Elite Arsenal source confirms club is a #Shambles | Gazidis and board should be ashamed

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David Ornstein is seen as a god amongst leakers in the world of Arsenal. He’s the New Yorker of sporting journalistic integrity, what he says goes. Mainly because he represents the BBC, and also, he clearly has a few pretty bang up sources.

This week, he was put to shame. The man more reliable than a disappointing British summer was thrown under the bus by the club this summer after he reported Arsenal were in for £150m spending spree. By the end of the window, he was reporting the club had no money despite netting out at +£27m profit.

Yesterday, he fought back with one of the most damning Arsenal related tweet in the clubs history. Here’s the goss

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One of the most beastly exposés of a clubs operations I’ve ever read.

3 key take aways from this piece:


Arsenal did not plan their summer properly. Arsene Wenger literally blew it with a self-indulgent ego trip by not telling the club what he was doing until after the FA Cup final. As I said last week, the strategy for the summer was three fold.

Make an early decision on the contract rebels. Losing £100m was not an option. That we didn’t even discuss a deal with Ozil is farcical. That we didn’t take Chamberlain’s request to leave seriously was even more laughable. That we’re going to have to suffer the indignity of Alexis picking up injuries all year and fighting for a January move for a pittance is so poor. We should have known the deal by early May and made plans accordingly.

Bin the deadwood. Arsenal has known about the issue for years now. There was no excuse not to force out players way earlier than the last week of the window. Give players no option. Or at the very worst, give them 6 months to find a new club. At the core, players want to play, if you make it clear that’s not an option, they’ll move. All of the ‘we have no money issues’ centre around dead wages clogging up our ability to finance new players without breaking Premiership wage increase rules. We could have pulled in £150m in fees at a minimum, and we could have had £60m in wages to play with.

Rebuild the squad: A proper scouting network and approach to the summer would have seen the DOF moving out players whilst moving in new ones. We were fighting so many internal fires, bottlenecked by a control freak manager, that we forgot how far behind we were this season. We added two players to a broken squad that finished 5th. Unreal how poor that is. But clearly, this happened because we were so disorganised behind the scenes.

Director Of Football

Arsenal paid an extremely heavy price for allowing Arsene to be both the manager and the Director Of Football. The plan of who to sell on, versus the execution in Ornstein’s tweets is beyond average. If Wenger wanted to move on Giroud, that should have been the decision. If the manager wanted Jack out, he should have laid that out in no uncertain terms. If he wanted rid of Mustafi, that should have been enforced.

Arsenal left the summer for Wenger to solve despite him having an awful ten-year record of managing summers. It is cataclysmically bad foresight from the club to continue to allow this sort of unprofessional management of the windows to carry on. Wenger’s power grip is damaging our reputation, it’s harming our finances, and it’s creating a toxic atmosphere in the ground. We need a someone with a superb reputation, a footballing philosophy, and a track record of getting shit done to join the club in a powerful capacity that gives them scope to hire and fire.

The CEO should be ashamed:

I thought Ivan G was one of the good guys at the club. I appreciate he was humiliated this summer when his catalyst for change was squashed on the tarmac at Highbury House, but his lack of control, and his lack of ambition for who we want to be is tragic.

Everything is coloured by results…a positive performance at Liverpool would have coloured this transfer window very differently.

The manager and players know that the performance at Anfield was not good enough and they will be focused to put that right after the international break.

Absolutely unbelievable for the CEO to come out and try to palm off this summer as a success. I thought he’d take the opportunity to kill Wenger with this summer, but he’s in on the mess. Firstly, why would you send this as an e-mail? Secondly, knowing what he knows, and thinking what he thinks, why would he associate himself with this mess?

The worst part of Ornstein’s tweet was the reference to Arsenal thinking a Leicester style PL win is our only option.


Literally, get lucky.

There’s no strategy behind what Leicester did. There was no plan. That was just a total fluke.

Ivan G has gone from championing our ambition to become the English Bayern, to hoping we might luck out like a club with 25% of our revenue. Unreal.

