Blogs & Opinion


David Jones says quality not quantity is key when it comes to player transfers

David Jones - David Jones Posted 19th February 2013 view comments

Arsenal are only ever one defeat away from a crisis - but the crisis is always bigger when the defeat comes at the hands of a lesser opponent.

And so it proved after Blackburn dumped the Gunners out of the FA Cup on Saturday.

Their under-fire manager Arsene Wenger came out fighting, again, but a quote he gave earlier this season stuck in my mind: "Defeat can never make you stronger, only weaker."

Cazorla: Summer signing has been a success at Arsenal

Cazorla: Summer signing has been a success at Arsenal

But perhaps not for too long.

The timing of this latest Arsenal armageddon was interesting given the subject of our debate on The Footballers Football Show last week.

Our panel, which included the man who brought Arsene Wenger to North London, David Dein, concluded the new era of financial fair play could lead to a new period of success for Arsenal.

David Dein shrugged off the need to simply 'spend money', which is the criticism most often flung at Arsene Wenger, and instead highlighted the importance of the quality of recruitment.

David Jones
Quotes of the week

Dein shrugged off the need to simply "spend money", which is the criticism most often flung at Wenger, and instead highlighted the importance of the quality of recruitment.

"It all comes down to talent identification", said Dein.

And while Dein was walking the marble halls at Highbury and the Emirates Arsenal seemed to get it right more often than not. Henry, Vieira, Petit, Anelka and more recently Van Persie were not world beaters until they arrived at Arsenal.

So it's not just about signing players, what's paramount, Dein would argue, is signing the right players.

Scouting system

To do that, all clubs have a scouting system but we know little of how they really work.

Some clubs even employ a director of football to oversee player recruitment, knowing that, as coaches and managers come and go, the ethos of the club can be preserved by the man signing the cheques.

But it's a model at odds with the traditional British manager, who still sees as his duty to scout, recruit, coach and pick the team. And those who have experimented with the continental approach have done so with limited success here.

Damien Comolli and David Pleat are two of the more high profile figures to have held such roles within our top division and this week both join us on The Footballers Football Show to explain the benefits and perhaps highlight the pitfalls too.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Jamie Carragher

Carra: Drop Mario for Madrid

Jamie Carragher says Liverpool must leave out Mario Balotelli to get a result against Real Madrid in the Champions League....

Gary Neville

Nev: United not hitting heights

Gary Neville says Manchester United must not be afraid to “lump it forward” against Chelsea on Sunday....

Graeme Souness

Souness: City must adapt

Graeme Souness says Man City shouldn't play two strikers if they want the win they need in Moscow....

Latest News RSS feeds

Sky Sports Today

Build-up to tonight's Champions League and Sky Bet Football League games plus reaction to Man Utd's 2-2 draw at West Brom

Nev: United not hitting heights

Gary Neville says Manchester United must not be afraid to “lump it forward” against Chelsea on Sunday.

Souness: City must adapt

Graeme Souness says Man City shouldn't play two strikers if they want the win they need in Moscow.

Carra: Drop Mario for Madrid

Jamie Carragher says Liverpool must leave out Mario Balotelli to get a result against Real Madrid in the Champions League.

CSKA Moscow v Man City preview

Manchester City take on CSKA Moscow at an empty Arena Khimki in Champions League Group E on Tuesday (kick-off 5pm BST).

Features

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are closing in on Raul’s UEFA Champions League goalscoring record of 71

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are closing in on Raul’s UEFA Champions League goalscoring record of 71

With Barcelona and Real Madrid once again among the favourites for Champions League glory and El Clasico coming up this weekend, the rivalry between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo shows no signs of abating. There’s even a game between Argentina and Portugal in London next month.

West Brom 2 Man Utd 2: Five talking points including Saido Berahino, Robin van Persie and United's defence

West Brom 2 Man Utd 2: Five talking points including Saido Berahino, Robin van Persie and United's defence

West Brom led twice through fine goals from Stephane Sessegnon and Saido Berahino but each time were pegged back by equally impressive strikes from the visitors. Marouane Fellaini finally found the net for United with a superb finish before Daley Blind’s measured effort secured a point.