by .

In most big businesses, perception is an absolutely key pillar of operations. In some cases, it’s all that matters. We’re seeing how Facebook is suffering at the moment because they prioritised perception of their business over the actual massive problems they missed in 2016. We’ve seen massive ponzi schemes continue because even though everyone is aware of what is going on, too many big names are involved and the perception of something bad going on would be worse than the financial ruin.

I raise this point because the perception at Arsenal is there’s a real lack of control in the system. Process seems weak, there are few controls on how we move in the market, and there’s a real lack of leadership… which has been a consistent theme.

So, we’re into the most important summer of all time, we’ve signed one player, moved on very few… and where is Edu? On a boat, in Monaco, with our disgraced exFootball Operations guy and his super-agent Kia.

How does that happen? How does someone paid a small fortune to think about how he’s perceived post the evidence to his public Instagram account? Where is the leadership? Who is working for Arsenal saying, ‘Edu, mate, that’s not a good idea.’

It’s the same old same old with Arsenal. Just as you think they are turning a corner, they allow another hugely embarrassing thing to hit the feeds. Edu was caught out on tapes a few months ago in a deeply troubling scandal when he was at Brazil, he’s overseen some rough deals that clearly have ethical questions attached, and now he’s back out on a boat with two of the shadiest characters in football.

Where is Vinai on this? Where is Josh? How does a club as big as Arsenal allow this sort of ‘perception’ issue continue? It’s so infuriating… and to be honest… immature.

How simple is this:

‘If you really have to be on a yacht with someone like Raul, don’t put it on the internet’

The focus of the summer should be about a new Arsenal. It should be about an entire team pushing the club to the next level. Instead, we’re watching Arsenal lose to Hibs and our Technical Director execute more poor judgment and brag about it for likes on the internet.

In other news… it seems the rumour mill is revving up again. Granit Xhaka has apparently attracted a slightly higher bid from Roma. The Italian club has binned about 8 players from their preseason tour. Say what you will about Jose, he doesn’t f*ck around with players he wants out of the club. Doubt he’d have Kola and Willian in his starting 11.

Willian has an image doing the round where he looks like he’s packed on some serious weight. He’s basically showcasing why most 33-year-olds won’t be buying the new away shirt this season. A bit embarrassing that a professional athlete can do that to themselves in such a short space of time… until you remember, Arsenal is his retirement. Guy is so keen to pack things in he sought out a move to Florida. You couldn’t make it up. Fabrizio Romano is digging his heels in on this one, still stating that he’s going to move this summer if the right proposal lands… but like, honestly, who is going to offer the right proposal for him?

The Ben White deal is still rumbling. I honestly think my call the other day was right, we don’t want to deal for a player who is on holiday for 3 more weeks. It’s the reason Roma is slowing proceedings down for Xhaka. Who wants to pay dead wages?

Lokonga paperwork is nearly done, so we’ll at least have upgraded back-up left-back and back-up Ceballos.

There’s some talk about Tammy A being linked with Arsenal. Love the player, but not sure we have room for him with Lacazette and Auba at the club. Not to mention this truth… Balogun didn’t sign to be 4th choice. It’d be super weird for Arsenal to block his path with a young striker. But we’ll see… it was super weird to block Pepe with Willian last season, but that’s what our esteemed boat enthusiast did.

I think that’s all I have time for today? Remember to check out the podcast and the video of the podcast. Also, thanks for saying nice things about my hair, I feel seen.

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VIDEO WOO! I would embed twitch, but it’s complicated (here). So watch it on Youtube instead.

507 Responses to “ON A BOAT WITH RAUL? REALLY?”

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  1. PhD2020

    China1July 16, 2021 13:57:24

    Before I address your previous post to me,as I haven’t got round to reading it yet.

    What’s your views on North Korea ?

  2. TR7


    Either there is stringent lockdown in China which has led to very low number of cases even as the world is battling with second/third wave or there is enough relaxation that factory output and industrial production is not hampered at all – which one is true ? And can you share the mantra which helps China have the best of both the worlds, the humanity at large can benefit from such magical formula.

    Also I am curious to know how can a wave travel from Europa to Asia to Australia within no time but can’t travel to Shanghai and Beijing from Wuhan. What is the magic formula ?

  3. Goobergooner

    In Aus, we did alright with some solid lockdowns last year.

