Does sauce matter?

by .

My sauce references is metaphorical, but the sauce is The Ribman if you want it

This is Jonathan Blaustein’s monthly contribution to the community, follow him @Jblauphoto for his twitterings.

It’s March 27th, as I write this.

Yesterday, here in the Taos valley, it was 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

I can’t tell you what this is in Celsius, because for some reason, I’ve never been able to figure out how to make the translation.

Basically, it means it was warm and sunny.

Balmy, if you will.

But for the first time, I was able to ride the Kachina Peak lift at Taos Ski Valley, and found myself at 12,400 feet, on the very top of a massive mountain.

The lift only runs part of the year, and this season it was much delayed, due to the two tragic avalanche deaths off the same peak.

When I left my house in the morning, it was spring. The first shoots of green grass were standing perkily in the sun. The birds were chirping like they were onstage at Lollapalloza in 1997, giving it all they had.

But then, all of a sudden, I was in icy, snowy winter, like something out of Lord of the Rings, and I could see for a hundred miles in several directions.

(How’s that for the American perspective. Fahrenheit, feet and miles all in one column opening. Fucking arrogant Yanks!)

It’s a good feeling, to be able to see forever. And teetering between those seasons, spring and winter, is strange. But combine the two, (the distance and time of year,) and it makes for a particular perspective.

So let’s get into it.

At this point, I’ll mention another date: March 14th. That’s the last time Arsenal played a competitive football match. (I don’t care what happens in Dubai.)

Who did we even play back then?

Oh right, Rennes.

We spanked them 3-0.

And who did we beat before that? Manchester United.

2-0.

Say what now? Two clean sheets in consecutive massive games?

If any other coach had done that, while anchoring Arsenal in both the #Top4 and the Europa League, Londoners would be singing his name from the lamp-posts.

But something about the guy makes him seem less cool, less smart, less attractive, or less innovative than his fellow Top 6 coaches.

Be honest with yourself: it’s true.

During the huge winning streak, we were impressed but dubious, waiting to see what happened once the injuries mounted, and points were dropped in the depths of dark winter in December.

All along, it’s been wait and see, in particular in this very column. Now I’m suggesting that maybe it’s a subconscious thing, comparing Emery to Pocchetino, Klopp, Guardiola, Sarri and OGS.

Perusing the list, in late March, you’d say Emery has outperformed Sarri for sure, and OGS rode in on a white pony, so it’s too soon to say. (But he has the star-power thing down pat.)

We beat Tottenham once, easily, and really should have beaten them again. The draw felt like a loss, as we all know, because Auba missed that penalty.

But what happened in the next game?

Lacazette wins another penalty, and he gives the ball to his buddy.

I sat here on my couch, with my 11 year old, watching it two hours late on the DVR, and we both screamed “NOOOOOOOOOO.”

Take it yourself, Laca!

We need the win!

Are you insane!

Obviously, in hindsight, we were wrong. (Is it a coincidence that Laca is both of our favorite Arsenal player at the moment?)

That kind of scene, one teammate believing in another, is what sports is all about. It gives you chills.

And it’s real. You can’t pay for it.

Arsenal have that, and they also now have a manager willing to play all his best players at once in the same game. (Imagine that?)

The squad is in the perfect place for this time of year, and one way or another, we’ll soon know if they finish strong, finish brilliantly, limp to the line, or choke like the Atlanta Falcons in the 2018 Super Bowl.

Within a short span of time, we won’t be able to say “wait and see” any longer.

And let’s play what if, for a moment.

If Emery gets the team into the Champions League, he’ll definitely get more money to spend. Maybe a lot more.

He’ll have proven he can do the job, and that proof will have delivered more cash. Given our model of spend what you’ve made, that means more on transfers.

Some new names are intriguing, like Thomas, from Atletico. More money, better signings.

It’s clear that the manager is staring at a very binary outcome: he makes it in, or he doesn’t.

If Arsenal win the Europa League and get in the Top 4, or somehow miraculously overtake Spurs and hang on 3rd, then I think this guy will have money, clout, and a new aura.

The story will be that his tactical acumen is his special power. It won’t be that he doesn’t stick to a style, but rather that he’s so amazing at the details that he breaks the game down into phases, which explains all the halftime subs, and each game plan is unique because HE CAN.

HIS BRAIN IS THAT BIG. HE BREATHES AND EATS FOOTBALL.

Now, if Arsenal choke on both fronts, and end up in 5th or 6th, knocked out by Napoli in the Europa League, it will be very, very different.

He didn’t improve on Wenger’s performance, only the point total.

Yes, some advance was made in the Big 6 Mini-league, but the results weren’t enough. We’ll give him a modest budget, and a decent leash into next year, but there better be some major improvement, or we might be coach shopping this time next year.

Like I said, it’s binary.

And we’ll know soon enough.

From this odd vantage, winter and spring all at once, on the mountain top in morning and in the valley in the afternoon, I’ll say one thing:

I’m really glad the team is perched where it is, and that we’ve managed to put a whooping on some hated rivals: Chelsea, Tottenham, and Manchester United.

How great would it be if in the multi-verse, we end up with one of the happy timelines?

I wonder what I’ll be writing this time in April?

Remember, follow @Jblauphotoxxx

P.S. Take a bow son.

450 Responses to “Does sauce matter?”

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  1. Marc

    Receding

    Are you serious? OGS on a higher salary than Klopp. He’s come from a club that gets an average home attendance of just over 7,000.

  2. Receding Hairline

    “Are you serious? OGS on a higher salary than Klopp. He’s come from a club that gets an average home attendance of just over 7,000.”

    Marc if i read correctly dude is on 7.5m a year, Klopp is on 7m a year.

  3. Marc

    Bollocks!

    On the other hand he might decide that as I once won everything on Championship Manager I’m clearly better than Pep.

  4. Luteo Guenreira

    Joke Friday

    Bamford goes to the doctor. Doctor checks him out and says “You have to stop masturbating.”

    Bamford says, “Why?”

    Doctor says, “Because I’m examining you.”

