Championship Manager Fans – Part 2

Since the last post on our finances – there have been many comments saying that I’m both right and wrong in my judgements. The available £70 million cash balances figure that has been passed around needs to be clarified as it may not mean we have £70 million to spend on transfer fees.  Firstly, Arsene Wenger will not suddenly abandon everything he has based his team on. What I call his “youthful kaizen model”. Let me break that phrase down:

Youthful: This obviously means he aims to bring in youth instead of old veterans especially over the age of 28-30. He likes to mould them into players that he needs to fit his team not the other way round.

Kaizen: This is a Japanese term used to describe “continuous incremental improvement” often used in business or economics. He does not want to drop 15 players and bring in another 16, his priority is to keep these players together.

As I said in the last article, it seems like many delusional  fans think building a football team is like playing a game of Championship Manager. These players in the games are just binary numbers in a database. In real life – a manager is managing a group of men – not a set of values such as “finishing, positioning, off the ball and heading”.

Men or human beings, have emotions, wants of self fulfillment (money or otherwise), desires and other needs apart from getting the highest player rating on a game. They have families, problems and friends that all contribute to wanting to work in a specific place just like anybody else. Thierry Henry’s transfer to Barcelona apparently was a lot more down to personal issues as his marriage broke down than what was first thought out. He seemed to want a new start, away from Arsenal where his life was running so smoothly for many years. Obviously there were other issues perhaps including Wenger feeling the time was right to cash in on his prized asset but I’m sure there were many variables that contributed to such a massive decision.

Flamini, Hleb, Cesc and Rosicky are apparently all great friends so for Flamini to want to leave will mean he is leaving the players and friends he has been close to in recent years. Even though in recent times money seems to be driving most transfers as with most things in life, we have to step back and realise that it isn’t just simple values on a players profile that make them good players.

Players have to be compatible with a country, with a culture, with a particular French speaking team and not all great players do well in England let alone at Arsenal.

The original piece written by Nigel Phillips of the Arsenal’s Supporters Trust on ANR, summarised at the end:

“Of the near £70m of cash balances, £25m is unavailable as it is used to partially secure future repayments of the debt facilities and one also assumes some is set aside to meet the probable £20m of additional transfer fees payable on existing squad members.

This does however leave maybe £25m for the squad building (transfer plus wages) that appears all too necessary to sustain a season long challenge for honours on several fronts.”

Somebody made a comment saying I was wrong in my interpretation of these last sentences on the original article. This apparently meant we have £70mil – £25mil = £45mil.

However it’s really £70 million – £25million – £20 million = £25 million

The extra £20 million that is estimated to be “set aside to meet additional transfer fees payable on existing members” is in reference to the additional fees that are also present in Championship manager, things like appearance fees for players. Any football club or business would need to be secure, especially in our case and leave this money aside so that when the transfer fees are due to pay then we have the available cash.

People need to calm down if they think our squad is totally dire. We were at the top of the table for a long time with a much smaller squad, assembled with pennies in comparison to our rivals. Yes we through it away, but it wasn’t because we weren’t good enough. We all agree we need a few players but to say get rid of half the team, including our top goalscorer Adebayor is crazy. The guy is 23 years old, has played up front on his own for most of the season, works his ass off every game and that is what he gets? Yes he misses some chances but what striker doesn’t. He is still young, tall, strong, very quick for his size and good in the air. Yes he isn’t perfect and he isn’t Thierry Henry but he  scored 27 goals this season, more than double any other player has in our team? Torres who is a top class player has only scored 3 more goals than Adebayor.

He will improve, he will learn with time what the offside rule is and he will also finish better consistently. He has been an absolute revelation this season, scoring some amazing goals and being an integral part of the team. Some people can only think of the last part of the season where to be honest, Fabregas and Hleb have not exactly been as they were in the first half of the season either.