Ivan: Let’s solutionize a brand new transfer process #Arsenal

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Spent the whole day on my own yesterday poncing around Tribeca. The dawning reality that I’m moving to a place and literally starting again. I’m the f*cking weird guy reading a book in a bar on their own, eagerly trying to bust into your conversation.

‘Oh, no sugar in your mojito? Amazing, I’d love to know why you made that decision’

Truth is, I don’t give a rats arse, but I’ve just smashed 5 beers in an hour on my own and I haven’t spoken to anyone in 15 hours.

BUT HEY. Bar people are fun. Like strippers for conversation! 20% gets you, what, 35 seconds of small talk?

I did kill some time watching Belgium play Cyprus. The Cypriots did themselves proud. Real end to end stuff. If they had an finisher, they’d have probably beaten Hazard’s boys who only just scraped a win.

It did make me realise what an absolute toilet international football is. I know it serves football associations, but it really is challenging. It’s like that part of the game hasn’t evolved. Like world associations haven’t  sensed the fatigue the qualifying rounds bring to players and fans alike.

It needs a 20/20 (Fast paced cricket game) like boost. It needs a refresher. Why don’t we cancel the European Championship (is that what it’s called?) and bring in international cage football? There was a game quite like it in a really bad FIFA execution about 10 years ago.


We shorten the game, we have rolling subs and only squads of 10 can play.

Imagine the scenes…

I mean, not far off futsal. Which is crazy skilful to watch.

Football needs souping-up in the international arena and I’m quite happy to take on the challenge.

So, sifting around the news, there’s not much going on.

Theo reckons he could be the saviour of English football this summer. Great news Theo, could please be the saviour of our forward line first?

Benzema said he was never going to move this summer.

“There was nothing in the talk of a transfer away from Madrid,”

Well Karim, many have said that in the past before getting the Florentino open handed bitch slap out of the club. Don’t count your chickens, one day, before you retire, you’ll probably be asked to leave. Then we’ll all laugh.

I was thinking about this the other day. When one of my Arsenal pals was hailing the following transfer strategy from Arsene Wenger, captured, perfectly by this comment.

‘If the right type of special player comes up, we’ll move’

I mean, look at the intent in that sort of comment. If something comes up, we’ll move. It’s such a passive approach to transfers. It’s supposed to come across as a smart strategy and True Believers talk about it like you’ve just been exposed to inner workings of Nikola Tesla’s mind. But think about it… what coach wouldn’t move for a world class player if they were offered, on a plate, at a price so low the world would say ‘isn’t Arsene a genius for ripping off that dopey big club’?

We’re vultures. We’re not predators. We hang around the big names and see if anything drops out of their mouths as they’re savaging other institutions for their best players.

Fuck it, Ivan / Dick, I’m going to suggest something here. This is all falling down because of process. I don’t work in football, but I know whenever something breaks in marketing, you put a process in place and everyone is happy.

How hard can this be?

Player Weaknesses

Challenge: To showcase that just because the team is on a good run, it doesn’t mean it is somehow complete.

Approach: Kill Wenger with data and his own words (metaphorically)

1. Speak to Arsene Wenger right now and ask him to compile a list of his squads weaknesses.

2. Ivan, bang the answers in a spreadsheet.

3. Return to Arsene Every 2 weeks and ask him for the weaknesses

4. Ivan to start building a dossier, based on what the manager says are the weak areas of his squad.

Player Scouting

Challenge: Getting Steve Rowley to leave the office

Approach: Spoon feed him what he needs to do, then put him on a performance review if he doesn’t deliver

1. Take the squad dossier (compiled above) to the scouting department

2. Ask scouts to bring a list of global names that could improve squad

3. Tell Steve Rowley to hand in his resignation if he tells you there’s only one striker that could better us globally.

4. Build the lists by squad challenge into 3 sections.

  • Mega Players (35m+)
  • B-Listers Players (Elite from weaker leagues)
  • Up and Coming (Young players on the ascension)
  • Old Dogs (One year left in them)

5. Get buy in from the manager on the players he likes on a monthly basis by asking him to rate them.

6. Present back the final list to the manager at the start of December, pass dossier onto Dick Law and tell him to start working his magic early. Same approach to the summer. Finalise the list by March, then send Dick Law to work. No waiting around. Just a pure, aggressive, decisive approach to the summer.

