On Anger Management, Confidence and Changes

The FA Cup third round draw ought to provide some light relief from Saturday’s defeat but the manner, and losing, to Manchester United rankles.

It gets under the skin knowing that Mourinho smiled at the end. Not because it was some grand plan to let us pummel them into submission, but because the miserable f*cker knew he’d got away with it.

He is the Premier League’s Revie; a figure of hatred, doomed to be despised and never given the recognition his trophies deserve. No complaints here on that count.

I didn’t take notice of Arsène’s post-match interviews; the manner of defeat grates, really grates. Thursday’s match against BATE may give some indication as to how he feels. It’s inconceivable that the XI which threw away all sense of discipline will be kept intact for Sunday’s trip to Southampton. Two players must be under threat, irrespective of injury.

Shkodran Mustafi’s departure from the pitch remains bizarre. Nobody knows what he injured but it was enough for him to leave the field. That the manager didn’t know what was wrong with the German was peculiar. However, I’m not sure that in the moment, he cared.

It might genuinely also be he didn’t want to comment for fear of more ridicule after his Lacazette prognosis proved hopelessly wrong.

However, we can’t rule out that Mustafi had a ‘mini-Campbell’ moment. The pressure simply got too much for him to bear. While you may scoff, footballers are no different from us mere mortals in that respect. Their huge salaries don’t offer a shield of invincibility from mental health issues.

I don’t know if that’s the issue, by the way, simply speculating given that for the first time in history during his reign, Wenger didn’t have a clue why one of his players was injured.

The Wheels on the Bus

Rob Holding found himself dropped because his confidence was shot after the 4 – 3 win over Leicester. Mustafi’s confidence is shot to pieces. The second goal was a run of the mill situation, one where he lifts his head, looks. Cech could have been more vocal, we assume, but the German is a World Cup winner. He’s played in these big matches before but looked like a novice and crumpled like Bambi on ice.

To me, the same rules apply. His confidence is shot and rotation of the side is needed. The question is who. We don’t need any result against BATE; we’re top, we’re through and a seed in the knockout phase. I’d pick Mertesacker for that fixture, freeing up Holding for the trip to Southampton. Arsène may choose to reverse those roles but Mustafi is almost certain to be axed.

The second is Xhaka. The Swiss looked assured for his country, comfortable as almost a sweeper but the rigours of the defensive midfield in the Premier League is a lot different. I don’t think he’s that player. Or he certainly doesn’t conform to my expectation of one.

Let’s be honest, the defending for the third goal was abysmal. Xhaka, like everything to do with our defending on Saturday, didn’t do the basics right. It’s been a while coming, I think. He is a good player, there’s no doubt about that but capable of more at club level. Do we need to rethink the way we use him in the side?

With three at the back, it’s a difficult proposition. If we bring in another midfielder, going to a more orthodox 3-5-2, some of the width will be sacrificed. Certainly, one of Özil or Sanchez is sacrificed. That may be the case in January anyway.

Xhak Up

At that point, there is a real opportunity if it is to be taken or if Arsène thinks it necessary. Xhaka alongside a more defensively-minded player might free his mind and range of passing. Some of the names bandied around suggest that unlikely; Lemar, Goretzka among others are like-for-like replacements, providing width and attacking impetus.

Arsène may be moved to return a flat back four. If so, I think we need stronger centre-backs. Koscielny, at present, doesn’t look physically capable of three games a week yet that is just what we demanded of him. We don’t have an ideal replacement; Holding and Chambers would be thrown under a bus in that situation. Mustafi is not the leader the stereotypical German central defender provides.

The caveat as always is avoiding knee-jerk reactions, which some of you may claim this is. The back three combination suffered their first defeat amid a collective brain fart. It can’t go unanswered by the manager but the question he has to answer is whether or not we’re headed toward the same collapse in form which necessitated a shift to a back-three in the first place.

If not, a quick change of personnel might be the answer, as well as some repair to the psychological damage to individuals.

Finally, a new post is soon to emerge on Dad’s Jukebox, brought to you today by the letter ‘W’.

’til Tomorrow.

