Watching our team get a bit of a pasting at the hands of the mighty Bayern Munich the other night was quite an enraging experience for me, but upon reflection in the morning I wondered why this was, as Bayern are a far superior team and pre-match I’d already decided the score line would read something like 1-3. It’s not like we all haven’t grown accustomed to the disappointments served up to us as fans on a weekly basis.
The fact of the matter is we are not even close to being the same level as this Bayern team, they are amongst the super elite clubs in Europe, clubs like Barca, Madrid and sad to say Utd. I think I got so annoyed because for me Bayern are everything that we as a club, should have been in these 8 barren years and should aspire to be in the coming years.
Like us, in 2005 Bayern made the ambitious move to a new state of the art stadium, compared to our move in 2006. Again like Arsenal they made this move to enable themselves to continue to compete both on the pitch and financially with the superpowers of European football.
Unfortunately this is about the only similarity in both clubs recent histories, since the move Bayern have continued to be a power house domestically, winning 3 bundesliga titles, 4 DFB Pokals (cup) and 1 DFB Ligapokal (league cup),and in this period have twice being unlucky runners up in the Champions league.
This is in stark contrast to Arsenals much reported,‘8 years with no trophy’.
So since Bayern have moved they have remained competitive and successful, how have they done this?!
There are a few reasons as far as I can see, firstly and probably the most important in today’s football is by keeping up with the super clubs in terms of finance.
Although they did move to the new stadium for this reason, I feel it worthy of note at this stage that, the capacity of the Allianz Arena is 71000, some 10,500 more than the Emirates, but they make considerably less income from match days. I believe this is called value for money, something we as fans do not get. I am no financial expert but I believe this article by the Swiss Ramble articulates fairly well where Bayern have excelled and we as a club have fallen short.
When that article was written, Bayerns wage budget was 158 million Euros and since then they have added some top talent in Dante, Martinez, Mandzukic and Shaqiri so a reasonable current wage estimate would be Approx. 175 million Euro (£151 million).
Our recent wage budget was estimated at £143 million, in comparing the two squads again we must ask ourselves, are we getting value for money?
There is a simple answer, No.
Bayern develop top top home grown talent, the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller and HolgerBadstuber and supplement this with massive signings as listed above.
After having a ‘disappointing’ season last year and finishing second to Dortmund, what do they do?
They go and spend £61 million on new players, that is what a top club that wants to win things does and look how it’s working out for them this year!
Also because of their success players do not want to leave and the value of the club continues to rise.
We on the other hand finish third (only because the teams around us happened to be a little bit rubbish), go and sell our two best players from that year (Song being considered that is up for debate) and buy sub-standard players as replacements.
We have been doing this every season for the last 7/8 so is it any wonder we are where we are at the moment?!
Buying top talented players IS the best way to be successful both on and off the pitch. We reportedly have the money to do this so why don’t we?
From a footballing perspective, there were times on Tuesday night that we did worry the opposition, but in reality they were never really that troubled by us. The main difference I see between us and them in this regard is that they defended as a team.
How many occasions early on did we break away dangerously and within seconds of us having a 2 on 2 situation Bayern had 5,6 or 7 players back behind the ball?
Or, how many times did we see our shots charged down by Bayern defenders split seconds after the shot is hit?
This to me reeks of, say it quietly, defensive coaching. They have a ‘defend the goal at all costs’ attitude, they work incredibly hard for their team mates and great teams have these qualities in abundance.
We have the opposite to this, we have players who do not defend as a team and who shy away from the responsibility to put their bodies on the line to defend the goal.
This for me all boils down to the point about defensive coaching, many reports state that there is a very low amount, if any emphasis on defending in training. This for me only does one thing, undermine the importance of defending to the team. Great teams attack well and defend well, we only do one of these and even the attacking part is debatable these days.
This all comes down to tactics, training and match preparation and until this changes we will forever be the Arsenal we see today.
Unfortunately I have to say this last point falls firmly at the manager’s feet, he prepares and trains the team but he is not getting the best out of them.
The manager being good enough has been debated endlessly on here so I won’t continue now, but leave you with my belief that for Arsenal FC to be successful once again we need to start being a lot more like Bayern Munich both in business model, transfer model and on the pitch.
Written by Lewis
Gossip has begun already and as usual, we are heavily involved. Defender/Full back Fernado Amorebieta of Athletico Bilbao is rumoured to be a possible signing for the summer. He has refused to sign a new contract in Spain and hopes for a move to England. His agent suggests that talks are ongoing with Arsenal!
Talksport are suggesting that we are also in talks with Barcelona to sign David Villa and their keeper Victor Valdes. This deal would cost £22 million according to reports. Well Barcelona probably owe us most of that amount!
In other stories, Wenger has his eyes on Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic, Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, Borussia Dortmund attacker Mario Gotze and midfielders Victor Wanyama of Celtic and Toulouse’s Etienne Capoue.
One thing is for sure, and that’s the board still have faith in our manager and Stan will reinforce that today at a board meeting apparently, so it seems he’s going nowhere, unless he decides otherwise….