Have you heard the one about Arsenal needing better players?

By Tony Attwood

Let me put that headline another way.  Have you heard the one that says Arsenal are always awful in the first half of the season?  You might have done as it has been in the papers quite a lot.

Have a look at this table from 7 December 2013.

Team P W D L F A Pts
Arsenal 14 11 1 2 29 10 34
Liverpool 15 9 3 3 34 18 30
Chelsea 15 9 3 3 30 17 30
Man C 15 9 2 4 41 15 29
Everton 14 7 6 1 22 13 27

What is interesting is that if you add together the second half of 2012/13 with the first half of 2013/14 we were the top team of the year 2013.

Of course no prizes for that.

Let’s try another one.   How did teams do in the second half of 2014/15?

Here’s the top of the table

Team Pts
Arsenal 42
Chelsea 41
Manchester C 36
Manchester U 34
Liverpool 34

So what?

No prizes for the second half of a season either.

But what that says to me is that the concept of the need for wholesale changes to Arsenal’s team is wrong.  We were the top team of 2013, and the top team of the second half of 2015.  The only thing that stopped us winning the league either time around were the injuries we sustained in 2014.

Now, if you were reading my report of the Untold Awards’ Ceremony you might have noticed that among the negative comments about newspapers and their journalists, there was an award to Amy Lawrence for picking out the importance of the need for Arsenal to sort out the injury crisis.

And that is something that they seem to have done.

Of course I don’t have any special insight into what goes on with the Arsenal medical team, but the way that both Theo and Jack ran across to the medical team after goals shows there is something special happening.

This is not to say that Arsenal don’t need anyone at the moment, because those injuries may return and we may need more backup.  But it shows me that in the last couple of years we have put together very long runs of excellent quality and skill, and the last one in particular was done once the injuries were overcome.

Avoid the injuries and we are challenging.

If this is the case what would be sad would be to change everything around by bringing in players to replace those we have, rather than bringing in players who can supplement those we have in case of injury.

This particularly means having players who can play in several positions.  By ensuring for example that Ramsey can play out wide and in the middle.  That Chambers can play central defence as well as full back.  By bringing in youngsters, as with Coquelin and Bellerin who can play well, but will hardly be miffed if they miss a few games because they know they are the juniors in the squad.

Arsenal had 27 new injuries in 2015 from 1 January to 24 May.  In the period from 16 August to 31 December the number of new injuries was 55.

Of course crude numbers like that don’t tell us much about what is really happening with the injuries – as I have said before the length of time out and the importance of the player, play enormous parts.

But in terms of crude numbers that is a fairly stark contrast, and it coincides with a total change of form in those two spells.

If the new medical team can reduce injuries that is a major plus for Arsenal.  If we can also continue to build up the squad so that every position is covered not just once but twice, then that is better still.

Consider the position of centre forward: we have Giroud, Welbeck and now it seems Theo.  Only one of them can play in the number nine role.

But Theo and Danny can play out wide as well.   We also have Sanogo and  Akpom.  I’ve no idea how their development is coming along, but there is a chance one of them will come to the good surprising us all as Coquelin and Bellerin did.

If we were to go and buy a big name centre forward the chances are several of these players might start to agitate for moves.  Of course the new man might be better than the rest put together, but if he gets injured we still need backup.

What we certainly don’t want to do is be like Liverpool with Suarez – take out one player and too much pressure is put on the rest.

Thus a combination of improved medical treatment and a flexible team in which players can move around within the squad to meet the need, seems to me to be the best idea.

This is quite different from the newspaper game of “here’s a big name, buy him, oh Arsenal miss out again.”

Indeed it is undoubtedly far too sophisticated for the press to get hold of, but it might well be a part of the way forwards.

Untold Arsenal

Untold on Twitter @UntoldArsenal




45 Replies to “Have you heard the one about Arsenal needing better players?”

  1. It’s true, they’re saying things like “is Wenger going to listen to the fans [about signing new players]?” But we actually have a strong first team now, so no one can really pinpoint exactly what we need. Do we still need a DM? Well Coquelin has certainly been one of, if not the top DM in the league since he came back, so spending 30m to replace him would be senseless. However if he got injured for a bit, particularly if it was in a period of playing big games, we’d probably be ill-equipped to handle that period, so someone who could play that role well as cover would be ideal. Aside from that, it’s hard to see where else we could really make signings. Recent history suggests that we will go for a 30mish player but who and for what position, it’s really hard to say where it would be needed.

