Oh my, tings be heating up in tha red hot kitchen that is Arsenal!
Matt Law, of Telegraph fame dropped a story yesterday that amounted to what I’d call a very high level leak. The jist of his story is that Arsenal coaching staff are dismayed by the tactics put forward by Arsenal. Quite an amazing piece. Why? Well, Arsenal don’t generally suffer from leaks that you’d classify as disruptive. Also, Matt is a Telegraph journo, he wouldn’t be making stuff up and he wouldn’t be seeding stories that could potentially damage his ability to gain future stories.
My guess, that leak has come from somewhere very reliable. I can’t remember a leak that substantial for years. Like I said yesterday, the players know exactly how bad it is and so do the coaching staff and so do the management at the club. The iron wall at Arsenal is starting to crack because people are bored of it all. It also feels like it’s come from somewhere reasonably high level because of the transfer storie slipped in after. It’s a bit of a shit sandwich.
‘It’s terrible at Arsenal, but everyone bar Arsene knows it. Oh, and to top of this shit sandwich, we are looking to spend some money on 3rd rate defenders’
All very interesting.
The tide is turning on Arsene Wenger. Finally.
I read a quote from Ian Wright yesterday that stated Steve Bould is often ignored and his suggestions are passed over.
Paul Merson fired back at the manager, making light of the fact that he was a manager and he never threw away a 3 goal lead in 30 minutes.
The worm is turning, press, finally awakening to what has been abundantly clear to most die hard gooners for years. Wenger is no longer elite, he’s holding on for dear life and he’s chipping away at his legacy with a JCB digger.
This is the interesting thing with our manager.
Why the hell would he leave?
Think about his situation, then palm that pretty face of yours, because it’s not good.
Arsene Wenger is entering his mid-sixties. Call me ageist, but at that period in your life, you’re not about the new project. You don’t have the drive and you don’t have the energy to relocate.
As Amy Lawrence said on the podcast I was on the other day, the man has no hobbies. His life is about football. Football. And more football. Imagine the dread he’s going to feel the day after he quits something he’s continuously done over the last 30 years. One day, he’s controlling the type of trainers the cleaning lady is wearing, the next, he’s sat in front of a TV with nothing to do bar some chores his wife has assigned him. That’s a pretty horrible feeling. Wenger isn’t a man content with spending an afternoon stripping wallpaper.
Then think of the power. The biggest fear of a man with all the power, is to have no power. One day, you’re king of the world, next day, no one gives a shit about you. That’s got to be pretty scary. Power is addictive. Status is alluring. The idea that one day, no one would care about what you think has got to weigh heavy on your mind. At Arsenal, he literally has it all. He controls everything. He has almost zero accountability. He’s not there to be questioned. Why would he leave?
Look at his behaviour of late. Incredulous Jacqui Oatley would ask him some pretty standard questions. Dismayed that Paul Merson would dare step up to him with legitimate complaints. I mean, how dare a pundit have an opinion on him! I can’t imagine what he thinks of the bloggers… but let me tell you Arsene, I’ve managed a Sunday League team for two very successful years, with zero transfer budget. I have all the rights to question you.
Anyway, look at all of the above. It’s the perfect storm. The perfect… ‘THERE’S NO WAY I’D EVER LEAVE’… storm. It’s pretty depressing.
It’s the same with Stan Kroenke. We have an owner who is sitting on a massive property in London. It doesn’t really matter what he does with the club, it goes up in value. He doesn’t have an interest in running it like a sporting enterprise and he doesn’t have an interest in selling it to someone with a ambition. He doesn’t have any interest making his manager accountable or analysing the total shit show he’s running. All he cares about it that big fat portfolio he’s running.
It’s sooooo depressing.
Thing is, Ivan Gazidis is a fan. I’m almost certain he sees what we see. He’s younger than Arsene by about 30 years. He’ll read the internetz. He’ll have spies around the training ground. He’ll hear what goes on. He’ll see the results on the pitch. He’ll know that Shad Forsythe has been put on cone duty and Tony Colbert is wearing that gold crown again for the bantz. He’ll know that Steve Rowley is scouting out the back of a 2006 copy of L’Quipe. But ultimately, until you break the cycle of Wenger and Stan. Until you stand up and go bold, we’ll just be a club that ticks over. A club that’s happy with average. A club that took the biggest risk of all time in moving stadium, then decided that risk was no longer an option.
I don’t mean to quote Nik Bendtner, but he said something interesting the other week when he was asked about those silly comments he made back in the day…
‘If you don’t want to be the best at whatever you do, why bother?’ sic
Damn straight Nik. Damn straight. Who sets out to be average? This doesn’t mean you’re a failure if you don’t achieve your goals, it just means you have to take stock, rethink, then go again. That’s the way of the world. That’s the way of sport.
Why doesn’t Wenger care about that now?
Why doesn’t Stan want his sports club to be the best?
What is Ivan doing to improve things? Why isn’t he stripping Wenger of his power? Why doesn’t he take advantage of Wenger having no clue. Why doesn’t he use this situation to his strategic advantage?
I’d be in there, sacking the old boys who aren’t delivering. I’d be empowering the young guys who want to make an impact and I’d be taking back the club cleaning lady trainer, by cleaning lady trainer. Because the problem now, is Arsene is running things. Badly. And no one is stepping in.
‘But he’d resign if he lost his power’
Firstly, no he wouldn’t. Secondly, who cares? If he’s immature to throw his toys out the pram when someone tries to make an improvement, then he’s not the right guy for us.
‘But he said no to Madrid and PSG’
Again, who cares? He’d have tanked at Madrid and he’d tank at PSG right now (actually, not sure if you can ever tank at PSG). Loyalty to the club was commendable. He’s done a great job over the years. But there comes a time when you have to move on. To my mind, I’d never, ever want a manager for 18 years again. It’s unhealthy in the extreme. The game moves to fast nowadays. If you’re somewhere for so long, you become entrenched, complacent and invincible. Arsenal are bigger than any man, we can never allow this situation to repeat.
Don’t fear him going. United have screwed themselves because they’ve made two very poor appointments. Spurs have screwed themselves because they brought in the wrong manager to deal with those players. City have a manager who I don’t rate. Chelsea got it right. We can get it right. Match the players to the manager and build out a world class infrastructure.
Again, this one is on you Ivan. Prove your worth when the manager goes and the fans will love you. But in my opinion, you should start now, because the clean up operation post Wenger is looking like it’s going to be more and more expensive as each season passes.
Anyway, that’s my thoughts for today.
HAVE FUN x