The Great Squad Cost Thread

Discussion in 'Arsenal Talk' started by Toast, May 4, 2017.


Squad cost?

  1. Yay

  2. Nay

  1. RoadrunnerReloaded

    RoadrunnerReloaded Well-Known Member

    First, I am talking about Kroenke led Arsenal so from 2010/11 to present. Stop bringing up 20 years ago as the decisions made by the David Dein led board are completely irrelevant to the points I am making which specifically relate to what has happened to our club since Kroenke took over and our Board complexion completely changed.

    The best way I can succinctly summarize an answer to your question is by using Jim Collins' Good to Great concepts. Collins was long time Stanford business school professor and one of his extensive studies looked at matched pairs of companies in different industries one company which became "great" and the other which floundered and was mediocre or failed.

    They extensively examined the traits the great companies shared that the mediocre ones lacked. One key is the Hedgehog Concept. Now we have to tweak this concept a little bit to include footballing success and not just profit but the basic idea is this:

    There are several other areas where I think the Kroenke owned Arsenal falls woefully shorts as an organization like getting the Right People in the Right Seats on the bus. One thing that should be troubling for everyone is that even Ornstein is coming out saying that some around Wenger believe AFC lacks sufficient support structures. That speaks directly to not having the right people in the right seats and the fact Ornstein is even saying this is troubling long term.
    But lets just look at this for now

    What I noticed about current Monaco, Dortmund, RBL and Tottenham is that all have very clear and focused hedgehog concepts. Examples like Leicester when they won are more like they stumbled into an accidental hedgehog concept that worked but it wasn't institutional so it fell apart when The Tinkerer did what he does - tinker too much.

    For RBL for instance. You can say they have "unlimited money" but that is a bit like saying Arsenal's two owners are 2 of the 3 richest individual owners in football. The fact is RBL's "squad cost" is far less than us and Bayern. But they have a very clear hedgehog concept that starts with Ralf Rangnick - buying best, cheapest youth they can find and running a tactical system that benefits from youth and energy. This fits with their resource engine and their passion.

    Monaco is a great example of an agile organization that could have done a Malaga but instead completely re-vamped their hedgehog concept from sugar daddy model to what they have now. They realized they could never be the best in the world at sugar daddy'ing like PSG so they switched to what they could potentially be the best at - finding and developing youth aggressively. A Monaco squad that was much cheaper than ours bounced us out of the CL, sold half their best players, bought well, and then last year got to a CL semi-final! That is an organization that understands its hedgehog center and is maximizing it well.

    Dortmund rebuilt with Klopp's help on technical from a very precarious financial situation to far more stability while maintaining success on the pitch. Like RBL and Monaco, they realize they can't just outspend like their rich rivals so they evolve their concept to a mix of finding the youth and utilizing second tier older players to their best.

    Sevilla under Monchi is another example of an organization (or leader) with a clear hedgehog concept and the ability to extract maximum value from his transfers.

    For me its clear Arsenal lacks anything like a hedgehog concept. Unlike the David Dein led Board, our Board does not have a passion for AFC. That is a massive problem in Collins' view as all Good to Great companies had leaders that were absolutely passionate about the business. Then its clear from how disconnect Gazidis and Wenger's public statements of the last 3 years that we simple don't know what we can be the best at. Its definitely not scouting. The whole Kante example illustrates how we are miles and miles behind the best scouting. Its not keeping our players fit. This article was first published in 2012 documenting a decade of issues. Gazidis comes out and says we can buy any player except Ronaldo and Messi. Wenger undermines that by saying we can win league with the squad we have.

    Its pretty clear from the outside that we lack a coherent strategy as a club. We seem to be caught between pretending we are a truly Big Club and accepting that Kroenke will never allow us to act like a Big Club so we need to adapt our hedgehog concept to more like a Monaco, Dortmund, RBL model. By that I don't mean copying things but looking at how each of those clubs evolved a unique hedgehog concept relative to their unique situation and aggressively sought to get the right people to implement it.

    Our organization seems to value loyalty over competence, silence over speaking the truth to the public and stale consistency over even slightly more risk seeking excitement. We don't maximize the value of our footballing assets and we appear to lack passion from the highest levels.

    Anyway this post is nowhere near comprehensive and I am leaving out a lot of things due to time constraints so please do not assume anything I have not specifically discussed or that this is complete.
    zanwalk, BBF, tcahill and 4 others like this.
  2. Deathstroke

    Deathstroke The Terminator

    Needed to correct a couple of things.

    Five years. In that time, they've finished runners-up thrice, along with last year's 3rd-place finish. Certainly a lot better than merely "hanging around the top four".

    Sure, but they had reached the German Cup Final three years running prior to winning it, not to mention their Champions League Final appearance as recently as four years ago.

