Mails: Life is beautiful after Arsene Wenger…


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Gloating Gooner
Hello. I just wanted to write in to mention how beautiful post-Wenger life has been. For the first time since 2008, I am seeing the strangest things in Arsenal teams like:

* A team winning 9 matches in a row in all competitions, despite having several mediocre players
* Players actually being selected on merit
* Accountability. Lazy overpaid chancers (hi Mesut) being called out and left at home when they don’t pull their weight
* Squad players hustling on the pitch, a system that minimises the weaknesses of e.g. Iwobi, Mustafi, Xhaka, Welbeck
* Players generally deemed not good enough, showing clear signs of improvement with actual tactical coaching. Even Bellerin looks competent.
* Arsenal playing away on a Thursday in Europe, then coming back to play an early lunchtime kick-off and the manager not waffling on with pathetic excuses about “physically jaded after Europe blabla”
* A manager taking personal responsibility after defeats to Chelski and Citeh, not making ridiculous excuses about “oil money”
* A team coming out after a poor first half and significantly improving after a manager’s half-time chat. As opposed to coming out and shipping a further 3 goals and imploding
* Substitutions made before the 70th minute. Who knew this was allowed?
* Water bottles no longer subjected to assault
* Zippers no longer being fiddled with endlessly
* A manager that barks tactical instructions from the sidelines and reacts to what is happening tactically, in-game. Aren’t you just supposed to copy-paste the same team selection and formation for the whole season and then lay back in a deckchair?
* No talk of “mental strength” after a scabby fortuitous win at home to a rubbish side. Always demanding more improvement.

Apart from that, the most satisfying thing is that the “Be Careful what You wish For” crowd, often ManYoo fans who told Arsenal fans to know their place…are now howling with incandescent rage after just 14 months of Mourinho madness! Arsenal fans tolerated 14 Years of it and were told to “remember what he once won” and “have patience”. Funny how that “patience” isn’t applying to them eh? 😂
The other amazing thing is that the Emirates didn’t burn down after Wenger was sacked as was predicted by the Wenger Cult (ooops sorry he errr “left”, because you know…when people choose to leave their jobs they are given their full severance package and payout for duration of their contract right?) The club didn’t go under, Arsenal are not battling relegation. The club seems to be rejuvenated and thriving – mainly because Le Grim Reaper has left the building, and he has thankfully taken many of his comedy cult with him! (Tom Goldenballs, Dale May and Will O’Doherty seem to have been abducted!) Arsenal seems like a football club again, not one troglodyte’s ego-trip. It isn’t really important if they win anything or not this season: it is more important that the manager wants to win, doesn’t spend his whole time lying and trying to deceive fans (while stuffing his pockets), and that performance and progression is based on merit and improvement. Long may it continue.
Stewie Griffin (No point writing in anymore as the argument made since 2006 was won years later. Just wanted to give Emery his due)

Draft excluder
Not to nitpick too much, and hopefully this actually adds to DC, BAC’s overall point, but far from being a first round pick, and widely recognised star of the future, Tom Brady was actually a 6th round pick, and 199th pick overall way back in 2000. He struggled for a starting place at college and only became a starter at the patriots when the incumbent Drew Bledsoe was injured. No one knew then that he would go on to be one of the most successful QBs of all time. Hopefully this supports DC’s point that you’re better off taking a punt on some less obvious candidates than spending all the big bucks on an expected star.

Having said this, I don’t think DC’s idea for a staggered opening of the transfer window would in any way impact transfers though. Players would just wait to move to their preferred cohort of clubs – a new brazilian sensation is not going to move to huddersfield instead of real madrid just because their transfer window opens sooner. (unless i’ve misunderstood how it is supposed to work).

Sam, Chennai

Cover up
In response to today’s Mediawatch highlighting the Daily Mail’s (not-in-the-least-bit-surprising) objection to players covering their mouths when talking, I thought I’d chime in as a fan (whom they seem to be claiming to represent).

I personally think its fun. It comes across as the football equivalent of that scene from Anchorman where they’re trading increasingly obscene insults while their mics are muted. At least that’s what I imagine is going on. As a United supporter it also breaks from the boredom of our shockingly bad football of late.

Plus anything to get the Mail and their readership frothing at the mouths in misplaced outrage is a positive in my book.

Long may it continue!
Chris, MUFC, WGC

Recommended listening
As yesterday was Mental Health Day, I wanted to point my fellow mailbox readers in the direction of an excellent interview which took place last week on an Irish football podcast called the Second Captains. The interview was with a young man named Brian Lenihan, a former football player who announced his retirement from the game earlier this year, at the age of just 23, due to the impact that playing professional football had on his mental health.

