So, Arsène had a training ground rant, did he? Apologies if you e already read this piece of info and I’m not bringing anything new to you, but I only read it this morning (see my blog yesterday for my reasons as to why I might be behind) and having read that, I feel a little bit better actually.
I feel better because I now expect a response from the players. Arsène doesn’t shout and rant too often (he leaves it for bloggers like me I guess!), but when he does, it usually has an impact. That’s the trick you see. I’m ignoring Roy Keane’s media comments about Arsenal being mentally weak, because in his footballing management he was mentally weak too, don’t you know.
I read an article in a paper once about Roy Keane. It was about his Sunderland days. When he first joined Sunderland he helped get them promoted from the Championship. He was heralded as a new Ferguson and everybody expected him to be a success. But after that initial first season, his star quickly waned on Wearside, as the team slumped in to the relegation zone in the Premier League.
Well, because Keane’s style of management was ‘rule by fear’. Every player was afraid of him and so when he first joined it was the fear that drove them to succeed. But fear alone is not a motivator. It is a hygiene factor and if used in an environment all of the time, it quickly becomes redundant, because players get used to the constant barrackings. They know that whatever they do, however well they play, they will be given a rollicking for something. So after a while they become desensitised to ‘the fear’ and it becomes meaningless.
Sir Alex Ferguson was well known for his rants, but the reason he was successful was because he got the balance between shouting and praising right. Keane never understood this.
So I don’t take much stock when I hear comments from failed managers like him. Perhaps there is an argument that Arsène is a little too laissez faire in his management style, but at least hearing about training ground hissy-fits still shows that he’s got it in him. The last time I heard about him going in to one on his players was at halftime at Anfield a few years back. This was back before Cesc became a snake and at full time after the victory he recalled how he’d never seen the boss so angry. We went from 1-0 down to 2-1 up to win the game and if we go from defeat on Tuesday to victory on Sunday then perhaps he has had the desired effect after all.
Later on we’ll get some more info from Le Boss about who’s fit and I do wonder if the press will talk about the heated words. No doubt Arsène will give nothing away, but that doesn’t matter, what matters is that we get a reaction and I’m sure that’s what he’ll focus on when being asked the questions.
Let’s just hope that Cech returns and Koscienly’s injury is not as bad as feared. We have a decent enough replacement in Big Per, but Kos and Gabriel were starting to build a decent partnership, so I hope we don’t have to wait too long before we see that again.
Arsène celebrates his appointment anniversary this week for 19 years at the club and there are plenty of historical releases on the official site to mark the occasion. I do find it sad, however, that some people are so mired in their own contempt for the manager, that they can’t even recognised his achievement and appreciate what he has done for Arsenal. Regardless of whether he is still right for the job or not, abusing the official feed when they pump out messages about him is pretty childish and quite pointless, if you ask me. It does serve to show how fragile the bond is between the manager and some of the fans – that a win makes him a genius and a defeat makes him incompetent – but however I feel about Arsène’s current position depending on how results are going, I’ll never lose sight of what he’s delivered to Arsenal and where we stand now.
If you like or loathe him, I’d encourage to always respect, thinking of the good times. Because there have been plenty.