61 thoughts on “On Anger Management, Confidence and Changes

  1. I quite like the idea of a 3-5-2. Certainly gives us more solidity in the middle and two genuine strikers in tandem provides more threat in the box (where we often lack bodies) than a single striker supported by wider players.

    Question is are the wider pair in the ‘5’ full backs or wide midfielders? Or is there not much difference at AFC these days? Certainly defending doesn’t seem to be their first priority so that may actually suit Arsene.

    Either way I agree that Xhaka is a problem and I can’t see how you can have an almost entire midfield that cannot tackle and is physically weak. Add to that Kos who is clearly on the decline (shame we don’t have a more experienced CD to carry the load…) and it’s no surprise that AFC probably concede more goals per shot than any other top side.

    It all adds up to selling Ozil and Alexis in January. Without the funds there is simply no way we can replace them and buy a CD in the summer.

  2. Afternoon,

    Another fine piece of commentary. Many thanks.

    Xhaka is starting to be a bit of an issue. He has at least one serious brain fart per game and it usually involves giving the ball away to the opposition in an area that is likely to cause us the most trouble. He is another of those players who would have to be accommodated somehow to get the very best out of him and that will surely upset the shape of the team even more. To continue to play him in our current set up is to accept that he will make a monumental mistake at some point in the game. We can try to cover that, but it just needs another dodgy pass straight to the opposing forward when Kos has headed up field on one of his little adventures to leave us exposed again. I wanted him to work out, but the risk/reward of playing him in the PL comes down too heavily on the risk side for me.

  3. the “yes buts” being how we have seen Mustafi, Koscielny and to some extent Xhaka (ok, noting what seem like lots of high profile errors there) perform to date…

  4. Excellent stuff Yogi and those two questions needed to be asked based on the performances.

    As far as CB’s go, Mustafi isn’t bad and he was terrible against Manure in his limited time but I think it is a knee-jerk reaction because overall he has been good since his arrival. I think the biggest thing is that we need another CB because Kos is physically not able to do it and you can definitely see that and the problem is that unlike say Mustafi or Mert, Kos’ whole style is based on pace and quickness and his Achilles is clearly hindering him and we knew it before the season, and we know going forward that its ALWAYS going to hinder him. Personally I say lets see what Chambers has to offer against Southampton .

    As far as midfield, I think Goretzka is perfect compliment to either Xhaka or Ramsey. The one thing that HE IS NOT is a like-for-like or replacement for Ozil, Goretzka is a CM and people who think otherwise either haven’t watched him for Schlake or Germany, or they simply want him to be something he isn’t. I think the other problem that our midfield faces is that there really isn’t any quickness or pace or defensive awareness/position on a consistent basis and because of that we are unable to attack without constantly being hit on the counter.

  5. Wavey,

    Given that we have to accommodate Ozil, and Xhaka, plus some would say Ramsey (my feeling is that Ramsey’s forward wanderings are actually exactly what AW has told him to do btw) it’s hardly surprising that our MF is a bit of a mess. We don’t have what Cantona called ‘a water carrier’, someone who can do the simple stuff effectively.

    It all comes back to what many have been saying for years, we don’t have a plan and we don’t organise effectively. It’s too organic, lacking in structure and discipline. George Graham would’ve been apoplectic, Arsene just shrugs and carries on in the same fashion.

  6. Late nights, JG, and mental fatigue. The punchlines take it out of you although I’m working on my entrance music. ‘This Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore’ by The Smiths doesn’t really lift the mood.

  7. Wavey,

    Yes, amen to that. Xhaka is a liability, great when the play is in front of him and horrible in most others situations. It´s a not solvable equation. We can´t have a defensive play maker whose that one sided and of top of that can´t run. It really get´s my goat that the man can´t run 🙁

  8. The other thing that I just read was how Deschamps and his team have told Giroud he needs to play more, move or something if he wants to go to the World Cup:

    “It’s clear that in terms of playing time, it’s insufficient,” Stephan told TF1.

    “Didier’s already had the opportunity to talk about it. He has to find a solution in the coming weeks.”

    When asked whether Giroud should consider a switch, Stephan said: “It’s up to him. He’s played very well in recent months with us. He has a very good goals-to-games ratio, but he now has to play.”

