So.. yesterday Ornstein published an article in which he said that some club sources said that they don’t like Aubameyang hanging out with Troopz – who is a guy from AFTV that has had some famous rants about Bellerin – and giving him his box seats and then Aubameyang landed in Gabon and read the press clippings and posted “I just arrived in Gabon and heared a lot of b******t. I talk with who I want whenever I want and if somebody’s not happy with… you already know (raised middle finger emoji).”
I know that people out there think Ornstein is an unreliable source because he supposedly got the Pepe thing wrong and the Arteta thing wrong (if you read his articles closely, he didn’t). However, regardless of that what he published is sourced and verified – at least I would hope the Athletic has journalistic integrity – so that means that at least two people in the club approved of and corroborated his article. The questions are who and why?
The thing here is that Auba has been buds with Troopz for a while. We have all seen that. We have also all seen that Auba has “liked” certain negative posts about Xhaka and Emery. So, none of this was a secret. Given that it wasn’t a secret it, then, looks a lot like Yankee Gunner is correct in saying that this is about Aubameyang refusing to sign a new deal. That the club are sort of laying the groundwork for making Auba look like the bad guy when he refuses to sign a new deal with the club.
I also think this is about Hector Bellerin. Bellerin and AFTV have clashed publicly and we know that the Arsenal fullback doesn’t rate them as fans. Speaking to Oxford Union in February 2018, Bell said:
“It’s so wrong for someone who claims to be a fan and their success is fed off a failure. How can that be a fan? It’s just people hustling, trying to make money their way, which everyone is entitled to do.
“For us players it doesn’t affect us. If they want to have fun with it then have fun. When you grow you realise what is important to you to take [on board].
“If a coach comes to me and says you’ve done something bad I’m going to take that advice. If someone from ArsenalFanTV says this guy needs to do this or that I’m not going to listen to him.
“They’re entitled to their opinion and the way they want to do it. If people find it funny then go watch it.”
In May of 2018 (three months after Bellerin criticized AFTV) and in the wake of the loss to Atletico in the Europa League, Troopz went on a huge rant about Bellerin calling him “the worst right back I’ve seen in my life, blud” and then went on to claim that because Bellerin is Spanish he might have been backing Madrid in that game, “who’s he playing for? Us or them?”
I have heard a lot of fan criticism in the past but man that’s pretty harsh. It’s one thing to criticize a performance, another to say that maybe the player’s not at the level needed to help Arsenal win titles, and then it’s like flying to the moon level to suggest that Bellerin is backing Atletico Madrid.
Look, I don’t care who Aubameyang hangs out with. I mean, mostly. If he was hanging out with far right racists I would have a problem. And I also understand that maybe the club are trying to get back at Auba for not signing the deal. But also this is.. just bad judgement from Aubameyang. Troopz isn’t a measured critic of the club and players, he’s the guy who goes on famous rants and accuses players of supporting rival teams because he’s also Spanish. That’s just awful. I would probably ban you from my comments section if you accused people of that sort of thing here. I would certainly mute you on Twitter.
I can’t fully tell who Aubameyang is giving the finger to. I guess it’s to anyone who criticizes who he hangs out with (me?). Fair enough, you can do that. But this isn’t really behavior of a club captain.
No one is looking good in this. I can’t applaud the club for leaking the dissatisfaction with Auba, Auba’s response, Auba’s teammate who went to Orny instead of Auba, or really hardly anyone in this entire sordid thing. What this really shows us is just how much chaos is bubbling under the surface Arsenal. Things are a huge mess, a dog’s dinner.
Top four probably out of reach
I listened to the Arsecast yesterday, after I published my article. HA! We said basically all the same things: we aren’t cheerleaders, beware of apathy. One thing that Andrew mentioned which I didn’t even think of is how many points we are off the pace to reach top four. I already tweeted this but I thought I would post it here as well:
Arsenal have 17 points after 12 games and are on pace to earn 53 points (1.4 ppg). Nate Silver has Arsenal earning 56 points and finishing 7th. 53 points is an 8th place finish on average.
Right now 4 teams all have 25+ points in the top 4, that would mean 4th place this season could need as much as 79 points to secure a place, that works out to 2.08 ppg over a 38 game season. Nate Silver thinks Leicester will take 4th on just 69 points this season.
However, 72 points has been enough to secure 4th on average over the last 5 years. The highest points to finish 4th place in the last five years was 76 points, 2 ppg and the lowest was 66 points (1.7 ppg).
For Arsenal to reach 72 points they would need to pick up 55 points in the next 26 games, 2.1 ppg. That’s not impossible but that’s a turnaround of 0.7 points per game.
Let me show you what that means in real terms. Arsenal currently earn 2 ppg in home games. So, in order to get to that 72 point plateau, Emery would have to find a way to keep the home form going and replicate Arsenal’s home form in every single away game for the rest of the season. Either that or Arsenal would basically have to go on a winning streak at home for the rest of the season.
That problem with away form is the main blocker here. Arsenal earned less than a point per game in Wenger’s final year, earned 1.31 ppg with Emery in his first year, and are back to less than a point per game this year.
55 points in 26 games is a 15-10-1 record, a 16-7-3, or 17-5-4 or some combination thereof. That means Arsenal would need to win every single home game and at least two of the remaining road games, plus only lose once or twice. For every home game that Arsenal don’t win, they need to win a road game. Nate Silver has the 4th place trophy going for just 69 points, so that’s one fewer win that Emery would need to pick up.
To reach the higher point total of 79, Arsenal would need 62 points, which is a final 26 game record of something like 19-5-2. I think this is totally out of reach.
I wonder if the board understands the position that Arsenal are in and that’s why they aren’t firing Emery? It looks like such a huge task that virtually no coach in the world could pull this off. So, why throw away good money at bad?
The problem with that theory, however, is that the club are clearly in turmoil here. This is a huge mess and it’s not getting any better. Emery keeps appointing divisive captains and the football is just awful. At some point the guys with the big suits need to step in and lance the boil.