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Aubameyang and Luiz
[picture the Aubameyang residence, this morning]
…as the blender grinds to a halt, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang takes a swig of his supremely healthy breakfast smoothie, contemplating his future. The sun streams through the windows, his wife Alysha is really happy in London, and he’s all set up in his mansion just minutes from London Colney.
Smiling, he picks up his phone and flicks to the sports pages for a bit of gossip. He loves Arsenal- the team he watched as a boy- but after two years, and languishing in 10th place, surely now is the time for world-class signings.
But suddenly, a huge fountain of smoothie erupts, all over the brand new kitchen island worth £10k. The headline? ‘David Luiz signs new Arsenal deal’.
‘Pack your bags NOW love, I’m calling my agent…’
The feudal structure of the modern big football club
Everyone can continue dissecting what the issues are at Arsenal and what we can change etc. but there’s one undeniable element in all this: the rot starts at the top with the owners of the club.
Arsenal, much like most other big English clubs, is run like a corporation. It has its PR and Marketing teams (social media etc.), it’s middle management, it’s underpaid workers and of course the shareholders and top brass siphoning away the profits. Like any corporation, people just follow orders. You do what your manager tells you and your manager does what his manager tells him and so on until you get to the very top where you have a fat cat (or a group of them) giving the orders. It’s the chain of command and the performance of everyone along the chain of command is based on the performance of their subordinates following the orders cascaded from the top.
In the case of Arsenal, the bloke at the top and his inner circle quite literally don’t care about the footballing success of the club. All that matters is the returns. It’s a business, a corporation like McDonald’s, Walmart or Amazon (*shiver*). Why do you think clubs like Chelsea or Man City are able to invest strongly in their squad and bounce back? Because their fat cat/s at the top actually give a shit about how far the team goes and will enforce that down the chain of command. This simply doesn’t happen at Arsenal.
Honestly, this is how bad my hopes are: hopefully we’ll become a run of the mill midtable side for a few seasons, the attendances drop drastically and the global sales/interest also drops massively. Subsequently the Kroenkes are making far less money and are forced to sell the club to someone who actually wants to win football matches and not just to make as much cash as possible while reducing risk.
Vish, Melbourne, AFC
It’s not a disaster if Man Utd miss out on fourth
*Propaganda works both ways Will, it is not a disaster if Utd mIss out on 4th first of all qualifying for Champions League was not part of the remit for large swathes of this season. What was important was getting rid of the deadwood, improving the squad making it younger and giving it more weapons improving the style and character of the players . In those terms this has been an Overwhelming Success United aren’t the victims of so many bland articles about dour football , Combined 11’s were united’s goalie is the only one who make’s it in aren’t the order of the day.Finishing top 4 and a proper challenge are next on the horizon.
* The financial aspects are over rated United aren’t after every about to retire big name anymore, The big wage issue is a Chilean bench warmer who isn’t even part of the squad. Much of the recent deals have been handled ,a lot better And as we keep being told their are 427 noodle partners finishing 4th is not going to have the same impact it did a few years back,
* It Shouldn’t change a players perspective either show me a guy who will chose Leicester over Utd next season because they finished 4th and I will show you someone not thinking of his long term future. Neither should mere certificates of participation be worth a pat on the head , Arsenal/Spurs based an entire ethos on it now they need to rebuild because they didn’t aim higher,
*Different teams will get to the top at different speeds it took a bit of time for Klopp or Pep to bed in ideas they are still with their clubs Ranieri and Conte found instant success they aren’t managing in the premiership currently.
* That being said United do need to win these 8 games especially todays game to get the monkey off their back, There’s been a few statistics bandied based on Klopp’s surprise that his team are 20 points ahead.in the end it boils down to this Liverpool (until the winter break were resilient probably based on the injustice of last year ,If there have been 2 goals in a game Klopp’s boys have scored both, City Have been Flat track bullies the only surprise in their seven losses was the draw with Norwich even the draws were Newcastle and Crystal palace the sort of teams who raise their games for big opposition,
United have the opposite problem they will finish comfortably in the top 2 in a mini league of the old top 6 and Wolves/leicester .They need to start having that City/Liverpool effect where they beat the rest even before they get on the field.
