Tom Fox: It’s not about the best deals, oh, and it’s not about winning | Sagna shown the back door

by & filed under News Review.

Apparently there's a flag for 'Pride'... wasn't really suitable.

Goooooood morning Grovers!

So just when you thought football was solely about winning, Tom Fox comes out, for the second time in his Arsenal career and confirms that actually it’s not.

Well gee whizz Tom, nice to know you’re cut from the same cloth as our manager now appears to be.

‘Arsenal Football Club is not only about winning.’

‘We have a large and engaged fan-base around the world who want to feel as if they belong to the club, and want to feel proud to belong to the club. That’s my primary business.’

Oh Tom, pass the bad PR vom bucket this way, I have a deposit to make.

Our global fanbase is large, we’re popular in many places around the world, but let’s get one thing straight here. That’s off the back of winning trophies. Nothing else. There’s a reason Wigan don’t have a global fanbase, there’s a reason now, all of a sudden, you see Manchester City shirts when you’re walking around America. It’s all about winning. There’s a reason that a club with no history whatsoever is now selling quite a few shirts (Chavski). It has nothing to do with the warm feeling those shirt wearers get from the way their respective clubs are run, because let’s be honest, there’s nothing nice about how they’re run.

It’s all about winning.

Sure, I like the way we operate. I love the way we do so much for charity. I love how much the people who work at the club enjoy their roles and take pride in what they do, but when Arsenal fans talk about the class of the club to other fans, I can’t help but think it’s a security blanket. Securing us from what? The fact we can’t brag about winning trophies.

Be honest Gooners. What do you prefer?

A) Being a club everyone revers for having solid financials

B) Being the most hated club in the UK because of success and spikey players like Paddy and Martin Keown

Give me hatred all day long. Give me teams that come to Arsenal like it’s their cup final. Give me an Arsenal side that tears everyone a new one without revving out of second gear. That’s the Arsenal I love.

‘Developing young talent and finding those players in the marketplace make our fans feel proud. Whether it’s Serge Gnabry, who is a 17-year-old player in our reserve squad, whether it’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, whether it’s Theo Walcott, we look at these young players and have faith in our manager to develop them as the players for the future.’

Again this is another comment I have to take to task. Developing players like Jack Wilshere and Cesc Fabregas gave me a whole heap of pleasure. Watching the Carling Cup side of 5  years ago was a more exciting fixture than the first team. That gave me pride. Where are the players coming through at the moment? Say what you want about Chamberlain being a nice geezer, he’s not doing it on the pitch. He cost £12million. Gnabry? Looks ok. So did Theo at 17. Speaking of Theo, Tom, did you not check with Mark Gonnella whether talking about him was a good idea? Because anyone with half an interest in Arsenal would know that…

A) We’ve watched him flounder for 7 years

B) This year he’s looking like a half decent player and now he’s off

How much pride do you think Gooners around the globe are taking in watching someone cut their teeth in our first team in horrendous fashion, only to leave when he comes good (half good, let’s not get carried away).

‘When they see that we can attract — even though we haven’t won a trophy in seven years — one of the top global brands in the world for the type of money and financial commitment they’re making, that makes our fans feel proud. So our brand is defined by more than winning.’

Yeah, that’s right everyone. Tom Fox reckons you feel pride when we tie up a shirt deal. Can you f*cking believe he said that? Football fans feel pride when we tie up a deal to bring more money into the club we already plough a fortune into? I mean honestly, how out of touch can one be?

My favourite line of the piece was this one… because it’s like the manager has infected the commercial team.

‘It’s not just about finding the best commercial opportunity.

Sorry. Come again? It’s not about finding the best commercial opportunity? Did someone who probably earns a million plus a year say it’s not about finding the best commercial opportunities? Words cannot express quite how unbelievable that whole piece was. If ever there were evidence that we need some football people in at the top table of the club, there it is. I was with man behind Arsenal Addict yesterday, he has met with Patrick Vieira who apparently has said numerous times before he’d love to work with Arsenal but they’ve never offered him a job. Why, why, why?

