I woke up to unpleasant news this morning when I found out that our ‘Net transfer spend’ trophy had been captured by Spurs for the last 5 years of transfer windows. They’re on a profit of £1m+.
- City -£403m
- United £368m
- Arsenal -£205m
- Chelsea -£195m
- Spurs +£1m
There are two points I’d like to make here. The first being that I am not complaining about Arsenal spending money here. I’m pleased we’re finally shackle free when it comes to spending money. We have a good squad to show for it as well, it’s such a shame we don’t have an elite manager running the show there.
As a slight divergence from the narrative here, someone was arguing yesterday that there were literally no managers out there to replace Wenger (lazy fandom imo), then someone challenged that Simeone wouldn’t work at Arsenal because he’d need to buy a new squad, a Le Grove reader pointed out that actually we had a pretty much perfect squad for the rugged Argentine and I find it difficult to disagree with that comment. Outside general attitude (which I believe is controlled by the manager to a certain degree), what don’t we have?
Anyway, point is. It’s progress we’re spending cash. It’s alarming that the ‘no one will ever build a stadium and keep a club competitive again’ narrative is slowly being shelved as teams like Leicester and Spurs show that you can.
Second point is that when you showcase numbers like the above, Wenger begins to look less and a less like he’s delivering value. Wages from last season paint an even more interesting picture.
- Chelsea £215.m
- United £203m
- City £194m
- Arsenal £190m
- Liverpool £152m
- Spurs £121m
- Leicester £48m
For Wenger to be dropping money and numbers like he is with no tangible return, while coaches like Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho are losing jobs after opening the season badly, well, you have to ask what Arsenal are thinking about when they’re offering the manager a new deal?
What progress points do we have to boast about? How did Wenger’s annual review go? Commericals are stagnating, which is a direct response to us not winning trophies. This is a great article from James Horncastle on Juventus and their whole rebrand. Anyway, Agnelli is an exmarketing man from Ferrari, hence the possibly slightly over to top luxury vibe the branding is bringing to the table. This para was great.
“If revenues have grown by 125% over the last five years Agnelli recognises a lot of it is down to the team’s sustained success on the pitch. Glory not greed has to be the priority. Money follows it. Manchester United seemed to forget that in the early Woodward years. “Here winning is the only thing that matters,” Agnelli said. “And this season we have to propel ourselves into legend either by winning a sixth straight Scudetto [a feat that has never been done before] or through Europe.”
Arsenal can kid themselves things are progressing, but the reality is the only thing that’s affecting our commercials these days is TV money and the odd property sale. If we want to go stratospheric, we need to start winning things. What I don’t understand is why Stan K doesn’t want a piece of the pie United are eating? Why is he so happy to just watch Arsene Wenger lord it like a fat land owner would lord it over the peasants in medieval times.
I’ve started watching some documentaries on Bill Bellicik who is the lead man at the Ppatriots (NFL), when you look at the level of detail that guy goes into before every game, it really does make you wonder what Wenger is up to. I know the NFL is always going to blow smoke up their coaches backsides, but they have his subordinates talking about how open he is to taking on new ideas that challenge his preconceptions, because as he puts it…
‘I make a lot of mistakes, sometimes you’re not as quick to recognise your own, and somebody else can recognise yours’
He goes to great lengths to hire players that fit into his system. He looks for people that are intelligent that can play his complex cerebral systems, he looks for passionate guys who value the game over the lifestyle and he’s constantly challenging the way the game should and can be played (worth noting Stan’s Rams passed on him in 1997)
I think that’s my main issue with Wenger. When did the guy stop being curious about the game? When did he give up reinventing himself? When did he decide that the only way to run a football club was his way?
That’s an assessment our CEO should be making. Ivan should be looking at how the team are playing on the pitch. He should be assessing how hungry the fans are for their manager to sign on for another two years. He should be comparing our output to that of our European counterparts. He should be looking to see how far we’ve come over the last few years. Most importantly, he should be looking at the telltale signs that what’s coming over the hill. It’s monster, and it’s over the hill in our league right now in a transition bubble that’s skewing perceptions of Arsenal’s standing.
The first sign of football decay should be what’s going on in Europe. That’s the benchmark of talent and it always has been. Wenger has not made it past the last 16 in the last 6 years, after we play Bayern, that’ll be 7 seasons. Heading into a decade of almost total failure in a competition we’ve had entry to every season for over 20 years. The tooth hasn’t fully rotted out yet, a combination of flux in the Premier League and having a team capable enough to master a trophy that hasn’t had the glut of managerial talent it now boasts.
… but that’s coming to an end. If Ivan can’t see what Conte, Klopp, Pochettino, Guardiola and potentially Koeman under new owners means for Arsenal over the next few years, it’s a real f*cking worry.
Wenger signing a new deal is bad for everyone. Him having a group of players clapping their hands like morons at him signing on for 2 more years tells you a very depressing story about their mentality. The whole club has been taken over by Wenger. We’ve given the keys to granddad, and he’s drunk 2 bottles of sherry and all the kids are squeezed into the backseat. The fact Arsenal need to enact a defensive PR strategy to lessen the sting of their manager signing on tells you a very sad story.
We’ve sacrificed competitiveness to keep an old man’s indulgence going. We’ve written off two years that we know will be trophyless, we know will be miserable, that we know will put us further behind than ever before. How utterly depressing. What a mistake we made allowing Stan Kroenke to takeover our beloved club.
The club isn’t the fans, it’s Wenger’s and no one will tell him time’s up. As Donald Trump would say, SAD!
If you haven’t, listen to the damn podcast please. x