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The Arsenal Presser went live.

‘Isn’t it funny that in football, you can have a bad month and everything is bad, then you have a good month and everything is good’

To the world of journalists, no, this is not funny. It is not an oddity. It is football and it’s a wasted question.

What Arsenal needs from the next 4 games is 10 points from 12.

We have a HUGE game against Palace followed by a HUGE game against Villa on the Friday.

Why are we playing 5 days apart? Very weird.

The only slight injury news is that Gabriel Martinelli is injured, which is a shame, because he scored in the closed-door game. There were questions about the Brazilians future.

“Well because of the amount of players that we have in that position first of all,”

“He had some games that he played. He started against Brentford and he started against Chelsea as well and he started another game.”

I find the whining about Martinelli a bit odd. He’s been poor this season. When you don’t take your chances, you’ll be moved the bench. He’s young, he’s in a rut, but I’ve no doubt he’ll be back with run at some point soon. I certainly don’t know where the loan talk came from. Fitness is a bit of a constant with him, so let’s hope he can get on top of that this season.

His injury leaves Arteta with little room to truly shake up the attack… outside Lacazette. I don’t like that he’s out the door next June, but I do like that he’s playing for his next big contract. He looks trim, he was solid when he came on last week, so we might see him against Palace.

The bind Arteta is in is that with Martinelli out, he basically has to figure out a way to make an attack of broken pieces work. We don’t have a Tammy or DCL. So what’s the plan?

I expect our back 5 will remain the same. It’s nice to have a stable defence this season. They’ll keep getting better as the season goes on. I like that the defending is sound as it stands. The part that will get exciting is how they combine with the midfield and attack. Palace won’t be as disciplined with their pressing, but I do expect them to rattle out midfield early on and test our resolve. Partey and Sambi have to show, they have to break the press, and everyone needs to battle through the fear. If we can do that, we’ll have a good day.

Thierry Henry showed his cards in the media.

“I don’t know if things are going in the right direction. I watched the Brighton game. Did you watch it?

“I was more than happy when we beat Tottenham as we were on a good run but I was waiting to see a performance, away from home, against a team that passes the ball.

“And, instead, we suffered.

Thierry is and always will be a god. But I do think his motives are quite transparent. He was in the stands for the Spurs game because he thought there was going to be a symbolic point to be made. There wasn’t. I’m sure he loved the game regardless, but coming out with bland commentary one game later is a touch transparent.

Which part of the direction doesn’t he like? The young players we signed? The manager? The club investing more than any other in the Premier League this summer?

More worrying for me is that Daniel Ek might be thinking about installing Thierry Henry as manager if he joins.

What would Thierry bring to the direction? What would he blame if he were knocked out of a cup?

‘a 3-1 home defeat to second-tier Metz in the Coupe de France. In response to being knocked out of the cup, Henry wanted to demote several players to the reserves, not an easy decision to make given his side’s injury woes, but one he was set on taking nonetheless, citing the need for “hungry” players.’

Would he bring Wengerball back to the carpet?

‘his team desperately lacked identity under his management. Henry had a vivacious style as a player – and Monaco had played with a similar devil-may-care attitude during their best spell under Jardim – but Henry undermined that approach by playing negative formations with too many central midfielders.’

Would he have more gravitas in the dressing room? We all saw him make that player tuck his chair in at a press conference?

‘It is not only Henry’s haughty attitude towards the players on a personal level that has damned him. Reports from the club’s training centre also highlighted a seeming lack of professionalism on his part while taking training. Henry was even caught on camera telling the opposition right-back that his “grandmother’s a whore,” which seems quite at odds with the culture of respect he seemed to be demanding while chastising his own player.’

I only highlight these issues, because Thierry has faced very similar sets of problems at the clubs he coached at, and he’s not been able to make things work. If he’s angling for the job, what is he bringing to the table that would be different?

Each to their own, but there are better ways to rattle KSE.

Finally, it was awesome to see Arsenal continue their PR push this week. Their partnership with STATSPORT saw them bring podcasters, Youtubers, and bloggers down to the training ground to talk about the future of performance. These small things that the club have started to do feel fresher, they put the message in the fans hands, and it takes the sting out of some of the venom that’s been spewed over the last 3 months. Good work.

Right, I’m BACK in NYC, so I’m out to eat my weight in pizza, bagels, burger and donuts.

See you at fat camp next week.

P.S. For those of you that liked that Bad Day rule. Here’s a little bit more context from the coach that shared it with me.

There are many reasons I want to know if they are having a bad day.  In case he wanted a bit deeper in my philosophy dealing with the players and if it helps him guide any decisions in the business world.

  1. Obviously human level first. Bad days are different for everyone, depending. Sometimes it’s a bad day so much they need to not be there. Death, someone got in a bad accident etc.
  2. The expectation is to still perform.  Knowing that training can be intense it helps me know where they are at mentally etc.
  3. Most important is they have a high level for their teams when they join them for training(usually with me 20-45 minutes).  Everyone has bad days but people/teammates rely on that individual so to be selfless is important.
  4. Sports is can/should be a release.  If for some reason it’s not that day or can’t be then I need to know. That usually means it something more than just a break-up, bad grade, an argument with parents etc. I want their level and their own expectations.  They set their expectations but not every day we can be 100%, we are human.  So it’s always better for me to know where they are at mentally so they cannot let themselves or their teammates down.
  5. To reiterate- it’s human first then player.  To maximize the player I must maximize the human development side.   I would much rather a player be productive and use the time with me in a positive way then coming in and doing the opposite.


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