How are you today?
I’m in New York on a work thing, so I am going to be low on posting at the moment, but… when the post land, they land, you know what I’m saying?
I just want to clear up a couple of things from my expose on the Premier League fixtures because there were a lot of angry Spurs fans and there were a few Arsenal fans that cannot stand to see data that in any way looks like it might harm their naive view of how the sporting world works.
- We didn’t finish in the top 4 last season for a whole host of reasons that I have covered in some detail. If you think I was saying the only reason we failed was due to the fixtures, you are wrong and likely projecting onto the work.
- Marginal gains are a thing. If you don’t understand that, you don’t get modern sport. Clubs will try and edge out advantages all over the place. Liverpool don’t let key players go on international duty because of ‘injury’, Arsenal do, Liverpool end the season with Trent on the pitch, Arsenal end the season with Tavares at left-back. We had a whole conversation about the weirdos that thought removing mayo from the canteen was a marginal gain because Conte is a genius. So when we look at fixtures, don’t tell me that’s not a marginal gain opportunity.
- Finally, the key message: Arsenal drop out of Europe for the first time in 25 years and we didn’t face a single team that had played a European game. There’s a 3.4% chance of that happening. You have to ask questions about that, especially when you know the random fixture generator has human intervention involved. Calling it ‘luck’ is to sit on your hands. The same people telling you not to be curious about hard data were those that were telling you to put on your big boy boots when we didn’t have the Brentford game cancelled. What happened after they said the games couldn’t be cancelled? The games got cancelled when other clubs screamed louder. Everything can be influenced in football, we’ve seen it time and time again, Arsenal should be banging the table on this ‘freak’ roll of the dice and demanding it does not happen again.
Anyway, thanks to all the fans that carried that message.
ONTO STRIKER THINGS:
Arsenal are apparently kicking the Scamacca approach into overdrive. The story seems to have swung from ‘he’s angling for a move to Juve’ to ‘Dortmund and Arsenal want him.’ You would have to imagine Arsenal have more sway than Dortmund, we can pay more, give him a better profile, and we’re more prestige.
I like this striker a lot. He has all the bits we’re looking for, he fast, he can can score in lots of different ways, he has a fierce ball striker, and he’s only young. What is very interesting to me is whether we’re spending less on our main striker so we can afford someone like Jesus to give us more end product in the forward line. The interesting thing for Jesus is there’s quite a bit of competition at Arsenal for the spaces his likes to occupy. Still, we need a squad more than ever next season, so there will be loads of minutes.
Bukayo Saka is apparently on the radar of Manchester City. I think this is a familiar pattern that comes from his agent who seeded that Eddie was attracting interest from Chelsea and Liverpool. It’s all a game to get his client max money this summer. Let’s be real here, it’s absolutely deserved, we just need to make sure we’re very protected so we don’t lose him for nothing at some point.
Right, short one today. If you are Patreon contributor, Johnny has dropped a little beauty into the feed today where he talks about the next 5 players in his top 25 players. To get the exclusive good content, click below.