Arsene Wenger could learn a thing or two from Inter’s Moratti

Howdy to all you Arsenal FC Bloggers.

I’m watching the Brazil v Egypt Confederations Cup game as I write this so if there are any spelling errors in this post you can blame Kaka, Dani Alves and Co. And just by the by, don’t Brazil just have the best kits in world football? Meanwhile, Egypt look a little bit too much like Manchester United for my liking.

There’s very little Arsenal stuff to speak about today. However, I did read a couple of interesting articles from The Guardian that do have some relevance to our dear football club.

The first is a news piece on the imminent signing of Ricardo Carvalho and Deco by Inter Milan. In the article, Inter’s president Massimo Moratti gives a very intelligent explanation of why they want to sign the pair from Chelsea that I couldn’t help but compare to Arsene Wenger’s “it will kill the young players” perspective. In it he said:

“We are interested in Carvalho primarily for the Champions League. He has the right experience, he is calm under pressure and brings experience in the defensive line. Deco will have two tasks: to do well immediately and to help Coutinho (a young, 17-year old Brazilan playmaker) mature as a player. Coutinho will arrive next season and plays in the same role as Deco.”

I can’t help but admire those comments by Moratti. Not only does he correctly identify the need to bring in experience to assist with big Champions League games, but his statement that Deco would be an ideal role-model for the youngster Coutinho is spot on as well. I have no doubt that the idea to bring in a Portuguese-speaking role-model for the young Brazilian is no coincidence, it’s clear that Jose Mourinho and the Inter bigwigs understand that it takes more than just talent to turn exciting young prospects into successful players.

Wenger could certainly take a leaf or two out of Inter Milan’s book when it comes to looking for a defensive-minded midfielder to partner Cesc Fabregas next season. While Alex Song developed superbly in the final third of last season and Denilson remains highly-regarded by the Arsenal coaching staff, it’s hard to argue against the logic that an experienced defensive-midfielder would provide the role model required for the pair to fulfill their potential as footballers. Gilberto Silva undoubtedly played that role in his time at the club but the Brazilian’s departure, combined with that of Mathieu Flamini, certainly left us light on experience in that area for last season.

At the end of the day it’s up to Wenger to decide what is best for the club, but he could do worse than follow Moratti’s path on this issue. The news today is that Real Madrid’s Mahamadou Diarra is up for sale. At 28 years of age and with a decent amount of experience on the big stage, surely the French-speaking Malian is worth a look?

The other interesting article I read today in the Guardian was by Portsmouth and England goalkeeper David James, who wrote a detailed piece on the role that club medical staffs’ play in contributing to footballers sustaining injuries. Personally I don’t have the knowledge to make any firm opinion on his criticisms but I did find it an interesting read, particularly given the persistent soft-tissue injuries our players seemed to be plagued with. I dare say that the Tomas Rosicky’s and Abou Diaby’s of the world might nod along in agreement with James if they read the article.

Have your say on Massimo Moratti or David James’ comments by leaving a comment.

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40 Responses to “Arsene Wenger could learn a thing or two from Inter’s Moratti”

  1. IndianGunner
    June 16, 2009 at 5:33 pm #

    1st. Also , you have to look at the spending constraints Wenger has to deal with. He definitely can’t afford to buy a player solely for the CL , or solely to tutor a youngster. There isn’t enough money to do that AND strengthen the squad in areas where it’s necessary

  2. John Muhindo
    June 16, 2009 at 5:42 pm #

    Learning has no limit,but every body has his own principles which make us different from one another,even nature matters a lot, yes iam learn from you but comes out is not the same as yours, Mr. wenger is aware and will suprise the world.

  3. jamie blacksmith
    June 16, 2009 at 5:54 pm #

    AW has his own principles and ego with regard to buying older players. He won’t change his style in a million years.
    I’m afraid his focus on kids and young players could ultimately cost the gunners dearly even though the next season has to kick off.If the next season mirrors the last season he has no one but himself to blame.

