Stan and Josh depressingly out of touch, but there is hope

by .

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Hard not to be anything other than deflated by the Stan and Josh press love-in that went off yesterday.

Even worse, Ivan Gazidis trying to communicate that Arsenal actually overachieves in today’s feisty AGM.

Arsenal are suffering an ambition drain. We’re in denial about how bad we are. Steve Jobs could use denial in a positive way, the employees at Apple called his version the RDF (Reality Distortion Field). He’d convince people of the impossible, he’d dare them to think bigger, and he’d achieve the impossible. If you read anything about Elon Musk, he’s of a similar mindset, he’s trying to save humanity, and you’re either in for his batshit crazy vision or you’re expendable.

Then there’s Arsenal. Arsene Wenger, Ivan Gazidis, Stan K and his son Josh have been on a mission to attack our view of success for 10 years now. We’ve been convinced top 4 is a trophy. That being FFP compliant had us ahead of the curve. That having values was somehow compensation for a lack of winning mentality. The Kroenke’s have been training us to be grateful for their lack of investment, disconnected management style, and slow slide into mediocrity.

The two of them are so mediocre at running sports clubs, they even try and present the fact they never sell as an achievement, as they simultaneously take credit for buying low and letting market forces increase the value of their asset with almost zero input, innovation, or investment.

“Just go look at our history,”

“We get into these things to try to grow them. You don’t see us selling things. We are committed long-term. That [selling] is just not our model. I’m at a stage in life where … what good does that do? I love Arsenal, love being involved with Arsenal. There’s no finer feeling than going out and winning like we did with the FA Cup … the feeling is contagious and it makes you want to keep doing it. There’s so many easier ways to make money, I can assure you. Much, much easier.”

Even their take on Arsene Wenger is weak. They’re trying to communicate that changing coaches is an easy thing to do.

“It’s easy to change coaches and people do it all the time … an easy answer is to do something. It’s harder not to do something. We have dealt with this a lot in different organisations and we just think that Arsène is doing a great job and he’s the right guy. I’m sure he was thinking through if he wants to go on. We have a lot of respect for Arsène – we are not going to be pushy about things. I think he treated us with respect as well. I think he is more focused than ever. Focused on winning. I really think I do see that.”

The simple truth is this. Arsene Wenger is the perfect coach because he’s not going to rip up the rulebook. He won’t make demands. He’ll keep his mouth shut providing he’s given absolute power.

Here’s the thing though – and you really have to take this point seriously – we’d have a lot more time for Stan and his offspring if they shipped Wenger on. Keeping Wenger onboard isn’t loyalty, it’s laziness and it reinforces the notion that they’re massively disconnected from the club and the game at a broader level. However, they’re not shy spenders and boast attributes everyone was pro in an era of Abramovich firing managers on a whim.

  • Arsenal are the 3rd highest net spenders in the league
  • We have a £200m wage bill
  • The manager is given complete autonomy to do what he likes

If you hired Jardin or Sarri along with an exBarca sporting director, and gave them specific swimlanes to work in … well, you’d see a far more competitive output.

So whilst I’d love to bash the Kroenke’s because they make me sad, you do have to be real here, they’re not profiteering from the club. Bar £3m here and there, which in the grand scheme of their wealth is a bit like Bill Gates borrowing £50 from petty cash at Microsoft.

Still, fan discontent is having an impact. This is Ivan on the noisy internet.

‘There are many agendas at play and many stories during a transfer window – only a fraction of which are accurate – but which play their part in inflaming emotions, as we can hear in the room today and driving opinions and narratives,’ said Gazidis.

‘In that environment, it becomes very difficult to see clearly through the noise. Fortunately, there is one very accurate and objective way to assess how well and how consistently clubs perform in this area [transfers] over time. “

‘This method is accurate enough to be the industry standard way to analyse the efficiency of spending of football clubs. It is very simply to compare team performance by a series of objective metrics, usually league position or points, against expenditure on transfers.

‘No club has a perfect record every year under this scrutiny but Arsenal has probably been, of the big clubs certainly, the most consistently over-performing team over time.

‘That is, despite the criticism we get and the emotion here in the room, and despite some very loud subjective narratives and a great deal of inaccurate information; in fact, on an objective basis, we perform very well and have over a long period of time.

‘However, I agree completely that we have to find ways to perform better. We want to compete at the top of the most competitive league in the world and that’s why we are making investments and giving deep thought to how we can and will improve further in this area.’

