Emery hitting the incremental good vibes, right?

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Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

Oh man, I’ve had a week of fuck ups… I totally failed yesterday. I tried to make an aggressive point about xG. I used the right data, but I mistakingly tried to credit the origin… but put the wrong tweet in its place.

My argument was sound, but my data inaccurate. I deserved the ‘you’ve lost all credibility’ commentary that proceeded the post.


Project British Youth nearly dead with Ramsey departure

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What a wally I looked yesterday!

How could I doubt John Cross. The man from The Mirror came back from the dead. He stole the internet crown from David Ornstein. A GoT like plotline.

Aaron Ramsey is DONE with Arsenal.

Now, I really don’t know what the fuck is going on here. So here are some bits that I do know, mashed in with guesswork. I won’t tell you which is what to keep you on your toes.

Mesut Ozil getting £350k a week was a massive mistake.

Aaron Ramsey’s agent pushed for that number.

Arsenal has withdrawn the deal.

Now, something must have gone on here that was major.

Did his agent name the number and refuse to budge?

Did the club catch wind of a deal with another club?

Did Arsenal decide that the money Aaron wanted didn’t match his ability?

Was it a blend of all of the above?

Here’s my thinking on it. He’s just too expensive for what he gives to the team.

Aaron is a good player, I struggle to see the greatness.

He works best when he’s allowed to do what the fuck he wants. He’s not really fitting into the Emery system at the moment. There are younger players with a better record of fitness that could do his job.

Additionally, the club is severely short of talent that works in Emery’s system. We need a winger. We need a replacement for Koscielny. We’re going to need to upgrade at leftback. There are a lot of holes in the squad. I’m not sure the best place to invest £91m is on Aaron Ramsey over 5 years.

The next area of planning Arsenal need to address in the transfer market is hot young players in the mold of Torreira. Players like Sarr. Those that’ll come in on £50k a week, and maybe look like Dembele in 2 years.

If we’re going to splash out galactico money, we should be doing that on transfer fees, not on wages.

The worst thing to happen to Arsenal this year was tying Mesut down to a £18.2m deal over 4 years. It was a crazy moment driven by ego and misplaced fear. There was nothing ambitious about it. I said at the time, the best leverage Arsenal had was that no other club in Europe had gone near him. But we pulled the trigger because the press of losing him wouldn’t have reflected well on Ivan. Now Emery is in, he can’t use him as a 10 and if he’s played on the right, he clearly hates it and it doesn’t really click.

Here’s the question now on Rambo. Where is he going?

Juventus won’t pay him galactico money, because they don’t have it. The Milan rumour is fucking hilarious if true, Ivan promising to make him as rich as him at a new club.

Will he move to Chelsea? United? City? Will they pay him mega money? It’s hard to see it, because, despite his talent, he’s not disciplined because he’s never been properly coached (until this season).

Another guess, he’s pushing Arsenal for mega money, if he doesn’t get it, he’ll chase trophies.

Whatever the deal, if Arsenal has pulled out of negotiations, I trust the decision. We have footballing brains on the team now. Raul will have made the case money wise, Sven and Emery will be looking at his data and comparing what they could buy for that money elsewhere, and the decision will be a sound one.

It’s sad that he wants to move on. I’ll always have a soft spot for him. I think the real issue is the loss of control over the narrative. Ramsey will now come under intense scrutiny. His body language, perceived effort, dedication, how hard he goes into challenges… and ultimately, he’s likely going to become a target of fan angst… and that’s a shame.

It’s like living in the same house as a partner you’ve broken up with. It’ll be sunshine and rainbows for a month, because you’re mature people. Then something will happen. He’ll drop a stinker against Spurs, and that’ll be it. Game over. Get the f*ck out of my house you selfish bitch, how could you do this to me! GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM MY CAT!

Anyway, sad times, but fuck it… we’ll move on, we’ll find better, we’ll survive his loss. Hardly an RVP or Cesc moment.

Finally, how can you not look at that picture at the top of the blog and not feel a little sad? Project British Youth was the most miserable failure of Wenger’s tenure. The vision was interesting, but the execution was diabolical. You know why? Shite coaching. Imagine those players under Klopp? We’d be in a very different place right now…

Wipe those tears, we’re done.

Ramsey deal off? I have my doubts

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Well, let’s crack into the Brentford game. Arsenal took down their preseason foes with a fairly simple 3-1 victory. I think we saw some great play, it’s great to see the reserve team playing hard for the manager. There was style on display, some lovely goals and obviously, a goal for Brentford.

Danny Welbeck deserves special praise. His header was early on, he was clinical and used his height and power perfectly. His second goal was more about the team, it was #Emeryball from start to finish. The ball began from Leno and ended up the other end of the pitch with Danny there to sweep the ball home. A really classy number.


A culture built on grit

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September column from the excellent Jonathan Blaustein. Enjoy!

As a kid, I grew up on the martial arts/action movies of the 1980’s, and then went down the Jackie Chan/Bruce Lee rabbit hole in the mid-90’s.

Kung Fu movies are cool, without question, which is why Quentin Tarantino fetishized them so well in Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2. (Of course there was plenty of Samurai-movie-porn going on there too.) (more…)