Our man Shard has been thinking and writing
Since Sven Mislintat mysteriously decided to walk away, Arsenal have had no one in charge of strategically overseeing the recruitment at the club. This means not just identifying talent, but building a squad keeping in mind the club philosophy, administrative issues of age, homegrown status, and financial budgets, and long term plans.
Whether the (as good as) vacant position was the reason behind the January window fiasco or not, it’s hard to say from the outside. However, Arsenal certainly recognise the need of having someone in the role. It seems the rumour mill has turned full circle and is back to Edu – the former Invincible and current Brazilian national team coordinator – as the favourite to take over as Technical Director. Francis Cagigao will also be the Head of Recruitment. Honestly, I don’t know who does what in such a structure.
But regardless of who is calling the shots, this will be an important summer for Arsenal. With or without CL football, we need to up the quality of our play and of our squad, ensuring we’re strong enough to withstand the rigours of the season, and are flying high at the end of it. There’s a few ways of going about this, and I’ve taken the trouble to list 5 options below.
The Ostrich Option:
Do nothing. It’ll be alright. Problems tend to go away on their own. But lash out at the first target you spot and throw your weight around. The high wage bill must go! Sell the players you can, and stomp on those you can’t. You are an ostrich with razor sharp claws after all. May not be the most productive thing to do, but activity is good for keeping the blood flowing, and keep the remaining watchers entertained. Some might even bow their heads and pray for a miracle along with you.
The Crow Option:
Scavenge! Get the players you can find on the cheap. Send out your murder to bring you the chewed up carcasses of unwanted players hoping there’s enough meat on them. Work smart not hard! Take the easy pickings available from the agents’ own stables. Hopefully by the end you have a belly that is full, but not bloated by an unhealthy diet.
The Butterfly Option:
Store yourself away for a period of quiet contemplation and reflection. Don’t worry about the outside world. Take your time, grow, and when you’re ready, emerge, transformed into something more beautiful than you were. Fill the gaps primarily through the academy. Bring in players under 21 through the market, and get them all playing together. You may not get to zoom off into the stratosphere, but you will flutter your wings and fly.
The Peacock option:
Strut your stuff! Make it rain, baby. Make use of all the resources you have. The stats, scouts, agent contacts, and above all, the $$$. Use the treasure you’ve collected over the years. Cover yourself in fine jewellery. Redefine opulence. Fill all your squad needs by recruiting from among the best available players, and maybe even some that aren’t.
The Phoenix option:
Burn. Set yourself on fire. Let people mourn the loss of what is and what once was. But, and here’s the tricky part, re-emerge as the beautiful, mythical creature that you are. Find inspiration in the golden past. Reanimate, and radiate the joy, wonder, and warmth to all lucky enough to watch you. Clear house of those that don’t belong. Appoint a visionary coach that knows and plays the Arsenal way. Make signings that suit your philosophy. Aim to make it to the top within the next 3 years.