By starting this approach now, we build a profile of what Wenger needs. If the pattern is that we lack depth in defensive midfield, we make a defensive midfielder a priority. If the pattern is that Wenger is bemoaning the fitness of Danny Welbeck all year, we sign an up and coming striker. If the pattern is that we don’t have striker, we start negotiating with clubs from January and get Wenger’s buy into the names early doors.

The point of the above list is that we have options. If plan B doesn’t work, we have 3 other plans with accompanying names. We can’t lose the summer because we’re prepared.

This approach negates the manager saying he’s happy with the squad… come the end of the season, Ivan and co have the data across a the year. His thoughts when things were bad and his thoughts when they were good. You also have an open dialogue about these weaknesses on the regular. You build rapport, you use this rapport to manipulate his view. So when the manager dithers and says he’s happy, there’s a case for disagreeing.

Ivan become the solutions man. He has the ability to grind the manager down like David Dein did. He becomes the trusted advisor.

‘I know you had a great run, but your great run was only for half a season. Here’s what you were saying when your players weren’t all fit / here’s what you were thinking when the chips were down and there wasn’t a leader. Arsene, we’re bring Yann M’Villa into the fold.’

I feel our transfer windows are too passive. I feel like this one was a reaction to a good 2015. How do you combat that? Well, you get to know the manager a little better during the season.

Maybe, just maybe this is going on. But, maybe it’s impossible for the manager at his age, with his total dominance on the club and Stan Kroenke’s mind, to get involved in games like this… but something has to change, and I have my doubts that’ll be him leaving any time soon.

548 Responses to “Ivan: Let’s solutionize a brand new transfer process #Arsenal”

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  1. Arsene's Nurse

    September 7, 2015 20:42:00

    I’m assuming most want Usmanov on the board. If you could nominate a board of 5 to replace the existing geriatrics who would you choose and why you can choose anyone?

    Usmanov – vision, financial savvy
    David Dein – obvious reasons knowledge of the game connections
    Patrick Viera – football pedigree
    Charles Saatchi – brand marketing
    Ken Livingstone – wildcard community development
    Ken Livingstone? Ken fucking Livingstone? He would be demanding diversity in the team as a matter of order to make the team more inclusive as part of a programme for the team to reflect the wider diversity of “the community”. Some of us may think Giroud is crap but with Livingstone on board you’d be looking at a disabled homosexual up front and a Muslim lesbian at right back.

  2. Bamford10

    As for which signings since Ozil are/were “bad business,” this is a red herring: the worst business was signing NO ONE this summer save Cech.

    But if you must know:
    – Ozil himself was “bad business,” IMO. We needed a class CF and CDM far more than we needed a CAM, and Ozil hasn’t been all that great. He certainly hasn’t been worth 42m.
    – Chambers for 16m.
    – Welbeck for 16m.
    – Re-signing of Arteta and Flamini.
    – Re-signing of Walcott at 140k / week. (Holy fuck was this bad business.)

    I’ll let others elaborate.

  3. Cesc Appeal

    ‘If it comes from an owners bottomless pocket it’s not fair on those that have only there self-earned money to invest’

    Well, these teams better use that self-earned money fully then.

  4. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    Someone earlier allied to the kronke fella choring money out the club ?

    That on top of his dividends

    Really we are self sufficient cash wise
    We don’t parasites owners leeching off us….

    As the month phyton film once famously said

    What had silent Stan ever done for us ?

    Unlike the Romans he had done nowt …

    Tom start posting over at untold arsenal as well

    Then compare the response ?

  5. Arsene's Nurse

    Actually, maybe Livingston is already on board, it would explain Sanogo; the French African who chases a ball like a camel chasing a coconut down the stairs.

    That has to tick some diversity boxes.

  6. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    Don’t be so hard on Ken

    It w his foresight to go for the Olympics to regenerate a run down kharzi town….
    Had it not been for him it may never have happened.

    Also I remember fares fare

    When the tube was affordable

    No kennwould be superb voice of the man on the street on the board.

  7. Arsene's Nurse

    September 7, 2015 21:16:05

    Also we beat City at Etihad last term.
    But only because the players dissented and decided that they would play the way we saw. That performance was very little to do with Wenger. The players decided how they would play that day.