  5. Marko

    Pellegrini is on more than Emery too. Yeah seems like United are paying him 7.5 million. Seems like a missed opportunity to save some money and still get your man especially after they were paying Mourinho 15 million a season.

  6. Marc

    Marko

    It’s more a case of how much compensation they’ll have to pay out again if he isn’t working out. Why not start him on less and then increase the money if he’s tearing the league up next season.

  7. Chitom

    PierreMarch 29, 2019 07:30:07
    Dream10
    “Guendouzi and Torreira have been average in 2019,”Looks like Emery will be relying on the Wenger boys to see us home .Guendouzi,Torreira, Suarez and Lichsteiner only bit part players at best , Sokratis is the one new signing who has to start , very impressed with him , his fitness is vital for the club’s success over the coming months and next couple of years.“

    So true.
    Emery is such a fraud for not benching all “Wenger boys “and letting his own signings finish the season.
    Can a team suit up only five players a game?
    Doesn’t matter. He should try anyway.

    What about Leno though?
    He’s been pretty impressive hasn’t he.
    So if you take Sokratis and Leno out of the equation, the remaining three of Guen , Torreira and Licht cost a combined 35 m and have thus far been played a total of 6,5 K minutes in all competitions – by any measure money well spent.
    As a matter of fact I challenge you to name three other top six club players who came in at such a low price tag and given more minutes to their respective clubs.
    Spoiler alert…. you won’t.
    Not to mention the fact both Guen and Torreira are young players new to the intensity of the PL and it was obvious they would “crash” either mentally or physically at some point and would need a break.

    But please tell us again what an expert you are and how little everyone else knows about the game.

  8. Marko

    That’s what I’m saying. They pissed away so much on Mourinho and his sacking that they could have saved some on OGS… and his eventual sacking. No way he lasts 3 years I’m telling you that now.

  9. Marc

    Chitom

    I suggested sending Torreira to put his arse on a beach in Dubai for a week just after Christmas – he would’ve missed one match, as you say he’s come from a slower paced league and is used to a winter break but no Pierre derided me for not knowing tactics.

    He’s an old cunt who’s ever post is either about having a pop at Emery or praising Wenger. He can’t even be honest about the fact.

  10. Graham62

    Not many who last 3 years these days.

    As it stands OGS is the ideal fit. With a few additions to the squad MU will be a threat next season.

    Failing at Cardiff has no bearing on his present situation.

  11. Marc

    “Failing at Cardiff has no bearing on his present situation.”

    Really? He might work out well for ManU and see the Cardiff period as a tough education on the other hand he might not be at the level that some on here have automatically elevated him to.

  12. Valentin

    Maybe OGS’s contract has incentive and objective.
    We may learn later that OGS 3 years contract has the proviso that he must qualify them to the Champion’s League.

    Moyes got sacked the moment it was mathematically impossible for ManUtd to qualify for Champion’s league. They only pay the reminder of his year salary.
    Same thing with VanGal, who got sacked after the final because he missed his objective.

    The difference with Mourinho is that the situation was so toxic, he was sacked before it was mathematically impossible to meet the objective. So ManUtd had no recourse and was forced to pay the full remaining part of his contract. In fact had ManUtd tried to not pay the full amount and OGS successfully qualify ManUtd for the Champion’s League, Mourinho and his staff would have definitely won at an employment tribunal. Not only the full remaining salary, but also potentially punitive damage and other feeling and reputation compensation.

    Also whatever we think of OGS, clearly ManUtd management likes and respects him. You don’t show your respect to an high level executive by lowballing on his salary.

    I can respect and appreciate the approach that they have taken.
    They made a decision to pay him in line with top 10 premiership salary not top manager salary. Now go and prove us that you are a top manager and we will give you improved term.

  13. Graham62

    To be honest, I find it quiet refreshing that we have a manager on the scene in OGS who has shown, with the right people around him and a positive and rather unassuming attitude, that results and positive change can be achieved.

    He may fail but he definently won’t let his ego get in the way of things.

    That is refreshing in itself. He knows that MU are far bigger than OGS, whereas a few other individuals, who I could name, unfortunately got lost in their own self-importance.

  14. Bamford10

    Marko

    “I think they would.”

    You think Juventus would be in for Granit Xhaka for 200k a week? Interesting.

    I don’t think they’d even be interested in him at 80k a week.

    And you misrepresented my views for the umpteenth time, btw. I rate Kane, I just don’t think he’s world class, i.e., first XI in the world or equivalent.

    I can’t even remember what the other distortion was, but as always, it was incorrect — and dumb.

  15. Bamford10

    Hmmm, 7.5m in salary for Solskjaer. That’s pretty good. I guess he has thoroughly convinced everyone at United, including Sir Alex Ferguson (no chance he wasn’t consulted on the decision).

    Sounds like they think he is an excellent manager.

  16. Graham62

    Those of us that remember the “baby faced assassin” have little or no doubt that he will remain humble, gracious and respectful, no matter what happens.

    A true gentleman and a half.

  17. Bamford10

    Marko

    “[Solskjaer’s] eventual sacking. No way he lasts 3 years I’m telling you that now”

    Wait, so it’s too soon for me to believe that Solskjaer is an excellent manager — an opinion clearly shared by the men who run United — but Marko has enough data to guarantee he’ll be a failure? Interesting logic.

  18. Leedsgunner

    With his background in working for Ajax, I’d take a chance on Dennis if the club decided to move on from Emery. No reason why he couldn’t be our version of OGS if the club made this choice. Dennis has the same type of pedigree, he understands the club and he’s a proven winner and he has years working behind a successful set up in Ajax.

  19. Chitom

    Marc
    I’m a new poster on here and have no history with anyone and I welcome differences of opinions.
    That said, I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone bragging about their football knowledge as much as this guy while at the same time showing signs of total ignorance.

    For comparison, Liverpool spent over 100m on Fabinho and Keita and neither one has played more ( much less in fact) minutes than Guen or Torreira.
    Midfield is the most demanding of all positions because you need to learn how to read the game and that rarely happens before players hit their peak years of 25-28 years old.
    I think all things considered both Guen and Torreira have been excellent signings, whoever is responsible for them.

