BIG news on Juice-gate + Harry Kane’s press intimidation tactics revealed

by & filed under News Review.

The FT has run a fascinating article about Barcelona and buried deep within it, they reveal crucial evidence when it comes to juice… notably, Barcelona players ARE allowed to drink it.

‘Just before afternoon practice, Barça midfielder Busquets pops into the kitchen above the training ground for a spot of refuelling. Before training, that usually means fruit juice.’

The f*cking audacity. But wait, it gets worse; and for all those that have been arguing with me about the horrors of juice sugars in elite athletes who burn 5000+ calories a day, you might want to look away…

‘Players are also encouraged to drink beetroot juice to boost nitrate levels (including two shots in the hours before kick-off) and “during busy competition schedule” to eat the equivalent of 100 tart cherries a day (which sounds rather like a challenge in a competitive eating championship).’

For the prominent anti-juicers on Le-Grove, this is a huge blow, but for those of us who truly believed in the sugary goodness of a post-game Sunny-D, this is a great day. That said, word of warning to English folk when you come to America, always say the ‘Sunny’ part, ‘I’m just popping out for some D’ means something different in these parts.

Interestingly the same article also points to caffeine being promoted for improving mental sharpness before games. Not even an elegant cortado, I’m talking about cans of NUCLEAR LEMONERRY MONSTER IN 2 LITRE CANS.

Back to the story. The gist is basically that all that organisational stuff I evangelise about; that the grunts blow off as ‘hipsterism’, is actually a thing at proper clubs. I shouldn’t have to explain that, but you know, this is the internet and being militant about something you have little insight into  is human nature (I see you MJ fans).

Now, I’m not suggesting that great players aren’t important. I’m not for one moment considering putting a proposal forward that would put Deep Blue in the hot seat after Emery. I’m just saying that if you’re not considering all of these advanced approaches to nutrition, data, scouting, analytics and psychology, you’re simply putting off the inevitable. You are Blackberry believing in the fixed keyboard. Kodak ignoring the digital camera. My dad saying social media was for dickheads… hold on?

Technology and advanced approaches to specialisations in the game are not there to replace humans. They’re developed to help smart people make more informed decisions. To make more time for creative problem solving.

For the performance team, the richer the data they’re pulling from, the better their prediction models will be for players breaking down. If you could measure stress levels in players saliva and map it against their performance, you might be able to work out who is better suited to taking high-pressure penalties (sorry Auba). MAYBE the club could identify the gene for doing stupid things on the football pitch… I can tell you now for certain, I have that gene, my school friends will attest to this. Could personality mapping work out if players have elite mentality? Could it tell you if a player was suited to a managers style so you don’t end up with £400k wasting away on the bench?

Imagine players learning about tactical models in interactive VR worlds so they don’t fall asleep in video analysis lectures. Wouldn’t it be cool if AI could analyse the game in real time and work out that Luke Shaw may have smashed 40 nuggets before the game and as a result is running at sub-optimal levels and suggest his side of the pitch is overloaded in the second half?

There are so many possibilities…

However, we’re stuck with a fanbase that’s currently in a serious debate about whether having a footballing identity is important. So maybe park this for a bit.

Anyway, bravo Simon Kuper. What a piece. Funny story, I once recorded a podcast with him and the sound failed. Pretty embarrassing.

Moving on from juice.

What the hell is wrong with the UK press? The defence of Harry Kane for being offside looks like the #FakeNews my Russian twitter friends warned me about.

Do you think the England striker is super petty about critique? Most of the slobbering defences of him over the weekend seem to have come from English journalists. One can only assume they are protecting their World Cup access. Imagine getting a late night DM from Hazza.

‘Myster Wollace, read u sleggin me. 2morrow, ure gonna correct it. Say u spoke to the experrts, make me look the victim… or else Jon X gets the exclsive on me favourite color next munth. Uv been warned Wally-ace lollololol wally like ‘u wally’ lolol’

There are obviously some terrific UK journalists, but I swear, the group that dictates the news cycle really jump on some painfully embarrassing narratives. Give me Honigstein, Horncastle and Laurens all day long… none of those boys are drinking MONSTER for breakfast.

