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redordead1

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  1. Sadly can no longer go next Friday evening. It's sold out now, so DM me if you fancy them for a reduced price etc..
  2. I don't actually, although considering it now. It was shared by a journalist I follow on Twitter and I downloaded the app. You get 3 articles free before having to sign up.
  3. Interesting article from The Athletic about the dragons den style pitches that went into securing Nketiah. It casts a different light on Arsenal’s (and the players) actions. Apologies for the long article, it sits behind an app so not easy to share. Leeds United probed patiently for 43 minutes, back and forth from side to side until Salford City’s shape gave way: Jamie Shackleton to Helder Costa and Costa with a low cut-back across the box where Eddie Nketiah faded to the left of Salford defender Nathan Pond and rammed the ball into the net. Nketiah smiled and gestured to the stand behind the goal with a finger to his lips, the first crowd he has silenced in Leeds colours but surely not the last. His finishing, his confidence — both of which were there on his debut in the League Cup on Tuesday — were what clubs were queuing up for throughout the transfer window and The Athletic can reveal the extraordinary Dragons Den-style process that culminated in Leeds winning the fight to sign Nketiah on loan from Arsenal last week. Arsenal’s painstaking method of choosing the 20-year-old’s destination, involving long presentations by senior figures from the teams in the running to take him, reveals the attention to detail at London Colney but also the extent to which elite sides now deliberate over temporary moves. One agent, spoken to by The Athletic, said the birth of specific loan managers was turning that corner of the market into “a business in itself” where the terms of a deal are often wholly in favour of the parent club. Leeds are regulars in that market and made three loan signings from Chelsea a year ago, a clutch of deals that tell a tale about the expectations of the top flight. The clubs were on good terms back then and mutually enthusiastic in negotiating transfers which everyone agreed would be good for the players involved. As it stands today, 12 months on, Leeds would have a hard time persuading Chelsea to answer the phone. The club signed goalkeeper Jamal Blackman from Chelsea but failed to use him in a league game before Blackman broke his leg playing for the Under-23s, three months after heading north. They signed Lewis Baker and started him five times; so few appearances that a clause in his contract allowed Chelsea to terminate his loan in January. They signed Izzy Brown but used him for all of 11 minutes in first-team matches, initially because Brown was recovering from knee surgery but latterly because Marcelo Bielsa thought the midfielder’s intensity levels were lacking. Three players from the top flight club with a handful of Championship games between them. Chelsea’s hierarchy were not impressed. Last week Leeds went elsewhere in London to land Nketiah on a season-long loan from Arsenal. What happened in the days before his transfer and within the walls of Arsenal’s training ground at London Colney took the management of loanees to an extreme level, with clubs asked to make presentations to the player and club to explain why they were the right destination for him. The process is new at Arsenal and seen by them as pioneering. Nketiah came via a substantial seven-figure outlay, between fees and wages over the course of this season, but committing the money was only the start of the scrap which ended with the forward linking up with Leeds on deadline day. Nketiah is about as good as it gets in Arsenal’s academy and he is in that grey area where first-team appearances are very nearly his. But Unai Emery, Arsenal’s workaholic manager, has been caught in two minds about the youngster. The Gunners accepted a loan offer for Nketiah from Augsburg in January and arranged for him to travel to Germany to wrap up the move at the very end of the window. Nketiah was in Augsburg and waiting to complete when Emery changed his mind and ordered him home. The weather was awful, the snow disrupted departures from Munich airport and Nketiah was lucky to sneak onto the last EasyJet flight back to England. Interest in him at the end of last season was rife and when Arsenal began fielding calls again they came from Italy, Germany, France and elsewhere. Bristol City and Fortuna Dusseldorf showed their hands early and were still in the running last week — two of the three teams who made the final shortlist and were invited to sell themselves in person to Nketiah and members of Arsenal’s staff. Leeds entered the ring at very short notice, forced to react after Anderlecht appeared with a £6.5 million offer for top scorer Kemar Roofe. With a few days of the window remaining, everything hinged on a presentation given by Leeds director of football Victor Orta in the calm and airy environment of London Colney. Sources have told The Athletic that Nketiah is the first Arsenal loanee whose destination was decided by a formal process that is likely to become common practice in north London. The framework around Arsenal’s academy system is growing. In January they mirrored the appointments of Eddie Newton at Chelsea and Joleon Lescott at Manchester City by promoting analyst Ben Knapper, once a ProZone employee, to the newly-created role of loans manager. Five months later their coaching structure underwent changes too. Freddie Ljungberg and Steve Bould effectively swapped jobs with Ljungberg becoming assistant first-team coach and Bould dropping down to manage the Under-23s. Arsenal said they were forming a ‘transition team’ with the aim of helping their young professionals to maximise their potential. The stringent consideration behind Nketiah’s transfer to Leeds is seen as part of that aim. Nketiah was crowded out at The Emirates this summer by the £72 million signing of Nicolas Pepe from Lille but Arsenal want the forward back in a year’s time and are keen to have him in their first-team as soon as he is ready. The questions were therefore crucial: Which loan move would bring the most out of Nketiah and which coach would serve him best? There is an insatiable appetite for analysis at Arsenal, fuelled by the club’s purchase of US data company StatDNA in 2012. When teams began enquiring about Nketiah, Arsenal’s chief contract negotiator, Huss Fahmy, wanted to know what they were offering, not merely financially — although the figures involved mattered — but their plans for accommodating Nketiah for a year. Arsenal sought reassurances that he would play but also wanted detailed breakdowns of how Nketiah would be used, how the team he was joining would look tactically and statistical details of goals scored, chances created and the systems adopted last