Summer is dragging again everyone and today’s post isn’t all good news, but it’s not pitch up your tent outside The Emirates for a 30 day hunger strike time… yet. Some of you won’t like what I’ve got to write, but there you go…
The hold up with the summer is mostly down to the manager again. The reason things have gone quiet is because, in the main, Arsene doesn’t have a plan. The best news from this whole post is that Arsenal still firmly believe they can land Luis Suarez. That’s not a PR move, the club think once Suarez starts causing problems, Liverpool don’t really have an angle to work from. Liverpool feel betrayed by Suarez wanting to move, Suarez now feels betrayed that Liverpool have gone back on an agreement Damian Comolli insists was in place.
If Suarez rolls into Rodgers office and tells him he won’t bother his backside this season and that he won’t give Liverpool his all, they have little choice but to sell. I keep telling Livepool fans they’re not a big enough club to keep a star player if he wants out. They’re in debt, they have no other way of rustling up income this season. The only hope they’ve got is sheer bloody mindedness which will result in an ‘injury prone’ half baked season with a player worth half the value at the end.
… ala, Cesc Fabregas. Remember that?
As for the rest of our squad, things could happen, but the pace of the summer isn’t being dictated by Arsenal, it’s being dictated by Arsene and his micromanagement of the details. As usual. He doesn’t really have a plan. The best thing that could have happened at the weekend was a loss to Gala. The fans jeering apparently riled the manager. Hopefully that’ll spark him into recruiting.
It’s apparent he needs a right back, Jenks is a nice guy, but quite frankly, I can see him struggling this year… a move is even more important especially as Sagna moving over to centre back is a real possibility. We need Monreal like cover. Up front, no doubt we need a better striker than Giroud, he’s not going to cut it at the highest level. We desperately need a centre back and now Gervinho has left the building we need a proper wideman.
Probably the most obvious flaw in our squad is the lack of a defensive midfielder. We’re desperate there. Arteta doesn’t have the pace or the engine he once had. Still a useful player, but we need fresh legs, serious mobility and some much needed discipline. Our midfield three have looked far from dynamic so far…
With Europe bankrupt, there’s simply no excuse for our inaction. But if the manager isn’t putting names forward or being decisive, what can the club do. Dick Law, for all the nonsense he gets for being a terrible negotiator has done his job. We’ve near enough cleared all the dead wood. We’ve brought in 3300 new youth team players as well. Amazing eh, we’ve not made one first team purchase, yet we’re rolling in a Colombian kid for a trial.
Shows where Arsene’s priorities are.
Still, I guess the interesting twist on a potentially bad summer is this… Ivan Gazidis didn’t tell the world we were spending big on a whim. As I’ve said countless times before, he’ll be about longer than Arsene, by deceiving the fans, he destroys his future relationship with us. He’ll never recover that. I’m not talking about people like me either… blogs are quite a way down the pecking order, I’m talking about the big newspapers who will think he’s a laughing stock. If you destroy your relationship with the media, you don’t get kind coverage when things are going down the pan… and believe me, that’ll bother the hierarchy.
So if Arsene hangs Ivan and the board out to dry this summer, he’ll struggle with that new deal. You can’t screw someone and then head in to their office palms open and look for an extension. Which is why I’d still be staggered if Wenger tried to hang the board out to dry this summer… and believe me, he wants a new deal. He’s well into his sixties, a change of scenery is not what he’ll be looking for. He’ll never get so much power combined with so little accountability anywhere else on the planet. Not to mention there are only about 3 clubs on the planet who would pay him what we do.
His childish petulance when it comes to doing what’s right for the club is quite staggering. But herein lies the problem…
We have a manager with quite staggering amounts of power. This has been pointed out so many times before. Arsenal behind the scenes on the playing side are a shambles compared with other setups. Football is a young mans game nowadays. New managers, better ideas, more preparation and better set ups are popping up all over the place. Arsene Wenger simply isn’t the man he used to be, or, he’s the man he used to be and now we’re moving into a different era. I think it was Comolli again, who spoke on the radio some time ago and listed out how he approaches transfers with his managers. In February he’d sit down with the manager and ask him what he wanted player wise… then he’d ask for a list of options, you’d ask the manager to grade the players 1-5. The best player money can buy right down to the bargain basement option. Then he’d sit down again at the start of the summer and go through through the list again and firm up names. Then he would go out and make the moves.
Now, you’d have thought Wenger was perfectly aware of where the gaps were last September. He should have had a list as long as his arm of players we could approach. Spain has shipped out 27 of its best players. Italy is skint bar one club these days. France is ripe for the picking outside two clubs. Holland is always game for a pillaging. There is absolutely no excuse. The board have armed him with the best part of £100m and he’s probably got about £400k a week in spare wages cash. Yet he’s made zero progress.
How can you have made zero progress in the summer of European turmoil!
It’s a f*cking shambles a week away from the start of the season. Spurs have bought well, Liverpool have added to a squad which, with a Suarez in it could be argued is as good as ours (I mean, if somehow he could be convinced of the error of his ways)… the manager is frittering the summer away like he always does. He’s not a confident man any more. He’s indecisive. He doesn’t know what he wants. Which is why we’re where we are. Which is why he’s so calm with where we are. What he fails to see is that scraping 4th every year is a massive, massive risk. Especially as every club is throwing money at making it past that position. If you gave £100m to Klopp, would we be in this position squad wise right now… or would there be a serious plan well under way?
We’re watching the dying days of a once great manager. Even if we bring in the right players, he’s still not good enough behind the scenes to make a sustained attack on the league. But at the very least we’d ensure that top four wasn’t a monumental challenge like it has been the last few summers.
This summer could all turn around, and I’d be surprised still if it didn’t, but the thing that saddens me is that everything I’m hearing is that it’ll be reactionary, and it stacks up, no players in on August 6th and no noise. No noise in the modern game generally means nothing is going on… because secrets cost clubs cash.
Anyway, rant over. If there’s any comfort to be had, it’s in the fact that everyone at the club is staggered the manager hasn’t bolstered yet… and that everyone is desperate for him to do so. Ivan should take his list, buy the players and worry about egotistical man tears after… the manager should have no say over price.
There’s still time to go… remember this… Didier Drogba could have just saved our summer. In some sort of weird way, you might have to be thankful to him.
See you in the comments.