Emery talks up minimal rotation. Have we seen this film before?

by .

Screen Shot 2018-04-22 at 21.57.52

After a week of starving out in the wild, picking through the bones of poor Danny Welbeck performances, scuttling around in the bin of international football like a mangy door mouse, today, daddy has come home with a bag of delicious Kentucky Fried Premier League football, along with that garlic dip you like so much.

Feels good to be back… let’s gorge.

(more…)


Halfway line Sulker in Chief attacks ex-teammate

by .

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

William Gallas, a man of class, a man who once took his passion so far, he sulked on the halfway line when a teammate gave away a dubious penalty, has shown the man he really is today… by sticking the book into big Phil Senderos.

“I knew Philippe Senderos, before a match he would need to speak a lot, you could see that he was sweating, that he did not feel good,”

“Especially against certain players. I saw him against Chelsea, against Didier Drogba, where he would genuinely panic, like he was going through his match before playing it.

“And unfortunately, when you saw him on the pitch, he lost his playing abilities, he didn’t play well. But against his own team-mates, he played better.”

I mean, I’ll be super honest here, who didn’t realise this when they watched the Swiss? He looked terrified when he had to play against Drogba. As a shite footballer myself, I used to take solace in the fact that most of the best footballers don’t really think on the same level as normal people. They’re kind of vacant, they just think about the game.

Not Phil. The guy had a degree, he was a master of 5 languages, he no doubt had a Proust novel tucked away in his boot bag, maybe even a notebook to take down casual after training musings about the interplay between nature and man. He was a sensitive soul and it sadly never really worked out for him.

That said, always remember, he was part of that record-breaking defence that stormed to a Champions League final, he’ll always have the Bernabeu.

Anyway, not sure why you’d level in on an ex-teammate like that? Gallas was a precious little bitch who always put himself above those around him. He was a shite leader who couldn’t contain his emotions. Sure, he was a great footballer for a time, but he can hardly powder his tenure at Arsenal a success.

What is notable to me from those words is that Wenger never let up. I wonder if he ever prepared some sort of program for the Swiss to battle his demons? Who did the club draft in to help him get through those bad times? How did they help him learn to deal with Drogba?

It’s also interesting that there are rumours that Xhaka is also world class in training. Not that I want to make every post about him…

You don’t have that issue with Emery. Whatever I think about his overall quality as a manager, his effort cannot be doubted. Like God himself, the man has a plan for everyone.

“For me it is a new moment, for us and for every player,” Emery told a news conference on Thursday.

“The reason we are working is to prepare each match with our players to have the possibility to arrive in Newcastle in the best condition for every player.

“That’s the same for Mesut. He’s working well. He is OK. I want to push them, I want to be demanding to prepare this match – Mesut the same.

“I want to find with him the possibility to do the best, to make decisive passes, to do more near and in the box to score. Also, I think he is working for the team to help us with his quality.

“But he is feeling like I am feeling. He can improve, he can do more. In this process, we will work, we will help him, give him the possibility on the pitch to be together, to find his qualities for us”

My hope is that Mesut can react well to being told there is more to come. The German does need to do more in games, he does need to score some goals and he has to find a way to make himself more visible in the big matches. I think that’s as much about finding a system that can support him. I think the manager is all over the place at the moment with selection at the minute because the balance of his squad is so off key.

I wouldn’t want to doubt the chances of Newcastle turning us over tomorrow, but if we’re being real, this is the easiest match we’ve got coming up. Everton next Sunday is going to be a very tough game, especially off the back of a trip to Ukraine. I really like Marco Silva, but for me, there’s no excuse for us to be considering getting turned over by Everton. It’ll be tough, but those sorts of games are the difference between 4th and 5th.

Finally, Smith Rowe continued his great form from preseason into the new season scoring for the U21s. Freddie Ljungberg had some nice words to say about him here.

“Unai has seen a lot, he knows. Emile has a great career in front of him,”

“His presence and the way he behaves, for me he’s a role model for everyone at our club. The respect he shows people and then on the pitch he plays so well.

“If any young players want to look at how I think a player should behave they should look at him. With all the success he has got he is still as humble as he was before.”

Fingers crossed he gets a look in this season!


CEO exit talks are back

by .

via @Arsenal insta

via @Arsenal insta

Unai Emery’s press conferences feel like they’re on repeat at the moment.

