Here’s why the ‘Stan Kroenke is bad’ narrative misses the mark bigly

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Heeeeeey ho, let’s go.

What a way to start Friday. I went to something called Barry’s Bootcamp. In England, that’d be a place behind Tesco, where Barry, local slag, whips fat stay at home parents into shape. This one though, geez, 4 different flavours of shampoo and towels that DID NOT smell of bleach.

I know what you’re thinking, who cares? I do. There is no point in going to the gym if you don’t tell people about it.


So there’s this thing people keep telling me about Arsene Wenger leaving… ‘Look, Stan is the problem, it’ll be tough for the new manager’… and it riles me.

Why? Because I think it’s just another way to make you think twice before hammering Wenger for being past his sell-by date.

Here are the factoids:

I am not defending Stan K. He’s not a great owner of franchises. We’ve been saying it for years, the stupid campaign that went around at the time of his purchase – marveling at what a great franchise owner he was – really wasn’t well thought out. We didn’t want a grotesque Eastern European boogeyman sacking managers and interfering with the team. No, we wanted the quiet brooding cowboy who just let the club run itself.

10 years on or whatever it is, we’re bitching on Stan for being too hands off. We’re moaning that a man who we knew treated his sports clubs like property assets doesn’t care what’s going on as long as they’re accruing value year on year. We’re upset that he isn’t a bit more aggressive, like that passionate modern owner at Chelsea who keeps winning things.

All of this is left wing Arsenal fan speak for…


Fair play, I get that. For me, Stan’s biggest failing is he just can’t quit Arsene. However, the Arsenal fans switching to this narrative have been sitting on their hands about it being over for Wenger for years.

‘I’m just not quite prepared to have an opinion here lads’

Here are some more factaroonies, for all of those folk fearing what a ghastly time we’ll have post Wenger.

1. Infrastructure issues

Arsene Wenger is the reason we have poor infrastructure. He’s the last of jack-of-all-trades managers. You can’t run a club on your own these days. You need a modern CEO style manager who oversees specialists. The reason Arsenal don’t have a sporting director is because that would be an affront to Wenger’s power grip. The reason Wenger keeps hangers on like Priromac, Colbert and Peyton at the club is they are yes men who protect his empire.

Once Wenger goes, that all changes. The deadwood leaves with him. We can hire a sporting director, Director of Football or a General Manager and leave the vision to whoever that is. It will not take long to whip us into shape. We have a lot of talent at the club already. A world class medical team, we have a great fitness guy in Shad Forsythe and I think there are some great old guard there already + ready to join as soon as Wenger goes. It will not take 5 years for someone smart to come in and start the revolution.

Also, it doesn’t take long to make an impact in sport. It’s not like you’re affecting change in a company of 1000 people. It’s not like working in a normal business where things like budget apply. You aren’t in there rebuilding a fine tuned machine, because the machine is Arsene… you’re building a new model that add structure, philosophy and vision to a club that has none. We have all the money any sporting director would need, we have all the prestige major clubs dream of and if the job is to do things better than Arsene, we also have a deliciously low barrier to improvement.

2. Wages

I do not know how many times I have to reiterate this. Arsenal’s wage bill last season was £1.8m short of Manchester City. You know, that club we all bitched about for financial doping. That disparity  is just over half a Kieran Gibbs. About half a Diaby. Or two-ish Carl ‘I won’t leave because I earn too damn good’ Jenkinson. Is it the biggest wage bill? No. But as Leicester – who had a £40m wage bill when they won the league proved – it’s probably enough to do some damage.

The new manager can come in, send the dross to train on their own until they leave, regulate the wage bill to market value, then we can work out a way of fixing our socialist structure to be more of a capitalist pig one.

3. Spend Spend Spend

We have the 3rd highest net spend over the last 5 years. We literally don’t sell players anymore. Arsene Wenger hoards British players like my nan hoards newspapers. Chelsea would not hold onto crap like we do.

Stan K would give Wenger his leg if he asked. The money is there to spend, the reason for the reserve cash pile can be speculated on until you’re blue in the face… but if it’s LA Rams stadium financing, Stan has leverage because he married a Walton. If it’s rainy day time, cash in the bank is not a smart business move when player appreciation over 5 years has a return of 35%.

We don’t dip into our owners coffers, but we make £40m more per season than 16 other clubs, we have the 2nd highest gate reciepts and we earn a bucket load from the new TV deal. The new manager can’t drop a Paul Pogba, but nor can Atletico, Bayern, Dortmund, Monaco or Sevilla and they’re all hitting the quarter finals of the Champions League.

Stan will provide what we make to the manager. That is not an issue. Not just that, we have enough premium dross to add to the coffers. Chambo, Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs, Mesut Ozil will all pick up good numbers if we decide to sell.

So, have we covered that off now?

Stan is a business man, for sure. But he’s hardly a terrible owner in the grand scheme of a Leeds, Villa or a Leyton Orient. He’s just too passive and his hardon for Wenger is embarrassing.

Let’s keep the focus on Wenger. He is the one making the decision to stay or go, hopefully he’ll go… but hey, top bantz for him ruling himself out for a job no one was going to offer him (Barca).

The point of this post is don’t buy into the post-Wenger scare mongering. It’s ill-informed and it’s off the mark. Where were all the infrastructure experts 5 years ago when I was taking pelters for berating our fitness setup and lack of backroom expertise? Funny how it’s all of a sudden become an insurmountable challenge. NOT TRUE!

