WHAT IN TARNATION. Just wanted to say that because it’s Thursday and I’m attuned to internet culture.
We have an ACTION PACKED episode for you today because many interesting things are happening. The biggest news to drop since Eboue rocked a tiger suit at the Arsenal Christmas party has landed.
THE BOARD HAS SPOKEN.
Sir Chips, a man who rocks disdain for the fans with sober venom (god bless yah PHW), actually drafted a statement inbetween goading poor people at food banks.
“We are fully aware of the attention currently focused on the club and understand the debate. We respect that fans are entitled to their different individual opinions but we will always run this great football club with its best long-term interests at heart.
“Arsène has a contract until the end of the season. Any decisions will be made by us mutually and communicated at the right time in the right way.”
So a few things to note of importance here. Sir Chips isn’t really part of the board, so don’t get too excited. He has about as influencer on Arsenal as you do on the geopolitical happenings in Yemen at the moment. He’s an artifact, buzzing around in the background, maybe at the very most tasked with finding a new supplier for dustbin lids. He’s there to ensure power is maintained by Stan and he’s merely a figurehead to give the impression of the continuity of ‘tradition.’
That said, as ex potilical PR man Alex (that other guy that occasionally blogs) informed me, the first rule of having a problem in PR is to NEVER admit there is a problem. You’re already losing if you go there. As we’re seeing in America at the moment, the idea of a problem or an apology is the biggest no of them all.
It’s still snarky. Taking a snobbish attitude about the long-term view of the club when they all sold out their shares to Stan K when there was absolutely no need to outside personal enrichment, feels a little bit hypocritical. Putting that to one side, if they think the long-term health of the club is in good hands when we’re taking 10-2 wallopings in the Champions League they’re kidding themselves. If they’re talking business, be real here, our commercial revenue has only climbed recently because of TV money, we’re
Putting that to one side, if they think the long-term health of the club is in good hands when we’re taking 10-2 wallopings in the Champions League they’re kidding themselves. If they’re talking business, be real here, our commercial revenue has only climbed recently because of TV money, we’re 7th in Europe with one of the richest stadium gate receipts going (important to note as Chelsea, Atletico and Spurs build new grounds that will elevate their wealth). United out gun us by £150m a season. Why is that? Because they know that a winning team brings in winning sponsorship deals. That is what good business looks like people. Don’t buy into the nonsense that Wenger is good for business, because clearly, he’s not unless you like losing ground to your rivals.
Anyway, back to the point. The ‘mutual decision’ is the hierarchy’s way of telling us it’s still not decided. I can’t help but think the way the protest was disseminated around the globe has added to the panic. The fans in full revolt, hopefully they’ll land even bigger numbers this weekend. The decision is on the table fans, do you want to waste another 2 years of your life on a rich old man and his outrageously arrogant view that he owns your club?
Asked if fan sentiment will affect his decision about his future, Wenger clearly states: “Yes.”
— Mattias Karén (@MattiasKaren) March 9, 2017
Get out and do your bit if you can…
Slightly less positive news if you take a read over at L’Equipe, they have an insider leaking stories of Wenger’s ‘great sadness’ at potentially leaving Arsenal at some point. This is slightly damning of Sir Chips statement, it states that the contract is on the table, the club want him to sign, but he’s aware of unrest so is holding fire. That approach might sound noble, but it has the impact of giving the club not time to react should he leave. That’s why Ivan should grow a pair and call time on the offer ASAP. Wenger’s feelings should not be considered. It’s negligence to put him before the health of the club.
“The results are not as expected, the supporters are angry but Arsene is impervious to outside pressure and has the support of the board. His sadness will be immense, the day he leaves Arsenal. It is he who will decide his future. His contract renewal is ready. He only has to sign it. He is aware of some errors, especially in recruitment.”
‘Some’ errors? Please. There’s a raft of problems Wenger has been pontificating on for years, this is more than a few errors, this is a systemic failure of a dated philosophy. Wenger can’t fix it. Well, unless you want to talk to failed Valencia manager Gary Neville.
“In a time when managers get sacked every five minutes, when you think of the Claudio Ranieri sacking this season, I’d love Arsenal to stand by him and somehow prove everyone wrong in the next few seasons.”
This is why there’s so little trust in mainstream media sources. It’s a self-congratulatory old boys club. Really embarrassing. His job is to be honest to the fans, not hide behind a code of conduct that says ‘I won’t ask for a manager to be fired, but I will destroy his credibility week after week on TV.’
That said, Wenger makes a wonderful point in reframing the issues Arsenal have had in the CL.
“In the last nine years only once have we been the worst performing English club in the Champions League.”
Imagine passing yourself off as an intellect and having the nerve to drop an argument that again tries to devalue ‘winning’ to a competition of who is the worst? What must our players with a winning mentality think to that kind of carry on?
Sky Sports jumped into bed with John Cross in trying to take down the clubs best players. The one who scores most of the goals. The one that carries us with his energy and passion. The one that’s made 12 assists. This time, they tried to dive into the sprint stats that damn Alexis.
Ok, so on the face of it, it looks shocking, right? There has been a dip in performance since Christmas. But where is the context here? His distance per 90minutes has dropped by 6%. His sprints per game have dropped by a slightly more significant 8%. Are we factoring in fatigue? This is a player who basically hasn’t been given a break in 2 years. He played all the games in the build up to December, was flown out to Chile for two games and brought back in bad shape. Then we obviously had the massive pile up during that period in which he wasn’t rested.
Is it not to be expected that there’d be a drop in physical output? How does he compare against other players in the team? How does his dip compare to other players in the league?
A more interesting stat was that he’d lost the ball more than any player on the team… about 100 times. He’s greedy, but again, when you don’t trust your team mates, or your manager, it’s to be expected. It’s tough to critique him too much though… he’s scored the most goals and he’s made the most assists and I’m pretty sure he’s created more chances than anyone at the club by an absolute margin. If there’s someone we shouldn’t be picking on, it’s him.
As with most football analysis, it’s pretty poor and it’s spun with an angle to provoke you to write a blog about it. Whatever.
In other news, worth paying attention to the fact Arsenal haven’t spoken to Chamberlain about a new deal. I can’t help but think he’s shown very positive signs in the middle. Great range of passing, drive, power, pace… and only 23. We could be about to make a bigger mistake than ignoring Gnabry until after the Olympics.
Spurs reveal that their new stadium, initially quoted at £400m, is now expected to cost them around £800m. Brexit has added 20% alone! pic.twitter.com/hwYBlxQq32
— Messi Minutes (@MessiMinutes) March 8, 2017
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