I don’t know how many times I have to say this, but the rampant media bias against OGS simply must stop. This guy is pure, unadulterated, intellectually elite, Norwegian football joy. He proved it today with a beasting of Carlo A’s Everton side. Give OGS more time, give him more money, let’s see where this United experiment goes.
Poch can go to PSG.
In Arsenal news, we can start the day with a sexy transfer rumour. We’re being linked with Le Grove comments section favourite, Dominik Szoboszlai. The Hungarian #8 has been doing exciting things for RB Salzburg.
He’s an all action midfielder. He scores goals, he makes assists, he covers ground like all the best do for RB, and he is a setpiece demon. Apparently, he’d hit 200 freekicks a day… imagine that, having an actual specialist from distance? What a weapon.
He also has an elite mindset, something you need if you’re going to make it in a new country in the most competitive league on the planet. This article from FirstTimeFinish is excellent and had this clipping.
During lockdown with the football on hold, Dominik enlisted the help of Olympic Champion coach, Shane Tusup, to help with his physical and conditioning development.
The results of the pair’s work has been a huge increase in muscle mass. It’s something noticed by Christoph Freund.
‘He’s improved a lot on the physical level,’ Freund says.
Szoboszlai, who appeared timid at times during his first Champions League appearances last season, now looks far more menacing. He was able to dictate the play against the physically commanding Atletico Madrid late last month.
Shane and Dominik remain in close contact and talk everyday.
‘I work on helping athletes get the maximum out of themselves so that they can become true warriors when they enter the battlefield,’
I like Houssem Auoar, he’s undoubtedly a massive talent, but the fuckery of the summer might be a sign of things to come with him. He’d also cost about £20m more. Szoboszlai has a £24m buyout clause, is 3 years younger, and might have more of the all action features we need in an Arsenal team that desperately lacks goals scorers and final pass masters. It might take a year or so for the players to settle, but my word, what a talent he could turn into.
What I love about this sort of rumour is that he’s exactly the sort of player you hope your club is looking at. There’s a clearly defined problem in our midfield and we’ve gone out and looked at young player that could solve it. Is it a risk? No doubt, but a £24m risk for a player trained by RB feels like one worth taking. Arsenal should do this deal. It makes sense at every level and again reinforces the notion that if you have clear vision, it is MUCH easier to buy players against it.
I love clarity.
Before we get into the game. I want to take on a very pressing issue a lot of people have been sidebarring with me about.
I’m all for fashion experiments. Like football, sometimes you have to take a chance. But this selection felt like a tactical misstep and the coach has to hold himself accountable for it.
The ‘I’m selling tickets to a Tottenham Court Road night club called FLAME’ euro chic vibes were unexpected and if I’m honest, unwelcome. I think he’s over-coached the choice here. He’s tried to blend fashion with ergonomics and he’s fallen flat. The textures are all wrong and I think we need to see a big response on Sunday with something a little more classic. It’s a young coach thing; we’ve seen it with Julian Nagelsmann a few times, so keep the faith, he’ll get it right.
The line of fire in his press conference largely focused on the underperformance of Willian and Pepe. The manager didn’t shirk. He was asked if he thought their return was good enough and he straight up said no… he wants 10 goals and assists from both players. He was pushed by one journo on Willian because he gets starts over Pepe, but the reality is Willian has shown he can play at the highest level consistently… we’ve never seen that from Pepe.
The Ivorian isn’t shirking reality. He dropped and interview on Sky and basically said he’s adapting to a new coach, a new system, and he needs to give more. I’d agree. The fact he canvassed Gabriel to join Arsenal tells you he’s emotionally invested in Arsenal, so at least his body language isn’t reflective of interest. A few people have floated the idea of him playing through the middle at some point. I like that idea, he could potentially offer quite a lot as a striker, though he does have similar strength physical limitations, he certainly has more speed through the middle, and that unpredictable nature is horrible for defenders in the same way playing against Kanu was back in the day.
I think the Aston Villa game is going to pose a real challenge for Arsenal. Last time we played them, we were taught a lesson in complacency. We’d made the FA Cup final and we switched off against Villa and they beat us. It’s hard to work out what they will do against us because they have players to do more than just deep block. Their attacking players are a joy to watch when they click, Jack Grealish an absolute dream of a player we could do with. There’s a lot we need to be careful of, but we also have to remember we have better players than them and we need to find the keys to our own attacking game.
We also have to be prepared to unpick an Emi Martinez guarded goal and not fall prey to their quick counter. It’s going to be a long afternoon.
Does Joe Willock get some minutes? He was the difference-maker against a shite Molde. He has pace, he’s unpredictable, and on his day he can make and deliver. Elneny was the star the previous Thursday and he started on Sunday. It’ll be interesting to see who makes it this time. Will Xhaka in a more advanced midfield position make a Premier League debut? How will Arteta configure his front three?
Lots of questions I simply can’t answer.
I’m looking forward to the game regardless.
Right, see you in the comments. x