What’s cracking my darlings?
Nothing massively pressing to report. Interesting to see that Alexis was being his mopey self for Chile last night. Seems to have shaken off that ghastly injury Wenger said he had against West Brom. Can’t wait to see what sort of condition he comes back in.
So what news do we have going down at Arsenal today? Mostly Arsenal players taking responsibility for their failings.
“We are having a difficult phase. Somehow something is not working with the team,”
“We are letting in a lot of goals. Maybe it’s down to self-belief. When I look at the quality of Arsenal though I’m convinced we will get on a run again soon.”
Here’s Laurent K.
“It’s him who gave me my chance at Arsenal, who fashioned me as a player and as a man.
“We’re in a complicated situation but it’s not only his responsibility.
“It’s us, on the pitch, who have to do more.”
Now, whilst I like to hear the players owning up to their failings, it’d be nice if there were a little more substance.
‘Self-belief’ really isn’t an elite response. I understand that confidence plays a massive role in teams succcess, but it’s kind of empty. Why isn’t there self belief? What could be better? How should the players be addressing these problems? Does a lack of self belief usually lead to players downing tools?
The situation isn’t really complicated. We’re rudderless. Wenger, in his old age, opted for the easy life by using money and his recruitment policy to hire in nice boys who don’t have the balls to call the manager out. Laurent K calls himself a man, well, what is he doing to hold Wenger accountable?
I’m sorry, but true leadership isn’t rolling into training everyday and doing the same thing. I refer back to Barca under Bobby Robson, a younger than Wenger was at the time. His tactical ideas, communicated in English, were complicated and bollocks. Mourinho, the team translator, would take his instructions with the playing Pep G, then work out something better and take that to the pitch.
Ruthless, but look, if having a f*cking clue what you’re doing helps you get to a better end product, shouldn’t you be doing it?
There are a lot of very smart footballers at Arsenal. If they’re smart, why don’t they do the tactics themselves? Why don’t they go out of their way to use the club resource (analytics / video team / scouts) sitting idle at the club to get better prepared?
Maybe it’s because Wenger hasn’t shaped men. He’s built a team of boys who don’t know how to lead?
There’s no excuse to go into the games unprepared. If Wenger challenges you for trying to do things the right way, ask for a transfer out of the club. That’d make him think twice.
Again, being ‘sorry’ is great. But what the f*ck are you doing to further the cause so our end of season parade isn’t a precession of weak players apologising on Arsenal.com.
This has to be said of Wenger as well. Most coaches can communicate their vision of what they’re trying to achieve succinctly. Wenger has never been able to communcate his plan. He couldn’t even explain what he meant by ‘the next level’ in that Jake Humphrey interview.
Ivan should force Wenger into crafting a plan. He should demand the following.
- What is the footballing philosophy of the club moving forward?
- What do you need to achieve this?
- How does the vision play out on the pitch?
- What are the weaknesses in our squad?
- How do we address those weaknesses?
- What are the weaknesses in our backroom setup?
- What is your suggestion for improvement?
- What don’t you have from a technology perspective that could help us further the cause?
- How are we going to measure progress this season outside of points and cups?
This process should go hand in hand with an independent assessment of the state of the club, performed by a sporting director. If the proposal has weaknesses, they should be jointly addressed. Then a joint plan for success should be agreed upon with strict performance KPIs that if not adherred to, well, you get the idea.
This is a very basic framework I’ve thought of off the top of my head. But at least there’s a structure, some intropection, some assessment and a plan that is spat out the back of it.
We simply cannot look at our season as a ‘unique blip’ that is linked to a lack of ‘self belief’ that will be solved by ‘focus.’ That’s f*cking amateur hour. That is not actionable. That is purposely loose language to deflect from doing something drastic.
Anyway, see you in the comments. Listen to the damn podcast if you haven’t.
Vive la révolution!