Morning all. Alex here…
Ivan Gazidis has won the super genius of the universe award. Yippee!
I can’t pretend to take as much of an interest in the non-football side of the club as other people. However Gazidis strikes me as a good guy who genuinely wants the best for the club.
CEO of the year though? Nah mate.
In a way the reasons he doesn’t deserve the accolade are outside of his control. In the holy trinity that is owner, manager and chief executive, Ivan definitely comes out bottom of the pile. He’s the Holy Ghost to Wenger’s messiah and Kronke’s Our Father (as an aside why does the Holy Ghost only make one appearance in the bible if he’s so bloody important?)
Wenger has a beeline straight to the owner, who is so enamoured with the Frenchman, he could probably pull off his toupee and crack a raw egg over this head in the middle of a board meeting and still get a pay rise. What this means is the guy who is supposed to manage the manager can’t, because the guy who manages him is in love with the manager. It’s an HR nightmare.
The other issue he has is that while he is passionate about the club and keen for success, his line manager, the owner, still thinks:
a) Arsenal is a brand of underarm deodorant
b) throw-ins win football games
c) fourth place is actually a trophy (he’s got 12 of them in his office in Houston!)
So what does this all mean for us?
1. Gazidis has no power to effectively manage and hold to account the footballing side of the club which has been in slow decline for a while.
2. He also has no power to improve the fan experience by lowering ticket prices, getting fans and ex players more involved in how the club is run and improving the match day experience, because all the owner cares about is the slow appreciation in value of one of the many assets in his investment portfolio.
There is stuff he has tried to do to force a change. However his pr wars with Arsene over transfer warchests usually end up burning him because Arsene doesn’t blink. When you run round telling the world you have £100 million in the bank and the only acquisition your manager makes is Kim Kallstrom on loan, you end up with quite a lot of egg on your face.
I am sure there are lots of great things he does do outside of this and, as I said, nearly of all of the criticism he receives is because he is actually stuck between a rock and a hard place. However from the point of view of a fan, Arsenal’s match day experience is toilet, the football is getting worse and ticket prices continue to go up.
In my eyes that is not worthy of any award.
In other news our best defender is now out for another 3-4 weeks (read 6-9 months). Koscielny had been suffering with chronic tendinitis of both achilles tendons for several months. I mean what can you say? The world and his dog knew we needed another defender before the start of the season, however Arsene hoped to muddle through again.
Yet more glaring evidence that the manager’s insistence on flogging the same small group of players is not only harming the team but them as individuals. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mertesacker is next. The guy is dead on his feet having played a whole world cup and now expected to carry the team defensively. The only plus side is that a long term injury might prevent Koscielny’s sale to Bayern Munich in the summer.
3 more years. 3 more years. Lather, rinse, repeat. You can follow me on twitter @aldo_doel