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The Arsenal long term plan. As simple as A-B-C

By Tony Attwood

One of the regular comments made against Arsenal is that there is no coherent plan.  I disagree.  In fact, I think the club has over the past two years had three plans.

Plan A: to wrest back control of matches from PGMO 

This, we’ve been following for over a year.  Cut out tackles and the ref can’t give fouls.  Cut out fouls and the ref finds it hard to give yellow cards.

And it was important as in 2019/20 Arsenal got the most yellow cards in the league, getting more than twice as many as the least carded club – Liverpool.  This season we are 16th in the yellow card league with just four more cards than the least carded club WHU, and only one more than Liverpool.

Plan B: bring in a new young defence that could keep the cards low.

To do this Arsenal replaced the defence with the best young players we could find, who would learn from a younger age, how to play with minimal tackling.   That was completed last summer.

Plan C: cut the wages bill

This consisted of two parts.  Get rid of the players on top salaries (Aubameyang and Ozil) and only buy young players, while also promoting brilliant youngsters.  As a result, we have the youngest team in the Premier League.

Of course, this is not just an Arsenal issue, for all the big clubs in Europe are struggling with wages, which last season continued to rise across football, as revenues collapsed.  Indeed 15 clubs in European first divisions and a further 37 clubs in European second divisions were subject to insolvency proceedings during the 2020/21 season.  All for this reason.

But at the same time player wages kept rising across Europe.  As a result, the top clubs between them lost £3.4bn in 2020-21 season, largely due to a) covid, and b) having a loss-making model and c) wages still rising.

In fact, the total insanity of football is revealed by the fact that across the top leagues in the world salaries and agents’ fees took up 91% of revenue.  As a result, the top clubs took on another £670m debt – that is new debt to be added to the old debt they already had.

7 comments to The Arsenal long term plan. As simple as A-B-C

  • Chris

    One other way to look t it is this :

    the youngest team in the league and in contention for a place in CL ?

    When has that happened last in the PL ?

    Throw into the lot a few players now regular Three Lions members and one wonders why the so-called press cannot aknowledge what is happening. Or rather it becomes clear why they are not. Any other club would be the media’s darling.

  • John L

    The media usually acknowledge the quality of Arsenal’s young players by promoting the idea that they need to move to Liverpool, Man City etc, in order to realise their true potential and win trophies.

    It has already started with Saka, ESR and Martinelli.

    So even a positive Arsenal story is turned into a way to denigrate our club.

  • goonersince72

    Chris
    Spot on. That the media won’t acknowledge it doesn’t diminish the excitement of this young team. Not a finished product, but Edu and Arteta have a plan that has AFC in contention for European places and some real talent; Saka, Smith Rowe, Martinelli, Odegaard forward and a young, athletic back 5. I enjoy the football and realise that mistakes and missteps will happen. The team is moving up the table and is moving, as it says on the shirt, FORWARD.

  • Dublin Gooner

    A & B a is pure conjecture. Unless you have some evidence that is!
    Has the coaching team really sat down and said “the key outcome we need to bring about is reducing yellow cards, and our cunning plan to do that is by reducing tackles”. Much more likely to have said “we need to reduce the number of shots on our goal and increase the number at the other end”. But that is pure conjecture on my part.

    The reduction in number of given fouls could be a statistical anomaly, or it could be the unintended consequence of any number of other things.
    (A change in application of the laws, or due to change in personnel, for example. Or a dozen other causal factors.)
    Can you point to any member of the coaching staff, a player, or anyone with inside connections saying in an unguarded moment anything like “we’ve been working hard at reducing the number of tackles” or anything similar. That would be evidence.
    Measuring the number of fouls/ yellow cards and saying that shows there was a plan to do so is deductive reasoning, but it is not evidence
    Of course you’re deductive reasoning may be right. Maybe there was a plan around reducing fouls and it was executed successfully. But, personally, I think that’s unlikely.

  • Menace

    Some things aren’t looked at with a diagnostic approach and end up as being evidential rather than evidence of an assumption.
    The system of tackling has changed and the new system of interception without physical contact seems to have got results.
    Do not ignore the resultant stats that confirm this.
    Arteta has been excellent for the club in that he has injected a set of processes to improve the club. The discipline has been an absolute necessity to get arrogance back down to earth. His use and manipulation of all the clubs assets has been exemplary. He has a confidence with a humility that controls the media and deals with the PGMOL. He will need a few honest managers to join him, if there is going to be any movement in the FA and their arrogant position of monopoly.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Why would we need the media to praise us or tell us that we are moving in the right direction ? When was it ever the Arsenal way to get accreditation from the press?

    After do most of us read the news with a particularly penchant of gaining something tangible ? I think not ! Most of us give them the required amount of disdain and incredulity that they deserve.

    But in truth , I’m surprised that many still earn a living from media work and in the press – they could do better by sacking these layabouts ! Maybe even show a profit !

    With this transfer window dusted and done with , I am looking forward to see our youngsters play as well as they can. I do love to watch my breath being taken away by dashing football .

    Up the Gunners !