  9. Great post Yogi.

    Interesting thoughts abut Mustafi. He has been pretty good for most of this year and I am inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt and chalk this up as a one off. If it keeps happening then we need to do something. I would throw the same back 3 out against Southampton. When you fall off the horse the best thing to do is get right back up.

    Regarding Xhaka the performance against ManU is a recurring theme which is different then Mustafi. We should have bitten the bullet and dropped him a long time ago. The deepest central midfielder has to be primarily a defensive player and he is certainly not that. I think we bought him because Arsene loved his long passes which look great on a Utube compilation highlight reel. Andy and Wavey both made the point earlier but the idea of being forced to use a player who can compensate for Xhaka’s defensive liabilities just so we can shoe horn his range of passing into the side is a tactical disaster.

  10. The reality is that unexplainable defensive screw ups like the one on Saturday have been a recurring theme of this decade no matter who plays at CB and the person who really needs to be replaced is Arsene.

  11. I think Wenger sees Xhaka’s long ball passes as a replacement for Cazorla, hence his continuous inclusion in the first 11.

  12. 3-4-3, 4-4-2, 3-4-2-1, this player dropped, this player bought to replace that one sold etc etc. It’s all shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic until the real cause of the problem is dealt with. While Wenger remains manager it’s all pointless as the problems will remain whoever plays. Until he’s gone we’ll just continue with these groundhog seasons, not gonna change now.

  13. Arsene being Arsene will send out the same team again as his ego is too big to accept the mistakes. I actually liked our game after went 2 goals down till we conceded the third. Let us accept the fact that our team can’t defend so why not play the hyper attacking game with the same team after Mustafi was withdrawn. If we play like we did from the 11th minute till the 63rd minute we will win 90% of the matches so let us try to outscore our opponents rather than defending which is not our forte. We have seen time and again one of our players always end up making a mistake in these high profile matches which usually opens the flood gates but this was one match I was delighted to see our players putting up a fight and on another night would have come out victorious. Let us face it Arsene can’t put out a team to defend and I genuinely believe he won all those trophies early in his career as he inherited strong , powerful individuals who had impeccable discipline. After seeing our performance against the “park the bus expert” I believe we can do it against any team so let us see how the team shapes up in the upcoming matches. I for one would love seeing us play like we did from 11th-63rd minute again and again as it was after years that we battered Manchester united without actually winning the football match.

  14. I understand idea of having a deep lying playmaker as our DM but we don’t need a playmaker in that role. We don’t need technically brilliant players who are great passers at every position We need a defensive minded player as our DM

  15. Bill,

    But the DM does have to be able to handle pressure and help dictate play and move the ball because normally you have a CM next to him to do that and Ramsey isn’t now and nor will he ever be that player. Thus is the problem as I see it, we either have to get a player like Kante, Goretzka, Ndidi type of player who is more defensive minded but is also a good overall futboler that they can link play and when pressured won’t lose the ball who can play next to Ramsey or Xhaka OR we rebuild our midfield going the route of a pure defensively minded player like say Gueye of Everton but then have a player like Jack playing next to him who can play that Santi role.

  16. I will say that these rumors of Arsenal looking at Nzonzi for £35m (his release clause) are quite interesting because while many wanted him to be Vieira, he simply isn’t that player but instead more a Gilberto.

    It would be really interesting.

  17. C

    Our most effective run of DM play in this decade was Le Coq when he came into the side in 2015. I think we need a role player who does not make mistakes and is focused on his defensive duties. To me that can be the model for our tactical mindset for that position.

  18. Drop this player, change to that formation…..

    Sorry, but for me it’s all just semantics with Arsene calling the shots. Whoever and whatever they’re tasked with, they’ll still be lax, loose and prone to all going on the charge forward at the same time.

  19. Bill,

    Yes but he was played next to Santi. One could also argue that with Arteta we had our most effective run of DM play.

    The biggest thing that I think is getting overlooked even with Xhaka is having that midfield partner to help bring balance. For as brilliant as Vieira was with his relentless engine going from box-to-box, one could argue that Gilberto complemented him perfectly with his sitting, reading and calm on the ball at all times.

