take bin dippers winning the title

  14. Pedro

    Marc, not really sure about him going to Madrid…? But then again… I’m not sure who the galactico managers are that they could hire?

  15. Marc

    Cesc

    The biggest problem Chelsea have is Hazard. If the season starts to go pear shaped and he’s decided to move in the summer he could switch off. Would be really damaging to them.

  16. Leftsidesanch

    I still have favour City, Liverpool had a glorious opportunity today and you just knew they’d drop points.

  17. Marc

    Pedro

    Madrid need to have a major clear out, I expect them to spend a fortune in the summer. They might think the Poch might encourage Kane to move as well.

  18. Thomas

    Charlie GeorgeJanuary 30, 2019 21:28:58
    All those foreign coaches , have never really comes to terms with our uniquely difficult league.(What a manger Eddie Howe is.)

    ___

    Mourinho won back to back titles in his first two seasons. Ancelotti won in his first year, Pellegrini won in his first year, Conte won in his first year, Manicni has won, Ranieri has won. Heck even that specialist in failure Wenger won three league titles.

    What the fuck are you on about?

  19. Charlie George

    Marc

    Chambers played well back end of the season as centre back
    Paired well with the Greek boy..

    Why he was jettisoned so quick. ?

    I have not the foggiest..
    (Good goal last night from him)

  20. Takin the Mhik

    Reading the comments on here about us not wanting to spend any money.Some good theories, but has anyone thought that because of Financial Fair Play, we simply are just no allowed?

    Last year was a bad one. Finishing 6th and no champions league. Lacazette came in for 50 odd mil. We signed Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan, both on nearly 200 grand a week. New Ozil contract would have hit us.

    Taking all that into consideration, we flogged Szczeney, Gabriel, Coquelin, Walcott and Giroud for peanuts. Ox we got good money for.This season we spent £70m, without really getting any significant money back on players sold, and no champions league.

    So my theory is that we have to play by the rules until the summer

  21. Charlie George

    Thomas
    They were all expect Ranieri brilliant achievement at clubs with unlimited resources.
    City/Chelsea

    Klopp/Ranieri/poch/ Wenger have broken the mould
    Can’t think of too many others at normally resourced clubs..??

  22. Pedro

    Marc, it’ll be interesting to see what the Madrid strategy is this summer. They’re missing that Ronaldo edge and it’s hard to see where they can buy that around Europe?

    Are there any obvious heirs to the mega stars in the game right now?

  23. Marc

    Pedro

    They’ll need to spread to goals around but Hazard, maybe Kane or one of the Liverpool strikers plus a few others will get the fans back in line.

  24. Kiril Hristov

    @pedro .. only Mbappe is coming to mind and coutihno(fall down in Barcelona, they started destroying footballers)

  25. Charlie George

    Marc
    It is so fundamental to get success
    Barca/bayern/Juve etc have an identity
    They just don’t make it up as they go along..
    Like we are..

    4 hours ago- no one knew 2 of our youngsters were going to Germany..

    WE NEED THEM FOR THAT EUROPA.

    They should be training with the 1st team every day- learning what it’s like to be an ARSENAL player.

  26. Marc

    CG

    As someone else pointed out earlier having gone out of the domestic cups the senior squad will be used in the EL. If it means the players come back in the summer ready to challenge for the first team then what’s the problem?

  27. G8

    Spuds next 2 pl games are at home..
    Don’t expect they drop any points there..
    How come they get 3 home games in a row?

  28. Leedsgunner

    It’s really annoying that we were so brittle against West Ham and we dropped 3 points there… had we won there, we would have actually had a very good January (despite the loss to Man United in the FA Cup) .

    I hope we are positive against Man City. We need to play them like we played Chelsea.

  29. Kiril Hristov

    I like Hazard but he hasnt been that constant force and goalscorer, Cristiano was and still is. Dont think Real will be satisfied just with Hazard

  30. Marc

    G8

    The PL moved their fixtures around at the start if the season so they could be in their new stadium for mid September. It’s means they’ve got an imbalance of home fixtures now.

  31. bennydevito

    If Leicester rejected a £65m for Maguire last season then that puts him out of our price range unfortunately.

