GOOD MORNING MY DARLINGS ARE WE STILL BUZZING LIKE WE ROLLED INTO WORK AFTER A 5AM FINISH?
That’s how damn hyped I am because I watched a video of Mikel Arteta teaching players how to pass.
Super basic, but I love to see it.
I couldn’t work out if the players were miserable or just focused, either way, who cares, just give us results on the pitch over the next few months.
“Four things: Ball. Teammate. Opponent. Space. That’s all that we’re going to be working on!”
That’s what they were working on at training. He’s clearly picking up where he left off at City, which works for me. The idea that great football can only work if it’s at the most richly assembled club in the world doesn’t rub for me. I think we need to aim high, no reason we can’t replicate the work ethic and strategies of better clubs and push forward. Gladbach are doing things this season and they are completely about the good stylings.
What I liked about the second interview Arteta gave on the website was his focus on being hard to beat, but also, controlling the game by having the ball. That’s where I want to be as a club. The toughest thing he’s going to have to deal with is a defence that look uncoachable.
I don’t believe that, but the evidence is stacked in the naysayer’s corner… which makes the rumour about Saliba being called back all the more tantalizing. The club rate the kid very highly, you’ve obviously read the reports, seen his power, watched him bully and purred at how good he looks. If we’re truly using this next 5 months to shape next season, why the fuck not have Saliba here now? Get used to the pace of England, ready to hit the ground running next season with Rob Holding as his partner.
The other story hitting the airwaves is that Steve Round is picking up the role of assistant. The story is unclear… he is ‘one of’ not ‘the’ so I’m not sure how that works.
I really don’t know a lot about him. A few people are jumping on this as a sign of Arteta being naive, I’m not so sure about that. Below is an interview he did for one of the GPS tracker firms. The interview is 28 minutes, I took the following things from it:
- He was a trailblazer back in the day, one of the youngest coaches to pass his A licence.
- He sees himself as an innovator. He was one of the first to work with Prozone. One of the first to embrace true video analysis, cutting clips himself in 1994 on a double VHS. One of the first to work in a modern football structure.
- He’s very, very qualified. He took a degree in sport science, he loves psychology, he recently took a masters in sporting directorship (Is it too late!)
- He speaks the language of Arteta. He is all about the high-performance culture. Creating environments that foster hard work, rapid development and results.
- His view on training is that you have to bring players things that work (you lol, but Emery brought us Xhaka as captain in season 2), otherwise they won’t pay attention to you. One of his examples, when he was at Derby way back when, centred around him building out a player room with robot massage chairs, he’d use that dead time while they were relaxing to show the players clips. I thought that was cool. Arteta keeps on saying his job is to convince, which I assume means he doesn’t want to dictate things the players don’t want to do because it’s not clear. Little tricks like the above seem a smart way to foster engagement with new ideas.
- He also spoke about the American model (2016 interview) of specialist coaches. Having specialists across defence, midfield and attack. I thought that was interesting, as European sport often borrows from the states in the end. The challenge, football is chaos and benefits from cohesion, so there’s a balance.
It’s a good 28 minutes. What I took from it is he’s highly experienced, he’s a very measured, he needs to be innovating to feel satisfied with his job, and he shares similar values to Arteta. The assistant is there to help the leader realise their vision. He’s not there as a yes man, he’s there as the operations guy that works the message through the groups.
Right, a Christmas treat coming for you later, a full backs blog from my main man Mike McDonald, but before I go… why didn’t you listen to my podcast yesterday? Do you hate me? Is that fair? No. It’s not. Grow up. Listen to it now. Don’t make me call you a Christmas melt.