JUST SAY NO

by .

Finally, football is back and we can all start being friends again. Kind of sad that international break is like being cut off from the world. My group chats have been dead. Do I only have friends because of Arsenal?

Matt from the pod called me the other day and it was like an awkward first date. I don’t know what he likes outside football. Is that child he walks around with his? I’ve never taken the time to ask.

Friendships during international break is a bit like growing old as a couple and realizing all you had was great sex… my relationships are vapid and narrow. Most are men I’ve met online. Still, I can live with it if we smash Liverpool tomorrow, am I right, internet best friends?

Arteta was asked whether he was prioritizing Europe, he correctly said no.

Good leaders should always reference history for insights into the future… I think one of the defining moments for Emery was when he went all-in on Europa, took his eye off the league, and in the end… fucked both.

This Premier League season like a corgi race… it’s utter chaos, you have no idea how it’ll end up, so the best bet… as I advise all my corgi clients… is to keep going until the very end.

Liverpool has been found out a little bit this season. VVD is very much essential to the way they play, and they, like every other team, need their big players firing. It hasn’t really happened for them.

That doesn’t mean they aren’t still an elite side. They’ll have this season fixed for August, no doubt. Arteta made reference that even in the position they are now, the data nerds have them as a top 2 side by almost every metric. Sometimes, a season just doesn’t drop for you, that’s Liverpool after having nearly everything go right for 2 years.

I suspect Klopp will have noticed what West Ham did. A heavy opening 30-minute blitz against a team that weren’t suspecting it. The key for me in the West Ham game is Moyes knew there would be a very specific plan based on his patterns of play. He zigged and we couldn’t zag. Liverpool will be different because the players will be expecting to be bullied from the first whistle.

What I hope is that we don’t give them too much respect, like we did against City. We have to try a play some football. We’re more than capable of landing punches. The manager said they were better than us, this is true, but that doesn’t mean we have to find a laundry basket and hide under it for 90 minutes.

Liverpool has been beaten by Fulham, Everton, and Chelsea in the last 5 games. They are weak. There is no aura we should fear.

There are 9 games left of this season. There are 7 points between Arsenal and West Ham. There are 6 between us and Spurs. There are 4 points to Liverpool and Everton.

Beat Liverpool and you never know…

Before we leave. It seems like we’re renewing Mo Elneney. Seems like a nice guy, I just can’t understand why we’re giving a new deal to someone who was yanked on 55 minutes in a last 16 game against a bum Greek team.

The more worrying rumour is Sergio Aguerro being a target for Arsenal. No, no, no, no… that is not £300k a week spent well. I don’t care about his ‘special’ qualities. He could be a secret unicorn that harvests carbon emissions in his sleep… he’s not for Arsenal. Let Barcelona start the rebuild with a 32-year-old. We simply have to do better this summer than falling back on players that are past it or simply not good enough.

This summer cannot be about collecting old players again.

Here’s today’s special podcast. I speak with Football Consultant, Rob Gevertz. He’s worked at Manchester City and Talksport. We talk about the world of the digital fan, modernising stadiums, and a bit about Arteta and his progress at the end.

176 Responses to “JUST SAY NO”

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  1. The Bard

    Rich I get the passion but football has changed. The Tony Adams era doesn’t exist anymore. There isn’t such a thing as club loyalty. Saka’s agent will eventually ask for huge wages as he should and Arsenal have to decide if they can pay or if not sell him to the highest bidder. He’s a commodity and it’s business. I hate it as much as you do but it’s what it is.

  2. Chris

    If not playing Saka today means he is ready for Thursday, then I’m all for that.

    Liverpool’s new centre back pairing seems more dominant in the air than on the ground, hopefully we won’t see any aimless crossing from out wide, more creativity through the centre.

  3. Rich

    The Bard

    Pay Saka the money, and match his ambition with smarter investment

    I get what you’re saying, but Arsenal’s core business is the football, without quality footballers on the pitch, that hurts our bottom line

    The season tickets, club level, corporate boxes, merchandise, and all the jobs and revenue that creates, either doesn’t exist, or it becomes much smaller, if the product that people pay to engage with , isn’t of the desired quality

    People aren’t showing up at the Emirates, just because they like the Hot Dogs

    Far too many fans take Wenger’s work for granted, we’re still a big draw to young players across Europe, because Wenger put us on the map

    David Dein once said, “Get it right on the pitch, and the rest will take care of itself”