  2. Waoh! What a mindbogglingly stats here! Buying prolific striker next season will ensure stability in the team. With the inclusion of Ozil at the beginning of last season ensure our good run of form in the 1st stanza. The reverse was for this season with he inclusion of Sanchez.
    The coming of Giroud at the beginning of the second stanza of this season was commendable. Though he lost a lot of chances that would have earned the club winning (3 points) vital to be up there thereby afford the opportunity of contending seriously rather than even losing the 2nd spot to Manchester City Fc.
    With an established striker in the team, the title is ours. 4th position last season, now 3rd, narrowly surrender the 2nd. Who knows , winning the title and other trophies is not far fetch. My thought here. Gunners for live.

  3. Tony

    Re the medical team. Can you help me with this.

    Watching MOTD last night, after Both Theo and Jack ran to the bench, Motson said the following:

    ‘They are thanking the Physio, Declan Lynch who has helped them with there recovery, but he is off to Bath Rugby Club at the end of the season’

    Please excuse my ignorance, but I assume that he’s the guy the players see as the one who has turned things around, but he is leaving. Or at least that’s what Motson said.

    What’s going on?

  4. Maybe the players were expressing their thanks so publically because they knew he was leaving? How come Motson knew in advance in oreder to make the comment?
    I have a feeling that he came from a rugby background – and was recruited to Arsenal by someone else who works for the Club who also comes from a rugby background.
    There’s a great deal more movement between sports these days – especially by backroom staff who need to develop a wide ranging skill-set in order to progress in their careers.

  5. Insideright
    It was also mentioned during the live match commentary on the stream I was watching (not Motson) so it’s common knowledge amoung commentators
    So we’ll be needing to recruit new medical staff again

  6. I posted this elsewhere before Theo got his hat trick:

    It’s not that I think this sort of discussion shouldn’t take place. I just get miffed at anyone who fails to acknowledge the real reasons why Arsenal haven’t been more successful. As far as I’m concerned, it’s nothing to do with the personnel, whether Wenger, Gazidas, Law, Dein, etc, or the players.

    In my mind I can still see Denilson, Walcott, Koscielny, Mert, Reyes, etc, being kicked all over the pitch – mostly without sanction. Viera was stepped on regularly, and sure, he gave a bit back, but it was what he retaliated with that was punished, whilst plundits only talked of how many red cards Wenger had amassed.

    When was the last year an Arsenal player didn’t have his leg broken by a thug, and what did the whores have to say about any of it? ****all. You know it.
    So it doesn’t matter how big or tall or strong any oncoming people are, they’ll get kicked because “Thems” don’t want Arsenal to succeed.

    Look at every fking press conference. Absolutely relentless they come with questions about transfers despite Arsène politely telling them he won’t talk about transfers as the window isn’t open. So they switch to how Arsenal are useless cos they don’t win anything. Do you think that if Pogba/ Sniderling/Khadira, whoever comes – they’ll not get kicked and derided?

    When Theo came, the thugs learned he had a problem with his shoulders, so what did they do? They fking battered him. Trip up the little **** when he’s at full speed. Walcott comes back time after time, better, stronger, wiser. But the moaners say whatever they say,which is always crap.

    Most talk about Abou being crocked by Dan Smith, and he was, but he came back and was leading the team. The thugs, too many to mention – though, Bowyer, Cattemole, Barton, Essien, Obi Mikel’s assaults are still fresh in my mind. By highlighting the injury from Sunderland, the meedja repeatedly fail to put any context into any talk of Arsenal player’s crocked-nests. Instead, it’s all about having the wrong players, and by the way, why don’t you buy someone else’s shit player? Why don’t you spend the money? Why don’t you join in the corruption,you bastards. We’ll see to it you don’t succeed.