    Coincidentally that was the first time the Coquelin and Ramsey partnership (which many deride) was used.

  8. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    But I’m sure he was told we are after this player an that …

    They must have explained to him that we are ambitious then only sign him,…
    I’m sure he must have been disappointed ?

  9. tom

    Wenger convinced Cech of his vision.
    Yet I doubt he shared his summer shopping list with him.

    Still Cech arrives. He trusts Wenger with his career.
    Probably could have chosen any club and certainly would get better wages elsewhere.

  10. Goondawg

    Giroud missed loads of chances, yet it’s pre-mature thinking Deschps will alter his mind about him as second choice.

    For one thing he offers something different to the other forwards. He played better than Benzema did against Portugal. Giroud at least was constantly involved with everything France did moving forwards.

    Benzema, I’ve been quite disappointed with for failing to replicate his club form at international form. Did nothing in his 20 min cameo today either. I expect more from him than I do from Giroud.

  11. Arsene's Nurse

    September 7, 2015 22:18:52

    Wenger convinced Cech of his vision.
    Yet I doubt he shared his summer shopping list with him.

    Still Cech arrives. He trusts Wenger with his career.
    Probably could have chosen any club and certainly would get better wages elsewhere.
    No. Cech was second choice at Chelsea and therefore if he wanted first team football then he would have to move. Cech wanted to stay in London for a couple of reasons. Mourinho would have preferred it to sell him abroad because he knew he’d strengthen any other EPL team.

    Cech had an agreement with Abramovic saying that any move would be decided by Cech.

    The only club in London that isn’t as big as Chelsea is Arsenal so he chose to move there.

    Your revisionist bullshit shows you up to be the AKB that you are. Onto the ignore list you go.

  12. tom

    Giroud misses plenty but he gets a lot of chances.
    His Arsenal record last season is nearly a goal every two games.
    So even though he misses, he is scoring too.
    Not always pretty to watch but the point is, he does get involved.

    Also, though he likes a near post tap in, some of his efforts have been top drawer.

    I like him for 20 league goals this season. Fitness providing.

  13. Goondawg

    Cech stayed in London because he didn’t want to uproot his young family. He probably knows deep down he’s not gonna win the league or CL.

    Oh well, he gets to keep his hefty wage and play regular first team football with European ties. He’s already won everything, anything extra is a bonus

  14. Sam

    I didn’t even follow any international game
    Arsene’s arsenal can make football tasteless.
    making you ignore even simple football news

  15. tom

    Czech still has ambition. Or he may have gone to West Ham or Palace, perfectly respectable London clubs.
    RA and JM would have preferred that without doubt.
    No, Cech wants CL football and he can only get that from Wenger.

  16. Redtruth

    We know why Cech the mercenary came to Arsenal and we also know judging by his debut performance who was the force behind Chelsea winning all those trophies and it certainly wasn’t him!!

  17. tom


    Who do you prefer Sanchez or Ronaldo ?

    You pick one to take the penalty your life depends on.
    Death and having your ashes scattered in John Terry’s backyard are riding on it….

  18. Sam

    Good idea Tom,

    Isn’t Kronke involved in American sports as well
    I wish I wake up one day n heard about major coup d’etat.
    the Yankee has been dethroned n his french accomplice sent to the gallow immediately.

    The fat russian taking over

  19. tom

    If Usmanov took over from Stan, there is every chance he would keep Wenger on, in some capacity.
    He is always most complimentary toward Arsene.

  20. Sam


    I don’t think so, Usmanov has tongue of a politician
    He wants to compete with Abramovic n Wenger wouldn’t match his ambition
    Unless Le fox changes his ways to keep the job.
    He’s praising Wenger coz he has no choice, once he’s in power he’ll want result or else.

    or just sack him n put his own man. Someone who can spend money

  21. Sam

    I judge Cech now as arsenal keeper
    Remember our coaching is not so top notch
    No special instruction just go out n enjoy yourself.Lol!!!
    Anyway I heard he was bringing his own coach I hope its true

  22. Sam

    Arsenal squad is full of free kick experts n you expect them to win us games.
    Once they sign for us they lose their skills I suspect Wenger doesn’t see it as priority to force his players to practice set pieces.
    Even Giroud’s heading ability should be winning us games If we use him in plan B

