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:

Jeff Stelling

Battle for survival

Jeff Stelling hopes Sunderland can scrape to survival like his beloved Hartlepool did this week....

Jamie Redknapp

Double delight?

A year on from 'bite-ban', Luis Suarez should clinch the title and PFA Award, says Jamie Redknapp....

Peter Beagrie

Transfer target

Beags says top sides are after Ross McCormack and picks his Championship boss of the season....

Latest News RSS feeds

Proud Butt expects reaction

Nicky Butt says he is immensely proud to be assisting Manchester United's temporary manager Ryan Giggs.

Four-match ban for Ramires

Chelsea midfielder Ramires will serve a four-match suspension after a charge of violent conduct went uncontested.

Martinez: Moyes will be back

David Moyes will make a successful return to management soon, according to the man who replaced him at Everton.

Sturridge eyes Chelsea return

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has confirmed that he is hoping to feature against Chelsea this weekend.

United face no probe

Manchester United acted within stock market rules over the departure of David Moyes, Sky Sports News has learned.

Features

World Cup countdown

World Cup countdown

With 49 days to go to the World Cup kick-off, can Neymar fulfil Brazil's sky-high expectations?

World Cup: Eight of England's starting XI should come from Everton and Liverpool

World Cup: Eight of England's starting XI should come from Everton and Liverpool

When Roy Hodgson selects England's starting XI for the World Cup D opener with Italy, there should be eight players from Liverpool and Everton on the team sheet.

Squad selector

Squad selector

Pick your 23 to go to the World Cup with England. How does your squad compare to our experts?