    And yet there are Arsenal fans who suck it all up, then continue with “we should get this and we should get that”. I feel insulted that anybody talks about our players being “soft”. WTF has that got to do with a players abilities? No players are soft. They’ve had to battle with all kinds of stuff whilst learning to be footballers, including training ground injuries inc. strains, etc.

    I feel enormous pride when I see Özil praying on the pitch before kick off. It’s the precursor to the man playing a hard, honest game. And I’m not overly religious.
    I love the softly spoken Ramsey, who tackles the interviews with intelligence the likes of the “hard men” simply cannot.

    If Giroud played for ManU or Fulham Bridge do you think someone smashing his tibia in two would be largely unreported? Would Costa get sent off for reacting angrily for being pushed into a goaly – so when getting up and moving towards the offender, barely touches his head – then the offender falls down? No, no, no. That wouldn’t happen. Look at Matic. Lashes out on a player, gets sent off, then they appeal and get a reduction of the ban!

    I admit, other teams thugs can be as ‘ard as they like. Bowyer and Barton have been thugs on and off the pitch. They stayed in the game for as long as they were wanted by their clubs, and in the case of the latter – appears to be lauded as some kind of sage, whether in social media or by getting gigs on MOTD! WTF?

    What Arsenal presently have is a TEAM! A team with good human beings who are excellent, honest footballers. (And by “honest” I don’t mean ‘journeymen’).
    My observations are that the otherly players will get shipped out, or ship themselves out.

    I’ve talked previously about the kickings Özil and Sanchez get,but it applies to all of our players, from 1-11 (so to speak). It’s the fact these kicking aren’t acknowledged that allows people to conclude that Aresnal are weak, or soft.

    So, those who believe it’s merely a matter of getting certain personnel into the club, in order to bag more trowfies – you’re just ****ing WRONG!

    (And I’m right).

  7. In all honesty I think that next season will be Wenger’s last if We don’t win the league as I think he will stand down. Looking at the back end of this season he appeared to keep playing Cazorla, Ozil and Ramsey in every game which isn’t really working with the system We play as it doesn’t give us any width, the balance isn’t right with so many central midfielders and when you add to that Chamberlain who now likes to play through the centre, Rosicky, Diaby (if he ever plays), Wilshere, Arteta and also the youth prospects who should soon be getting games in Zelalem, Bielek and the exceptional Crowley. We have options out wide but have not used them in Walcott, Gnabry, Welbeck and Akpom either through injury or ignorance, I know Walcott played against WBA but that was as the front man rather than winger replacing Giroud who in my opinion is too hot and cold to win us a league title and has been awful for a good while now. Arsenal need to sign another defensive midfielder, a striker and a topnotch pacy winger at the very least. We could do with another central defender to bring through and I don’t really rate Ospina that much, I think Szczesny is better but his head too often goes somewhere it doesn’t need to be. Against Villa in the FA cup final if Wenger persists with playing Ramsey out wide We could be in trouble with no pace and protection down the flanks, I’d like to see a line up of Szczesny, Gibbs, Koscielny, Gabriel, Bellerin, Sanchez, Ramsey, Wilshere, Welbeck/Chamberlain, Ozil and Walcott up front, fresh, pacey and powerful line up and if on their game will blow Villa away.

  8. Jambug

    If I am not mistaken, Declan Lynch has been with Arsenal since 2012 and the injuries persisted. This is not to say he is not doing his job correctly because I don’t know nothing about being a physio but we currently have a new medical team leader. Maybe Declan Lynch has Walcott and Wilshere in their rehab and they became friends and since he is leaving, they are just showing appreciation.

    I really don’t know. Just saying.

    To the article, AW knows more about Arsenal needs than the press and has never been the one to make wholesome changes. Definitely, a few players will leave and a few will replace them. No need to worry on that aspect. We just hope we have less injuries next season and we will surprise many.

  9. I think it’s reasonable to say that the squad doesn’t need as much of an overhaul as most would have us believe.
    I think it’s the strongest in the Premier League and just needs two maybe three additions to bring it up to full strength in all positions.
    We have goal scorers all over the team, and defenders who can double up, but depending on who leaves this summer we may need to bring a couple or so in to maintain the squad integrity

  10. @Rantetta – Spot on mate. The shit Arsenal have to take from media supported thugs is totally corrupt. It is not mentioned by Wenger nor is it mentioned by players of the Arsenal. In fact only Untold makes a huge issue of the corruption that is physical abuse of talented footballers.

