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Arsenal Must Spend Or Perish!!

 

By Chayasai .

Mesut Ozil , Lacazette , Aubemeyang and Mkhitaryan . Without these four world class players , Arsenal would have been competing with West Brom  as to which one of them, in the 2017-18 EPL, would be the first to fall into the Championship.

This was the first thought that came to my mind after witnessing almost 70 minutes of the Arsenal – Stoke City match on Sunday, 1st April 2018.

And then the subs came on: everything changed.  The quality that the subs brought to the play told us in very clear terms that there is no substitute for Class.  You can have a dip in form for various reasons, but class is permanent. It will always be around.

Clubs must concentrate and focus very much only on Class and Quality of its squad. That is the difference as to where the clubs finish at the end of the season. Teams that do not want to spend on quality end up with a bloated squad of mediocrity

The team needs class players .Not plenty of journeymen footballers. These can only bloat the wage bills, drive the fans away from the  ground in large numbers and bring negativity in plenty into the squad, the players, management, fans . And it can only have a very serious and deleterious effect on the dynamics and economics of the Club. O course, it will keep large advertisers and the consequent revenues away from and beyond the reach of the Club.  Generally, the clubs are averse to this kind of hiatus.

(Here I will  take the liberty of digressing a bit and introducing a very telling homily with its source mentioned :

It astounds me that businesses can continue to pay their best and most hardworking employees little to nothing and still expect genius-scale work from them day-after-day.  Hiring a large quantity of cheap labor is far less effective than properly hiring and paying for the best. 1,000 monkeys get far less done than three people. And if you barely pay people and they leave, just to find someone else who’s willing to work for such a cheap cost, realize you’re not getting the better deal. What you just did is replace a hardworking person with a monkey – you expecting them to think on the same intellectual capacity is absurd.

Pay people right.

If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

Falsely yours,
James Goldsmith”

https://www.quotes-clothing.com/pay-peanuts-get-monkeys-james-goldsmith/)

It is a given that  it takes considerable planning and years of consistent and systematic, sustained  hard work and determination, to build a squad of at least 25 players, capable of challenging other teams for top prizes and honours; and the consequent financial and economic rewards. Which in turn spurs more ambitious targets for more and far more higher rewards which will proportionately accrue to the owners / investors.  This is how success feeds on success for more success and consequent greatness.

Up until recently, in EPL at any rate, you could cite the names of Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal. And when greatness becomes part of the story of the Club, it leads to massive economic gains.That greatness, in turn, leads to more investments in quality and the legacy continues.

In very recent times Arsenal have felt the heat of this greatness stripped from them and exposed them for their poor planning and muddled thinking.

For over two decades they were a great team, even at times, labelled as “invincibles ”. When there were minor hints of their slipping from grace, their Manager/Coach Arsene Wenger [perhaps the single most influential professional , arguably in the history of EPL changed the very concept of the way Football was to be played with special focus on fitness, dietary habits , customised fitness schedules etc for individual players, discipline, hard work etc]  had said, after fans booed his side for 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough : “If you eat caviar every day it’s difficult to return to sausages “  That was what winning was all about and what the fans of great teams expected from their side.

Arsenal were aware of the gigantic task they faced at the end of the season 2016-17 . They knew that they faced the prospect of key players leaving the club by running down their contract. They let matters go from bad to worse: so much so that they had the dressing room torn apart and players  left to sort out matters for themselves.The results were negative and the team sank further into abyss.

What doesn’t escape one’s notice is the fact that while there was dire necessity to invest in quality players and start the process of building a squad with meticulous care, Arsenal’s owners were more than complicit in doing just the opposite. They sold 22 players – 7 went on free transfer.They spent on purchase of  three players, one was a swap transfer and another on Free transfer: incoming were all of 5 players [from stats available in Wikipedia and interpreted by the author for the purpose of this article]

It has been alleged that the owners made a profit in the 2017-18 transfer market .

Duncan Wright [The Sun , online edition 1st Feb 2018, 1.59 p.m.] has stated “They are one of only five clubs who spent less on signings than they made in sales over the course of the 2017-18 season.West Ham, Burnley, Swansea and Southampton are the others – giving a clear indication why the club continues to fall behind their rivals at the top end of the division.”