Anyway, onto gripe number two. Bacary Sagna has been offered a new contract extension. An extension of one  year. He’s 29 years old. The best right back in the country. Top three in Europe. He’s played over 40 games in all but one of his seasons at Arsenal. His injuries usually extend to nothing more than a broken leg, which, despite someone highlighting this as an issue to me last night, is not a genetic disorder, it’s bad luck. The man gives 100% in every game. He’s one of the few leaders we have at the club.

We offer him a one year deal.

What are we thinking?

Thomas Rosicky, whom I love… not for his football, but for that ‘7 hookers in a hotel room’ story back in the day… has, since 2001, never managed 40 games in a season yet somehow managed to bag himself a 2  year deal.

Seb Squillaci. Who arrived past 30, also managed to land a deal of more than two years.

What have we learned here? Don’t question Arsene. If you do, regardless of importance, you’ll be out the back door, replaced by an inferior player in no time. The same happened to Gael Clichy, I was told he used to question the boss about what was going on. He’d ask probing question. Challenge techniques. He was gone. No new deal for him.

Someone I follow on Twitter told me he’d been agitating for the last year. If this was the case, we should have offered him a three year deal. If he refused it, at least we’d have done all we can to show we’re interested in keeping our best players. If Sagna has been agitating for a move, might it not be an idea to find out what the issue is? Then possibly try and rectify it. If my team kept on leaving at work, I’d soon be getting asked awkward question as to why. It’s the same in any business. Why not football?

‘Hey Arsene, your staff retention is shocking. What’s it down to?’

That’s be my question. I’d deliver it in a slightly sarcastic off tone because I’d know the answer.

My next question would be this.

‘Arsene, if we lose Theo and Sagna, how much do you think it will cost to replace them like for like?’

His answer would be…

‘We don’t need to replace them, we have Gnabry and Jenkinson who are very young, with more belief than a radicalised climate sceptic (yeah, I know where you thought I was going with that)’

At this point, I’d tell Arsene to leave. As the door shut behind him, I’d slam my fist hard into my £18,500 oak desk. He’d hear. He’d know my disappointment. My guess is I’d probably get a text later that evening asking if everything was ok (Arsene is insecure like that).

Anyway, the point is, we’re once again hemorrhaging two good players because of our lack of ambition. At this rate, the next manager who comes in will have nothing to play with. How can management oversee the total break up of our already wafer thin squad and not take decisive action? Or at least not try and wrestle some power back and put him under some serious pressure. Show him who runs the club. Show him the top management have balls.

This is another post that feels like I’m p*ssing in the wind… I don’t want my Arsenal back. It’s sitting there right in front of me with great infrastructure, a team of players who should be doing better and a shed load of money that could be invested into the squad.

What I want is the manager to manage. I want players to play and stay. I want the club to show they’re doing the best for their fans.

We’re not getting that at the moment. How long do we have to wait before we do?

333 Responses to “Tom Fox: It’s not about the best deals, oh, and it’s not about winning | Sagna shown the back door”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. TheOldGuard

    No Ric – im not content to let it get worse. I think things will improve.

    On that note, I better make tracks, train to catch..oh an dI apologise for calling you a cunt, not nice of me at all.

    Have a great evening.

  2. El Pige

    Another shit day at the office over with. Bet Arsene has never said that. He has definitely had a few these past 7 years. When will all the pain end.

  3. Cesc Appeal

    Think we gotta play Rosicky and Santi this weekend, one or other on the right and the other one in CAM, Jack and Arteta behind.

    Might as well just go for it. Abandon any kind of caution.

    Nothing really left to lose, dignity has certainly gone out the window already.

  4. El Pige

    Had our corporate strategy meeting for 2013 this afternoon. In it a CEO said he wanted our company to be the best and be trailblazers for others to follow. He said that our people are what makes us successful because we hire the cream of the crop. Standard corporate bollocks unless your name is Tom Fox then being the best is not important. Twat. At least my boss made us feel pike we were wanting to be the best instead of giv ing

  5. SUGA3

    El Pige,

    taking into the account that the biggest stadium income is in hugely expensive corporate boxes, Fox is a complete idiot, the corps want to associate themselves with success simply because it is good for business, why spend tens of thousands on a box at a stadium where the fans heckle the team, there are more and more empty seats and the success is nowhere to be seen?

