Ivan has been in the press again outlining his vision for the club and what he thinks he should be holding dear.
“When we talk about the destination, it’s not winning a Champions League, it’s making fans proud,”
“It’s about making the people at the football club proud of what we do and how we do it.”
Part of me thinks that’s a barbed jibe at Chelsea. The other part of me thinks it’s just smart marketing. Put your audience first. Make it about them. You’ll never lose.
JUST LIKE RELATIONSHIPS.
Trouble is, we’re not a sugared water brand vying for consumer attention. We’re an elite sports team with a monopolised local market. When I say that, I mean there’s no other product choice once you’re indoctrinated (unless you’re David Cameron). The global market is a bit different, but largely geared around where you tour and what you win.
I understand we’re a club of class and style, but there comes a point where you’ve got to stop talking about the journey and start to make strides on the major trophy yellow brick road. There comes a point where you have to start pushing harder. That time surely has to be the summer. The traditional temptation of Arsene post a strong season finish is to pretend he has the depth to take on the season. The reality is never there.
Will Arsene buy Schneiderlin, even though we know Coquelin is smashing it? Will he change up his keeper who doesn’t look the full ticket? Would he dare sell on Santi Cazorla (who is having contract issues) and bring in Marco Reus? Will he exchange Theo + Jenks for Sterling?
How brutal will the manager be in pursuit of the final hurrah? How hard will Ivan push him on the journey that must have a destination we near within 10 year.
Big questions. What we do know is this. Ivan enforced changes last summer that are bearing fruit. Wenger pushed for changes late November that have resulted in a massive on pitch improvement in the second half of the season. Can Arsenal push on the extra 10% this summer and make magic happen next season?
Mourinho chimed in with some more chat around Arsenal. He hammered home the huge competition in the league.
“It’s even more difficult to dominate than before,”“How can you speak about domination when everyone knows what will happen next summer? Give to Arsenal four top-class players and I think they will again be the Invincibles. Man United have a phenomenal squad. They will invest hugely again in the summer. City have done phenomenally, winning two titles in three years, and people say they will invest hugely. Liverpool fighting for the title for many years. Next year it will be even more difficult for everyone.
“At this moment, it’s very difficult in the Premier League for a team to be dominant. This is not Germany with Bayern Munich. This is not Switzerland with Basel. This is not Scotland with Celtic.”
All very true. I think he’s being pretty clear that Arsenal don’t need four players to dominate. We just need to be very smart with how we operate in the summer, as I’ve laid out above. I still think the most important changes come from behind the scenes. Keep players fit, keep them smart and rotate them well and you’re laughing. Well, not laughing. Just not crying into an injury list as long as your arm.
In other news, Brendan Rodgers faced further humiliation after a 1-0 loss against Hull City (next up for us). I feel for him. I think he’s a very good coach. He’s a had a harsh season and I don’t think the person they have in charge of signing players is doing him any favours. I’d still be sad to see him shipped out. That brand of football he played last season was beyond spectacular. He has plenty of talent, but he’s not made it happen this season. Champions League football is always a major killer. It certainly was for their style of play.
Mario was the killer though… fine lines. I imagine if they’d landed Sanchez, the outcome of their year would have been very, very different. I read Everton’s back four have scored more goals than Liverpool’s 4 strikers combined.
That’s life though. Will Liverpool go all Chelsea on his ass, or will they stick to their long term planning principles.
Tough decision with Klopp hanging loudly on the horizon!
In news outside of football, it appears Emirates are going to sponsor the FA Cup, taking over from Budweiser. So, to my mind, that means it’s the Emirates Cup. Which we’ve won, like, loads of times. Good news. The last ten years have been as barren as we once feared!
Finally, Bayern secured a £645m kit deal with Adidas for an additional ten years. That’s over double what we earn from Puma. But, in fairness, they do win a lot of things. Still less than United earn. It’s quite staggering that they can profit from that tie up.