It’s done. The deal is done. There’s no point on me moaning on about it. We’ve got to suck it up and accept that unless Arsenal close down, or the planet is destroyed in an Independence Day style apocalypse (WILL SMITH IS TOO OLD TO SAVE US AND JAYDEN ISN’T UP TO THE JOB), he’s seeing out every last minute of that deal.
Some Arsenal fans will be chuffed. He’s been with us 20 years, so why not another 3 more? He’s done ok. I mean, 4th highest wage bill, 4th place in the league… hello? Literally the defacto reason for Wenger being incredible.
… but these fans forget. They forget because it’s safe to forget. It’s easier to think that the acceptable barometer for progress is wages to league position.
However, I won’t forget. Because like many Arsenal fans who work in jobs where performance is judged on many factors… I can see the obvious.
So here’s what has to happen if we’re going to kick on… in case you forgot the massive failings of last season, or you conveniently tucked the managers failings under the FA Cup we just won.
Things for Arsene to look at:
The Scouting Network:
Guys and gals, let’s be honest, it’s totally fucked. It looks more outdated than a Commodore 64 on the SpaceX flight deck. It’s a joke. It needs to be assessed. We’ve got this fancy data system that tracks players technical ability through video to identify strengths and weaknesses… so let’s start using it.
However, the key here is that a flashy computer system is no good if you’re granddad is operating it. Or the system is being operated in the same leagues everyone else is operating in. We need to give our scouting network a facelift. We need someone with new ideas, new markets and whoever that new person is needs to be given a new brief, because the players coming through the door haven’t been up to Premiership standards of power and pace.
We should be taking a look at what Dortmund do. They send their scouts out to Eastern Europe to pick up technically brilliant players who are powerful and loaded with nasty. Don’t get me wrong, from a blogging perspective, I’d hate to have to learn all those players names, but let’s be honest, you can’t unearth gems in Ligue One or the Bundasliga these days. So let’s do something fucking crazy… let’s look elsewhere!
The Fitness Team:
So I’d love to think the inquiry we’re holding into the injury stuff is real. But part of me feels like it’s one of those internal Police Inquiries. You know, the ones where no one is ever found guilty or sacked?
‘Arsene, why is Tony Colbert holding the inquiry?’
That type of thing. But look, I can pick holes in the backroom team all I like, I have done for years and I’ve had people go against it despite the evidence being outrageously clear that we’re fucked there. Well, look, again, simple fact is that if you want to succeed in anything, you have to take luck off the table. You can’t blame injuries on luck. You have to be more mature about it. Keeping players on the pitch is a science. Simple as that.
You have to say, ‘we get a tonne of injuries, what can we do to improve this?’. If we don’t, we’ll be in the same state we were this season. When you’re the most injured team in the Premiership, you need to address it. You need to have a detailed plan of action and progress needs to be tracked. This isn’t a 10 year plan. This is something that can be actioned in a summer.
We also need to address the general fitness of the team. I don’t want to see consistently lethargic performances. I want to see players energised. I want to see zip in our play. That all starts with our approach to fitness.
‘Wenger does do tactics, did you see him change up to 4–4-2 when we were losing 3-0 at Everton?’
Again, the really embarrassing attempts people use to justify that Wenger isn’t tactically flawed. Now, what I’m not saying is Wenger doesn’t have some sort of vision when he goes into a game. He knows how to set up a formation. What I’m saying is he does the bare minimum. He doesn’t focus on an oppositions weakness. He doesn’t take their strengths and nullify them. He doesn’t surprise opposition teams ever. He plays the same old bland and predictable way. It’s painful.
He needs to empower his staff to spend more time on the training pitch working on scenario planning, he needs to get them working on changing up during a game, he needs to make video analysis a key attribute to the week, he needs to give players dossiers, he needs one on ones before big games that map the plan. With players, you need to give them all the tools they need to succeed. On a pitch, you lose yourself when you’re tired, if you’re told before the game Andy Carroll will go from the back post to the front, you might realise that 0.5 seconds quicker than you would had you not been told. It’s the small percentages that are the difference between winning and losing.
Data driven intelligence is something that needs to be baked into the fabric of the club. Currently, it’s not.
P.S. Apologies for the week that was, lots on, ill, all that boring shit you don’t need to know about. Next week, the Friday goat will be better, I promise.