White plus two more makes Arsenal title contenders…

Editor F365
Mikel Arteta Arsenal

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THIS Arsenal can win the title
One team I am looking forward to this season is Arsenal. They may just finish in the top 4.

Forget the pre-season formalities and have a look:

ThIs is the potential Arsenal line-up for next season, I don’t intend to compare it to anyone else and I don’t think they will successfully get those guys but they should look something like this next season. Without doubt, this team can compete and win against anyone. And depending on how good Mikel Arteta is, they may be contenders for the title.


A big season
Tom Leeds beat me to the punch… This season is huge for a lot of folks here are a few across Europe’s big 5.

Ole/Man U …. They came close were second in 2 competitions ,lost to the winners of the others … it’s time to finally clinch a trophy ,and get even closer in the title race, lose out and Ole should step down…but please ,non of the incessant chirping from his detractors after each loss…

Man City/Pep… The last member of the team associated with the club’s most iconic moment is gone , to be fair a lot of Pellegrini’s squad are on their last legs or sound unhappy …. Pep has to rebuild his squad while winning something beside the Pep cup and league…

Tuchel ..yes he won the champions league… Unfortunately, the last guy to do that, was out before the next December…This is Chelsea , he needs a good start and probably the title…

Klopp …needs to manage the rebuild, that was inevitable ,when winning the 19th title ,

Everton/Spurs/Leicester/arsenal/Aston villa … Really should push on and qualify for Europe for various reasons .And 3 in 5 doesn’t go….(Only Smith might survive)

Rodgers/Leicester .. specifically because they can’t afford to fall short a third time ….that would send the house tumbling down,as the key talent would leave

Arteta …look he’s been backed, and it’s practically his team now , stop pretending that 8th is fine at Arsenal….

Barca … personally they have had a great window, especially if by the end Umtiti Pjanic leave,now to be competitive on the field

Poch /Nagelsmann …are at successful clubs which have bought well, winning multiple trophies, should be an expectation.

Serie A … it’s going to be super competitive..Allegri ,the master of timing his arrival and exits ,needs the title while phasing out Ronaldo.

Milan need to consolidate, Inzaghi needs to achieve similar results with less resources at Inter…

Jose , Sarri and Spalletti will all be aiming for Champions league football
Timi, Mufc


F365 Features: One per club: Players in urgent need of a transfer


Everton and analytics
sorry Paul but the Everton buys are underwhelming,in the context of what has happened in previous years under Carlo ,Silva etc … … I’m not buying the data/analytics argument as Townsend and Gray have already played in the league without really setting it alight…it gives you the feeling Rafa is back at Newcastle only without the hostility to the owner… hopefully there are better buys coming
Timi, Mufc


…In reply to Paul’s letter on data analytics, I would think all professional clubs now have some sort of data analysis built into their acquisition of new players. This may have only been implemented over the last few years but as you say the cost benefits of finding just one or two players whose value far exceeds their price would probably make the whole thing more than worth it. I see the main problem facing clubs, or at least what sets Leicester apart from Everton, is how effectively they’re implementing their data. Its all well and good having 10 boffins in a room crunching numbers but you need a really clever person to then interpret and translate that into an effective transfer strategy.

Even if your club has that ability, to cherry pick the best value players that others overlook, the work doesn’t finish there. The club also needs a support system for players, especially if they’re arriving from abroad. They need a manager and coaches that can maximise the potential of the player, and they need a strategy to identify when that player can be moved on, hopefully for a large profit. So I would say a good data analytics department is only effective when part of a club that’s well run top to bottom, which Leicester most definitely is.

With regards the big clubs, or perhaps the clubs that go after the most high profile players, such as Chelsea and Man United. These clubs are also heavily into data analysis but they can combine this with massive transfer budgets. Say Leicester and Chelsea are both looking to recruit a striker (as is the case this summer) and they both run a highly detailed analysis of all strikers across the globe, its likely that Erling Haaland would come at the top or at least in the top 5 of that analysis. Chelsea have the budget and the appeal in terms of competing for major honors that allows them to target that player. Leicester don’t have that option, so they need to look further down the list and try to recruit the highest ranked player that their budget can afford, also giving more consideration to potential sell of fees, player development etc. Which is how they end up signing Patson Daka.

