A lot of back and forth about my views on Carlo Ancelotti yesterday, and look, this is about healthy debate. People apportioning my views to moaning are totally misunderstanding me. Carlo is a great man, my view is that his capabilities aren’t matched to an Arsenal style setup.
We’re not in the same league as Manchester City money wise. He’s never built a team that didn’t have the most money to throw at a problem.
His main attribute, after reading how is past players speak about him, is his ability to meld egos together and treat players like people and have them motivated to go to war for him. That sort of talent is always valuable, but we don’t need a big name romancer, because we won’t have big names.
He’s not exactly a master of developing younger players. If we’re operating a Dortmund 2.0 model, the skillset we’ll need to have is a masterful tactician who can develop a sum of its parts model. Carlo is a relaxed tactician because he always operates with the best players. He’s not a fierce training ground disciplinarian, again, because the best players are self-motivated. Notable that Bayern players found his training methods boring and his tactical approach weak.
Anyway, the bigger issue at play here is having heard the names of the types of people the club has been targetting both public and not so public, this hire just doesn’t feel in keeping with that.
The Roger Schmidt’s, Thomas Tuchel’s and Ralph Hassenhutl’s of the world is where I’d imagine we’ll land. Schmidt and Hassenhutl, I believe, were both approached by Arsenal last summer. Hassenhutl, because he said so. Schmidt, because he was a free agent, and the link between those two names is they are skilled at drilling a hardworking style of pressing football into young talent between the ages of 17-23 (and both under Ragnick of Redbull) (this is why I’m struggling to believe we’re planning on dropping £10m a year on Carlo).
Hassenhutl is particularly interesting, mostly because he’s on the record as having spoken to Arsenal. At Ingolstadt, he oversaw a tiny German side and built a really impressive defence unit, and a fascinating counter-press approach. His side had the best defensive record outside the top 3, despite having the worst attack.
He moved to RB Leipzig and developed his managerial abilities under the tutelage of the iconic Ralph Ragnick. He developed a more advanced attacking unit, whilst maintaining an impressive defence. His pressing philosophy has also gained him many plaudits in the game. You can read the details here.
Anyway, he’s a manager who has improved at every level he’s given opportunity. His skill set would be very useful at Arsenal because we can’t crack defence, our approach to pressing is pitiful, we’re not developing young talent the way it should be, and we just hired a scout who specialises in signing technical players suited to a high energy pressing philosophy. He’s also obscure enough to bring something new to the Premier League and he’s experienced enough to not be overawed by the opportunity.
Plus he’s a nutter on the touchline. It’s what we all want, amirite?
Anyway, put your excitement back in your pants, Wenger ain’t going anywhere.
“I am always committed. I am here for 21 years,” said Wenger.
“So in every single decision I make what is right for the club. Do I stay for one year or ten years it is exactly the same.
“Is it is me in charge or somebody else you can only do what is best for club. That is what you try to do. That has nothing to do with my personal situation.”
Reality is, if Wenger makes top 4 this season, which is very much still in the realms of possibility… he’s staying.
The idea that Stan K is all of a sudden going to get ruthless and sign a new manager for Arsenal in January, is quite frankly, fu*king absurd.
I’ll drop a match preview to the game tomorrow, maybe we’ll have signed Malcolm by then?
Last chance saloon for the podcast. We’ll be going Facebook Live (1300 EST) after the game tomorrow, so make sure you tune in. xx