No plan exists : let alone a Plan A or Plan B on how quickly Arsenal can arrest this downward spiral.

There is no sense of finality in anything. Or a sense of urgency in arresting the slide.  The team lurches from one match to another .

The first and foremost thing is to ensure that the most valuable asset Arsenal has is not lost : Arsene Wenger must stay till the end of the 2019-20 season.This means an extension of one year more on his contract.

The next point would be to spend big in 2018-19 summer transfer market.

Follow this up with signing the players whose contracts are nearing the end of their tenure. e.g  It is said that it is a matter of £30-35, 000 [per week] in Wilshere’s wages that stand between Arsenal retaining him and losing him for free.  Even  if the difference is more, prudence dictates that sign him up and tie him down to a contract.  If, as is widely reported, he can get an offer in the region of £50+Millions  and the club feels that it is better to sell, then they are in the game. If the contract is not signed, he goes free, the Club has lost both the player and the investments made in him. It is perhaps wise to sign him up as well as Ramsey.  And anybody else who can help  Arsenal raise funds [and reduce the wage bills , especially] so that these additional funds will help in buying quality players.

We have to spend big this summer market and in such a manner that there will be little or no need to spend in the 2019 January window nor the 2019-20 summer window.  Perhaps just marginally or for correctional or emergency purposes.

In a nutshell, spending big this summer, 2018  post-May, must include the sales amount also.  The kitty must be large enough to obviate any need to spend further till 2020 January except for exceptional circumstances.

The target for the 2018-19 season must be EPL, Euro Tourney and the FA Cup. You must have a team strong enough to achieve those targets.There must be depth in quality also.

Arsenal’s  main strength has always been its attack: Arsenal is at its deadliest when they are in full flow up-front. They have been very hugely blessed with great and creative mid-fielders. This adds to the quality of their deadly strikers and forwards.If these two lines are populated with quality and class players, it automatically puts immense pressure on the opposition and at the same time eases pressure on their own backline ; which area is in fact their weakest link in their chain. It has been variously said that the “ …Chain is no stronger than its weakest link “.[https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/ ]  Given this truism, it is necessary to ensure that the backline needs instant infusion of experienced and quality players. The need for a Classy Goalkeeper is a given.

Bluntly put, all the large investments made in quality players to make the midfield and the forward line very strong will go up in smoke because the chain’s weakest link, the backline and  the Goalkeeper were not classy enough.  It will do well to keep in mind that the “Chain is no stronger than its weakest link”!

Keep in mind that there will be no major signings till 2020 January window.  So , it is extremely important and vital, to be very selective in the investment in players.

We have selected the targets we want to achieve this coming season 2018-19.

To achieve those targets we need two additional very good strikers to start with: the current flavour is Ousmane Dembele who it is said will mesh very well with Aubemeyang.  The second name that comes to the fore is Martial who it is claimed will in all likelihood move out of Manchester United.With Lacazette looking good , it makes for quite a formidable force upfront.

Now we come to the midfield which will be the supply line with passes and assists for those forwards  in the front to strike. At this point we must assume that Mesut Ozil and Mkhitaryan are the only truly world class midfielders we have. And both are  in their late twenties: the age when they are about to hit their peak. What this does is: it tells us that we must look seriously at  young players in their late teens or early twenties who are hugely talented and fit the Arsenal Image of players to have. Lemar almost made it in Summer window of EPL 2017-18.  He must be a cinch to slot in to the  left of Mkhitaryan. Max Mayer is another who can be wide on the right of Ozil. Timo Werner will add immense strength to the midfield.

We now look at the weakest link : the Stopper. The best choice would be Oblak. With Macey impressing in the limited chances he has had and Cech not doing anything drastically wrong, Oblak can be the first choice stopper..

What choices are available to us to help Oblak keep clean sheets in the defence line? The easiest choice is to go for Luke Shaw who is not expected to sign his contract this year.  Also, it is rumoured that he is not favoured by the United manager. He is young and highly talented. Then there is the possibility of Johnny Evans at West Brom  [who are expected to drop down to the Championship] whose price might be just  very attractive. Smalling is another who fits the bill.  Kalidou Koulybaly from Napoli must be amongst first choices here.

Apart from the above , mention must be made of Richarlison and Docoure ; they will not cost very much but will add considerable value though they may not start every time.