IVAN

“Every conversation with me is speaking about us. About our performance. About our ideas. Our process. Then, for his future we didn’t speak. I think it’s one question for him”

MESUT

“The first time, maybe, he could feel different but every day with us in the work, I look at him & he looks well & happy, working with our demands every day”

REPEAT

Well, this weekend, the Spaniard has the chance to take his team up to Newcastle after the international break and impose his ideas on a side that had a bit of a shite summer and have had a very bad start to the season. Rafa B is a very good manager making miracles happen up there with very average players. This is exactly the sort of game we’d lose under Wenger, so it’s incredibly important we keep our 100% record (after the first two games) as we look to climb the table and keep in the pack.

The Ivan G news is chugging along, apparently, he’s deep in talks with the Elliot group. It’s now just down to clauses, so it looks like they’ll be hiring him. I mean, at this point, whatever. I hope Arsenal have a good search and select agency working hard to find a name. I really don’t want our club to have a poor January because we’ve lost the person with the keys to the filing cabinet.

Absolute banter that AC Milan is considering Aaron Ramsey, who’d be attracted to their club because of his ties to Ivan. Puuuulease… I mean, at this point, I’m really struggling to care about his plight. His start to the season hasn’t been electric and I still think he’s a little overrated by a fanbase so starved of quality, we actually argue the merits of Xhaka as a top midfielder.

The club will need to find someone to take his place though. It might help us find a bit more balance as well. Just shame we didn’t go hard to move him on in the summer. His price is unlikely to hit Sanchez levels, but we’ll see. My main concern with a January move for anyone is the players switched out of Arsenal mode the month before to protect those hamstrings. We need everyone focused, and it’d be nice if the press conferences weren’t all about where he’s heading.

Right, not a lot on today, more tomorrow, see you in the comments! x


Xhaka the pre-assist master, but can we afford to carry him?

by .

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

Well, nothing has me off to a flyer in the morning quite like a riveting read on the pros and cons of Xhaka courtesy of the folk over at Sky Sports. This article gets to the core of why he’s a marmite player, but in an interesting way that uses numbers with right level of context.

The long and short is this… he’s one of the most effective players in the league moving the ball into the final 3rd, but he’s (more…)


Milan deal on the rocks + Hector back in the press

by .

IMG_6494

Gooooood morning, apologies for the lack of posting, I’m back in the UK, there was next to no news, so I took a little break.

I’m back now, trying to make Lucozade from water and it’s tough, there’s a real news crunch. I actually thought this break we’d see Ivan G step out of the club and make his big move to Milan. That’s not looking like it’s going to happen. Italian sites are saying the move for the South African is looking difficult.

(more…)


Emery will communicate his priorities in next phase of season

by .

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

or SWEET SHIRT, right?

Get in people, we made it to 11 years old! 3,955 posts, 2.1million comments praising my words every day, A TOPPLED DICTATOR, A NEW BEGINNING, new internet friends, new real-life friends (yeah, I went on a man-date last night with a Gooner)… this site has been the absolute best, and I want to say a great big huge thank you to everyone who logs on to read the articles everyday, and I want to thank those who listen to the podcast (and those who come on the show). You make the internet worth living for, you also give me knowledge everyday I can steal and repurpose as my own.

Look at the fancy shirt in the opening picture, that my friends is a birthday present from the very excellent team at FOKOHAELA. It’s given me a new lease of life in the world of football apparel. I can finally wear one outside because this one is about original design with the heart and details I’m lacking from my PUMA shirts. GO HERE if you’d like to see some of the other options which are very awesome.

Onto football news, Mesut Ozil is back in the press, this time it’s Per bloody Mertesacker weighing in on the conversation about whether his ex-teammate said the German team were racist. Apparently, Der Spiegel ran a story in the print edition that basically confirmed the bling bling gang, but they used potatoes as a reference because of some negative connotation it has with immigrants. This is what Big Per said.

“I never heard anything about ‘potatoes’ or ‘kanaken’ during my time in the national team,”

“However I have been called ‘potato’, too.

“It should be understood that it is just a bit of fun, however. There were separate groups within the team during my time, too.

“You simply have to be careful that this does not lead to division, like: ‘you are one team, we are the other’.”