There are so many clubs in the world operating interesting models. Team Redbull, Atletico, Juventus, even Spurs.

All have very specific goals and objectives and all of them have different approaches on how to achieve them.

We’re by far the richest out of the three, and our club are leaking that things are so bad under Wenger, that luck is all they have.

“When you look at the world of football, and you think about the great candidates that there are … you don’t find any better candidates than Arsene Wenger,”

The club searched the world, spoke to great managers, and the best man for the job is someone who wants to operate a Leicester City strategy? How can you be surprised when your Chairman, Sir Chips, just told reporters he prefers horse racing to football. The worst thing, who was surprised?

Arsenal are so unambitious it’s frightening. The keys to our club are with no hopers and quitters. We are no longer a sporting entity, we’re the rich kid with all the gear and no idea.

Ok, you’ve read the rant. Now listen to our take on today and what the future holds. Much more upbeat.

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170 Responses to “Elite Arsenal source confirms club is a #Shambles | Gazidis and board should be ashamed”

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  1. Carts

    Arsenal to do a Leicester? Lol. Was only a matter of time.

    Said his time and time again – Wenger has been systematically trying to reduce expectations at this club.

    That’s why you’ve got the bored acting all baffled and thick that the fans are demanding more after winning the FA cup. Something about the fans ‘not having it so good’.

    Unbelievable noise from those cretins !

    Sadly, this club was successful long before Wenger came on board. The man has carte Blanche over almost everything.

    He screams respect and values like he’s done us a favour. The absolutely cheek of the man.

  2. Adam A. Carbarundum

    This from Football365…

    “Arsenal are reportedly set to sit down with some of their key players in an aim to avoid further contract stand-offs.

    Aaron Ramsey, Petr Cech, Danny Welbeck, Nacho Monreal and Theo Walcott all have deals which expire in 2019.”

    Is it not a bit late to go to the table with these five? Where was this with their key players this summer and earlier? These five are not the ones you want long term. Yet another clear indicator that Wenger really doesn’t know what he’s doing.

  3. Adam A. Carbarundum

    Many things I expected, but to be honest I truly her foresaw what took place this past month and earlier. For someone so controlled and controlling, the manner to which Wenger imploded was, quite frankly, shocking. Where can you honestly go from here? As Pedro has pointed out, in not exact words, it’s a clusterfuck of a shitshow that one could have only dreamed of but sincerely never expected.

    In the end it truly is sad to watch a truly historic franchise crumble before your eyes. Change is inevitable, but the real question remains…how much damage will be left behind when change finally does come?

  4. Emiratesstroller


    I wrote at the beginning of the transfer window that Arsenal’s maximum NET spend would be £50-60 Million, which I believe is the annual budget.

    If you look over previous two years that is more or less what our budget is i.e. in 2015/16 we were frugal buying just Cech and Elneny and spending £15 million and then in season 2016/17 we spent net about £90 Million.

    Any additional purchase has to be generated by sales, which have been exceedingly poor as you pointed out in recent threads. Oxlade-Chamberlain is
    the only sale in recent years which exceeded £15 million.

    Arsenal’s transfer policy has been dreadful for years and that is a reflection on
    the lack of planning plus of course inflated wages, which only the top teams can or will pay.

    Basically players like Gibbs, Wilshire, Perez and Walcott etc are not going to
    move to major clubs. Others willing to spend £50K+ pw on wages and then also pay us a significant transfer fee as well are rare.

    What concerns me most is the lack of planning has been fairly obvious for several years and Arsenal’s recruitment in midfield and defence lacks balance
    and solidity.

    There is too much focus on bringing in forwards and not enough on building
    solid foundations at the back.

    Our recent results where we have conceded 9 goals in 3 games bears this out
    and inevitably it impacts on the whole team.

    Morale is low in our squad, because of future uncertainty. The decision to sell
    Ox was the right one, but should have been done last summer or at beginning of this transfer window.

