Analysis of the catalyst for change: How will new names impact performance?

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So the machinations of progress continue to power on. The club hired Per Mertesacker to manage the academy. The big German retiring from football to make some magic happen with the kids.

This is a sound move. Per is very smart, very well respected at the club and I’m pretty sure he has a deep knowledge about the game. He’s won league titles, he’s won World Cups and he’s played consistently in the Champions League. I think he’s also very good for the culture at club. He’s a natural leader and a good communicator.

Hard to see any downsides to an appointment like this. I love Thierry Henry, but can’t help but think the Frenchman will have to work very hard to be a great manager. Per has all the attributes needed already, he doesn’t need to work on his personality, he just needs to fuel himself with knowledge and rack up those coaching badges.

I do wonder how much control Wenger imposes on the managers in the lower teams. How much autonomy will the German have? How many of his own ideas will he be able to implement?

The club looks like it’s moving in the right direction, but I do disagree with the people messaging me stating that the catalyst for change is being enacted, thinking that somehow the structure of the club is changing.

We are adding bodies. Not removing them. When a new alpha lion takes over a pride, he doesn’t keep the cubs there and he doesn’t keep the previous leader of the pack in the back office.

He starts a fresh. He brings in a new Director of Lions, and he sorts out his backroom team accordingly.

Jokes aside, it’s difficult to call the current movement at Arsenal anything outside shuffling of the deck.

Darren Burgess comes in to oversee Shad Forsythe who is doing a great job already. Tony Colbert still remains. He’s Wenger’s go to. He’s grossly underqualified. But he’s still there. People can bleat on about how great Burgess is, but my question is this: What problem is he solving? If there is one, it’s minimal. Also worth noting he’s not here for basically the whole of preseason and he’s a shared resource with AUSTRAILIA. How many points did we lose to a lack of fitness last season? I don’t have an answer, but this sort of hire makes little sense considering how much progress we’ve made with injuries (with the context that Wenger still loves to overplay his stars).

Huss Fahmy is coming in to take care of the backend of contract negotiations. He’s an administrator that works off Wenger instructions. I really don’t see where the value is here, or why it’s a story. Dick Law remains.

Per Mertesacker takes over the Academy and fills a vacancy. This is his first job.

Jens Lehmann comes in as a first team coach. This is his first job.

Sal Bibbo isn’t a new signing.

I think these signings are positive. None are damaging. But be real with yourself here. These signings are either political, or they’re additive. They’re not trailblazing signings that are going to impact what happens on the pitch. None of these names impact the biggest problem we have at the club, Arsene Wenger’s power grip.

If anything, we are more dependent on him than ever.

What would I like to have seen?

Firstly, we should have hired a strong Director of Football. That person should have hired in January, and been allowed to conduct a thorough investigation into the club, and report back into the CEO with a plan of action.

From there, a list of positions that needed to be filled should have been drawn up but an external recruitment agency that specialises in that sort of thing.

Then a rigorous interview process should have taken place, the candidates should have presented their vision for taking their specific department forward and a decision should have been made by a group of stakeholders including the manager.

That is how a professional outfit operates.

Not going along with the whims of a failing manager.

The path to success under Wenger has landed us in 5th place and as a laughing stock of Europe. Our solve is give the architect the power to hire someone off a recco from a friend, and to entrench his position of power further. We’re topping up a broken vision, when we should be either hiring a new manager, or redirecting the path with someone who has implemented a successful vision elsewhere.

It is what it is. Fans have severe amnesia and a blindness to the past when it comes to our summers.

Lacazette is exciting. Bringing old players back is the right thing to do. Hunting down Thomas Lemar has us all whooping for more.

… but if the foundations are rotten. It doesn’t matter who you switch in and out. The house will eventually collapse.

That’s my two pennies.

The changes are not strong enough and the structure of power is the same.

Rinse and repeat. Same as ever.

Also, happy Pride!


495 Responses to “Analysis of the catalyst for change: How will new names impact performance?”

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  1. Johnsgiles

    So the independent spins the story it’s gonna be mega bucks for arsenal and the same time ALL the mirror football correspondents suddenly publish a ‘debate’ where they ALL conclude its better so sell him now for the money

    Strange both stories come out exactly the same time saying cash in for the ££££

    Arsenal PR machine getting the spin out so arsenal fans don’t go mad when he’s sold to Man U

    You could see this would happen ages ago ….PR guys going how we going to sell this to the fans…..’we’ll butter them up via the press first so it’s not a shock and theirs not a massive revolt’

    You just have to read john cross’s bit when he says arsenal won’t win the league even with him so best take the money now.

  2. Jeff

    I bet Wenger is soiling himself thinking about the 90m he’s going top spend on a dazzling array of cheap alternatives.

  3. Johnsgiles

    Kroenke has stated in the past he won’t let people go for nothing hence nasri/fab/rvp it’s all just a business model for him

    He knows full well stadium will still be ‘full’/sold out, wenger gets to spend some money on more french players… their all happy

  4. Cesc Appeal

    It is likely City are the only club left in for him because of his contract situation and his wage demands (though I doubt what John Cross says about £400 000) and so we are likely posturing for a premium, £60-70 Million which is fair enough on our part.

