Happy Friday morning to you. I didn’t realise it was Friday. I’ve been out the game this week, so apologies if the blogging has been off key. I’ll be back on form next week.
Last night I was invited onto Boyd Hilton’s podcast which featured Amy Lawrence. The pod was geared around current malaise and her new book about the Invincibles. It was really interesting to hear some of her insights into Arsene Wenger layered over the challenges we’re facing now.
The most interesting point for me was this… not much has changed with Arsene. He’s still managing in the same way he was. He’s overly loyal to his players and his staff. He doesn’t believe in defence. He doesn’t really focus too much on the opposition.
He’s struggled with the progress of the game. Which for me, is why he has to go sooner, rather than later.
The book sounds fantastic, I thought Amy was fascinating to listen to and I’ve purchased a copy that I’ll be reading over the next few weeks. So I’d recommend jumping in yourself. You can buy it here. You can listen to the podcast here.
There are some interesting stories floating around regarding player transfers. Theo Walcott heading out on loan to Fiorentina to regain match fitness. Why we’d trust another club to bring one of our boys back to fitness would be a mystery if you were any other club… not sure that’d be the worst idea given the person who usually takes care of rehabilitation. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing in this story. He’s too important to us at the moment. We need players that we can rotated into the squad. We need them now, before our season totally derails.
The horrible story that keeps rearing its ugly head is that we’re in for Chris Smalling. He has attributes to be a good footballer, but he’s a car crash in progress at the moment. He took a red at the weekend for an badly mistimed challenge. He’s just not up to scratch. I can believe we’d move for him. I can’t believe we’d land him based on the lack of bodies United have. So that feels like a non-starter unless they’re lining up Hummels. A player we should move for.
In other news, Ivan Gazidis has been awarded CEO of the year. I’d feel pretty embarrassed about accepting an award like that. A bit like John Terry getting dad of the year a few years ago. I’m not exactly sure what would merit that type of award. The target was Bayern Munich last year. Not sure we’ve done much to close the gap. Our secondary deals aren’t moving at the pace you’d have hoped for. Our backroom set up is a total mess. Fans are unhappy. We’ve purchased a company that scouts players, yet not purchased any off the back of it. Ticket prices went up. Our manager has gone totally rogue. We have two chief scouts. Two heads of fitness. A archaic backroom set up that’s causing dysfunction on the pitch.
Not sure how you land CEO of the year based on that.
We’ll see how good Ivan is pretty soon. His time to shine is soon. He has one chance to make good on all the promises. The biggest choice in his career is coming. Arguably, one of the biggest decisions in the clubs history is coming.
Who replaces Wenger.
Do it properly. Make the right decision. He’s a hero. Arsenal rise from the ashes.
Get it wrong? Hello Manchester United situation.
Fingers crossed he has an amazing plan lined up. An amazing man lined up. A vision we can all buy into.