I could do a better job than Arsene Wenger.
I certainly wouldn’t have sold Robin van Persie to Manchester United.
And this summer I would have destabilised Spurs, signed big players to build a new spine of the team and prepared properly for the new season. It’s not rocket science.
Manchester City, Chelsea and United were all installing new managers after last season ended but instead of using his years of experience to get involved in the market ahead of his top-four rivals this summer, Wenger did nothing.
He seems to have got it into his head that the season starts when the transfer window closes. That means no money was spent and no signings made to strengthen the starting line-up.
I would have done the following things: firstly, mess Spurs up. As soon as the summer started I would have made a massive bid for Gareth Bale, well aware it probably wouldn’t have been accepted, just to make sure Tottenham’s best player was unsettled all summer, give them a headache and potentially put players off moving to White Hart Lane.
I would have met Marouane Fellaini’s release clause at Everton and stiffened up the midfield with the big-haired Belgian.
Julio Cesar would have been moving across London from QPR – that was a no-brainer.
And I would have made a move for Thiago Silva, who was clearly unsettled at PSG at the start of the summer (everyone I spoke to in Rio de Janiero thought he would be leaving the French capital).
Had the board put obstacles in the way I would have threatened to resign and gone public so the fans knew I had tried to do the best for them.
I would then have had a wanted list of good players to beef up the squad (having got rid of the seemingly endless list of overrated, overpaid players brought in by Wenger).
These players would have been in ready for pre-season, and would have travelled on the summer tour. They would also have been a better bet to beat Aston Villa on day one, and there would be no nervousness ahead of the Champions League crunch tie with Fenerbahce.
I would have done all of this because the team needs to improve and needs to be challenging for the title and the Champions League again. It’s what the fans deserve.
This summer Wenger and Arsenal Football Club have pursued a policy that has left them uncompetitive. The club is taking advantage of the fans’ love for Arsenal and that is appalling.
Villa manager Paul Lambert gave Wenger a lesson in management this weekend: he somehow stopped Christian Benteke signing for Premier League rivals this summer and one of his new signings, Antonio Luna, scored a goal at the Emirates.
The side Wenger fielded on Saturday wasn’t fit for purpose – the fans paid good money and deserve some sort of refund.
Arsenal had a goalkeeper who looks bereft of his biggest asset – confidence. In front of him was a fragile back four left unprotected because the manager hasn’t replaced defensive midfielder Alex Song who left last year.
The best player, Jack Wilshere, faces another season of being completely rinsed because the squad is too thin to cope without him. Overplaying Wilshere leads to injury – I know that so why doesn’t Wenger?
The thin squad also meant that Santi Cazorla couldn’t be fully rested after his mammoth trip to Ecuador in midweek, and Wenger was forced to call on the Spaniard from the bench when the game was slipping away.
And up front, Olivier Giroud is decent but he’s not RvP and he’s not Sergio Aguero. The Gunners are desperate for a truly top-class striker.
I would have done all of this, so why didn’t Wenger? Why wasn’t he ready for the start of the season – again (remember the 8-2 at United in 2011 a few days before the window shut that led to panic buys like Andre Santos)? Why has he put in bids for players he knows will not be accepted? It’s an embarrassing way to run Arsenal.
The manager has a duty of care to the club, the team and the fans. The club are earning interest on the huge amount of cash in the bank but the team is mismanaged and the fans are being ignored, or even worse, taken for granted.
I honestly believe I could manage Arsenal better than Arsene Wenger.
He used to be brilliant, but he isn’t any more.
But Everton midfielder Ross Barkley was even better. He showed the same ability, but he had leadership as well. He did everything, including scoring a stunning goal. In fact Barkley’s performance reminded me of one of the greats – Patrick Vieira. That’s a big comparison but the similarity struck me as obvious.
He needs to do it consistently, of course, but on Saturday he showed all the attributes necessary.
I drove home happy that two English youngsters shone so brightly amidst a sea of expensive foreign talent (Fellaini, Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Nikica Jelavic, Steven Pienaar and others).
Maybe the future for England isn’t so bad after all.
I was in a pub with the in-laws in plush Richmond, south-west London, watching Manchester City destroy Newcastle United on Monday night. Mr and Mrs P are not big on football, so they thought it was weirdly hilarious that the adult male at the next table was in full City kit cheering on his heroes, getting exasperated with every penalty denied by the ref.
At the end of the game he stood up, turned to us, and said in a rich Manchester accent: ‘That’s what you’re gonna get from City all season. Pure class.’
It was a fantastic performance but here’s the question: was it more about City being good, or Newcastle being bad?
From what I saw there were clear issues with Alan Pardew’s side that he seemed unable to resolve. Newcastle were torn apart on their left time and time again, but I didn’t see Pardew even try to address that.
I actually rate Pardew – the season Newcastle had in 2011-12 showed he’s got something about him. But this whole Joe Kinnear madness seems to have affected him badly.
City were a joy to watch. But it was like Usain Bolt racing against Big Daddy.
Let’s see if City can play that way against an organised team and a properly run club.
Let’s see if full-kit Mancunian is still bringing excitable chaos and appalling fashion sense to the posh suburbs of London later in the season.