Morning everyone. I don’t mean to complain about writing to you every day. It’s an honour, but truly… this week it’s been a drag. Like being asked to hang out with your partners friends in the dying days of a relationship. Like being asked to contribute to the 17th persons marathon fund… then getting caught in a conversation about their preparation at the water cooler. It’s been tough. The lack of hope is concerning. Being beaten by Spurs isn’t nice. However, we shouldn’t be too down trodden. Just a quick reminder of why it’s always better to be on the red side of London.
1. The top four has never been decided ten games from the end of the season. We’ve made things hard for ourselves, but anything can happen over the course of the next 30 points.
2. It doesn’t matter how much progress Spurs make this season, they’re not built on the foundations you need to be to succeed in the long term. Think what you like about the Emirates, its importance cannot be understated. Arsenal can stomach a £150m wage bill with terrible commercial deals in place because we have a fan base willing to fork out big money to watch the team. Spurs can punch above their weight this season… can they punch above their weight when they go into the Champions League? History says no… their finances say no.
3. Arsenal are a club in decline, but we’ll never be a club that can’t resurrect the good times. Again, it comes down to the infrastructure. At the moment, we’re an incredible London night spot being run by your grandma. That doesn’t mean the spot is bad… it just means the wrong people are in charge. We’re antiquated in the way we operate, but that won’t always be an issue. Bring in a man with a vision and new ideas and you’d be surprised how quickly we can make up the ground.
4. Arsene Wenger didn’t invent ‘uncovering gems’, he just mastered it for 8 years. This idea that you can’t uncover great talents nowadays is a total nonsense (look at Klopp). Sure, plenty of clubs are getting better at it… but that doesn’t mean we can’t find a manager who can recreate what Wenger did all those years ago. We just need a new approach to scouting and a manager with a knowledge of a market outside of France. Pardew has done a great job unearthing players, Moyes is a good judge, Laudrup and Rodgers all manage. The art of scouting isn’t dead, it’s just a broken process at Arsenal right now.
5. We’ll always be a more attractive proposition than Spurs. Holtby says he chose Arsenal over Spurs. From what I understand, Steve Bould was a massive fan, but Wenger didn’t want to move for him. If we’d been in for him, we’d have landed him. We have a more appealing history, we have a better stadium… we don’t have better training facilities… but I can promise you, what we have still blows 99% of the rest of the worlds attempts away.
6. Despite what The Telegraph super billionaire insider said about Arsenal only being appealing as a purchase while we’re in the Champions League… it’s not true. In fact, it was a pack of god damn lies. Sure, Stan might not get a £1.5b cash offer every week. Sure we’d lose value if we dropped out of the Champions League, but come on… only a fool buys when the price is at its maximum. If we dropped in value and started losing money like Liverpool, is this Arab consortium telling me they wouldn’t be interested in picking off a floundering sleeping giant for less money? A giant with the second best infrastructure in the league? Do me a favour. We’ll never become a Leeds. Anyone who suggests we will is complete fool who knows nothing about modern football or business. They’re probably the type of person who was predicting impending doom for all premier league clubs with a transfer spend of over £10m a season 5 years ago.
We might flounder for a few years, but there’s too much history, too many people who’d see us as jewel in the ‘lifetimes worth of work’ crown, too much of a brand and an insistence on doing things the right way for us to ever go under.
There’s too much money involved for Arsenal not to work…
7. FFP is coming and it’s the saviour of our club.
Just kidding, I couldn’t be assed with going on to ten.
So, in other news, Thomas Vermalen is a rumoured Barca target. They’re looking at splashing £15m on him this summer. It’s a move I wouldn’t welcome. He’s been poor for two seasons now. Why? Because he makes the same mistakes over and over again. My big fear with him is that under the right tutelage he could be everything we wanted him to be at Arsenal. I mean, look at what he offers… a tremendous leap to start with… but outside that, you have someone who is fast, great on the floor, good going forward busting with passion (at least he was until the captaincy destroyed him). I really think he could be an example of a player who goes elsewhere and develops into a better player. Arsene Wenger’s team don’t seem to coach certain players very well.
There’s a whole host of players in our team who don’t seem to get told what they’re doing wrong. Ramsey holds onto the ball too long, Thomas charges out of defence and exposes the back four, Podolski doesn’t track, Chamberlain won’t run at players, Chesney constantly cocks about with the ball at the back… I mean, they’re not very technical points… just amateur observations. I’d imagine the bloggers who study the game could give more insight into consistent issues with our players… but they’re there if you dig deep enough.
In other news, Arsene Wenger has been questioning the mental belief of his players after telling us a few weeks ago it was strong, then weak, then strong…
“Of course, you are not feeling great if you can’t win, but we can stay solid or crack under the pressure,” Wenger said in an interview with Eurosport.
“If you want to know, I am still solid, but I can’t tell you that I feel great right now because my job is about winning games and when you lose you will not find a single coach in this world who feels good.
“I am not worried about us potentially coming back against Bayern, I am more worried about consequences that could manifest in the heads of our players.
“You will never know how they can absorb those blows and how the team responds to disappointment. This is the most worrying aspect for me.’
I’d link to the Independent website, but their full page advertising takeover was so intrusive and bandwidth heavy my browser crashed twice.
Anyway, those comments are concerning because they’re so true. Arsenal have never been great at responding to defeat under Arsene. It’s always been a problem. How will the team react to being out of everything? Well, there’s the issue… if they’re real sportsmen, they won’t believe they’re out of the race for 4th. This bunch? With this management? It’s hard to believe they’ll really turn it on for the remaining games.
Anyway, enough from me. Have your say in the comments!