    It’s that we keep bringing fuckers back from overseas that we keep getting it again.
    The latest in Sydney is annoying, some douchebags were in a hotspot in Sydney, travelled to Melbourne then went shopping.

    Despicable people. Now Melbourne is back into a short lockdown because of some absolute twats.

    Also the absolute vast space between places here and a relatively small population allowed us to control it a bit more.

    Our worst lockdowns in Melbourne came after the hotel quarantine debacle, where the stupid Victorian government didn’t utilise military for quarantine facilities, instead using contracted security.

    We all know the IQ of the average security guard (sorry if there is any on here).

    My brother was working in one of those hotels as security, he said that a lot of the employees were subcontracted to companies subcontracted to other companies and no-one really knew who was in charge, so a lot of people just took the piss.

    Guards hitting on people in quarantine, chatting without masks. Not utilising all the free sanitiser and blah blah blah.

    Quite frustrating when something so serious is left to some absolute dumb kents

  4. Goobergooner

    And I only moved to Melbourne a year before lockdowns.

    All my mates in gold coast and north NSW were having a gay old time while Melbourne was shut down haha.

    I lucked out hard there.

  5. China1

    Englandsbest I didn’t comment on those latter topics you mentioned because I shouldn’t and because they’re not related to covid per say

    I too was actually suspicious about the ultra low numbers when the lockdown first ended but those fears were allayed over the coming year where in my friend and colleague network of 100 plus people I know absolutely zero who have told me of any strange sicknesses going around, with coughs fevers and killing the elderly. And when I went to the covid clinic myself when I had a mild fever one time last summer in 1h I saw a single other person come. People in hazmat suits looking at their phones with nothing to do. That’s not what you’d expect if there was secretly huge surges of infections, surely. We haven’t had a nationwide lockdown since maybe April last year. Surely if it was spreading uncontrolled this place would look more like India with places running out of oxygen, hospitals crammed and people crying on the streets about their recently deceased loved ones.

    I don’t need to ask the gov what the numbers are to know it’s under control because living here, every imaginable aspect you can think of consistently demonstrates that it is. I’ve not met one person here who has mentioned losing a loved one or having a loved one hospitalized by anything similar to covid. I don’t think all of my friends, extended family and colleagues are hiding something from me either, because I’m really not that important

  6. Kroenkephobe

    For anyone who vaguely likes cycling, I recommend you tune into the TDF this afternoon. About 65 kms to go.

    Isle of Man’s Mark Cavendish is tying the great Eddie Merckx for stage wins and today could get his 35th win and break the record. A huge and historical achievement on the cards. Final 5 clicks will be something special – Cavendish in the green Jersey.

  7. andy1886

    Serge, easy to say that the majority of scientists believe that the C-19 is ‘man-made’ but I haven’t seen and respectable information to support that. And I don’t mean right-leaning conspiracy sites making claims without and suporting data or research.

    As I said we’ve had several near misses in the last 20 years on the pandemic front including the original SARS outbreak in China in 2003. Was that also ‘man-made’? People read about the proximity of the lab in Wuhan, put two and two together and voila!

    And to suggest that ‘mischief maker’ China would release a virus in their own backyard adjacent to such a facility is just plain dumb. It’s possible it could be an accident, but to imply that such an act was deliberate just doesn’t add up.

  8. S Asoa

    PHD et al
    Apologise for wrong figure of 1000 mortality in Canada. Misconception was because of a WhatsApp from a friend who pre- faced it was received from a doctor friend in Canada
    Today Canada had 14 deaths and 427 new cases. These figures are understandable for a country like Canada which has a high % of vaccinated persons.
    Sorry for the misinformation

  9. englandsbest

    China 1

    What has become pretty clear is that you DONT’T know what’s going on in China. No surprise, that is how one-party government works, by keeping their people in the dark.

    I dare say you haven’t seen, for example, the BBC investigations of ‘re-education’ of Uighurs. Of course you haven’t.

  10. China1

    Englandsbest such reports are all over sky news which is not even blocked here. But you didn’t know that, did you?

  11. China1

    That you think I get my news from local news sources is comical. I’m not a moron, I am English and get my news from various global sources.

