I don’t know the detail. I don’t know the exact methodology going on. But I know a few bits of circumstantial evidence that would suggest our summer signing of Shad Forsythe isn’t quite working out.
I said at the time of his signing I wondered how the ‘politics’ would work. This thought was reinforced at The Emirates cup when he was introduced under some ridiculous job title and ‘working with Tony Colbert’.
Here’s the point. The old regime, which was Colbert, has been breaking players for years. We know this because we’ve seen the consistent horror show that is the injury league table. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware that table isn’t accurate but it’s a guide. Anyway, we’ve heard excuses like ‘luck’, hair pills, ‘we will investigate’ and all manner of ‘dodge the truth’ pearlers when the simple common theme is that we’ve an under qualified chancer running the show. Don’t believe me, look at his biog compared to some of the other guys running fitness at the top clubs in Europe. Someone brought in to run with the players in the Gary Lewin days ends up running performance management at one of the biggest clubs in the world, it was never going to work out long term because he’s never evolved his approach.
The club recognised this in the summer, went out and made a move for the German international fitness coach… which was still a risk because he’s not worked under the pressure of club football… but still a massive improvement and a big fat plug for the knowledge gap we’ve suffered.
Problem is, we kept the old regime in. Shad wasn’t a Wenger signing and we’re seeing the fruits of that right now. The old regime knows the club, is pals with a manager who would sacrifice performance over friendship and now we have a situation where it appears very little has changed. Same outcome as last year. Players broken by October in a horrendous pile up of issues. Generally quite flat looking starting line ups. All made worse because we don’t have a big enough squad.
Who takes the can for this? Who is accountable? I mean, it’s just school boy planning. The basics of business is there needs to be hierarchical certainty otherwise driving change becomes a force of personality issue. Send in a young guy to shake up an old boys club, how are you going to achieve anything? I’m pretty sure the club don’t have this issue on the corporate side. There aren’t to Head of Marketing people, there aren’t two CEOs… sorry, I lie, Arsene and Ivan.
… and that’s what it comes down to. Ivan doesn’t have the power he needs to bring some sanity to the playing side. Southampton have an infrastructure that’s owned by the club. So do Barca. So do most top clubs. That way, like any normal business, you can function if one person leaves because ‘process IP’ is with the club, not one man and 64 of his acolytes.
My personal opinion is the club need to make a decision, that decision is go all in with Shad and give him the chance to prove his worth. That means a parting of the ways with Tony Colbert. He’s had 10 years to sort himself out and he’s chosen not to. The playing side of this club is too entrenched in nepotism and it’s self destructive.
Although I think the new man Joncker went way over the top with his quotes in the Daily Mail about how shite the set up is, he nailed one point when he said our approach to scouting needs a total rethink.
‘The scouting must be restructured all over again. It needs to be brought to a level so that we can bring in the absolute best talents from abroad and from England at an age that Wenger can immediately work with them.
Another massive failing of the club over the years because again, Steve Rowley is clearly way past it. He’s only just discovered Germany. Which is great, but come on, why aren’t we tapping new markets? Where is our presence is the gold mine that is Eastern Europe? Why do we always sign duffers from South America (well, bar Gilberto, who was a Dick Law play I believe)?
There’s so little dynamism on the playing side. That’s the CEOs fault for not being stronger, but I guess he’s playing the waiting game. Wait until the King is dead then make your move, because if you make your play too early, you’ll be the one with your head on the chopping block.
Royalty has never been my cup of tea…
Anyway, the offshoot of all of this is we have another player who is broken. Ozil isn’t the strongest of players in the first place, he’d barely seen 90minutes in the years preceding Arsenal now it’s a standard affair. He’s out for up to three months (at a cost of £1.5m) which is bad news because he’s a dream player, but ultimately he’s been garbage. This injury forces Chambo into the set up which for me, is where that front three needs to be. He’s one of my favourite players. He has so many Premiership attributes, body builder power, explosive pace, a great attitude and pretty sound tekkers.
A big few months for him… but how long before he’s broken?
Right, that’s it for today. Have a good one, say hi to your two line managers.