  4. Spanish Fry
    June 16, 2009 at 5:57 pm #

    This certainly wasn’t a criticism of Wenger or his transfer policy, let me make that clear. All I was implying was that in the position of central midfield, an experienced role model would benefit our other players in that position, not “kill” them as he has said before.

    I like Moratti’s comments, but I don’t want Arsene Wenger to change his policy completely!

  5. MYWAY
    June 16, 2009 at 6:12 pm #

    I think it high we all keep our mouth and fingers shot in complaining on buying a worldclass or not. We re just supporters, we have the choice of looking elsewhere that will give us the needed desire. We re dealing with Billionaires in Pounds and Dollars here as owners of Arsenal Fc, they are pleased with their game plans if not, they know what to do to bring the most expensive players to the Emirate, if anyone can correct me i will be willing, does it mean that Tottenham re reacher than us? they chunk out valuable cash to fortify their club, thereby making their fans happy , but ours is different. Shame I tag our investors attitude, they think of themselves more than we the fans.

  6. Graham
    June 16, 2009 at 6:17 pm #

    Before the move to the new stadium we where unable to compete financially with Manu and Chelski. If we would have stayed at Highbury we would have been even further down the pecking order! It’s a very long game the board are playing. Playing a buitiful game builds the fan base ala Real, Barca, Man U… Combined with the new stadium, will put us in a great position, eventually. Reality isn’t nice, people like to be given hope, it’s in our nature. Wenger will be seen as a great man in 20 years time. His doubters will be seen as short-sighted.

  7. Tommi
    June 16, 2009 at 6:18 pm #

    There is no reason to deny that Wenger is in no way perfect and he makes mistakes, he is human after all. However, Deco (31) being a role model for 17-year-old is somewhat different from 27 and 28 year old Alonso or Barry (or Diarra for that matter) being a role models for Denilson or Song (both 21).

    At 21, these players need games under their belt to become world class performers and buying a 28 year old player who would take their place for at least couple of years could certainly affect their development. I don’t think there is any reason to think otherwise and I think Wenger is spot on to say so.

    Now, it is a completely different thing whether Wenger should care, though. He could buy an experienced player to replace Denilson or Song, but it would not be made to support the development or to be a role model for these two, it would be made to replace either of them or, in the positive meaning, to bring more competition to the position. This is professional football after all and the strongest will survive.

    Of course, if these tactics would fail, it would mean that after a couple of years we will have an aging central midfielder to be replaced and Song and Denilson long gone, since they have had no playing time and we would need to buy another one. That, on the other hand, would be “ManUtdish” way of doing it.

  8. Fatboy
    June 16, 2009 at 6:27 pm #

    Great post SF: interesting and thought-provoking. I completely agree with you about us needing to sign an experienced DM, and I’ll be really disappointed if we don’t get someone this summer. Many of our problems last season were caused by the fact that we had 2 young players in Denilson and Song, neither of which was up to the task of providing adequate cover for the back 4, or the support Fab needs when going forward. Don’t get me wrong, I think Song came on a treat, but he’s still well short of being the DM that a team with title aspirations needs. Wenger’s no idiot, he would have seen the folly in not replacing Flamini last summer. I’m convinced he thought Gareth Barry was going to Liverpool and that Alonso was coming to the Emirates. That all fell through at the last minute, and left us short in that area. The media have still made mention of Alonso coming, or Yaya Toure. Both players will be too expensive for us, so we’ll be relying on AW finding a second tire DM that can step up. He’s done it before, we’ll just have to trust him to do it again.

