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:

Latest News RSS feeds

Premier League round-up

Southampton moved into second in the Premier League on a bad day for champions Manchester City.

Bony double beats Leicester

Wilfried Bony's brace helped Swansea seal their first win in six Premier League games with a 2-0 win against Leicester.

Real romp to Clasico victory

Real Madrid staged a stunning El Clasico fightback to overcome arch-rivals Barcelona 3-1 at Santiago Bernabeu.

Sanchez seals Arsenal win

Costly errors from Wes Brown and Vito Mannone helped Alexis Sanchez to a brace in a 2-0 win for Arsenal at Sunderland.

West Ham dent City title hopes

West Ham put a severe dent in Manchester City's title aspirations after earning a deserved 2-1 win at Upton Park.

Features

Manchester City defender Eliaquim Mangala still finding his feet in the Premier League but time is of the essence

Manchester City defender Eliaquim Mangala still finding his feet in the Premier League but time is of the essence

A frustrating week for Manuel Pellegrini was compounded by Manchester City's 2-1 defeat at Upton Park as Diafra Sakho secured three points for West Ham with his sixth strike in seven Premier League matches.

Manchester United v Chelsea: If Jose Mourinho's team go to Old Trafford and win the Invincibles talk will be no joke

Manchester United v Chelsea: If Jose Mourinho's team go to Old Trafford and win the Invincibles talk will be no joke

Cesc Fabregas was adamant when asked the question. Could Chelsea remain unbeaten? “No, no, this is a joke. This is a joke. There will only be one team who can do that - the Arsenal Invincibles team of 2003.” Respectful of his former club’s achievement and downplaying expectations.

Louis van Gaal versus Jose Mourinho: In their own words and the words of the players who know them both well

Louis van Gaal versus Jose Mourinho: In their own words and the words of the players who know them both well

Sir Bobby Robson is rightly credited as the man who helped launch Jose Mourinho’s astonishing career, but when the veteran manager was moved upstairs at Barcelona in 1997, the future of his Portuguese coach was uncertain.