It’s to an old mate of mine I turned for this one – Mike Smith, a fellow son of the late Waveney District Council. Once a Lowestoftian, this Gooner has long since departed the sunny climes and headed instead to that London to answer the call of Stan Kroenke and co.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of Wednesday (if anything can be gritty in empty, soulless stadiums), were you a ‘Wenger out’ kind of guy towards the end of his time? In other words, a Piers Morgan? And then Unai Emery … where’d that one all go wrong?
It was time for Arsene to go, and to be honest if he had gone a little earlier things might not have got as bad as they have. We missed the window to get Klopp or Guardiola, Klopp in particular, and who knows what might have happened! I didn’t think Emery did a bad job initially, and decisions like selling Ramsey and keeping Ozil, buying Pepe and not Zaha certainly didn’t help him.
(As an aside, how’d you feel about having Morgan as your number one cheerleader?)
And, now, how are you feeling about Arteta going forward? Read an interesting tweet by Oliver Holt yesterday who likes the manager but thinks the club hierarchy above him is “broken”. Spoke of a really good crop of young players – cited Saka – but feels that the club, from board level, will “squander their talents”. Does he have a point?
I definitely think Arteta is the man for the job. I love his focus, but he will need time. I hope that with Edu on board as well now we have some sensible people at the helm, and my biggest concern is that they lose patience with the Board and walk themselves.
Hhmm… would be a shame to lose him and the good young players for political rather than footballing reasons.
Is there anything left for you over the next few weeks that could constitute a good season? Europe looks a long shot and you’re not beating (Man) City in the FA Cup semi, are you?
I think some performances like we saw when Arteta first joined will be a start. There was a real desire and tempo to the way we played in January against Chelsea and United and we need to see some more of that. We need to get a glimpse of who fits into the plan for next season and end this one with some optimism for what lies ahead. Europe would be a bonus and is still do-able, but no we are not beating Man City!
I see they gave David Luiz another year? You as surprised as me at that?
Not totally, yes he is an accident waiting to happen but I think he is a strong character and a leader and we are short on those at the moment. Sadly, he is far from being our worst player.
Suppose we have to mention it… thoughts on Liverpool’s title win? Am guessing that Lowestoft-born Scouse wannabee we both know has been in touch? Never going to hear the end of it are we! Quite enjoying “30 years of hurt” weren’t we, Smudge? 😡
I’ve never had the same deep-seated dislike of Liverpool that many others do, and you have to say they were very good, weren’t they!
Yes – reluctantly. You’re being so much more grown-up than me … snap out of it!
Tottenham and Manchester United winning it would have been much worse, although that’s never going to happen for Tottenham!
While we’re here, and by way of avoiding the inevitable talk of City’s PL demise, I have a fellow MFW columnist who, like yourself, is a live music aficionado. Obviously, global pandemics and live music don’t go, but any recommendations for our Martin for when we eventually get back to a new normal?
BBC 6 Music has got me through the lockdown so far and introduced me to some great new stuff. New bands would be The Orielles and The Mysterines, with some vintage Cocteau Twins on heavy rotation too.
Remember The Damned in that small town in mid-Suffolk? Weirdly great night, right?
Great night indeed and not quite as messy as the Mission at the UEA! I saw the Damned again at the Royal Albert Hall a couple of years back on their 40th Anniversary tour and the girl next to me threw up everywhere mid-gig… that punk spirit never dies!
Oh blimey… had forgotten about The Mission at the UEA. Messy indeed 🤦♂️
Okay … can put it off no longer… anything nice to say about our season? Remember what our mums told us about ‘if you can’t say anything nice…’
You’ve been a breath of fresh air. I think Farke is a top guy and so glad you’ve stuck with him and kept trying to play football. I think Todd Cantwell is a top player too… Wonder if you will hold on to him and if not hope he goes to the right club for his development and doesn’t just sit on the bench somewhere.
Oh! warm words … wasn’t expecting that… cheers! We hope to keep hold of a couple of our good youngsters at least. Todd’s knack of pulling out big performances against the big boys leads me to think he’ll probably not be one of them.
And, finally, standard stuff … how many are you going to beat us by, bearing in mind we only have one fit centre-back?
Well, we only have one decent forward and he keeps getting stuck on the wing, so I think it’s a draw or a narrow one-goal win… maybe even for you guys!
Blimey… didn’t see that coming either! Cheers Smudge.