Well here we are; Le Grove is 16 years old today.
What a crazy ride.
We started this site to quench an addiction to football content that wasn’t being met – now we’re 5549 posts in, with 3 millions comments, and multi-millions of reads.
This website help me fraud my way into advertising, now I’m working in football. Don’t ever let anyone tell you producing work for free on the internet for an audience of mostly men is a waste of your time. This weird little hobby has been so good to me for so many reasons both personal and work related.
Thank you for reading, commenting, tweeting, listening, and getting involved in the spicy hot takes.
Here’s to another 16 years.
Ok – let’s talk about Arsenal.
I brought up a little prediction about Aaron Ramsdale yesterday – I think Raya will get the PSV game, then the countdown to him going perm on that #1 spot will begin. A lot of people wanted to tell me that he’s been fine this season – I beg to differ. He hasn’t been great for a while now and this season he’s seemed less and less confident every game. You can read that he has something on his mind and I think it’s playing out in the data for the opening four games.
… and it didn’t look good last season.
The difference between a team fighting for top 6 and a team fighting for top 1 is most teams going for the top 1 position have keepers that defy gravity to keep the ball out of the net. We’ve seen flashes of that from Aaron. Leicester and Liverpool games spring to mind. But to retain that #1 position, he’s going to have to deliver that 95% of the time. Add the eye test to his distro – it’s gone from best in league to very iffy. He’s less ambitious, less accurate, and you don’t need a stats sheet to see it.
I don’t think he’s going to last much longer.
Sharp shift of pace…
A quick little observation. A few weeks ago the world’s media was clapping the Deli Alli for speaking out about his mental health issues. Fingers were wagged at the brutality of elite sport and the unforgiving nature of fans obsessed with roboticizing athletes that go through the same things as us. This week, Jadon Sancho was dropped, a man who has confessed to his struggles with mental health and the response was ‘MUST GET HIS ACT TOGETHER’… hold on here. Where is the empathy here? Did we forget? Do we not care? Can you only get sympathy if you do a podcast?
It feels like a lot of the chatter around mental health and ‘it’s ok not to be ok’ is just for online platitudes – and this feels like case in point. It’s a bit of a shame. People look to sport for cues in their life. If Jadon Sancho speaks up – and he can’t get the benefit of the doubt, where are we as a society?
… and don’t get me wrong. My point isn’t that EtH should play him. This is professional sport. It’s just that the coverage doesn’t come with a caveat and that after all the handwringing… turns out we’ve not moved forward, and we’ve learned nothing.
Nico Pepe has Turkish clubs circling and apparently someone from the Saudi League. Honestly, it blows my mind he hasn’t landed a move to Saudi. The wages are manageable and he’ll be a bang BANG player out there. Besiktas and Trabzonspor are in the mixer as well. He needs minutes, the sticking point is the £150k a week we gave him. If he doesn’t exit, he’ll get a contract termination. My fear is part of the reason no one moves for our deadwood is they know we’ll give in to termination in the end.
Martin Odegaard AND Bukayo Saka have been nomiated for the Balon d’Or – an incredible achievement from two of the clubs finest young prospects. Each have been on their own special journey with the fans, have each set themselves up as role models, and they will both land the hardware in the future. Just maybe not this year. We have to deal with Lio Messi winning it again. Which really is getting quite boring at this point. It should be someone like Haaland taking the top honors this season.
Finally, it has been reported that Liverpool is bracing for a £210m bid for Mo Salah. On the one hand – lose him and CL places look tougher. On the other, you just take the money and run with it. The player is past peak, his head will have been turned, and that cash injection allows Liverpool to go big in January and next summer.
It kills me the Saudi’s weren’t around after Auba won us the FA Cup. We’d be so much better off.
Ok, we’re recording a podcast later. Let me know if there are any HAAAAAAWT areas I should be talking about. See you in the comments where I expect a GOOD happy birthday message for this wonderful site. x