    I was all for letting Aubameyang leave last summer, or allowing him to run his contract down, but there’s a big difference in cashing in on a 31yr old, and cashing in on Cole at 25, or Saka at the beginning of his career, we’ll never progress will that type of mentality

    Ashley Cole was the PL’s best left back for at least a decade, arguably the best left back in the PL era, and certainly one of the worlds best left backs as well

    We lost him over £5,000 p/w, and while I liked Monreal, it’s taken us 15 years to replace Cole, and we had to watch players like Andre Santos come in, who’s by far the worst player I’ve ever seen, and that’s not just at Arsenal

    People are still talking about replacing Vieira and Henry 16 years later, when you get hold of elite talent, you don’t let them leave if you have any ambition, because replacing them is near impossible

  4. Bob N16

    For stupid money Saka would be sold – hardly likely at a time when Mbappe and Hangeland are going to be focusing the accountants at two of the richest clubs.

    In two,/three years time, if Saka continues to progress and the financials are not suffering from the effects of Covid then ok!

  5. Bob N16

    For the most part your right Rich but as Liverpool have shown, if you sell a top player for big money as long as you reinvest intelligently then it could be justified. Not sure our recent track record should fill us with much confidence mind you!

    Let’s be optimistic and look into 3/4 years into the future and we have won the PL are back competing in the CL, it’s highly likely we would have ‘done an Anelka’ to develop our squad.

  6. Chris

    I wouldn’t want to sell Saka at any point unless he handed in a request and was being disruptive etc

    To indirectly quote Wenger, you sell Fabregas and Nasri and you cannot pretend you are a big club after that. The fans have massive attachments for academy players who go on to be top level, the club would be bold as brass to sell him unless he was forcing it through.

  7. Mb

    Saka will be one the greatest for Arsenal, he is not going anywhere! You sell Aubas and Lacas, not a very good Saka/ESR who are still to get to their prime.

    We are making a mistake with Guen and Saliba, give them couple of seasons to grow and they would be brilliant I’m sure.

  8. Almuniasaynomore

    The bard

    I think I’m slowly(very slowly) coming round to your way of thinking. Getting attached to players is a dangerous game, they are going to squeeze as much money from their careers as they can and that probably means playing clubs off each other to get the highest wage they can(even if the player is not naturally inclined to do this you can be sure his agent is). So investing in a player emotionally leads to heartbreak ultimately because as someone said earlier the days of Adams are gone. Can you imagine an agent allowing le tiss to stay at Southampton for his career in this age? Accepting that the likes of Saka might leave before we see the best of him is very difficult but if you don’t prepare yourself for it then it’s even more painful. That

  9. Almuniasaynomore

    That will be a true test of Arteta. If he keeps these young players and builds a team around them he will have achieved something great.

  10. Chris

    It’s a little surprising to see Chelsea go to pieces like this even considering the sending off, Tuchel has organised the defence since his arrival to the point where they were looking almost impregnable.

  11. DUIFG

    Big pepe day, wouldn’t mind a left field martinelli as well, klopp is scared of that boy.

    There is another breakout game coming from him, 2 goals

  12. Habesha Gooner

    Good start to the day. A team incapable of creating chances and scoring smashing 5 past a Chelsea defense that is supposedly a wall is a really good sight. It shows you there are no games in the premier league you should take for granted.

    Let’s see if the day ends well for us. Because we need it. Otherwise it will be Europa league or bust and that’s a fool’s game.

  13. Foxy

    AMN looks like he is settling for being a championship level midfielder as opposed to a premiership level RB or RWB.

    Watching the Chelsea game AMN seems to be more making up the numbers in Midfield rather than being a main man. More Elneny than Partey – verdict SELL we can do a lot better.

  14. SAGG

    Again Arsenal have the opportunity to fight for something in the league, win today and you are just 6 behind chelsea.

    But, as always, surely we are going to do our best to blow our chances.

  15. Rich

    Spudnik

    We scouted Mustafi, signed him for £35 million, played him for 4.5 years, then paid him to leave

    Schalke who are bottom of the Bundesliga, with 1 win in 27 games, have dumped him after 7 games

    Signing him in the first place wasn’t a smart move, but they’re much quicker to react to their mistakes than we are

    The best signing we could make would be a strong DOF who knows what he’s doing, these types of mistakes have been plaguing us for far too long

    Edu scrubs up well in a suit, but I’m not convinced of his competence or that he’s particularly switched on, hopefully he surprises me, and has more in his locker than calling his mate Kia