Just a quick post for you this morning as I showered you in two lots of content goodness yesterday.
A few things I wanted to add to the Monchi story.
A few people have rightly raised concerns about the nepotistic new look being sculpted at Raul’s Arsenal.
Firstly, the reason that’s a worry is the same reason it’s a worry at any organisation. You want to build a culture of excellence focused on performance, not who knows who. You don’t want to create dangerous power structures that make it hard for outside voices to be heard, whilst also muddying the waters of true performance accountability.
Arsene Wenger had a counterbalance when he started at Arsenal. David Dein was the more aggressive partner who pushed him to take chances on players. He could do this because he acted as/was seen as an equal. When Dein was pushed out of the club unceremoniously in his attempt to make Arsenal a super club, Wenger assumed full control and no one dared stop him.
He built out an untouchable backroom team that consisted of people who’d dare not challenge his authority, and he hired incompetent folk who were grateful for the underserved prestige job he’d handed out. He even had a say on who the CEO was. Imagine that, letting an underling yay or nay the person who could fire him? No coincidence the type of character he picked.
This approach works when judgment is sound, but it fails spectacularly when things go wrong. When the wheels came off Wenger’s approach and we started to sink, no one had the guts to tell him, and worse, Wenger didn’t have the quality around him to search out solutions even when he eventually wanted them.
Unai Emery has effectively brought in a partner who will make the decision to give him another 3 years, a pay rise, or sack him. Does that sound like history repeating itself? Maybe.
The big question everyone should be asking is this: how ruthless will Monchi be?
Who knows. Ultimately, this will only become a problem if things go wrong. The big hope is the reunion of the band will lead to better days on and off the pitch.
Following on from this, I totally forgot that Monchi hired in Sampaoli. The Argentine manager put on quite the show at Sevilla. He brought an aggressive brand of South American football to the club, he rejuvenated Samir Nasir, ended Zidane’s 40 game unbeaten run, and tapped out by qualifying Sevilla for the Champions League.
This is mostly interesting because it says Monchi is a man of exceptional taste when it comes to the sort of football he wants to see. Exactly what you want from the man hired to set the tone for the footballing style of Arsenal moving forward.
A Gooner friend of mine mentioned that Monchi will act as a counter to Emery’s impulse to purchase older players. I did some digging, overall, I’m not so sure.
I was going to pull the numbers for net spend, but overall, what’s the point? We know the guy is mustard at player churn.
Sifting through his last 6 seasons, it’s clear he’s a huge fan of the loan system. He likes to borrow players not landing minutes at big clubs, and he also likes young kids to get game time by sending them out on loan. Ben Knapper is going to be very busy.
The average age of a Monchi signing (purchases and important loans) over the last 6 season sits at 25.5. It’s clear the man is no Ralph Rangnick who believes players are untrainable after the age of 23 years old.
The coach says that he never signs a player the manager doesn’t want, so I thought it’d be interesting to see the average age of an Emery signing in the 3 successful years they worked together. It’s a little over 25.5, sitting at 25.8. So not quite Mourinho, but smack bang at the start of ‘prime’ football years. Key point here is if we’re looking to make money, utilising this approach means players will be here a maximum of two seasons before being sold on for profit (my thinking here is 28 is the cut-off point before sharp declines in value).
I think the middling twenties number stems from the strategy at Sevilla tending to be geared around players that had lost their way with bigger clubs. Sevilla acted as a second chance for a lot of players. Clearly, Monchi thinks there’s value in the scrap heap and he likes the idea of the ‘chip on the shoulder’ motivation that comes with being shunned.
Worth noting that Wenger also liked to do this when he was the king. He brought in names like Kanu, Overmars and Suker whilst also breathing new life into the clubs legends like Ian Wright, Dennis Bergkamp, Lee Dixon and Tony Adams. I mean, it’d be fair to say that Thierry and Vieira were also on a scrap heap of sorts, even if they were very young when they moved to us.
The Roma transfer policy has tended to follow a very similar pattern to Sevilla. His first act was to move on Paredes, Salah, Rudiger and Emerson from 135.8m euros. Quite an aggressive move considering their combined average age was only 23.75. He then added 13 players with an average age of 25.6.
The next summer he shifted Strootman, (28) Nainggolan (30), and Alisson (25) for 142m euros which was good business. However, he went full on Sevilla with the replacement signings bringing in Pastore (29) and Nzonzi (29) for 60m euros, not exactly value based signings if you’re thinking about the long-term resale value.
That said, they managed to nab Justin Kluivert (19) and Nicolo Zaniolo (19), who exciting bets for the future.
So in short, we’re hiring a Technical Director who likes to find value at the big clubs for experience, whilst taking chances on kids he can offer more playing time to than the big clubs.
Very, very Raul it would seem. Also very Emery if we think the Suarez deal was all his. Do not be shocked to see us raid Barcelona for Malcolm this summer. Just the right amount of broken if Monchi’s past signings are anything to go by.
Now, your past doesn’t always dictate your future. No one has a clue what the brief is at the minute. But one thing is for sure, I think this summer will be a whirlwind. Over 6 seasons, he’s averaged 13.6 new faces a season. That’s a far cry from Wenger’s mantra of ‘more than 3 signings and training ground will flood.’ Last season at Roma, including loans, 41 faces arrived and 44 left. The season before 52 arrived, 59 left. A lot of loans in that, but it gives you an idea about the amount of fucks given when it comes to shaking things up.
So what have we learned today? Well, I can’t write a short post when I’m interested in something. Whatever happens, this summer will be aggressive, fast-paced and exciting. Like it or lump it, we’ll be looking at a very different group of players when next season starts.
The next chapter begins… (hopefully)
Right, that’s me done, enjoy the Southampton game and we’ll talk more on Monday.