Get Your Kits Out For The Lads – Will The Purse Strings Be Looser?

So, farewell Puma
Much like an extra hole in the head,
you won’t be missed.

The worst kept secret is confirmed: Adidas are back, Adidas are back. Excitement City, Arizona. £60m per year plus bonuses apparently.

There was salivating about a return to a proper red shirt with white sleeves for the home kit. Adidas, however, have form in not adhering to that; there were all manner of splashes, tinges, and logos all over the shop during their reign. However, they have to go some to stoop as low as Puma has in recent years.

As for the away kit, everyone loved the ‘bruised banana’. Or at least that’s what you’d think if you read social media. The reality is that most people hated it at the time. Some people loved it, that’s for sure, but more didn’t. Curiously enough, it was reviled not just for the design created by a pigeon on acid let loose in a paint factory but yes, you’ve guessed it, it wasn’t an ‘Arsenal’ away kit of yellow and blue. Well, not in the traditional sense.

I preferred the faux sash effect of the two Adidas logos split by the JVC logo. Yes, I know, not a traditional Arsenal away kit. Which just goes to show, you can please some of the people, etc…

With the new Emirates deal kicking in next summer, it’s time for Unai Emery to go transfer crazy! That’s what the spurious logic tells us. Maybe he will, maybe Sven won’t. Aaron Ramsey’s departure leaves a hole to be filled by Emile Smith Rowe, so it frees the recruitment to focus on important positions such as centre-back and goalkeeper with Petr Cech’s contract up next summer. A new deal? Not for more than a year at his age, I’d venture.

Reality Bites

There’s a long way to go between now and next summer. Even the winter window. A run of nine consecutive wins and we’re world-beaters; champions-elect in some eyes.

Reality will bite, I suspect, in Lisbon to bring the winning run to an end but not the unbeaten one. We’ve got this far playing well sporadically, usually for a half each game. Fulham was the first one where we turned up from the kick-off and played for ninety minutes.

Cause for celebration? I think not. A cause for hope? Definitely. Sunday was the first time we saw what Unai Emery wants from the side from start to finish. The canvas was filled with his brush strokes with the old style being gradually removed.

People are still raw about the previous regime and some are unable to let go of the hatred. Others want to disparage the new boss simply because he isn’t Le Boss. Their shrill sounds are punctuated by nature coursing through their voicebox as puberty hits.

Comparison of this season to last is valid; comparison of coaching methods is valid. Abuse of individuals or wanting Arsenal to fail isn’t; no amount of calling Arsene Wenger a “w@nker” will erase him from the club’s history nor should it; nor will hoping for defeat bring him back. That ship has sailed.

Time for you to move on with your emotions or ship out; the rest of us want to get on with the Arsenal of here and now, with due deference to the past. Learn from victories and mistakes in equal measure and be able to critique them without abuse. Harder than it seems, apparently.

Meanwhile, Over In Spain…

And this is how many more trophies I have won. What about you, Mauricio..?
B@st@rd…

’til Tomorrow.

32 thoughts on “Get Your Kits Out For The Lads – Will The Purse Strings Be Looser?

  1. Loved the bruised banana (first time I’ve heard it called that), wish I hadn’t thrown mine (complete with Merse’s #10) away now. Good news.

    While the old boss/new boss discussion still rumbles on (but less so thanks to our current form) another discussion seems to be ongoing, specifically do we play with a ‘#10’ or revert to a more traditional two-striker system? I’ll leave out names and focus on the formation. I’m a fan of 442 or a loose variation of that and I think that it suits the majority of our players, if not all. I still don’t see why we need a specific ‘creator’, all players have strengths and weaknesses, it’s getting a good combination in the midfield as we had done for decades before the new ‘#10’ became fashionable to some (incidentally, back in the day the #10 was the second striker).

    For me there are only two real specialties on a football pitch and they relate to the very basics of the game. Strikers who can put the ball in the net (of which we have two great examples) and the guy at the other end who prevents the opposition doing the same. The rest need a varied skill set rather than a specific one.

  2. The Bruised Banana (aka Tractor Print) was an early 90s icon. Loved and loathed in equal measure, it became a real favourite on the Rave scene. Under a UV light it looked quite something.

    My personal favourite was the 89 vintage. The home and away kits mirrored each other which gave people like ‘Two kit Baz’ ideas.

  3. Personally, I prefer to focus on style and tactics as opposed to formation. Sure, I hate the traditional 442 but actually like a midfield diamon if we do use it but I think we have players that are capable, have flourished and are capable of playing multiple formations. Aubameyang and Lacazette are wingers who out of necessity became 2 of Europe’s most lethal strikers but both did that in a 433 or some sort of variation of that but they played in styles that suited their abilities both as wingers and strikers.