  20. Bamford10

    BTW, a person should be able to come to Le Grove and state his opinion on this or that without having to deal with daily attacks from a Luteo.

    People who are here simply to verbally abuse others should be binned. Sorry.

  21. Graham62

    Hate MU but find OGS a breath of fresh air.

    Football needs people like him.

    Sir Gareth Southgate and OGS have brought some honour and respectability back into the game.

    Long may it continue.

  22. Marc

    Leeds

    Bergkamp is a complete no for manager – I love the guy by the way – for one simple reason he will not fly. You could have a mid week European match away in gods knows where and the manager would still be making his way home 2 days later.

    It’s a nice notion but just would not work.

  23. Pierre

    The Le Grove internet bully boys have turned their attention to me after Bamford didn’t rise to the bait…

    Chitcom
    “Emery is such a fraud for not benching all “Wenger boys “and letting his own signings finish the season.
    Can a team suit up only five players a game?
    Doesn’t matter. He should try anyway.”

    If I could understand what you are trying to say I might be able to give reasonable reply….I will try anyway

    I rate Torreira and Guendouzi , very good signings so I don’t know what your point is.
    Dream10 made the comment about them being average in 2019 , not me .
    Though I think Torreiras performances dropped in December when Emery decided that he wanted him to attack more , it is obvious that Torriera hasn’t got the legs or the engine to play that role……I’m sure Emery will realise his error just like he did with

    the marginalizing of Ozil
    playing with the full backs so advanced
    trying to play our from the back
    Leaving Lacazette out of the starting line-up
    Ramsey as a no.10

    All things that I have criticised Emery for and they are all things that Emery has rectified just as I hope he will return Torreira to his rightful position of defensive midfield,protecting the defence ….I’m sure he will.

    The manager is starting to get things right with his selection and tactics even if it did need the Bate defeat to give him a judge in the right direction.

  24. Marc

    “Sir Gareth Southgate and OGS have brought some honour and respectability back into the game.”

    How exactly? Unless of course a complete lack of achievement is a criteria.

  25. Graham62

    B10

    This Luteo geezer reminds me of someone else that was on here at one time.

    Can’t remember who though.

  26. Graham62

    Marc

    Are you really that ignorant?

    JM won shit loads but that didn’t stop him from being an absolute tosser.

  27. Luteo Guenreira

    Pamford

    Lighten up, didn’t you see how I prefaced it with “Joke Friday”?

    Graham

    Of course you have a bad memory.

  28. Marc

    Graham

    “Are you really that ignorant?”

    No it’s a valid point – yes Mourinho was a vile human being but OGS has steadied a sinking sink and hasn’t been a complete prick doing it. How’s that restoring honour and respectability into the game? As for Southgate – bland bland bland and will be a serial underachiever.

    Are you really that ignorant to get caught up in the tabloid bollocks about “England’s gonna win it”?

  29. Bamford10

    Luteo

    You contribute nothing here save insults and abuse. Pedro has stated many times that this kind of thing is not kosher. I am happy to overlook a couple of jibes, but this is all you do and it’s just lame. I will be asking Pedro to take a look at your commentary here, just as I did when you began (bizarrely) trying to find things out about me online. You’re a little obsessed, mate. Get a life; it’s fucking weird.

  30. Chitom

    Pierre,
    Two questions:
    one- has Emery gotten anything right without fucking it up first?
    two- have you ever been wrong about anything football-wise?

  31. Luteo Guenreira

    I’ve long maintained that as far as debate goes, there are others who cover the spectrum of opinion pretty well, you included, and I don’t find it necessary to beat a dead horse, so I keep a lot to myself. The debate you find so precious that you record in your diary whenever some faceless entity gives you “props” is mostly a tautological circlejerk, apologies to all involved, except the difference is that the rest of us, even smug assholes like Pierre, they understand it’s a tautological circlejerk. You? Don’t get me started.

    I try to be funny as I can, fail or not, and try to offer a different perspective to things when I do get involved, maybe show people like you that there’s another approach to debate other than “stick-up-ass”.

    You’re so disconnected with yourself, John. You play left wing American bleeding heart and have no problem advocating for censoring people you find annoying left and right, like a fascist. I have more respect for an actual fascist like Un for at least knowing himself than I do for you.

    You’re below Victorious now, congratulations.

  32. Marko

    Hmmm, 7.5m in salary for Solskjaer. That’s pretty good. I guess he has thoroughly convinced everyone at United, including Sir Alex Ferguson (no chance he wasn’t consulted on the decision).Sounds like they think he is an excellent manager.

    So this is what I gather from you that Ramsey being brought in on a free transfer to Juve makes him elite and that United making OGS makes him an excellent manager. Oh and Wenger winning 3 league titles and going a season undefeated in the first 10 years makes him just good. You are the gift that keeps on giving

  33. Marko

    Wait, so it’s too soon for me to believe that Solskjaer is an excellent manager — an opinion clearly shared by the men who run United — but Marko has enough data to guarantee he’ll be a failure? Interesting logic.

    Yep exactly. You are making a spontaneous and frankly silly appraisal of a manager after mere months while I look at the fact that they are on their 5th manager since Ferguson left and are in a dogfight with 6 teams for 4 champions league places. Oh and they demand good football too. I fancy that a few bad patches and a couple seasons of missing out on the Champions League might be enough to get him parting ways

  34. Pierre

    Graham
    “Marc
    Are you really that ignorant?”

    If I was a gambling man then I would say it’s odds on that he is ignorant going by the amount of rubbish he posts on here…

  35. PhD2020

    Luteo GuenreiraMarch 29, 2019 18:16:49
    You’re so disconnected with yourself, John. You play left wing American bleeding heart and have no problem advocating for censoring people you find annoying left and right, like a fascist. I have more respect for an actual fascist like Un for at least knowing himself than I do for you.
    —————-

    Bravo..!!

    Could not have put it any better.