    The balance between Xhaka and Ramsey plays a part in it and we don’t see if consistently enough. I think the Spuds match and the Manure match showed both the good and bad of their partnership. Xhaka is shit in space but does well reading while Ramsey is good when he isn’t bombing forward at every opportunity. Since we don’t play with a traditional DM, those two seem to share the defensive duties but since neither is quick or pacey, they have to get everything spot on or outwork their opposing midfield because their mistakes get punished ruthlessly.

  20. Damon,

    I actually agree with that especially in a match like that against Manure where we were bossing the match and staying in their end, we lose our midfield pivots and then Kos goes for a walk about and we are hit on the counter.

  21. C

    Agree about Arteta.

    I think Ramsey gets a lot more grief then he deserves but that is just me. He could better with a “traditional DM”.

    I know you were a big fan of Xhaka but to me he is just not the right player for the PL no matter who is his partner. The only realistic position for him is deepest center mid and whoever plays that position can not make mistakes with the ball at his feet and he has to be a very solid defender no matter who is his partner. Xhaka makes mistakes all the time and he is not a good defensive player so he misses on the 2 critical things you need in a deepest CM. I think its a mistake to tinker with the rest of the team to try and find ways to compensate for him just so we can tolerate having him in the line up.

    I understand trying to find ways to compensate for shortcomings of someone like Fabregas or Ozil at their best. However every time you compromise you have to weaken the team somewhere and Xhaka is not good enough to weaken the team elsewhere just so we can get him in the line up. I hope that makes sense.

  22. Bill,

    I wasn’t having a go at Ramsey (though you generally don’t want him spending more time in the box than in midfield if he is apart of a midfield two or is that just me?), I was just making a statement for the balance of the team as a whole when it comes to counters. If Xhaka is left alone it doesn’t bode well but we also get caught out when Ramsey goes bombing forward and forgets he is apart of a midfield two who has to share defensive duties.

    I was a huge admirer of Xhaka and what he brought and the why he played but I think teams are genuinely doing what they have done to Arsenal for years: high press our pivots because they are slow on the ball for the most part not named Santi. Xhaka being slow on the ball doesn’t work well when being pressed and the other problem is Ramsey is the same so the two of them struggle when pressed. I wouldn’t say that its a mistake, I would say he doesn’t always seem to be turned on defensively, its strange but its like an Arsenal culture thing because we have seen Song, Le Coq and even Arteta at times forget they are playing that DM role and switch off.

    I’m not saying compromise for Xhaka, hell I’m not even saying compromise for Ramsey (because for all of his work and getting in the box if you actually look he isn’t all that effective when it comes to end product and that is my problem with it all), I’m saying that if either are going to be key players moving forward that we will need to change their midfield partner. For instance, Ramsey NEEDS somebody that can do all the defensive work be themselves because Ramsey cares more about pushing forward (partly him as he has ALWAYS done and part of it I think is Arsene) so his defensive duties get left behind at times; OR Xhaka needs a link player like Goretzka who will help in the defensive duties but also can be the outlet when teams high press us and won’t give the ball away similar to what we had with Santi quite a bit.

  23. I think that we all know that Damon is on the case, when he says that when Arsenal start to attack the midfield behave like horses with a burr under the saddle and go loco charging about in an irrational manner.

    The excitement of the chase when we go a goal down is enough for the whole team to get pumped full of testosterone and they want to physically manhandle the ball into the net, if necessary, and sod the boring, but essential defensive duties.

    I have seen non-Arsenal games where midfield/defense players have to rein back when, in similar circumstances, they have carried the ball up to the halfway line, as if it was an electric fence.
    So it is not just an Arsenal inclination — but the other teams have had the discipline to stop themselves, whereas we even had the sight of our only proper CB, Kozzer, up in the opposition penalty area trying to force the game — and it was not for an Arsenal corner.

    And it is correct to say that the manager has never seen anything wrong with that apparently, while I have been screaming at the TV screen for him (and others) to bloody get back!!

    Which reminds me — I recognised the cowboy riding the A-Bomb (above) – Slim Pickens – quick Google look-up, and sure enough it’s Dr Strangelove ( AKA Mourhino) determined to destroy the Arsenal.

