Brief post today, just trying to get back into the swing of things posting every day but there is literally nothing going on with the Arsenal today. The only football-related news story is that Alexis Sanchez returned to London and trained on his own. As for the rest of the world, well, that’s still gone crazy. If you started a game of SIMS and it elected Donald Trump, you’d probably just go ahead and start over. I guess what I’m trying to say is that we are in the dumbest version of SIMS imaginable and I’m just waiting for the reset.
Proof that we are in the dumbest simulation ever arrived this morning when the Guardian revealed that PSG are going to pay Neymar something like £35m a year, after tax. Don’t worry, though, that story is full of last year’s news. I’m pretty sure his pay packet will be higher than that.
Let’s not forget that Neymar scored 13 goals and provided 11 assists last season. Sounds like good value. No but seriously, Neymar led Barcelona in a bunch of stats: Key Passes, dribbles, being fouled, that sort of stuff. He still has a huge step up to make it worth the money that PSG are reportedly plunking down on him. — £150m for the transfer and at least £200m for salary and other considerations. That’s the official money for his release, for his salary, and to pay off his family. Who knows how much money UEFA will demand as a bribe (sorry, I mean as a “fine”) to let them get away with what is clearly a violation of FFP rules.
Rather than getting bogged down in all that I suggest you check out the uplifting story of newly promoted Brighton Hove and Albion. The Guardian has a 10 minute video about how Brighton were nearly ruined by their previous owner, who sold their stadium to pay off his debts, and how a dedicated group of fans helped to save the club and build a new ground.
That video shows what it takes to oust an owner and I have to say that I’m not hopeful of Arsenal getting rid of Stan Kroenke any time soon. He’d have to drive the club into the ground before we could realistically force him out.
Anyway, I went and had a look at Brighton’s stats, you know, to figure out what type of team they are, and two things stood out: they won more penalties than any other team in the Championship last season (10), they were 5th in long-ball key passes (101) and were tops in counter attack goals (6). They were also 4th in shots blocked (180) and had the fewest goals allowed (40). So, there you have it, a Leicester.* It will be interesting to see if they can continue that playing style, improve on it, and maintain fitness in the Premier League.
That’s it for today, unless Arsenal swoop for Neymar, which Stan Kroenke pays for with the wealth he earned by starting his animal killing channel.
*I’m not judging them harshly for their playing style, I personally don’t care how you play football, whatever works for the players you have is the best system to play.