What does a DoF do? Arsene Wenger asked with a straight face at a press conference last season.
Juventus, relative minnows when it comes to superclub status in Europe (financially), have a General Manager called Giuseppe “Beppe” Marotta. He joined them in 2010 and has overseen a rapid improvement in the Italian clubs fortunes. He has a long term plan in place of who he’s buying, who he’s growing, and he’s selling. His success has been quite incredible. He’s overseen Antonio Conte and Max Allegri as manager, he’s won cups, he’s won 6 consecutive Serie A titles, and he’s made the European Cup Final twice in 3 years, losing to Madrid both times. He’s also their CEO and did a nice job rebranding.
His work in the transfer market has been a sight to behold. Barzagli ,Pirlo, Tevez, Pogba, Vidal, to name but a few.
This summer, off the back of winning a title and making the CL final, he’s added 10 players to the squad. Last season, he added 10 players. The season before he added 11 players.
Also worth noting he shifted on 10 or so names this summer, raking in €122m. He sold his Bonnuci, one of the best defenders in the world as soon as he knew there was trouble. They’re pretty much at a net spend of zero.
Arsene Wenger, famously said if you add more than 3 players it disrupts the squad. A line we all hoovered up without so much as challenging it.
So what has our own DOF added to the squad this summer? You’d think he’d go big considering the severity of our decline.
2 players. A left back and a striker, with a net spend of €56m.
Knowing we have a lot of deadwood, how have we performed shifting it on? Not good.
- Jack Wilshere – £90k p/w
Chezzer – £100k p/w
- Ospina – £40k p/w
- Gibbs – £65k p/w
- Jenks – £45k p/w
- Santi – £90k p/w
- Theo – £110k p/w
- Debuchy – £70k p/w
- Giroud – £100k p/w
- Perez – £70k p/w
Yaya – £40k p/w
= £680k per week
That was my list at the start of the summer. Our shake up has been so bad that Giroud is now back to being an important player, and it’s clear we’re not going to move on the tragic figure of Theo Walcott. That leaves our dross wage bill at £470k a week. That’s £24m we’re going to blow on players who contributed to 49 starts last season.
Remember, Juventus, who have a General Manager, managed to shift Zaza to Valencia for €16m.
When you look at the numbers coming in and going out, and the likely impact that’ll have on our season, you have to wonder why no one is addressing this head on with Wenger?
- Part of our problem is we pay our average players too much
- Part is that we clearly treat our shite players with too much respect, because they’re not forced to move
- Part will be that we have a shocking approach to summer planning
Arsene Wenger doesn’t have a strategy, because he doesn’t have enough time to work on one during the season. He doesn’t have a dynamic scouting department that he trusts. He doesn’t have someone to do his dirty work. He doesn’t have a David Dein like peer to work with that can make the tough decisions for him and take them off his his hands.
Arsenal should have been ruthless this summer. We should have told Jack Wilshere to look for a new club last season. We should have been absolutely brutal with the squad, ripped out the average players, upgraded all over the park where we could have, adding more quality to the depth that doesn’t cut it, and brought in some seriously top names.
Juventus just signed Matuidi from PSG for €18m. Is there anyone who can honestly say a player like that, at 30 years old, wouldn’t have been a massive upgrade on our squad? Is there anyone in football who doesn’t think we could have upgraded Theo Walcott? Would Chamberlain be given another chance with us this season at Atleti? Is there anyone looking at our midfield thinking it’s going to be fit enough to last a season? Is there anyone who thinks our contract situation would be tolerated by any other club CEO in Europe?
It’s staggering there was even a debate about a DoF. The manager had a terrible season. The playing side is shambolic, the coaching bereft of ideas (that they can share at least). The contract situation looks to be debilitating already. We have made a very tepid impact on the transfer window for a club looking to move back into the big time.
We look more and more like an expensive induldgence, because we’re certainly not a profitable business empire these days. We’re heamoraghing money. There’s no clear strategy for success. We’re falling behind Europe at a rapid pace. No one is accoutable.
Roll on Stoke… see you in the comments.