    On the James article, I’m not too sure he has much of a point. Yes, it’s true that 20 or 30 years ago players were pressured to play when still injured, and cortisone was regularly used. However, with so much money at stake in today’s game, I don’t think the top clubs would risk the chance of losing out on a trophy, or not realising their full investment in a player by skimping on proper treatment. Anyone who’s done the superb Emirates Stadium tour will tell you that the medical facilities there are world class. Arsenal certainly couldn’t be accused of rushing players back- Eduardo and Rosicky are good examples of that. I think he does have a point though, about “jobs for the boys”. I’m not sure exactly what qualifications Colin Lewin had, compared to other candidates for the Arsenal physio job, but I would think being the great Gary Lewin’s brother didn’t do him any harm at the interview!

  9. Spanish Fry
    June 16, 2009 at 6:35 pm #

    @ Tommi – Nice comment. Very thoughtful. Ideally I would like to see Song and Denilson integrated more gradually. I don’t think I can see either as “whole season” partners for Cesc and I’d like to see them developed the way that Anderson has been at Manchester United. In my opinion he is a superb player and after he burst on the scene a couple of years ago Ferguson has shown restraint in integrating him slowly and I think long-term it will work well for United. I think the same principle could work for Denilson and Song and an experienced defensive midfielder would certainly help.

  10. Spanish Fry
    June 16, 2009 at 6:37 pm #

    @ Fatboy – Thanks mate, your comment is a treat as well. What are your thoughts on Mahamadou Diarra as a transfer option?

  11. Eric maina
    June 16, 2009 at 7:00 pm #

    I like your observations, however dont you think this talk of lack of experience is outdated by now. First, the flaminis, henrys, hlebs, gilbertos… have been gone for a while now and the lads have been exposed to quite some good amount of fooball-hours to earn the tag ‘experienced’ Assuming AW isn’t selling anyone, then the lads are good for the new season. One only needs to look at the performance towards close of the just ended season to tell that the boys are ready to conquer the universe. Whilst most teams are re-buiding, Arsenal is sharpening. Maybe one mid-fielder and a defender will do otherwise I’m confident that this is the season that the Emirates trophy cabinet will be the fullest.

  12. Fatboy
    June 16, 2009 at 7:08 pm #

    @ SF – I’m no expert on Diarra, but he has the credentials. Anyone who holds down a place at Real can play a bit. I guess if the price is right, it may be worth a punt. My only concern would be whether he’s got what it takes physically to thrive in the premiership. It’s obviously a much faster and harder game than in La Liga.

  13. Spanish Fry
    June 16, 2009 at 7:23 pm #

    @ Eric maina – Agreed about your “sharpening” comment. We’re only a couple of additions away from being a great squad – but I think experience is paramount in the defensive-midfield position.

    @ Fatboy – I think Diarra’s quite a physical player. Don’t know about his pace/quickness of thought though.

  14. TDP
    June 16, 2009 at 7:27 pm #

    I think Spanish is on the money. That is the one area I think Arsene has perhaps neglected – Cesc learnt from the invicibles, as did a couple of others, but many of our youngsters haven’t been learning from experience.

    Mamadou Diarra is probably the best DM we can get for the amount of money we want to spend. And he is a proper DM – he shields the defence, wins the ball and gives it to the better central midfielders. He is a specialist and we need someone like him. At a knock down price he is a bargain.

  15. Anicoll5
    June 16, 2009 at 7:57 pm #

    Sensible approach from Signor Morrati though I wonder whether we would really like Peter HillWood deciding who we bought and did not buy over the Summer

    The other interesting point is a club like Inter – who enjoy a tradition of producing and unearthing superb centre backs – being forced to buy in a player who is effectvely not even a first team regular in the PL and one who certainly over the past two seasons has been very injury prone

    And we wondered by AC Milan took Big Phil on loan last season

    Is it so easy to sign a “world class centre back” that i read Wenger should do week after week ?

    Seems our Milanese cousins are finding it tough 🙂

  16. Fabregas' Dad
    June 16, 2009 at 8:06 pm #

    Diarra’s a great player and has won 6 league titles in a row. He played in every game that Madrid won in their two title winning seasons.

