Meritocratic managerial appointments | Winston Reid a target

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'This grass is a little bit short'

A fun day of football that worked for all concerned. Spurs were beaten by Newcastle who just can’t seem to sack Alan Pardew, the bugger always pulls it out the bag when his job is publicly put on the line. Then in the evening, United grappled a last gasp point from a resolute Chelsea side.

Is that the awakening of United? Doubtful, but it did serve as a warning. They played much better than I’ve seen them play in a while and they certainly played with an energy and tactical astuteness to make me think they’ll cause is problems when we play them in a few weeks.

Didn’t take long for LVG to start with the public slayings… this is him on Robin.

“He did a stupid reaction after the goal”

“You can be excited but don’t have to pull your shirt off.

Arsenal need to take the down time this week to get some freshness back in the legs. This isn’t an opportunity for more intensity. This is an opportunity for reflection on our performances. It’s a chance to assess our tactical failings. It’s also a massive chance to rotate some excitement back into our squad.

The two games we have coming up, in Hull and Anderlecht, are perfect opps for us to bring in some fresh blood. If you can’t rest your best players against Burnley, when can you?

United have quite a tough run into the Arsenal game. Palace and City. We have one extra game, which is a burner. But what can you do? The price of not bombing out of the Champions League is more games. As ol’ Brendan is finding out at Liverpool.

We have to bring in Joel Campbell, Lukas and Rosicky into the next game. Not just to inject freshness into our weary team, but also to give some motivation to the players on the fringe who will be massively important for the run in.

In other news, we’re starting hear the links to new centre backs coming thick and fast. The hottest name I can share is the name I mentioned in the summer. Winston Reid is appealing to Arsenal because he’s 26, he’s a contract rebel and he’s a leader for West Ham. He’d be a bit of a coup for me. No bedding in period, relatively cheap and eager to prove he can make it at the highest level.

It’s going to be tough landing a big name. People like John Stones would have been of interest before his price tag shot up to English premium levels. You can talk about Mats Hummels until you’re blue in the face, simple fact is, big clubs don’t sell their best players in January unless there’s a totally outrageous fee attached. I’d love to rely on our scouting network to bail us out here, but those guys are the reason we don’t have a decent offering.

If it were me, I’d just hand over the transfer dealings to Ivan. He nailed the WELBZ signing in a morning. Just give him a list, or better, let him compile his own list.

NO, have a competition on the website where everyone selects their favourite option and the most popular, we go big for? Crowd sourced transfer planning. It’s the future. It’s here. It’s so now.

There’s some talk about Pedro moving to us because he’s handed in a transfer request. Really can’t buy into this. The last player we need is Pedro. Top talent, but what’s the point in putting cash behind a position you’re fine in. We need a Matic and a centre back before we start entertaining the luxury positions.

Finally, Jurgen Klopp appears to be struggling at Dortmund. 6 loses in 10. Tragic. Looks like his pressing game has been rumbled. I raised the prospect that in 3 years time, he might not be the man for us. Some claimed that was fickle. For me, that’s a dim point to make. You have to constantly reassess who is working and who isn’t. Having a singular view of the world regardless of a change in variables is the reason we’re in such a hole at the moment. Football is changing rapidly, the weakest now have strength, the most adaptable are surviving and conquering…

What’s interesting with Klopp is that he had a winning formula and it appears he hasn’t adapted it. Sure, he’s been hit by player sales, but mistakes have crept into his set up. The injury pile up is Arsene Wenger like. That’s the problem with winning. It can make you arrogant and complacent. You have to always kill the formula, because in any game, once you have a winning technique, it’s dead. You need to constantly strive to improve. The best do it when they’re winning, the managers that don’t go onto Ferguson like greatness fail to adapt and die.

Will Klopp adapt? I hope so. He’s such a character and his passion is incredibly infectious. He has a challenge on his hands though, he can’t leave that until he’s masterminded the resurgence of Dortmund. I hope he does it then takes over at Arsenal.

The football revolution is so exciting to watch. This is a real golden era. The evolution of the game over the last 5 years has been incredible. The smartest in the room are now disrupting the game. Football is starting to lose the dinosaurs, we’re starting to see meritocratic appointments that sit outside how great your career was. It’s so refreshing. Long may it continue!

HAVE A GOOD DAY

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Three points, but this ain’t winning ugly, this is deep malaise kicking in…

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It should have been a chance for Arsenal to bring their game back on the tracks. It should have been an opportunity for Wenger to show that he’s attuned to his side and their needs. It should have been a mauling.

Instead, yesterday represented everything that’s wrong with Arsene Wenger and his merry group of past it sycophants. Sure we took the three points, but like I’ve said so many times before, in football, you have to look at the warning signs. You have to look beyond the end result. You have to see that we’re essentially a very damaged outfit.

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Will the real leaders, please stand up?

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It’s all going off in the press this morning. I missed the Per Mertesacker interview post Anderlecht, but it’s worth rehashing parts of it today purely because of the exasperation you feel coming from his words. It’s also important to understand that this is Per, he’s been around, won major trophies, played under great managers and he’s basically our captain.

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