BIG RESETS AND TOP 4 HOPES – Le Grove – The Arsenal Opinion Blog

WELCOME to Thursday, it is a BIG day for The Arsenal, but before we jump into partido de futbol, ​​let’s talk about CORPORATE table banging e-mails, because you KNOW I love to nerd out about business.

Peloton has been the darling stock of the pandemic. If you don’t know about the company, they basically took the idea of ​​community, excercise, tech connectedness… and combined it into a suite of exercise tools for rich people.

Genius.

The product they created was sexy, it had massive margins, the brand they built reeked of eliteness, and the instructors they use to guide your fat ass through a spin class were sexy (and rich, earning $500ka a year).

Well, turned out that the good vibes and the mega stock valuations were all a bit of a mirage. Their CEO had run them into the ground. He wasn’t paying attention to the financials, he ignored safety issues involving pets and children, they fucked up their inventory, and they didn’t prepare for a post-pandemic world.

Their CEO is OUT of the door this week and they’ve put in a new guy who is like CFO royalty in the tech industry.

Are we keeping up with this boring run of events?

So the new guy penned an e-mail to the his new team and I thought the parallels to where Arsenal are very pertinent. Take a read of the e-mail below.

Similarities:

  • Peloton has an incredible brand and devoted followers (2.8m members)
    • Arsenal, as Arteta said yesterday is MASSIVE. Fan loyalty is a good base to start from.
  • The Peloton brand had overreached trying to achieve dominance with a leader everyone knew wasn’t up to the task
    • Arsenal fans in Wenger and us instead believed money in his hands would take back to the top, it started the ball rolling for decline
    • We then let a bad leader take us to hell in a job he wasn’t qualified for
  • Peloton had NOT been honest about its place in the world
    • Arsenal tried to shorten top 4 by spending lavishly on average players, hiring average execs, and bringing in managers that looked like they had the special sauce. They did not. Now we are cleaning the decks.
  • They needed to make painful cuts to staff
  • They needed to rethink the strategy and start again
    • Arsenal restarted a new reality last January

Peloton are trying to get back to the top by building out a high performance culture that puts accountability at core. I don’t know what goes on with Vinai and co, but it does seem like Arteta is trying to do this because we see the actions on the regular.

These principles of leadership are interesting, because when people hear about it from a football manager, they don’t believe in it, or throw shade at it.

  • Be stubborn on vision, flexible on details
  • Fast is as slow as we go
  • Talent density is foundational
  • Get real

I’m not really sure I understand the other principles, they’re a bit inside baseball, but the above feel close to where we’re going.

Arsenal leadership was stubborn on vision in January, I’m not talking Arteta here, I’m talking about the people who controlled the flow of cash. Arteta said yesterday, ‘we only want to sign players that take us to the next level, where we need guarantees.’ How many people with Pep G avatars were saying we should sign £75m Isaak? All of them. But that player is not a guarantee and make no mistake, if that deal went wrong, everyone would be talking about naiveté.

Fast is as slow as we go is a great principle. People might point at the three year plan for the title as being slow, I’d say that is just the reality of building back from 8th. The speed you should point to is the rebuilding of an entirely new backroom team. New scouts, new coaches, new academy lead, new data people. Then look at the player churn. We’ve binned an entire squad of players in two years. It’s been ruthless, but no one can say it’s been slow, even though people keep making the mistake of thinking Arteta has been here for 3 years.

Talent density is foundational. That has come from Netflix. They believe that in the corporate world, the best people do the job of three average folk. I don’t know about you, but I believe that 100%, I am not one of those people, but I admire those that are and try to hire them. In football, it’s not quite the same, but the parallel I’d draw here is that bodies for bodies sake is not the way to go. Ainsley dropping into midfield doesn’t impact our top 4 fight, Chambers is not a good right back, Kolasinac for 5 games is a death blow… all of them were training ground filler. Average talent brings everyone else down, you are better to have a small lean squad where everyone has a role, than a bloated squad of players that don’t hit the mark.

Final point is Get Real. The fans in the stadium? They get it. Online, not so much. The reality of the project we’re undertaking is it’s hard. Wenger was fighting for top 4 when there were only 4 decent clubs in the league. The league is way, way richer, the players are better across the board, the managerial competition has never been fiercer in the history of them game. Those are all facts. We’re attempting a rebirth with the youngest team in the league, with the youngest manager, and we’re absolutely competing for the top 4 which is would be deemed ‘ahead of schedule.’

But people have to get real, if we don’t make it this season, that isn’t a sackable offense. Getting real is accepting the only strategy for getting back to the top that would give us a sustainable longterm future at the top is this one. That means we’ll have to feel a bit more pain. We’ll have down days. We’ll lose games we should have won. But the upside is unlimited.

So where is the race for top 4? Well, it just got a little sexier.

Unai Conte’s Spurs luck train ran out last night as they fell to the MIGHTY Southampton. They were battered. They conceded 23 shots, only managed 3 on target, and they had a goal disallowed at the end of the game. What has shocked me is the pearl-clutching Arsenal fans that complained about Arteta getting shirty with Klopp are very quiet on the meltdown Conte had on the sideline. Anyway, Spurs lost, United drew, Arsenal have the chance to get the Top 4 steering wheel under control

This is the sort of game we’ve been blowing all season. The pressure is on, expectations are high, and you just sense that we’re going to blow it.

… but that is negative talk from a battered Arsenal fan.

We are hard to beat. We have shown ruthless consistency most of the season. There is no reason we can’t go to Wolves and avenge what happened in the same fixture last season.

Arteta was fiery in the pre-match presser, he basically laid to rest all teh concerns we had about the window.

  • We didn’t sign anyone because no one matches the talent level we’re looking for.
  • Arteta reckons he is pretty accommodating with players, but if the squad rejects bad behavior, he moves on the person pissing everyone off
  • He is happy with the players he has and he trusts them
  • Everyone wants to come to Arsenal, he has no fears about signing players this summer (which says to me the players we’re targeting know about it)

He was positive, the body language was good, now he has to show us what this group of talent can deliver.

Huge game, podcast later, big love x

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