  23. mysticleaves


    you think by booing him, deschamps will relegate him or what? based on what you watched this weekend Giroud had a better performance than all french strikers.

    yes he missed the chances but he was there In the first place. Benzema was.t this busy, your boy Martial wasn’t either…

    you seem to have short memories cos Benzema himself, the Arsenal savior has been bored many times by French fans.

    finally Benzema is normally as bad as Giroud on their off days, if not worse but why does he have this “messiah tag” to him?

    finally finally, you will still love your bet! shalom

  24. Wallace

    Bamford spends the evening criticizing the value for money of some of Wenger’s purchases while nursing a boner for the 50m Utd have dropped on the 19yr old French kid with 8 career goals.

    looking at the world through his Arsenal goggles again.

  25. Wallace

    I think a fluid front 3 of Alexis, Walcott & the Ox would be the most interesting, with Giroud offering the target man alternative.

  26. warchester

    @some random gooner

    that is why ozil is kind of useless in those pacy lineups because he’s not even the kind of no 10 that can play keep ball…this is why there’s something fundamentally wrong with the mix of skills of our players…we can’t play certain players to their strengths without playing other players who have weaknesses that minimize those strengths….we can’t play ozil without giroud to hold up the ball but giroud will end up congesting everything with everyone and their mother trying to go through the middle…santi is the best no 10 in the 3 forward lineup…but we need a better CM than coq/ramsey behind him…cause neither can protect the ball….

  27. Wallace


    “that is why ozil is kind of useless in those pacy lineups because he’s not even the kind of no 10 that can play keep ball”

    should keep ball be the main objective of a top notch 10?

    replicating the Liverpool attack of two seasons ago would be a worthwhile thing to strive for in my eyes. and i think Ozil behind that speedy, mobile front 3 would be like a pig in shit.

  28. warchester

    No, my point wasn’t that the no 10 should keep ball…but ozil is a player where it’s quite easy for him to lose the ball and leave us vulnerable…I agree he will be lethal with pacy players but he has to have players that are steadfast with the ball behind him…which is why when ramsey is behind ozil…our midfield tends to get swamped…does it mean we won’t score goals? No. But we will be vulnerable. Please don’t get sensitive, Ozil is a great player but only under certain playing styles….I don’t agree he’s a great fit for Wenger’s keep ball

  29. Dark Hei

    “that is why ozil is kind of useless in those pacy lineups because he’s not even the kind of no 10 that can play keep ball…”

    Oh dear. Now Ozil is useless according to some.

    Please check his turnover and completed pass stats please. I am sure it is way up there in the atmosphere and bordering space.

  30. Dark Hei


    My only concern is the Ox. He is great running with the ball but his movement off the ball is not that good.
    At this stage, would prefer Ramsey out wide until Ox gets his movement up.

  31. warchester

    Another thing I don’t understand is why people like to use passing stats in football…it’s the most useless thing to analyze football with stats…this is a game that’s dictated by flow more than anything and chances happen out of thin air. stop using stats to defend your point and actually watch how the player plays. Ozil is a great hockey assist no 10. I am NOT saying he loses the ball most of the time but he’s not the greatest at dribbling out of trouble like Cazorla/silva.

  32. Wallace


    i agree with a lot of what you say, but i think you underestimate Ozil’s ability to retain possession. like Dark Hei says, he doesn’t turn the ball over much at all.

    agree that we need a solid base behind him though if we are to play the 3 speedy guys up top. Ramsey could form part of that base, but i think he must be under instruction from Wenger to try and make things happen in the opposition half. personally i prefered him when his work was split more evenly between attack and defence.

  33. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Thought At first that tom out across a good argument as an akb

    Not so sure now ?

    He dosent answer any point only cherry picking the bits off he thinks he has an answer for ?

    Likeable fella but to just spurt out an late 80s chant !

    Maybe his invention was all an insidious ploy to stir up others for a reaction ?

    Any road

  34. SomeRandomGunner

    Ozil hardly looses the ball. I dont think one player can compensate for Sanchez and Ox and non participating Walcott in passing.

    Sanchez looses the ball often but he will score goals. Ox for now just looses the ball and sometimes creates dangerous situations with his dribbling.

