Well, if anyone thought that the solution to anything at Arsenal was just stick Ten Hag in and hope for the best, you’ll not want to watch the Brighton game this afternoon.

EtH has come into a mess. He’s the new manager, paired with a new CEO, paired with a new Technical Director… where we have seen that 54-part Netflix documentary before?

Their summer business has been limp at best. Their £60m center-back Lisandro Martinez has been getting bullied by Brighton players all afternoon, he looks light, and he is VERY small. He might prove me wrong here, but I think you might be able to get away without height in a weak league if you are mega talented. I am very interested to see if he’ll get away without height or weight at Premier League level. He’s had all sorts of problems containing Danny Welbeck. Brighton don’t even play it in the air, I can’t imagine how Haaland and Nunez will play against him.

I cannot wait for all the people that told us the word ‘Project’ was offensive have to listen to it rolled out at every United presser. The truth of the matter is there are only two ways of doing things in football if you want to get to the top.

  • Buy success.
  • Do things properly over a 3-5 year period

United can’t buy it after spending a billion on nothing for the last 10 years. I’m not even sure it’s possible in 2022 to buy success without a plan because Liverpool and City have money and strategy. Even Newcastle are doing things properly, with a plan, an empowered technical director, and some financial discipline.

United need to start by looking at what made Ten Hag successful.

Young players, needing a career, doing exactly what he says.

United isn’t Ajax. He’s working with extremely rich footballers that don’t give a fuck. His most lavishly paid player is 37, can’t do it at Premier League level, and they can’t get rid of him because they gave him £600k a week.

This thread from Nagelsmann tracks quite closely to the issue Ten Hag is dealing with, except Nagelsmann is tweaking a winning machine with egos, the Dutchman is tweaking a garbage fire.

Managing a big club is very different to managing a small one. Unai Emery is perfect for journeyman players because they needed to listen to him to get to the next level. 29-year-old Nagelsmann worked at Hoffenheim because his tactical wizardry would allow them to be more successful than their talent. When you work with mega players and you are asking them to do new things, it is hard, hence the reason Arteta had to clear 16 first-teamers in 2 years.

If you have Conte at the wheel, he’s big enough to bully big players, if you have a visionary no-name manager, he needs his own players. Arsenal hired Arteta and the right mix was players he knows and kids who want to takeover the world. United have a new manager with no name that is trying to do the same. It’s so lonely at United for him, he’s trying to sign Arnautovic!

There’s also a big difference in leadership between United and Arsenal.

United is the biggest club in the world. They are extremely twitchy when it comes to responding to Untied media. They aren’t strategic as a club. There’s no grand vision there at the moment. Will they have the patience to roll the dice on Ten Hag?

Who knows…

The second batch of games happened yesterday, I’m not sure we learned too much.

Spurs spanked Southampton, not really a shock, Ralph is having all sorts of problems there and most likely won’t last the season. Spurs looked fit, they dominated from an attacking perspective, and they still have the two best forwards in the League. Their third best goal poacher also showed up… own goal. Can you believe it? They also got extremely lucky with two straight red offences. Typical. Shit club.

Chelsea weren’t as impressive, but they did the job at a stadium they don’t like to go to, and their new signings looked pretty decent. I wasn’t overly enamored by Koulibably, I thought he looked his age, but we’ll see. Sterling and the left back looked sharp though.

The good news? Those two have to play each other at Stamford Bridge next week. I’m hoping it’s a bloodbath of injuries, red cards, and a draw… or… do I actually want Chelsea to win? I think I might want Chelsea to win. I’m sorry. That’s just how I feel.

Liverpool were actually dreadful against Fulham and deserved to drop two points. They didn’t press, Fulham got at them, and Mitrovic had a field day against VVD. They’ll get back to peak very quickly, but it remains to be seen if Darwin can make up for the production output of Sadio Mane.

West Ham vs City the only game to go, but rest assured, I am going to say that City are probably going to be decent this season.

So as we head out of Sunday, I still feel good about what we’ve seen from Arsenal. We looked fit, the football was really special at times, and it is absolutely clear we’ve moved our squad forward this summer.

There’s still talk that we might add a winger and a player, but, it’s looking like that’ll only if we shift on players. Bellerin, Ainsley, and Nico seem like the players most likely to give us a little cash injection, but you suspect most clubs are waiting for us to yellow sticker them in two weeks time.

There are delicious rumours that we’re tracking Moussa Diaby as our ‘surprise’ winger.

The story from FootyInsider247 says that we’re going big for the Frenchman. He scored 17 goals and had 14 assists in 43 games last season. He can play on the left or right of midfield. He has a homing beacon bottom corner finish he likes to execute. He is in the 91st percentile for non-penalty g/a, so right where we’d want a winger. His defensive numbers look pretty bad, but the dataset I’m looking at could be broken. Leverkusen don’t really allow passenger players, so you’d imagine he offers a big workrate… but I’ve not spent a lot of time watching him, so you’ll have to tell me.

Youri Tielemans played for Leicester today in their draw over Brentford, so who knows what is going on there, but I really would like to add a bit of experience to our midfield this summer.

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