    The handling of both Ozil and Sanchez contracts has been dreadful. If you are
    going to tell the world that Sanchez is not for sale then you stick to it and then
    at the last moment not capitulate and agree to sell him followed by revocation.

    If you want to be serious about buying Lemar you do it at the start of transfer
    window. Had we done so as both Man City did we would have probably picked
    him up for less than £50 million.

    Once Man City spent inflated fees for both Walker and Mendy two full backs
    and PSG spent almost £200 million on Neymar the outcome was plain for all to see.

    Furthermore Arsenal’s league start highlights just how weak we are this season. If you fail to qualify for CL you need to show ambition and intent as Man
    Utd have done in last two seasons.

    Wenger is a ditherer when it comes to buying and selling players and his team selections have been abject. You bring in Kolasinac who showed pre season that he is an excellent LB and then play him CB or not at all. Similarly you
    spend a record transfer fee on Lacazette and then don’t play him against Liverpool. UTTER MADNESS.

    Our manager and coaching staff should have been offloaded this summer and
    the football infrastructure from top to bottom of club including Academy refreshed.

    As Henry has indicated the club is stagnating. That will continue in my view because the major shareholder + board is totally AVERSE TO RISK.

    Wenger needs to be offloaded this season and replaced by a top class coach.
    Arsenal need also to update its scouting programme with less dependence on
    computers and science and more reliance on human judgment. A Football Director should be the person charged with handling negotiations both in contracts and transfers.

  5. Guernsey gun

    Get ready for the arrogant twat to say in his presser this week that….”the most important thing is to focus on the next game” absolute fraud that he is. No analysis of making us look like twats on the world football stage. The result is irrelevant I want to see how much of a shift the players put in, I think most can’t stand clueless either. I stand by my posts from May, by Xmas he’s done.

  6. Collins

    What bothers me most is that we the arsenal fans are quiet about the shambles going on in our club if we don’t come out enmass to say no stop attending matches stop patronising the failures we can’t see change just imagine the chairman of our club saying publicly he prefers horse racing to football I don’t even know what our supporters trust are doing maybe the likes of Tim Payton have been bought over by gazidis

  7. Leedsgunner

    So let me understand this correctly… Arsenal are hoping to pull off a Leicester style league winning season are they?

    If so they are completely deluded.

    Leicester did what they did because they played for each other. Every player in their squad was committed to the cause and they fought out of their skin. Ironic they possessed in spades mental strength and self belief.

    Ironic huh?

  8. Wallace


    “The question is why the club were leaking that there was not enough money to buy a good quality player at the end of the window.”

    Ornstein refers to ‘higher end’ players. the Gabriel, Gibbs & Ox sales all happened fairly late on. looks like we didn’t have the money Monaco wanted for Lemar until City offered the 55-60m for Alexis.

  9. Wallace

    Spurs have done very well recently but there’s a storm brewing as a result of that. will Levy play his best players what they’re worth, or will he sell them? I’m thinking the latter…

    “When you look at Toby’s statistics, they are impressive. Either he deserves an appropriate contract, or else he should be given a transfer. Seven or eight big European clubs are interested in signing him. There are not many central defenders around who can play like he can.”

    – Alderweireld’s agent

  10. David Smith

    Trouble is Emirates, a real top coach will not work under Kroenke, or at least when he realises the conditions in place.
    We may get an up and coming, or a slightly faded I guess, any would be preferable to what Wenger is now.

  11. raptora

    David Smith,
    What conditions are you talking about? Please tell me?
    How hard is it to work at Arsenal?
    Is the money not being given? Why have we spent more money than Chelsea in the last 5 years? By £70m! Liverpool has spent less. Spuds are almost positive at £15m net spend for the last 5 years. We are at £210m!!!
    We give almost twice as much salary as spuds. We give 1/4 more wages than Liverpool. We are less than 1/10-th away from Chelsea but we’ve spent more money on transfers.
    Whoever says that Kroenke has put the club’s spending on a leash and we cannot compete because of that is deluded!!