If funds are needed to augment the kitty by selling players, we must seriously consider the possibility of selling Wellbeck, Iwobi, Wilshere, Ospina, Carl Jenkinson and Holding. With Mertesacker retiring at the end of the season and Koscielny increasingly under medical care, it seems that that the time has come for Arsenal to rule from the head rather than from the heart.

This building of a team is just the start; we will see the results in early January 2019.Once the team settles down , then one can be certain that with Wenger at the helm  of this youthful team, the targets will be achieved in the first year itself.

Assuming a 3-4-3 formation ; a team that looks like :

Martial – Aubemeyang – Dembele .

Lemar – Mkhitaryan – Ozil – Mayer,

Shaw – Koulibaly – Smalling

Oblak.

Bench : Werner , Lacazette, Ramsey , Xhaka ,Cech ,Monreal Kolasinac.

This is the best possible team, as of date, we can have, given the constraints of funds.  And the targets are very conservative and realistic.


 

From Untold Arsenal

 

Reducing football to simplicity says more about those who do it than about football

Europa League : Arsenal – CSKA Moscow : 4-1

The latest post from our series on Henry Norris at the Arsenal

Arsenal in November 1921: the fog, the goal rush, the resignation.

Today’s anniversaries

“Arsenal season in ruins”. Press headline on this day in the Unbeaten season

 

27 comments to Arsenal Must Spend Or Perish!!

  • Pat

    So it’s all about money? Not about a great manager taking players and making them great too? Where does Ramsey feature in this kind of analysis? He scored two of our goals – and one of them was fantastic.

  • Gunner6

    buy buy buy buy buy buy buy buy buy…..
    and we will win again!

    will we?

    what if the results do not go our way?
    what length of patience will you have before you start booing the team or come up with a new list – 5 matches, until christmas, or the 15th minute of the 1st match?

  • Andrew

    I would go along with most of the points made and the final line-up looks formidable. Where I would disagree is Arsene Wenger signing on for a further year. He has done a fantastic job for the club but should have left at least two years ago and has now lost the trust of the majority of fans and I don’t believe he is capable of winning the EPL again. He should leave at the end of this season whether or not we win the Europa League and should announce that soon so that the new manager has a bit of planning time before the end of the season. If he does that the empty seats would fill and there would be something to look forward to for next season. There is a staleness about his management that was not there a few years ago and Steve Bould looks as animated as a lamp post – not good.

  • Cannon Spike

    You lost me at Wenger getting a contract extension.

    The biggest problem for Arsenal is Wenger.

    Both his managerial staleness and the decisions he makes behind the scenes

  • I think you lost me with your lack of evidence

  • Maxwell

    Hi Tony.

    Your guest journalist seems to believe he is writing for a fantasy football site.

    My prescription for moving up next year?

    Cech to become a coach; Martinez to return as first choice; Macey retained as back-up; Ospina as third keeper, if he wants to stay, or if not, let go.

    Koscielny to become club captain with reduced playing time; Bielik, Sheaf, Mavropanos, Chambers and Mustafi to form the centre-back corps; Holding out on loan.

    Kolasinac, Monreal, Bellerin and Maitland-Niles to be first team fullbacks; Bramall and Jenkinson let go; Ossei-Tutu given increasing chances.

    Willock and da Silva added to first team, with Xhaka, Ramsay and Elneny. Wilshere let go. Smith-Rowe introduced gradually to first team matches.

    Sell Campbell, Akpom, Welbeck, Mavididi. Add Nketiah and Nelson to squad, alongside Aubameyang, Lacazette, Ozil, Mkhitaryan. Give Dragomir opportunities.

    Buy no-one.

    Give Santi a testimonial.

  • plain

    @maxwell. you do all you’ve said and we’ll end in 7th.

  • Gord

    Little known fact from WWII. On dawn on December 7 of 1941, a raid was made by Japanese planes on north London, England. Just before the planes started diving on London, a voice transmission was heard on the radio: “購入、購入、購入”.

    I think Gunner 6 has the gist of it.