  35. Goondawg

    Ozil is pretty good at beating his marker. He was guilty of conceding possession at the start of his life in England. I think he was taken aback by the tenacity and physical press of the English game. Nowadays he rarely concedes the ball and manages to make many opponents look utterly dumb-founded with his skills and body feints, every game.

  36. warchester

    I just think if you watch him play for us vs the german nat. team…our style often requires him to bring the ball within a few feet of the defence with 2-3 defensive players surrounding him whereas it’s like playing pinball with german nat team…and that is why I think he’s a poor player for us and gets mocked…It’s not his strength to probe the defense at close distances and when he does lose the ball even when its 2/10 times…it’s quite hollow behind him with ramsey wandering somewhere else…and this was really bad when arteta was DM…I’m just saying we’re playing into his weakness by playing keep ball…which we do alot

  37. Wallace


    “and that is why I think he’s a poor player for us and gets mocked”

    who mocks him…gambon…Bamford? hardly the blogs most perspicacious, interesting contributors.

  38. Dark Hei


    “Coincidentally that was the first time the Coquelin and Ramsey partnership (which many deride) was used.”

    Actually it was Carzola and Coquelin as the base formation in that win.

  39. blsany

    Things we’ve learned

    Matuidi has unlocked his iiner worldclass demon.
    Sagna still packs great cross.
    Giroud always comes up disappointingly short(Mystic,Goondawg)
    Gundogan -Technique, passing range, vision, pressing resistance, pace, dribbling ability, game intelligence, tackling ability

  40. blsany

    Reasons why Thomas Muller is the best player in the world!!

    a) brilliant workrate, closing down direct opponents and helping out
    b) good tackles and ball-winning capabilities
    If a teammate’s in possession, he has fantastic spatial awareness, meaning he has
    c) smart positioning and a sense to sprint into where danger is
    d) selfless runs that draw defenders, opening the game for teammates.
    e)Clinical finishing

  41. Wallace

    “Reasons why Thomas Muller is the best player in the world!!”

    yeah, a German football columnist pondered the question – if De Bruyne is valued at 80m euros, how much does that make Müller worth, 300m?

  42. Arsene's Nurse

    Dark Hei
    September 8, 2015 09:14:43


    “Coincidentally that was the first time the Coquelin and Ramsey partnership (which many deride) was used.”

    Actually it was Carzola and Coquelin as the base formation in that win.
    Actually it was the 4-1-4-1 formation so I should have said it was the first time these two played centrally rather than as a pairing.


    You can see the line up and average positions here


  43. Highbury4ever

    Once again last night against Serbia, L’Oreal has shown why “the only manager who don’t know what to do with his money” still considers him as the greatest striker on earth.

  44. bennydevito

    I keep getting an advert for the Krays film that takes over this page and the only way to close it is by going back then re-entering the address again. Anybody else or has my phone got a virus of sorts or is it Grove advertising?

  45. bennydevito

    Dusty Kart,

    Ah, thanks, glad it’s not just me.

    Incidently, did anybody watch the Germany Scotland match? Was a great game and I thought Ozil was brilliant. He was really busy all over the pitch and loomed much better than he does for us.

  46. Bamford10

    Mystic and Goondawg

    So I’ve come up with the wager’s reward/punishment: if I win, i.e., if Martial replaces Giroud as the #2 by next summer, then you two must change your monikers to “Dipshit #1” and “Dipshit #2” for a week.

    If I lose — unlikely — then I’ll change my moniker to something of your choice for a week.

  47. blsany

    He was brilliant again but Gundogan caught my eye again. His low center of gravity, quick feet, quick turns and sharp passes will break down many defense.If he has another 2013 season which i expect from him we have to buy him.


    I think that’s the team Low will pick when every one is fit. Plus, getting Reus, Gundogan and Goetze on the pitch at the same time is recreating a very strong Dortmund trio who understand each other very well.Schweini will have to settle for a place on the bench as he is become injury prone and old.LOL

  48. Klauspoppe


    Your Arsene City 11 was comment of the day haha.

    Re:Ozil spot on. Great analysis. To add another point Ozil hasn’t showed any consistent form from his Madrid days. He has totally regressed; new league, injuries etc