Just a quick post from me this morning.
Thoughts on the Bradford game?
Not good enough by a long way.
I was told that one of the centre backs for Bradford takes home £200 a week. That's less than most London marketing interns earn.
When I watch a team with as much technical excellence as Arsenal possess lose to a team that cost £7500 to assemble, the only think I'm thinking is that the players, consciously, or subconsciously are lost. They're not playing for Arsene Wenger anymore. They're fatigued, physically, but worse for me, they're shot mentally.
How do we recover as a team off the back off this? I'm not sure we can in the short term. I have a nasty feeling the next few weeks are going to see further lows because I don't think Wenger has the tools to rescue this side. The talent isn't there and Wenger doesn't know how to use tactics outside amazing football.
There are stories of a rift between Arsene Wenger and Steve Bould this morning. I wouldn't believe them. Steve Bould is a normal guy like most of us who work in the corporate world. It's true that he's not allowed control of anything. He's ignored, he's not given the defence to train and that's because Wenger is a control freak. When things go wrong for someone who likes to control things, their grip tightens even further. Steve Bould has a mortgage, he has kids in London, the last thing he's going to do is have a stand up argument with the man who can control his financial destiny. Sometimes you just have to shut up. If my boss was doing things the wrong way, I'd challenge it, but I wouldn't take it so far that I received my P45.
For me, this is where a strong CEO steps in and makes things happen. Out of despair comes opportunity. This is Ivan's chance to make some changes. This is his excuse to assess whether Arsenal work to best practice. When things are flying, you have no right to prod and pry. When things are on their arse, you have a duty of care to your shareholders to investigate what is going on.
I'd be asking Arsene a few things...
Could we improve the following:
- Our scouting network
- The fitness of our players
- The way we use technology
- The way we approach a game
- The way operate tactically
If Wenger said no, then you've an easy decision to make. If he said yes, then you have an opportunity to go out and see what the market is doing. I'm telling you straight up, Arsenal are a million miles behind every club in the league. We're not best practice. Wenger doesn't use his expensively assembled team to its full potential because he wants ownership of every aspect of how the club operate. That doesn't work in modern sport. That doesn't work in NBA, NFL or Rugby. So if it's not best practice to control everything and by controlling, you're doing a bad job... then the opportunity is tell Arsene that he has a choice, change. Start operating like a modern manager, and the club will assist in the process.
If change is too much for Arsene, then he'll leave. If he embraces the new set up, the club immediately improve. Everyone is a winner. That's management. That's earning your £2million a year.
You'll have also seen that Guardiola has made Arsenal his first choice if he was to come to England. I told you this a few weeks ago, and explained the reasons. We're a fantastic proposition. I wouldn't get too hung up on him being the next Arsenal manager. There are plenty of young hungry managers we could get in at a fraction of the cost. The only reason I suggest this might be a good idea is control. It might not be the best idea to bring in another manager that could be bigger than the club. Still, it's exciting to know that Guardiola wants to come. It's nice to know that despite the problems, we're still attractive to one of the greatest managers on the planet.
Anyway, I have to get this post out, it's late enough as it is.