    I watched him earlier in the season before his injury and he was brilliant and his forward passing has improved significantly as well. I don’t think he’d be too expensive either, maybe £10m. The problem is the high level of competition to buy him and also the fact that he was injured for so long last season so we can’t be sure as to how he will recover from that.

  17. certified arsenalholic
    June 16, 2009 at 8:14 pm #

    @ SF you post is dog shit!Wenger can learn Moratti?experience and tutorage is footballing 101!a 10 yr old can tell you this!n thats what you think Wenger doesnt know?what the fuck do u think Wenger does when buying a new player;write a list,pin it on a board,throw a dat and whichever name he pins he buys?how many edourdos,eboues,kolos,henrys,clishys,wilshires et al has Moratti unearthed?an yet Wenger should borrow a leaf from Morati?what is James outstanding contribution to the field of player recovery;pay the pysio a little more!give me a fucking break man!

  18. Spanish Fry
    June 16, 2009 at 8:25 pm #

    @ certified arsenalholic – I don’t really understand what you’re talking about. In no way am I criticising Wenger, I just think Moratti’s comments are quite interesting.

    I don’t really understand your comments. They’re quite bizarre and off the point I’ve tried to make. All I’m referring to is the need for experience in defensive midfield.

  19. jebo
    June 16, 2009 at 8:44 pm #

    i think he will be fine except i doubt his speed. by the way he was working great while he was at lyon.

  20. ALGunner
    June 16, 2009 at 9:03 pm #

    @SF do have to agree with point yes we have 3 player in the squad for an position that is CDM but none have the class right now because they are short of experience and marking skills i believe in that position. Mahamadou Diarra yeh he fits the bill for arsenal and should not cost us much. I always wanted Marcos Seena from Villareal because he is the player right now what arsenal require..Mahamadou Diarra is an decent bid

  21. certified arsenalholic
    June 16, 2009 at 9:21 pm #

    @ SF,correct me if am wrong, but isnt the reason for posting the Moratti comments your agreement with what he says;the need for experience and to tutor the youngster?..if thats correct and you insinuate that Wenger should borrow a leaf from Moratti, doesnt that mean you believe that this is a part of his transfer mentality thats lacking?

  22. Spanish Fry
    June 16, 2009 at 9:40 pm #

    @ certified arsenalholic – I do agree with the reasoning behind Moratti’s decision-making in this situation. I think what he’s had to say is quite interesting and a good insight into what is going through his and Jose Mourinho’s head regarding their signings.

    I fail to see how this makes this post “dog shit”? When did I insinuate that Wenger throws a dart at a wall to choose his players or criticise downplay his previous signings?

  23. sri666
    June 16, 2009 at 10:38 pm #

    well good point made in the article but considerin d amount of money we have for transfers this season (13mill if im not wrong) v just cant afford world class exp players just for tutorin the youngsters … inter can so let them spend …. but wats with gettin worn out old legs just for the sake of youngsters …. ever heard of exp ‘coaches’ … v have two of the best in steve bould n pat rice
    diarra wud be a grt buy for DM but v were interested in him last season too n nothin happened

  24. jay-jay
    June 16, 2009 at 10:43 pm #

    Well a fairly and rare long blog from me today so I will start of with our full-backs. Firsty Gael Clichy has been linked with a move to spending spree Real Madrid, however he was quick to announce his desire to stay at Arsenal, Meanwhile Real then moved on to Bacary Sagna, who surprisingly said he would consider a move to the spanish giants. I think they have a perfectly good RB in Sergio Ramos, they dont need Sagna!, while the 20 million would be nice, I would much rather keep Sagna, he looks so natural in the EPL and would be sad to see him go. Phillippe Senderos is heading back to London :(:(, but Roma, Villarreal and Fiorentina are all after him so WENGER BLOODY SELL HIM!.
    We carry on being linked with Vermaelen, so I hope we stop doing long transfers (Nasri, Arshavin) and hurry up and sign the guy, and I didnt even think of this guy, but we arse also linked with Hitzlperger (um the stuttgart man, cant spell), for 5 million! Bargain!