    I can see him at Utd, or heaven forbid Liverpool paid him up with VVD.

    Lascelles the more realistic option then. Hopefully Holding recovers from his injury and we get Chambers back from Fulham full of regular 1st team confidence and experience.

  32. DaleDaGooner

    I’d LOVE to see Kane go there.Imagine him learning Spanish. What a mess.

    ha haha…just imagined him trying to speak Spanish then…

  33. PaddyV

    CG

    Stop spouting your British agenda rubbish. It has nothing to do with nationality. More a fact of that in general the pool of British/homegrown players are technically inferior to the pool of continental/South American players and also charge a premium for some unknown reason. This has been shown up time and time again World Cups & Euros. Even the current English crop don’t have a proper baller in CM or no 10… Jordan Henderson & Eric Dier. Bitch pleassse…

  34. Takin the Mhik

    Marc

    “Could well be right – we’ve definitely been restricted with wages.”

    As much as I love Ozil, his wages killed us.

  35. Un na naai

    Told you we’d finish above Chelsea this season. I think we could finish 3rd

    Our squad is that good.
    Just listen to uncle un na in future

  36. Un na naai

    I’d LOVE to see Kane go there.Imagine him learning Spanish. What a mess.

    Pedro
    Bamford saidnit would never happen. I’d love that too. Plus we might get st totteringhams day again.

  37. Leedsgunner

    “Imagine him learning Spanish. What a mess.”

    Imagine him trying to learning anything more like. Fair dues though, the boy at least knows where the goal is.

    Spurs imploding out of the cups like I said they would. Mark my words, they will end the season empty handed. 😉

  38. Charlie George

    Paddy
    Maybe in the past your observations were true to some extent.

    I am talking now

    German clubs are buying British talent( now)like it’s going out of fashion.

    This is not a trickle, either…

  39. bennydevito

    I think CG is right, I think we have a seriously talented young generation of British talent coming through that we should be all over especially as we don’t have the money of City, Chelsea or Utd.

    Liverpool got Robertson from Hull, Sterling from QPR.

    Wolves, Leicester, Villa have some great young British talent, Leeds and the lower tiered Northern clubs too.

    What are we doing to tap into that?

    Are we scouting the lower tiered English clubs? If not, why not?

  40. Cesc Appeal

    The worst team in the top 6 but we’re above Chelsea and United, we need to keep that going and another arrival tomorrow along with Suarez would go someway to helping us.

    I think Chelsea will continue to struggle and United have a tough time coming up. Great chance to get UCL football and have the money and prestige to undo the mess of the last 6 years.

  41. Guns of SF

    CA
    we need to be compact in defense and torreira should stay back more.
    we cannot get caught on the break… Sane will kill us again
    4-4-2 for this one

    or 4-5-1

  42. bennydevito

    I think it’s too early to start getting carried away about finishing top 4. I think Spurs will start finding form again and Utd will carry on winning. Chelsea I think will carry on sliding because I knew Sarri’s open critism would backfire along with him telling the world that basically Hazard has already left the building.

    I think we’ll be lucky to finish 4th above Utd and that 5rh is more realistic but it’s good to have hope once more.

  43. bennydevito

    CG,

    Zaha yes, but Brooks? Wouldn’t Fraser be a better bet?

    And I know he’s Dutch but I really rate Ake as well and think he’d be great next to Lascelles if Maguire is too pricey.

  44. PaddyV

    CG – Dortmund bought Sancho. Bayern bid for Hudson Odoi. Hardly evidence that the status quo has changed drastically.

    Benny – Sure there is some decent homegrown youngsters around at present but anyone good enough we are competing against all the other clubs in the top 6 and at present can’t even compete on transfer fees with any of them

  45. Leedsgunner

    “Jenkinson, Mustafi, Monreal, Kolasinac as the defence for City.”

    Not pretty is it?

    To be fair though, I thought we would get absolutely trounced by Chelsea.

    Newcastle has given us the template though, if Emery is obsessed with video analysis as people say he is… he probably watched the game through a few times already. If they can do it, we can do it. We need to cut out silly lapses of concentration though.

