13 October 2021

Thomas Partey proves he's not auditioning to play for an American football team...

When Thomas Partey joined Arsenal from Atletico Madrid, it felt too many like we had finally found that much-vaunted Vieira's HeirTM, that dominating, physical box-to-box midfielder who could disrupt opponents' attacks, link defense to attack, and bomb forward to score. There were flashes of that from the often-injured Elijah Price—er, Abou Diaby—but we've never truly found the player who could fill that role. Partey's arrival seemed to herald the dawning of a new era. He quickly showed that he could dominate a midfield. His passing split lines and carved defenses open. He tackled with almost-reckless aplomb...and then came the shots. Simply put, it often seemed like the man was auditioning to take point-after tries for an American football team or perhaps a conversion for a proper rugby side. Some of his efforts are still being tracked by the Hubble Telescope. However, there is better news on the near-horizon.

12 October 2021

Et tu, Arsène? Has he sold his soul to the Saudis?

Disturbing news continues to emanate out of Saudi Arabia. Last last week, the Saudi government's purchase of Newcastle was approved, prompting a surge in stock prices in fainting couches and smelling salts. In all seriousness, though, this was a move a long time in the offing, with Mike Ashley coming across as only slightly more objectionable than a government with a penchanct for dismembering its critics with a bonesaw and is not entirely out of character for a league in which profits frequently (read: always) prioritises profits over principles. Still, this latest newswhich has club legend and ostensibly all-around good person Arsène Wenger being hired on to manage an all-star squad featuring players from two Saudi Arabian clubs against Paris Saint-Germain in January 2022. Um, wot?