Criticism Of Arsenals Transfer Policy Is Wide Of The Mark Insists Scout Gilles Grimandi
Gilles Grimandi has defended Arsenal’s transfer policy – and insisted stats can never tell you everything about a player.
The former Gunners and Monaco midfielder is the club’s French scout and is currently tracking St Etienne’s Loic Perrin.
Grimandi, who watches over 200 games a year, admitted he felt criticism of Arsenal’s buying strategy which has left them short in defence this season.
But the 44-year-old insisted: “Recruitment is judged in the long term. Nobody gets it 100 per cent right. But when you compare the money spent and our performance, I don’t think we do too badly.
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“We have suffered in several positions through injuries but we are through to the knockout stages of the Champions League for the 17th time and we have already overcome some very complicated moments.
“That is thanks to stability. Now we have to be very ambitious. And for that reason the knockout tie against Monaco is very important for us.”
Grimandi, who won the Double in his first season at Arsenal, also insisted there was still an important role for a scout’s instinct above pure number-crunching.
“Stats take a greater and greater role,” he told L’Equipe. “You really have to put your case forward to argue against the numbers. In a club, stats give the possibility to exist to people who have a very limited knowledge.
“These numbers give security to people who don’t make brave decisions. That really annoys me. The other thing is that players are conscious of this change.
“Sometimes I wonder how much they are playing for the numbers: how many tackles they have won, how many kilometres they have run. It is not necessarily positive. I can win 100 per cent of my tackles if I don’t go in for ones I risk losing.
“I see more and more players run away from tackles and I think that is something that will carry on until stats start counting pulling out of tackles.
“Some young players who are very talented don’t have tackling in their armoury.”
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