  • Lee

    Wether the manager leaves at the end of this season or manages to carry on next year will im sure depend on the europa league.One thing that is obvious to 90% of all fans apart from die hard wenger lovers ,(without evidence as none can be produced)is that change is needed .Its needed for both for the club to progress and for all the fans to unite and join together once again to push us forward to where we belong.We are one of the best and richest clubs in the world .We should be challenging for the premier league ,not languishing 33 pts off the leaders and fighting with leicester and burnley for 6th place.We should be playing in the champions league ,not fighting it out with the 3rd tier european teams for the europa league.

  • Patrick Anaekwe

    wonderful x-ray and solution to Arsenal’s problem.
    Good hold to the Untold family. The Arsenal buffs should look into this painstaking articulation by the Untold. kudos.

  • Gord

    Let’s see, 99% of all Arsenal fans (who happen to hate Wenger) demand that Wenger leave at the end of this season.

    It’s a wonderful statement. A glancing read might even make someone think that lots of people want Wenger to leave. It actually gives no information what so evre as to how many fans want Wenger to leave.

  • Doug

    Lee, if you read all the negitive articles in the media, I can see where your opinions have developed. Sadly hardly any of the media outlets report on anything close as to being the objective truth in regards to Arsene and AFC. We have no god given right to be challenging year in year out for everythig. I am sure that everthing that the club does has the best intentions to achive the success you demand, the differnce with me is that I hope for the success of AFC,(though success is relative, as per Einstein)not demand as if I was my six year old grandaughter.
    If you wish to take the word of these so called football experts, there is nothing I can say that will affect your opinion other than to state that usually a fan of a team(football, rugby, baseball, cricket ets), has a positve view of their team. With that in mind, suggest that you look within yourself and make a choice if you want to support The Arsenal or not.

  • luscious lisa

    If we want to win the EPL then the investment in the squad needs to be on a par (as far as possible), with those competing for the same goal.
    A master plan is great idea, but is that how football works? (If you want to make God laugh, tell him you have a plan, as they say.)
    No-one at Arsenal is the best in the world in his position. If there’s an opportunity to improve any position with a purchase, without sacrificing a bigger priority, then logic says to buy the better player.
    No-one really knows for sure who will be available to buy in the summer (and want to come to Arsenal.) So it seems to me improving a squad over time via buying players is as much about opportunism as planning, e.g Ozil. (And it helps if you have such deep pockets that you afford to keep making big mistakes in who you buy until you get it right, like Chelsea and Man City have done or did do).

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Plans A , B , C , D …..made easy .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmQ5gAyEyg4

    Lest we forget , Arsene Wenger was a former player , is still a great manager of more than 30 years experience in different 3 countries and cultures ; and has a degree in Economics.

    But then again , who am I to question others who may be more qualified than AW?

  • Chris

    I was just wondering how these so called fans of Arsenal would be behaving had it been the Arsenal team taking a 3-0 at Anfield with Guardiola as their coach.

    My bet is that they’d ask for him to be fired on the spot and someone else take over.

    After all, he’s spent more than half a billion building a team that fails against a lower P; club – not even an european great – in quarter finals of the CL.

    I mean that says it all, right ? The Guardiola guy is a total failure, the team are just a bunch over overpaid lazy boys and the successor will have to fire them all and rebuild a new team. Because, when you look at it, those hundreds of millions spent were waste of money. If each playeer was the best in the world they would not have lost.

    And on the return game, the fans ought to finance a 747 to fly above the stadium with a banner on which you’d read : Fire Guardiola and boycott the game, selling their seats to Liverpool fans.

  • Nitram

    Doug, Luscious Lind and Chris.

    3 great posts.

    Doug:

    “Sadly hardly any of the media outlets report on anything close as to being the objective truth in regards to Arsene and AFC. We have no god given right to be challenging year in year out for everything.”

    Absolutely spot on.

    I was arguing this very point at work the other day. What was said to me was along the lines of: ‘Wenger has to go, Arsenal have gone stale and have been on a downward spiral for over 10 years’

    I pointed out we went 10 years without a trophy, finishing alternately 3rd and 4th. The last 5 years have seen us finish 4th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 5th. A very similar mean average. BUT, crucially we have won 3 FA cups and 3 Community shields, exactly what we were berated for over those 10 years, the lasts of both being just last year.

    I asked, how does that constitute either a 10 year downward spiral, or team going stale ? I suggested only Arsenal could be deemed a failure after a 5 year spell such as that.

