Happy good morning to ya’ll!
Great news dropped from the training camp last week… Wenger has been indulging his most knackered players with time off.
He did it a bit last season, I think he let Santi, Ozil and Sanchez bugger off somewhere. I think he’s done something similar this season. This is great news because this practice is fairly new to the manager. I was told that back in the day he didn’t believe in the holiday because he couldn’t trust that his players wouldn’t go out, get pissed and shag about. This comment kind of alludes to the fear…
“It depends what you do when you have a rest. You can come back more tired.”
Now, I don’t think there’s any doubt that they’ll be doing the latter, but these are grown men. As long as they aren’t getting smashed out of their faces, who cares what they want to do on their yachts.
… Hector is in Amsterdam. Now, when I was 19 in Amsterdam…
Anyway, good news. Players don’t just need to inject some energy into their weary legs, they also need to escape the intense confines of a title challenging changing room. Recharging the mind is pretty important. Does make you wonder why we don’t have some sort of break in December. It should be mandatory for all clubs, then there would be no football association advantage (hey Germany).
Also interesting to see that Klopp is facing another injury pile up crisis, but this time with Liverpool. The same thing happened consistently at Dortmund after he lost Oli Bartlett. Seems he hasn’t been able to work out a way of keeping his players fresh since. Nor has he adapted a new style. Kind of my worry about taking him at Arsenal.
It might have slipped your attention, but Real Madrid sacked Rafa Benitez for being 4 points off the top of the league and into the last 16 of the Champions League and they’ve put their faith in Zinedine Zidane. Bar this move being an embarrassing attempt to replicate the Pep effect back in the day, it’s also had the interesting impact of encouraging Ed Woodward that maybe… just maybe… Ryan Giggs could also give United a similar impact.
The whole thing reeks of entitlement if you ask me. But it’s quite amusing. I guess it’s even a bit sensible from a cost perspective. I think the view that there is a one manager that can change it all is starting to die. You don’t need to spend £14m a year to win things. You need a winning backroom team first and foremost. The manager is just the face of it all.
Is Giggs the right man? Maybe. Is Zidane the next Pep? Maybe. The big question sits for me on that backroom team. Can they support the flaws. Can they fill the knowledge gaps? Is the data they’re supplying good enough to give an advantage? Are they optimising players? I think there are so many absolutely integral inputs that go into running a successful football team these days. The impact of the manager is lessening. Case in point, Southampton.
That’s why when the time comes, I wouldn’t be against a Steve Bould. I’d rather have a world-class backroom team with a manager who is hungry to make it work… than shoot for a world-class name, watch him sack all the infrastructure (hey David Moyes) and maybe, maybe do better than Wenger.
The latter isn’t how big organisations work and it’s not how football teams should work. Apple didn’t crumble when Steve Jobs left, because he understood the value of having a world-class team around him (maybe not the value of crediting them). Same with all the big marketing agencies, the CEO is the figure-head that ensures the right people are in place working at 100% of their capabilities. Not the person writing the ads, producing the ads… yahda, yahda.
I think Steve Bould could be the man to transition us. Even at a basic level, when you stand near him, he has a presence. He has a warmth but also a scary streak. The players love him. He’s also been here an age training up.
There’s also talk from Thierry that he’s learning how to become a manager.
“We speak about training youngsters and how it’s different to training senior players. We talk about being a manager, we talk about players from the academy. I will ask him questions on how to deal with certain situations,”
Seems pretty clear what’s on Thierry’s mind, eh? Feels a little bit like there’s something brewing in the long-term. I think Theirry has similar traits to Zidane. An absolute talent, but maybe a touch introverted? I think the one thing I could never get our of my head with Thierry is how he always wanted to be everyone’s friend. Also how he treated the young players when things were going badly.
He could never leave a bad taste in my mouth, but those two items do make me wonder what sort of a manager he might be. Does he have the charisma? He certainly has the knowledge and passion for the game if you read his books. I just wonder whether he has the right character.
Still, not for me to wonder!