    For me though, the biggest thing is getting our midfield pivots right and allowing Leno to continue in goal which will help the back 4 because we have the attackers to create chances, we have done it in every match sans Citeh.

    As for the kit, no matter what happens one group will bitch and complain.

  4. C,

    I prefer to keep my villains in focus. Though I’d be more than happy to see Yogi as the midfield pivot spraying the vitriol with deadly accuracy around the whole team.
    And LePool! are sadly still ahead of us. Unlike them lot.

  5. ferkov,

    I prefer to have a pop at my villians when I can. Yogi could do his best Pirlo with plenty of places to pick. Liverpool might be ahead of us, but then again, they still haven’t won fuck all.

  6. I don’t think we should have just one formation. But we should play 442 when feasible to maximize the key strength and advantage we have over other competing teams: two world class strikers who complement each other. To be more defensive, we could play 352 or 4231 or 433 depending on player availability, form and opposition. We need tactical intelligence and specific instruction to do this, but Emery and his staff seem eager to do this in training and in match. We can have a fundamental approach and style as an attacking team but need to be willing to make adjustments. That is an additional reason why I was so happy about the Fulham match. Not only was it our best performance but it also showed that Emery is flexible and can set us up to take advantage of opponents weaknesses by playing a 442. That is very promising and a relief since so many told us that he always and only plays 4231 and that it was good that he would inflexibly stick to his approach, favored formation and style etc… Thank goodness he is a better coach than these people imagined. I feel like we have a possible chance to get back into the top 4. We might not, but at least we have a chance to compete for it.

    Getting back to the top 4 for competitive and financial benefits plus the new Adidas deal would allow AFC to make a real push to compete for the league next season or the season after for the PL title the way Liverpool used the last 2-3 windows to build. We have Auba, Mkh, Ozil at high capacity for just 2 more seasons after this. We have to make it count since I doubt we can sell any of them for the money we paid to reinvest. The resources to compete have to come now from the deal and CL money. Nothing will come from the Kroenke’s. Hopefully they don’t drain funds out of the club. It is all on Raul, Sven, Emery to use this window of opportunity.

  7. C,

    And that was one very minor ancillary point to the whole post. Drop the comparison to what Pool has done entirely and the rest of the comment still stands. And that is a fair point—and they still haven’t won anything either.

  8. LSG,

    True but I think we do have saleable assests and even during the summer, if somebody did offer 50m for Ramsey we should have taken it. I think tough decisions need to be made and sure Cech is out of contract, but if Leno continues to grow and show that he is the GK that I think and he has shown, why not gow with Leno and Martinez or Macey next season.

  9. C,
    Who are these saleable assets? The only one really is Lacazette. We blew the Ramsey situation and probably should have taken the 50m offer this summer—at least signed him to a decent contract or sold.m. I agree, but that only proves my point—he isn’t 50m now, is he? We have no Coutinho. The most saleable was Ox and we got good money for him. We have no top class 23-26yr old players who bring in the big fees. Who would buy Auba at 30-31 for what we paid? Ozil at same age for what we paid on this massive wage? The point is: we need to get into the CL for the money and prestige if we are going to reinforce this team in order to challenge for the PL soon. Don’t you think? Or do you think that as we are, without CL football finishing 5th or 6th this season and a couple of minor moves in the summer that we will challenge next season?

  10. Heavy hitting gents. One of the many beauties of football is that everyone at every level of understanding can form the basis of the discussion that you guys are having. You guys slug it out at a level closer to the source than many ,including myself, and it is an education.
    If I may interject tho, I think that we have a better starting point now, than Pool had 3 years ago. Klopp has turned their ship around , and they sold well tbf. But they have ,indeed, won FUCK ALL. Most of our current team, not to mention the rising stars can contribute to a title chasing team in the next couple of years….including Rambo if he stays. You couldn’t have said that about Pool! 3 years ago.

  11. C,

    Btw, I am not sure what the GK points you raise really has to do with discussion exactly. But I don’t disagree. Hopefully Leno establishes himself as a top class GK for us. That would be great since we spent 20m on him and without CL footballl, I can’t see us going for another expensive GK anytime soon unless he is a disaster.

    Overall, we seem to have done reasonably well last summer by picking up Guendouzi (promising talent, current squad depth), Lichtsteiner (seasoned pro, back up defender we needed). We spent serious but not outrageous money on Leno and Torreira. Both look good so far and could seem bargains later. Good work, Sven et al. But we will need more quality than this, I think to challenge for the league or go deep in CL if we can get back into it. That’s all I am saying. Thankfully Emery seems to be working better with what he has to improve performances, develop players, and get results by showing some tactical flexibility and wise set up of the team to exploit opponents. That’s good news for top 4 hopes.

