How are you today? Are you making the most of the lockdown? Learning a language? Reading the classics? Studying artificial intelligence and bracing for a future dominated by algorithms that will kill your white-collar job at the flick of a switch?
Of course you’re not you Netflix bingeing, Margarita o’clock loving, PornHub addict. Shame on you.
Finally, a bit of Arsenal news from the mouth of favourite covid survivor, Mikel Arteta. He’s opened up about some of his HR indiscretions and how the lockdown has actually saved him.
“We cannot touch each other at the moment.’
That’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned.
Just joking of course, this is me failing to give the full context of a quote for a cheap laugh. I feel ashamed, but if you smiled, then it was worth crushing my integrity.
The meat and potatoes of the interview was the manager telling the players he’s doing stuff behind the scenes. Julien Laurens said he’s sending out homework for the players to swot up on. He’s sharpening their brains with thoughts about how he wants to play when the real deal comes back online at some point.
“It’s so important that we keep connected so they can see there’s a relation between what we’re doing now and when we restart training. They are bored and as young players they have a lot of energy!”
We’ve certainly seen what young players get up to when they’re bored when they’re at Manchester City. I’m not knocking Kyle, but you have to do those things with a buttoned-up NDA.
“For the young players, some of them are alone in their apartments and there are long days,” noted the boss.
“We have to be caring for them and we have to keep them busy and try to do things to improve their development and education.
“I like to make them all think and assess themselves as people, too. I’d only been here for three months, so it’s been a chance to get to know them a little bit more, break some boundaries. We’re having some really good conversations.”
I do think the young have been badly affected by this crisis. A lot of them live on their own, they don’t have a lot of control, and idle minds play dastardly tricks on people.
The most important thing Arteta spoke about was the transfer window. I’d imagine he’s been rocking Football Manager 2020 hard like the rest of us and he’s no doubt been inspired to start transfer planning.
“I’m planning two or three different scenarios that we can face,” he said. “Depending on one of those three, we will be able to do more, less or nothing.
“We have to react daily. We don’t know what the financial situation is going to be, we don’t know the rules, the timing, the window. There are so many things we cannot control at the moment.”
We’re doing something, a bit of something, or nothing. Love it. At least he’s honest and at least he’s actually scenario planning. I don’t even want to speculate on the plan, but I can tell you for a fact that a lot of his planning will be geared around who he sells and who signs new deals. Hopefully, it all works out in his favour, he needs some luck.
Weirdly, I think this break is going to work in our favour. Arteta can spend some time actively listening to his players, he can express some of his deeper ideas and he can plan heavily with the important people behind the scenes. It’s also going to do wonders for the players that were battling fitness. We have an elite coach, not an experienced one. The more time he gets with the players the better it is for the squad, regardless of who is in it. The same can’t be said of the amateurs down the road that are causing a rupture of trust with the fans for fucking over the lower-paid workers and making idiots of themselves by training over the park in club colours. So dim.
Bravo to the Premier League footballers who finally penned a really nice letter of intention.
Now get to work and action the words! More pound notes, less thoughts and prayers.
FINALLY, a bit of a PSA. A few top London ad agency folk (Performance group TiPi and creative agency Pablo) have come together to kick back at certain runners that are behaving like massive whoppers in the London parks and NOT social distancing. One of my pals who is a mother complained to me that runners were buzzing her baby and pram, and even worse, spitting near her. Have a fucking word if that’s you. The big fear is that uncouth pavement pounders and their lack of etiquette will push the feds to cut access to parks. A nightmare for mental health and just a real fucking pain in the arse for those people that can actually behave properly.
Some tips (not mine, but agreeable nonetheless).
- Show respect to others
- Keep your space; always keep 10 metres apart
- Don’t run up behind people; breathing and spraying all over them – you’re scaring them, and they believe putting their lives at risk
#RunRight people. Think of others. Don’t spray. KEEP OUR PARKS OPEN (ur parks, I don’t live there).