  11. In addition to improved fitness, I thought Wilshire was faster with his ball distribution (less running with the ball and fewer touches) which should make for a lower risk of injuries.
    So was Walcott. I thought his runs without the ball and his ghosting into poorly covered spaces were more intelligent. He did less running with the ball and had become more lethal and accurate in his shooting in the final third. These improved skillset are also more likely to make him a less risk to devastating injuries.

    Thus, while the medical backroom may have improved, improved playing tactics may also contribute to lowering injuries over the long term.

  12. I am kind of hoping this is Paulie099 last year is an Arsenal “supporter”. I think he would do much better supporting Blackpool, or possibly just give up on football and instead go to the nearest landfill and cheer the seagulls looking for food. And maybe he can find a piece of moldy sausage that someone puked up, to nibble on for himself.

  13. Paulie099 – You are obviously missing a few cells – Our Captain is Per Mertesacker. He is key to our defence & will not be left out. Concentrate on Fantasy football & you will be happy.

    Wenger has to manipulate a professional squad that has to cope with an opposition of 14. Some are footballers & honest & some are cheats. All are paid. The non playing opposition are the biggest liability & Wenger has to cater for them.

    I believe that Santi & Coquelin are our midfield defence. I also think that Monreal & Bellerin will be our wing backs. The rest is a matter of who is best suited to the occassion.

  14. Nonny

    So he isn’t part of the new team that seems to of turned the injury situation around. Well that’s good to hear considering he’s leaving.

    But in any case I am still inclined to reserve judgement on that because I am firmly of a mind that a lot of our problems are down to what is allowed to happen to us out on the park as opposed to what goes on in the medical centre.

    I think Alex has been extremely lucky to get away without serious injury considering how he is targeted every time he steps on the pitch.

    If we are back in the mix from the outset next season I have no doubt the ‘un checked’ assaults will begin again in earnest. That’s when we’ll see if anything really has changed on the injury front.

  15. OT and wrong sport, but the England cricket team has just completed a very impressive victory over NZ, without the chum of Piers Morgan, Kevin Pietersen. I expect Piers to turn his full wrath on Wenger at any opportunity over the next few days in response

  16. Mandy Dodd

    Staying OT, just watched the whole day.

    I know Cricket, especially Test Cricket, isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but what a match.

  17. Bringing off topic back on topic.

    Our Captain Cook played at a ball that cut him in half and was caught by the keeper. The Kiwis appealed and Cook stood his ground.

    On review it showed a definite, if slight, nick off the bat.

    As anyone who has ever played cricket will know, you know 100% when you have nicked it.

    The question is, is Cook, by standing his ground, despite knowing he’s hit it, cheating?

    Or is it just part of the game to ask the Umpire to make a decision?

    It happens all the time in Cricket.

    Bowlers appeal for wickets when they know damn well it was missing the stumps, or miles away from LBW, but what they are doing is asking the Umpire to ‘make a decision’ That’s there job, and it’s up to them to get it right.

    If they don’t get it right nobody accuses the batsman of cheating for not walking, or the bowler for appealing, the Umpire is expected to get it right, and it’s on his shoulders if he doesn’t.

    And Cricket is supposed to be a ‘Gentlemens’ game, which is why I cant get as upset as some regarding diving and simulation etc. because I see it as no worse than what goes on in Cricket.

    Yes it would be nice if the batsmen walked, or the Bowler didn’t appeal a ball missing a second set of stumps, or a player going over like an Olympic diver at the merest of touches. or a defender trying to remove the centre forwards shirt, but at the end of the day it’s a professional sport, with professional players and officials, whos job it is to make the correct calls.

    The thing is Cricket has realised how difficult it is for the Umpires to get it right every time, so rather than demonise the players for there ‘gamesmanship’ for want of a better word, they have bought in technology to assist them. The Umpires have improved on the back of it, and more importantly, do not seem at all undermined by it.