    The man is a joke.He really needs to get a life.
    I can honestly say,in all my time on here,he is by far the biggest douchebag on here in living memory. And there have been a few on here,so he ‘s really scraping the barrel.

    Defies belief,how someone can take themselves so seriously on a blog, especially when one is communicating with faceless entities,and then proceeds to threaten bloggers with bans(like he owns the blog) left,right and centre for taking umbrage with his views.

    The dude really needs to get a life.Absolute joke of a manchild.

  36. Marko

    I’d take a chance on Dennis if the club decided to move on from Emery. No reason why he couldn’t be our version of OGS if the club made this choice. Dennis has the same type of pedigree, he understands the club and he’s a proven winner and he has years working behind a successful set up in Ajax.

    Not for me. I’d like him back in some capacity but he’s mostly worked with the youths and he was only an assistant to the senior team for a couple seasons before being released. Basically not enough experience and nothing to suggest that he’s all that. After Emery I’m thinking one of Vieira, Nagelsmann or Jardim.

  37. Marko

    Sir Gareth Southgate and OGS have brought some honour and respectability back into the game…Are you really that ignorant?JM won shit loads but that didn’t stop him from being an absolute tosser.

    I thought you were talking about their managerial abilities but now it seems that you were talking about demeanor and respectability moreso. Which is honestly strange to hear you say considering the stuff you say about Wenger

  38. azed

    “Pierre,
    Two questions:
    one- has Emery gotten anything right without fucking it up first?
    two- have you ever been wrong about anything football-wise?”

    The answer to question two is no.

  39. azed

    “I rate Torreira and Guendouzi , very good signings so I don’t know what your point is.
    Dream10 made the comment about them being average in 2019 , not me .
    Though I think Torreiras performances dropped in December when Emery decided that he wanted him to attack more , it is obvious that Torriera hasn’t got the legs or the engine to play that role”

    Has it occurred to you that this is Torriera’s first season in a faster league without winter break in a world cup year?

    Also, Guendozi is 19, he’s bound to go through periods of slump.

  40. Marc

    “If I was a gambling man then I would say it’s odds on that he is ignorant going by the amount of rubbish he posts on here…”

    Sad little old man, it’s like having some tiny dog yapping away at you.

    Of course you won’t respond to this you posses neither an answer or the balls but please enlighten me as to all the rubbish I post on here?

  41. Marc

    Hillwood

    At this point I have no idea – I haven’t watched any of the qualifiers – can’t stand international football unless it’s a tournament.

    I can guarantee that England will be all hype, make one ish decent performance and then lose in a match we should get something out of.

  42. Marc

    Marko

    Bergkamp’s ability as a potential manager is irrelevant. He won’t fly which in the modern coaching world just isn’t on the cards for a club like Arsenal.

    Would definitely love to see him back at the club in some capacity – I think even as Ass Manager could be made to work.

  43. Marc

    Hillwood

    I think the major nations should, the lesser nations should have to qualify.

    The Euro’s next summer just won’t be as good if one or more of Germany, France, Holland, Italy, England or Spain aren’t there.

    Ask Pedro what the marketing guy’s think!

  44. Marc

    Hillwood

    It could be worse!

    But I will say that Bergkamp does deserve to be known as a possible Assistant Manager.

    All apologises.

  45. HillWood

    Mark
    Just from our brief conversation I don’t think you hate international football at all
    But don’t worry I won’t tell anyone

  46. Marc

    Hillwood

    During the world cup a mate told me that I wasn’t welcome in the pub unless I stopped slagging off England during matches.

    Apparently cheering on the opposition and laughing at the ineptitude of England players and the manager didn’t go down well.

  47. Bamford10

    Luteo

    What a bogus, disingenuous argument. Censorship? What a joke. Pedro has a “no abuse” policy. Asking him to enforce said policy isn’t “censorship”.

    As for my highlighting how right-wing and reactionary some of the commentary here was the other day, it’s Pedro’s blog, mate. I don’t think he would want his blog to be associated with such sentiments — sentiments that you yourself have characterized as fascist — so I don’t see what is wrong with highlighting this fact for all and sundry.

    So, sorry, but no.

    Finally, you clearly have an inflated sense of your own importance if you think I would care what you think of me (“I have more respect for an actual fascist like Un …”). You have never said a single thing of value here, you do little more than utter mean-spirited insults, and I have no idea who you are: why would I give a fuck what you think about me? Let me assure you: I don’t. But clearly you think that your opinion of someone carries a lot of weight. Why it would or why you think it would, I haven’t the foggiest.

    You have a lovely rest of your day, though.

  48. Marc

    Bamford

    I heard that the other day – don’t know anything about the player but it would be nice to see us scouting South America for talent, even if we need a tie up with a Spanish / Portuguese club to help with the work permit side of things.

  49. Luteo Guenreira

    Baldford

    Do you ever see the irony in yourself? Screaming about how it’s Pedro’s blog, then proceeding to speak for him as if it’s your own. The bluster, trying so hard to convince yourself you’ve still got dignity to maintain when you’ve been running on empty for ages now. Embarrassing.

    Yeah I’ve seen how this plays out, I’m not playing your game. Just know I’ve only ever commented on stuff you’ve said, even when I asserted to your small cock it was half jokes cause obviously you probably most likely have a dick bigger than 1 inch (right?), and it was genuinely juxtaposed to your tendency to hyperbolize things. It was not an attack from nowhere.

    Take a step back son, don’t get so affected by everything. It’s not my fault you live and die by what others think of what you post online. You wouldn’t draw so much ire if you had any semblance of ability to either 1) take a joke or 2) have some humility when you’re wrong.

    Everyone is free to take my words as seriously as they want, or not. I am literally a nobody in the grand scheme of things, whether it be this world or Arsenal. I don’t know why you’ve got it all backwards, John. You’re the one giving this legs, not me.

  50. Luteo Guenreira

    By which I mean, stop staying stupid shit and watch how fast I’d have nothing to say about you.