    Whether the respective leagues may be comparable or not, I don't see why you're downplaying Dortmund's recent achievements here. Let's keep in mind that this is a club that were nearly bankrupted 12 years ago, plummeting down the table and staring at relegation at one point.
    Gooner Zig and Batman like this.
  3. Makingtrax

    Makingtrax Arséne is Temporary, Squad Cost is Forever Trusted

    :lol: No, those weren't your exact words but it's a fair summary of all your criticism for the past two pages. You've pretty much pulled our club apart and said that other clubs are doing much better:
    And now you're getting indignant and pretending all that criticism wasn't having a go at the manager :lol: And you're also pretending you weren't implying that we should be doing better than finishing in the top 4! If top 4 is good enough, why are you being so critical?

    You my friend are slipperier than a bucket full of eels covered in snot.

    And stop calling me strawman ffs, you clearly don't even know what it means.
  4. RoadrunnerReloaded

    RoadrunnerReloaded Well-Known Member

    Stop lying.
    Stop making things up.

    You are making another strawman, not accurately representing my posts and my points.
    In fact its getting tiresome because you seem to like playing this internet game of making things up rather than having actual discussion. If you look at the Kroenke thread its quite clear I have discussed the issues that go far beyond Wenger for years.

    Which is exactly what you keep doing when you intentionally misrepresent and reduce my posts to simply "having a go at the manager" when in fact many things don't even involve Wenger.
    zanwalk, Mark Tobias, BBF and 2 others like this.
  5. Slartibartfast

    Slartibartfast Well-Known Member

    And Real Madrid sold Özil, Higuain, Di Maria and others. Heck, they got £22.5 million for Jese! The spending gap isn't nearly as big as it is between Arsenal and the Manchester clubs. Over the past eight years, Arsenal has a net transfer spending of £289 million. Manchester United has a net spend over the same period of £750 million. City has a net spend of £1.011 billion. Yet Arsenal has somehow managed to be competitive with those clubs and even finished ahead of them sometimes.

    So things are not so dire as some of you seem to believe.
    Makingtrax likes this.
  6. Slartibartfast

    Slartibartfast Well-Known Member

    Nowhere in the post to which you responded did I go back any father than 2012. The only time I've brought up a period of 20 years is when it was inclusive of the past 10 (for instance, I mentioned that Arsenal sustained a top four finish for 20 years, but nowhere did I go back to talk about trophies or any particular accomplishments from those days that have not extended to quite recent times).

    Now here's the problem with you application of the Hedgehog Concept. You're applying it to an entity in which profit is not the singular motive. Certainly the owners of City and Chelsea are not hedgehogs as football owners (although they may be in their real businesses). And it's really not the be-all and end-all of the business world either. It's just that hedgehogs are actually plentiful and Collins wrote from the background of someone who came from an MBA factory that churned out hedgehogs into corporate mid-level management. He came from a hedgehog world, created by hedgehogs. Hedgehogs are plentiful. Not so much the foxes.

    Do you know where Collins' idea comes from? Back in the early 50s a historian named Isaiah Berlin wrote an essay (an interpretation of Tolstoy) called “The Hedgehog and the Fox.” The Foxes, he wrote, are complex thinkers who tend to account for a wide variety of experiences and circumstances. The hedgehogs, he said, were people with focus and drive along a single, narrow path. Berlin gave examples of people in history he considered to be one or the other. Plato, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Ibsen, and Proust were hedgehogs. Aristotle, Shakespeare, Molière, Goethe, Balzac and Joyce were foxes.

    In the business world, the hedgehogs are the ones who keep their nose to the grindstone. They succeed through the avoidance of risk. The foxes are the creative ones. For example, Steve Jobs was a fox. He was a creative genius. But huge corporations sometimes don't assimilate foxes so easily, so Jobs was fired once the company he founded grew too big. The company was taken over by hedgehogs who diluted the brand, sapped the value and nearly bankrupted the company. So Jobs was hired back as CEO with a broad mandate for being a fox. The rest is history. Bill Gates, on the other hand, is a hedgehog. That's why Microsoft became so successful by incorporating the ideas of others into their own products.

    In fact, Stan Kroenke runs Arsenal as a hedgehog. He avoids risk. Some of the examples you gave of other clubs (Monaco, for example) are clearly more fox than hedgehog. Creative. Outside the box. But they still haven't been more successful than Arsenal during the decade of the 2010s even if they have a league title somewhere along the line. So does Leicester City, but they've largely been way behind Arsenal aside from that one glorious night at the royal palace ball.
    Makingtrax likes this.
  7. Slartibartfast

    Slartibartfast Well-Known Member

    I'm not at all downplaying Dortmund's recent achievements. I'm just putting the whole thing into proper perspective. Do you think Dortmund would have finished 2nd three times in the past five years had they been participating in the Premier League? There's no way. And Arsenal would have had a lot easier time with just Bayern rather than City, United and Chelsea as big spenders. My point is that you can't just say "Oh, look what such-and-such club did in that league!" It's two different things. And Dortmund has been hanging around the top four, just like Arsenal. Their records over the past five years are quite comparable, in fact. Except Arsenal is in a better league. If others had not been trying to hold Dortmund up as some shining example of success beyond Arsenal over the past few years, I wouldn't have mentioned them at all.

