Well, whaaadya know… Danny Welbeck is rumoured to be joining Everton this summer.
Good for him. That looks like a good move. The England forward has been a solid servant for Arsenal, but he never really managed to unlock the next level in his game. Namely, he wasn’t that great at scoring goals, 32 in 120 odd appearances. A useful squad player, but really, in the end, he was just an expensive battering ram that picked up far too many injuries.
… but, we’ll always have Old Trafford Danny, what a moment to find your scoring boots. Also, he was part of that nearly moment when he scored that perfect header against Leicester at home when we thought we might win the league in 15/16. I loved that.
He might yet have a part to play in Baku. He’s travelled with the squad, he apparently scored 3 goals in the warm-up game, he’ll probably make the bench.
There are super hot rumours that we’re in for the MIGHTY Ryan Fraser. Some of the numbers being danced around are mental. £30m is what Bournemouth are looking for. The guy has one year on his deal, so that would be insanity. He’s a handy player and dropped numbers that are just as interesting as Zaha this season… however, I do worry about the one season wonder part of it. 15 assists and 8 goals is a decent return for a season, but the numbers before were flaccid at best, we’ve seen plenty of players over the years that do this, move up and tank (Danny Drinkwater). If we can land him as squad filler and not have to pay him SCOTTISH premium, then fine… but I personally think we’d be getting better value from someone like Hakim Zayich. Ryan Fraser feels a little Europa League in ambition, and we’re really don’t need to be there. Also, he’s 5ft4.
I really hope that Unai Emery doesn’t have a reaction to the laziness of Ozil this summer and solve it with a bunch of players that’ll bump up our running stats but struggle to deliver the extra magic we’ve desperately lacked. We can hire in sublime talent with power and pace. We shouldn’t lower our standards… which is why I guess I’d be more excited about Zaha. Firstly, he looks really cool… great branding opps. Secondly, he’s Danny W levels of battering ram, but he’s also very skilful. I’d not want to drop £70m on him, but £45m would reflect decent value in this market.
Arsene Wenger is BACK in the news again. This time, he’s admitting that the BIG job he promised us he all had left in him was likely not going to happen in the dugout…
“I came to a conclusion I want to share what I learned in my life,”
“Because I think life is only useful if at some stage you share what you know. In what way will it be? Will it be just winning football games, or will it be in another way? That’s what I have to decide. That decision will come very quickly.”
I mean, come on people, did you really think he was going to land a job at Madrid? Of course you didn’t. If a blogger can spot declining talents, you can bet your bottom dollar the recruiters at the major clubs can.
Anyway, Wenger, a man who does not believe in the science of the game… is a huge believer in tech. When you’re a millionaire, what better way to pass away your free time than investing in a fancy Israeli tech entrepreneur? Wenger had this to say on Playmaker, a chip that analyses performance FROM THE BOOT.
“I believe it’s the best available solution at the moment to measure performances,”
“I invested in this company. I’m not sponsored, I put my money in it. It’s not so much because I think it will make a huge amount of money, it’s more because I think that it’s something interesting that can help sport and football.”
What I LOVE about this comment is Wenger was very poor with data at Arsenal, now he’s fueling the beast! This is the video from Wenger’s new thing.
It looks like a cheap way of getting basic in-game data from chips in the boot. The stats details lined up here read very basic. So to get something like the above working, you’d have to have the ball chipped and every player on both teams hooked up. So it kind of looks like the best use case for it would be training? Do clubs not already do this? Is Wenger investing in something that already exists? Like the time I gave a months wages to internet sensation CheekBook.com? We’ll see…
I’m still out here trying to get funding for the LapCap. It’s a cap, for your laptop. My genius is still an untapped reservoir of liquid gold, contact deets for investment at the top of the website.
What I love about the big PR spin here, is a little later in the article, Wenger’s true colours come out…
“Today science has taken over. Science wants to predict the next performance when you have to rest players. And I believe sometimes if the managers are not strong enough, the science has too much power inside clubs. Because they have certainties,” he says.
“Above that, you still have the knowledge and experience of the manager. The modern manager must collect interesting data and, after, make decisions with his knowledge. And he has to be strong enough to do what he thinks is right. The knowledge is still important.
“The manager has to make the right decision. Because if you take only the physical data, you never play Messi. But if we are managers tomorrow we all play Messi. That’s where the knowledge comes in.”
Nooooooo! Guy Aharon must have been fuming!
The above commentary is exactly why Wenger can’t work his way back into the dugout. Ralph Rangnick, a 60-year-old, literally said the other day he never thought there’d be a day where he was told what to do by the athletics coaches, Wenger is still living on gut intuition. Which is why he failed to adapt on the back 9 of his career. He’d play his boys through the red zone, he’d not listen to the experts, and he’d take grave offence to anything that looked like a power grab within the club.
A modern manager is a CEO, not a dictator. You will always need that person to make decisions, but if you constantly override good information, with gut feel, you’ll never evolve. That goes for a lot of things in the game now. A manager should want to empower staff to make the right choices. If you take decisions that run against your top people, they either leave, or they stop innovating… you move into communist society mindset where people just tip their hat to the dear leader who will make everything A-ok. People get lazy, nothing moves, then when things go wrong, no one has the energy to pull you out of the hole.
Anyway, good to see Wenger back on the scene. Also amusing to read all the weirdos out there talking about him like he’s their surrogate father. Grow up… Emery is your father now, he’s making the rules, you’re going to follow them or land an arse tanning from his leather slipper.
I didn’t touch on the rumours that Freddie Ljungberg is being touted as the assistant to Emery next season, with Steve Bould being moved on. I don’t really care either way here, I love both players and Bouldy doesn’t look like he’s enjoying himself. However, it’s a bit sloppy for a story like that to leak. Shouldn’t Emery be able to keep that under wraps?
Time to start getting excited as we build towards the Europa Final. The bookies has Chelsea down as the favourites. I have it close to 50/50… maybe 47/53 their way. Mainly because they have league winners in their side, and Eden Hazard is a one-man wrecking machine if he shows up. On the other hand, Unai is the Europa King, Sarri is unsettled and the Chelsea manager has NEVER won a trophy.
A massive coin toss…
Right, see you in the comments.