  24. Jack @ 3:02

    “If we play like we did from the 11th minute till the 63rd minute we will win 90% of the matches so let us try to outscore our opponents rather than defending which is not our forte.”

    I understand why someone might think that way but that was our philosophy for the entire first 1/2 of the Emirates era and it was an unqualified failure. Almost every game we played during those years against Fergie and Mourinho’s teams in the 2007-12 era played out just like the ones on Saturday and we lost almost everyone of them. Been there done that and it failed.

    Even though our record still is poor we have definitely improved our results and won some big games against the top of the table teams in the last few years. Recent examples are the FA cup last season and the recent Spurs game and the Chelsea game this season. We have actually beaten Munich, Man City, ManU in recent years and we had around 40% or less ball possession in many of those games. The one thing that is common to all of those “signature results” is we play good defense and we let the opponent have more ball possession but we hit effectively on a counter attack. Its not rocket science. We learn from what has worked against us. Its not going to work every time but to me that has to be the model for how we approach the big teams.

  25. Hi, C,

    There were episodes in that game on Saturday that usually led to goals, and in each one Kozzer in particular, Xhaka and Ramsey too, looked as if they were running in slow motion, when Pogba and then Lukaku barrelled past them, and embarrassingly Kozzer also looked like a powder puff when they physically blew him away.

    Mustafi too, looked leaden footed, and frankly poor, when he dawdled and let a tiny player like Lindgard catch him, bundled him off the ball and Manure went on to say thank you very much.

    Unless we buy CB players who are bigger, better and younger, and stop worrying about the attack roster, we will always look like patties at the back likely to give away goals whenever a team counter attacks us.

  26. I think we should reverse the whole mindset of the Emirates era and work to build a team starting from the back with solid team oriented defensive players and DM. I know most would agree with that

    The next part is more controversial. I think we should build our attack around forwards who are scorers and whose mindset is to counter attack at any opportunity even if it means less ball possession. We throw away the whole ball possession, technical skill, world class #10 midfield dominated tactical ethos. The midfield dominated style we have used in the Emirates era looks great when it works but its been a recipe for inconsistency. A counter attacking style is much easier to replicate on a consistent basis and is more efficient and effective, IMO. We could call our new overall style “Fergie ball”.

  27. HenryB,

    You bring up an excellent explanation there my friend.

    The funny thing is that even an attacking side like Citeh, you see their CB’s and Fernandinho rarely venturing forward and when they do its like they release the ball and go back to where they are supposed to be.

    I think its a discipline thing but its also a communication and balance thing. I’m not accusing or stating that our midfield and/or defenders lack the futboling IQ, but they seem to not give a damn which is crucial in getting that balance right.

    For instance, if Ramsey or Xhaka see Kos going for a walkabout with the ball, one if not both should either be: A. dropping deep to fill for him, B. Yelling at him to pass and then telling him to get his ass back, or C. Dropping deeper to get the ball from him; yet time and time again we see none of those things happen.

  28. If you get the ball forward into the attacking areas before the defense has a chance to set up you don’t have to wait for your world class creative players to unlock the defense with that killer final pass. Your ball possession percentages will go down when you counter attack but your efficiency and effectiveness in front of goal will significantly improve. You build a midfield with solid role players who have a specific job and put your financial and tactical emphasis on the forwards who are the ones who actually score the goals.

  29. There appears to be a strong rumour that moneybags Citeh have offered £44m to buy Sanchez early in January — so we will soon see if that is the usual bullshit or is in fact true.

    The rubbish way Sanchez has played this season, it does not surprise me that Arsenal will grab that and think they got away with a shocking commercial mistake — what does surprise me tho is that AW did not let him go for £60m last summer.

    But Man City’s gain does not worry me — we will have Giro to show us that he is the man, when Alexis goes — yeah, right.

  30. I realize we will never get “Fergie ball” with Arsène as the manager but it’s nice to dream about what could be. It makes for an interesting debate.

  31. On the money Damon. I recall one point when we were 1-0 down both full-back were pushed up and Monreal was charging up the pitch. The formation at that point was 2-6-2. Just crazy 10 minutes into a game against a ‘serious’ side.