    I have to be honest and say they just would not have it. But I honestly believe the reality of the situation is simply buried beneath the endless barrage of ceaseless media negativity.

    Luscious Linda:

    “If we want to win the EPL then the investment in the squad needs to be on a par (as far as possible), with those competing for the same goal.”

    Chris:

    “After all, he’s spent more than half a billion building a team that fails against a lower P; club – not even an European great – in quarter finals of the CL.”

    I made both these points.

    I suggested that IF you do have a problem with Arsenal, and you do consider them to be ‘under achieving’ then the issue is our ‘business modal’ and NOT Wenger.

    When I told them the actual net spends of the likes of Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea compared to Arsenal they said things such as ‘but you’ve got the money and Wenger just wont spend it’. ‘Your directors take all the profits’ ‘Guardiola would win it without the money’.

    All the clichés that are repeated again and again and again in the media.

    I think they’ve been brain washed, it’s as simple as that.

  • Lee

    Ok then Doug if its all the medias fault that weve been poor again and that real supporters want our manager to stay ,then why has the ground been half empty for the last half dozen home games??Why have the team been booed of on a few occasions??Ah yes they have been brainwashed by the media..Get real.

  • Lee

    The truth and fact that we are closer points wise to west brom at the bottom of the table than city at the top.We are going backwards as a club and our manager is being judged.Fans have had enough and its only out of respect of what he did in his first 6 years that the fans havent hounded him out.If he stays next year you will see that.Sad but true..

  • Nitram

    Brain washed.

    I give you Lee.

  • Lee

    Nitram we are 16 points off a champions league spot and a few die hards on here think we are progressing and Wenger will get it right .I think its you that is brainwashed by Wenger!!

  • Polo

    19 years of consecutive Champions League qualifications and the Wenger Out kids moan that it was irrelevant, now they moan about 16 points from a Champions League spot. Moan, moan, and more moaning.

  • Lee

    No Polo read my previous thread .Fans are annoyed because we dont compete and are 33 points off the top of the league.That is a disgrace for a club as big as ours ,an absolute disgrace.We finished 18 points behind last season so we are going backwards.Theres no other manager in world football that would stay in a job with those results .Only ours and one the best paid ones at that.Everything at our club rewards mediocrity and that comes from the manager!!

  • Lee

    Cue for me to be banned and Tonys heavys menace ,Omg and Hunter to give support..

  • Polo

    So 3 trophies in 4 seasons is ‘mediocrity’, so what about no trophies in over 10 years? Progress? To be honest, fans like yourself either use the word ‘mediocrity’ to loosely or don’t really understand what it mean.

    Funny that during the trophy drought fans like yourself moan about not winning any trophies, now the club start winning some, fans like yourself are selecting which trophy is worthy. Anyway, I would be delighted if Arsenal win any trophy.

  • Andy Mack

    This summer we’ll consider anyone that’s real quality and becomes available, but the only ‘must buy’ positions will be a MF and replacing anyone that leaves.
    We’re one person short in the workhorse and/or defensive MF position (as neither AMN or Willock are ready to step up to a full season yet).
    Forwards-wise It’ll be Laca and Aubas second season, so I expect they’ll either be unstoppable or injured (hopefully the former).
    The biggest question forwards-wise is DW who’s contract expires in the summer 2019.
    Defensively we’ve Bellerin, Monreal, Kola and AMN as FBs, and Mustafi, Kozzer, Chambers, Holding and Mavro which mixed quality/experience/potential pretty well. Hopefully they’ll learn a bit more calmness as well.
    We’ve plenty of creativity in MF but it too often looks a bit fragile…

  • The ‘Boos’ Brigade and ‘Moan’ Guards are back. Why do they choose to be so ever miserable?

  • Menace

    Lee, thank you for mentioning me in dispatches.

    The arrogance of choosing some of our players & calling them class really take the biscuit. Xhaka, Ramsey, Bellerin, Monreal are also class within the team. Every individual makes the team yet it is easy to pick some & ignore others.

    Every player makes mistakes but it is not always critical. Goal keepers mistakes are the most vulnerable as they are the last in defence.

    A well drilled team of players will take a team of class apart if they are not drilled.

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