    My knowledge of China comes from global news sources and from living here. Your source of knowledge is just the former. If you think you know more about the place than me you are a very deluded guy

  12. China1

    Global I imagine he knows San Francisco better than Guns, Thailand better than Tony and New York better than Pedro whilst he’s at it

  13. Mr Serge

    Although I was part of the conversation I don’t want to talk about politics or covid it’s a can of worms and far too many different opinions
    Let’s stick to moaning about Arsenal and the donkeys in charge lol

  14. TheBayingMob

    I imagine China has it well under control (haven’t read the other messages to be honest so just going on a jist of this conversation), and for me this is for two reasons.

    I worked in a China very briefly (well the project went on for a long period but I worked out of the UK and did a few trips over there). You can’t have any conversation with any local about anything negative about China. The people (on the whole) are completely indoctrinated into the propaganda on a deeply emotional level (and if you’re going to live there per China1, I assume you have to sign up for most of this as well otherwise it’ll be a difficult existance), in fact I used to suggest bad things about China just to watch the few Chinese I worked with bristle with utter contempt. So if the government tell them to stay the fuck home, they will.

    Secondly, the people also know that if they have to the military will walk in and completely level neighborhoods to keep in control. The international perception of the country and the government is all that matters. The military will do what they are told, so there is the fear factor to keep people in control and the rules followed.

    How would you feel if you knew the army would come in and basically raze your house to the ground with everyone in it if they were told to? I think you’d buck the fuck up on your trips to the pub.

    In the west, it is entirely opposite. I think our administrations are actually bungling idiots and there is not a great deal of propaganda but no one believes that to be the case anyway, in fact there’s large portions of the population who make up and believe conspiracy shit on the internet then enthusiastically spread it and deeply believe it. Aliens in general. Aliens in Area 51. Moon landings. A few prime examples, of course the recent stuff is the whole Q debacle and they amount of people who have signed up hook, line and sinker to that. What about the ‘kill-shot’ conspiracy theories going wild? It’s ridiculous.

    Since I’ve lived here one of the biggest problems I’ve seen is that, by and large, the US populus believe what they see in fiction films. They believe the government have face recognition satellites. They probably believe that Will Smith really did save them from an Alien invasion in 1996. It’s wild. Especially war films that over state, exaggerate and glamorize US military capability. They lap that shit up for real.

    Secondly we know there is no repercussions for our actions. We have entire sub classes of people (both US and UK) who have given one or two fingers (depending which country you’re in) to the system for many years.

    They just don’t give a fuck about anyone but them immediate self. Also, especially here in the US (although applies to the UK too), the shocking lack of empathy, the extreme level of arrogance and entitlement will always undermine any attempt at controlling this virus. The lockdowns were pointless, to a degree, and were always destined to fail in the longer term.

    When I have these conversations people think I’m an anti-vaxer and anti-masker (both ludicrous standpoints for me) … but I’m not, I still wear my mask in some situations today even tho I’m all Pfizer’ed up, thing is unless you are or can do what China did, lockdowns are kinda useless. They just destroyed jobs. A lot of people flouted them and now we are in a phase of ‘reopening’ but yet the delta variant is rampant. We will end up in the same situation? Once the delta variant mutates again into something better that evades the vax it will be square one. There’s almost no avoiding it, it’s a case of fingers crossed and just hope for the best at this point which is maybe what it always should have been with more focus are massive field hospitals to house the sick instead of trying to lock down to ‘save’ a broken and crumbling health system (UK mainly)

  15. Sly

    If folks could leave their ideology/political affinity aside( speaking from the US) and just get vaccinated and follow simple guidelines pandemic would be better controlled
    Now we have a surge in 49 states
    It’s fascinating to see vaccination rates mirroring political affiliation all around the country
    Folks have also stopped wearing masks and a decent pool are not vaccinated
    I was talking to a septuagenarian in a hospital a few weeks ago who came in for a non Covid related matter about masks
    He’s not vaccinated
    He told me he doesn’t wear a mask anymore because the virus has ‘gone’

  16. PhD2020

    China1July 16, 2021 13:48:21

    the answer is right there
    I think I have a rough idea of where you were or are going with that post.

    But my reply to you is -riddle me this:

    China is landlocked right?

    -Russia to the north of PRC-experiencing circa 150,000 deaths placed 4th in the wmeter ranking list.

