Vidal – £25m
Thiago – £20m
Not exactly crazy money. Massive transfers still get the headlines in football, but there are thousands of transfers that happen every season that are value for money. Leicester were a prime example of this last season.
Four midfielders that we already own who have massive potential to be as good as any other midfielders out there IF they are managed in the right way and put into systems that suit how they play. It’s not pipe dreams – we’ve watched these players control football matches and put in stunning performances against top class opposition before, they just need to re-find that form and build partnerships. If we can add the right players around them then there is no need for crazy transfer fees.
This is obviously a massively difficult task, but world class players emerge from all different places. Maybe we’ve already got some in our squad that just need a little spark.
I really don’t think drastic changes are needed as most of the important stuff is in place ie stadium, financials etc. Net spend on wages and transfers is also fine
Tweak transfer policy. Take on more Arsenal football people. Relieve Manager of some duties. Adopt zero tolerance for players not giving 100%
All easily achievable
I would tend to agree with FGG’s and Micky’s sentiments. Whether they are directly saying it or not I read their comments in a way that resonates with a particular conclusion that I have reached, which I have personally felt for a while, that Arsene is no longer the best at developing young talent. I have tried not to say this upfront and so blatantly for fear of upsetting, but there it is in plain writing.
I say this still with the deepest regard and gratitude towards him, and I have absolutely no doubt that everything he does he genuinely believes to be in the clubs best interest, which is why I find it sad for him that he doesn’t have the right answers or methods anymore (IMO).
He once arguably was the best developer of players, but too many have lost their way recently to ignore it. Have other managers and coaches just caught up and surpassed him or has he changed himself? I actually feel a bit of both and don’t subscribe to the thought he is the same man he was.
If I was to psychologically profile things, (based on gut instinct not facts or proof), then I would say that Arsene was forced into a change when we moved to the new stadium and money was scarce, and he was forced to develop world class players himself.
This is a great credit to him to stick with us and oversee this and to take this difficult but necessary (at that time) route, and I don’t see how anyone else could have done better. He was without doubt the right, and only, man for us at this time, probably till about 3-4 seasons back.
All this resulted in the classic line “we make our own world class players, we don’t buy them”. This was, however, as much about necessity as it was about taking a moral higher ground.
At the same time I feel Arsene, in having to develop his own players and team, decided to try for a utopian style of football with multi position changing technical players, that can all function in the different positions that they interchange with their team-mates in during a game.
As such I feel he started to collect and recruit a certain style of player almost in a thought of “if I have 10 Maradona’s on the pitch we will beat anyone and everyone”.
This has shown us glimpses of great football but is often found wanting over a season once you factor in the different types of opposition, injuries, fatigue, weather and pitches.
I often wonder if this utopian ethos has worked deeper into his mind and became too much of a holy grail to Arsene. The problem is that for me it is a utopian idea that doesn’t work, is showing not to work, and that he couldn’t quite seem to relinquish and accept isn’t working.
I also have a sneaky feeling that this is why we aren’t seeing more Arsenal people at the club. I think he gets on very well with a lot of his ex greats but isn’t comfortable with any of them that are strong minded enough to see things differently from him and tell him. I feel he doesn’t want those people around him and really only wants ones that don’t challenge his ideas. This I feel has been to our detriment.
I tend to feel that what has hindered him most is this collection of too many similar players, coupled with this attempted development of multi functioning players in a utopian style of football.
I personally feel players developing different skill sets in different positions (in a Dutch total football way) is for the academy and youth ranks, but once they reach a certain age and level where 1st team consideration is forthcoming, a player (and manager) needs to identify his best role, and then the final development phase is to make them a world class exponent in it.
One thing that hasn’t escaped me is how many players we have that have played in many different positions. Think of Ramsey, Ox and Jack for starters and think of the different positions they have been asked to play in. At least 3 in my mind and possibly 4 in Jack’s case.
Not wanting to get too cliche’d but this has left us top heavy with players who are a bit too much Jack of all trades master of none. The other thing it has done is to force us to play in a way that leads to another cliche. I forget what it is but I know it is one of Chas’ favourites……something to do with footwear and things you find on the head of a rutting stag 🙂
While it is useful to have some adaptable players in a squad, this for me cannot be helpful to the final development of these players and has resulted in some chaotic performance that don’t really tally with the quality of the 11 players on paper.
I actually don’t feel that the base line skill set and quality that Bayern put out was so distinctly different to us but they were a much better football side.
This is why I have felt that what has stopped us from progressing (and possibly winning another EPL under Wenger) recently has been more down to these intrinsic factors. Our transfer activity (or lack thereof) has not been the key factor. It has obviously been a factor in a way, but for me only in the further collection of too many similar players that don’t bring a distinctly different skill set to the squad above what we have already, where better options to improve squad strength and bring something we need more were available.
I haven’t really seen any glimpses of a possible acceptance and change from our manager which is why I have sadly slowly come to the conclusion that he is just not quite what is required anymore at the highest level. He still remains, and will remain, our greatest ever manager.
Written by GoonerB