16 YEARS

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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

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Un

DB10
But what would international football be if we couldn’t whip Scotland and Ireland? Sorry dad

Nigel Tufnel

I should know better. I asked Pierre to let go of the enmity towards Ødegaard and then he says it took Ødegaard 18 months to get up to speed for Arsenal. Pretty incredible that Øde was 2nd in voting for player of the season 2 years ago behind only Saka…. with all the ways Pierre tries to skew the discussion against him. Ødegaard is about to renew and be one of, if not our highest paid player. He’ll find some obscure stats to diminish our Captain no matter what happens… but the leadership and intangibles are excellent. Rallying the team… Read more »

MidwestGun

Zinny putting the beatdown on England from the midfield.

Nigel Tufnel

China,
Fair points about Kai comments, but don’t worry, he’ll be fine.. the team is taking good care of him and he’ll get the support to succeed in house.-the club family, even if it means tough-love,, all regardless of loudmouths online, or the ignorant pundits like Craig Burley lol.

Just give it time and remember that that there will be over analysis and extra noise, just like Pedro does with Ramsdale. It’s normal and will smooth out over time.

jwl

Not watching Eng match but reading guardian live blog and this was eight minutes ago – “Saka is limping. He was kneed in the thigh by Mykolenko a few minutes ago, so maybe the problem” – anyone watching, is Saka better now?

TheLegendaryDB106

Un One of my favourite players as a kid was Robeto Baggio. I used to watch a lot of CL games as a kid as they were on TV because Juventus were fringe do well, I got to see a lot if him. There was something about his ability to control the game and its tempo, his eye for a superb pass and great abitly to shoot. After that, I fell in love with the Netherlands. Players like Bergkamp, Rijkaard, Seedorf, van Basten, Gullit, De Boer, and Overmars made for such a great team to watch. I always liked their… Read more »

MidwestGun

Saka is fine he ran it off. Will probably have a bruise or 6 after the game. . Southgate loves to beast him though.

Spanishdave

Maddison is a dick, control with left and shoot with right, simple.

jwl

Thanks middy, I was curious what happened with him.

MidwestGun

Yep Maddison missed a wide open chance.. terrible touch … but Kyle Walker got it even.. 1-1 now assist from Harry Kane who was playing near the back line and clipped in a 30 yard pass.

Guess when Harry Maguire is your centerback you need Kane back there to pass for him.

Nigel Tufnel

Legendary,

I like those examples you cited about Arteta improving our players. Amazing that not everyone thinks about it. Eddie, Martinelli, Nelson etc, not just more effective, but more aggressive and hard working.
Those examples on top of what we heard from Man City players, say we have a special coach.
I wonder what he could’ve done with Murdick over a couple years training. Even then, at most Murdick should not have moved anywhere in the world for more than 30m.

Karsa

Maddison having a very poor game up till now.

Comentators curse?

MidwestGun

Ya.. I like Maddison as a player but he been pretty crap.. Saka has played well this half though. Keeper tipped the ball on to the bar on his shot. Fail to see what the point of Henderson is though. .. he is about useless.

MidwestGun

Mudryk is like a crap … Walcott. haha all straight line speed and not much else. Still glad we missed out on him.

MidwestGun

Zinchenko been real good.. just hope he doesn’t hurt himself.

MidwestGun

Zinny subbed off.. glad….. he was breathing hard, out of gas. . Keep him fit.

Rich

Via Arsenal: “We can confirm that Nicolas Pepe is leaving the club. We have agreed with Nicolas to terminate his contract with immediate effect.” “Ivory Coast international Nicolas, who joined us from French side Lille in summer 2019, won the FA Cup with us in 2020, assisting our winning goal in the 2-1 victory over Chelsea. During his time at the club, the forward has made 111 appearances for us in all competitions.” “The 28-year-old, who had one year left on his contract, spent last season on loan at Ligue 1 side Nice, where he made 28 appearances, scoring eight… Read more »

MidwestGun

Hmm guess we save about 7 mill in wages.. but damn the Pepe era was horrible in the end. Glad it’s over.

Rich

New post

FoxInTheBox

Arsenal shd start exploring loaning Havertz to Bayer/ other Bundesliga sides in Jan. And, replace him with Toney – the beast.

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