So there is a correction I have to make on a comment I made about video analysis, it’s come via a journalist who is close to some of the players. Apparently we do undertake video analysis. We cut video of some opposition attacks. We cut video of some opposition defensive set ups. We look at how they do some set pieces. Then it’s…
… wait for it
… this is great
… put on a drop box that is e-mailed to players
… that is optional viewing.
So apologies there. When I said we do no analysis on games, what I actually meant is our one video guy pulls together a show reel, bangs it online and sends an email.
How half arsed is that? I mean, it’s the equivalent of giving school kids the option on homework.
Think about it, how can you learn to function as a team, when you’re learning on a laptop at home alone?
Isn’t the whole experience of analysis a team thing. Shouldn’t everyone be aware of what’s coming? Shouldn’t all the players be pulled into a room, have the match plan relayed to them and the drill into the details?
Of course they should.
Something as important as analysis should be a ‘thing’. It should be ingrained into the prematch process. The team should be in early to see what’s going on, then the plan should be practiced and drilled all week. All types of different scenarios should have been worked out.
- What are our weaknesses?
- How will Everton exploit them?
- What happens if we go a goal down?
- How shall we start the game?
- How shall we play the second half if we’re winning?
- Who do we bring on to stabilise the game and what happens to our shape?
- What’s the plan to shake things up if we’re losing?
- Are Everton susceptible on the break?
- How do we hone in on their weaknesses?
- If Lukaku is playing on the right, will he track back, can we test that?m0
- HOW CAN WE SURPRISE THEM
A pal messaged me this quote from last nights Chelsea game. I was reticent to out it up because it’s from JT, so please, forgive me… but they turned over PSG and this is what he said after.
“We worked all week on scenarios, 1-0 down, 2-0 down etc. We always thought we could win”
It’s just a snippet into the way Mourinho works. And look, it’s clear that even he’s falling behind a little bit these days. Maybe resting on his laurels, forgetting that players are people and bully boy tactics and flippant comments aren’t great team motivators.
Anyway, point is, the plan is always king. You need a big game strategy and tactical executions that hang off that to make it work under various different circumstances.
Also, having a great vision is exciting for players and it’s motivating. Nothing quite like knowing everyone is pulling in the same direction. Nothing like knowing, that even if something goes wrong, the vision was right and you had a solid plan that had a clear rationale.
It’s not difficult to do the basics right. Like any competitive industry that involves creativity. It’s difficult to find the additional 5% that makes you King. Arsenal don’t have half what other teams have in place. We’re already losing before we walk on the pitch when the big teams come to town. The players know that. Do you think that’s good for squad morale? I don’t. Knowing you’re always on a ship that has a hole is probably quite galling.
There are other basics that are a bit less tangible, but I said a few things around Christmas time that ring true now. Firstly, Arsene didn’t rotate the centre backs at all. We have 3 of them, which is a bit of a joke from the off. However, Wenger insisted on beasting Koscielny and Mertesacker which I said would result in an injury. More to the point, Vermaelen, who is still club captain, should have been given games. You can’t ostracise someone, then when you pick up an injury, expect them to give a crap about what they’re doing. He’s rusty, disinterested, demotivated and probably thinking about where the hell he’s going to head in the summer.
It’s just the basics of motivating human beings. If you’re a professional, that is part of a squad, there is an expectation you’ll get a sniff of action at some point, especially if your team mates are ruined. Nik B is a better striker than Giroud, that much is clear. Regardless of what he has since done, if he was second choice this season, he should have been treated that way. He should have been given games and the burden of beasting should have been lessened on Giroud. That way, in the run in, we’d have had two fit strikers competing with each other. Now, I’m not saying Nik is the solution. But he’s a more skilful version of what we have. Two average strikers is better than one.
It’s unbelievable he just went with one the whole time. Completely mental. But more to the point here… illogical. I’d love someone to ask Wenger what his justification for that was.
‘Arsene, how can a club the size of Arsenal, with the clear wealth at hand, go two transfer windows and not find a striker?’
Simple question. Would love to know the answer, because whatever the answer is, it’s wrapped in incompetence.
So… what else can we talk about? Jurgen Klopp winning 2-0 against Madrid despite being 6 players down. That’s some fight right there. It’s still a bit ‘glorious failure’ but whatever. I’ve been reading quite a few crazy things about the Kloppmeister.
“He took the microphone and threw it on the floor and just walked away,” says Jan Aage Fjortoft, the former Norway striker who is a German football expert. “So Klopp is not always the charismatic Elvis Presley like you always love to see in press conferences.”
He’s been losing the plot a bit of late. Upsetting explayers, throwing microphones and generally being a bit shouty. I love him, but I think there is a darkside to him. Would we want him at the club? Well, absolutely. On the face of it. He’s perfect. However, losing one ego and bringing in another could cause problems. Ivan needs to take back control, not dish it out to a scarier younger man.
My rule of thumb, if Ivan can’t get the next manager in a headlock, don’t bother. I easily reckon he could take down the slight frame of Martinez. But maybe not Steve Bould. Unless he’s seriously mellowed with age. Pochettino? Hmmm… he’s a quiet one, possibly eye gouger. He’s not fighting fairly.
Actually, scrap that idea, let’s just get in the best possible manager we can.
The FA Cup semi is at the weekend. We play Wigan. They’ve won 2 of their last 6 games. That’s not relevant though. Because we are in relegation battle form at the moment. Wigan will be pumped for this game. I’d suspect, knowing bundles of Championship players, that one eye will be on this fixture. Players maybe not over exerting themselves in the league in case they don’t get to play at Wembley. I’d suspect the club have been planning hard for this game. They’ll have taken a lot of solace from us bending over to anyone who powers at us. So it could be tough. We’ll be on a real downer. So we have to be on our guard.
I honestly don’t think it matters how many chemicals I put into my body this weekend… I simply won’t be able to handle a loss. I’ll go into melt down, take all my clothes of and run into the Thames. I can see it catching on as well. So we’d better win. It’s a massive game, a chance for Arsene to layer some pride over the season. A chance for the fans to have a day in the sun and great way to paper over the shame of going from 1st to conceivably 5th inside two months.
More on that tomorrow. Have a ripping day.
BIG LOVE. x
P.S. Thanks for all the feedback on yesterdays article, some mega traffic through the door and hopefully some clarity on the narrative of the blog this season.