    And yes, Dortmund did reach the CL final in 2013. A great accomplishment. They even beat Real Madrid in the semifinal. But they also benefitted from a very favorable draw, playing Shakhtar Donetsk and Malaga in the knockout rounds. Arsenal, Manchester United and AC Milan weren't so lucky in the draw. Arsenal lost on away goals to the eventual champions. I mean, Dortmund finished 25 points behind Bayern in the Bundesliga that year, so they probably weren't the second best team in the Champions League. Arsenal wasn't by any means the second best team either, but had they gotten Dortmund's draw it could have been them. That's how tournaments go.
    carlito'sway and Makingtrax like this.
  8. BBF

    BBF Real name: Ragip Xh...

    Finally, a poster who gets it.
  9. Slartibartfast

    Slartibartfast Well-Known Member

    One more thing and then I'm done with this pointless thread. My problem with this argument is that some of you are cherry picking accomplishments by certain clubs in order to try to make a case that they've been more successful than Arsenal in recent years while overlooking negatives. So let me ask you this:

    Which was the most successful club during the first 10 years of the Premier League, Blackburn or Liverpool? Blackburn won a league title in 1995, then bounced up and down the table before being relegated in 1999. Liverpool never won a title, but was generally a fixture in the top four, won an FA Cup and two League Cup titles. Based on the argument being made here, Blackburn would clearly be considered the most successful club. But they weren't. Liverpool was the club with the sustained success, even though they didn't win that league trophy. And I doubt too many Liverpool fans would have sold their soul to relegation just to get that one title.

    So ponder that or not. I don't really care.
    carlito'sway, Makingtrax and tcahill like this.
  10. XDitto

    XDitto New Member

    As if we could have beaten Bayern 2 times in 11 years had we been participating in Bundesliga. Remind me, when is the last time we best Bayern in the Champions League?
  11. GoonerBoy19

    GoonerBoy19 Well-Known Member

    Spurs just blew away Dortmund last night, poch has done well with the squad. We have lot of work to, it's not just spending money we have been really bad in balancing the squad and getting right players for right positions. We were crying for GK & defenders, when we got them we got short on strikers. Now we got strikers and we are now light in midfield. Our squad is always incomplete, end up shoehorning players here and there from game 1.
  12. Makingtrax

    Makingtrax Arséne is Temporary, Squad Cost is Forever Trusted

    So all this time we've been debating I've got your position all wrong and have misrepresented you on the forum.

    @RoadrunnerReloaded believes that money money isn't the be all and end all in football and there are things wrong with the club but is not critical of the manager, and though things in the club should be done better top 4 is about right for this club.

    Forgive me, I have never seen this stance before in years of debating here. But just so I know then that I am a strawman and you are not slipperier than a bucket full of eels covered in snot. Say it and I will apologise.
  13. Makingtrax

    Makingtrax Arséne is Temporary, Squad Cost is Forever Trusted

    Reading your reasoned, knowledgeable, non frustrated well argued posts is a like breath of fresh air, a rose amongst thorns.

    Just knowing that there are actually normal well balanced people around is quite something. :lol:

    There's another similar poster @carlito'sway who started off in all the threads and ended up with the phrase 'take a chill pill' every other post. He confines himself to French football and the Ramsey threads now. ;):lol::lol:
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
    Slartibartfast and carlito'sway like this.
  14. BBF

    BBF Real name: Ragip Xh...

    Oh right. A club that has numerous final appearances, mugs off the best team in the league domestically every year and were three points from winning a title not so long ago are "behind Real and Barcelona by some distance".

    Gooner Zig likes this.
  15. Deathstroke

    Deathstroke The Terminator

    I don't know why people bother addressing this blatant wind-up anymore.

    Pig, mud, wrestle - you know the drill.
    Gooner Zig likes this.
  16. Makingtrax

    Makingtrax Arséne is Temporary, Squad Cost is Forever Trusted

    The 'nearly won something argument' is popular with you angry frustrated guys :lol:

    Bit like Spurs are much better than us, they've nearly won something recently with Poch. The facts though . . . they've won bugger all since Wenger won 3EPL titles and 7 FACups.

    And we've 'mugged off' our rich title champions three times in the last four games . . . but of course non of that cuts any ice.
  17. Mark Tobias

    Mark Tobias Mmhmm yes, I agree

    Anybody else gatvol of the smilies?
  18. Makingtrax

    Makingtrax Arséne is Temporary, Squad Cost is Forever Trusted

    Maybe we should have a forum wide ban.

    When I first arrived here two seasons ago people like @Jury would smash you in the face and use a smiley to soften the blow. Think I picked it up from him, like a virus. :lol:
  19. Mark Tobias

    Mark Tobias Mmhmm yes, I agree

    I'm just glad you know what gatvol means haha. Nothing wrong with softening the blow.
    Makingtrax likes this.
  20. Deathstroke

    Deathstroke The Terminator

    Smilies? :lol: No. :lol: Whatever do you mean? :lol::lol:

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