Well hello there my dears – are you over the Spurs result?
I am. Kind of. Am I really? Maybe not.
I’m putting my Perspective FC glasses on and focused on Spurs fans prancing around like they just nipped us to the title after a fairly standard derby day draw. The levels are not the same.
We also have to be better about the catastrophization after every result. Two weeks ago Eddie was keeping Jesus out the side – now he’s not good enough for League 2. If you were buckled in for the season expecting us to win every single game, you’ll be having a thoroughly miserable time. If you think it’s easy catching City, then again, you’ll be disappointed because they are still really f*cking good.
There are some jobs that need to be done over the next three months.
1.New players need to settle
The start to the season has felt unsettled because we’re moving to a new way of playing – Arteta wants to be formationally fluid and he wants to be able to rotate players in and out without missing a beat.
We are missing beats.
You only get better by practicing in a live environment and unfortunately, the instant success we want on the pitch isn’t a reality in football.
Pointing at Pep and what they’re doing at City is pointing at perfection – Arsenal is working towards the level they’re at, but we’re not there yet, and it is unrealistic to think we’re closing the gap this season.
Get angry at that notion, bang the table, but no one else in the league has a better idea at the moment. Even peak-Klopp only managed to wrestle one EPL trophy from Pep. You could ask for a new manager – but the chances someone else could take this group to a higher level are slim and there are plenty of Premier League examples of the-big-thing getting the move then quickly moving to the fraud bin of Premier League football. Even proven winners have to take jobs in other countries.
Our strategy is to improve as fast as we can and wait for the City blip – because it will come.
We’re not creating chances like we were last season and that needs to improve. Part of that can be attributed to the newness of the squad. We have a lot of new players trying to find their feet in key positions.
We’re settling a new number 6
We’re settling a new keeper
We’re settling a new left-sided 8
We’ve only just reintroduced our starting 9
I don’t doubt the ability of any of the players – so in the medium term we’ll be fine. We just have to give them time to work each other out.
3.Cut out the dumb
We have been doing dumb quite a bit this season. Our defending as a team is really good in general. But each mistake we make seems to get pounced on. There’s been no forgiveness in the system. Individual errors are running RIFE at Arsenal, particularly at home. We have to focus, find out if North London Forever or Win the dog need to go, then get to grips with clean sheets once again.
Individual errors are easier to solve than systemic problems with tactics (Emery’s system for example was never going to work), we’ll get on top if this problem soon.
4.Manage Player Fitness Better
We’ve been struggling with injuries since preseason. Arteta is a beast in training, he doesn’t believe in pain, and we’re suffering with leggy performances and soft tissue injuries. These issues usually kill us in the backend of the season, they’re hurting us at the start this season. If we want to be competitive, players have to be rotated, and they have to have their bodies respected.
Again, we are overflowing the problems because of the Spurs result. Most of these problems will get solved when the players learn to play with each other. But at least we’re clear-ish why they’re happening.
We have Brentford tomorrow – the only player worth talking about right now is Ivan Toney. The heat on his signature is ramping up because he’ll likely be leaving Brentford in January.
This is our phase 5 striker moment… but it won’t cost us Haaland money.
Ivan Toney has had a bad year, he was caught gambling, he did wrong. We have to assume the time out is being used to get him corrected on gambling.
The next thing we have to hope is that he can come back to the form he left.
14 non-penalty goals put him 8th in the league last season. Everyone else above him played for a Big 6 club. 14 non-penalty goals is unreal for a team like Brentford. Add to that the 6 penalties he scored, because, you know, all goals count.
The player has what we lack – a bit of nasty in our forward line. He’s world-class in the press, he’s the only player I’ve seen occupy William Saliba, and he’s brilliant in front of goal. Not the mention how sophisticated his link play is when he’s playing as a loan striker.
Toney offers us something we don’t have in the final third from an aerial perspective as well – he might be sub 6 ft, but he’s one of the best players in the air. The thinking, I would assume, is in a system with players who can hit a pin from 60 yards, his aerial strength could be very, very useful.
Arsenal will have to compete for him against Chelsea – the only worry there is them jacking the price. Todd B won’t accept spending at least 450% more on a player than he should which could see the deal get pushed up like it did for Declan Rice.
I expect £60m will do the job – if we get him for that, we’ll have got a very fair deal for a player that could bang.
So what do we need to hope for? Brentford having a good run for the next 3 months. We have to see their forwards do well, we need to see them wracking up points, and we have to hope they don’t have any bad injuries. If all that comes together, I think we’ll be in for his signature.
Right – I’ll be back with more League Cup chat tomorrow. Get on our Brentford Before The Whistle right NOW. x
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📝What to expect from Brentford
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— LE GROVE (@LeGrove) September 26, 2023