Good things come to those who wait.
The United gravy train was wiped out by a massive lump of doorstop thick Hovis last night as Thomas Tuchel crushed a bland United (0-2).
I know, it’s sickening for many of you, one of my hipster faves dropped us a favour. The wonderfully eccentric Tuchel organized his Paris team perfectly to nullify the basic strategies of United. No highline for him. He sat two midfielders in front of the PSG defence, he kept things super tight and he stopped Paul Pogba feeding the rapid front line of United.
It’s amusing that fan complaints are similar wherever you are in the food chain. United supporters bitching and whining that they need to invest in their squad is incredibly satisfying. They have more than enough good players to make a go of it against PSG, they were just outsmarted by a more tactically astute manager, who organized players who were out of control last season into a tight unit.
They still have the second leg. Paris are a bit Spursy, so no doubt a surprise could be sprung next week. Remember, this is the team that lost a 4 goal lead against Barcelona in 2017. Anything is possible. I’m just glad United are having to go to Paris to chase a game. I hope it’s really tiring.
It’s a huge season for Tuchel, he’s a man with special sauce, the problem is it’s been a little too spicy. He has the crazy ideas, the sublime footballing vision, he’s been praised widely for his handling of big names/bad boys and he’s dealt with squad conflict well. From what I’ve read, the players also have a lot of respect for his powers at this second.
I don’t know for sure, but I think PSG might have done their homework on their man and tried to surround him with a team that could iron out the creases in his personality. Their assistant coach, 39-year-old Zsolt Lőw, is a darling of the coaching scene, adored by players and sporting directors, and also a target for Premier League clubs a few years back was hired at great expense last summer. He’s known as an innovator and a coach players go to war for.
It’s an interesting project at PSG. I think the mission points to the future. Great clubs will opt for coaches who are innovators, and most importantly, entertainers. Stan Kroenke called sport a content game. If the world of football distribution is being democratized, clubs are going to have to work harder for eyeballs. Look at how the kids are engaging with the game these days, little short clips of the best games on the web. Those clips are marketing fodder. They tell you where to look when you have 5000 games to choose from.
The teams that offer the most value for people’s time will be the most worthy of sponsorship deals. Ugly football that wins won’t cut it, because I can watch beautiful football that wins in Italy, or Spain, or England if I choose. The modern fan is not loyal, they go where the excitement is. I think PSG have identified that and that’s why they opted for a manager who hasn’t won titles (also worth noting that Bayern were also very keen on Tuchel).
Cannot wait for them to now be turned over by Phil Jones shinned effort, followed by two late headers from BIG Mo Fellaini next week.
The test is really on for Ole G now he’s lost his first major test. I always wince a little bit when things are going well for a new manager and the press start asking about how such genius came about. They all fall for it… Emery was talking about banning fruit juice and not allowing his players to be cowards… Ole G was talking about bringing back simple joys like purified water and allowing players to smile. Now we’ll see how much was genius and how much was the adrenaline shot of not having to walk Mourinho metaphorically wax his balls in front of the dressing room every week.
In transfer news, Matt Law rolled with a story about intermediaries trying to sell Ozil this summer. I love it, it’s like some dodgy rabble of estate agents trying to sell a Miami beach house that’s going to fall into the sea in 15 years. No one is going to pick up those wages and there is no way Mesut is going to exchange London for anywhere in China. He doesn’t need to.
The more worrying part of his story was he also mentioned the lower fee of £50m this summer. I’ve been told this info is coming from Arsenal PR, and that would now mean 3 well-connected journos are peddling sub £50m, versus Ornstein who says £100m.
I really can’t fathom why the club is so keen to dampen enthusiasm for summer. It’s like they’re not even trying to convince fans to buy season tickets. It seems way too early to pushing stories like that. But whatever, it’s not great news.
Still, at least we’re being linked with Grimaldo of Benfica… we certainly need a fresh look at left back. Right back. Centre back. Right wing. Left wing. Back up keeper. M… just kidding.
Those pennies are going to have to go an awful long way this summer!
To tackle that, we’ll need a good technical director. I’ll hopefully rustle up some fresh names for you tomorrow, assuming Arsenal will be a bit diligent over search and select and interview more than one candidate for a job that’ll shape Arsenal for years to come.
See you in the comments.