Let’s start this post off with a big congratulations to Man of the Quarantine, Marcus Rashford. The guys has been relentless in his giving, donating money when others dithered, then campaigning to land the kids of the UK a meal during a very challenging summer.
That there is a counter-argument to such a campaign shows the depth of misery some people voluntarily dive into. You have a dark heart if you think empathy, during the worst pandemic of the last 100 years, is misplaced here. There is no financial planning that could see parents in, say, the hospitality industry, through this moment. If you are chirping off about this on the internet, find a friend (if you have one) and ask them to confiscate your phone for a month because you are a disgrace.
Onto the football.
ARSENAL PLAY TOMORROW!
I couldn’t be any more excited about the restart. Sure, it’s likely we’ll get beaten, but who cares, we’re back in the mixer and we still have a European spot to play for. The manager says it’s one game at a time, and I agree. If the players react well to the full preseason we’ve just had, we’ll be in good shape… if they don’t, it’ll be problematic for the fans waiting in the wings to avenge the beheading of Senor Emery.
There’s a lot to be excited about.
We’re going to see the kids. The manager has a big bench and 5 subs he can make now. New youth will get a chance. This will set the tone for the summer and hopefully show the world the Arsenal we’re going to build over the next 5 years. We are one of the best-placed clubs when it comes to teenage talent, let’s hope we meet a new star
Better off-ball movement. Arteta has been trying to build a more cognitive style of football at the club. He’s teaching players shapes and triggers that help our off-ball movement. That was tough to do midseason, but a month in the training field is kind of ideal to implement this elevated approach to the game. The hope is that we see a better style of football, less mistakes, and more intelligence on the field.
Senior turnover is bound to happen this summer, but don’t expect it to be reflected in the starting 11. Arteta wants to win a cup and he wants to make the top 4 this season. That means he’ll lean on experience. Why ‘could’ that work? Well, our bigger names are low on contract in a very uncertain world. They are going to need to prove they are value buys so they can extend out their futures this summer. I expect to see fully committed players on the pitch because everyone is playing for their future. PUMP THAT VALUE.
Style. Yes, this something I’m looking for. I’d like us to move out of functional to something more elevated. We debated this on last nights podcast. What will we see? Getting by with what you have? Or something more exciting that shows the future? I’m hoping for a middle ground. But we’ll see.
The away advantage has gone in the Bundesliga.\
Since the Bundesliga returned in front of empty stands, where they call them the “ghost games” (“geisterspiele“), home teams have won 21.7% of matches (10 from 46 games), down from 43.3% before the shutdown of play in March. Home teams have also scored fewer goals — the pre-lockdown rate of 1.75 goals per game is now down to 1.28 — while the away teams’ winning ratio has risen from 34.83% to 47.8%. The same trends have been seen in Estonia (after 29 games there were just 11 home wins) and Czech Republic (after 32 games, just 10 home wins) since their leagues resumed when behind closed doors.
This works well for Arsenal because, you know, we’ve been shit away from home for years. The hope is that we level the playing field, win some games we might not have, then build confidence going into the future.
We can dream, right?
Ok, before I go, click my podcast and GORGE on its goodness. We cover about 500 topics. It’s great.