    Koscielny reverted to the player that used to be bullied by Drogba every time Chelsea played us. Still not sure how he let Pogba round him for the 3rd United goal. And he was seriously lucky not to get a red for tripping Lukaku.

    Our biggest achievement was to make that two-bob Lingard look world class.

    Damon:
    Drop this player, change to that formation…..

    Sorry, but for me it’s all just semantics with Arsene calling the shots.Whoever and whatever they’re tasked with, they’ll still be lax, loose and prone to all going on the charge forward at the same time.

  32. HenryB,

    I know this might sound crazy but Pep is actually building a young side so purchasing Sanchez makes no sense and I actually think that Citeh are doing it more to ruffle feathers now. Here me out:

    So in the summer Pep chased Sanchez because he wanted him to play on the flanks because he simply wasn’t sure if Sane and Sterling would take that next step of consistency both in their play and in their end product. He hoped that they would take the next step but wanted ‘guaranteed’ production so he chased Sanchez and almost got his man until he didn’t.

    Then the season started and Jesus, Sane and Sterling are blossoming, Silva and Aguero signed until 2020 plus the recent addition of Bernardo Silva and Pep is thinking there isn’t a need for Sanchez now, but he won’t deny them because he knows that it will ruffle feathers but is he really chasing Sanchez, I doubt it when you think about the fact that he might want somebody else in midfield or in defense.

    I know it might sound crazy but it actually makes loads of sense. I think the big question is who actually talks to Sanchez in the January window. I know most Gooners think that Sanchez is the end all be all because he is talented but I think there are things like him losing possession that not all managers will like or want.

  33. You could argue that Man City does not need Sanchez and they might not. However they are aiming to dominate the PL and win the champions league you can never have to much firepower or to much depth with regards to difference making forwards. Aguero is injury probe and every team has down turns in form over the course of a season and Sanchez is the sort of player who could get hot when the rest of the team is starting to slump and he could carry them if they had a couple of injuries or if their passing game gets bogged down.

  34. Attacks based on passing the opponent into oblivion have always been prone to slumps in form. I think the way you avoid having the long term slumps in front of goal that we have been prone to over the years is to have as much firepower as possible in your forward line. Liverpool is in the best attacking form of any team in the league right now and I think they have a decent chance to maintain that form because the have Salah Coutinho, Firmino and Sane who are all a threat to score and they love to counter attack.

  35. Bill,

    While I do agree that Aguero has a knack for picking up injuries, I think Pep is now rotating to reduce his mins (similar to what you see Zidane doing with Ronaldo) and unlike most PL clubs, he has Jesus who is scoring goals for fun as well.

  36. Sterling and Sane are doing well now but If Aguero gets hurt or slows down or Jesus hits a slump then I think if you can be more confident in have an experienced like Sanchez. Real Madrid is down and I don’t think Munich and Barca are not as formidable as in the past. It looks like this could be a really great year for Man city and you have to play for today when you get a chance like this.

  37. Bill,

    That’s a LOT of IF’s and the other thing is, will Sanchez want to wait for all those IF’s to happen?

    Barca and Bayern are different but less formidable; I would be careful there.

  38. Doesn’t matter who we buy or how good they are, they will inevitably regress at Arsenal.

    Sanchez, Xhaka and Mustafi are the latest proof of that. They shine and they fade.

  39. C, @ 6:01

    Totally agree with you!!

    My main reservation with that rumour of Sanchez to Citeh is because they do not need him.

    However, they have so much money they could buy him just to mess with us — but we are a ‘no-show’ as far as the PL is concerned so why would they bother?

    He will go in my opinion – as to where? I do not know — but if it is not to Citeh for £44m – then maybe PSG, but they have said they are not in that market.

    Interesting.

  40. Liverpool v Everton
    Middsboro v sunderland
    Spuds v Wimbledo
    Citeh v Burnley
    Norwich v Chelsea
    Man Utd v Derby

  41. HenryB,

    Exactly!

    Its why I could see Sanchez actually staying simply because even though he is on a free and despite what most Gooners think, he is still a 29 year old in a world of futbol where there are loads and loads of uber talented attacking players at the big clubs.