  51. Un battle angel

    Luteo GuenreiraMarch 29, 2019 18:16:49
    You’re so disconnected with yourself, John. You play left wing American bleeding heart and have no problem advocating for censoring people you find annoying left and right, like a fascist. I have more respect for an actual fascist like Un for at least knowing himself than I do for you.

    Luteo

    Er what?? Fascist? Care to explain that one? The main tenants of Fascism oppose every ideological principle I hold.
    I’m all for small government and less starte control. I’m Anti war. I’m for the power of the individual and dead against group think. I’m aslo for strict borders and rational political thought.

    Absurd comment

  52. Luteo Guenreira

    Relax bud, I said I respected you. More than Bamford, at least.

    So I was wrong, you’re not a fascist. Huh. Live and learn.

  53. jasongms

    https://www-espn-com-au.cdn.ampproject.org/v/www.espn.com.au/football/club/bayern-munich/132/blog/post/3811002/gnabrys-emergence-as-a-germany-star-is-arsenals-loss-and-bayerns-gain?amp_js_v=a2&amp_gsa=1&platform=amp#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.espn.com.au%2Ffootball%2Fclub%2Fbayern-munich%2F132%2Fblog%2Fpost%2F3811002%2Fgnabrys-emergence-as-a-germany-star-is-arsenals-loss-and-bayerns-gain

    The absolute profligacy of Wenger’s final years is pretty much laid bare with gnabry. The man chose to extend jenkinson’s contract, elneny s (lol) contract Etc etc . Yet the kid with the highest ceiling that has come out of the arsenal for a good ten years, let him just slip straight through his fingers…

  54. Marko

    Gnabry was a major blunder on Wenger’s part. Kept faith with Wilshere, Ramsey, Iwobi hell even Sanogo got a fair crack of the whip but Gnabry was shown zero faith

  55. jasongms

    ” I’m for Strict borders and Less government , favour the rights of the individual but I want to restrict the movement of others”

    You sir are a fucking walking contradiction, pretty much sums up the lunacy of the right wing.

    One can not have social policy and programs such as the police force, the fire brigade, the ambulance services, healthcare, the army, air force and the navy without a sizeable government. (Which are all socialist programs)

    the right wing and libertarians preach the right of the individual yet at the same time demand strict control over the right of the individual., want to restrict the roll of the government , yet adhere for strong laws and regulations without acknowledging that limiting government, limits governments capability of regulating and enforcing said laws. Hmm

    The problem isn’t the government , the problem lies in the educational model and the schooling system. We need mandatory, compulsory discussion of politics in the school as a graded subject and children from the age of 16 should have partial voting rights. They should from an early age to take an active role in the conduct of the government, So that when they become young adults they are cognizant of the subject and it’s ramifications. You’ll never see a fiasco like brexit ever again.

  56. jasongms

    I’ve been reading a lot of comments here on brexit. I’m a great advocate for democracy and the will of the people, but you don’t change the course of a nation’s entire history that has a population of 66 million people, with a swing of as little as 2 million votes. That is not democracy, that is lunacy. Have a two-thirds majority of the populous for either yes or no and I’m all for it.

    It’s absolutely myopic and cowardly to leave Europe, the English need Europe just as much as the Europeans need the English, what we should be doing is structuring the European government into an English model so that you have laws and regulations that are manageable and or enforceable. A United European union with English law as the fundamental principal.

  57. PhD2020

    “Finally, you clearly have an inflated sense of your own importance if you think I would care what you think of me”
    ———–

    Says the guy,that calls for sin-binning of other posters that are diametrically at odds with his viewpoint.The irony..

    ————–
    “you do little more than utter mean-spirited insults”
    ———–
    Says the guy who calls other blogs who disagree with him “c**ts” and other derogatory names,should he lose the argument,or find his comments are placed under thorough scrutiny..
    ———-
    “But clearly you think that your opinion of someone carries a lot of weight.”
    ——————
    Says the guy,who the other day,was bragging that Dissenter gave him “props” for his stern belief in Ramsey being a player of excellence-to paraphrase him.
    And in months and years gone by, brings in other posters(Gambon,Cesc Appeal,etc) to add weight and validation to his arguments,in order to demonstrate some sort of credibility and kudos on a faceless fornicating football blog. Laughable.Just laughable.

    A guy that has repeatedly told us that he is “A student of the game of 30 years”
    And is a “so-called “graduate of “Harvard”.Who spends every waking minute and hour on a fornicating football blog, advocating and requesting bans for those that dare to question him,or hold him to account on his futile footballing views.

    Why don’t you also add to your mundane argumentative list that you are also for the following:-

    -I’m also for censorship and banning of individuals that are at odds with my viewpoints.

    -I scream like a wailing banshee on social media platforms,begging and pleading to be let back on a universal football blog(a leisurely pursuit by the way for all concerned),having been sin binned on several occasions(with no shame) on bleeding bended knees and Pedro’s schlong wedged firmly in one’s orifice..Result? Total facial creampie and public humiliation.

    A so-called “Harvard Graduate’ running to social media platforms, railing against the injustice of being sin-binned on a fornicating football blog.

    Then simultaneously begging and pleading behind the scenes for Pedro to allow him back on to Le-Grove.Only to resume his dictatorial ways of seeking bans to all and sundry that dare to question his views.

    Could not make this scenario up.

    Clearly no self-awareness.And no shame or pride.
    The manchild has serious issues.

    Comedy Central!
    Enough background material for a comeback of Blackadder.I kid you not.

  58. Dissenter

    Regarding Gnabry;
    The article above mentioned how Bayern used Werder Bremen to make a px]foxy transfer; “Then the phone started ringing: Arsenal wanted to extend his contract, but Wenger was too late. Bayern had decided to take a punt on Gnabry and secretly cooperated with Werder Bremen to bring him to the Bundesliga. Werder paid £5m to the Gunners and then sold him on to Munich for an extra million euros or so a year later, when his improvement had continued at a steady pace.’

    Bayern are one of the biggest cheats of all time…but then Wenger set us up for the swindle with the bad management.