After Per cleared up that he’d been called a potato once or twice, he weighed in on Mesut’s overall accusation that the national setup was a big racist.

“Everything is possible,”

“I am curious as to how the DFB is going to approach the building of a new team.

“I never experienced racism or discrimination during my time, so I was surprised by Mesut’s allegations and that they were so harsh.

I for one was very surprised to hear that a 6ft6 blonde German hadn’t experienced the harshness of racism from his national team. He looks like exactly the sort of person who’d have the right wing throwing potatoes at him. That aside, this really is the neverending story.

What I guess is working in Mesut’s favour is the German players have focused on the fact that they personally are not racist, which is not what he’d claimed. The real story is Ozil stood tall with a wannabe dictator just before a World Cup for propaganda purposes, then kicked out at the way DFB, media and his partners handled the photo/issue afterwards. I’d still say that overall, the lesson for Ozil is don’t stand tall with dictators, because that really has fuck all to do with your ancestry. Just my opinion, of course.

Still, at least he has a pal in Nacho Monreal.

“People have been a bit unfair with him,”

“He is a very famous player and obviously people love talking about him. Recently, it is always bad things. Like last time, he was sick and that’s why he didn’t play.

“People started to invent that he had a problem with the manager. It wasn’t like that. He got a cold, he was sick, that’s it. That’s why he didn’t play.”

You go girlfriend.

Matty G landed Arsenal player of the month at his first attempt, well played that lad. I think he’s a very exciting talent and I pray we develop him, opposed to going down the path of overplaying him, breaking his confidence, injuring him, then sending him out on loan to Cheltenham.

Who said that I’m negative?

Next three games in the Premier League after the break are Newcastle, Everton and Watford. On paper, those should bring home 9 points, but all of those teams are capable of an upset. It’s super tough to come back from an international break and go away to Geordieland – home of the greatest fans ever known in the universe – so that’ll be a big test of Emery’s planning skills. I think out of those three games, the Watford game will pose the greatest threat. They’ve started extremely well this season, and it’s exactly the sort of game we’d lose under Wenger. Let’s see what’s changed.

The manager is also going to have to deal with the complications of a trip to Ukraine before the Everton game which lands three days later on a Sunday. I can’t wait to see what sort of team the manager takes for the Europa League, because really, that’s a great chance for us to make CL through the back door. We then have Brentford, who play some sexy football, 3 days later in the league cup. Does Emery go for all the trophies this year? We’ll find out after the break!

Finally, I know you know that I don’t use the blog to sell anything bar cheap erectile dysfunction meds via SEO backlinks. Today though, I’m selling dreams. The chaps over at Play With a Legend are taking entrants for their next batch of games that are hosted by none other than Nigel Winterburn.

Great news, right? You turn up before a game, get your kit on, and play some football with a legend, then you get to have a lovely chat with them after.

Mh8TC7dE

If you want to sign up, go to this link and get the download. It’s £99 per individual, £750 per team if you bring 9 people along.

ALSO LISTEN TO OUR POD:

SPOTIFY | STITCHER | ITUNES | GOOGLE | POCKET CASTS | DROPBOX


Ivan G annoying the Arsenal hierarchy (welcome the club, Sir Chips)

by .

IMG_1383

Well, I didn’t realise it was an international break, which is super unfortunate as I’m back in the UK next week.

What also coincides with a really irritating break in the schedule is a total lack of news, so why not re-up the Ivan G story? This from The Times.

Arsenal would almost certainly put Gazidis on gardening leave should he choose to leave to join a European rival despite the fact that he has a 12-month notice period in his contract. Milan’s owners are understood to have offered Gazidis a stake in the club having been taken over this summer by Elliot Management after the former owner Li Yonghong failed to repay a debt to the American company.

Paolo Scaroni, who was deputy chairman of investment bank Rothschild, is the club’s chief executive, but Gazidis has been targeted as a result of his work in nine years at Arsenal. The 53-year-old is also an influential figure in European football as a result of his position on the board of the European Club Association as well as being on several Fifa, Uefa and FA committees.

Arsenal are confident that they have structures in place to enable them to thrive without Gazidis, but his departure would be a blow to Emery, who was appointed on his recommendation with the pair having daily meetings throughout the summer.

(more…)