Juuuuust a quick one today because I’m back in London doing London things.
Edu put down the grill for 5 minutes to talk to the media about our summer. It was pretty much the same things that Vinai had mentioned.
“I think we have to see the wider context than just the money around it,”
“We signed six players who are under 23, which means a lot in terms of our planning.
“We started planning this squad a year ago in terms of consolidating the team and trying to get a better foundation. We have to balance the squad better.”
Pretty obvious. We have spent 5 years watching Arsenal spend money on ‘ready-made’ and it’s been a disaster. This summer, we upgraded in every position, but even if we had signed more experienced players, it would have taken time.
“It is hard. I am not asking for patience because it is the word that everybody hates to listen to.
“I am just trying to explain the strategy behind it because when people see just one window, of course they see it like this. I respect that. But you have to see what we started to do since we’ve been together. We’ve tried to clean the squad.
“As I said, it is 21 exits. It’s a lot, almost a revolution. But how are you going to fill those 21 holes? You need time. You cannot come in and do it straight away.
Edu landed a lot of criticism for this comment, but to be fair, he’s right. You can’t make as many changes as we’ve made and expect everyone to hit the ground running. It’s also clear that we went very, very hard at lowering the age profile of the squad.
It’ll take until December at least before we start kicking up a gear. But I’m pretty sure if we’re within spitting distance by then, we’ll reap rewards in the back half of the season because our players will be fresher and fitter than everyone else.
What cannot continue until that moment is the type of nutcase decision making we’ve seen with personnel.
After the break, we’ll see the actual starting 11 for the season for the first time, in a game they should win.
We need to see more aggressive pressing.
We need to see the consistent execution of a game plan.
We need to see a firm reaction to what has gone before.
… but I don’t have any doubts this will happen. We have found rock bottom. Better players mean better results.
Ok, listen to the pod, I’ll catch you tomorrow.