  12. ferkov,

    Agree with that point. Pool had sunk much further. But it did a very good job buying and selling and then spending big to address problems. But they really have yet to grab any prizes despite their progress.

  13. LSG,

    Seems to me we all think similar, that this squad plus youngstars, and a couple, maybe 3 upgrades over next window or more likely summer, with This coach , could make us Title contenders, and certainly getting silverware, and Attracting players again. Your differences are semantics , not to be sniffed at, and unlikely to ever be agreed upon. Vive la difference. Vive la football

  14. LSG,

    Maybe we don’t have the Coutinho type assest but I think at this point we can sale those that don’t have a future or their future is truly up in the air as well as deciding if paying money to Cech for another year is wise as opposed to continuing on with Leno and getting Martinez more experience as the season goes on and letting him be the #2 next season. What to do with players like Chambers, maybe Welbeck in the winter. I don’t think its a quick fix but adding 2-3 players would most certainly help. For instance, another winger and a CB would go a long way in helping us and this team as would the continuation of Emery and the team understanding each other.

    We are not going to go out and spend World Record fees on a CB and GK but maybe 30-40m on a winger or CB would and could be quality.

  15. LSG,

    The point I was making about the GK goes back to money and would it be wiser to give Cech a year contract or add that money to say a winger? Ospina has 1 year left on his deal I think and he is really getting on while on loan to rave reviews, sell him and thats not only 2 contracts off the books but also a fee for Ospina that could go a long way to bring in a player.

  16. Completely agree with Emery:

    “In England the culture is that the Premier League is the first competition, and the second one is the Champions League.

    They compete and want to win it but they have met Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico, who have all imposed themselves. They are the dominant teams in the last few years.

    “It’s a competition where the English didn’t see that they could develop and find a place, it was a sacrifice too big.

    “When I won it with Sevilla I saw that the English clubs didn’t fight for it, but then UEFA put four years ago a rule to strengthen it, giving the Champions League to the winner and for four years three English teams reached the final.

    “I am in this competition and I’m telling my Arsenal players it is very important because it is a title and an open door to the next Champions League.”

  17. C,

    Emery knows what he is talking about there. The difficulty will be when the CL 3rd place teams drop in—given the way the groups were drawn, I can see several very strong teams changing the competition more than last season. Plus Chelsea are also in it as opposed to Everton.

  18. It’s not going to be a cake walk to the final that’s for sure.
    The strength of our squad , and also ambition will be put to the test.
    Come Feb, there will be 5 or 6 Quality sides left in, so all the knockout rounds could pose some interesting fixtures.
    Which coach will put out his best eleven at that stage, especially if they’ve got a tough league critical fixture at the weekend.
    Looking forward to the discussions already. Who said Europa league was boring?

  19. LSG,

    The thing is, he isn’t saying abandon grabbing 4th or that it won’t be difficult but taking the competition more seriously is key. Your right, there will be some tough teams that drop but at the same time, we are also better equipped with not only Aubameyang able to play but also a manager that knows and understands how to win the competition. Your right, Chelsea is in it but we aren’t going to have to beat all those sides, and many of them will knock others out.

  20. LSG,

    I could see Spuds, Monaco, Napoli, CSKA, Shktar, Benfica and Valencia from the CL. If I’m honest, Napoli, Valencia(because they are really good defensively but can’t score goals) are the sides and Spuds will be largely dependent on who is fit and if Kane is scoring.

  21. C,

    The groups were really unbalanced so that will produce some top teams dropping down. That’s all I was saying—it was no criticism of Emery. I’m glad he is taking it seriously. Like Ferkov, I think it will be a fun competition. I just think last season was an easier chance to win Europa. I still think we could have gone past AM. I think Emery would possibly have found a way, tbh. He seems to want to make sure we finish top and isn’t even taking the group matches lightly. I like it. Play a completely changed side with the kids when we wrap up top with two fixtures to go. So the task at hand is to defeat Sporting twice back to back, home and away. Hopefully Karabag takes some points from Sporting in Baku.

  22. LSG,

    I’m agreeing with you, just adding my two cents. I completely agree though, its a shame we didn’t get past Atletico due to some HORRIFIC defending by Kos and our inability to finish the chances that were created. Its why I have more confidence this season because we will have better finishers along with a more confident squad (at present) and a manager who tactically is an upgrade and understands the competition.

  23. C,
    Couldn’t agree more. Not only does Emery have the skills and (winning) experience in the Europa League but he also seems to be very much driven to succeed at Arsenal. Not saying AW wasn’t, but with Emery it’s more visceral and the players seem to be picking up on that.

  24. Still need 4 additions to complete Emery’s team.

    Leno

    Bellerin Sokratis KOULIBALY Monreal

    Torreira WEIGL

    BAILEY ALMIRON Aubameyang

    Lacazette

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