    Literally following exactly what Monaco did with Lemar bar a difference of £10 Million. Not for sale at all, f**k off. Okay, but only for £90 Million (they said £80 Million). Okay, £53 Million.

  5. TR7

    We must keep Sanchez. I see no logic in selling him to City. Not only will it strengthen City but also will most likely rule us out of the race for even top 4. Chelsea, City and Liverpool most likely will take up the top 3 places. Finishing ahead of both Spurs and United without Sanchez? Unlikely.

  6. Carts

    Arsenal won’t dare risk losing Sanchez on a free from January. City will ride it to the 11th hour if they have to.

    Sanchez won’t hand in a transfer request cos he’ll miss out on several mill in the form of his loyalty bonus

  7. Cesc Appeal

    Did not know Madrid had signed Hernandez from Atletico as well. Investing in young talent there with Hernandez and Ceballos arriving.

    Madrid fans are ripping into Atletico fans online about it. Quite amusing to watch in on another set of fans rivalry.

  8. Marko

    No doubt CA. Asensio is what 20/21 they’re run well. Credit to Zidane at least he’ll actually play some of the younger players rather than bring in an unnecessary player

  9. Samir

    His goals will be worth 50M to them over those 5 months most likely.
    30-40M to PSG or Bayern.
    50M to City.

  10. Cesc Appeal


    Might even be with Ronaldo shuffling toward old age (footballistically), Modric being thirty as well that they are getting away from their reliance on always looking for a massive money signing to cover for their losses with Asensio and Ceballos there, they have those two young Llorente’s on the books as well.

    Having said that it is still likely they sell James and pull off a £100 Million deal for Mbappe this summer. Ronaldo, Mbappe, Bale though. Kind of want to see that. F**k being a CB with that.

    Ridiculous side though, ‘is Ronaldo getting tired? Okay, bring on Asensio/Isco/Morata/Vazquez’.

  11. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    I can’t see it

    It ain’t business sense ….unless there was a fight bewteen clubs wanting him an there ain’t

    We won’t get the sum people are saying in my humble view

  12. Cesc Appeal

    Not sure Zuckerberg would be a great owner in all honesty. He is one of the crowd that has donated the vast majority of their wealth to charity upon death, right? Always preaches about distribution of wealth and being smart and fair with money?

    That does not sound like the sort of owner you would get excited about.

    Unless of course he is going to commercially send you into orbit. But then, if he does preach abut charity and universal minimum wage, distribution of wealth etc having some City style squad of stellar names assembled for eye watering fees will be rather awkward for him.

  13. Cesc Appeal

    If City do offer something like £35 Million then Arsenal will keep him. That amount is not worth the bad press, the supporter reaction and the potential damage to our UCL qualification chances.

    There will no doubt be a tipping point, I think about £50-60 Million. So it is a question of how hard Sanchez kicks as the window gets closer to closing and how much Guardiola wants him.

  14. Johnsgiles

    Won’t be anything like £90m but as cesc mentioned above its ‘just doing a monoco ‘not for sale, ok is for stupid money’ and then take £50m

    Won’t be ‘announced’ until after lemur (or someone similar) signed to try to stop the backlash by going oh but look over here at these shiny new players

  15. Johnsgiles


    Was selling nasri/rvp/ceac ‘logical’ ?

    No but ‘they’ (kroenke/wenger) still did it and ‘they’ (kroenke/wenger) are the same people still incharge here today

  16. qna

    Cesc from yesterday:

    New GK
    Bellerin, Mustafi, Kozz, Kolasinac
    Kovacic, Xhaka, Goretzka
    New RW, Lacazette, Lemar

    Problem if we switch to a back 4, its become so predictable it is now innefectual. It doesnt matter which players you put into Wenger’s system its pretty easy to setup to defend it.

    What I like about a back 3 is that opposition teams haven’t worked us out. One of the reason is I think our players hadn’t worked it out yet either. So there was inherent unpredictability. I dont think this was by some brilliant tactical design by Wenger. I think it was just that this simple switch in formation created uncertainty and this was not able to be countered by opposition teams.

    I think the real test for the back 3 system will come in a few weeks or months into the season. The first problem will be when our players become comfortable in the system. Unlike other teams that are exceptionally well drilled with purpose, our temporary advantage is that although our players are not defensively drilled, they are also not yet completely predictable. That will not last long though and as soon as the first opposition manager shows a blueprint on how to beat us, all other managers will quickly learn and follow.

    Still, in the short term we should stick with a back 3 and see how far it gets us.

  17. Rambo Ramsey

    Arsene Wenger has rubbished reports Alexis Sanchez has told Arsenal he wants to leave this summer.

    Wenger gave a curt “no” on Tuesday when asked about speculation out of Chile that the international forward had informed him of his desire to exit the north London club in a bid to play Champions League football with Manchester City.

    “Nobody knows today if Sanchez will be in the final year of his contract, because he can extend his contract with us at the start of the season or during the season,” Wenger said.

    “So it’s not necessarily the last year of his contract at Arsenal football club.”