    Surely it is the way forward for Football.

  18. And not only do they do the reviews now, but you can hear what the third umpire is saying as we watch what he watches.

    I actually enjoy watching this process as it happens on the TV, but I don’t think they show this at the ground, so it may be a bit boring if you are actually at the match, although, the tension awaiting the call does seem to add to the ‘theatre’ of it all, as opposed to taking away from it as you may of thought it would.

    Personally I cant see technology being detrimental to the game that much, if at all.

  19. @Jambug

    I noticed the new cricket approach to the review by the third umpire – it seems first class – no reason why football should not do the same, unless those in power are not interested in getting umpiring decisions correct.

  20. bjtgooner

    Absolutely. First and foremost there has to be the will there to see fair, unbiased refereeing.

    Unfortunately I do not believe there is.

    Personally I think they love the current ambiguity. When the current flavour of the moment team requires some assistance from the officials the latitude is there. Too much close scrutiny will make it more difficult, though not impossible, to tilt the bias in the required direction.

    Cant see it happening any time soon.

  21. Jambug,, agree with all you say there. Ok cricket is a slower game, but getting the right decision is what counts. Some players it is claimed always walked, think Adam Gilchrist was one, but I bet he didn’t all the time, and used his rep to his advantage!
    But officials, or at least the honest ones need all the help they can get

  22. Paulie, do not think next season will be his last, Mr Wenger has never broken a contract, and would only leave due to health matters or if he felt he had underperformed, hopefully such things will not be an issue.
    No he won’t leave, I personally hope he extends, but that is up to him, but by the end of next season, I think it is possible a succession plan may be starting to take hold, especially considering the events at Utd. I have a hunch on a possible eventual successor, and not one anyone has called as far as I am aware, so not telling!

  23. Back on topic, very pleased with the squad we have. If Mr Wenger decides some are surplus and others are needed, can only support his views, but this is the first summer in a long time when I am completely relaxed on transfers, not caring if we sign or not. The club are getting to a very good place, plenty of money, a balanced and highly talented squad, competition within that squad , seeming improvements on injuries, and I touch wood as I write, and a great manager….on a mission. Apart from Chelsea, there will be major upheavals in squads of rivals this summer. Chelsea will not have it so easy next year, and with no ECL qualifier, no WC, there is no need for a repeats of last seasons iffy start

  24. Mandy

    “If Mr Wenger decides some are surplus and others are needed, can only support his views,…”

    100% agree. Whatever the boss thinks, is good enough for me, but I have a feeling I’m going to find some of his decisions upsetting none the less.

    Sadly I think we may see the end of Flamini and possibly Arteta, both guys I have grown to really like, but worse will be Rosicky.

    I love his all action style. A top top player sadly hindered by persistent and recurring injuries. I will be gutted if he does end up being surplus to requirements, but if players are to be bought in I’m afraid, because of his injury record and age, his position is extremely vulnerable.

    Gutting for me, but even more gutted for Rosicky himself, as I believe more than many he deserves to be around for this, what will hopefully be, more successful era.

    Some players are just so unlucky.

    I hope I’m wrong.

  25. Jambug, think you are right about Flam, but I thought Rosicky was possibly staying for another year? Don’t think we have heard the last of Arteta.
    There are stories about Theo and Caz, but hope we keep both of them
    Szcz is another uncertainty, will be interesting if he is picked next weekend. I have always liked him as a keeper, a player of immense potential and no little ability, would love to have him around, but again, if not to be, can only bow to Wengers judgement which will be based on things we know little about, and not silly tabloid stories or the one off bad game.

  26. Yes Rantetta, yes Mandy. We have a great squad and Arsene Wenger has said he will add quality if it becomes available. But we don’t need much. The injury problem has not gone away and still stems from unpunished violence on the pitch. But because Arsene Wenger no longer has to work with a limited budget and even sell our best players – he has said himself he used to have to do this – he has a larger squad of extremely good players which enables us to deal with the injuries better. But it was injuries that slowed us down as recently as the early part of this very season. I have no doubt our medical team is excellent and does their absolute best to get our injured players better as soon as possible, but this can only be within the limits of the possible. The PGMOL still needs to sort itself out.