Remember, Arsenal are a plum job. We’ll have half of Europe rubbing their hands at the prospect of making us a global giant and I truly believe with a few smart hires, we’ll be a true elite of world football.

Finally, some extracts from Ozil’s book are interesting. Jose Mourinho called him a coward and he threw a shirt at him. Wonder if Wenger has ever done that?


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181 Responses to “Here’s why the ‘Stan Kroenke is bad’ narrative misses the mark bigly”

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  1. WrightIsGod

    2005: Sold Patrick Vieira (28) to Juventus for £13.75m
    2007: Sold Thierry Henry (29) to Barcelona for £16.1m

    The very reason I began questioning the old French fossil. You have players that have orchestrated your success and you cannot ensure they see out there careers at the club that made them famous? You choose to not have them in and around the club? Look at the impact Henry had, even on Adebayor. But no, Wenger does not like having anyone more respected then him around the throne and so fails to convince his stars that he will bring them the major honours with signings and so he sells them for way under market value when all he had to do is stop paying duds like Diaby, Denilson, Bendter, djorou, almunia, fabianski etc. There was money there to be spent but project youth was well under way.

    And then you have the ludicrous notion no matter who you are you only get a year extension on your contract once you reach 30. Who enforced that law? Wenger.

    And yet now in what we call the desperate panic buying years he offers contracts to over 30s who can’t even get off the treatment table at the time… Flamini, Arteta, Rosicky, Cazorla, mertesacker etc. Players who IMO when the going gets tough can’t hold a candle to viera, Henry, Gilberto etc. But they are yes men so Wenger hoards them to keep his seat on the throne well protected.

    Do you think Viera would take what’s happening at the Arsenal right now. You think Viera wouldn’t get in Ozil’s face and bitch slap him?

  2. Jim Lahey


    Vieria still had two years left on his contract when we sold him, one of the best midfielders in the world and we let him go for £13.75m…

    On Henry; in 2005 Chelsea signed a 29 year old Andriy Shevhenko for £31m!! We let Henry leave for half that.

  3. ArseneisaFraud


    This makes AW look so economically astute doesn’t it,eh? …. It really is incredible to think that AW is also clinging on to an outdated method of valuating players as well!

  4. Confidentgoner

    All this talk about conceeding 5 goals because Kos went off is just talk. From empirical evidence, we would have conceeded even with him playing. Folks fail to appreciate that the midfield and the playing philosophy of giving Bayern time on the ball in front of our 18 yard box was wrong. Bayern simply turned their play to a higher notch and I have my doubts if Kos could have made the difference.

    How come lowly teams can nullify our play and even beat us at the Emirates by keeping it tight, and we go to the Allianz arena without a game plan, even after drawing even in first half?

    Wenger has always been operated. No way you compare him to greats like Alex Ferguson, et al. He was a lucky Frenchman who had the pick of the best from the French ligue1, and had a couple of very good players. Even at that he failed woefully in taking that bunch to a cup win in Europe or a back to back EPL. Tells you all you need to know about the man.

    Let’s look at the excuses if AKBs:

    No money: There has always been money, our wage bill confirms that, our mortgage terms asserts that. Finally, Leicester blew that out of the water.

    His past achievements: Last EPL about 12 years and counting. Two cup wins cannot make up for that.

    Top 4 all the time: Good, but are we so bad that we can’t win in 12 years? Top 4 has no trophy. It’s not too difficult to get top 4 with our resources.

    We play beautiful footy: Pass and move was good when we had the personnel, but now it’s tedious sideways passing. We are not a crack counter attacking team we used to be. So many things wrong with our play at the moment.

    Who will replace him: tons of managers will die to manage at Arsenal

  5. WrightIsGod

    Jim Lahey

    Wenger’s famous player valuation in play there.

    How did he come to £42m for Ozil? Blatant last minute panic buy with no forsight as to how it benefits his team or tactics in the slightest.

  6. Jim Lahey

    @ArseneisaFraud & WrightIsGod

    We have continuously sold our best players for cut price, either because we let them go into the last year of contract or… for another reason which I am struggling to comprehend!

    Even the £25m we sold Nasri for in 2011 looks like poor business.

  7. Ishola70

    If the scouse win today and Man United beat Bournemouth Arsenal slip to 6th place.

    Has Wenger ever found himself in 6th place in March before?

  8. SpanishDave

    We have a team of losers like Wenger and it’s right that he’s an overpaid loser like Walcott Chamberlin, Ozil, Gibbs , Ramsey all of them will never criticise Wenger.
    Giving Carzola and Mertsacker extended contracts shows his lack of desire in wining something, these are both finished as high level players.

  9. Arsene's Nurse

    Kevin Friend and Ibrahimovic at each other. First was a stamp on Ibra, second was an elbow on Friend.

  10. Arsene's Nurse

    March 4, 2017 13:17:12

    @Arsene Nurse

    Lol Kevin Friend is the referee.
    Yeah sorry got mixed up. I’m only half following the game on the radio.

  11. ArseneisaFraud

    Jim Lahey

    I to struggle to understand why we are selling what were our best players at a cut price to our direct/ I direct rivals. It doesn’t make any sense at all. Is it just AW being conservative or is there something else going on??? (Add conspiracy theory style music here 🙂 )

    I would be very curious to see what price tag we put on Sanchez?