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Gary Neville suggested on his latest podcast that the new touchline behavior law the FA put in place this summer was inspired by Mikel Arteta last season. Now, you have to take this with a pinch of salt. He admits the source is a lower league coach, not something he’s been given directly. But here’s the thing – it wouldn’t surprise anyone, would it?

This is where the power of influence comes into play. Look at the makeup of the people who work at the FA at the highest levels, look at the 52-year-old who took over PGMOL, look at the average age of the referees in the game. They are all men that would have grown up on a diet of Andy Gray and Richard Keys. So when Mr Keys launches a vicious and unwarranted campaign against Mikel Arteta, it doesn’t matter that his reach is really low since he was blackballed to BeIN sports, because his small audience is currently in positions of power at important places.

Mikel Arteta’s behavior being a hot topic for referees and the FA truly blows my mind.




Alex Ferguson


Managers that have all had their grim moments, personalities that are very much known for being huge presences on the touchline, guys that have absolutely crossed the line – and none of them landed their own rules? Mourinho was so disgraceful as a manager it was believed he forced Anders Frisk into retirement in 2005. No one had worse touchline antics than him. Where was the Richard Keys campaign then? Where were the rule changes?

Can’t remember them.

It’s also worth noting that excitable managers on the touchlines is good for TV – owners want managers that are engaged. It’s good for TV and it’s good for the brand of Premier League football. Obviously, you can’t have abuse. But is Arteta really out there abusing referees? Or is he asking questions? Because what truly gets me here is there was no manager in the Premier League last season that suffered worse at the hands of inept referees than Arteta. Some decisions were so bad, officials lost their jobs.

Now, I don’t want referees put in shitty situations by managers and players. But the idea that this rule change was inspired by a young coach who objectively hasn’t been any worse than any other manager in the league is baffling. Shouldn’t the FA look to the source of the anger? The most painful part of last season was the absolutely god-awful standard of officials. Where are the new rules and processes for managing the actual games?

How do we get to a better standard of VAR?

What is the process when a referee ruins a game with a very bad decision?

How are referees being evaluated this year?

What is the high-performance plan to get our refs to the top of the game?

What new technology are refs being given to help them manage things like rotational fouling?

Have steps been taken to brief refs on problem players? Rodri dodge a yellow card again at the weekend – Thomas Partey picked on up after 7 minutes. How did that happen?

Bravo to Stuart Attwell and Howard Webb for citing the problem of Mikel Arteta at the behest of Richard Keys. But let’s be honest here, most football fans don’t give a shit about Arteta on the touchlines, they care about improving the standards of the game. We are a single curtain raiser into the season and it’s the same old faces making the same old mistakes.

This whole exercise is yet another deflection from the real problem: The people tasked with improving referees don’t really believe there’s much of a job to be done because they are too close to the issue.

Maybe if Richard Keys used his bully-pulpit for something other than his rank agenda against Arteta, we’d have a roadmap for improvement more impressive than yellow cards for touchline theatrics most people don’t care about.

Arsenal transfer exits are heating up – the objective of the club is most likely to end the summer with a net spend of about £140m. So far, we’ve sold Xhaka for £21m and Auston Trusty for £5m.

Folarin Balogun is grabbing a lot of attention from Europe. It’s clear he’s seeking out Inter Milan as a target, but I do get the feeling he’s doing a bit of a Mudryk, his main objective is to simply exit Arsenal. Monaco had a bid verbally rejected according to Ornstein, Inter are serious about he player and might come back in, and I’m still waiting to see if any Premier League clubs move on him. There are a lot of fans convinced about the player, but here’s where I stand: Arsenal aren’t in the business of letting absolute bangers leave the club. My guess is they see his performance last season as a gift and they are looking to cash out as fast as they can. £40m would be a good deal, but not by the standards of the hyper-inflated market we’re in.

Matt Turner is expected to leave Arsenal for Forest. Good for him. He’s a very good keeper who didn’t have the necessary skills with the ball at his feet to thrive at Arsenal. I question why we signed him, when the whole of America knew this to be the case, but at least we’re not losing money, and at least there’s a remedy ready and waiting. I think we’ll get more than £7.5m for him.

Rob Holding should get at least £10m. Cedric will get a ‘contract terminated by mutual agreement’ deal. Sambi Lokonga simply has to go to Burnley after all that carry-on of Vincent Kompany. Nuno Tavares, I suspect, will fetch a hefty fee because of his outrageous physical attributes. Kieran Tierney to Newcastle hasn’t materialised – Real Sociedad are chasing him, it’s all a bit sad really. Mo Elneny has to go. Then the only player I can think of that might seek patures new is Emile – because I’m struggling to see where the minutes come from?

The only position that is weak at that point is right wing. Reiss Nelson, Trossard and Kai Havertz can cover Bukayo if needed. It seems a bit luxurious to spend anything substantial there. So my guess would be that we’re set for the summer with regards to inbound.

You can’t argue with the business, can you?

We added physicality: Just look at that recovery run from Declan Rice. Look at the fight Havertz gave the City centre backs.

We’ve added depth: Jurrien Timber at left-back should have been a weakness, but it was a strength.

We’ve aged down the squad, or, you can at least see that by the end of the summer we’ll have dropped half a year.

We haven’t missed a beat with the team – because we just comfortably went toe-to-toe with Manchester City.

This has been quite the turnaround.

Am I excited? You’re damn right I am. What do YOU think?

Before you tell me – make sure you subscribe to our Youtube channel and be even surer to put us in your podcast rotation this season.

