Woooooord up people. It’s Friday and that means you can do what you like. I’m wearing flip flops to work. Who’d dare stop me? It’s Friday and I’m a motherf*cking free spirit.
I invite you to join me.
Anyway, DAT GUY scored for England in a dreadful game against San Marino that boasted 5 Arsenal England players and a MoM performance from Jack Wilshere. He’s a man in form, looking totally reem with his slick fifties haircut showing the world he has talent. For the first time in 3 years he looks fit and even better, he seems to have a grasp of what he should be doing.
Ramsey, watch your back, Jack looks very capable of taking your role as the poster child of transformation. Exciting to have those two and the rest at our club. England are bearable for once.
What about Roy on the sideline? Like your granddad watching Only Fools and Horses at Christmas. His little face.
Reference yesterday’s post, mostly received quite well. A few people demanding evidence like my observational musings are court evidence. People really are ridiculous, like the only way they can follow a story is if I have transcripts from the locker room. Look, my whole MO is asking questions of things. In my job, I can ask questions and take actions. Here, I just ask question knowing there’s never going to be an action.
Below is a list of things you can’t ignore, because they’re happening. If you think they’re not related, fine. If you think what’s happening is just a coincidence that has no reasoning, fine. For me, the below is damning as it is logical. But again, it’s just about asking questions because that’s why I write. I love the club. I want it to be the best in the business and if nobody challenges what’s going on or asks the right questions, we’ll be forever stuck in this rut. Because Arsene Wenger is not a change agent unless he’s forced.
So, things that point to a problem.
1. Wenger did not sign Shad Forsythe, like he didn’t sign Joncker. I might have that wrong, Ivan doesn’t answer my calls these days or reply to my Whatapp messages, but the reality is Arsene Wenger doesn’t understand the modern approach to sport science evidenced by his failings over the years combined with his countless quips about hair pills or ‘we will investigate’ moments when asked about injuries. That’s all public fact. So the idea that he’d go out and have the skillset to bring in Shad Forsythe is a flawed one. How can you interrogate someone about something you no nothing about?
There’s an anecdote about Pardew recommending a physio to Cortese at Southampton, can’t remember exactly how it went, but he was asked ‘do you have any experience as a physio? Ok, so what makes you think you’re qualified to tell me what a good one looks like? We’ll bring in a proper head hunting company and conduct an interview process the way blue chip organisations would do’.
2. We know that Wenger likes absolute control at the club. He’s said many times before that he couldn’t work at a place where there was interference. So let’s piece this with the above. He’s not going to like a new guy coming in telling him things aren’t right. I mean, he’s only just accepted video analysis should be mandatory rather than a Dropbox option (I’ve been saying that for years, Honigstein mentioned it again last week).
3. The old regime is a failed regime with a dated approach. How do I know this? I CAN SEE WITH MY OWN EYES. Look at the injuries, look at our record of rehabilitation (Vermaelen and Wilshere), look at the amount of times we turn up to games looking tired and once again, look at the injuries of the last ten years. There’s a infographic doing the rounds stating we’re the most injured side over the past 5 years. Again, the info is usually poorly put together, but if you asked 10 Premiership fans of other clubs who the most injured side is… they’d say Arsenal. I don’t think it’s unfair to say we’re as synonymous with 4th place as we are with injuries.
4. Shad Forsythe has come recommended. My guess, and this is a wild one, but I’d say Arsenal having 4 German players and a secret team of German execs that do stuff behind the scenes… well I’d say it came from them. Now, again, I don’t know the ins and outs here, but I’m guessing he’s good at something and if players have recommended him, it must be because he’s good. And look, it must be something to do with the players because the logical move would to have headhunted someone out of a club rather than an international side.
From an outsiders perspective looking in, I think what he did with the Germans at the World Cup was nothing short of exceptional. Taking a squad of players, who will have been heavily loaded at their clubs (because most of them play for successful teams >>> which means more games) over to the heat of Brazil and getting them to play to a style which was all about speed and power and wiping teams out as quickly as possible. Well, it was an incredible piece of work. He’s a World Cup winner. A World Cup winner in some of the most horrendous conditions ever seen at a World Cup.
So point here is this. He’s not useless. He’s clearly a smart guy. He’s clearly got way more about his game than the incumbent (who again, we’ve seen fail badly over the years).
5. 3 months in, we’re in exactly the same situation as we were before. Players dropping like flies / players looking tired in big games / players looking tired a month in!
So what’s going on here?
Well, you have two senior people doing the same role.
It’s absurd. It doesn’t matter that I don’t sit in London Colney. I don’t need to. I work in a business that is fast paced and loaded with egos. I know what happens when there’s no hierarchy. I know what happens when you bring senior people into a close knit team. I know what happens to those senior people if you don’t put a structure in place that allows them to work. They get side lined. Ignored. Because the old school will always win. People don’t like change. Young people don’t like change. I can’t imagine what it likes trying to persuade a 64 year old legend of the game he might not know what he’s doing. I can’t imagine trying to do that to all the old boys.
Now, that might not be the case. Shad might be utter shite. He might be worse than what we already have. My gut says taking a view like that isn’t smart, because for me, the common thread here is the old regime. I’d like to find out what the new guy is all about. I’d like him to be totally accountable to the club. I’d like him to be totally accountable to the fans. I’d like to be able to make an honest amateur assessment of him at the end of the season.
Namely: Do our players look in better condition? Have we suffered less injuries? Are we in a better place.
At the moment. How can you judge? How can Ivan and his henchmen judge?
They can’t. They’ve taken the gutless approach and thrown the new guy to the wolves. Shad, for me, is merely a trophy signing. Like a traditional advertising agency signing a social media director to prove they can do digital, only to sit them in the corner and ignore them. They’ve also given Wenger a…
‘You said it was my staff, I say it is a little bit bad luck’
… excuse. Complimented with that smirk.
… bad luck generally is the excuse of the incompetent. We can’t live in a world of luck, we need to live in a world of accountability. My guess is the new guy would like to be accountable. I know I would. I feel for him. Because Arsenal fans are hammering him. Through ignroance, but it doesn’t matter, it can’t be nice reading that about yourself.
Anyway, that’s the thought process. Generally, it’s only a controversial one if you haven’t worked in a business environment, you struggle with the bigger picture or you take your lead from journalists who might have to insist what I’m saying is fantasy thinking.
Let’s see how it pans out, because ultimately, there has to be an action on this at some point… why? Because these injuries are a massive cost to the club and the PR around them is quite frankly a total embarrassment to an establishment trying to cut its way in the world of best practice.
Right, that’s me done. No more on this unless we lose another player and I explode.
P.S. Koscielny sent home yesterday, it’s precautionary… just as a heads up, Diaby was precautionary before we lost him for 4 weeks. #PrayForKos