How different sized clubs target different players is best seen in Leicester. 6-7 years ago they were signing players like Vardy, Kante, and Mahrez for tiny sums but getting elite level players. Now they’re a bigger, higher status club they’re spending £32m on Tielemans and £23m on Daka. They still have their data analytics which can clearly pick out these very good but very cheap players yet they don’t, which seems counter intuitive. Why spend £30m on a well known elite midfielder when you can spend £5m on one that nobody else knows about? This is where risk comes in, established players are just that, they have an established record of high competency. You can better know what you’re getting so there is less risk but this comes at a higher price. Apply this to all clubs and its easy to see why Man United sign Sancho or why Chelsea want to sign Haaland, even with the massive fees involved. They are getting highly impactful players with very low risk due to their established record. At current rates of progression it won’t be too long till Leicester are competing for those players as well
Dave, Manchester

Lots of creative ideas about what to do with penalties and how to replace them if possible. I’d like to add my idea to the mix: after normal time ends in a draw, each coach takes away 2 players, and the 2 teams play 9 v 9 across the whole pitch for 5 minutes. It’s up to the coach which 2 players get off. No subs. If after 5 minutes, one side has the lead then it’s game over. However, if it’s still a draw, each coach again takes 2 players off, and it’s 7 v 7 for 5 more minutes. Then 5 v 5. Then 3 v 3. Then 1 v 1! No time limit on 1 v 1, surely someone has to score. Imagine that.

The good thing about this is that the game is not limited to a single skill like a spot kick, you’ll still need to attack, defend, keep the ball, move, have some sort of tactics. Just different from a 11 v 11 set-up.
Mike, CFC


Don’t buy The Sun
I am going to kick this off by say that The S*n is a worthless, vile publication and that I was disappointed but not surprised by their ‘exclusive’ this morning.

The principal thrust of the MW piece is spot on: the innocent player should not have his face plastered all over that rag linked to vile crimes that he has nothing to do with. That ‘newspaper’ is abhorrent, it really is a cesspool of cretins.

But there’s a secondary line of argument in the MW piece that needs challenging. This is that the S*n “break ranks to name an unconnected player and pretty much reveal the actual accused to get around contempt of court laws”. This is presented in combination with Everton essentially playing their communications within the letter of the law.

This is really selective, F365. It should be noted that Everton very clearly signposted who the innocent party was through their news releases yesterday. They did the following:

1. Released a statement confirming that the player in question had been suspended.
2. Stayed silent. Presumably in this time they watched Twitter explode and begin to name two of their players.
3. Released an article about the unconnected player detailing just how involved he had been, and how involved he will be in the coming weeks.

Everton’s press team in combination with the GMP statement provided me and many others with almost all of the information needed to identify the individual. Let’s not pretend that other news outlets didn’t also start commenting on the barely newsworthy update about the unconnected player.

Again – The S*n is a vile outfit motivated by clicks and I have no doubt that Everton were either naive in releasing information about the unconnected player or, more likely, seeking to protect him in some way from the Twitter firestorm.


Marco Verratti talks to Ciro Immobile


Appreciating Verratti 
Sam, Newtownabbey – if you don’t get Marco Verratti yet, I’d suggest you go and watch the 2nd half of the Euro final again. Where you see simple five yard passes, look at it this way – Verratti is constantly trying to make a little angle for someone else to put a killer ball in. He kept doing it, even against the massed ranks of white shirts, over and over again, never giving the ball away, during the period of the game where it really mattered. The corner for the goal results from this kind of ball from him. He then beats Kyle Walker to the 2nd ball for the goal too, all 5ft nothing of him. If England treasured and nurtured your Verrati types – see Scholes, P and Carrick, M – a bit more they wouldn’t have ended up losing a final, at home, with such a scandalously low amount of possession. Forget penalties, mistrusting these kind of players is your Achilles heel.
Pablo, MUFC, Dublin


In’t Tickers brilliant
Can I just say, Dave Tickner is great. I haven’t laughed as much reading F365 since Nick Miller left – I think it was he who used to write Mediawatch non? Give the job to Tickers!
Steve, Stoke.