Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Premier League weekend + an Arseblog update

Good morning.

Is December the new November? I ask because traditionally November has always been a dodgy month for us, but it was short on games. We won two, lost one. 66.666666666666666% win rate. That’s good. But the sample size is small. December looks much more daunting. Eight games in all, seven in the Premier League and a Carabao Cup quarter-final too. Let’s hope we don’t have any ‘November’ this season apart from the one we’ve just had which was all right really.

The Premier League weekend was pretty decent for us. Man City beat West Ham 2-1. I watched this game while I was cooking spicy Korean fried chicken and man alive it was boring. The second half was so dull I was tempted to deep fry a finger just to feel something. City sealed the game late on, but then Manuel Lanzini scored a quite delicious goal in injury time. There is something quite aesthetically pleasing about a ball going in off the woodwork most of the time, but especially so when it hits the post and flies back into the far side of the goal as the keeper is diving the other way. Watch here.

I didn’t see a lot of Chelsea v Man Utd because I chose to light the fire and watch The Beatles documentary, but a draw isn’t a bad result. It means United dropped some points and aren’t coming into our game on Thursday looking to bounce back from a defeat. They will have the new manager bounce thing, but given how little time Ralf Rangnick will have to spend with them, that will mostly be about effort. Players out to please a new boss and all that, but that’s really a pretty basic thing we should be expecting anyway.

It’ll be the second game in succession we’ve had to deal with that too, after Eddie Howe’s first game in charge of Newcastle at the weekend. You have to wonder if it might be three before we face Everton on Monday. They were beaten by Brentford yesterday, and it’s now seven games without a win in the Premier League for Rafa Benitez. He’s hardly the most popular man on the blue side of Liverpool for obvious reasons, and with a Merseyside derby on Wednesday, a bad result there might heap a huge amount of pressure on him and the Everton board.

There’s already plenty of #rafaout stuff on Twitter so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that he’s gone if it gets really bad in midweek. I don’t think they’d have a new manager by Monday, so it’d probably be the Big Duncan Ferguson caretaker bounce, but based on his playing days, he could certainly have a positive impact. Or at least terrify the players into giving a lot more than they’re producing for Benitez.

So, all in all a good weekend for us, and some entertaining stuff on and off the pitch, not least the Roy Keane/Jamie Carragher hilarity on Sky Sports. At one point, it got so high-pitched I’m told many dogs came running and various windows shattered.

Plenty to come in midweek too, and obviously we’ll chat about that as we get closer to Old Trafford on Thursday night.

Now, a quick site update, and you have probably noticed things look a little different around here. After a complete overhaul of Arseblog News, we’ve done the same for the main site, and hopefully it’s all to your taste. The design has been tidied up on desktop, and in particular on mobile where we have a new home page, making it easier than ever to find the most recent blogs/columns.

The main difference now is that we have stripped away all of the ads from the Arseblog homepage and the article pages. If you’ve been a long-time reader, you’ll know we’ve never been about clickbait or trying to generate hits simply for advertising revenue. Nor did we ever use any of the more annoying ad types, like pop-ups, auto-play videos, or ads which covered or obscured the content in any way. However, ads can still be fiddly, a bit obtrusive, and in some cases irrelevant and downright ugly.

So now they’re gone. It makes the site look better, and from the perspective of the reader, it should make for a much more pleasant experience. One of the reasons we’ve been able to do this is the amazing and continued support we have on Patreon. As well as making exclusive content for our wonderful members on there, it has enabled us to do things like this; to continue to improve the site for everyone; to invest and expand our coverage of the women’s team where Tim is now producing exclusive video content around each game; and we have some plans for some (hopefully) incredible stuff in 2022 👀.

If you’re not already on board and you feel like you can support what we do, it’s just around €5 per month and you can sign up here. That’s basically the price of a pint. A quarter of a pint a week if you break it down. It would obviously be hugely appreciated, and if you can’t, the site will continue to be free – and now ad-free – as it always has been and always will be.

As always, your feedback/comments are welcome, the Arses are open for business. So to speak.

Right, that’s it for this morning. James and I will be recording the Arsecast Extra for you later this morning. Keep an eye out for the call for questions on Twitter @gunnerblog and @arseblog on Twitter with the hashtag #arsecastextra – or if you’re on Arseblog Member on Patreon, leave your question in the #arsecast-extra-questions channel on our Discord server.

Podcast should be out at lunchtime or thereabouts, so until then, take it easy.

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