Brian came through the ranks at Cork City in the League of Ireland and having impressed at right back, he was signed by the then Premier League side Hull City. He was sent out on loan to Blackpool and here is where his problems started after he suffered a serious knee injury after just a couple of games. I won’t give away much more as I really want people to listen to the interview. I genuinely think it’s essential listening for anyone with even a passing interest in football. And anyone who’s ever heard a person say “but they earn loads of money, they should be happy they don’t have to work” about an injured player, get them to listen to this podcast. As Brian says himself, all the money in the world won’t help you when your self worth and self esteem are at rock bottom.

A warning also that it was a very dark interview so maybe stay away if that sort of thing upsets you. Brian discusses his battle with suicidal thoughts including how he planned his own suicide while his girlfriend lay asleep next to him. He speaks very openly and honestly and should really be commended for trying to help people in similar situation by speaking publicly about his experiences. It would have been easy for him to hide away after his retirement. He talks a bit about his experience with Electroconvulsive therapy which again is essential listening of you’re unfamiliar with the process.

We’re very lucky to live in an era where mental health is take seriously and people like Brian telling their stories publicly will only help in making people more comfortable reaching out to someone when they need help. So really I urge you all to please take half an hour out of your day if you can to listen to this podcast. It’s international week, it’s not like you have anything better to do.I promise you, you won’t regret it.
Robert, CCFC, Cork

Welsh wonders
It’s interesting to me that you should mention the team England ‘could’ pick for their under-21s team (and it is a very impressive team), as I’d just been looking this morning at who is even left to play for Wales’ under-21s. Nine – NINE – of the current senior squad are aged 18-21, with another handful of kids having been called up in the past 12 months and a couple more being tipped for inclusion in next month’s squad. Exciting times.

I’d make an XI but they virtually all play in the same position. There must be some way of crowbarring David Brooks, Harry Wilson, Ben Woodburn, Tyler Roberts, George Thomas and Rabbi Matondo into one starting line-up.
Huw Davies

No change
Great question from Lawrence of Abuja and the answer is yes, I’d happily take that deal. Might be a bit groany finishing third after winning the league the year before but given our poor record against the big boys anyway, it’s hardly a change from reality there.

Assume we also win all the cup competitions, goal of the season and best matchday pie too though…thrown in to sweeten the deal
Rich, London, AFC

More violence, please
Can you please do the brawl feature with the best manager of each “Traditional Top 20” club if for no other reason that I would like to know who wins between Sir Alex and Bill Shankly as the Professor heads to the door only to be tripped by the Special One. Maybe Brian Clough and Don Revie could finally do more than do the bantz on live TV as well.
Niall (this Liverpool fan’s money is on Sir Alex unless Souness grabs his ankles underneath the ropes to score the cheating victory), Denver

…Anyone who didn’t find Steve Chicken’s article on how PL managers would fare in a brawl funny can f*ck right off.

Good stuff 365.
Andy Race (My money was on Emery, he definitely carries a blade)

…Reading Steve Chicken’s excellent article, I was led to wonder which manager would actually triumph in a serious physical contest. I’m thinking of a seeded knockout tournament, or league, under Queensberry rules or just fights to the death.

The leading contenders would have to be the relatively young ex-players, Klopp, Pochettino, Howe and Dyche foremost. All played at CB, which helps. Howe is easily the youngest, but the others have are taller and bulkier, so I’d avoid backing him. Klopp’s got reach, but he’s the wrong side of 50 and never struck me as much of a brawler. I was struggling to choose between Dyche and Poch. Dyche obviously looks the part, but the trimmed goatee says otherwise, and the gravelly voice makes me wonder as to his stamina. Pochettino edges it for me, as he’s got the height and build, was a battling centre back not that long ago, and he’s kept himself in shape. And he managed to floor Michael Owen without even touching him.
Damien, Spurs (As if that wasn’t self-evident)

…The ‘How every Manger would fare in a brawl’ might just be the greatest article I think I’ve ever read.

I think you’re discounting Emery far too soon, he sometimes has a glint in his eye!

Very fair about Sarri, he looks like the skinniest fat person ever if that makes sense!

Think ones are needed now for Serie A and La Liga.

Kindest regards,
Zim Zam Zombie

…I was just reading the “how every PL manager would fare in a brawl” article. I didn’t realise when “Jesus, it cannot be,” dropped out of my mouth as I read that his name is Javi Gracia not Garcia. I’ve being reading Garcia for a number of years now, even on F365.
A person really sees what he wants to see.