Good morning all! So I hear people have been moaning about my spreadsheets? Jealousy is a strange thing, I knew if I showcased my number crunching skills online it might get a few people’s backs up… good job I didn’t drop a pivot table or a vlookup in there… it could have been carnage.
Anyway, just for a bit of clarity on Wednesdays post. Dross in the squad costs money. Lots of money. I’m not asking for a mass exodus of key players, I’m asking for the players who aren’t cutting it to move on. I’m highlighting that if we want to fund a summer that could take us to the next level, we can do it by selling on players and freeing up large chunks of salary.
People say it’s unrealistic to expect mass departures, well, can I refer those people to what happened in 2008? From January to August we lost Lassana Diarra, Matty Flamini, Alex Hleb, Gilberto and Jens Lehmann. That’s 5 top players in the space of 8 months, 3 of which were in the same position. Now I struggle to remember who left from the periphery of the squad, but I imagine there were a few.
Now, if Wenger is capable of losing that many players in 2008, I see no reason why he can’t again. In fact, if you look at who’s coming through, he’s going to have to free up some space. Where do people see Lansbury, Coquelin and Frimpong fitting in if we’re keeping Denilson and Rosicky? Why buy in Jenkinson if we’re keeping an already unhappy Eboue? Why keep Nik B if you’re going to play him as a winger… here’s an idea, sell him and buy a winger (or bring back Miyachi if he’s ready). If Chamakh has lost his head and can’t maintain his fitness at 27, why wouldn’t you take £15million if it was offered by Marseille?
Do I even need to explain why shipping out Squillaci and Almunia makes sense? Is there even a shadow of doubt that we’re going to sell Traore and Vela?
The simple fact of the matter is we have far too many average players in our squad on fantastic money. That fantastic money they’re collecting each week can’t be used to acquire better players and is used by Wenger as an excuse not to buy. We have far too many young player coming through the youth ranks who won’t have the opportunity to play if we keep the deadwood. What would we rather, another season of Denilson or would we like to see a player who is demonstrating passion by the bucket load at Norwich given the chance?
The values I put up might not be 100% accurate but the premise of the post was. It’s easy to sit there and say everything is unrealistic, that buying players is an impossible task and that we’re third in the league so we must have done a fantastic job. For me, this year, no one has taken the chance to storm the league. Should we bank on the quality of the top teams next year being as poor? Can we bank on a year so poor the player of the year wins with 7 goals and 1 assist? Doubtful, Spurs will buy, City will buy, United will buy, Chelsea will buy and Liverpool will buy.
This whole ‘I’ll bring in no more than 3 players a summer as it’ll upset the balance of the squad’ is another Arsene Wenger pearler people have taken to without question. Wenger signed 7 players in the summer of 1997 and let 4 go plus a further 3 during the season. He also went on a transfer splurge again signing 5 players for big money in 2001. The fact is, all Wenger’s success comes off the back of signing top ‘now’ talent sprinkled with a bit of youth.
Can Arsenal afford to go into next year with the same group of chokers who have been given ample opportunity to showcase their talent over the years? Should a season be risked on the hope of players developing at the pace of Jack Wilshere or should we assess current capabilities and take it from there? Maybe it’s time to take a different approach?
In my current job, if I can’t prove tangible improvements inside 6 months, I don’t get the deal, pretty much a standard in most industry sectors at the moment. Is it right that Wenger has had 6 seasons to prove an ideology that’s failing and we’re still going along with it?
Anyway, I hope that’s covered off any spreadsheet concerns you may have had. It’s tough to create content daily, luckily for us, we’ve always had enough in the locker to avoid picking holes in others work.
Spreadsheet haters, worse than racists.
Away at Bolton certainly doesn’t come with the same fear factor it used to. They’ve mellowed under Owen Coyle, taken a ‘good football’ pill and they’ve lost some of that nastiness that used to come as standard.
This season they’ve performed well but now their position in the league is safe, I’m not sure we’ll see much of a resistance, especially playing us off the back of a semi final humiliation against Stoke. They’ll be low on confidence and there for the taking.
Not that a super performance by us is in any way guaranteed! Out of 45 ties in the North West in the past 5 years, we’ve only won 18. This area of the country is not a happy hunting ground for us, the taste of cheating scum is still firmly on the taste buds of most Gooner’s from the 2003 draw that cost us the title. No amount of pretty football Listerine will wash that out. They are 8th in the league for a reason and if they win their 2 games in hand, they’ll be sitting comfortably above Everton.
We’ll be without Abou Diaby today who has completed his monthly quota of games so I’d expect Jack Wilshere to take his place. It has to be noted that Owen Coyle and Bolton gave Jack his chance last year and he came through it a better player. It was touch and go whether he’d stay with us this season, he did and his progression has been superb. Jack’s career path should be the benchmark for all our kids. Send them out on loan with a Premiership club and if they’re good enough to hold their own, bring them back and play them with us. That’d save us all the pain of watching them make mistakes at our first teams expense.
At the back I envisage no changes, so the best back 5 we have. Up top, I’d love to see Nasri, RVP and Theo given another run. Hopefully they’ll chalk up a few early goals so I can sink a few relaxing Peroni’s during the second half!
Sagna Kozzer JD Clichy
Cesc Song Jack
Nasri Robin Theo
United beat Everton, their little Mexican rat up front scored another poachers goal. I feel a bit stiffed on that front, they pick up this £6million nobody and he’s pushing them onto the title. We pick up a player who ripped Real Madrid a new one when he was 11 and now he’s more famous for his party arranging skills / close friendships with transsexuals.
Still, all we can do now is win today, hope Chelsea beat United and hope we also beat them. Then we could be in for a crazy ‘level points/goal difference wins the league’ scenario. That would be pretty mega (<- 1982 called and asked for their word back).
Still, 3 points at a time… Bolton up first!
See you in the comments spreadsheet lovers!
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