Big game this week. Rennes in the Europa round of 16. I like the French team, they have a fun squad, but I think we’d have to play pretty badly not to overpower them with our superior quality. That said, they have had their fixtures moved around by the French FA to allow them max prep time. They’ve not had a game since the 27th of Feb, which to be honest is a hefty amount of time to take off to prepare…

The game is also against the backdrop of a mega match against United at the weekend. That really is a must win for us if we hold out any hope of an upset in the top 4 race. The game is also at home. I’d take a draw with a weaker squad at Rennes if it meant we can flying out of the traps for the weekend’s game.

Right, that’s me done… see you in the comments, let’s talk juice.

xx

382 Responses to “BIG news on Juice-gate + Harry Kane’s press intimidation tactics revealed”

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  1. keef66

    You think Spurs can win the ECL?

    There is a very attractive bridge with towers in London that I have legal documents for showing I own it, and due to cashflow issues I am ready to sell at a bargain price to you. right now.

  2. Pedro

    Spurs beating Dortmund is a great result. Massively outclassed a very good team.

    Ajax was no fluke either, they were excellent in the first half against Madrid in the first leg. Some seriously great players on show there.

    Foolish to write anyone off at this stage.

  3. Dissenter

    Pedro is right
    We reached the final of the CL with a lesser team in 2006 and came close to winning the damn thing.
    Write off Spuds at your peril. Stranger things have happened in football.

  4. gonsterous

    lol people losing their heads over whether spurs will win the CL. They are spurs, they like to start off strong, get their fans (on le grove) hyped and then let them down. I’m not worried about spurs or even care who wins the CL. I’m all about Thursday night footie 🙂

  5. Batistuta

    Spurs beating Dortmund was impressive but citing the Chelsea 2012 team as some sort of comparison as to how teams can fluke their way to a CL win is really not realistic as that Chelsea team had a load of players who weren’t just mentally strong but were full of winners….Spurs are Spurs

  6. Batistuta

    I’d chunk a bucket load of what we’ve got in the summer after selling Mustafi and co at De Ligt too, what a massive player he’s going to be

  7. Leftsidesanch

    You fear that he will take up most of our budget though Batistuta. I think we need another summer like the previous filled with smart buys that can come in and instantly improve the side.

  8. useroz

    On UK journos sucking up to Kane (offside) etc it’s not the first time and won’t be the last. We should be grateful these jerks didn’t call for Auba to be hung off the Tower of London for his ‘collapse’ that earned our ill fated pen…

  9. gonsterous

    useroz

    if auba had converted the chance, then the journos would have definitely been crying over it. They would definitely write something about VAR and the ref and linesman may have been dragged into it as well.

  10. Un Battle Angel

    Pedro

    Haha funny that
    I asked the mrs If she wanted some D in the A this morning.

    She said No……

    The V?

    No…….

  11. HighburyLegend

    Are the English confident about the chance of the spuds, for going all the way in the CL ?? (lolZ)

  12. JDavey

    So desperate for spurs to get a hard draw and get dumped out in the quarters, can’t cope with this shit for much longer.

  13. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Should we be worried with the demise of Real Madrid …

    I mean are there any players that they may look to nick from us.

    Maybe Lucas
    Maybe lacca

    They will rebuild with cash n youth.

  14. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Madrid

    Will go for big young names
    Dybla
    Pogba
    De Bryune
    DVD

    Plus they will in my opinion go back to a team structured round a makerle style midfielder ..

  15. HighburyLegend

    “Solskjaer believes that, if his side can score the opening goal in the Parc des Princes, it could be a nervy night for the French champions.”

    “It is never mission impossible,” he said.”

    He’s probably talking about the game AFTER tonight’s one.

  16. Pierre

    The draw at the weekend was a good hard working performance, lots of running and endeavour in a tough physical game .
    Emery used the Jose Mourinho tactic of playing deep and hitting on the break , keeping the full backs disciplined and closing the channels.

    Emery’s tactics should have produced a victory, it was a pleasure to see Arsenal produce a solid disciplined performance , something that has been very rare this season and one could say over the last decade.

    Mhkitaryan is getting the plaudits ,and rightly so, but I only see a slight improvement in his play since his return from injury.
    As far as I’m concerned his performances have always been of a good level and he was sorely missed ( along with Ozil) during the period when we had 7 defeats in 2 months without our most creative players.

    There is a misconception on here that Mhkitaryan and Ozil shouldn’t play together but they are wrong .
    Thursday night is a night made for our more creative players to flourish ,playing the workers again will be a negative move as far as I’m concerned.
    Thursday night is a night for players who can take care of the ball well and are not loose in possession . It is a night for intelligent football and creativity and controlling the game .