season. Emery took a while before giving Nketiah’s departure the green light but, in the interim, Fahmy was able to whittle down the bidders to a manageable number. By last Tuesday, 72 hours before the transfer deadline, three remained in contention: Leeds, Bristol City and Fortuna Dusseldorf. Staff from all three travelled to London Colney on the same day to present their ideas and philosophies to Fahmy, Knapper and Nketiah, who was in the room and part of the decision-making process. Bristol City manager Lee Johnson talked them through the Championship side’s pitch personally. Fortuna’s sporting director, Lutz Pfannenstiel, flew in and did his best to promote a modern and well-managed German outfit. Dusseldorf are thought to have been at the front of the queue for Nketiah until Leeds gave Arsenal a last-minute alternative. Orta and Emery know each other from their days together at Sevilla, where Emery ran the senior squad and Orta worked in recruitment. Emery was abroad in Spain while negotiations for Nketiah were reaching a climax but he had the last say on the transfer and a prior relationship helped Orta get his foot in the door. Leeds held extensive knowledge of Nketiah and had watched him live more than 20 times. Twelve of those scouting trips took place in the past year and in a verbal shoot-out with Bristol City and Fortuna Dusseldorf, the club fancied their chances. It is not unusual for Leeds or Orta to make presentations to prospective signings. In a recent interview with The Athletic, Orta admitted that Championship clubs face such severe competition that he now expects to be asked to outline the merits of Leeds over other suitors. But most transfers still follow the traditional route where a club accepts a bid and a player and his agent run the show from then on. Someone with knowledge of the process at Arsenal described last week’s pitches as “an absolute necessity”. No other Premier League side is thought to dissect loan bids to such a degree. Orta’s presentation ran for a full hour, aided by PowerPoint slides and videos which are understood to have showcased not only Leeds’ style of play in and out of possession but clips of Nketiah depicting how and why their tactics would suit him. The upsides of moving to Elland Road were laid out in full: a season working with Marcelo Bielsa, home attendances of more than 30,000 and the exposure the club invariably gets through live Sky games. According to Angus Kinnear, Leeds’ chief executive, Arsenal were “categorical” in seeing Nketiah as a future first-team footballer. “They want him to be an Arsenal player,” Kinnear told The Athletic last week. Johnson and Pfannenstiel made strong and positive impressions with confident briefings. Neither club were seen as unsuitable. Johnson had the advantage of being able to point to the progress made by Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham, who scored 26 goals on loan at Ashton Gate in the 2016-17 season, and City tentatively scheduled a medical for the following morning. It never took place. Orta’s extensive pitch won the day and by Wednesday afternoon Nketiah was getting ready to travel to Leeds and sign before the deadline. He underwent evaluation tests on Friday and, having arrived so late, was held back from Bielsa’s squad for Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest. In spite of that, Arsenal sent a member of staff to cast an eye over him and the game. Leeds have a rising star on their hands and Arsenal will monitor him closely, following his development and growth under Bielsa. Loan deals tend to carry penalty clauses if players fail to feature as often as they might and the punitive parts of Nketiah’s contract mean Leeds will pay more for the striker if they don’t use him regularly than they will if they do. Just in case anyone was under the impression that Championship football is their gift to give.
  4. Watching Walsh’s superb effort last night got me thinking... What’s the best free kick you’ve seen a city player score?
  5. Fantastic report as always. The quality of your reporting always outshines the paid press.
  6. Goal of the season contender from Bennett!
  7. Ah, the old "advertising doesn't work" line. Would love to know how your research stacks up against the multi-billion dollar ad industries findings. Gaming companies don't force people to gamble, but there's clearly a huge correlation with the amount of advertising, sponsorship being spent in places kids are exposed to it and the dramatic increase in children and others gambling. Watching football whilst betting on their mobiles from the comfort of their home is how a whole new generation are engaging with the game. They've removed a huge barrier to entry compared to when we were growing up and had to risk going in to a betting shop underage. You'd have to be incredibly naive to think that increased advertisign and the willingness of football to align themselves with the gaming industry isn't causing misery for huge numbers of kids and adults alike.
  8. Could not agree more. Well said and agree with every word!
  9. Notice how this appears at the end of the survey. Got the feeling they are definitely aiming at something "bold" "dynamic" that "breaks from the norm" etc.. as I was working through the survey. Full of marketing, branding and PR spiel. I pray we don't end up with some utter shite Bristol Bears logo.
  10. May I request a second clue pls?
  11. Sorry, but what a load of waffle. Successful football clubs, businesses and individuals all create an identity, way of playing, a clear value proposition or USP in business and a career path, ambition for individuals or players and set out to achieve it with purpose and drive. It goes without saying that there are going to be hurdles and distractions as you (a little patronisingly) list above to overcome, but the ones who are successful build on momentum, create exceptional team spirit and keep hold of their winners by reflecting their hunger to succeed. The rest just make excuses for why they can't be succesful. You mention shopping lists in the above. Ironically, your post reads as a perfect example of a shopping list full of excuses one could use. It could have been written for MA and SL. As many others have said, the sad reality is that we've not shown enough ambition to keep hold of our best players, we have failed to build on the incredible momentum we achieved, firstly with Cotts, secondly in Jan and have failed to invest in real quality or experience. Perplexingly, BS have adopted the complete opposite strategy with the Rugby. We will see who progresses further this season. I agree with EMB and many others who think we've let a huge opportunity slip through our fingers and the fall-out is only part way through being realised.
  12. Curious about this? Is this a hunch of yours SX227 or have you heard/seen more to suggest this is their plan?
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