BACK IN THE HOOD.
THE UK ONE.
I know, you’re excited right?
I landed, it rained, it was cold, I immediately regretted not bringing a warmer jacket.
It’s brilliant being back. Never really been able to frame why I love London so much, being away helps. Going to a proper pub (zero air con), drinking outside, the beautiful architecture, watching your mate take a leak on Boris Johnson’s car. Good times.
Anyway, right back into the news.
I’ve been manager perving again… like dating a monster and getting your kicks out of a Gratton catalogue. I was reading about Pep G and what he’s doing over at City. He’s talking about signing a ball playing centre back. He wants John Stones, a player we should have been all over this summer and he’s also tinkering with the idea of signing Bonnuci from Juve. If he can’t get his man, he’s considering Fernandinho at the back, continuing his rich tradition of taking ball playing midfielders and sticking them at the back.
TBF, if Wenger did that, I’d just moan.
I guess Pep is what Wenger once was. Remember him moving Lauren to right back. Thierry to striker. Every centre mid he signed out wide. Those were the good days. Things started to go wrong when he moved Eboue wide right… then capped off his meddling days with Nik B on the wing. What a nightmare.
Anyway, my sadness is that Pep is looking at what’s great in his squad and building in the bits that he’s missing. He’s going at the task agressively, he talks eloquently about relevant things in the press…
What’s our manager doing? Ignoring the glaring issues in the squad and talking about Brexit in full-page spreads… and some of fans clap that?
‘Isn’t it great to have a manager that knows things?’
It will be interesting to see what Wenger does with his players if he doesn’t sign anyone. He’ll likely do nothing because he’s the lord, but here are some things I think he needs to address.
What do you do with Theo Walcott? We can’t just bench him. How do we focus his limited game and get the most out of it? Can we deploy 2 up front against weaker opposition?
What do you do with Aaron Ramsey? Guy had a monster of a Euro’s, but we don’t know how to play to his strengths. He can’t play the Cazorla role, he can’t play the Ozil role… so what does Wenger have in store for him? It can’t be another year playing on the right?
What do you do with Jack Wilshere? He likes playing as a deep lying playmaker, but Wenger doesn’t see that vision for him. He can’t play ahead of Ozil. He can’t play out on the right. So what’s the plan for him?
We have so many pieces in our squad that look nice on paper, but they don’t paint a balanced picture. Well, they could if we were a bit more flexible with our approach.
We desperately need a quick, mobile forward (this is a great piece on Lacazette) who can finish on demand. I think we need a creative wide player who can work the flanks. We need a ball playing centre back with pace to burn. It’d also be good to have a bit of experience as back up.
Right now, it’s going to be a season starting with Chambers and Gabi. Two guys who ooze OH MY FUCKING GOD… I still have faith Gabi will come good. I think he needs a run in the team and some educating behind the scenes.
In other news, Eddie Howe, according to The Star, is top of the list to replace Arsene Wenger. I mentioned a few months ago that we should be looking at him. He’s done a fantastic job at Bournemouth and it wasn’t a fluke. He left them, it went to shit… he returned and it came good and he is where he is.
Can work to a budget (has already spent £30m this summer), is tactically astute and able to change things up in a game, can get the most out average players and he’s super young. Ivan would also be the king-maker. You’d also not have him coming in with an entourage of 500 people. One of the biggest mistakes United made was allowing Moyes to rip up a functioning backroom team. Mourinho does that wherever he goes. I hear Klopp is doing similar things over at Liverpool at the moment. AVB did it at Spurs before he was canned.
The manager cannot be the most important person at the club. He is an interchangeable piece of a jigsaw. Just like a director would be at any major company.
I’d quite like it if we were building to a Barcelona model. They hire from within. Managers or explayers that have come up through the ranks. They get the culture, understand the pressures and are immediately accepted by the players. Pep, Rijkaard, Tito, Enrique, Van Gaal, all successes… That Argentine guy? Massive fail.
Arsenal could have had Thierry coming up. Freddie looks like he wants in (is he a coach?). They should be considering Steve Bould. We should be incubating the best minds in the game, trying to foster them into something great. I mean, it looks like we’ve been half arsing that sort of approach, but the leader is Wenger. So you’re not really getting the most there.
Maybe an Eddie Howe would start the revolution? We could bring Thierry, Jens and Arteta back into the mix…
Interesting link. Far more interesting consideration than that disaster in waiting that’s plying his trade in Japan, or Remi Garde… or the oh-so-dull Ronald Koeman.
RIGHT, have a BLAST today. See you tomorrow.