    We shall see .

  17. Dissenter

    Pierre
    You’re the only one on the planet still obsessed by Ozil
    It seems you’re hell bent on burishing Ozil’s image. You can’t even credit Mykhi without lumping Ozil into it.

    Emery isn’t going to play both Mykhi and Ozil along with Xhaka. That wil be a disaster…and to know it.

  18. Nelson

    I would keep an eye on Manure’s game and bring in Suarez, AMN, Kola and Elneny. Rotation is important.

  19. Valentin

    I have read the article, and it looks like I am one of the few not impressed. To me it looks like a piece of fluff written by the Barcelona PR team. None of what they are doing is even remotely cutting edge. Most clubs do the same. Some do a lot more. In fact Barcelona is just trying to recover their lateness to technology.

    Until now most of technology use has been the tracing and analysing of data. Using the info is still a manual process that is left to coaches. In some sports technology is starting to be used to actually improve players.

    I am not talking about the corner machine that will kick repeatedly the same corner so that defenders and attackers can work on that specific deadball situation.

    I have seen an indoor training pitch with OLED on the floor. For a basket ball training session, marks are displayed in real time on the floor to indicate to the defenders where they should be in reaction to the attackers movement and the formation wanted by the coach.
    Imagine doing the same exercise time after time, where the coach does not have to stop and step in to tell you where to be and how to be positioned. The mark let the players know. You can ingrained good positioning.
    The machine had also a mode to teach basket ball referees where to be so they can see everything without interfering with any players movement.
    This was a beta version, but I can see that working conclusively in all training center for other sports such as football and handball within the next 10 years.

  20. HighburyLegend

    “You’re the only one on the planet still obsessed by Ozil”

    He even play to Fortnite with him.

  21. Dissenter

    Barcelona have Ade some of the m9st vine-headed transfer dealings in recent ties.
    I’m not sure that data machine has made thet much of a difference to be honest.
    Let’s see how they fare when Messi retires or has a long term injury.

  22. Leftsidesanch

    You wouldn’t think anybody outside of Ozil’s loved ones would daily make arguments in his favour even when the conversation doesn’t call for it…here’s where your wrong. Step in Pierre.

  23. HighburyLegend

    New post!! – about Ozil drinking a bottle of Sunny D, which was a gift from Pierre.

    (Ozil was very thirsty after a long fortnite night – great rhyme with the 2 last words)

  24. Bamford10

    It is fair to say that Sunday is the most important match of the season. We need to win to even have a chance of finishing fourth, IMO. So it is imperative that Emery gets his selection right. Should he start Ozil? Should he start Ramsey? It’s hard to say, but as critical as I am of Ozil, I think I would start him on Sunday. I would also start Mkitaryan. What do people think about starting Ramsey, Mkhitaryan and Ozil? Like so:

    ___________Leno
    Lich___Sokr____Kosc___Monr
    ______Xhaka____Guen
    ___Mkhi____Ozil____Ramsey
    ____________Laca

  25. Bamford10

    How impressive and enjoyable to watch were Ajax last night? Just great. Best story in world football at the moment, for me.

  26. Valentin

    Looks like Zidane and Christiano Ronaldo leaving left a much bigger hole than anticipated. Here come Mourinho to fix things and get into a fight with Ramos.

    Bale is finished at RM, I wonder if Karim Benzema, président Perez’s favourite player will also be shown the door this summer.

  27. HighburyLegend

    “Best story in world football at the moment, for me.”

    Yep… at least until this summer == > massive player exode, as usual.

  28. Marko

    Madrid are suffering right now simply because they have decided to build a team full of names and have put off the inevitable of replacing said old names with younger ones and it’s costing them. Say what you want about Barcelona but they saw players like Alves and Iniesta get older and brought in players like Arthur and Dembele and Malcom and Semedo and Lenglet (for when Pique fucks off). Madrid won’t change though I can see them seeing their current struggles as an excuse to go all out for Neymar or Mbappe

  29. Pierre

    Bamford
    I disagree..it isn’t a must win , more like a must not lose and that is why Emery may set the team up similar to last weekend’s game.

  30. qna

    Definitely a must win. Given the missed pen it absolutely becomes a must win. Lose and any hope of top 4 is completely gone.

  31. Redtruth

    I predicted Arsenal would beat Spurs 2-1 and they would have, were it not for the pathetic last minute penalty miss.
    I also predicted Arsenal would beat Man Utd 3-1, which will.happen if the boys this time stick to the script.