  59. Dissenter

    One more thing
    Our Wenger era scouts were very good. They did their jobs by getting Gnabry to the club, the rest was in Lord Wenger.
    They connected us with some of the best youthful talent but Wenger’s famed dithering and mismanagement of the youth players in the club didn’t help matters.
    How do you send a talent like Gnabry to Tony Pulis who just wants to play 9 men behind the ball?

    We mights as well just promote Francis Cagigao to technical director.

  60. Tony

    Luteo
    “The bluster, trying so hard to convince yourself you’ve still got dignity to maintain when you’ve been running on empty for ages now. Embarrassing.”

    Very aptly put.

    PhD2020
    “Comedy Central!
    Enough background material for a comeback of Blackadder.I kid you not.”

    I was thinking exactly that as I was reading through yours and Luteo’s posts. Normally I skip Banford’s and Pierre’s posts as enough references to their diatribes are made by the majority of interesting, sensible and far more intelligent posters.

    Ben Elton could do wonders with Banford’s blog character as Ricky Gervais could with the top 100 best of Pierre’s trolling & contrived and massaged stats and obtuse Wenger obsessive opinions.

    Both would have a wealth of material for several seasons.

    ﹟Neymargate & ﹟Mr Angry would be great places to start.

    Maybe Pedro should send their agents samples.

    Why is it teachers never seem to grow up and definitely teach because they can’t do?

    Is it because the need they are just too scared to go out in the big bad world to make money and be successful. That they need the umbrella of a system they never leave to shelter them from rejection & failure?

    Then there’s Pierre where there’s more chance of spotting a baby pigeon than getting and footballing sense from him.

    Thankfully the international break is over and far more important footballing matters can resume to gain traction.

    No score prediction, but I see us beating Newcastle Monday.

  61. gonsterous

    amazed at the posters who are quick to bring up emerys failures in Paris but look at the Cardiff relegation as a learning curve for OGS. Once again arsenal fans have done it,big up the other teams while bashing every thing about the club they claim to follow.

    Graham

    As good as England are, do you honestly see them lift the euros or the WC ?
    The first decent team they meet, they panic and spud it up. Nothing Gareth can do, it’s in the players DNA.

  62. Tony

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-6864937/Denis-Suarez-make-start-Arsenal-against-Newcastle.html

    I hope we do see him start. Will be interesting what the negative Le-Grove posters have to say.

    Apart from the City game, I thought he has showed glimpses of what he can do, so now want to see a full 90 minutes from the lad.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-6866655/Arsenal-beat-25-teams-signature-Brazilian-starlet-Gabriel-Martinelli.html

    Seems like more traction to the Gabriel Matinelli story.

  63. Graham62

    gonsterous

    It’s not about winning the Euros or the WC, it’s about changing the culture and environment that has enveloped the national game since the beginning of mankind.

    Gareth is changing our DNA. He knew the problems and is striving to make us into a formidable and competitive national team. Thanks to Pep, Poch, Klopp etc he has been able to mould a team and philosophy geared to producing skillful and confident players.

    I’ve been accustomed to predictable failure for fifty years but now see only positives on the road ahead.

  64. Graham62

    Interesting discussion yesterday on TalkSport in regards National sides playing Club teams.

    Would, for example, England beat the top EPL sides?

    Adrian Durham reckoned England would beat all but the top 2.

  65. Graham62

    England now actually look quite scary.

    All we need is a bit more creativity in the middle of the park( Foden?) and you never know, we may achieve something.

    At least there’s hope.

  66. Graham62

    As it’s the weekend and the clocks change tomorrow(ffs), I will not be discussing anything Wenger related today.

    Gnabry was a talent, as has been proven. Well done to the lad for stepping up to the plate in Germany.

    Just a pity we couldn’t show more patience with him.

  67. Graham62

    I’ve never wrapped a St George’s flag around myself or even considered painting my face.

    Though I once waved a Union Jack at the silver jubilee in 1977.

  68. gonsterous

    graham

    it’s not about winning the Euros or the WC ? Sorry what ? How does Gareth change the DNA if he’s not going to win those ? Or is this another of those “trophies don’t matter” bs.

  69. Graham62

    gonsterous

    Why so aggressive?

    Based on your communications today I sense you have little or no idea what’s it been like supporting England these past fifty years.

    As for your “trophies don’t matter” jibe, I think your looking at things far too seriously and it seems, with your Arsenal hat on.

  70. Bamford10

    Jenksinson has some very complimentary things to say about Emery in a recent interview.

    “I’ve got a huge amount of respect for the manager. The analysis before is always in-depth. After a game, its not, ‘You’ve done well’, thats the end of it. I sit down with Carcedo & we go through clips. Its such an education. I’ve learnt an awful lot about positioning.

    Of course, I’d love to be playing more regularly & I’d be playing better if I was playing more regularly. But for someone who has not played as much, the fact I’m saying how much I’ve enjoyed playing under this manager & his staff, says a lot about the management.”

  71. gonsterous

    auba

    we don’t have a national team, hence why the break is boring as hell.

    graham

    you are absolutely right, I have no idea how supporting England Is for the past 50 years cause I’m not English and I’m not a day over 29. My point being, England always fks up but you guys are out in force like an English renaissance is taking place.

  72. Graham62

    Tell me gonsterous, what do you see that’s different with England since GS took over?

    Even though you’re only 29, you must remember as far back as 2000.

  73. Marc

    “The problem has always been that your players hasn’t been good enough technically ”

    Spot on – the other factor has been the players we do have who are decent are praised as being “world class” by the press. They get special treatment from ref’s and then wonder why they can’t compete on a level playing field.

  74. Dissenter

    Looking forward to see Liverpool smash spuds tomorrow
    That will be the time they start dropping off from the pack.

    Then Palace will apply some lube before they get done again in their new stadium

  75. Moray

    Southgate identified that you could progress in a tournament (or any knockout cup competition) by being tight at the back and strong when attacking from set pieces, as well as having a tight and mutually supportive team spirit.