  18. Rambo Ramsey

    Mertesacker told Fox Sports News 500 it would be foolish to contemplate selling their best players if Arsenal want to mount a Premier League title challenge this season.

    “We have a strong squad and we do not want to lose any players,” Mertesacker told Fox Sports when asked about the future of Ozil and Sanchez, both in the final year of their contracts.

    “Even in their final contract year we need them. We cannot afford to lose them. If you’re talking about championships, to keep our best player is key.”

    When asked specifically if he sees Sanchez staying this season, Mertesacker was unequivocal: “Yes, definitely.”

    He added: “I think [Sanchez] was impressive in the Confederations Cup. He’s now on holiday so it’s quiet in terms of conversations.

    “But he’s a warrior on the pitch. I think he wants to come back as quickly as possible – he hates holidays, he hates to calm down. I’m looking forward to playing alongside him in my last season and he thinks the same.”

    Mertesacker, who will retire at the end of the season to take up a role at the Arsenal academy, also explained his excitement at seeing new signing Alexandre Lacazette for the first time in Sydney.

    Coach Arsene Wenger confirmed Lacazette will play a part in the game on Thursday night after flying to Australia with the team following his club-record transfer.

    “He’s scoring record is absolutely amazing in France and he’s a French international,” said Mertesacker.

    “Everyone is looking forward to seeing his killer instinct in front of the goal. I think moving forward the club has clear intentions and we hope players match that and complement it.”

  19. Wallace

    “Man Utd scouted Alexandre Lacazette but decided the striker who became Arsenal’s £52.7m signing was not to the standard required by José Mourinho.”

    – Jamie Jackson

    doubts about his physique & big game mentality, apparently. so they blew double what he would have cost on Romelu Lukaku instead 🙂

  20. Rambo Ramsey

    Wallace, United are a complete embarrassment. They came out with the same shit after we signed Ozil. They really ought to shut their yapping and focus on their own signings, the cheek of those cunts to talk shit about other club players when majority of their own big money purchases have turned out to be wank.

  21. Wallace


    yeah, a lot of people seem to be tipping them as possible PL winners this season but I just can’t take them seriously these days. they have some v talented players, but they’re mostly minor players under Mourinho. expecting a physically huge, well-drilled team playing cautious, percentage football and that’s not enough these days.

  22. qna

    In my opinion the decision to sell Sanchez to a rival would be a no brainer if we landed Mbappe. Then even the £50m that City value him at would be acceptable, obviously £90m better.

  23. Rambo Ramsey

    “We extended his (Giroud’s) contract last year,” said Wenger. “Our resolution is clear. He’s been great value to the squad and I think he is a great lover of the club. He’s always been very determined to stay.

    “It’s always the same problem – when you have one striker people ask ‘why don’t buy another?’ and when you have two or three they say they will be unhappy because there is too much competition. That’s part of the job.

    “We are in a job where we are very lucky to do what we love but it is competitive job and that means the players have to accept competition and my decisions as well, unfortunately.”

  24. loyika

    @ TR7

    How do you place Pool in the top 3 with Klopp having a full compliment of tourneys to deal with?

    I even see Spurs being more consistent than Pool… What purchases have they made to make you think their defence is sorted?

    Nailed on just by notion are Chelsea and Citeh (even Chelsea’s season will be determined by what Conte and Roman see as the priority. As The UCL might be what is demanded for the Manager with the league being second in priority)

    Next season will be quite tight though imo. Citeh still need to sort out their dedence as well (all good getting the best front line in the prem, but goes to nothing if their defence is still prone to silly errors)

    I feel the same top 7 (and maybe Newcastle depending on if Rafa is still there and if Mike Ashley can put down his pint for one second to actually help in buying players needed) will have a sluggest for those top 4 places from the first whistle.

  25. Rambo Ramsey

    Wenger admitted: “He( Lemar ) is a player that we follow yes, we look at.

    “We are looking at more signings. But there’s nothing really concrete about any singings.”

  26. Rambo Ramsey

    #Szczesny will be #Juventus GK before US tour. Bianconeri have offered €8.5m to #Arsenal (GdS)

    Sheesh that fee, can’t we get a PL club to sign him?

  27. Bamford10

    “Manchester United snubbed Alexandre Lacazette in favour of Romelu Lukaku after damning scouting report said he had ‘no stamina, physical impact and was not big game player’” – The Sun

    Let’s hope United are wrong about Lacazette, RSPCA.

  28. TR7


    I really rate Spurs as a side and even predicted last season they would be one of the contenders for the league title. The reason I put Spurs down is the possibility they might not hit the ground running playing in a new stadium. Spurs playing at WHL are a formidable force and they have proved it over the last 24 months but seeing what happened to West Ham at Wembley I am a bit apprehensive about their chances. Besides looks like there won’t be much transfer activity by Tottenham due to constrained finances. Their rivals are strengthening though, so the upcoming season might turn out to be a little tricky for them.

  29. Bamford10

    Don’t look now, but Everton may sign my boy Christian Benteke. A little redemption may be coming my way — his way too. 😉

  30. Bamford10

    After missing out on Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea are set to launch a £62m bid for Alvaro Morata. – @ESPNFC