    I mean look at some of the main clubs that have been bantered about and why they don’t need him:
    PSG – Neymar, Mbappe, Di Maria, Draxler, Cavani (and they still have Jese

    Bayern – Lewandowski, Muller (people say he hasn’t scored but he is club captain and is still very influential having added assists), Koman, James, Ribery, Robben

    Juve – Higuain, Manzudiac, Cuadrado, Costa, Dybala

    Barca – nope not happening

    Madrid (if anything they need a CF2)- Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo, Isco, Asensio, Lucas Vazquez

    Citeh – we know them
    Chelsea – can’t see that happening
    Manure – would be interesting but don’t see it happening

    I think ultimately he will go just because but who knows where.

  42. We are already 15 points behind Citeh so we are not a threat to them. Sanchez could potentially be a huge addition for them the rest of this season and next year. Sanchez is my favorite player now that Ox has gone but he has not been very productive this year and if they are really willing to give us $45M in January it would be crazy to turn them down.

  43. HenryB,

    Ooh H…….to someone that was quick to correct me on the spelling of Clattenburg…….it’s a real no no to write or say Notts Forest my friend.
    It’s Nott’m Forest and Notts County….as in Nottinghamshire County.
    I couldn’t give a rats arse but Forest supporters would…….plus most other things you say are pretty much on the money so I thought I’d seize the moment to have a pop 😉(Copyright of Nicky inc).

  44. Good night all…….especially you YW….if one liners don’t come naturally to you it’s no good staying up all night thinking them up mate.
    Give stand up a rest and get back to putting your blog out earlier 😂😂😂😂…now you see…..THAT’S funny my friend…..sort of…..of a fashion…..I’ll get me coat.

  45. From being under a huge pile of rubble, England have somehow managed to put this test match on a knife edge. If I had to put money on it, I’d back the Aussies still but you can rule us out just yet. Super stuff

  46. JG, @ 12:04

    I don’t, as a rule, ever correct other bloggers for spelling errors or syntax, mainly because I think that’s ill mannered, but also because I do not care.

    Therefore I have no recollection of ever telling you how to spell Clattenburg, because … well see above.

    However, I am thrilled to bits to receive praise from a literary connoisseur such as your good self, and I take it that I can refer back to you whenever I am concerned about specific terminology and verb forms. 😀

    [Just between us — and because I cannot bring myself to pretend I am educated — can you have a word with those who type ‘should of’ instead of ‘should’ve’ or ‘should have’. But don’t say it was me that put you up to it! ]
    YW is exempted, of course, as he has a somewhat mordant sense of humour when riled. 😀

  47. HenryB,

    Good morning H ….you miserable sod !
    Because you have no recollection of it does not mean that it didn’t happen…..my memory is relatively sharp 😉
    Any road up…….on the subject of spelling irregularities and all that-I’m mindful of starting something on here as the last time I asked OK if he ate his marmalade chilled it started a mini feud with Babster calling me a heretic 😂😂
    Regarding things that bother……people that answer every fucking question they are asked with ‘so’……arrrrrrrgh 😆😆😆
    ‘Can I get?’…….no no no,it’s ‘can I have?’………and don’t get me on the overuse (and incorrect use )of ‘issue’……everything’s a bloody issue…..are we afraid to use ‘problem’ now? I blame the corporates.Then there’s ‘upspeak’ where they all go up at the end,turning everything into a question 😆😆😆😆
    Rant over

  48. Any excuse, JG — actually, auto-correct gives me a pain in the derriere occasionally.

    I have tried to put this off, but it is no good — please accept my profuse apologies for questioning your spelling of Clattenburg — altho I think it was Orse who was the guilty party. 🙂

    Anyway, clearly I would have been wrong to do so, because YW has now given the correct spelling — of the esteemed refs name, above, and I know I would have got that wrong. 🙂

  49. But as you raised it JG, I find the use of the word ‘problem’ pretty antediluvian and all us uptodate whizz kids, like C for example, prefer to use the word ‘challenge’. 🙂

    Nothing is a ‘negative’ problem to us — we face ‘challenges’ there to be overcome with the right attitude.

    Brexit seems to be beset with ‘challenges’ it seems.

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