So I did some further digging on the Sven story and it would seem that the narrative on his departure is geared around promises of being made the Technical Director when Arsene left the club. From what I can gather, Sami Mokbel (the heir to David Ornstein if he ever retires) nailed the story here. Our chief scout wasn’t putting a shift in at Arsenal and didn’t impress the hierarchy enough to make the jump to a role he’d never done before.
No one knows when the departure date is yet, but it’s pretty clear he’s not going to hang around in a position he feels is beneath him. With news that Edu has rejected the Technical Director role, that gives us two major hires to replace over the next few months. It’s not easy hiring big names, because there are so few that are good, so there’s a real worry this is going to eat into our summer plans.
It’s also worrying because Raul is old school. He’s not going to want another data nerd at the club, because his contact list is where it’s at. The man at the top is a political beast with a backroom deals vision of football, and he has no oversight. Stan K has no time for Arsenal, we are an ugly stepchild that he’s keeping in the metaphorical basement. So as long as Raul doesn’t bankrupt us, he can hit the reset button every season with a new batch of excuses… Wenger’s mess, Ivan’s contracts, Sven’s mess, Emery’s mess and so on.
We’re already underway with the new transfer strategy which seems to be geared around seeking out players that are of a similar or lower quality to what we have (bad), but will supposedly work better in a system the manager likes (good). It’s like we’re buying in discipline. Denis Suarez doesn’t move the needle for me. He moves with the ball with more finesse than Iwobi, but I’m not sure the output is much different. There’s talk of James Rodriguez, which seems like exactly the sort of short-sighted deal someone who likes to brag about connections makes. He’s a sublime talent when he’s not fighting with managers, suffering from a lack of motivation, or being accused of poor fitness. Why would we try so hard to shift a problem child like Ozil, only to replace them with someone with less talent and just as much baggage?
Especially odd when Emery has such a poor track record of dealing with players and their egos. This is Thiago doing the real-life equivalent of subtweeting when talking about Neymar.
“Of course. He understood as everyone understood because these are things that you tell him directly. It is not behind that you have to say “We have to do this!”,And then in front of the player you do not speak. No, no … Respect is to speak directly and the coach does it very well. He is very strong on the technical part but especially on the “outside” part (on the field) to manage those who do not play. He tries to motivate everyone to be ready, that’s the difference. “
What a total bitch, but it gets worse.
Yes, because I’ve heard a lot of things that sometimes hurt you. We all know that in football you can win, you can lose. It’s normal. But the most important thing is to get up as quickly as possible when you fall. That’s what I tried to do. I heard a lot of things: “I’m not a leader, I’m not that or that …” It touches you but afterwards, it’s also the kind of thing that motivates you the most. I’m happy to have a staff that gives me confidence, a team that respects me.
Incredible that his comparison point is Thomas Tuchel, a manager notorious for falling out with players. I think PSG have done a very focused job on hiring good people around him to take the edge off some of his wilder impulses.
The key part of the Thiago story is communication. This is something I banged the drum for at the start of the season. Emery didn’t speak English before he came to Arsenal. His press conferences are garbled and it’s very hard to decipher what exactly he’s trying to communicate. Is that impacting his players? How is the message carrying under pressure with adrenaline pumping? Do his coaches sprechen de lingo, por favor?
Emery has come into this new job determined to bust balls, and he’s doing that. I think he’s running the risk of spoiling his season and losing the faith of the squad. Belief is a fragile thing. The players did not go into that Liverpool game thinking they could come out alive. It must be difficult to go through a poor patch knowing top talent that can help is not being used.
Additionally, it’s clear that the decision to let Emery bring in his own fitness coach was a disastrous decision. Burgess and Shad should be running the show. It’s a bit of a coincidence that injury pile-ups are a thing again and it would seem the much leaked DOUBLE sessions are taking a huge toll on the intensity the team can deliver in games. West Ham ran us ragged, that shouldn’t be happening to a £220m squad in January, it should be the other way around.
Simply put, Emery needs to try something new.
We need to see a reaction against United, Chelsea, and City. All three games pose exciting mile-markers in the evolution of Arsenal.
Chelsea up first is a good opportunity to see how two coaches that picked up teams on the floor have handled their evolution of football. Sarri is a master of creating a style built around an artistic view of the game, he hasn’t blown it out the park and there are questions marks over his talents. Can Emery contain Hazard? Can he rattle Chelsea? Can we deal with chubmaster Higuain?
United in the cup is HUGE, because OLE G is a young manager with no elite level experience and he has United playing with joy and climbing the table. He has the same amount of clean sheets as Emery, but delivered in 6 games. The media will build the narrative big time for this one, because United were in shocking shape, now they’re level points with us. Also, the FA Cup is a realistic competition for us to challenge for, so it’d be nice to win it.
Cardiff at home should be a banker.
Manchester City is not. No one is expecting us to go there and win, which is great for Emery. What they will expect is a strategy to stifle and disrupt Pep G. We cannot come out of that game taking a pasting.
We hired a coach. It’s time for him to earn his money and start coaching. Solve the problems the system is creating. Take some risks, play some kids, do something different, work with what you have. Better defending, more style and creativity is needed.
Let’s buckle up and pray to the footballing gods.