Good news is the papers seem to now have switched tact, realising the worm is turning, it’s no longer about publishing stories about selfish Arsenal fans, it’s now about talking of the inside track they’ve all got with the most silent board in history.
The one doing the rounds in The Sun is that Josh and his dad Stan have written off Diego Simeone because of his temper. Just can’t see that sort of conversation filtering down to a newspaper. Same article also said they’d like Theirry Henry in the setup, which I’d be totally game for. Having explayer presence around the club is cool, but again, I’m game for this providing he ditches his TV duties.
Manuel Pellegrini has also been linked to the club, but for the life of me I can’t understand why we’d want to go there. It’s a regressive move. You don’t sign a coach that one of your rivals binned because they wanted something more modern. I appreciate the job he did at City, but one of the constant nags I had about him was the lack of motivation he could extract from those players. We have a problem with lazy egos and I’m not sure the mild-mannered Chilean is what we need.
Finally, topping the group of, ‘oh my, that’d flatline me’ is Rafa Benitez. Now, he’s an exMadrid, Chelsea, Inter and Liverpool manager. But look, he’s just a good manager. He’s not exceptional. He never won the league for Liverpool despite choking hard twice. Chelsea fans hounded him despite winning a European trophy. He took over from Mourinho at Inter and f*cked it all up. Then he had an ill-fated experience at Madrid that lasted about 3months, clouded in player arguments and some dodgy performances.
I don’t want managers on the decline, I want managers on the ascension. Or a manager doing something really interesting that no one else is doing. We should be picking from two batches.
The Established Elite:
Ancelotti, Simeone, Allegri
Manager on the up
Sampaoli, Sarri, Jardim, Tuchel, Hassenhutl, Favre, Emery
Managers to pass on:
Howe, Koeman, Benitez, Pelligrini, Blanc
Names for the backroom
Paddy V, Thierry, Jens Lehmann
Anyway, those are my thoughts. As it stands, I think it’d be hard to better those lists, but happy to hear your suggestions in the comments. We need to be ambitious with our change, but for me, that isn’t reviving an old boys career or going for something that feels obvious. We need to upgrade the way we approach the game. That means giving more power to those the club already have, like Shad F and Steve B (who I’d definitely keep).
That means filling in the infrastructure gaps. Most top clubs work with a DoF or a general manager type figure. How would that work at Arsenal? I don’t know. But I think you need to have a stable figure who can oversee the vision and help make sure we’re always pushing those marginal gains. The scouting department desperately needs modernising. The way we use data needs to be improved. The way we do analysis in general needs to improve.
Another major upgrade for me would be to reassess how we look at wages. Looking at our squad, compared to Spurs… you really have to work hard to understand how their wage bill is a full £80m less than ours. Let’s move on the expensive dross and work out a way of paying players what they’re worth.
Right, I don’t have huge amount on the Sutton game. Our kids would beat them, make no mistake about that. They’re on a cup run, it’s just that. Their league form is poor. This won’t even be a game this evening.
The most interesting part about it seems to be the growing angst online about some of the banners, sorry, A4 sheets of paper that are being handed about. Fans going there are going to make a visual protest. Do I blame them? No. Wenger is talking like he’s going to grip onto power until his last breath, saying this yesterday.
“Ferguson has some other interests in life and he was older [when he retired] than I am today,”
“He was four years older. He retired at 71 and I’m 67.”
When asked whether he was going to carry on until 71 he said.
“Maybe more, maybe less, I don’t know. Everybody is different. I do not want to take anything away from Ferguson, he was an absolutely unbelievable manager, but he had enough. He had enough. And I’m not at that stage.”
I’m game for Wenger carrying on somewhere else until he’s 90, but I don’t want him indulging himself at Arsenal. Time is up on that one, if he needs to constantly be reminded the fans don’t want him here next season, so be it. Arsenal fans have been pretty forgiving up until now, like fans of no other club would be, time to move on.
The manager earns £8.5m a year, he’s not volunteering to do this out of love. It’s out of relevance and his fear of ending his career. It’s pure selfishness. If he starts getting the ‘one Arsene Wenger’ bollocks he’ll put his signature on that piece of paper. If he wins the FA Cup, he’ll do the same. We need to move him on and that starts by making sure we don’t start feeling guilty about a man who is not performing.
Right, enjoy the game if you’re going, see you in the comments.