I do NOT like to gloat, but come on, Ole at the wheel? It’s my current binge-watch.
A month or so ago, after two solid wins against top 6 opposition, the media weighed into the irresistible.
PLUCKY OLE FINALLY TURNS CORNER
Passion, heart, glory… call it what you want, OGS has his team of young lions achieving the sort of elevated football we haven’t seen at United since 1999. King Ole, he knew.
They do it EVERY FUCKING TIME and it makes me JOY EVERYWHERE.
What an utterly garbage coach he is, United are in so much trouble because they’ve basically hired in a beloved family labrador that has perma-diarrhea. He’s stinking out the house, the cream carpets will never be the same again… but who wants to be the one to put him out his misery?
Not me. That’s for sure. Let’s ride this out and hope Woodward makes the correct decision with some elephant strength Immodium, a £100m ‘last chance’ vet bill, and #4moreyears.
… back to Arsenal.
The hottest rumours on the internet are firmly focused on Upemacano being the #1 target for the club this January. That makes me very happy, I really worried we had some contacts scouting™ going with Boateng. The last thing we need is another high earner where the ceiling has collapsed due to a burst water pipe.
Bringing in a 21-year defender that can play in a highly technical system works for me. RB Leipzig is one of the best incubators in the world for talent, so you know he’ll be a hard worker, have an excellent attitude, and be open to new ideas as well as being receptive to feedback.
He still feels like a very big signing for us considering the financial challenges we have, but I guess if we were going for him in this summer, we’re just eating into an overdraft. My initial thoughts were that we’d sell a few players this window, but all of the potential liquid assets seem to have been retained and reinvigorated. The only problem child we have is Mustafi who interestingly wasn’t even trusted to play at right-back. He’s gone from World Cup winner to someone you wouldn’t start in your Sunday League pub team. What a shambles.
I think there are a few folk that worry that Arteta is blinded by players that have let us down, I see it differently, I think he’s probably thinking that signing in new players is a huge gamble and disruptive. If he can get 5 months out of players that know the club and the league, he’s far more likely to have a chance at winning trophies now and going on a run in the league.
That said, I think the summer will be very dramatic. We’ll absolutely have to shift on players to fund the sort of summer that’ll move the dynamic of the squad in the direction of an Arteta model of play.
Our biggest issues at the moment sit in the middle of defence and at full-back. I think we can probably deal with the full-back issue internally, but at centre back, we’re relying on two defenders on the back 9 to see us through the season, playing in a far more intense system than the one we operated in under Emery. I love Holding, but he looked shot the other night.
The numbers on Arteta are moving in the right direction. Interesting that in your head, you imagine that we’re playing a totally different game, but really, the most dramatic shift in the above numbers is the tightening of defence and the build-up stats.
Shines a light on why Arteta doesn’t really care for distance run stats, they’re not particularly important as we saw under Unai Emery’s headless chicken approach. He’s looking at how you use your energy in the most efficient way. The team is only running 4km extra a game, but exerting far more energy through the more intense style. It’ll be very interesting to see what those numbers look like by the end of the season.
I watched back the Leeds game again. Couple of things. I thought Martinez made some truly excellent saves, he really did keep us in the game. I also still can’t believe the output in the second half. It really does show how much of football is in the mind at the highest level. We went from absolute bums to menaces… despite the team being heavily fatigued. It might not last, but you cannot put a value on a winning culture built on dedication to 100% commitment on the pitch at all times. Some leaders can command that, others simply can’t. I really, really, really hope this continues through the next few years. It’s electric to watch when it works. Plenty of massive tests ahead, but I’m excited.
Also, some fool said it was Sheffield United at the weekend, it’s actually not, it’s Palace. I think this game is going to be very interesting, Arteta threw everything at the cup game, so how will his team respond against a side that has regularly bullied us? He’s constantly talking about aggression, I’d really love to see us show some bite against Hodgson’s side. I’m hoping the learning from the Leeds game is that we can’t let our foot off the gas, it’ll be a huge physical test, one that we bottled last season when it counted, so a win here would be symbolic and a very strong indicator of how well the rest of this season will pan out.
After that, the squad has a whole 7 days off to recuperate and get some proper TLC with the coach.