A few words with Pedro at Le Grove: Wenger, defending, controversy and MC Hammer

An interview with Pedro at Le Grove

I did intend interviews with my betters to be a weekly thing. Alas, I’ve discovered that the folks in question have more important things to do than cater to my badgering. Fortunately, I’ve asked some genuinely kind folks and they’ve found the time to contribute. This week, it’s the turn of one of the most successful bloggers out there, Pedro of Le Grove.

I hope you enjoy it.

1. Le Grove gets a lot of criticism. Have you ever considered pandering your content more toward the masses, or does being consistently maligned only strengthen your resolve to keep your opinions honest and your own?

I think we cater to the masses already. We didn’t at the start and that’s why were heavily criticised. I don’t think we are nowadays. Le Grove is there to spark debate and conversation. That’s not a forced act, that’s just what happens when you have strong views. If people don’t like what is written in the post, they’re more than welcome to debate it out in the comments section with the rest. We like to think of the site as an online pub. Who wants to drink in the pub with someone who sits on the fence? Not me.
You mention that we’re much maligned… I totally disagree. We have a huge daily readership with 75% of them returning daily, our community has posted over 1 million comments between them and we’re often invited to do things outside of the site with other publications. A few people saying they hate Le Grove on Twitter really is insignificant when you look at everything else. The irony of it all is that those people seem to be pretty au fait with the content they claim to hate so much.
2. Like me, there are many new starters and novice bloggers out there. In an environment as competitive and vast as the Arsenal blogging community, how did you reach such a level of exposure and success, and what advice would you offer to those of us finding our feet?  

 We did a few things. Firstly, we took a view that the manager wasn’t invincible which was pretty taboo back in 2007. We also committed to creating a piece of content everyday. If you want to grow a following, you have to post content regularly. Before I started blogging, I had a daily schedule of sites I’d visit. There weren’t many that blogged everyday, those that did, regardless of quality would generally get my hit. Arsenal fans are information junkies, feed there habit.
 We’ve also never written for anyone other than ourselves. As soon as you start calming down your views or trying to satisfy every view point in a post, you lose any potency your content might have had. You’re also lying to yourself. You have an opinion… you don’t have six.
3. Arsenal can’t defend. This season is a litany of calamitous blunders at the back. It’s difficult to pinpoint whether the problem is individual or collective. What measures would you take to improve our defensive stability?
I think there are a number of things we can do to defend better. Firstly, practice defending. That would be an amazing start. I think individually, we have great defenders at Arsenal. We have the best right back in Europe, we have 3 very capable centre backs and I’m warming to Gibbs. We don’t defend as a unit though. That’s a problem. You can have average defenders who play in a world class unit.
I also think we need to use more video analysis. From what I understand, we’ve barely touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to analysing the opposition and the mistakes players make. We need to start upping our game. If you’re playing Stoke and you know who Delap is going to try and hit from a throw, you’ve got an advantage. If you’re playing Liverpool and you know which side Downing generally cuts inside, again, that’s a 2% you might not have had before. Players are lazy. Make then watch the videos. Just like Jose does at Madrid. Preparation is key. We don’t do enough of it.
Finally, I’d look to bring in a proper defensive midfielder who loves sitting in front of the back four. That man is not Songinho. We could really do with a Gilberto like player in the middle. Hopefully that’ll be M’Vila.
4. You’ve gone on record many times as stating you believe Arsene Wenger should step down from his position as manager at Arsenal. His contribution to Arsenal over 15 years is unquestionable, but with our lack of silverware now at 7 years, do you still think it’s time for a change?
If Arsene Wenger heads into this summer with the same attitude as last, then he needs to go. If he treats this summer like he wants to win the league, then I’d be more than happy for him to stay. This season, regardless of the finish has been a disaster. Most of that disaster happened last summer. I’d love to think he’s learned something from the errors and I’d love him to show us all he is still one of the best in the business. It’s up to him though… is he man enough to admit his errors and kick on and win us the league? I hope so…
And Finally… 
5. Due to a freak cheese grating accident, you’ve lost all your fingers and the ability for speech. Your only means of communication is the universal language of dance. One day, you meet Dennis Bergkamp in Tesco shopping for a pasta bake. How would you sufficiently show him your unbridled admiration?
I think I’d wrap my stumps around him and give him a big hug. Failing that, I’d probably bust out my MC Hammertime dance. Everyone loves that. Especially the ladies.
Thanks for taking a moment to read today, you beautiful bastards. You can use the comments section to say unabashedly nice things. I’ll finish with a big thanks to Pedro for taking a few moment of his time to answer my question.
You can follow me on Twitter @_ArmchairGooner and, if you don’t already, you can keep up with Pedro and all of Le Grove’s daily stuff @LeGrove

25 Comments

Filed under Interviews

25 Responses to A few words with Pedro at Le Grove: Wenger, defending, controversy and MC Hammer

  1. Scott

    One question that should be asked of those arseholes at Le Grove……. Why is it,Pedro,that anyone who defends Wenger is verbally abused on your site,yet when they defend themselves,end up banned?
    If Pedro thinks he runs a site open to debate and different ideas,he is just plain dumb.
    Not in my 42 years have I been called a c**t as often as in 2 days posting there and why…..I defended Wenger.
    Pedro,you and your cronies are a disgrace to Gooners worldwide,and unfortunately,your mates are infiltrating other blogs and sites causing havoc.

    • And_Arsene_Said...

