I’m in Kansas City today without my laptop, so I’m penning this on my phone. Excuse the typos. I mean, excuse the increase in typos.
So, bad news: Thomas Partey has done his groin in. He’s out indefinitely. Likely the standard 8 to 12 weeks it always is with him. Without knowing the circumstances – it does feel like we’ve been sloppy here. Partey is injury-prone, he’s playing in a new position that asks more of him, now he’s broken. Not great to lose someone of that importance in training.
Still, we have to accept that injuries are part of football and things aren’t always going to be perfect. People trying to work out if we had time to make a move in the transfer window need a reality check. We aren’t untethered from reality, we don’t have unlimited funds, the solution to every problem can’t be to buy.
It also amazes me that people who make these complaints get so much traction. It isn’t insightful to suggest spending £50m every time someone breaks. That’s an easy suggestion. Arteta has to work with what he has and has to find a way with the players he’s invested in. Remember, when people said we needed to sign a striker to replace Jesus in Jan and we ended up scoring more goals with Eddie in the side? Probably not. No will ever celebrate the people that ask for a bit of calm during a non-crisis event.
The catastrophizing has been next level considering we have 7 points from 9. It’s even worse when you consider the options we still have for United. We have the best back 5 from last season available, the three-man midfield Arteta has chosen to move the club forward, and a red-hot choice of forwards.
Second-guessing how Arteta is evolving the team seems like a bad idea considering the pedigree he’s shown. He got us here when everyone said he was a rookie, so how can there be so little faith this season? I don’t mean this as ‘no one should criticise’ but if you want to be a critic, come with a better idea than ‘KEEP THINGS THE SAME’ after we tanked a league title chase for being too one dimensional.
We had no plan b last season. We do now (or at least a plan for a plan b). The future vision of not being wedded to a single style is a really big idea. It will take time to build out an elite cognitive style of fluid football, but when it lands, it’ll be devastating to play against.
10 years ago we had a manager who refused to innovate.
5 years ago we hired a manager who had ideas but no guts to carry them through.
Now we have a next-gen manager who has us as 4th faves for the CL and people are saying his job should be on the line because… we drew against Fulham and only spent the second-highest amount of net spend.
How has the fan base gone from banter years poverty to thinking they are too good for a draw? How are we in a space where Arteta has to beg fans to give Havertz time after 3 games?
We need a slap back to reality.
Ousting City at the top requires investment in ideas and a bit of pain. Doing the same as last year is how Wenger would operate every time he scrapped into the top 4. How did that work out? We should always be evolving.
United is a chance to silence the whiners.
We need to cut out those diagonal long balls
We need to terrorise their one-paced midfield
We need to rattle their shaky defence
Havertz late runs into the box to rattle Martinez, yes please.
Eddie hustling out chances, yes please
Arsenal turning on the style with incisive football and making EtH look avg, yes please.
Home crowd needs to get back to the idea that made this team what it is: Players do better when they are loved. We can’t become Groan FC again. The players need to bring some explosiveness to avoid that happening, and I’m confident they will.
Right. That’s me done. Hope this post read well!
Before the Whistle – United
We talk about Arteta pumped-up presser
We discuss Eddie call-up
We get into ETH stratagems for AFC
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— LE GROVE (@LeGrove) September 2, 2023