  6. Gunner2301


    It’s not that Wenger doesn’t have the power it’s a noted fact that the wage bill is restrictive, which he has agreed with.

    Gazidis said they pay what Wenger thinks a player is worth in wages and transfers. Gazidis also recognised the anomaly in pay between the deserving and not deserving and that they wanted to do something about it. Maybe that was just spin talk to get the fans off his back.

    I’m not a Walcott fan but even I recognise the need to keep him being one of the better contributors. If it means giving him near 100k give it him let him sign a contract and sell him for more the season after would make more sense to me.

    I expect him to be sold in Jan and not replaced with Sagna leaving in the Summer and not replaced and Wenger will say for the 2nd season running that its the best squad he’s ever had. Wanker!

  7. BOOZY

    One thing AVB has done this season is make his fringe players like caulker, naughton, townsend, carroll livermore very reliable.
    And key players who were barely average like defoe and sandro have been worked on, and are now massive.

    wenger used to do this, but now our players are getting worse under wenger.

  8. BOOZY

    Seeing a player like cleverly who has half the talent ramsey has, perform more consistently is a shame.
    chamack, arshavin, ox…the list is endless.

    kompany joined city an average defender, but is now the best in the league, meanwhile vermalean came with a bigger reputation, but is getting progressively worse.

    players like jack, cazorla and giroud should not be subjected to one more season of wenger.

  9. sam

    if you said we ignored him as usual and went for the cheaper option (koscielny n squillaci) i will agree.
    i think he captained anderleight at very young age before moving to germany….. vincent kompany was never average

  10. BOOZY

    sam kompany was average, far from the finished article he is now.
    And he is also bigger in size.

    Another example is johnny evans, who was crap at first, but is now becoming a top class defender, whereas djourou has become utter shite.

  11. BOOZY

    players like hernandez would be totally useless under wenger. he won’t know what to do to him.

    he’d probably stick him in the wings for 2 seasons till he becomes crap.

  12. Gunner2301


    You make some good observations there.

    That’s when the alarm bells should be ringing to get the man out when perfectly good players regress under a manager.

    It’s either the man himself or the methods or both that is the problem. Whichever way you look at it this can’t carry on.

  13. supergunner14

    Arsenal stuff is getting too depressing!but to hard to let go of…..

    Wish we just had a manager and set of players that gave 100% every game,even if they was shit!

    But lies and excuses and half arsed efforts remind me of my ex.

  14. sam

    yes you are right Boozy

    i remember djourou being our best defender once then it turns to utter crap. vermaelen turned into clown.
    the problem with wenger is the assurance that he’s job is safe. he believes he will get away with this mess as long as we push to top four in the second half of the season. his bosses don’t bother with trophies and the players are not motivated to go out and win anything. they are getting paid for only 4th place so losing games before christmas is not big deal.
    getting rid of wenger alone won’t change anything, i really wished peter hill woods doctor will order him to retired from football all football acitivities including talking his usual rubbish in the paper.

  15. goonerboy

    Wenger is not mentally ill at all-he’s just doing his job-supporting the sustainability policy of the club. If anything is mad it is that policy-that a club can remain competitive by balancing its books by selling its best players each season and by buying cheap replacements.. As far as I can see Wenger is as strong a supporter of this policy as Gazidis and Kroenke.

    Wenger is an employee he can be sacked-it is the regime that employs him that allowed Wenger to grow into an unaccountable eccentric dictator that needs to be replaced first up.
    He talks to the players through the media-because its his job to try to motivate them-hes not the only manager who sounds mental after a poor performance-listen to Fergie.
    In reality a lot of Arsenal’s woes are the result of a massive change in personnel-and brought on by Wenger’s failed youth policy and over-reliance on chronically injured players.
    Walcott won’t sign-for whatever reason-and they are obviously concerned about Sagna’s fitness-2 broken legs in a year does raise some justifiable concern.
    Its still a huge mistake to show him the door though. Jenkinson is a very early work in progress-nothing more. Arshavin will be going in January as well. It is not going to get better sometime soon.