  46. Marko

    I would start Mavropanos with Kolasinac making way. He is so stupid defensively he simply cannot start against City.

  47. Receding Hairline

    I’m with Benny.. It’s a bit early. Just keep our head down and keep looking to improve or at least win ugly.

    I really don’t care what sort of football we play, I don’t want to be in the Europa league next season. Its depressing

  48. PaddyV

    Man City & Chelsea seem to be buying up all the best talented kids by offering them ridiculous money. Although Chelsea have apparently breached some rules on this and could be looking at a transfer ban if found guilty apparently

  49. Guns of SF

    Mavro- im tempted but fear he is not ready for this type of game where their attackers can get into the box with ease. He will lunge and being a tall lad, will get a red card for a clumsy tackle

    They have so many danger players and their off the ball movements must be tracked. Any time we lose possesion we need to be ready.

  50. Charlie George

    We should be the club all aspiring young British talent wants to join.

    We should be proud of this fact too.

    Our game should be based “fergie style” of
    Pace
    Power
    Penetration
    Aggression

  51. bennydevito

    RedtruthJanuary 30, 2019    22:37:52

    Your syrisn friends are probably westernised

    >>>>>>>

    WTF does that mean?

    A lot of them have only been here a few years and speak very little English. There are a few that came here to study before the revolution broke in 2011 but most are refugees having escaped Assad’s murder.

    When I’m with them they speak Arabic, with a few stopping every now and then to translate to me what they’re saying.

    Are you saying they’re only great because they’re westernised ?

  52. Marc

    Just watched the Liverpool – Leicester highlights. Scousers should have had a pen but Leicester had a few chances to score more as well. Scouser’s did not dominate at Anfield as you’d expect.

  53. bennydevito

    RedtruthJanuary 30, 2019    22:41:20

    “Are we scouting the lower tiered English clubs? If not, why not?”

    This isn’t the 1970’s…stroll on.

    >>>>>>>

    Red, I know you like an argument for argument’s sake but in case you didn’t notice the England team got to the semis of the WC.

    Are you telling me that the likes of Robertson, Sterling, Stones, Lascelles, Maguire, Chilwell, Wilson, Brooks, Fraser, Grealish, Kenny, Jack Clarke, Reiss Nelson, Smith Rowe etc etc aren’t great British talent? Don’t you think considering we’re strapped for cash that we shouldn’t be looking at the lower tiered clubs to snap up these bargains to improve our team and to sell on at huge profits?

    You’re an odd character.

  54. Dissenter

    Pedro
    That’s the 5,365,213th time that someone is going to tell Charlie George to stop spouting brazen xenophobic ideas.
    Consider having a word with him to cease and desist from that line of argument.

  55. Receding Hairline

    Apparently Arsenal have offered to pay Inter a penalty fee if we do not take up the option to make Perisic permanent. Seems we will do just about anything to avoid an obligation to buy clause.

    Chinese club has taken Carrasco off the market, seems they are sick of all the loan talks, no one is offering to buy.

  56. Charlie George

    Well said ,again bd

    A terrific list of home grown talent..
    And all suited to play in the rough and tumble of our relentless league…
    We can’t obviously get all those players
    But if we could get 50% of that list

    We would be a serious contenders again!

  57. bennydevito

    Charlie GeorgeJanuary 30, 2019    22:52:51

    We should be the club all aspiring young British talent wants to join.

    We should be proud of this fact too.

    Our game should be based “fergie style” of
    Pace
    Power
    Penetration
    Aggression

    >>>>>>

    Whilst I agree that we should definitely be looking closer to home to exploit young cheaper talent, again I emphasise what does their nationality have to do with the need for the best talent?

    Henry, Anelka, Pires, Ljungberg, Petit, Vieira, RVP, Cesc, Bergkamp, Lauren, Reyes, Wiltord, Edu, Gilberto – did they not have pace, power, penetration and aggression?

    Were they British? Were they by and large better than most British players of their generation?

    Does buying British guarantee those qualities or do you think those qualities are irrelevant of what passport they are attached to?

    Well??

  58. Leedsgunner

    “Apparently Arsenal have offered to pay Inter a penalty fee if we do not take up the option to make Perisic permanent. Seems we will do just about anything to avoid an obligation to buy clause.”

