Kind of weird that despite us taking a beating from Spurs, I’m not particularly fussed. I’ve spoken to a few Gooners who feel the same. Outside the obvious pain of losing to Spurs, the inevitability of that game going sour for us has kind of taken the edge off the result. That, and the fact I know the players probably won’t be too fussed also helped with the mental rehabilitation I’ve gone through.
It’s interesting to read people deflecting the attention away from the manager. For the life of me I can’t understand why Stan Kroenke keeps cropping up into conversation as the main issue at the club. People seem incapable of making up there mind. When Stan joined the club, the excitement was all centred around his hands off approach and his back ground in Sport. He tapped into the sustainable business model and that was far better than us having to deal with an Abramovich.
So what’s happened? He purchased the club, he’s sat back and not interfered… now he’s the worst thing to happen to the club since Eboue came on against Wigan? So he doesn’t come to games… big deal. The Glazers don’t go to United games. So he doesn’t interfere? Good. We don’t want someone who interferes. That way, you know that if it’s all going down the toilet, you have two central figures you can pin your concerns on. Ivan and the manager.
Now,the issue I think Stan and Ivan are facing at the moment is the big one… how do you fire a man who has been at the club for 16 years? If you don’t fire him, how do you coerce him into becoming a more modern manager. How do you tell a manager who thinks he knows best on everything that there might be a better way? Now, Stan and Ivan will be totally concerned with how they look out of this. You don’t want to go down in English sporting history as the two guys who sacked the greatest manager the team has ever had… and you don’t want to be the interfering reason the manager resigns in the summer.
Well, not if you’re those two at least. I’d be more than happy to make a bold decision if I could see clearly things had gone down the toilet with no chance of return.
That’s why the next few weeks are pivotal. The fans can give Ivan the strength to make a decision. If there is continued discontent in the stadium and those club level and box tickets struggle to shift, Ivan has a playing reason and a business case to go to Wenger with.
Remember… our business model is built on rich corporates investing in 5 year box deals. To get people to part with that sort of cash, you need a successful side.
So when I read people slating Stan Kroenke, all I can think of is they’re slating him for not coming down tougher on Arsene Wenger. It makes little sense for Stan to oversee an unsuccessful team. The value of the club will tumble and to get it back to where it needs to be, he’ll have to shell out money from his own pocket. Dropping out of the Champions League, which hasn’t happened yet, could be very contentious.
How the fans react, particularly the corporates, over the next few weeks will be decisive in whatever happens with Arsene this summer.
There was a Radio 5 interview that everyone is talking about this morning that highlights the lack of power Bould has at the club, it’s something I wrote about in December so it’s nothing new, but it does once again focus the light on the deep seated problems the club has at the moment. When the control freak trying to dig you out of a hole is a man well past his best, you’re never going to get out of that hole… well, you might cling to the edge, but you’ll never escape it.
It’s interesting that even on just a pure coaching level, Wenger seems to be in decline. If you look at some of the players we’ve got at the club at the moment, then plot how they’ve improved, you have a pretty bleak picture.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a huge fan of his before he came over… but Eden Hazard said he was the best player in France when he was there. Big words. He arrives over here, we all think we’ve landed a gem, then he slowly unravels in front of our eyes over the course of two seasons. Then he goes to the AFCON, plays really well… only to return a mess again. The big issue here… he’s regressed.
I had a quote in The Mirror about this guy asking where our priorities were when we signed him… you know, because we hadn’t signed a centre back of experience when we badly needed one, yet we could dig out £14m for a kid. I was hounded by people about this comment because we’d signed the next major player in football, yep, a player on Rooney’s level. So what’s happened? We’ve seen him play well, what, four times? Now he doesn’t get a look in. It’s like he’s on Wenger’s naughty list. When he arrived he had the movement, he had guts, he was happy to have a dig from range… now we have a player who is scared to take anyone on, who looks like he’s lost his pace and he looks scared on the pitch. The lad looks broken. Now, he has talent, that much is clear… but he’s shown no signs of improvement in two years.
This is another chap who seems to be going backwards. Sure he’s popped up with a few goals, but considering the impact he had in Germany last year, you’d have to say his performances have been tepid. Was he really as demotivated playing in Germany when he banged in all those goals last year. Was he really as clueless positionally? I appreciate it’s his first season here, but I’ve been really disappointed in him considering the reputation he arrived with.
There are countless other stories of Gooner regression. Is it just bad luck, or are there deeper lying issues. I mean, I haven’t even touched on Ramsey. The boy just doesn’t seem to be improving. He makes the same mistakes over and over again and it’s horrible to watch… because he looks like a really nice lad and he tries so hard. Throw in Chamakh, Andrey Arshavin, Mertesacker, Koscielny and Sagna into the mix and things are looking pretty bad.
Not to mention our lack of success in bringing youth through to the top level…
Anyway, that’s enough words from me.
What are your thoughts?
See you in the comments.