José Mourinho is always a wily one, a Manichean Machiavelli who has mastered many of the world's darker arts. Success has come to him time and time and time again, proving if nothing else that ends justify means. However, ahead of the Community Shield, which will pit Chelsea against Arsenal, his attempt at mind games offers a peek into the psyche of man perhaps more worried than ever about losing to his rival, both in that upcoming match as well as in the Prem season that follows. That his comments reveal a hypocritical lack of self-awareness is another issue for another day (or, failing that, another paragraph).
28 July 2015
27 July 2015
Arsenal won the Emirates Cup for the first time since 2010, becoming the first club to win the esteemed competition for an unprecedented fourth time and—ah, who are we kidding? We all know that this preseason tournament is little more than a glorified friendly, and all involved should be careful not to draw too many conclusions from the proceedings. Is Lacazette utter shite after he (and OL) failed to score a single goal? Probably not. Is Jeff the second coming of Vieira? A quick internet search suggests he is, but, again, the answer is probably not. After thrashing Lyon 6-0 on Saturday, Sunday's 1-0 squeaker over Wolfsburg might feel anticlimactic, even if it did secure a second trophy in as many tournaments.
24 July 2015
STADE DE FRANCE, Saint-Denis, France—Les Bleus had just finished another arduous training session under Deschamps, and the lads were cooling off, undressing, and preparing to faire la douche. Benzema, having toweled off, glanced over at Giroud, his compatriot and competitor, and sensed an opportunity for a valuable tête-à-tête. After all, there had been much talk of Benzema leaving Real Madrid to join Arsenal, and who better to question on the matter than Giroud? After all, he'd just completed his third season with the club, knew Arsène, and could explain what it is like to play for such a manager. Tentatively at first, sensitive to the conflicts of interests inherent in the moment, Karim approached...
22 July 2015
Wojciech Szczęsny has agreed to a season-long loan to Serie A's Roma, but the deal apparently does not allow Roma a £3.5 million buy-out clause, implying that Szczęsny would return to Arsenal for next season. On its face, the deal might make sense as it gives him a chance to play ahead of De Sanctis (38 y.o.), Lobont (37), and Švedkauskas (21). It both strips Szczęsny of the comfort he's enjoyed over the last few seasons while allowing him to play and develop, albeit without the mentoring and modeling that Petr Čech would offer. That brings me to my stunning realisation...