    Fabregas recovered from his head injury to play for Spain v New Zealand and netted Spains fourth. Well not as long as I thought but there you go.

  25. certified arsenalholic
    June 16, 2009 at 11:11 pm #

    @ SF,i take back the “dog shit” comment,but u still havent addressed the core of the arguement. when u agree with Moratti and say Wenger should borrow a leaf from this sort of thinking, its pretty infuriating coz what Moratti was saying is very basic;he needs someone to stablise the team and act as a tutor.my e.gs of Wenger’s prior great signings was to cement my point;if he has the genius to identify such prestine talent, it would be an insult to his intelligence to argue and presume that he needs to borrow a leaf from Moratti on something as basic as the necessity for stabiliy(team balance)and mentorship for Denilson and co.

  26. AR
    June 16, 2009 at 11:22 pm #

    Mahamadou Diarra does tick all the right boxes, but like you said SF, its all about AW and his “kill the young players” thoughts.

  27. jay-jay
    June 16, 2009 at 11:57 pm #

    @ Certified Arsenalholic – All SF is saying is if we buy an experienced defensive midfielder, then we have the signing we all so crave in midfield plus we have a player who can teach Diaby, Deni and Song the attributes to be a successful DM. As Moratti has said about Deco and Moutinho. In No way has he criticised AW, SF is a very big AW fan in fact and I just dont see how you got that idea from the post?

  28. butterfingers
    June 17, 2009 at 12:51 am #

    On this argument I really think after flamsters absence we should of kept silva for another year to teach song, diaby ect but we gave him an early leave so he can earn a retirement fund so good on him as he was an outstanding sportsman and he is 1 player that deserved it (not golden bollocks beckham)
    But does anyone think we should get viera back to teach diaby, berkamp to teach rvp, kanu to teach ade, pires to teach nasri and so on?????
    Diarra would be a great partner for cesc and if we lose song (most hopefull for the future), denilson or diaby because of that we will not of been any worse as the likes of bentley and upson can testify that if they had stayed they could of been in a top 4 team and maybe prem champs in 2010.
    And james is just shitting it as Almunia will be Englands no.1 in the wc hahaha.

  29. TDP
    June 17, 2009 at 12:51 am #

    I think people are just saying that Arsene hasn’t perhaps valued the experience to guide youngsters in the last couple of years. Arsene was reluctant to bring in the experience (apart from Silvestre…hmmm) as he believed it would stunt the growth of the young players like Song, Denilson and Diaby. He thought they would be better served by playing in the first team – the evidence showed that they weren’t quite ready.

    Barry would have been my first choice because of PL experience primarily and his versatility and ability to play as well as hold. But he isn’t a DM by any stretch of the imagination. Diarra is and with the options currently available to us at the moment, coupled with his low price and experience, he is as close to a no-brainer signing as I have seen in a long time. But I doubt we are interested for some reason. Arsene rarely goes for the obvious option and has probably had someone in mind for longer than the last few weeks.

  30. TayGoon
    June 17, 2009 at 6:52 am #

    A few things:

    First, we should stop writing about what we can afford and what we can’t afford. Arsenal is neither broke nor have a debt in the neighbourhood of what Manu, and liverpool(the whole club could be on sale) and not incurring losses the likes of chelsea do. We never know for sure how much we have paid for a player also. The club wants to keep it a secret and we should stop baseless speculations.

    2nd, Tommi is spot on, Song and Denilson have already tossed they training pants and diaper(metaphoricaly speaking), and between the 2 of them we have adequate cover for years to come. If they(at least Denilson, I know it is getting old) could shackle S. Gerard & co, Man U twice in the league, Chelsea, Vilareal and Roma’s highly touted mf, they are better than adequate in my book.

