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New System More Important Than New Players

8 years ago
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With the transfer window finally open, we will spend the few next days and weeks wondering exactly who is going to come in and save us from our current plight.

I have spent hours on the Internet already and already ordered my supper for Jan 31st. We will probably wonder in equal measure who the players are and how much Ashley is willing to spend. The fee paid will almost be used as a measure of how much Ashley likes the club rather than the player’s value. However, it might not have to be like this. As fans we perhaps know a lot more about our club than we did a few years ago. We know that we aren’t going to spend big and that the books must balance.

We also know that ‘big offers’ won’t be turned down for our star players.

We also know that we rely on certain players to win us games.

This has always been the case going back over the years from the likes of the Gillespie/Ginola supply line to the current creativity of Cabaye and Ben Arfa. Take out those players and we struggle. Perhaps it’s time for a new approach, one that doesn’t rely on players but on a system where the players are merely cogs in the machine.

I’m talking about a system like they have at Swansea (perhaps even Wigan). Certainly Swansea have maximised their potential and got the best out of their players, one of whom was deemed surplus to requirements by us. They have a style of play that works. It wins them games against the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and can compete with Man Utd and not just every 5 years like we manage. They also cleaned up at SJP for the first time in donkey’s years.

How do they do it? Have they always played like that? Does their manager tell them to pass it and run into space and our manager just tells our players to launch it? Their players aren’t special and I bet they would look pretty average in our team. I think we need to look again at our 5 year plan, take spending out of the equation and build a system rather than a reliance on spending that won’t happen.

As a fan I would be much more optimistic if the club announced this was the way forward. I bet we could even buy the Swansea back room staff and their manager for a fraction of what Remy or whoever will cost us. At the moment we are just hoping for a big name to arrive and let’s be honest this is much less likely to happen now than in the summer when we were on the up.

It would also give us the attractive football we turn up to watch, rather than what has been served up of late. I know our manager has commented on the importance of ball retention but that needs to go for all of the team and not just for a few players like Cabaye, especially if they are injured.

So just be honest with the fans, Ashley and co. We are never going to spend even to the point of breaking even; players will always be sold so we are going to need to develop a system to cope with that.

We always talk about no player being bigger than the club but that needs to be carried onto the pitch too with a system that relies on movement and passing rather than spending and selling.

I’ll be absolutely livid if we don’t sign 3/4 players in January though!!

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