      Scott?? Captain Scott?. Do not venture to explore the world of Le Grove, there you will find so much that is anti- Wenger, xenophobic and hate filled. Know this captain, in a putrid site like Le Grove, where arseholes patronise aplenty, you will find a lot of sh*t.

      • Yet here you both are, referring to them as “arseholes” on my site.

        Slightly hypocritical…

      • samuel

        Arsene Wenger ,alone ,picks the same team match after ma
        tch without giving less tired players such as Chamakh,Park,
        Yossi Ben-Ayoun more game time,complaining this late in
        the season about tired players is an Arsene Wenger cop out
        and Arsenal failing to secure the automatic 3rd place CL
        qualifier,with two games left of this season,is solely his fau
        lt, not Stan Kroenke,Ivan Gazidis or the Arsenal board,get
        with it and cut the bs already?

    • samuel

      You can defend Arsene Wenger as often as you like put up
      thousands of ;in Arsene we trust ; banners all over The Emi
      rates etc. and praise Arsene till the cows come home from grazing but the fact still remains,ridiculous team selections
      week in and out and way too late tactical substitutions that
      don,t have any effect on Arsenal,s play as they are too late
      but not all Arsenal fans are one-eyed and fickle ,so it,s time
      for Wenger to move on already ,au revoir ?

    • Mystic Gooner

      Try Arseblog in Facebook.
      Mostly your comment will be ignored but better than name calling :D

    • cdogan

      Because Pedro is a piece of shit, and hates AW and hates who doesn’t hate AW.His opinion is not valuable for AFC.Do not take this guy seriously..

  2. samuel

    As coach of Arsenal for 16 years now and no silverware to sh
    ow for seven seasons is entirely Wenger,s fault,not the board
    who pay him a handsome fee annually to at least pick compe
    titive teams match after match,so two games left and a maxi
    mum six points is needed,nevermind petty ,in Arsene we trust
    banners, all over the Emirates stadium,can he pick a winning
    team for the last two games instead of blaming ballboys,line
    smen,refs. the rain,the sun, the stars and moon for his own
    inability to pick a competitive team that will get all 3 points?

  3. Pedro’s twitter sent me here :P
    So here’s the deal fellas, Le-Grove is fine, some commentary in there is pretty hateful, but we’ve been craving trophies for 7 years now and ppl are understandably frustrated. Top it off with a shameful summer (not experienced by any other clubs at this level) and even the most patient of us are starting to lose it. Something’s gotta give. I love how we play our footy but we can’t afford to become the laughing stock of the top clubs. Sometimes u need change and evolving and we’ve been pretty stagnant for a while now.
    That said I’d love if Wenger was the one to start the change and this really has got to be the last summer to show intent.

  4. Pingback: Lukas Podolski: An early sign times are changing at Arsenal | More to follow? – Le Grove – The Arsenal blog for news, opinion and transfers

  5. caribkid

    As far as Arsene is concerned it all boils down to expectations. Frankly, my expectations for a manager earning 7 Mill are extremely high and Arsene has failed to live up to those expectations for the past 7 years.

    Unless he can demonstrate the ability to turn the club around then he either needs to turn the reins over to someone who can or take a pay cut.The summer transfer debacle is just one case in point of poor management.

  6. Scott & and_arsene_said: Clearly you have no clue about what goes on at Le Grove. It’s a mainstream site now that caters for AKB types such as yourself.

    You have to say though and_arsene_said and (Scott), it isn’t exclusive to Le Grove that you are both a pair of massive c**ts.

  7. Ex-Pat Gooner

    Whether it’s the AKBs or Doomers who are right (both ridiculous labels by the way) why does an article about Le Grove descend quickly into personal abuse.

  8. enjoyed the interview could have lasted longer though.

  9. Gooner76

    I tend to agree with a lot of points made on le grove, ie manager not delivering on what is expected at a top club, Wenger telling to many porkies, “judge me in May” etc etc etc

    But as in a democracy, I don’t mind hearing other views as well. If you are happy with the way things are going, you should be allowed to make this point. I feel that sometimes, people receive unfair abuse when posting comments on le grove.

    Still love to read the posts there though!!

  10. Gooner49

    I regularly read LeGrove but have stopped bothering leaving comments because their comment section is like a school playground where there are a bunch of regular “bullies” who simply gang up on anyone who has differing views and especially anyone with anything positive to say.
    My problem with a Blog like LeGrove is that is seems to encourage division amongst fellow Gooners, you’re either an AKB or a Doomer.
    This is largely because as with any Club we have a minority of cretins who are the sort who would boo Ramsey if they were Stoke fans or worship JT if they were Chelski fans. Fans who are a bit on the dense side and maybe weren’t shown enough affection by their mothers when they were young.
    These fans thrive on the sort of negativity and agression encouraged on LeGrove. I think Geoff is one of these though obviously a bit more intelligent than the average one. I’ll tell you exactly what sort of guy Geoff is, first time i ever read LeGrove I posted a comment saying I thought Arsenal would win a trophy the next season as we were so close that year – suffice to say we didn’t but when I next posted a comment (over a year later) Geoff abused me for being so stupid as to think we would win and rubbed my nose it my previous comment.
    Not the sort of Arsenal fan I want to converse with at the pub or online.
    Pedro on the other hand I like and he has been a lot more positive of late which is refreshing. His articles are more than simply bitching and moaning and he is open to a positive future. I’m glad he seems to be writing most of the articles now.

  11. Geoff doesn’t post enough and although you articulate well Gooner49 you are wrong on many levels. Too easy just to dismiss people who are negative towards Arsenal like you have just done. Many of them make good points.

    Long Live Geoff. True Gunner.

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