    -India to the south-west of PRC-experiencing circa 413,000 deaths placed 2nd in the index

    -Indonesia to the south-east of the PRC-experiencing circa 72,000 deaths placed in 15th place

    -Philippines to the south-east of the PRC-experiencing circa 27,000 deaths placed in 23rd place

    -Bangladesh to the south-almost touching the border with PRC with Bhutan in between-experiencing circa 18,000 deaths in 28th place.

    -Pakistan to the south-west bordering PRC-experiencing 22,000 deaths in 30th place

    -Malaysia to the south-south of the PRC-experiencing circa 7,000 deaths in 32nd place

    -Japan an island to the south east of the PRC-experiencing circa 16,000 deaths in 34th place

    -Nepal literally on the border with the PRC-experiencing circa 9,500 deaths in 39th place

    -PRC the third largest country land area wise-experiencing circa 4600 deaths in 102nd place,when it is literally bordered by circa 13 countries of which almost 10 of those neighbouring countries plus a few islands in that region have a higher death rate than the PRC?

    Don’t forget Russia has the biggest land area,yet it’s covid mortality rate is at 150,000+ -placed in 4th place on the index and yet it borders with the PRC.

    I’m just breaking this situation into simple basic terms.

    What’s your explanation behind this and the mortality rate numbers of neighbouring countries bordering the PRC?

  17. DivineSherlock

    Cant compare India to China . Indians are pretty lax about it , even the officials . The PM in a raging pandemic has organised rallies of thousands , just like Bolsonaro in Brazil.

  18. China1

    PHD these are very good questions. China isn’t landlocked but yeah there are some serious covid hotspots neighboring

    My response is this, it’s not like the UK or America or other western countries where foreigners will freely cross the borders. If they try to enter via official channels, they will need a visa and to follow the very strict quarantine measures. If they cross illegally into the country you’re in for a world of difficulty here. You can’t easily ‘disappear’ in China and a few years down the line get citizenship or amnesty or have an anchor baby etc like people can in most western countries.

    If we imagine a scenario here where you cross the border illegally, where are you going to stay? If you can’t speak Mandarin or the local dialect people in the border regions (some of the least developed parts of China) will have great difficulty dealing with you (their English is very poor). When you go into any building you need to usually show your digital health code which is in a Chinese app, and tied to your passport and bank account. How do you do this as an illegal? You end up being locked out of virtually every aspect of society. If you have a kid here you can’t send them to school without very specific identification etc. it’s a logistical nightmare to come here and try to stay illegally.

    Next, what percentage of Russians and Thais etc would actually want to come here illegally? China is powerful but it doesn’t have the global allure of several western countries especially because it has a reputation for being heavy on certain issues.

    Even accounting that some people will come. If they’re symptomatic they’re going to get flagged for having a fever in a matter of several hours going in and out of any buildings if they somehow bypass all the other logistical issues

    So what this says to me is people either come here legally and are easily caught by the system or a small fraction come here illegally (no doubt this exists) but can’t likely last long until they’re picked up. Even in the event that someone slips through the net and spreads it to a few locals, as soon as it gets recognized the whole area will be in full lockdown even if there are only a handful of cases so it can be choked quickly

    So PHD they’re good questions but the answer is China isn’t anything like as open as most other places

    Regardless I saw you mentioned being in ill health. I hope it’s temporary and you get well soon

  19. PhD2020

    China1July 16, 2021 13:48:21

    Forgot to add the following;

    -Myanmar-literally on the border with PRC and currently in a state of emergency-experiencing 4346 deaths and counting.Placed 81st in the index.

    -S.Korea-to the east of the PRC-experiencing 2000+ deaths and rising as it’s gone into a lockdown-placed 85th

    -Afghanistan to the west of the PRC with Tajikistan the buffer between the two countries-experiencing 6,000+ deaths occupying 89th place.

    -North Korea-directly on the border to the east of the PRC.

    A bit weird I can’t find North Korea-directly on the border to the east of PRC,in terms of no stats I can visually see.

    Feel free to look it up and find it..

    If you can’t,then that’s an interesting scenario.

  20. PhD2020

    China1July 16, 2021 15:36:44
    Regardless I saw you mentioned being in ill health. I hope it’s temporary and you get well soon

    I’m not in ill health-that’s TR7.