    3rd, The notion that Cesc need to be liberated to “go forward” is nothing more than a myth. He was liberated by playing him upfront with 2 people covering him and we all know how well it went. We should just let skysports hacks run with that myth.

    Last, Moratti is not a manager/coach. He has ideas like PHW does when he always comes out and say AW has money to spend and the manager says “I don’t say”

  31. Spanish Fry
    June 17, 2009 at 7:50 am #

    @ certified arsenalaholic – I don’t think it is an insult to ask Wenger to consider another person’s point of view, regardless of who they are. I love Wenger as a manager and he is a quite brilliant thinker, but he is not untouchable. To suggest that he should not listen to anyone else is very strange indeed, and to use the fact that Moratti’s comments are “basic” does not make any difference. It doesn’t make it incorrect and it doesn’t mean that Wenger should not take any notice of it. It’s simply an alternate point of view that I believe holds some merit given our current midfield situation.

    Cheers for the debate and thanks for taking back the “dog shit” comment. It’s very hard to rationally think through and discuss someone’s opinion when they start off a comment like that, so I’m glad you’ve taken it back.

  32. MexicanGunner
    June 17, 2009 at 9:32 am #

    Hey Spanish many of us were the entire season saying that Arsene have to buy M.Diarra this is not new!!

    I seen every single game of Real Madrid for at least the last 6 or 7 years and since Diarra arrive to Madrid like two or three years ago he was at a very good level, the problem is that Madrid plays with two DM´s and Diarra is better playing alone like he played in Lyon and he could play in Arsenal.

    @jay-jay
    Madrid want Sagna or Maicon because they want to use Ramos as a central defender.

  33. MexicanGunner
    June 17, 2009 at 10:14 am #

    Hey guys did u seen that Cesc get a minor injury today in the traing for a kick of Xabi Alonso and he might not play tomorrow.

    Too much coincidence that Xabi Alonso kicking again Cesc dont you think??

    Here the answer of Cesc today about the kick of Alonso: (in spanish) http://www.marca.com/2009/06/16/futbol/copa_confederaciones/espana/1245179892.html

  34. jay-jay
    June 17, 2009 at 10:19 am #

    @ MexicnaGunner – Ok thanks for clearing that up, well they will have to go after Maicon as Sagna has dismissed the news linking him with a move to Madrid. Sometimes its a good thing when our players are linked elsewhere because they come out and say they are devoted to the club (Cesc, Clichy, Sagna) and it just makes you like and respect them more.

  35. Spanish Fry
    June 17, 2009 at 10:31 am #

    @ MexicanGunner – That might be true, but he hasn’t been available at a cut-price until now.

    Also, could you translate Cesc’s comment?

  36. MexicanGunner
    June 17, 2009 at 2:20 pm #

    Yeah sure.

    Cesc said: It was a very strong kick. I try to keep traing but I cant. And the doctors tell me to leave the training and that looks to be something not serious.

    Then he´s asked about the possibility or being injured again by Alonso.

    And he answers: At the first moment I was very mad and I left to the dressing room very angry but then I think that this things happen in football. Actually I dont even remember in that moment that he was who injured me some months ago. Again this things happen in training and I just hope to be fit to play tomorrow.

  37. MoMONEY
    June 17, 2009 at 6:01 pm #

    Ive been a big Diarra supporter tbh. He would be perfect for us I think. Wouldnt mind Felipe Melo either.

  38. butterfingers
    June 17, 2009 at 6:26 pm #

    Does anyone know how flamster is doing at milan as if we could swap ade for flamini and cash we will be sorted next year, with a fit ro-sicky and dudu plus another cb and senderos for cover. Would love to see vela and wilshire break into the 1st team also.

  39. buy_vigrxplus
    July 14, 2009 at 10:48 pm #

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