  32. HighburyLegend

    I hope they won’t have too much players back on their squad for this game…
    Pogba is enough.

  33. Dream10

    We have to win at least 7 of our 9 matches to give us a decent shot at cl football. Utd is 70 percent must win, 30 percent must not lose. We’ve got trips to Watford, Wolves and Leicester before the end of the season. Three sides that can beat us.

    Really worried about Rennes tmrw. We were garbage at BATE. Have to make sure we score at least two goals.

  34. Pierre

    Dissenter
    “Emery isn’t going to play both Mykhi and Ozil along with Xhaka. That wil be a disaster…and to know it.”

    The manager continues to leave Ozil out of away fixtures and home fixtures against big teams .

    Is it working ….let’s have a look at the results without ozil in the starting line up since the very good league victory at home to Tottenham in December.

    Draw…man Utd A 2-2
    Win ..Huddersfield.H…1-0
    LOSE…Southampton. A…2-3
    LOSE…Tottenham…..0-2
    LOSE…Liverpool….1-5
    Win…Fulham…..4-1
    Win ….Blackpool…..3-1
    LOST….West Ham….0-1
    Win..Chelsea…..2-0
    LOSE…man utd…1-3
    LOSE…man city …1-3
    Win …Huddersfield…2-1
    LOSE….Bate…..0-1
    Win…Southampton..2-0
    Draw…Tottenham…1-1

    Won 6……drawn 2….lost 7(seven)

    It doesn’t look like the marginalization of Ozil is working does it if you go on results and performances..
    Let’s not forget that Ozil was a regular starter in our very impressive unbeaten run before Emery decided to marginalize him.

    5 wins and one draw with Ozil starting is also an indicator that the team performs better with him in the side.

    When our results and performances start to show a massive improvement without Ozil in the side then I will continue to criticise the marginalizing of Ozil.

    Our manager may have to turn to Ozil again to dig him out of a hole if he gets it wrong again tomorrow night like he did v Bate.

  35. Pierre

    Danny
    “For a 3 match ban he should’ve at least broken Rose’s leg in 3 different places.”

    I went to the doctor and said ” doctor I’ve broke my leg in 3 places, what shall I do ”

    The doctor said ” don’t go to those places “

  36. Pierre

    Marko
    “United is must win. Pierre downplaying it’s significance must mean he thinks Ozil is going to start”

    If you read my comment prior to yours

    “and that is why Emery may set the team up similar to last weekend’s game.”

    I will leave you to try and work it out if that means I think Ozil is going to start.

  37. HighburyLegend

    “Really worried about Rennes tmrw. We were garbage at BATE. ”

    No need to worry, Ozil should play.

  38. Dissenter

    Marko
    The only reason why Barcelona are still remarkably better than anyone else in La liga is because Messi is still there to carry them.
    Messi probably accounts for at least one third of the points Barca get every season. He wins games they don’t deserve to win.

    It’s all Messi. The day he leaves, Barca becomes just another big team.

  39. Dissenter

    Real are in a quagmire right now
    The two biggest managers available are Conte and Mourhino, neither of them are on good terms with their primary target for the summer- Eden Hazard . I don’t think Hazard leaves for Madrid if they sign either of the two managers.

    They have to pick signing an elite manager [if you still think Mourhino is an elite manager] or one of the best players in the world whose talent is ready made for La liga.

    This summer will be very interesting.

  40. Valentin

    @Dissenter,

    I agree and I think that Barcelona like Real Madrid will have a very rude awakening.
    Messi helps Barcelona tremendously on the football pitch, but also commercially. Once his platings days are over, they will a brutal drastic reduction of interest in Barcelona. Ousmane Dembele does not have the same commercial appeal.

    That may gives an opening for well run clubs in Spain to challenge the duopoly. Imagine a Champion’s league competition without Barcelona and Real Madrid. That would also kill all the attempt of a break away superleague. How could be part of a best of Europe if they are not even Best of Spain.

  41. Dissenter

    Valentin
    If you have to sign a Conte as manger for Madrid next summer vs sign Eden Hazard —- can’t have bother because Eden won’t play for Conte.

    Who would you sign?

  42. Dissenter

    Have to give Zidane a lot of credit
    The man saw the bus crash coming and wisely stepped out of the way…something a certain older Monsieur refused to do in North London.
    That one drove the bus into the wall, reversed and smashed it again before taking a generous pay-off and walking away.

