Well, there’s a serious drought of daily news. Papers are still pushing Kaboul to Arsenal. It’s not a funny joke… but look, we nabbed Silvestre for a year. So anything is possible. I hope Ivan has Wenger’s list now. If it contains any players like Kaboul or Park, lock him in his office until he comes out with something better.
I also hope this summer, Ivan has a new process for transfers.
1. Arsene what are the positions you need recruiting for this summer? He should have been asking this all year so he could work out consistencies.
2. Right now Arsene, tell me the players you want.
i. Mega players £30m+
ii. Good unknowns £15m+
iii. Back ups £14.9m<
3. Now, prioritise those positions.
Once Ivan has all that data, he and Dick Law go and make phone calls. Assess who his available and at what price. When they have the players there, interested in signing, they roll the manager in. All prices and contract details are taken care of the CEO in line with the pay structure at the club.
JUST LIKE BUYING EXPENSIVE BREAD
That way, no mincing over transfer fees. No backing out because the salary might be high. No fear. The guys who are trained in finance and management of mega organisations make the decisions. Arsene is left with the players. He deals with things from there.
This summer, if led by Arsene (as the manager), needs to be controlled by the board. The manager has been left to his own devices for long enough. If intervention that is constructive means he leaves in a sulk, then that’s up to him. We’re a billion dollar club. If things don’t work, which they haven’t under Arsene over a sustained period of time. You make changes.
‘Arsene, you manage transfer windows like
an amateur a man under pressure… so we’re going to take over the pressure off you, acquire what you need, and make your life easier.’
… and here’s the other thing. If Steve Rowley doesn’t have a decent list of players for us to chase, then we’ll move him on and address our scouting network. I’ve seen nothing of late that suggests he’s nailing it. Someone commented yesterday…
- Ozil was pretty famous, but can’t hack the physicality. That was public knowledge.
- Sanogo has a terrible injury record
- Flamini came in from Serie A with a bad injury record
- Kim Kallstrom came in with a broken back
Can someone look me in the eye and say they think the chief scout is doing a great job here? Who is looking at the fitness levels? Who is looking at suitability to the league? Who is looking at physicality, height and speed? Who is checking the player doesn’t like to bang hookers in Vegas and smoke shisha pipes in between games?
Someone should be. What clubs are getting it right? Bayern, Dortmund, Everton, Atletico, Bilbao… what are they doing that we don’t? What does modern scouting look like? How can Arsenal and Ivan take things forward? How can Arsene be pushed into making better decisions on talent? How can you get him to trust people outside the chosen group of old timers?
It’s going to be tough. But we make huge proclamations each summer and it never happens… so why not intervene?
‘We trust the manager”
Great sound bite on paper, but the reality is, he can’t be trusted. How many times has he botched the window? His inaction threw the last window and killed our title dreams. I had a debate with a guy at Arsenal station who stated…
‘There were no players to sign’
That’s how brainwashed Wenger has people. In bankrupt Europe, there were no players to sign?
Anyway, the Champions League was interesting last night. Chelsea were spanked by PSG. It was a relatively easy game for the French. Jose continued his embarrassing protest against the club by not playing a striker. Sorry Jose, Torres might not be much craic this year, but he’s a striker. Sorry Jose, but Demba Ba is not only a striker, he’s one you said couldn’t move to Arsenal. Jose, Lukaku is a pretty good striker. It’s all going down the pan for him right now, he’s lost 4 of his last 6 away games. Makes our pummelling by them all the more embarrassing.
In other areas of Europe, Ancellotti took his Madrid side to a 3-0 win over Dortmund. The Germans look like they’re heading out of the competition and Madrid really are looking strong. I’d love to see a Madrid / Bayern final. A lot of power going head to head there. Could be a spectacular.
What I do find amusing now is that every time a club with a good manager suffers an injury, some idiot comes forward with a justification as to why they’re no better than Wenger. Jurgen Klopp has an injury pile up at Dortmund this season. Do I know why? No idea. I don’t follow Dortmund that heavily. However, it’s worth noting, he’s reinvented the hard pressing game over the last 4 years. He gets fitness. If he’s having his first poor year with injuries, that’s slightly more palatable than heading into your tenth year of the same problems like Arsene Wenger. Also, remember he has a wage budget similar to the one we had 12 years ago.
I can’t remember where I read it, but it was in an American publication from a famous manager, the guy said something like…
‘Get the best talent into your club, then keep it on the pitch’
You’re always going to lose players, when you do, you learn why and try and stop it happening again. But look back at our best years as a club, they happened when we kept our best players fit. An obvious, but an obvious our owner puts down to luck.
This is the thing about Arsenal on the playing side of things… there are so many glaringly obvious issues that could be fixed if there was a desire from Arsene, or some force from Ivan.
Self preservation. A one way street to malaise. Something has to break. I just hope it’s not in two years time.
Finally, before I go, a good friend of mine is throwing a day festival in London in a few weeks. She’s not throwing it because she’s trying to break the hipster scene, oh no, she’s throwing it in support of an MS Charity. So all the funds from the festival go into a very good cause.
So, if you’re around the North London area in three weeks, why not head on over? Loads of exciting new bands, it’s at a really good venue called the metal works and at the end of it all… you’ll be able to say that you got smashed and had a good time for two days in the name of charity.
PLUS. I’ll be there. We can chat about my art installation.
Click the poster below to PURCHASE. It’ll be good.