  27. Pat agree, many of our injuries are caused by referees actually encouraging dangerous fouls on our players, and until the pgmol reform, until Mike Riley is replaced by a strong person who cares only about the game of football, and until the media report honestly on the situation, our injuries are not going away. Unfortunately that day is not coming soon with the likes of platini,, blatter, illegal bookies , corrupt agents, dodgy States and oligarchs wanting respectability or to launder their money, organised crime …..having so much influence on the game and the money it generates.
    But I am also encouraged that with perhaps Shad Forsyth and other developments, our injuries can at least be reduced even within this hostile environment.

  28. Mandy Dodd

    Theo and Caz?

    I really hope not.

    Everything I hear from Wenger and Theo suggests to me there is a massive will from both sides to extend his contract. Now I really will be gutted if we lose Theo, especially if it is with a view to replacing him with Sterling for example, whom is not, in my humble opinion, in the same class as Theo, but maybe I am a little biased.

    As for Caz again I would be gutted. I haven’t heard any rumours but as I don’t habitually read the shite in the papers I wouldn’t have would I ?

    Why would he want to leave?

    Considering he’s just had his best season why would Wenger want him to either?

    Personally I cant see either of them going so I’d like to think what you’ve heard is the usual Arsenal shit stirring we get throughout the Summer.

  29. Jambug – if Cook felt that nick he should be in seismic recognition! It was only visible but not ‘heard’ on snicko.

  30. Jambug, cannot see Caz going, not yet anyway reports…if they can believe suggests he wants to play in Spain before retiring, but hopefully not yet. As you suggest, these reports have to be taken with extreme caution. Theo, who knows, stating the obvious, but depends on his wishes, Wengers wishes, and maybe his demands, if for instance he is insisting on say 150 grand a week, with a year on his contract,cannot see it happening, just a figure pulled out of the air….but hopefully they can come to some agreement. Wenger has publically stated his people are difficult to deal with….not necessecarily a good sign, but we shall see. Think sterling is a non starter, massively expensive, a pushy agent, and something put Wenger off going for him before he went to Liverpool. , and we are covered in his position…but we shall see.

  31. @Tony,

    Excellent write up! I agree this team has great depth and difficult to find where an addition is needed. The only one I feel may be warranted is the addition of another DM to compete with Coquelin and occasionally give him a breather, but then again I have not seen Bielik so no idea if we already have this youngster among the ranks.

    In regards to Rosicky, I believe he will be here, with the boss saying they have picked up the option to extend him by one year or something along those lines.


  32. I meant to say this “type of player (DM back up) among the ranks”. Obviously depending on Bielik’s progress.

  33. Wenger is only now reaping the benefits of all of those years of spending next to nothing in order to pay off the debt. He is so so close to having the perfect team, that he has put unparalleled time and patience into creating and i will be absolutely gutted if he doesnt extend his contract. After all the hard work he has put into it it would be a huge shame if he didnt stay with us and win a number of trophies that he truly deserves to get.

  34. Jammy J , just have a very strong feeling he will extend of sorts….as a mentor maybe director and helper to the next guy who perhaps has already been chosen…..but just a hunch, what do I know!

  35. Citizens Intelligence Agency – http://cia.sourceforge.net


    Having 2 URLs, this will get caught in moderation.

    I think I mentioned this project to Untold a long time ago. I knew very little then, and less now. But someone is still updating this project.

    This project revolves around Java, and I don’t get involved in Java and seldom have Java on computers I work with. But as I understand things, this project (from Sweden?) was meant to provide a way for citizens to track policians.

    I don’t think there is a need for Untold to start tracking politicians. There may be a reason for some football fans to track referees (or PGMO executive), or people in the FA.

    Someone would need to devote a webserver with a fairly large amount of software, in order for people to participate in it (if there was an interest). As near as I can tell, it isn’t new enough to take advantage of smart phones (Android or iPhone). It is entirely possible there is some smartphone application which follows this idea, and I don’t know about it.

    But imagine. How would 😈 Mike Riley feel, if people could visit a website, and learn of 75% of the locations he visited in a day? On any arbitrary day? Do you think he might want to step down and let someone honest and trustworthy run officials in the EPL?