  43. Marko

    Have to give Zidane a lot of credit
    The man saw the bus crash coming and wisely stepped out of the way

    This is about 50% true and the other 50% is he likely saw his sacking in the future cause he was not ever remotely close to challenging Barca in the league towards the end of his reign

    That jersey looks sweet as

  44. Dissenter

    Marko
    No. He knew he has extracted as much as he could from the team that was 2-3 years overdue for an overhaul.
    No one is going to challenge Barca so long as Messi is in form and is healthy.

  45. Valentin

    I would not sign either.

    Not Hazard, as I believe that RM should build around young hungry players such as Vinicius Junior. Hazard would just become tomorrow’s Bale. Also I don’t think that he will fit into the glitzy world of Real Madrid. Character wise, he is a home buddy and Fiorentino Perez will just annoy him.

    Not Conte, because they need a complete rebuild and I don’t see him as a long term builder. He is a combustible character who would want to win immediately and completely ignore the young players. The internal approach with Solari was the right one, but it is clear that he was not yet ready. They may be better going for a bad copy, good cop ensemble. Somebody who is a tactician and disciplinarian and somebody who will know and understand the new younger generation.

  46. Nelson

    @Dissenter “The two biggest managers available are Conte and Mourhino”

    You have forgotten Wenger. 🙂

  47. Dissenter

    Valentin
    Real Madrid and Barca are run by elected officials, elected by fan-shareholders,
    That unique situations makes that internal approach- youth development only possible so long as they are winning stuff.
    Internal solutions only get you as far as Zidane got them, that’s the zenith of that approach.
    They have to buy the biggest players in the world…that’s what they’ve always done. Their fans, commercial partners and their history demands it.
    Vinicius isn’t taking them anywhere on his own. He’s no Messi.
    He’s part of all the other changes that arte necessary. Real needs at least 5-6 top quality players this summer. It won’t cost them a dime because they have players that they can sell for high transfer fees.

  48. Valentin

    @Dissenter,

    That is why I said that a double approach may be their best solution.
    One person who can lift them immediately Tactical uplift and one who can concentrate on integrating the youth team: strategic uplift.

    That election system has been perverted by a few powerful men who use the club’s voting system to either enrich themselves and their friends or improve their media profile. The system is so rigged that neither will be able to move away from that type of men. However the right combination of short team and long term visionary could still be beneficial to both.

    Barcelona are in a better place, because their squad is better. However financially they are in a mess. They need two to three years of proper grown up planning to recover.

    Real Madrid need a near complete overhaul of their squad. However right now they can’t afford the biggest names either. MBappe is not joining them this summer. Leroy Sane, KDB, Aguero are not leaving ManCity. So they should target young hungry with lower profile this transfer window before going back to the star model.

  49. Dissenter

    Valentin
    I’m not sure that Barca squad is that much better.
    They have repeatedly made transfer blunders for the past 5-8 season but get away with it because they have Messi.
    Messi is that proverbial lipstick that turns a frog into a swan. Barca’s core is also ageing and their younger players are just meh.
    You see Dennis Suarez and you wonder how did that type of player make it into their squad. Barca’s transfer business have been shambolic for a long time, they were about to buy Jean Michael-Seri before Sanllehi was fired. That’s the type of mediocre players they have been buying.
    The few good players they’ve bought were purchased with controversy [like Neymar] or too much money [ Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele].

  50. Valentin

    @Dissenter,

    Barcelona have a decent defense (Umtiti, Lenglet, …) with some youngsters behind ready to step in. Since they let Sanllehi leave (I have been told he resigned before they could sack him), they have made some smart purchase. Especially in defence.

    Their problem is in attack and in midfield.
    They have Ousmane Dembele, Coutinho un midfield. They have no midfield general ready to take over from Busquet and Rakitic. So they may have to slightly change their way of playing to let Coutinho flourish. Play to his strength rather than asking him to blunt his game for Messi.
    Without Messi and in more and more game even with Messi they lack penetration. No direct runner, but more worryingly no vertical passes to attack the opponent defence. With Suarez not hitting the level he used to, they look poor. But eith a little investment and some tactical tweeks they could come back.

    However longer term they have worryingly nobody coming through their academy.

    That is why the FT piece was for me a complete PR job. If they had proper analysis and training, they would be able to identify next generation talent. They would also be able to nurture them. They have not.