Ok, so we’r getting into off-season territory, so I’m not sure how I’m going to keep things going this summer.
If you are an excellent writer and you have an editorial idea, float it past me and send it in. Make sure it’s interesting, loaded with opinion and grammatically correct.
Unlike most of my stuff.
Wasn’t even a joke.
Right, what have we on the plate of football today?
Errr…. Arsenal fans have forced BT to stop recording outside of the ground because of the bad language. OMG. Bad language. Isn’t it ridiculous that we’re in the 21st century and people will complain if they hear a naughty word on the TV. I mean, honestly, 20 people out of 5 million watching and they have to change the way they schedule shows because boring people are affronted. It’s pathetic.
What else are we talking about?
Javi Martinez is apparently subject of a sensational £28m bid from Arsenal (The Telegraph didn’t call it sensational, another headline I saw did). Errr… sensational? He cost £35m before he was a European Champion. I can’t imagine he’s leaving for anything less than £40m considering he’s 25 and an incredible player. He’s exactly the sort of player we could do with, he’s mobile, powerful, 6ft3 and full of tenacious rage. He’s also technically brilliant.
… begs the question, why would he leave?
Well, he’s not happy about playing in a static defensive midfield position. I think he wants to play more Ramsey / Vieira-esque. I still think there’s room for that type of player in our team. It’s not like we’re looking for a Gilberto, we need energy in our midfield to replace the weary legs of Arteta.
However, I don’t see this happening. I really don’t.
I find it quite incredible that a team as well stocked with cash and glory as Bayern are having this player exodus talk.
So far, we’ve got:
Kroos > United
Mueller > United
Martinez > Arsenal
Gotze > Arsenal
Can’t see all those guys moving, at the very worst, they just don’t like the competition on offer at Bayern. I doubt it though, who wouldn’t want to play for Pep G? Also, on the Martinez story, I don’t mean to be a total realist here, but move from Bayern to Arsenal? Why? Same with Bayern to United? Why?
Manchester City as good as tied up the Premier League last night. They spanked a terrible Aston Villa out of sight in the second half and edged closer to their second league title. Two goals from Dzeko proved what having a squad stocked full of talent can do for you. He’s bagged 27 odd goals this season. An exceptional return for a player who had been pushed aside by Jovetic and Negredo.
When people harp on about ‘if only we had Ramsey and Theo fit’. I think they forget that other teams have suffered injuries this year. City have gone large chunks without Aguerro, but they had a back up. I don’t think you can ever bank on a full season with your best players. We can definitely improve it, but it goes beyond just the injury, it’s about keeping your best players fresh. We were spanked heavily by City with Aaron in the side.
The way you foster fitness isn’t by simply amending training and rotating a bit. You’ve also got to look at the depth of your squad.
Arsene never talks about squad depth (he called it an illusion in the Shreeves interview). He always talks about the reaction he has to take to injuries and the toll that has on the squad. I’m shocked he’s not worked out that the injuries he has happen because his squad isn’t deep enough with quality, so he doesn’t rotate. The starting 11 get tired, then injured… then that same process happens to the reserves.
Arsene might only be able to make 3 major 1st team signings this summer, but there’s no reason he can’t boost our bench with midrange players with attributes. Now, I’m not suggesting Puncheon, but when he played against Liverpool the other night, his pace stretched Liverpool and forced them to defend basically on their goal line. He’s not the greatest player in the world, but off the bench, 70 minutes to go, he’s asking questions.
Who is asking questions of our bench at the moment?
Monreal. The cheeky chappy.
Did anyone see the quotes from Arsene when talking about Hazard?
‘Yes, I wanted to take him, I had his agent at my home but again the barrier was financial and Chelsea made an effort that I couldn’t make.
‘He can be one of the players who grows into the Messi, Ronaldo stature if he continues to develop well.’
Now, if Wenger thought he’d turn into one of those players, why couldn’t he match the Chelsea offer. We had the money in 2011? He was clearly going to be a world beater. Billy Beane said that if a player is smashing it in his teens, he’ll be a worldy most of the time. Hazard was an exceptional teen. So why didn’t we punt for him? He’s an educated risk… Ligue One player of the year twice before he was 20. Fast, low centre of gravity, goals, assists… great technique. Buy him for £35m… could be worth £50m within 2 seasons.
‘The biggest risk is not taking any risk… in a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks’
That quote is from Mark Zuckerberg. Now, I know Facebook and Football is a but different, but my point here is that we spunked all our risk into the stadium. Then we gave up. We’ll have £170m in the bank this summer, that’s been sitting there, losing value for years. Why? Because the manager is petrified of risk because it makes him accountable. Wenger computes risk with cost. So his cheap risks are not deemed as failures, when in the context of having massive amounts of money his risks are actually pretty ridiculous.
He’s right as well, I see fans justifying our shit show of a season with spend totals. Wenger gets a free ride for spending the 5th highest amount in the league, despite having enough cash to spend the most. Why does he get a free ride for having a poor season with the budget to have a great one? He didn’t do the best with what he had. Surely inaction is worst trait in sport?
Juan Mata – £22m (Wenger pulls the plug) >>> Opts for Gervinho (£8m) + Chamberlain (£15m)
The outcome? Chelsea sign a player who helps them win a bunch of trophies as well as picking up player of the year for them twice. Arsenal flunk out with Gervinho and Chamberlain is still a way of being the finished article.
The cost of taking two lesser risks is that we forfeited trophies. The expense of Mata was recouped almost twice by Chelsea 3 years later.
High cost players are generally high cost because they have a talent premium. It’s not up to me to tell you who has premium talent. That’s not my job. However, someone like Draxler is on my radar as is Marco Reus. £35m players now, could be £70m players in 2 years. You have more chances of those players turning into super elite world beaters over someone like Drmic. Not to say the Swiss is a bad player, but he’s a risk. He’s being purchased based on price. Because I refuse to believe he’s the best you can get in the market loaded with £175m cash.
People think spending lots of money is more risky than spending nothing. I think this is the wrong way to look at it. We’re so risk averse these days we’re devaluing the cash in the bank and we’re missing out of bringing in assets that appreciate in value with immediate effect.
Anyway, hope that wasn’t too much of a ramble. I’m sure there’s something in that…
SEE YOU IN DA COMMENTS