    This is what England did at the WC and it proved successful for them. The rose tinted spectacles then came out and proclaimed that Southgate had launched a revolution in the national team. It’s not what I saw. England players are still tactically naive, struggle to control the ball and hold on to possession. They played to their traditional strengths of height, strength and self belief. That is all.

    Anyone expecting miracles over the next few years will be disappointed. Unless that is, more craft and trickery is added to the squad. More pace and skill. England is still far too two-dimensional and time will show this.

  76. Moray

    There is also a huge problem in England with the team being variously overhyped (we’re going to win everything easily) to slammed (we are shit and can’t do anything). This adds far too much pressure to the players, most of whom are undereducated, lack experience of playing overseas, spoilt and a bit simple. As a result they crumble when the crunch arrives.

  77. Moray

    Freddie, the FA is composed of rank amateurs and journeymen. It’s been in thrall to the power and money of the clubs for years. The Premiership and the money it brought into English Football ironically was one of the most significant factors in the weakening of the national side. When other countries like France and later Germany were looking to professionalize their youth and junior national set ups, the FA guys were having tea and biscuits and desperately trying to avoid getting crumbs down their blazer front or wanking each other off through towels in the steam room. They had no chance against the clubs at that point, for whom international games and international Football in general was merely a huge inconvenience to be dodged where possible in order to maximise their earnings (eg Man Utd backing out of the Fa Cup)

  78. Marc

    Moray

    Again 100% spot on. We got to the semi final – great but who did we play. Not only that but we didn’t exactly breeze past the opposition either. Outside of the Panama match we were laboured and mostly shit.

  79. Pierre

    Reading the comments on here about England and what we have needed for a long time , it appears that we have been lacking in technique, intelligence, composure and craft .
    Our attitude has always been spot on but , the team will run all day until they drop, no tackles will ever be shirked .
    However , we have been missing someone who is prepared to put their foot on the ball and dictate play and play with patience and intelligence….Southgate his credit is giving the players freedom to express themselves and we are seeing the benefit.

    This brings me to the Arsenal team and I can see many similarities in our play over the previous few months .

    The Arsenal style of play had become very similar to England’s , lots of running , lots of effort , lots of headless chicken style of football but little end product because no one was using their brain .

    However, this has been rectified recently and the headless chicken style of football has been banished (forever hopefully).

    It’s good to see so many on Le Grove are starting to see the importance of playing football with intelligence, something I have been an advocate of for a long time.

  80. Freddie Ljungberg

    Oh shut the fuck up Pierre. No one here is against intelligent skillful players, most have a problem with paying someone 350k a week that just isn’t very good or influential, doesn’t score or even assist much anymore, can’t play away, hides against the big teams, etc etc.

    Fucking troll.

  81. HillWood

    I was expecting gushing comments of joy on here now the hated international break is over
    But no one seems overly excited that Fulham are 2 down to City

  82. Pierre

    Fred
    Aubamayang and Mhkitaryan, very intelligent players ….not sure why you are mentioning Ozil , maybe it was because I mentioned intelligence, composure and technique.

    Aubamayang is one of the most intelligent strikers in the game, for him to be continually in open space in the six yard box shows his quickness of thought, a skill that is underrated on Le Grove.

    Mhkitaryan has speed of thought especially when he is is in the final third of the pitch, his decision making is very good .

  83. Marc

    “lots of running , lots of effort , lots of headless chicken style of football but little end product ”

    Err third highest scorers in the league or did we score all of those goals in the last couple of weeks.

    Fucking moron.

  84. Dream10

    Aguero is an outrageous finisher. What a player. Big Cal Chambers with an error for a goal. Difficult afternoon for him against the best side in the league

  85. Marc

    Pierre was on Soccer Saturday earlier disguised as Charlie Nicholas – he actually suggested we should get Wenger in as technical director.

  86. Bob N16

    Pierre, you and Ozil, due to your crusade are inextricably linked. The fact that you didn’t mention your poster boy by name doesn’t hide the fact that you associate our better performances with his inclusion.

    For me, our last few performances have been more a result of being able to play Sok, Kos and Monreal as our 3 cbs, allowing Kol to push forward(and to certain extent AMN), playing to his strengths. This has then allowed Ozil to quietly go about his business in an effective enough way. Attributing our better results as down to the inclusion of Ozil is far too simplistic.

    Lies, damn lies and statistics…

  87. Marc

    Bob

    “Lies, damn lies and statistics…”

    I think you actually meant “Lies, damn lies and statistics and an obsessive agenda”.

  88. Bob N16

    Are we about to sign another Wellington Silva? I suppose Martinelli might be able to get an EU passport so not the same bureaucratically speaking!

  89. Pierre

    Marc
    “Err third highest scorers in the league or did we score all of those goals in the last couple of weeks.”

    Having offensive players of the quality of Aubamayang,Mhkitaryan,Lacazette and Ozil is a bonus for the Arsenal .

    will always score goals with the quality they possess.

  90. Marc

    Pierre

    You can’t say no end product and then say well of course we’ll score goals with the players we have.

    Your original point had elements of truth to it but you made it badly. Are we seeing Emery adapt his approach? Are we seeing the players adapting to Emery’s style of play?

    I reckon a bit of both.

  91. Freddie Ljungberg

    Sure Pierre, or maybe it’s because it’s all you ever post about, I could maybe understand it if it was the Ozil of 2 years ago that actually put up the numbers (real ones, not your made up bs stats) and was only ineffectual against the biggest teams, but he’s just a shadow of that player now.

    We need better, that’s just the way it is. Someone that doesn’t hide in 60% of the games, who scores more goals, can dribble and carry the ball forward not just flick it on under pressure, and yes, assists more as well since Ozil has pretty much stopped doing that too.

  92. Marko

    Pierre was on Soccer Saturday earlier disguised as Charlie Nicholas – he actually suggested we should get Wenger in as technical director.