Changing Managers is not the solution Pochettino was never very good against the big sides and Utd don’t have the Kane or Lukaku type (yes that’s our fault) to settle these games.
This stretch of games should be used to finally bury the only real demon left hovering back the club ,not to avert imagined disasters.
* Is there a reason you are forgetting the Europa are also competitions ,Europa gets you the same benefits as 2nd place (Actually you get to be a top seed)
Trent and Robbo are so vital…
I enjoyed the article about the 5 people who could improve Liverpool. I haven’t really seen any of them play except for Mbappe who I’d love to see at Liverpool but doubt we can afford him without, at least, selling Salah.
I do agree that a creative midfielder might be an interesting shout but by the same token that idea could be replaced by essentially giving one of AOC/Keita or Jones a role in every game next season. They’re all creative but more importantly they break the lines and can sometimes end up further forward than the attackers. Midfielders like Lampard and Gerrard did it regularly throughout their careers and it made them very good goal scorers but also it created space for forwards to do more damage too. We are easier to defend against if the wing backs aren’t playing or at it and we have a more rigid midfield.
But that leads to my real point; Trent and Robbo are so vital to the way we play. We really need to cultivate two players who can step in for them. Milner is outstanding but he’s not got the same verve or instincts as Robertson down the left. Trent is hard to replace because he’s one of the best right backs in the league. The only other option would be to have a significantly different plan B when they’re unavailable or in poor form – perhaps a 3-4-3 to allow us to control the midfield but still commit extra bodies forward when we have the ball without being really open at the back? I don’t think many top managers like the idea of having a plan B because I think they’d prefer to keep refining and perfecting a plan A instead.
Also – even VVD can’t make Lovren look good. That says a lot. Lovren is so obsessed with winning micro battles that he often doesn’t realise he’s lost the war by over committing.
Where’s your loyalty?
I’m hearing a lot that United fans have had enough of De Gea and would like to seen him sold and Henderson come back in as no 1. I can’t argue that De Gea is in a bad patch.
However what annoys me is that fans are always banging on about loyalty, he didn’t show loyalty, why can’t the players be as loyal as the fans etc.
De Gea has been loyal. Even when his dream move to Madrid fell through he didn’t sulk he came back and had an amazing season.
Rather than trying to get rid due to poor form let’s show loyalty and get behind him.
That’s the least he deserves from us.
It’s a misdemeanour
We might as well give up real life football and stick to FIFA/Pro Evolution Soccer than if thats the case.
Leno was a victim of a late challenge in the air that resulted in a horrible injury. That is all to it.
Your analogy comparing him to a victim of the infamous racial incident lately is also in poor taste. The action of the policeman there was excessive (and lasted a long time in number of seconds) regardless of the victim’s eventual fate. That incident lasted mong enough that it was not an accident.
Mauri already had a lot of momentum as he was chasing after the ball pass defense from a long pass and Leno also ran really fast to attempt to grab the ball in mid air. The ball was also bouncing on the ground making trajectory calculations a little harder than a simple high air ball challenge.
If you sit back and relax and think about it in a calm environment after the fact especially knowing what happened later with multiple replay and camera angle options, its easy to say “I would have stopped and not gone for it as I probably would not won it anyways”.
Mauri didnt have that luxury, he had two seconds tops while the ball was in the all before Leno got to the ball, no benefit of hindsight while still having a lot of momentum still to decide what to do. A lot of things were happening at the same time.
From re watching it like 15 times or more, I even think Mauri would have hit Leno regardless even if Mauri didnt jump. They were that close and the ball was in the air. Mauri had a right to chase it and challenge for it. It was his incompetence that his challenge was late but its the type or misdemeanor incompetence that we see 20-30 times a game usually with no serious negative outcomes. We also allow it because it can result in good ball wins, which is part and parcel of the game.
Now Mauri was late and it was a foul since Leno won it before he did (in football legal terms) but it wasn’t the type of challenge that was red card level unreasonable, timing was. Plenty of times all the time where players tackle with very little chance of winning and it is part of the game. It results in a foul and maybe a card. Challenges are not easy to do, air or ground. A small reaction time difference is the difference between a clean ball win and late foul and you have to start reacting in advance for these things. Every challenge has a risk of going wrong, both by causing a foul for the attempter and injury for the receiving player.
