I did a little podcast with Matt yesterday, an Emeryista at the start of the season, struggling now. One of the items he touched on is the chat about our defence being 52 goals worth of bad. There’s a narrative going around that our defenders are uncoachable, and like so many meek takes, it just doesn’t rub.
Monreal is an excellent left back, arguably one of our most underappreciated defenders of the last few years. A warrior and perfectly capable.
Kola is an international and was left back of the year in Germany.
Kos was an international, would have gone to the World Cup had it not been for an injury, he is a very capable individual.
Sokratis has played for Milan and Dortmund. He’s not world class, but he’s been a hit this season and all his ex-teammates speak highly of him.
AMN is a solid reserve right back. Mavrapanos hasn’t had many games, but hardly the second coming of Stepanovs.
Bellerin is one of the best young right backs in Europe. Holding is excellent. A lot of people flag their injuries like that was the turning point for the defence… despite us clearly being on for conceding 50 goals when they were in the starting 11.
Then you have a keeper who has been in the top 3 this year. Much better than Kepa and I think it’s hard to deny he’s been better than De Gea this season.
Mustafi, who has been god awful, is still a World Cup winner. I know, I know, hard to fathom… but look, it’s not me that saw 4000 hours of him playing, wrote a prez about him being good enough, played him the most out of any Arsenal player in the league.
Anyway, my point here… players uncoachable? Really? It just doesn’t rub. Wenger didn’t give a fuck about defending, had a worse keeper who was making errors regularly, no defensive midfielder of note, no Sokratis and managed to do better defensively in a season most of the players gave up in January.
All players at an international level are coachable, in fact, they are the most coachable in the world, that’s why they made it, they listened and acted upon the wisdom. No one makes it to those heights if they can’t be trained. If they are failing, it’s because they aren’t being organised effectively, they don’t understand what they are supposed to be doing, or they don’t know what the vision is.
I found it amusing that many of the folk defending Emery yesterday were asking if we should have signed Brendan Rodgers. You are in a dark place if that’s where your mind is heading.
That said, it is hard to deny that he doesn’t have more pedigree in the Premier League than Emery. That team he set up for Liverpool played explosive football and he was a whisker away from something special. Leicester looked a match against City yesterday, only a moment of magic separated the two sides. Anyway, back to Rodgers, he’s a bit of a wally, isn’t he? How long before that carry-on would get a little boring if you were a player?
‘Guess what’s in my hand, boy?’
‘I said GUESS’
‘Brendan, fuck off mate, I’m trying to leave…’
‘YOUR FUTURE, actually, as you asked, or it might be your past’
‘I messed it up…’
He does have charisma though, and he’s a bit of a boy I hear. However, I do think he’s found a good level. That’s a good hire for Leicester.
When thinking about a replacement hire for Sven Mislintat, we should look at the comings and goings at the Midlands club. They have a production line of unbelievable youth talent, as well as making very shrewd signings from around Europe at bargain basement prices. It all stems from having a longterm vision. Nothing they’ve done has been an accident, it’s all built on a plan, and executed with full accountability. As soon as someone fails to deliver what they need, they take action. Ranieri, gone as soon as things went south. Good decision. Puel, gone because they didn’t like the style of football. Good decision.
My hope is that Arsenal move in that direction. My view is that’ll happen when we bring in a technical director. Hopefully, that person is a visionary that will take time out to understand what we have to offer, map a blueprint based on a footballing philosophy they want to execute, then bend the club around an actionable plan.
That’ll mean one more season of Emery, but make no mistake, the new person will be spending the next 6 months working out how to move us on from this grim transition into a more stable situation we can build from.
Liverpool finished 8th in Klopp’s first season, however, after a rocky start to his career, and spending next to nothing in his first transfer window, Klopp went on a bit of a rampage, in his last 13 games in the league, Liverpool scored 31 goals (half of all their league goals came in those games). They reached two cup finals (one of which he lost to Emery).
Point here is this, though inconsistent, he was playing heavy metal football and it was electric (conceded less than Emery has this season). You could see what he was doing, and that was without a preseason.
His first summer he spent net zero, shipping out £70m and bringing in £70m worth of talent. He was selling absolute dross. Benteke, Ibe, Skrtel and Joe Allen. Don’t tell me our dross is worse than those names. There is cash on the table at Arsenal.
They made the Champions League on net zero transfer spend.
The next season they sold a HUGE name and reinvested that money in another net neutral year.
They made the Champions League final.
Once they hit the big time, they spent £130m net, now they are chasing down the Premier League with one game to go.
They have good owners. They have a vision, a belief system, a plan and they bring in the best people in to execute it. When it goes wrong, they make quick decisions, they don’t fester on talent that isn’t delivering.
Arsenal are struggling for good people, we hired a bland manager and we let him bring his mates with him (something Ivan wasn’t going to do). We have two major vacancies that could make or break our next ten years. The technical director is the architect of our future. The head of recruitment is the person charged with finding the talent to bring the future to life. We need to hope that that top dog is a person of extreme ability because there are a lot of bad actors at the club that need purging. We need to get into gear and really deliver to an elite-performance ethos.
We have two hopes of this happening.
#1 Raul isn’t a fraud. I can’t help but stare that Denis Suarez deal in the face and wonder what the fuck happened. How could anyone of sound mind greenlight that move when our glaring issues were elsewhere. Who thought hiring in a characterless player that had no power, pace or record of achievement, was a good idea? £2.5m and £100k a week. Disgraceful.
Anyway, let’s pretend that was Emery. Raul has to make the right move with this technical director. It can’t be a hack. I don’t want Monchi. I don’t want someone from Barca. Give us an accountable leader that is here to make magic happen. Someone that is entitled, intelligent and truly believes we WILL become the best. A person that doesn’t believe in excuses and exits those that lean on them. A winner that looks under all the rocks and eeks out value from every penny, person and technology they have available.
A move can negate the bullshit… because it doesn’t matter how many people tell you STAN STAN STAN… if you hire a person who is a self-starter that has some fucking pride, you don’t need an owner to micromanage. People that blame the owner are the sorts that think religion stops you from murdering the drummer next door that fucks really loudly and keeps you up with his droning laughter then doubles down with his girlfriend that cackles like some sort of Wizard of Oz BITCH at youtube videos when stoned.
You think Beppe Marotta needs a to-do list to run a club well? No. Because he’s driven to succeed. Find the right person, give them the generous parameters Stan has afforded us, and they’ll make it work. Our wage bill is £235m. That is GIGANTIC. Our net spend is the 3rd highest in the league. We are the biggest opportunity in world football for the right person, they can literally live out their purest footballing fantasies at Arsenal. No one in your ear if you make your numbers. Fans will worship them. Amazing.
The second hope is Josh K comes down from the Super Bowl clouds and starts paying attention to Arsenal.
Get off the fucking yacht Josh, those babes will still be there next year.
KSE has made a lot of effort with The Rams, The Nuggets and whatever that hockey team is called. Huge turnarounds that have pleased the fans immensely.
Are they really going to ignore a billion dollar club like Arsenal forever?
I hope not. Why would you? Who is going to invite you to a super league if you haven’t done anything interesting in 15 years? There is always a chance that we’ll get some owner action at some point, because we are a high-value asset that is not doing very well… and I believe in patterns… our turn HAS to be coming.
So the long and short of it is this: Things aren’t getting better for at least a year. Next year will be another Emery bore fest, but we will absolutely have a Technical Director in place before the summer… so the pain will be temporary IF we get that hire right.
Then it’s all on that person because if we blow the next rebirth, I struggle to see how we make it back inside 10 years.
Over to whoever cares to make the next move.
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