Well, here we are, 3 weeks after our FA Cup final win, it’s here, the season curtain-raiser… Arsenal vs Liverpool in The Community Shield.
It’s hard to say it’s not an important game. All games have a psychological value, a big win sets you up for a confident start. A big loss can send you into a nervous territory. We need a good start this season, we need to set a new tone after the horrendous first 4 months of last season. We need to signal that the new era was, in fact, kicked off with that stunning FA Cup final win.
Both teams will be unfit. We’ve only had a few training sessions. Liverpool are in the same position as us. It’ll be a leggy game. There really was no other option. If you blitz your players after they’ve spent two months playing 3 games a week, you will absolutely pay for that later in the season when you need energy in the legs.
The big worry for Arsenal is we really haven’t addressed our central midfield position. Well, we have new bodies. Matteo G is now back in the family and Mo Elneny is available and scoring goals. Doesn’t really fill you with the same confidence you might have taken from seeing Ceballos, Partey, or Aouar starting.
No news on whether Mesut will start. Though Arteta’s impassioned defence of the club for the way they dealt with the pay cuts does indicate he’s still pretty pissed about the German playmakers carry-on over doing his part. Our young Spanish coach is every bit the company man. He also said Raul left with honour, which is, errr… oh fuck it, best leave that be, this is a new season. NO GRUDGES.
Back to the LACK of players.
It is what it is. I think we just have to accept it’s really hard to operate in a slow window when you have no money to play with. Cries that Don Raul has been missed are ridiculous. Last summer was very slow to start with, then we did a financial madness that has us tied up in knots this summer.
Still, on the face of it, you can’t argue with what we’ve done so far.
Saliba, Gabriel, Willian, with Guendouzi and ESR as the LIKE A NEW SIGNING players. Feeling just like it did under Arsene Wenger.
One area the club hasn’t been messing around in is in the coaching department. Arteta is bringing in names that he likes. The two latest are Carlos Questa and Miguel Molina. Both look like the new breed of young coaches that are starting to make their mark on the game. They come from Atleti and Juventus, Dom from the podcast I recorded the other night tells me that Cuesta is a bit like Rene Maric in the sense that he made the opportunity himself by writing and doing analysis online that attracted attention. Not sure which coach it was, but a journo once asked, ‘how did you make it as a top coach without being a top player’, and the response was, ‘I had more time to study.’ You’ll see more of that. We’re moving into a new era of coaching. Bold ideas, great with data, deeply into psychology… major fucking geeks. I LOVE IT. Just gotta hope it all works out for Arsenal, can’t have everyone calling me a hipster melt when we’re bottom of the league in January.
‘WE NEED SEAN DYCHE IN THE BUILDING’
Some disappointing news coming out of the club that Emi Martinez will be exited if the right offer comes in. Raul had him down for £20m, but the club might have to accept as little as £10m. Think this is being driven by the player. He doesn’t want to sign a new deal unless he’s #1. We won’t give him that luxury, so he’ll likely go to Spain. Good luck to him.
Feels a bit shit that a player can be instrumental in the club’s success, then get bombed off… but you can’t ask for ruthless behavior then get angry when it happens to your fave. Martinez has a small sample of games to choose from. Bernd Leno has been consistently great for longer. We are skint. Life goes on. Let’s hope we get a decent back-up keeper. Someone that is huge, loves to catch, and can pass like a hero.
Arsenal Twitter sleuths have just noticed that Leonardo, PSG Sporting Director, followed Hector Bellerin. OMG.
Wolves moved on Doherty onto Spurs for £14m. I suspect that’ll mean Wolves up the offer for AMN. Again, I’d be sad, but if the cash is going to get mainlined into our midfield, I’ll accept the exit with good grace.
Right, on that note, I shall bid you farewell. Enjoy the game today. Football is back. Let’s hope it’s a fun game AND MORE SILVERWARE!