    I hope he was laughed at really hard to his face for saying something so stupid. Guy who hated spending money who was adverse to the transfer market and who passed on so many good players for shitter ones and he should be our technical director? Arsene Wenger is so bad I wouldn’t trust him down at Tesco’s with a very specific list to show highlighted in bold writing. He’d fuck it up

  93. Marc

    Dream10

    I fucking hope not. Looking at their remaining fixtures I reckon the Spud’s could potentially drop points in 4 of those matches – Liverpool (A), City (A), West Ham (H) and Bournemouth (A).

    If they miss out of top 4 I really think they are going to be absolutely fucked. Cant’ wait.

  94. Marko

    Are we about to sign another Wellington Silva?

    Rowley and Wenger are gone so I would feel a little better about our prospect signings going forward

  95. Marc

    Marko

    It was strange Nicholas got quite aggressive about it, the rest of the panel were silent (probably the stunned variety) and Jeff whatshisname laughed at him.

  96. Bob N16

    Marko…. ‘a little better’ not resoundingly positive. £5 mill for a 17 year old is quite a punt but who knows, may be he’s the next Van Basten? Too positive?

  97. Marko

    3rd highest scorer’s in the league and you know who is still sitting on two whole assists in the premier league this season

  98. Marko

    Bob he could be. On the one hand he had a trial at United before and they passed on him. But on the other hand since then he’s blown up and has quite a few clubs looking to nab him. Seems like the kind of signing Benfica or Porto or Shaktar would make and then sell him for 3/4 times that after a couple years

  99. Marko

    It was strange Nicholas got quite aggressive about it

    Guy says something stupid and then digs in his heels. It happens…alot around here

  100. Marc

    Hillwood

    That’s going to be tough on Jennings – playing against 11 all by himself. Maybe they should have called it a “players we thought were great but never won anything match”. They could have managed a full squad then.

  101. Bob N16

    Agreed Marko, people’s pride gets in the way of rational argument. It’s hard for people to admit they are wrong. It’s human nature but a lot with what’s wrong in society. Without getting too political but the rise of populism is a very worrying trend…I guess Legrove reflects this too!

    Just watched his ‘highlights’….certainly quick but always hard to know how good a finisher he is, as not surprisingly it doesn’t show how often he misses!

  102. Marc

    Really beginning to wonder about the Poch. He’s said in an interview that he can’t guarantee he’ll be at the Spud’s next season and then gone round the houses on you never know and things change quickly.

    At this point of the season, with a huge match tomorrow why send signals you’re not 1000% focused and committed to the club?

  103. Pierre

    Free
    I’ll settle for Arsenal winning football matches with or without Ozil( as you keep mentioning him)

    I’ll settle for Arsenal playing better football and performances with or without Ozil.

    You lot don’t get it do you …..this season , we have won more football matches with Ozil in the team
    We have lost many more matches without ozil in the starting line up.
    We have scored more goals per game with Ozil in the starting line-up
    We have conceded more goals without Ozil in the starting line up.
    We are playing better football with Ozil in the starting line up .
    We lost 7 in 14 games without Ozil in the starting line up.

    Whether he assists or scores goals or not is immaterial, the most important thing is that Arsenal win football matches and this season we are winning more football matches with him in the side .

    If the team were underperforming with him in the team then of course he shouldn’t be in the side …it’s not that difficult to work out is it .

  104. Marc

    “Whether he assists or scores goals or not is immaterial, the most important thing is that Arsenal win football matches and this season we are winning more football matches with him in the side .”

    Sorry Pierre but your stats don’t tell the whole story. The matches we lost when he wasn’t in the team – who did we play? Would we have won them with him in the team? Liverpool away for example – I really think not.

    No one is arguing that Ozil has talent, it’s does he assert himself in enough matches?

  105. Dream10

    Watford playing at Old Trafford. They’re usually on the beach by this time of the season. Need them to get something today.

  106. Marko

    Whether he assists or scores goals or not is immaterial

    It is if you’re trying to emphasize his importance in us winning matches. Cause unless you can point to an actual contribution that he’s made then it’s all just words. Plenty of actual evidence to show his steady decline as a footballer. You’re going to miss this once he’s gone in the summer Pierre

  107. Dream10

    Marc

    Would be typical for a side to roll over away to another top 6 side and then play like prime Brazil when we play them in a couple of weeks.

    We have a difficult away schedule. Need three points plus some goal difference padding on Monday

  108. Bamford10

    Correlation is not causation, Pierre. You have to demonstrate that Ozil had a specific influence and impact in those matches.

    You also have to deal with the fact that he wasn’t played in our more difficult matches for a time.

    As I said the other day, everyone agrees that we are better when we have a creative, technical, CAM-type playing underneath the forwards, but Ozil hasn’t demonstrated that that player needs to be him. At the moment, he might be the best option (maybe, probably?), but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be looking to sell him in the summer.

    The other point I made was that Ramsey has been far more influential than Ozil has in terms of why we have been better in certain important matches.

  109. Marko

    You’re talking about someone who has a 3 assists all season long it’s pretty easy to be more influential than that person. I would argue Ozil Ramsey whatever come next season we’ll be better off without them. They are that easily replaceable imo.

  110. Jamie

    Pierre’s going down in flames!

    Not so long ago, Pierre determined it was Ozil’s assists that made him indispensable to the squad, then those dried up. A quick pivot from assists to chances created, then those dried up. Now he’s on his last throw of the dice – we win more with Ozil in the starting 11 than without him, even though his tangible contribution can’t be measured other than by labeling his playing style ‘intelligent’.

    This kid is too funny.

    As it happens, we win more than we lose when I wear black trousers on match day. You’re welcome.

  111. Bamford10

    A compare/contrast between Ozil and Pogba is somewhat instructive.

    Pogba hasn’t even had that great of a season, but he has 11 goals and 9 assists in 2,292 PL minutes. Ozil, in contrast, has 4 goals and 2 assists in 1,269 PL minutes. If you break these numbers down over 90 minutes, you get:

    POGBA
    .43 goals per 90 minutes
    .35 assists per 90 minutes

    OZIL
    .28 goals per 90 minutes
    .14 assists per 90 minutes

    Thus, in general, Pogba is roughly twice as productive as Ozil in the attacking third.