Here’s the latest I did with @DanKoogs and @SVcarboholic. Give them a follow, they go more into depth with tactics, and they are great follows on Twitter if you like spicy takes.

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De Gea would also make sense but salary would be different to Raya’s I would believe.


Nketiah to Brentford would actually be good for all concerned. He’d do well there Thomas Frank is a good manager

Wicked Willy

“What the eff with the ACL injuries in preseason/training this summer?!”

I guess it must be Arteta’s overly rigorous training regimens 😉


Testosterone levels are at an all time low.

Ugochukwu better than Lavia


Amazing that somehow we all forgot that De Gea was custom made for Real


MarkoAugust 10, 2023 15:39:36
If Kane ends up staying at Spurs he’s a loser. There’s no other word for it

Loyal? Would have loved rvp and cesc to have shown the same loyalty as Kane
I suppose English lads are just like that


🚨EXCL : 💙🇧🇷 #PL |
◉ Manchester City have submitted second verbal bid for Lucas Paqueta. It’s worth £88m.
◉ West ham doest not accept again and want more. Negotiations are progressing well. Both clubs are confident to close the deal.

Say what?! What is happening?! I doubt it’s true cause it doesn’t make much sense. First, the player isn’t worth such money. Two, City have been quite balanced when it comes to spending. Three, West Ham declined and want an even higher fee?


I suppose English lads are just like that

Losers? At least arsenal won a few cups and are now competing for titles meanwhile Kane staying at Spurs gets him loyalty and not much else.


Haha, it’s called the silly season for a reason. I wonder if signing Paqueta was a recent idea, I thought Pep would focus more on signing a RW. Anyways, they still got time for get one.


Loyal? Would have loved rvp and cesc to have shown the same loyalty as Kane
I suppose English lads are just like that“

Un, beat me to it.

Also, how adorable posters want him winning all these trophies, and there was me thinking I was the only one who appreciated his qualities.


Paqueta to city would be cracking. All the ingredients are there. If you needed an 8, then Paqueta or Madison was your guy. Wanted him at Arsenal since his Lyon days. Oh well. We have Trossard and Rice and Haverts now💪🏿


I don’t care what he does Tom. Stay or go Spurs will still be shite and what he does won’t bother me.


I was thinking that De Gea would have made sense as a capable no 2 for Rams. Not sure he’s still no 1 quality (for Madrid) but he wouldn’t rock a boat being no 2 at this point at a club like ours. I prefer him to Raya


Loyal? Would have loved rvp and cesc to have shown the same loyalty as Kane
I suppose English lads are just like that“

I doubt you were saying that when Sol Campbell defected to us.

Matt B

Agreed Marko — staying at the Lane when Bayern have bid for you, is totally mind-blowing. Surely he ain’t that dumb?


Ha ha , Ken, well spotted.

Positive pete

How strong are these links to Nicola Barella swap for Balogun & Tommy.? Is it Italian newspaper bollocks or some truth to it? & more importantly,if true is he worth it & what we need?

Guns of Hackney

Kane is 30. £86m. £400k per week. I don’t get this world. Kane is not selling shirts. He doesn’t have a brand. He is dumb as fuck. Zero and I mean zero charisma. What is going on?

He won’t leave because he wants the prem goal record and that’s ALL he’s gonna get but that all Shearer got and everyone still thinks he’s the bollocks.

Still though. Cray cray figures being thrown about and we think Saudi are mental????


Alan Shearer won the league

Guns of Hackney

Barella is another midfielder. So we have 34 midfielders 20 defenders but no actual forward. But we’re linked to another mid?

If I could run a club with unlimited funds, I would literally smoke every team on the planet with my set up.

I wouldn’t get beat. Just play a couple of forwards. Done.


I doubt that swap deal is true because it’s simply ridiculous. Barella for Balogun and Tomi is daylight robbery.

Guns of Hackney


You’re fucking right you twat. Blackburn. I wasn’t going back far enough. I can’t remember too much anyway about the 90’s as I was in a group, screwing groupies and railing blow 24/7.

Blackburn. Couldn’t even find it on a map.

Positive pete

So safe to assume it’s bollocks.Fair enough.If we do shift Balogun would still want kudus if possible.Now that would be tasty.


Colin Hendry. Amazing hair.


Chris Sutton from Blackburn to Chelsea was like Lukaku’s return to the Bridge – load of pony.

Mr Serge

David batty going for top dollar back in the day was banter as was that spurs bum tim Sherwood


Have we all forgiven Sutton for his shithousery at Highbury near the end of the 96/97 season that cost us a CL place that year?


And to think a couple of years later we do something similar somewhat innocently (Kanu no accustomed to the English game yet) vs Sheff Utd and all hell breaks loose and we offer to replay the game.

Mr Serge

Why would Bayern go through all the trouble of negotiating with that sack of shit levy to them get turned down by Kane

Surely they would have done their due diligence and got agreement from the players first ?


A lot of pundits have us as a shoe in title challenger/top four team.

I think a lot of outlets have forgotten or are even unaware that top 5 secures CL footy next season. They are still predicting the top four places as the be all and end all.

Funny that even with 5 places up for grabs that Spurs still won’t get back in.

Steve Vallins

When Adidas brought out the Predator football boot out which had blades instead of studs there was an increase of ACL injuries , I think this was because when the foot is planted there is no give the twist bypasses the ankle and goes straight to the knee . Gordon Strachan manager of Coventry at the time banned all his players from wearing the Predator boot .
Robert Peris was wearing the Predator boot when he injured his ACL playing against Newcastle at Highbury .

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