Good morning my darlings, here we are, basking in Monday morning glory, does it feel good? Of course it does.
… but don’t get top 4 complacent.
West Ham looks in a perilous state when it comes to the league. They have no centre-backs, the focus is on the Don Unai Cup, players will not be worrying about Arsenal.
… but that is where the danger lies. Chelsea took until the 90th minute to score. There are NO easy games in the league. Though I do take heart from the fact Chelsea had 26 attempts at their goals.
The players need to leave complacent ideas at the door. There are easy games in this league.
I do want to cast my eye to some of the mess that’s going on over at Manchester United. They’ve signed Ten Hag, the Twitter choice, and they’ve done it over Pochettino who is out at PSG.
Now, there’s no doubting the job that Mr Hag has done at Ajax. He rebuilt two teams, did huge work in the Champions League, and the football his sides play is quite simply some of the sexiest work you’ll see in Europe.
Ajax has a very deep understanding of who they are as a football club. There’s a total football DNA. There’s infrastructure and a built-in patience with the fans. They don’t have a clueless Class of 92 poking their noses in.
There’s also this: He has no experience in the Premier League. He looks great on paper, but the idea that he’ll just work over here because he’s done good work at Ajax is a touch fanciful. This is no mugs league. Peter Bosz (65% win rate at Ajax) moved to Dortmund and had a nightmare because he couldn’t program the fitness of the players, Holland to Germany isn’t the jump from Holland to England.
Then you have the big one. He has no track record with megastars. There is no way United clear out all their problem players in one hit. Big names have different mindsets. At Ajax, the players are young, their careers depend on the coach. When you move to a big Premier League club, these guys are eating regardless of performance. Ten Hag is going to have to deal with leakers, players that don’t want to learn new things, straight-up arsonists, and egos that think they rule the roost. Mikel Arteta was nearly downed by Ozil, Mustafi, and a group of internal monsters that wanted the worst for him. Ten Hag is going to deal with the same issues Rangnick and OGS dealt with, and be real, his profile won’t impress big names in a league that has Klopp, Conte, Tuchel, and Guardiola.
Now let’s talk other issues. Ronaldo is on a two-year deal worth £600k a week. He’s their top goalscorer and their biggest Premier League liability. Where else do you think he’ll get money like that at 38 years old? Nowhere. Can a new manager that plays a vicious pressing system afford to bench Cristiano? Now multiply that issue across the club. What are United going to be able to do that Arsenal couldn’t? Who is taking their mega earners on? United might be rich, but they can’t clog the squad if no one exits.
Jadon: £350k p/w
De Gea: £400k p/w (Ten Hag needs a keeper who can do Ramsdale things on the ball, good luck)
Harry: £190k p/w
Varane: £340k p/w
These are monster deals that no one else will pick up.
Then I see they are looking to fix their midfield with Frenkie. The first move of their new manager might be to take a £70m punt on a midfielder that is being benched by Xavi in a Barcelona side that just lost three successive home games in a row for the first time in history (check out how Barca fans feel about Auba now)? I’m down for it. No doubt there’s pedigree there, but outside ‘brand’ there’s not a lot I’d like about a £70m reboot.
So… this could all be wrong. United has to get it right one day. But listening to all the ‘it’s over’ chat because of one signing reminds me of the Conte, Jose, Ralf, and Carlo fans that said the same when those, far more successful coaches, landed at their respective clubs.
Pochettino was the bigger worry. Charismatic, experienced, took a Spursy culture to the Champions League final, very experienced in the Premier League. ‘He fucked it at PSG’, honestly, who doesn’t these days? They spat out Don Unai, Thomas Tuchel, now Poch… it’s a poison club. Only one man wants that job and he’s sitting in the Spurs dugout for 5 more games.
Finally, before we go, there’s more talk about Gabriel Jesus. I am fully prepared to take a massive L on this one, but rather than embrace it now, I’m going to dig in a little deeper.
I think his primary motivation is to stay at City and sign a new deal
He only joins Arsenal if 1) We make the Champions League 2) He is a wide option for us.
He fits the profile of signing, young, hungry, experienced, with a year on his deal. I’m just not so sure this noise is about our ambition or the player trying to ask probing questions of Pep G, who looked very pissed about the line of attack from journalists.
Jesus is a top player, he plays for City, he’s won loads of things, he seems a total professional. I would just be very surprised if Arteta pivoted from bidding £60m for Vlahovic and agreeing terms with a 6ft3 striker, to deciding his ideal man was a small striker with a very limited goal impact up until the Watford game.
Still, no one in the Premier League is better equipped to judge the talent of Gabriel Jesus.
Remember, clubs play the game with journalists, the more stories in the ether, the better for Arsenal. Don’t fall in love with a a rumour yet.
… but be fully aware of this one fact.
When David Ornstein announces we’ve signed Gabriel, I am going two feet into stories like ‘HOW SHORT STRIKERS ARE THE NEW FRONTIER IN AERIAL THREAT’
I’ll flip harder than a drug dealer caught in an undercover sting. You have been warned.
Right, we have some extra content for you today.
Here is Pedro talking to Latte Firm. Top channel. Subscribe. They have a Gabriel breakdown tomorrow.
Then we have The Arsenal Opinion.