Oh, the banter.
David Moyes, without one hint of self-awareness, claims to have “apologised to the girl” and “she is fine” about threatening her with a slap. Sunderland aren’t new to this:
— Penelope (@PennyPitstop3) April 3, 2017
The Scum‘s Kelvin MacKenzie, who has form with football supporters in much the same way Piers Morgan does, called the Spanish, “donkey rogerers” in his column yesterday.
So, how’s the shape of Britain’s moral compass these days?
At least Arsenal are…oh.
What a shambles.
Reports this morning bring ‘suggestions’ over Arsène’s future. Ivan and co want everything in place so that the renewal of his contract is advertised as wholesale change, with the Frenchman the driving force. More strong leadership from the CEO and owner.
No pressure on Ivan and Co to modernise, to get off their arsenals and manage the manager but they will keep everyone in the dark about their futures. It’s interesting that while the Mirror is the attack dog, hounding Alexis, the Heil is also becoming a favoured outlet.
Gerry Peyton and Boro Primorac are ‘concerned’ about their futures. After two decades of working together, I’d be stunned if the latter doesn’t know already.
I’m adding a very big caveat here: Wikipedia editors recently voted to remove the Heil as a trusted source. Think about that for one second. Wikipedia doesn’t trust the Heil to deliver the truth. Wikipedia.
You Need Hands
Peyton has long been a lightning rod for criticism. Fabianski, Szczesny, Ospina; mistakes aren’t ‘coached out’ of the players. While that is largely on the players, the coach has to be able to get through to them. Peyton doesn’t seem to be able to get through to them, or get the information to stick in their minds.
It was a surprise that Petr Cech didn’t sign Christophe Lollichon when he left Chelsea. The bond between the two was said to be strong, with the goalkeeper having total faith in the coach. An opportunity lost?
The whole scenario is symptomatic of what’s being called a ‘stasis’. Barney Ronay offered an interesting thoughts on comparing Arsenal and Manchester City squads. It’s a misdirection to say we can’t compete with City, as if that’s the problem. Squad building is the issue and Arsène’s mojo has packed its case and has left home.
Can the reshaping of the club repair that? I’m dubious, to say the least.
Anyway, it’s football this week, with West Ham arriving at the Emirates on a run of four consecutive defeats and six without a win. Which makes them prime candidates for three points.
The back four is a concern at the moment. Nacho Monreal hasn’t been at his best this season while Hector Bellerin has reached the momentary plateau every young player crosses.
But it’s the centre, the heartbeat of the back four, which is the real concern. Shkodran Mustafi’s initial injection of enthusiasm into the defence was much-welcomed but the capitulation in Munich underlined the doubts. He’s been labelled ‘the new Vermaelen’ but with Koscielny’s achilles problem putting pressure on the remaining central defenders.
Gabriel did well on Sunday, albeit not put under pressure by City. He’s not won over the coaching staff or manager with his level of English consistently referred to. A big summer clearout is talked about and the Brazilian is one I expect to move on.
Andy Carroll will rubbing his hands with glee at the prospect of facing us.
Arsène’s press conference will no doubt shed more light on the team news.
Elsewhere, Alexis is linked with a move to PSG, to form a dream attack. Anyone who saw their capitulation in Barcelona might ponder if investing more money in defenders might be a better strategy for the French club to follow. About that…
The time machine has ticked over to 1998; click here for the soundtrack to the year.