  21. englandsbest

    China 1

    The topic of ‘respect’ (for Uighurs and others) was something you brought up in a post several days ago.

    Back to covid: the question is not the low figures given – the number of infections, the early fatalities -it”s the how and why that is puzzling. The explanation given is an efficient hospitalization system. a speedy organized response, an obedient populace. Okay, nobody claims we had all that over here. But they had all that in, say, Germany – and their fatalities are twenty times greater than China’s, with a twentieth of the population.

    Another explanation is that the virus was man-made, escaped from the lab, that the virologists had foreknowledge that gave them a head start in dealing with it. We should know more fairly soon: Joe Biden gave his people 90 days to find out.

    As it happens a strong case can be made for the killer virus. We all know that global warming may end life (as we know it) on this planet. And few of us believe countries will keep their promises on carbon emission. The root cause of excessive emission is overpopulation: if we humans numbered 750 million instead of 7500 million, the threat would disappear.

  22. PhD2020

    China1July 16, 2021 15:36:44
    PHD these are very good questions. China isn’t landlocked but yeah there are some serious covid hotspots neighboring
    China is not landlocked?

    I think this conversation is over.

  23. Mb

    “”I’ve not met one person here who has mentioned losing a loved one or having a loved one hospitalized by anything similar to covid””

    Sorry, I had to make it even more interesting. What if China has an anti-dote? 😅

  24. PhD2020

    DivineSherlockJuly 16, 2021 15:29:04
    Cant compare India to China . Indians are pretty lax about it , even the officials . The PM in a raging pandemic has organised rallies of thousands , just like Bolsonaro in Brazil.
    Fair enough-India aside by your reasoning,explain the higher mortality rates of the other 11 + neighbouring or surrounding countries bordering or in close proximity to the PRC that surpasses the country (PRC)in question then?

  25. China1

    Englandsbest I absolutely did not ever bring up that topic because I wouldn’t

    Whoever I was speaking with raised it and I said I didn’t want to comment on it for very obvious reasons

  26. Mb

    “Cant compare India to China . Indians are pretty lax about it , even the officials . The PM in a raging pandemic has organised rallies of thousands , just like Bolsonaro in Brazil.”

    India is culturally very different to west, even to Brazil. A person in his 60s with couple of grand kids feels he has lived his life, and goes in spirituality till he dies. Primary reason no one bothered in the first wave ehen only older people were getting affect, except ofcourse the kids of these 60 years old.

    No one knew Delta variant would fcuk up even the young ones, hence tighter lockdowns later. But by the time economy was already fcuked up so much you can’t close everything off.

  27. China1

    I live in the worlds 7th largest port. It sure as hell ain’t landlocked

    But I know your point about the land borders PHd which is why I addressed them and gave some examples of why I don’t think that will impact here as much as western countries with more pourous borders

  28. China1

    No worries your point was valid which is why I said it was a good question, just nitpicking on the definition of the word

  29. China1

    When the hotel bar opens near the top of the 530m fuck off penis shaped skyscraper recently built down the road from me I will absolutely be sipping whisky looking at the sea from that height 😂😂

  30. PhD2020

    SidJuly 16, 2021 16:02:45

    This is what happens when you post incessantly.

    Bound to slip up..At least one owns it.

    Anyway,I should retire soon..But Le-Grove is the drug that draws you in.
    I’ve got a few weeks spare.

    Anyway,shout out to Pedro..Doing a sterling job keeping this blog driving.
    Can’t fault him really.He gives it,and takes it,sometimes being a bit underhanded.

    But it’s all good.

  31. Kroenkephobe

    Do you work for the ordnance survey by any chance? 😋

    Landlocked countries reminds me of another joke. Sorry Marc, please don’t hate my lame attempts at humour. I’m extremely sensitive!

    What us the difference between a vacuum cleaner and a sailor in the Bolivian Navy?

    One sucks and never fails… the other….

  32. PhD2020

    GoobergoonerJuly 16, 2021    15:48:33
    PhD, China isn’t landlocked

    China1July 16, 2021    15:46:45
    Mate landlocked means to be enclosed by landHalf the border is seaIt has land borders and sea.
    Sorry,my bad….

    I forgot about the South China Sea and the Sea of Japan.

    I’ll take an L for that one.

    Haha Pedro deleted my commented…