    Anyway, something to consider. I know nothing about any of the software involved.

  36. @Mandy & Jammy,
    I hope Wenger extends also, but would not be surprised if it’s only until the 2018 World Cup, when the contract of one of his former players expires with the national team he is managing.

  37. The team is indeed nearly perfect, and has to keep on striving to be perfect but only ever reaching 99%. That 1% is needed as a goal to strive for. 🙂

    Seriously i am wanting our internationals to return without injury and for us to come through all the pre-season games fit and firing and rearing to go.

  38. Tony,

    The new theme at Telegraph seems to be to ridicule Liverpool (thank God for the welcome diversion from Arsenal) for not siging the “right kind of players”. Few weeks ago there was a criticism for signing £110mn worth of players but none of them coming good. Chris Bascombe has elaborated in his article today criticising Liverpool’s “model”. He states:

    There are numerous elements to ‘the model’, but the main one is about “being smart”. “Smartness” defines everything, particularly in recruitment. Upon buying Liverpool five years ago it was suggested to John Henry that rather than spending £40 million on well-established, proven world-class international footballers, it might be wiser to find these players before they become world-class. That is when they are cheaper.

    However, Mr. Bascombe’s swiftly rubbishes the “model” saying:-

    “it does not seem to have occurred to anyone that if you have £115 million to spend and opt to target younger, cheaper players instead of expensive world-class ones, you are electing to operate in the same transfer zone as mid-table rather than elite clubs.”

    Two things stood out for me:

    (1) Liverpool DID TRY to sign Sanchez, Shaqiri etc, but they didn’t want to join. Key reason? Champions league football. Suddenly the thing Mr. Wenger has been saying for years, that 4th place is like a trophy, starts to ring true!

    (2) This Liverpool “model” sounds very much Wengeresque to me. In fact, we find that not only Mr. Wenger has successfully implemented this “model” at Arsenal, but as a result managed to keep Arsenal consistently within the Top 4 club. The only other clubs who have CONSISTENTLY managed to do this are the ones who have made cumulative losses north of half a billion in the past decade, or with significant greater commercial firepower (Manchester United)

    However, would these “journalists” ever give any credit, or even a back-handed complient, to Mr Wenger? Instead we get more articles saying “Arsenal needs to make 3 – 5 more top class signings”.

    So it seems the only solution that these armchair pundits offer to clubs (like Arsenal) is to spend more money. And if you already have spent the money (like Liverpool and Tottenham), then spend some more on £40mn plus players. Doesn’t matter if you have run out of money, just find a Russian or Arab benefactor and still spend some more. And by the way don’t ever dare question how these benefactors made their money which they so willingly seem to throw in a bottomless pit!

  39. Sam,
    agree with you but may I point at one little fact?
    The fact that since Wenger started giving us CL football all those years not one of those other clubs (including the billionaires play things) have been in the CL as much as we have. Not even United with their commercial firepower.
    And still some call for the head of Wenger… unbelievable….
    Ok some have won it but that was down to the money and their commercial firepower. And a rubbish ref when we played the final

  40. AW will probably retire as the longest serving manager in the EPL , hopefully with 25 years of yeoman service. So no point in coming here and barking up the wrong tree . No point either getting stressed about transfers – Arsenal .Com will announce it , not the press. Have a stress free summer.

  41. Funny LFC, MUtd bought and fought to get our much criticised fourth place trophy!!!
    Funnier still was all the media negativity towards us and such positivity towards scouse and Manchester Muppets.
    And the most hilarious all were the inexcusable predictions and crying for our fall.
    Gerrard went out with a whimper, lolz!

  42. AW always praised Ferguson for the 25 years he gave MU, so he will beat it. AW is also a big fan of the late Bobby Robson, so he will continue managing Arsenal until he is in his 70s. I think someone within the club will take over and continue his good work, probably Arteta or Mertesacker. These guys are perfect mirror image of AW in professionalism, loyalty and respect. In truth, I always wish a mad scientist create a immortal potion for AW for him to contribute to football forever.

Comments are closed.