Guess Who? The Old And The New Bring A Force That’s Good Together
Reports this morning attribute quotes to Peter Hill-Wood regarding Arsène’s future at the club. Showing a lack of ego and imagination, he said
For him to stay longer than that would be perfect. I can’t think of anybody better to run the team.
And he has shown how much rubbish people were talking earlier this season. We had a terrible run of injuries and that obviously had an effect. But a few mindless people were saying that he had to go, that Arsene was past his sell-by date. He has shown that is nonsense.
The media have been backtracking in recent weeks over this point. Two months ago, those journalists who stuck their heads over the parapet were brazenly reflecting that the criticism of the manager which manifested at the Manchester United defeat in January, reflected the views of Arsenal supporters. Taken to task over such observations, this representation is now the manifestation of “some” Arsenal fans. As Arsène himself noted, “The dynamic is completely different“.
They fail to grasp the concept that online views are more vehement that those expressed face-to-face. Had they noted that the vast majority supported the manager but viewed last summer’s transfer activity – or the timing of it at the least – was, we’ll be polite, a bit of a balls-up, then threre could be little argument that this was the truth. Even then it is to degrees. Panic buying is a common theme; that suggests the players were ill-conceived in their purchase but third place is hardly a failure given the start to the season and if that is confirmed, represents a better achievement than 2010-11. There is, of course, Chu-young Park to contend with…
Those lessons seem to have been taken on-board with the (unconfirmed) signing of Lukasz Podolski a step in the right direction in timing at least. The playing bit? History will be the judge of that. The approaching summer activity is being guided by tournament Hell, Euro2012 at the beginning followed by the Olympics at the end. Fortunately in 2016, there is scant chance of TeamGB to (potentially) wreak havoc with pre-season preparations with this year’s debacle unlikely to be repeated.
Even the manager has his attention drawn to the matter of summer recruitment. Sol Campbell’s ill-judged comments – which in the former player’s defence – echo comments he made not so long ago; he is consistent in his output but they brought an unusually ascerbic response from the manager; a nerve has clearly been touched. Too often in summer months, a player’s potential value to the team is judged by the size of his transfer fee rather than his actual ability.
What has not changed at all is our policy that we will be as ambitious as ever and spend the money we have available, if possible in an intelligent and wise way.
A quiet and unannounced change was made with experience taken ahead of youth last time around. Rather than being a wholesale shift in policy and one presumed to be continuing, it should be viewed as being the assessment of the squad requirements. This summer I would see little surprise in the balance being redressed with experience and youth acquired in equal measure. The two are not mutually exclusive despite being disparaged either side of the argument.
The key to this is to make the ‘transition’ stage of the group a continuing and seamless cycle; one that perpetuates through the balance of signings and youth development. To me that is the balance that the current squad has – and to a very large extent, I exclude those who are out on loan since for the most part, I do not expect them to play for Arsenal again. It is the process that will underpin his desire for a trophy that recognises the ‘depth‘ of the squad as the manager liked to call it.
It is the balance the manager has been trying to work toward and is reaching. No ‘project’ of this nature is ever completed but there should not a requirement for wholesale changes again. That’s the utopian ideal at least.
Final thoughts this morning turn to the family of Livorno player, Piermario Morosini, who tragically passed away, having suffered cardiac arrest in the 31st minute of his club’s match at Pescara, and to Trevor Francis in his recovery from a heart attack recently. Such things put life into perspective for differing reasons.
Posted on April 15, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 207 Comments.