David Ornstein continued to go hard at Arsenal with a whole bunch of tragicomic information shared in an excellent Arseblog podcast… Wenger is indecisive, there’s no real planning, poor communication, emotionally charged decision making, shocking scouting network, neutered CEO, and a bottleneck that centres around one man… KING ARSENE… I mean, quite sad it’s all unfolding in such nightmarish fashion… also amazing to see a key journalist go rogue in a usually tight ecosystem of sycophantic reporters more concerned about earning a foreword from Wenger in their retirement book than doing some actual journalism.
A few points of interest here:
Why is someone so close to the club going to rogue? I like it, but the ferocity at which he’s going is intriguing. Whose hand is he biting? Why would you burn bridges, and if you’re not burning bridges, whose bidding are you doing?
He said the club will see keeping Sanchez as a win, because he’s a good player. How someone so ingrained at the club could pass off keeping a disruptive player that’s been slighted as a good deal is beyond me.
He still protects the club in a lot of ways. He says that Arsenal couldn’t possibly tell the world they were selling players as it’d weaken their bargaining power, particularly with Sanchez. Leaving 12 months on your star man’s deal weakens your bargaining power. To be realistic, you never have bargaining power with a 3rd choice left back, a failed striker no one knew about before you bought him, a defender who couldn’t shine at Boro, or a French right back who has had multiple serious injuries, or an exEngland midfielder who played well against Barca when he was 18, but found himself benched for Bournemouth. However, you can get good money. Chamberlain showed that. City’s final bid for Alexis was also pretty impressive. More a case of making up your mind early and working Europe to move them.
He mentioned that one of the key determining factors for Wenger’s contract indecision was fan reaction to him last season. He was warned how quickly it’d turn, something Le Grove has written about all summer (we’re 2 results away from planes and protests)… now the fans know this, hard not to expect the worst if things don’t pick up in the next month, they know they can get to him. Hard not to think the players might not be thinking the same thing… you know, get the old bugger out.
They also spoke about addressing the self-sustaining model. I kind of feel that this is overblown. Arsenal could address the wastage, sell some players, refit the backroom team, work smarter and compete with the biggest clubs in Europe (more on that later). More money is always nice, but Arsenal has so much work to do elsewhere before they can look anyone in the eye and say cash is the issue. It was a bit like me asking my dad for Nike Mercurials when I was a kid… they weren’t making me any better… BETTER GENES WOULD OF OK?
He also spoke sheepishly about the lack of funds the club suddenly announced. I still don’t quite understand how we’ve landed in a situation where there’s no money. Someone needs to explain that to me. Where did the sponsorship money go? What is that cash pile sitting in accounts that conservative estimates state could have seen us spend £90m without wincing? Where did the TV money go? What advantage does a massive stadium have when it’s powering in more cash than every club in the league bar Manchester United?
Something very is fishy going on… because I’m telling you, 22 years of Champions League football, sell out crowds, combined with fairly chunky commercials should have us capable of dropping more cash than Huddersfield (and the 18 other clubs that spent more money than us this window).
Call me crazy, but either someone is committing fraud on an Enron like scale, or Ivan finally convinced Stan K that giving Wenger £150m this summer was a really fucking bad idea.
As the American’s would say, we are a f*cking dumpster fire of stupid shite at the moment.
So what’s Wenger’s response?
To go on BeIN Sport and complain that the transfer window should shut earlier, whine about contracts (despite calling the contract issue ‘ideal’ a month ago), and make the case for more decency in the game.
Man who tried to sell his best player and spend £92m on a new one on the last day of transfer window complains it’s open too long. https://t.co/3AlrF6Lgy4
— Le Grove (@LeGrove) September 5, 2017
WTF is going on.
I feel like I’m watching a satirised version of a football club. This is Spinal Tap, but the story is centered on a dysfunctional management team in North London. Someone wake me up, and tell me this is a bad Ricky Gervais pitch?
Arsenal fans are still scrabbling about to excuse the mess. I compared Juventus to Arsenal. My prime goal here was to flush away the idea that we can’t compete with our resources.
Net spend last 3 windows:
- Juve £100m
- AFC £93m
- Juve £180m
- AFC £200m
The Italian club has reached 2 CL finals in 3 years, they are obviously dominating their domestic league, they play smart football, they churn their squad regularly, sell high and buy low, have a very extensive loan policy, and make ruthless decisions (selling Bonucci after a Allegri fell out with him) quickly.
Here’s a myth, their success has not been based on young Italian players. It’s been based on creaming the best mature talent in the world and giving it a new lease of life. That’s a strategy guys and gals. It clearly works.
Do Italian clubs pay less wages? Yes. I don’t see how any Arsenal fans can complain that Juventus can get away with paying less. If Juventus were in the Premier League, they’d have more prize money and they’d most certainly buy players in their prime and they’d still be successful. If Moratta was running Arsenal, do you for one minute think he’d be banging Kieran Gibbs on £80k a week? Do you think we’d see Jenkinson on £40k a week? Don’t be fucking absurd. Arsenal choose to pay socialist wages. None of our mistakes were dictated by the market. They were instructed by a manager who doesn’t understand value.
There’s a multitude of approaches Arsenal could adopt that would see them compete. We can’t go galactico, but we could be the richest version of Dortmund, Leipzig, and Monaco. Who wouldn’t be down to see the best young players rocking the league? And no, I’m not talking project youth. I’m talking about buying the Dembele’s, M’Bappe’s, Tolisso’s, Bellotti’s and Tielemans’s before they hit the £100m mainstream.
I’d buy into that. Anyway, that’s me done. Listen to our f*cking podcast, ok?