Just to show how Arsenal fans seem to be living in a constant Groundhog Day every single season, I have decided to do a short series on how nothing has changed over the last five years. To highlight this I am going to post an article from this day for each of the last five years. So this is the first one from 20th March 2017…..
All clubs need to involve and adapt or simply stagnate…. like Arsenal
Is it at all possible that changing key personnel on a regular basis is not only part of the modern game but also a necessity, regardless of the results?
Is it possible there isn’t one premiership manager who doesn’t know how to set our their team against Arsenal? …I doubt it. Everyone knows how Arsenal play, they know we want a huge percentage of possession and that we will try to engineer opportunities in a very indirect way. Its not only the top clubs that know it, teams like Watford know exactly how to set up against the Gunners. There’s obviously a very good reason for that….A lack of change…
Before you jump to the assumption this is yet another Wenger battering I would like to say its not only levelled at him but to any club that fails to adapt, evolve and re invent. Given that we have played the same way for many years means we are far from an unfathomable force.
Maybe having a manager at one club for more than five years is simply a worn out theory that simply doesn’t work anymore. Football is no longer a game of 11 V 11 over 90 minutes, its far more intricate and scientific and the degrees which can effect the end result are incredibly small.
Perhaps the movement of managers and players helps to invigorate a club, change the style and consequently create an unpredictability about how they will play.
We have all known for years that Arsenal rarely are able to offer a plan B which, as a consequence, means our plan A is well established. On its day it can be incredibly effective but as Saturday’s performance at the Hawthorns demonstrated, it can also be atrocious.
Maybe the future for our club, given that we are financially very solid, is an ever evolving squad of players and managerial change far more frequently than we’ve experienced at Arsenal.
I imagine those of us that want Wenger out would be thrilled to have Simeone in but, if we were brutally honest, is he really likely so stay for 20 years?…Of course not. However, if we want to take a seat at footballs top table, perhaps having a hungry achieving manager for three to four seasons followed by the next new kid on the block is the way forward in order to sustain that seat.
If we think of that in terms of players as well, maybe its time for Ozil and Sanchez to move on for considerable money and replaced by two new elite players a couple of years younger but who have hunger and ambition and are keen to give us three seasons before following the path that Ozil and Sanchez might take this summer.
I think the days of players like Thierry Henry or Stephen Gerrard staying at a club for huge swathes of their career are over. It is something our board will no doubt hate, given the continual need to buy and sell but maybe that-s the only way for any club to regain and remain fresh and hungry.
To summarise, maybe complacentcy is deep rooted within our club right from the Board , through to the management and to the fan base that are happy to settle for the stability of a reliable underachieving management regime rather than run the gauntlet of change and with that change bringing new blood which poses an element of risk.
We all reflect on the time David Dein spent at Arsenal and the ‘get up and go’ mentality he had, how he made things happen. He has never really been replaced which may have a significant baring on where we find ourselves today, yet having him back is not the solution.
Is it possible our club needs an injection of balls at every level, people that make things happen, as oppose to watch things happen. On and off the park maybe we need people that will be part of our club for 3 or 4 years, make a significant contribution to energizing the club before moving on to be replaced by the next group of individuals wanting to achieve the same.
I think the days of planning any further than three to four seasons ahead are gone. In order for Arsenal to become a challenging force we need to employ hunger and aggression in every area on and off the field…
Without continual evolution extinction becomes a real possibility…