Lots of news that does feel like an effort to reprint this morning.
Where are the sweet chunks of transfer gossip?
Vucinic fell by the wayside, Inter swapped one of their best players for him yesterday in a deal only two Italian clubs could conceive. So no more him.
In Arsenal related bluster, Stan Kroenke has flown over to seal a new deal for Arsene Wenger. No surprising really. You’d like to think the owner was interested enough to fly over to tie the most expensive person at the club down to a new deal. Apparently they’re suggesting £24m over 3 years. A whopper of a deal we’re led to believe is laced with incentives on the winning trophies front. Hopefully we can say no to part time business accountant Wenger and welcome a new ‘purchase within your means but don’t worry about building a surplus’ Wenger.
Arsenal continued to ramp up their back room efforts snaring Jonker as the youth team coach. He comes over from Wolfsburg and has an excellent reputation globally for masterminding youth set ups. I don’t know if he’s a Wenger purchase, or someone the club have found themselves. However we landed him, it’s great we’ve opted for experience and a superb CV over and expro who barely has qualifications to read.
I wonder if Arsenal are going to spend the next three years building a new backroom team behind the scenes with a view to employing the next manager and team from within. Cortese at Southampton was such a flying success because he took big business values and layered them over a football club. He built the best backroom team he could based on market knowledge rather than tapping into the old boys network that pervades so many managerial recruitment policies.
Replacing Wenger from within could be a smart move. Barca did it with Rijkaard (replaced him with Pep) a then again with Pep Guardiola (replaced with Tito). It’s easier for a number two with talent to step up because he’ll know the infrastructure, have a good idea of the strengths and the weaknesses, have a good relationship with the players and they’ll have the trust of everyone internally.
Not just that, but Ivan will be king maker. The club maintain control of the manager. The way it’s supposed to be. Hopefully the days of Arsenal managers building Ivory Towers are behind us. I think the massive advantage of having American owners is they are quite attuned to advancements in the game. The purchase of that data company gives you a clue the sort of direction we’ll take post Wenger and maybe in the final years of his contract.
I’m quite happy for Wenger to take on a new deal. Things are moving in a good direction at the moment. It helps we’re at the top of the league, obviously. Because we’re in a winning position, people have forgotten what has gone before, which I won’t delve into, but needless to say, summer 2013 wasn’t the first year the club lifted the shackles of purchasing power off Wenger’s shoulders and let’s not kid ourselves, a lot of our issues over the years haven’t been just because we couldn’t spunk £40m on players, but people will spin how they want to spin.
However, we’re where we want to be. We’re buying mega players, we’ve paid attention to the defence, we’ve shifted out deadwood, Wenger has become more ruthless (poor Podolski), sport science is taking more of a front seat, our medical team is flourishing comparably and the project youth nightmare has been largely rebranded to a more realistic offering. I’ve mostly always said that I don’t want a new manager if Arsene can change his ways. Well, it seems he’s doing that one flaw at a time.
Let’s see if he can drive some silverware this season. Without wishing to put a negative spin on the season, we’re top, but we’re still only 8 points off Spurs. Things can turn on a sixpence. We’re going to have to drive absolute consistency through this season if we want to win the league. A massive ask… but hey, when is winning the league not a massive ask?
P.S. If you want to use the lovely pictures I craft as screensavers for your phones or whatever… you can find them at the links below.