I’ve been trying that CBD oil malarkey, I don’t want to keep talking about wellness, but damn, that stuff is fine. I used it for a broken arm so I didn’t get hooked on painkillers, but now they do the stuff in a can called Recess. Get on it people, puts you lights out if you go to bed at night anxious about what the nasty boys in the LG comments section are saying about you.
It also gives you a way in when you’re at a party with people younger than you. They’ll think you’re super cool and likely forgive the fact you’re wearing Crocs and t-shirt that says ‘TOTAL LADS TOUR, KAVOS 2008’ with your salty nickname on the back. Come on, admit it, you did it because you were a little bitch that couldn’t stand-up for your future snobbish self.
Anyway, Paul Merson has been giving Unai ‘Wenger’ absolute pelters in the media.
He thinks all Xhaka is good for is bookings, he doesn’t think we’ve moved on since last season, and he thinks Mesut Ozil should be brought into midfield because we’re over-reliant on elite striking, which won’t last (like last season).
Paul gets a lot of stick from the champagne socialists amongst us (usually Xhaka lovers, amirite!), but I for one think he has some incisive views on Arsenal. He’s never far off. We do need to add some creativity to the midfield. I’d rather it were Ceballos if I’m honest, but if Ozil wants to act like an adult, he’ll absolutely do.
I saw this excellent Tifo video that explored how West Ham could use their new record signing, Haller.
I’m going to talk tactics to you.
They mention that Frankfurt played a 3-4-1-2… with Rebic acting as a sort of #10.
This is kind of interesting considering some of the options we have at Arsenal.
Steve Bould mentioned that Lacazette could almost be a number ten last season. So potentially, a #10 role wouldn’t be totally awful for him. He basically assumed that job at the weekend, only far deeper. Additionally, you could very well see Ceballos playing that role with Matteo and Willock sitting at the base. Bellerin and Kola could make up the wide options, and the 3 centre backs could make up for some of their defensive lapses.
LOOK I TRIED.
But seriously, what do you think?
Does it feel like I just offered you a bite of bacon-infused dark cocoa chocolate (95% pure) with a dash of fig marmalade? I think it does. This is new. You feel like you’re at a sophisticated words premise, right?
I’m sure it’ll more likely be a 4-3-3… I just worry we don’t really have the personnel to operate that at 100%. AMN is not a right-back, Kola is never going to be a great defender, so what are the options open to keep a front three of Pepe, Lacazette and Auba alive?
If you have a better idea, put it in the comments.
The Times reckons we removed £45m from the wage bill this window. I am struggling to see how that works out as a net figure. So I worked out where we landed.
- David Luiz £125k
- Nicolas Pepe £140k
- Dani Ceballos £51k
- Kieran Tierney £75k
- Martinelli £20k
- Saliba £N/A (would assume St Etienne are taking that on)
NET -£489k pw
That’s pretty good going in a summer that we’re all very happy about.
Aaron Ramsey’s £300k a week does not look a miss either, and shock/horror, he’s out injured already.
So in one summer, we’ve made things mostly a lot better, and we’ve moved the wage bill down below £200m. Good going.
What we don’t know is what the true spend of the summer was… and I hear we committed to a huge number. Super agents don’t come cheap and I’ve no doubt we went to bed with many of them and woke up very sore.
I was told we’ve committed next summers budget to the cause this year, so anyone talking about Emery simply being a caretaker this season is very off the mark. It was Raul that brought him into the equation late on, so he’s very much his man. This season simply cannot end in failure, and if it’s looking terrible by January, I wouldn’t be shocked to see something happen… though I have been told by people in and around the club that that eventuality is very unlikely.
What I do like about this bit of info is this, if true, is all Raul cares about is success. He’s not hedging bets, he’s not hiding behind a manager, and he’s not pushing for status quo. He’s put his balls on the line and he’s making a play for the big boy leagues. That is what we’ve wanted. We have no inherited the second coming of Gazidis, it’s going to be totally different whatever happens… but make no mistake, it’s a big gamble. One that looks sound based on what’s around. One that needs to deliver some winnings.
I was also told, before the Liverpool game, that the training ground has been the best it’s been in a very long time. Lots of hope and energy. Hopefully that buzz lasts, and hopefully Emery can make the fixes he needs to before we attach ourselves to the slog of two games a week. We need happy players and we need good results.
Right, listen to my solo podcast and talk to me about the new tactics blog I should set up.