My dad went on a stag-do with his younger cousins about 15 years ago, I wasn’t allowed to go. He had his own style, always, a sharp dresser if ever there was one. His best bit of work advice to me was.
‘If your clients aren’t talking about what you’re wearing, you’re wearing the wrong thing’
That has stood me well, being a bad dresser and all. Back to the point, he went on a Marbella stag do and decided he liked a £1000 cowboy jacket. It was black brushed leather with Eddie the eagle tassels so he looked like a bird when in the Jesus pose. Everyone told him he shouldn’t buy that jacket, but he wouldn’t listen, he knew it would crown his outfit… and that night, he was going to look like a hero.
He bought the jacket, owned the night, and never spoke about that jacket again.
To Arsenal fans, I think Aron Ramsdale is the jacket, we’re the friends wondering what’s going on… and there’s nothing we can do to stop the purchase. Arsenal are ten pints of data deep on this kid and they can already the dopamine hit when everyone is fawning over the tassels on the dance floor.
There is only one thing I can tell you to make you feel better… the same people that have identified Lokonga, White and Tavares are heavily skewing this decision. There’s something in his profile the club think they can work with. It’s not just him, it seems he’s quite popular in football circles, remember Chris Wilder is a proper coach and he made him his star signing (do NOT look at how that turned out). It is also worth noting that despite playing for relegated teams the past two seasons, both sets of fans voted him player of the season.
He’s also very, very young for a Premier League keeper.
So we’ll see. I’m just happy we’re bringing in a backup keeper. Even happier that the money would suggest he’s coming in to replace Leno as #1 as soon as the German drops a major footwork clanger against Brentford.
What I’m not happy about is that we are heading into the first game of the season having not added a single body to our attack. Arsenal had the 3rd best defence in the league last season and an attack that dropped just 55 (9th). Chelsea finished 8th for goals and spent £100m on Lukaku. I appreciate that attack often starts in defence in 2021. Ben White and a keeper that can pass will show us plebs that in due course. However, it is still quite baffling to be at a stalemate with our strikers and to still be fumbling around hoping Leicester or Madrid decide to deal this week.
Brentford will be a tough game, just because they have no history of the Premier League yet. We should beat them, but I’ll be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever known an Arsenal start to the season to be so pessimistic. There are a couple of reasons for that.
- Arteta burned all his ‘hope’ capital at the start of last season with that dreadful 14 game run. If you were a non-emotional fan, you’d be looking at the 60% of games we played post-Christmas for clues as to how we’re going to play this season. But you’re not, you are a hot mess of emotions and all we’re thinking about is how bad that start was last season.
- Preseasons against London rivals was a bad idea. Nice if you win, but back to back derby losses really was a waste of energy.
- Our start is hard.
A lot of the fear isn’t grounded in truth. I saw someone write ‘I just wish my team could register 15 shots a game’… our worst showing this summer was Spurs and we had 11 shots, 2 on target just like them. Chelsea 14, Watford 15+, Millwall 15+, Rangers 19, Hibs 19… shots hasn’t been the issue, but our forwards certainly have been.
There are going to be a lot of eyeballs on that teamsheet on Friday.
Is it going to be Hierahy FC this season? Are we going to see the rebirth of Laca/Auba as a mainstay? Will Arteta panic and start Mo Elneny in midfield next to Granit Xhaka? Who will start as right back, because Hector has been atrocious? Will we have to see 4 bad results to see the best starting 11?
Many questions I will look to tackle tomorrow.
Before we get there, I wanted to thank everyone who has been tuning in to the podcast this summer. We had our best week ever last week! We’re going to continue to bring you podcasts with LIVE video as the season goes on. One minor shift I want to make you aware of… we’ll be doing advertising on the podcast and a little bit with a great sponsor on the site. I went back and forth on it… but the reality is, I can’t ask people to do this for free, and this platform is expensive to run… servers, tools, microphones, WILD nights out in Vegas, all these annoying little subscriptions.
Anyway, jump on the latest videos, know that cancel culture exists and YOU made me change my haircut, and leave a nice 5* rating on iTunes.