Morning folks. We’re two days down from the latest Arsenal farce in the shape of the Brighton result, with two days between us and the next potential melt down on the pitch from a collective of Arsenal players with no confidence or belief.
I guess you could call this the eye of the storm? The least worst part of the week from an Arsenal fans perspective?
It certainly isn’t a time in which I’m itching to get to the next game, or read much Arsenal-related news at the moment. Unfortunately though with a smartphone and the world we live in, my notifications and access to the internet and TV means that I can’t really avoid any commentary. So I’m pretty aware that there’s been a glut of ex Arsenal players all having their say on various issues at the club. Everyone has a sound bite to chip in, it seems.
Firstly we had Thierry on Sunday saying he would help if he was asked. We tried that though and he went the Sky route and then Belgium, so I’m not sure how much ‘help’ he could be given his other commitments. Having said that, a different voice – or set of voices – is what this club is crying out for at the moment so I’m certainly not dismissing the idea of getting people like Thierry I’m at some stage.
The idea that he’d be manager material right now though is as farcical as the idea that Wenger can get us out of this current malaise. He has no experience, we have no idea if he’s even a good coach, plus you only have to look at the Gary Neville Valencia experiment to know how badly it can get. And Neville seems to know his onions when you hear him on Sky. Thierry isn’t even as good a pundit.
As for Arteta, well that too feels like it’s a little premature. He’s a coach under Pep and no doubt he’s learning a lot, but we ain’t no Barcelona and Arsène wouldn’t be handing the Lego-haired Spaniard a team ready-made to compete for a title with a Messi-like jewel in the crown.
Whoever takes over this team is taking over an unbalanced, confidence-shorn, overrated (in some quarters) team who need a proper boot. A jolt. Something new that takes them so far out of their comfort zone it might result in one or two high profile casualties.
A new man coming in will have his own coaching staff and they would need to put a rocket up the arses of some of these players. And those players would need to listen or be booted. No matter how big a name they are.
We’ve also had Big Tone chuck his hat in to support the club and whilst I don’t think that he should be allowed anywhere near the first team manager position. But as a defensive coach he might be just the type of voice – albeit a slightly mental one – who can deliver some proper defensive structure.
Last night the AST has a meeting and by the sounds of it, it was certainly an interesting one, with Lee Dixon laying down some home truths that were pretty shocking. Supporting the idea that Adams could be a good defensive coach, Dixon even mentioned that Ashley Cole was given some pretty intensive tutoring during the pre Invincibles era.
Imagine what a decent defensive coach could do with Bellerin? Imagine how much one could Bould Kolasinac? And think of how much Chambers and Holding could benefit? It seems madness that Arsène has completely eschewed any external help but not surprising.
I can’t remember everything that was said at last night’s AST but suffice to say that it was eye-opening. And this isn’t from a journalist hearing from back channels. This is an ex-player. This is a guy who had his career extended by Wenger’s training methods and even said last night that he owes that to Arsène and he respects the man so much. But he’s even telling a group of fans that Arsène isn’t really a coach and that outsiders don’t really get the chance to influence.
It’s amazing how much is coming to light now that the end is near and I’d be stunned not to see more revelations as we get closer towards Arsène’s exit. Which by the sounds of it will have to be a sacking rather than a resignation, if you believe the papers yesterday and this morning, which I’d be inclined to agree with. The talk about Arsène’s love for the club I’ve no doubt is true, but he won’t be looking a gift horse in the mouth when it comes to his contract, so I don’t see him breaking it.
Which then has its own problems for the self-sustainability model that Arsenal adopts, because if you believe some of the AST calculations, it means there’s about £30million for transfers available in the summer. I’m not sure if that includes a manager pay out but what it does mean is that any manager coming in will have to act quickly to work out who he can improve and who he needs to offload to bring in.
Personally from where I sit I’d be looking at a pretty new spine of the team with a new ‘keeper, centre half, as well as an energetic and ball-winning central midfielder who can cover for players like Ramsey et al. In the current market that’s at least £100million that needs to be dropped. Based on the ASTs pretty accurate best guesses, the numbers don’t really add up. Which is why you can see why Arsenal are forking out on getting Sven in, because he’s going to be under pressure to deliver some gems, and pretty sharpish.
This summer could be massive for Arsenal. In every sense of the word and not just because of the manager situation.
Catch you all tomorrow.