A beautiful challenge.

by & filed under News Review.

Get this people, I am in America, BUT, in a place called ESSEX. I grew up in Essex and there is a second one. Mad times. ‘Yoooou fuuucking SLLLLAAAAAYYYYYGGGGGGG’ does not go down as well with the locals as it does back home, but hey, you can’t have everything. Talking of Essex, listen to this with the volume on. Absolute ‘YOU LOOKING AT MY BIRD’ gold.

Finally, the Premier League season is coming to an end. It hasn’t been glorious for Arsenal. In fact, it’s been our worst ever. No Europe via the front door for the first time in a very long time. The best we can hope for is winning the FA Cup Final against a Chelsea side that has some very scary players in their attack.

The coach has called the problems we’re facing a ‘beautiful challenge’, he knows that his career trajectory directly depends on what he brings to the club over the next two seasons, and he will go hell for the leather to up our standards. It’s a scary challenge, but as many folk will tell you… it’s easier to take a team at their lowest ebb, than getting in there after a winning run. The only way is up.

As for the challenge being ‘beautiful’? Well, let’s just say that when I see an ugly baby, I always call it beautiful. The Arsenal challenge is ork levels of cuteness. Someone has to hug it though, I’m glad the person dishing out the faux affection is a man that has such pristine athleisure stylings.

Europe really is massive for us this summer. You can’t make up the gap with free transfers and Whatsapp scouting tips from untrustworthy sources. We need to have a sharp eye to the future this summer and every single player we look to has to have the ability to add something to the club in the longterm.

We’ve been linked with a bid for left winger Joelson of Sporting Lisbon. The young player looks absolutely electric. He’s explosive from a standing position, has all the tricks you’d expect from a Sporting player, annnnnnnnd… he’s with Kia. The story is that we’ve bid for him because he’s under a contract dispute. Some worry Kia is using us for a bigger pay packet at Sporting… but whatever it is, the player looks good and it’d be the first future-facing name to come from his portfolio.

There’s a view that this sort of signing is why you work with super-agents. The crass idea is if you take some dross, you’ll eventually land some gold. It’s a fucking abomination of a ‘process’ that only the amateur mind would look at as smart. You have 24 spaces in a squad, if you want to be elite, you don’t sacrifice any of them in the hope of a future deal. Doing quid pro quo signings is Del Boy Trotter stuff, it’s just not how a club like Arsenal should ever act, so hopefully, that’s not been the case.

I genuinely hate the way people look at dark arts in football like it’s clever. The type of people that purr over this sort of thing are the types that like to tell you who the hard men are at the local shit hole pub. Being smart is the best way to win at football, doing things properly, underpinned by good decisions from talented people. That is what should be revered… and look, don’t take my word for it, look at how many clubs are trying to move away from super agents reccos. Look at the state of Barcelona these days, The Athletic reckon they barely use a scouting department.

‘Among a host of concerns, The Athletic can reveal that scouts feel alienated from the recruitment process. Barcelona, quite remarkably, held just one first-team scouting meeting over the past year. Barcelona, as well as rivals Real Madrid, declined to comment on all points presented to them for this report. There is also frustration that the club’s world-renowned data scientists are not trusted or involved in the recruitment strategy, while several figures around the club stated they felt the club had become overly dependant on certain agents for recommendations.’

Sound familiar? Super-agents are bad news. Still, at least we know that Mikel knows what he’s after this summer… creativity.

“You go back to (Santi) Cazorla, to (Tomas) Rosicky, to (Andrey) Arshavin when he played there, to (Aaron) Ramsey when he played there, to (Henrikh) Mkhitaryan when he came in. Even Jack Wilshere used to play in those pockets all the time.

“That is a lot of players who are now not here. We have to renew that cycle, because if not, those kind of players won’t be there for us anymore.

We need a real infusion this summer. We need a marquee creator, but we also need at least two other players that are on the up that can help us. We can’t have just one Jack Grealish this summer is what I’m saying.

Still, that makes things very exciting. We’ll be addressing the fun positions which. I mean, we need players everywhere. An 8, a 6, a new centre back. The list is vast, but the most important areas are in chance creation because things are dire at the moment.

I’m not sure what Arteta is planning against Watford this weekend, we know he’ll want to win, and he’ll have had some time to think about how bad we were in the final third. Does he practice setting up a deep block again? Does he try something new in the pockets we’re lacking? Or does he see the game as a dead rubber?

Who knows, but the Chelsea game is going to be very difficult and if we play like we did against Villa, we’ll be handsomely beaten.

Right, short post today, see you in the comments.



605 Responses to “A beautiful challenge.”

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  1. Wasi

    Big perm

    Ceballos is even more uncomfortable than Willock in the no. 10
    If its a 4-3-3 I expect Ceballos to be the deepest lying midfielder with Willock Box to box and Xhaka as an advanced playmaker.

  2. Nelson

    Normally, before the FA Cup final, you would expect a manager to practise a lineup in the 1st half and rest players in the 2nd half. Arteta thinks that Willock is more useful for his system than Saka. Hopefully, Saka will play in the 2nd half.

  3. TheLegendaryDB10

    Come on The Arsenal!!!

    I really like the new shirt!!! The arrow type motif is cool and the red used is lovely. Really classy shirt to wear. (Not being biased because I have one 😀)

    And we get a pen. How kind of the refs. After all they have done to us, they owed us one.

    Cool to see Auba convert.