Mikel Arteta dropped a long and slightly self-reflective press conference ahead of the Palace game.
Key points wrapped:
He knows he’s made mistakes this season
There’s a very, very specific plan that is going into action this summer
Anyone with a contract will likely be here next season
That third point doesn’t really make much sense to me. It’s clear that plenty of players with contracts are going to be ousted, and I’m struggling to see what the hidden meaning is with that sort wording.
Listen, we can laugh, but that’d be unfair. Winning the FA Cup in your first half-season isn’t for every world-class manager. The truth is, we as a fanbase need to be sensitive to the feelings of Chelsea fans. Arsenal rocked Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea with an earth-shattering performance, he’s just lost an FA Cup final to Leicester, and that might have ramifications as they chase top 4 and Champions League glory.
Imagine trying to motivate your team to save top 4 whilst they are thinking about a Champions League final as their confidence plummets?
I speak for us all when I say we wish no ill on Chelsea as their season sits on a precipice.
Side note, I haven’t seen too many talking about Tuchel galaxy braining Arsenal and the final? One of the most expensively assembled sides on the planet losing to Leicester in the Cup Final is a bad look.
Back to Arsenal.
Our season has some way to go. Unfortunately, we are still very much in the mixer for the unsexiest European competition ever dreamed up. No one wants to be in it. I don’t even know what it is. It’s a bit like taking a cyst to the doctor, don’t tell me what it is, just get me away from it so I can move on with my life.
Story in the Guardian said that Arsenal have activated a crack team of sporting headhunters to find themselves some on-the-ground scouts for Germany, UK, France and Spain. So, like… hiring scouts for scouts?
This might seem odd to you. Last year, Edu was championing the future of a centralized scouting system. Now he’s hiring new people. I found that weird, but I suppose you need to see people in the flesh and have connected people to find out important things like:
Hard to go too deep on nothing games at this stage of the season, but downing Sam Allardyce to his first-ever relegation was certainly a little bit of sweetness after 9 months of mostly sour. Watching him take a back seat in the dugout chewing gum like he was Simon Cowell judging a string quartet of feral cats was quite amusing.
Additionally, it was a game of world-class goals. We largely controlled the game, key players stepped up like Smith Rowe and Saka, and there were some surprise star performances… namely from Willian, who created 4 chances and fizzed a stunning freekick in for our third.
There were frustrations with Arteta getting his line-up mostly correct. The biggest one being that Bukayo Saka unsurprisingly delivered a masterclass at left-back. He was a destroyer all game. His defending was sound, but his runs from deep were perfect, and his final balls deserved more than the return he managed. Arteta was pretty pissed after the game when he was asked if he regretted building a galaxy brain plan around Granit Xhaka these past few weeks, his answer was, NO. I’d be shocked if that were the truth behind closed doors, if it is, we have big, big problems.