  12. Elmo


    Yes – what I don’t understand, though, is how that was possible when we had earlier offered EUR 50m for Lemar, BEFORE having sold Ox (what we receive of the £35m fee of course depends on the Southampton sell-on clause), Szczesny, Gabriel, Gibbs etc for over £60m, also freeing up £13m+ in wages (which Arsenal count within a cost of transfer calculation).

    Bearing in mind the EUR 50m / £46m bid for Lemar being ‘final’ made sense from the perspective that it would have pushed the club’s total transfer outlay (transfer fees, agents’ fees, wages) to c. £150m (the stated summer warchest), it would seem logical that having then sold players, the remaining total transfer pot would have risen from c. £65m (the total cost of the EUR 50m bid for Lemar), to c. £143.5m (the existing £65m + incoming £65m from sales + saved £13.5m in wages).

    Working on the basis that only about 2/3 of a designated tranfer fund can be spent on the fee under the way Arsenal work (the rest being accounted for by agents’ fees, first year wages, signing bonus etc), then a c. £143.5m pot would have facilitated a £94m transfer fee.

    Why was the club announcing it couldn’t afford any major business without selling Sanchez? The rest of the summer at least follows some logic to me, but not that. Why could Arsenal suddenly not extend past EUR 50m for a player, despite having later recouped significant extra resources. Why is Ornstein talking of the club only having c. £30m available before any sale of Sanchez, despite the fact they had earlier bid EUR 50m / GBP 46 for Lemar and also made sales?

  13. raptora

    Did Kroenke buy Xhaka instead of Kante? Did Kroenke buy Giroud instead of Costa? Did Kroenke buy Mustafi instead of David Luiz? Or Ozil instead of Hazard or Willian? Or Gabriel instead of Cahill? Did Kroenke close the door to Cesc because we have Ozil? Is Kroenke the one leaving the team always short in quality in some positions not addressing the problem of the squad? Is our team having zero strategy vs tough opposition because of Kroenke? Did Kroenke pick the honestly ret*rded lineups for the first 3 games? List is never ending.

  14. raptora

    Maybe another manager would have sold Wilshere, Gibbs, Walcott, Chamberlain, Debuchy, Jenkinson, JC and many, many more who have been here for so many years, and have done close to nothing for the club.
    Maybe by selling those another manager would have financed the buying of actually quality players.

  15. raptora

    David Smith,
    Do the owner/board put too much pressure on the manager?
    Do the owner/board make his work impossible?
    Does the manager have something not being given to him?
    Do Conte or Klopp or Pochetinno or 95% of the coaches in Europe have more money at their disposal?
    Are we not in a financial position to give a gigantic £300k a week to a player?
    Don’t we pay the manager more than well? Last time I checked Wenger was earning more than Conte, more than Simeone, more than effin Zidane, almost twice as Pochetinno.
    Please tell me why wouldn’t a real top manager join us?
    I’m eager to know.

  16. raptora

    People love an owner like Levy but they hate Kroenke for being only there for the money. Well we’ve spent almost £200m net more on transfers in the last 5 years. We pay almost double the wages they pay. But Levy is a top owner. B*tch please.

  17. Elmo

    Adam A

    I can’t believe that the club didn’t look to either extend or sell that group of players with 2 years left this summer. Why are they talking about it now after the summer has finished, after they have wasted the last period where the club held the strong hand.

    In the summer 2 years out, you offer new contracts early (you should have been in contact with their agent in preparation for a while); if the players don’t sign, you sell them if they are not core players (Walcott etc); only if they are absolutely vital and have given representations that they are likely to extend do you keep them on and proceed with contract negotiations.

    It’s the same casual, disorganised attitude which had the club conceding at a similar time last year that they had not opened negotiations for extensions with the likes of Oxlade because the focus was first on tying up Sanchez and Ozil, as if the club had all the time in the world. Of course you skip forward a few months and the manager is briefing the media that it’s absolutely imperative to re-sign these players whose contracts they let slide, but of course by then the die had been cast and the incentives had completely shifted out of the club’s control.

    The same thing is playing out again.