A morning blog which is crisper than Lucas Torreira’s reducer on Son Heung-min, but like any Hollywood blockbuster, you’ve seen the best bit with the opening; the rest is as ramshackle as the German defence. That was Mesut Ozil’s fault, according to Uli Hoeness. He hasn’t said that publicly yet but it is only a matter of time before the rehabilitated old tax fraudster does.
The Armenian head coach is probably trying to figure out how he can rope Ozil into the blame for their defeat to Gibraltar, which was the Rock’s first ever win. There’s no surprise at the victory. Wrestling, acting; it was only a matter of time before he turned his hand to something else.
It’s a slow news day. Granit Xhaka offered his view on Unai Emery’s impact and unsurprisingly, it’s positive.
We needed some time to get to know the character and philosophy of the new manager. It is going well and I am improving.’
‘On a tactical level, the manager has really helped me. But we can still improveGranit Xhaka on Unai Emery’s arrival and impact
What helped more, I suspect, was being hooked at half-time at Stamford Bridge when the red mist had descended over the Swiss international’s eyes. That was a wake-up call; a sign the Spaniard wasn’t taking any crap from anyone.
The recurring theme of squad interviews is that Emery is more tactical than his predecessor, more in-depth and generally, more intense. More hands-on; more this, more that, more of the other. Just more, to be honest.
Alex Iwobi said the same recently; it’s shown in his performances for club and country. An assist last night after generally bamboozling defences this season in the best form since he burst onto the scene. A promising return.
On the subject of managers who prepare tactically and well, there’s an interesting chat with George Graham in the Scotsman here.
Talking of predecessors and predecessors talking, Arsene believes Aaron Ramsey has a strong hand in negotiations with the club. He’s seemingly oblivious to the club pulling out of the deal rather than the other way round.
It is a further sign of the changes at the club. Wenger admitted he knows nothing of what is going – disingenuous? Moi? – but more importantly, how our funds are being used. I have no doubt that the deal would not have been withdrawn were Ivan or Arsene still in charge of negotiations.
Raul Sanellhi’s eyes face the Academy and youth players, and on how we can produce our own ‘Masia’, freeing up more funds for experienced professionals in key positions.
A different approach which while not setting out to ‘kill careers’ is certainly not above putting significant obstacles in the way. Ensuring the team is served first and foremost; throwing youngsters in at the deep end but not under a bus.
Will that come with time? The presumption is that the new Adidas and Emirates funds will bolster our ability to compete on wages. We’ll see whether that theory works over time.