    Why should we be obliged to buy?

    If we do, it virtually takes all the incentive away from the player to perform and makes the transaction risk free for the loaning club.

    What if the club injures himself horrendously on the first day? With a loan to buy, we would be stuck with a crock for the loan period and then afterwards (dependant on how strictly the conditions are drafted).

    I know Barca were trying to put a similar clause in for the Suarez deal with a mandatory purchase price. I really hope we were not silly enough to agree to that… because there is virtually no upside for us on such a deal.

  59. Guns of SF

    David Ornstein
    ‏Verified account @bbcsport_david

    Arsenal pressed hard for Perisic. They want loan + option, Inter Milan want permanent or loan + obligation. So #AFC offered to pay penalty fee if loan doesn’t become permanent. No sign of #Inter budging. Far lower numbers & effort in Carrasco pursuit. Nkunku said to be 50/50 #PSG

  60. Guns of SF

    Barca were smart as they had Suarez sign an extension to protect his market value.
    If he sucks shit at Arsenal, Barca have a dwindling asset and will lose if they try and sell to another team.

    Injuries are probably covered in the loan- there has to be some sort of compensation if that happens.

    My guess is that we will buy Suarez as he will improve our attack over Mikki and Ozil

  61. Charlie George

    Bd

    Fair point.

    And fair play for the listings of players.
    I did omit French players in my last post
    Previously I have advocated the pursuit of French players too though

    British /French power game is a proven model.

    My 6/5 5/6 ratio

    5 brits
    4 French
    2 misc

    That’s a good mix for consistent success
    I just want Arsenal to immitate Fergies great teams

    No more
    No less

    He never has 9 or 10 overseas players in his winning teams.

    He did try South Americans
    Veron
    Kleberson
    Etc

    He realised they don’t really work.
    Binned them quickly

  62. bennydevito

    Tell you what CG; that Brooks is absolute class no doubt about it. Cost Bournemouth £11m.

    I would also say that if Emery does tank we could do a lot worse than taking a punt on Eddie Howe and I would much rather take a risk on him than Arteta all day long.

    Let’s see how Arteta gets on with City full time once Pep fucks off, because he will do soon especially if Liverpool win the league.

    Word on the grapevine is Pep wants to manage at International level, with Brazil his favoured choice.

  63. Marc

    Spud attendance tonight 29,000 – really poor for the most amazingest team ever. I know it’s a cold night but they should be hitting 45 – 50k.

  64. Marc

    Benny

    Pep will do next season and then leave. The guy’s doing a fly by tour, picks the dominant / richest team wins a few bits and moves on. Makes his CV look great at a glance but no depth or club building.

  65. bennydevito

    CG,

    Is he? Eddie Howe is Don Howe ‘s nephew?

    Interesting.

    Marc,

    Absolutely spot on regarding Pep, let’s not forget he inherited a ready made team from Rijkaard at Barcelona.

    I also can see Howe at Spurs when Poch goes to Utd or Madrid for sure.

  66. bennydevito

    Having my MOTD scout hat on, players I would like to see us sign in the summer:

    Maguire/Lascelles
    Brooks
    Zaha

    Speaking of Zaha, what a cunt Ward prowess was to him tonight fouling him and goading him the way he did – twice spitting down right in front of him and sneering at him.

    Fair play to Zaha though because after clapping the ref I would have Cantona kicked that Ward Prowess cunt without a shadow of a doubt.

    That or a Zidane style headbutt.

  67. Valentin

    In a previous comments I said that Emery like at PSG will pretend to bring youngsters into the first team but that he was going to mismanage that.
    Smith-Rowe and Nkethia going on loan in Germany is further proof that I was right. Properly integrated, we would not need extra body. They would be ready. At least now they are going on loan into proper teams and coaches (no Tony Pulis) will be properly looked after.
    Properly managed we could have used both of them and Willock. Against Cardiff a team in the relegation zone, why play Elneny who we are trying to offload when Willock a more forward looking player is available?

    The same why Lichsteiner and then to replace him by Jenkinson when we have a U21 right back available. At least he won’t be outrun by the referee like Lichsteiner!