It happens, like how Formula One will always have accidents….cos its a lot of cars going really fast really close.
Two footed challenges are also different in that they are illegal all the time including just for attempting them. Mauri’s type of air challenge is done plenty of times in a game especially in corners. in other words a normal challenge – great and legal with the right timing, illegal when timing is off but misdeamanor level of illegal.
Leno was a victim, nobody disputes that. But he was the victim of unlucky circumstance in standard procedure of playing football.
No apology required…
Ok JDF, I’ll bite on your incendiary message to the mailbox. And in true Rafa style “I want to talk about facts.”
Sergio Ramos is – and this is a fact – one of the most despicable players currently playing the game. Mo Salah, conversely, – and this is also a fact – is a sweet baby angel who can do no wrong. What Ramos did to Salah was utterly cynical and completely ruined what was promising to be a great Champions League final! Instead, Real Madrid cheated their way to a win over a truly one-of-a-kind club where – and this is a fact – This Means More.
Following that incident, I can’t abide watching Ramos’ smug face win anything. The only time I can ever support a team he is playing on is when Neymar is on the opposite side.
So no, Liverpool and Liverpool fans do not owe Ramos and apology…. FACTS!
So, was enjoying the mailbox this morning until this from JDF on Ramos/Salah
“Again, an incident that happens a hundred times in a game and appeared even more innocuous than the Maupay challenge on Leno”
An astounding piece of trolling… I’d troll back, but there is nothing I can say about Arsenal right now that’s worse than how things actually are anyway… Well played though. It made me smile.
JDF (I miss it when we only had German football to watch), London I have to admit I don’t bother with long mails, I have a very short attention and boredom threshold. I did however clock my name as I skimmed down to laugh at how long the rant was. I was personally never one to say much about the Ramos/Salah incident, only Ramos will know if he intended to take mo out of the game or not, injuries happen in a contact/physical sport. Mentality is something you can control though & Liverpool have shown that they have what arsenal simply don’t… the ability to bounce back & bottle, losing the champions league and winning it the next season & now doing the same with the prem. All those hoping liverpool will have the most monumental collapse in history should remember we only need 5 points & arsenal are one of our 8 remaining fixtures.
Marcel G, LFC
Harsh on Kane…
Long time reader, massive fan, recommender of this site.
First time I’ve ever written in so please be gentle.
I’m not a Spurs fan but I felt the 16 conclusions article was overly condescending and brutal especially on Kane.
We’re all aware of Kane’s injury struggles and his performance against Utd. However let’s not forget Spurs drew that game and won against West Ham.
But now I’m reading after Kane scored he’s still not 100%. That should be a celebration that he’s unfit but still managed to score and rack up 2 or 3 shots on target.
There doesn’t seem to be much comment on the ineptitude of Moyes who, once again, showed no imagination or tactical nous.
There’s a comment about bringing on Lanzini and Anderson but if the game’s lost its not a benefit.
TOO SHY SHY, EAST SUSSEX, LIVERPOOL FAN
Just a quickie, if the sky replay man hits pause at the moment they ‘think’ Lo Celso passes it, how do we know, or even VAR know for sure Son is offside by a whisker? The ball was completely hidden by another player in the replay.
Dave, (solid win anyway) Winchester Spurs
Refereeing conspiracy?! Nahh…
To the tinfoil hat brigade representing Arsenal in the mailbox recently, please note…
When you’re seriously suggesting a decade spanning league wide refereeing conspiracy against your club you know you’ve gone over to the bad place.
When you’re seriously suggesting referees give your club a competitive advantage by affording your players special protection you know you’ve gone over to the bad place
When you’re seriously suggesting parity between a mans murder by police officers and anything that happens on a football pitch you know you’re a disgusting excuse for a human who has probably always been in the bad place
Forget Maupay, forget the tribalist bullshit for a minute and consider what your arguments say about you. Paranoid? Delusional? Disgusting?
We could not keep away from the camera for long so we made a Football365 Isolation Show. Watch it, subscribe and share until we get back in the studio/pub and produce something a little slicker…