I’ve been thinking too much. I’d say we all have.
Here are ‘6 thoughts on Arsenal.’
1. So transfer fees are going to fall. I’m not worried for Arsenal as Xhaka’s price may fall to £20M but then so does his replacement’s. What is going to be fascinating is the fire sales. Firstly, I think of the elite potential that some Championship clubs have that may need to be sold to help them survive. I recommend watching Ebe Eze at QPR and Ovie Ejaria on loan at Reading from Liverpool. Both look like what we hoped Alex Iwobi was going to be. Potential game changers.
Then you move on to players at bigger clubs. We need an athletic DM and West Ham are apparently in financial trouble. Declan Rice has some of the best stats in Europe.
If West Ham are in trouble could we get half price Zaha?
Players that we are allegedly interested in may see their prices plummet if their clubs need to survive. Are Leicester going to need to sell more than the ‘one sale per season’ policy they’ve had recently? I think of N’didi. You may be thinking of Soyuncu?
Two players that were probably beyond our reach may drop to the £40M mark.
You could look worldwide and I could go on forever with names, so if you care to do so, I’d advise looking at players from clubs in financial jeopardy then looking at their squads. Mings, Diop, Buendia, Tarkowski. I’ll stop.
2. Arsenal might be positioned perfectly.
Projecting forward, I’d imagine that clubs will either be more reluctant to spend or can’t spend.
So, what’s the new method of improvement if knocking on the Chairman’s door goes silent?
I’m thinking it’s two areas in particular.
Clubs will have to rely on their academy’s. We have arguably our best crop in most of our lifetimes with another wave (Balogun, Azeez etc..) coming through.
Clubs will have to hope their coaches can improve what they have. Regardless of what we think of David Luiz as a player, he’s been exposed to some of the most successful coaches in modern football. He, amongst many others, says that Mikel Arteta has the potential to be “one of the best coaches in football.”
3. Not only is Arteta being complimented for his work at Colney, but he seems to have the golden ticket.
Many coaches fail simply because the players lose respect for them or never respected them from the outset.
Without knowing exactly what happened this week, it sure seems like the players were divided almost 50/50 on taking wage cuts.
In swoops Mikel. Done.
Let’s remember that this is an area that he can only suggest not enforce.
I’d say Arsenal have a coach who holds the golden ticket. The one that all coaches strive for. The one that Emery felt the need to try to earn from minute one by asking the players to take a few steps closer to him (you remember that cringy video?).
The golden ticket is maximum respect.
4. I picked up on another aspect of coaching that impressed me about Mikel Arteta yesterday. On his .com video he mentioned that the videos that the players are currently watching on individual improvement are not given with solutions attached. He’s making them tell him how they would change certain scenarios. This may not seem like a big deal but most coaches I’ve come across are too insecure to allow a player to problem solve when giving them the answer and therefore seeming clever is an option.
5. Are we looking at Willian, Boateng, Kurzawa and Fraser because them being free allows us to go for our primary targets in other more important areas? If for example, we got Kurzawa and Boateng and sold Kola, Sokratis and Mustafi giving us the money to buy Thomas Partey by selling three squad players AND getting upgrades in Boateng and Kurzawa, isn’t this what needs to happen?
6. I always like to think what I would do if I was the Arsenal coach. During these times I would be giving daily drills and exercises to all my players that would make them two footed. I’ve never understood why this is not a prerequisite of a professional footballer. It’s frankly embarrassing to watch a professional player refuse to make a pass on the run because they have to shift it. I’d give an example but it’s almost all of them so… This would be easy and reap huge benefits as it’s the small details that separate these elite sportsman.
Thanks for reading my 6 thoughts.
Did this prompt any thoughts in you?
These 6 could have been an individual blog each but I’ve learnt something recently. I’ve learnt that in this time of difficulty, that I’ve been given a chance to slow down and prioritize my family.
I hope you are all well are taking advantage of this opportunity too 😊
Former Highbury regular. Moved to TN, USA in ’99. Married with 3 kids. Coached in UK and US for 27 years.
Mike McDonald Soccer Academy in Morristown TN, Olympic Development coach, Regional Premier League Champion.