The beauty of planning, and why we should love the process by Jonbo
The “process” or the “project”, however you want to call it, has come in for some flack, but I feel that’s because we are unable to disconnect from how the results are going.
Obviously, results, signings and a manager/club’s vision are intertwined. If results are bad, we blame the manager, the process, the club, but that isn’t always fair. Just look at Man Utd as a great example. Almost every manager since Fergie has struggled because of a lack of planning, and understanding about the club, its needs, and vision.
In the short term it’s easy to blame the likes of Ole, Mourinho, Van Gaal, etc, but over the long-term we’ve seen it’s actually very poor planning from the hierarchy at the club that has cost them. Utd have outspent everyone in England yet are a million miles off the likes of City and Liverpool because there’s been no planning. Now they are in the same mess or worse that we were in not so long ago.
Now Arteta may or may not be the right man to get the best out of our squad, but what I love about him is that, along with the club, he has very clear vision, and on the whole, the planning has been excellent.
It’s very important that the club continues this whenever Arteta goes, so that our next manager has the best chance to succeed. If you fail to Plan, you are planning to fail! This was something we saw EVERY season under Wenger and Gazidis. We don’t want to go back to those days!
They never did squad assessments, so they never addressed our weakest areas. Last minute signings that were only brought in to appease the fans, and strengthening our strongest areas, as we did with Ozil, was why we were a complete mess.
Things didn’t improve that much under Raul and Mislintat, but I feel now everyone is working in the proper way. We actually do squad assessments now! So it’s important that the club is consistent with this for future managers.
Now we understand the beauty of planning, why should we love the current process? Whilst a club’s planning needs to be consistent, a process can be interchangeable depending on a manager’s specific vision, and I like what I am seeing at the moment.
Since Arteta’s arrival, we’ve been getting players in with Premier League experience which was something we were not doing enough of in the past. This means far less risk when spending big, because you know the player has already adapted to the league, and the EPL is the toughest league in the world, maybe only second to the Championship.
I love the age profile as well. Not only could we get many years from these players, but it also makes great business sense with their sell-on value, and being able to better reinvest. We do need a little more quality experience, which we seem to be addressing this summer, but even then, it seems to be players in their mid-twenties, and not huge names, which I think is perfect.
The problem you sometimes get with a huge name, inevitably on that huge salary, is a lack of motivation. Almost a sense that they’re bigger than the club, and they don’t have to work that hard. We saw it with Ozil, and Pogba, and you see it with Neymar as well.
All our players, and the ones we’re linked to, have something to prove. They have that motivation. Even with Jesus, who we’ve just signed. One could say it’s a step down from City playing for Arsenal, but Jesus still has a lot to prove. He wasn’t a regular, often played out of position, but now he has a great opportunity to prove his worth as a striker.
I also like this British/South American alignment forming at Arsenal. We all love any British/English player, especially young players coming through the ranks. It seems to build a stronger connection between the players, the fans, and the club. Then we have the South American contingent at Arsenal, which may have more to do with Edu and his connections.
Not always, but part of a South American player’s makeup usually consists of a strong work ethic, aggression, tenacity, stylish play, and knowing the dark arts of the game. Just imagine if we can get multiple players at the same time performing like Alexis was.
So whether you like Arteta or not, or even Edu and others in the hierarchy, I feel we now plan properly. We have a vision. We’re not completely there yet in regards to having all processes in place.
The running down of contracts is yet to be fully resolved, and I would like to see the club be more demanding of good results, meaning less patience with players and managers, and even those in the hierarchy.
I fully understand, and agree with giving Arteta and Edu, and others, plenty of time given the complete mess they inherited, but now that we more or less have stability once again, I would like to see everyone under a bit more pressure to perform.
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