Arsenal hit the ground running with a clinical dismantling of a hapless Fulham. The story of the day was all about the debutants. Willian landed two assists with a shout for a third and Gabriel kept a clean sheet and bulleted a header for his first goal.
The starting line-up looked very conservative, if Unai Emery had picked a starting 11 with so many defenders, we might have shrieked in complaint. However, this is a different era. Arteta’s 5 at the back is a little different. Maitland-Niles and Tierney added a lot to our attacking build-up play allowing us to play some joyful attacking football at times.
Well, here we are, the first game of the season. It’s pounced on us. I’ve barely had the time to miss football, yet here she is, back with a 3 game a week schedule for the next 3 months. I am VERY excited.
Fulham is a tricky game simply because we’re not really sure who is going to show up. Both teams could spring a surprise. Arsenal could turn up like they did against Villa. Fulham could roll over like they did that time we thought we had our Arsenal back.
Arsenal dropped a Vinai x Edu collab so dense in information, I’m about to give you a 2000 word analysis so you can digest it. The newly empowered duo rolled up on a fancy lawn looking like the two new Godfathers in town. There was a lot to unpack.
The big news.
- Vinai is now the CEO of Arsenal Football Club
- Mikel Arteta is now the Manager of the first team
- Edu and Mikel are on the same level in a shared football leadership role
Ok, so let’s go deep on this.
Things are starting to pick up at Arsenal HQ. David ‘Still a god who is Fabrizio anyway’ Ornstein has made the announcement that a new three-year deal has all but been inked.
The report on The Athletic had a few interesting tidbits.
1. The contract will ‘enable’ him to become the highest-paid player at the club. Enable suggests that there are some sexy bonuses involved, I’m not sure it means he’s going to be raking in the same takehome as Mesut.
It is WILD that the season starts this Saturday. Fulham (A), West Ham (H), followed up by Liverpool (A) in the league, with a delightful EFL game against Leicester wedged in between. 4 games in 16 days, you can’t beat it.
One thing seems certain, we’ll not have our transfer business complete by the time the season kicks off. It’s a shame, but when you remember that Don Raul spent this summers money last season, you can’t really complain.
We’ve already managed to land ourselves some injury news. David Luiz is out of the Fulham game with a neck injury (wtf?). That leaves us with Rob Holding to pick up the centre of defence. The boy from Bolton is back in favour, even without the injury according to reports… which does seem to point to a bit of hoarding in central defence from Arteta and his staff. It’ll be very interesting to see how long it takes Gabriel and Saliba to edge their way into contention.
WELCOME to the NEW Le Grove design template. It’s quite embarrassing that I work in a creative job and I left it 8 years to address the weirdness of how it looked. So here we are. There are still some little bits being tidied up, but the overall objective was to give the site a minimalist feel whilst maintaining the character and bits that made it work.
- The site has been built with mobile in mind, a whopping 83% of you visit via mobile. I’ve made the images full bleed. The site doesn’t wobble when you scroll now. The text hugs the width of your device and I used a more legible font.
- The comments font will be made a little bigger. Again, it wasn’t broken, we’ve had 2.5m comments over 13 years, but I’ve made them hug the sides so there’s less scrolling
- I’ve updated the Rules of the blog for 2020. This is the blog of love, let’s keep it that way. I’ve also added a submission form. If you see something you dislike… ‘JOHN TERRY IS THE BEST HUMAN’… submit the link and I’ll remove it. I don’t read every comment and they nest after 150. If you let me know something bad is going down, I’ll fix it.
- I’ll have a new newsletter template read by Friday. Submit your e-mail address on the site to land a daily dose of Le Grove. Apologies for whatever is landing in your mailbox right now. That is me having a crack at coding.
I am like, so embarrassed… I forgot it was the 13th birthday of LE GROVE… YESTERDAY.
Can you believe it? The site is now a teenager. Well, this week, it’ll be getting a new cleaner template. The site will work better from a mobile perspective so you have more space to comment. It’ll also look a lot sharper. I cannot WAIT.
Anyway, I wanted to say a massive thank you to all of the people that tweet, listen, comment, and visit the site on the daily. It’s a massive privilege that anyone pays attention to our mutterings and I am very happy you didn’t all bin me off for the fancy YouTubers.