Thought it's fairly obvious what he does and what his remit is.
He's responsible for recruitment, scouting and long term value of the squad. Basically authority on player trading, with a view to increasing the value of the squad through transfers.
From there each DoF and manager has a different relationship, with some DoF more willing to bend or accomodate.
But Giroud is a fairly obvious bone of contention for a DoF. He's going to cost a fair amount of money and he's going to take time away from young players who could be developing. At the end he will have minimal resale value.
I think the best way to judge Walsh is on the transfers. All of them, because ultimately he is not just individually responsible in most cases, but holistically responsible.
I think we are in a similar period to other teams before who have done wholesale changes to first team squad. There is little identity or cohesion and it falls apart every way you cut it.
But I think in terms of Walsh remit, I think he's identified a lot of young talented players.
Last summer we signed established players, Williams, Gana, Bolasie. But in Jan we added Lookman and DCL. This summer we've added Pickford, Keane, Klaassen, Vlasic, Sandro, Onyekuru. All players intended to go into first team, but their first major move.
I don't see Cuco, Rooney or Sigurdsson as our problems. Rooney has chipped in with goals, and we shouldn't have been expecting him to carry the team and I'd rather he stopped trying to same extent. Sigurdsson looks a turd in the punch bowl because of the fee, but actually he's a very useful player if used to his strengths. Cuco has got a fair amount of stick, because Koeman liked him, but he cost next to sod all and he's got an engine that allows us to link play, I've seen worse defenders.
I think time will prove that Walsh acquired good players, I think for Koeman, there just wasn't enough off the shelf options immediately. Part of Walsh's remit is to look at development and longer term to avoid too many Rooney's, Giroud's coming in. We've got a lot of more experienced players since Walsh's arrival, so it's not like he's averse to experience. About half the players we've bought have been 26 or over.
Fucking excellent post sir! I feel compelled to thank you for it. This has laid out to me in a well thought out and structured way what Walsh is probably tasked with. Makes sense.
I still wonder though how he is measured. What are the indicators of how good a job he is doing? I think there are probably quite a few areas he will be judged against, not all of them complimentary so I think it may be quite difficult to measure exactly how successful he's being:
Value of squad against money spent
Age of squad
Success of individuals brought in
Success of first team as a whole
Position of team in table against last year
Depth of squad per position
Successful aquisitions of Tier 1 targets against 2nd, 3rd, 4th choices
It doesn't seem to be a straightforward role to measure. He may have brought in a player who has been great individually but use of that player by the manager could fuck up the shape and be a detriment overall to the team performance. We've seen it before where you have one really good player but the team play better without him.
It may be that he failed to get the first choice target for a position - bad mark for Steve - but the alternative he brought in could have been a real success - good work Steve!
The position of the squad could be improved by a couple of established players but then the value of the squad and the age of the squad have gone further away from where we want to be.
I think it's a real balancing act, even contradictory at times, so with respect to the thread title - I think something this complex needs a lot more time to get right and with the right person in the role (fingers crossed we have that) it should improve year on year - but if we sack too quickly, I think we take big steps backwards and the next person has to start almost from scratch.
It seems to me from Ridge's post that this is a role that should be judged over 5 years rather than 1. I know - that makes me nervous too - 5 years is a long time to be doing it wrong - but I don't think we can see too much wrong apart from 1 area - league position - and that is more directly affected by the manager.
Let's hope the good stuff we have seen from this year is improved on each window.