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Hi guys,

31/7 is back, and (apparently) so is male aggression! 🥳

Before we get into it, I recommend you watch this video of Chelsea midfielder Johanna Rytting Kaneryd celebrating their title with some impeccable footwork, lovingly captured by her Sweden teammate Zećira Mušović. May the gals play football well, and be even better at embracing the joy which follows success. That's my philosophy!

Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall has recently decided that Vivianne Miedema doesn't fit into whatever his philosophy is, so for today's newsletter I've thinking about:
  • fairy tales
  • the boiling point of milk
  • how much your average football mascot can expect to earn
  • the satisfaction of 'I told you so'
Flora xx
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Jonas and the Beanstalk

Dancing on the streets of Melbourne, Gunnersaurus doesn’t have a look of someone reeling from the trauma of attempting to fit his great emerald bulk into the confines of an airline seat, or concerned by the unprotected scales that no Arsenal player, armed with factor 30, can reach.

‘Wish you were here,’ his jolly gesture seems to say in the latest holiday snap to be posted home by Arsenal’s social media admin, tasked with suffocating fan negativity with cuddly koalas and customary kooky player-turned-photographer behind-the-scenes goodness.

But like a Downing Street deluge, the unease of fans is seeping through the all-smiles facade as photos of the Gunners’ Down Under trip are met with protest:

“Sooo cute! Anyway, JONAS OUT.”

“Maybe we could find an old rich lady Aussie to marry Jonas so we will be free of him.”

“Social Media Manager working over time to create distance from Viv posts.”
Grabbing enough content to justify the expense, environmental impact and player welfare concerns of Arsenal’s extravagant inter-continental fan-grab was enough of a task before the supporters began revolting. As of Thursday morning, 24 posts have been shared on Arsenal’s Instagram feed since they finished wrapping up the Gunners’ final day of the Women’s Super League season on Sunday, when Vivianne Miedema made her last appearance in red.

Never mind earth death or squad burn-out, Arsenal fans want to know why the club have let their goat off the leash to explore pastures new. As I recall, Jack’s mam was livid when the nipper returned from the market with a measly handful of beans — but in today’s economy, that looks like a generous offer for a family’s prized cow.

The Borehamwood massive were howling with laughter when Arsenal snagged Alessia Russo for zero pounds after Man Utd let her contract run down to nothing. Now Viv, the WSL’s all-time top goalscorer, leaves London a free agent and is rumoured to be lending her shooting boots to title rivals Manchester City next season.
Why? Since recovering from an ACL injury, Miedema has not yet returned to her usual prolific form. Though Arsenal have offered little assurance that they haven’t lost faith in the former Ballon d’Or nominee or, indeed, anything to explain the decision to let her go, the word is that Miedema doesn’t fit the system that Eidevall is trying to put in place.

This season, Jonas Eidevall masterminded another League Cup win, but his team’s premature withdrawal from the title race — which ended, for Arsenal, in March — was uninspiring. You can’t build a dynasty without the patience to sit back and watch the seeds take root, but giving up a proven goalscorer in the name of ‘doing things differently’ smacks of a manager’s desire to be the main character of a club whose fans are quite happy winning with Miedema.

When it comes to club legend vs new guy who’s been fine since he came in three years ago, Eidevall was never likely to come out on top. More than a simple popularity contest, fans’ between-the-lines investigations concluded that Eidevall’s bullish style of coaching may have soured Miedema’s final weeks at her beloved club, positioning him as the fee-fi-fo-fum bone-grinder instead of the humble peasant boy with his sights set on the clouds.
It’s every manager’s right to change his mind after preparing a sub to come on the pitch , but in footage recently shared by a fan on Twitter, Eidevall communicates this decision to Miedema with all the disdain of security attempting to control the 3am surge at McDonald’s.

Eidevall’s ‘butter-wouldn’t-melt’ act after Emma Hayes lashed out at him in the League Cup final turned his opposite number into the villain, but now supporters are wondering to what extent Hayes' previous experience or grapevine tales coloured the accusations of ‘aggression’ which she levelled at Eidevall for his apparently benign pitchside conduct at Molineux.

In a revealing article by Dutch newspaper NRC, a source close to Vivianne Miedema reportedly described Eidevall’s anger as like milk boiling over”.

While the precise source of Miedema and Eidevall’s rupture is murky, some Arsenal supporters are making it clear that they won’t accept her departure being explained away with tactics or as a simple clash of personalities.
Among the 24 posts fighting to drown out calls for Jonas’ head are four photos of Stina Blackstenius, who you imagine wouldn’t sign a two-year extension to her commitment to work under a total bellend everyday if she felt Eidevall is as harmful as some fans are making him out to be.

Blackstenius has not joined her Swedish compatriot and sun-seeking teammates down under — neither has Beth Mead, Leah Williamson, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Laura Wienroither, Lia Wälti. All are saving themselves for their country’s European qualifiers taking place in the next fortnight, while Katie McCabe, who couldn’t resist the trip to the homeland of Arsenal bae-mate Caitlin Foord, will be subject to “a very detailed recovery and sleep strategy” in preparation for Ireland’s upcoming qualifiers when she lands.

If Arsenal have a detailed recovery plan in place for Eidevall’s image, it begins with cropping him out, for now. In a mission which spans both hemispheres, Arsenal have their work cut out, appeasing and quietening the disgruntled fans at home while wooing fresh ones in Oz.

When it comes to legacies, mind, there’s one pre-historic reptile who makes Vivianne Miedema look like an Emirates plastic. Keep Eidevall on the SD card, Gunnersaurus has been stoking Arsenal loyalty since 1993.

Coming Up

  • Saturday — Champions League
    • Barcelona will defend their status as Europe's Very Best™️ from the challenge of Lyon, who have won it EIGHT times before, at the final in Bilbao.
    • The teams met in the 2022 final in Turin, where Barça failed to turn around a slow start as three goals in the first 33 minutes won it for Lyon.
    • You can stream the game free on Dazn or on Dazn's YouTube channel, with kick off set for 5pm BST.
  • Some time after Saturday night — fresh Chelsea manager
    • No, the Emma Hayes farewell parade can't go on forever!
    • Chelsea have an agreement in place with her replacement Sonia Bompastor.
    • Expect an announcement of her appointment after the Champions League final, which Sonia will be fighting for as current head coach of Lyon.
  • Sunday — SWF Scottish Cup final
    • A new Scottish Winners Cup will be crowned on Sunday afternoon at Hampden Park.
    • After suffering three final defeats, Rangers will be hoping to make this one count against Hearts, who have never got this far in the competition.
  • 2026 — Champions League
    • On Wednesday, UEFA appointed Oslo as hosts for the 2026 UWCL final.
    • The showdown will take place at the Ullevaal Stadium, home to Norway's national teams.
  • 2027 Brazil 2027
    • On Friday, FIFA awarded the next Women's World Cup to Brazil.
    • It is the first time the tournament will take place in South America.
    • Brazil beat a joint bid by Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany by 119 votes to 78.
If you like 31/7, please forward this email onto someone who you think will feel the same.

This takes about thirty seconds and will make me feel a degree of satisfaction which scientists are yet to quantify but is approximately comparable to this guy's sweet little rosy face > 😊

Thanking you!

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