This is Ivan using his platform to reframe failure and take pot shots at websites like Le Grove because they call Arsenal and Stan out on their weaknesses. Arsenal has a terrible record on transfers over the last 5 years. This summer was the first time we’ve sold a player for more than £20m since Robin Van Persie. Wenger spent £140m on Xhaka, Mustafi, Chambers, Lucas and Elneney… all of which have totally tanked.

We haven’t overperformed by any metric, especially in an era that has seen Spurs maintain a title-chasing squad during a stadium move as well as Leicester winning the league… both on significantly lower budgets than Arsenal.

Anyway, the AGM sounded awful. The shareholders voted against the appointment of Josh and Keswick, but Stan overruled them. We were also informed that Usmanov won’t be given a seat on the board. Sounds like a total car crash. Which is exactly what Arsenal are in 2017.

They’re never leaving though. Even worse, they’ve invited some of the tabloid hacks into their circle, so expect a full-on assault on your minds over the next 12months as you’re told they’re actually incredible owners by weak hacks unable to offer critical discourse.

Anyway, I’m off. Very depressed, but I will once again reiterate my commitment to the notion that we will become a massive success post-Wenger. The money is there for transfers, the wages are there for big players, and if our hiring of Raul Sanehli is anything to go by, there’s an ambition there to make things right post-Wenger. That’s the guy who landed Neymar (SHUT UP ABOUT THE CORRUPTION) over Real Mardrid and oversaw transfer policy at Barca for 15 years.

Think happy thoughts, or take some Xanax.

Also, know that your continued pressure is working.

“The best thing is the rabid fans… the worst thing is the rabid fans.”

Keep it rabid.

See you in the comments.

556 Responses to “Stan and Josh depressingly out of touch, but there is hope”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. steve

    Ffs these cunts are supposed to be downing tools to get rid of this cunt Wenger instead they’re playing for his survival. *sigh*

  2. S. Asoa

    Your Comment Here
    But there was a good movement starting with Kalasinac who won the ball and crossed assist

  3. Bamford10

    That was a good goal. And that probably doesn’t get scored in a different formation, so that’s a small argument for the formation. Still think our central midfield is weak. Xhaka isn’t good enough.

  4. Zfree

    His longer balls have actually been good today most of them. It’s the short ones in middle of pitch, under no pressure, that are so loose

  5. steve


    Always enough unconvincing wins against shit opposition to save his boney arse

    That’s the problem. Always enough shit teams in the league for him to survive. It won’t even get bad enough.

  6. Up 4 grabs now


    Same formation but different attitude. I’ve said it before formation needs to change for different teams and for playing home and away.
    “Horses for courses”
    This time it’s worked how many times hasn’t it.

  7. TR7


    We can’t play 4 at the back with Xhaka as our DM. Usually our fullbacks bomb forward, so you would have Xhaka protecting 2 CBs behind him…that’s suicidal given Xhaka’s lack of defensive nous.

    I agree with horses for courses theory but I don’t think we have the personnel who can play different formations. At most we have 2 options – 3-4-3 or 3-5-2. But 3 at the back is absolutely essential imho.

  8. Guns of Hackney

    There is basically 15 shit teams in the league so Arsene will mathematically always have an out. We will never play spurs, Liverpool, city, Chelsea and united in a row so we can happily lose to these all season long because they are punctuated with a few shitty teams that make us look good.

    The premier league is set up for Arsene and his mediocre ways. Lose big, win a few, lose big, win a few. Arsenal WILL always be no lower than fifth but virtually always fourth. There would have to be a genuinely catastrophic event for us to totally implode and Wenger knows this.

    It will never get so bad that the only result would be his sacking. He’s here for life.

  9. useroz

    Bwllwein could and should do more in attack.

    Kos stays back at this stage.

    Sanchez desperate for a gaol now Ramset scored.

    Ozil disappearing

  10. Up 4 grabs now


    I like the three at the back was calling for it here 2 years ago.
    But for me we should play with two strikers.
    Most of the time teams come to the Emirates to hit us on the break.
    They pack out the defence with five at the back and we have one striker being marked by two or three defenders.
    The rest of our players are around the outside of the box tippy tappying around.
    Play with two strikers and the centrebacks have to split up which leads to mistakes.
    It also confuses defenders because sometimes they think the other should be picking the attacker up.

    You don’t need a defensive midfielder if you have three centrebacks. Like you say xhaka can’t defend so he’s a pointless player anyway.

  11. useroz

    Laca got to make something for himself. Bellerin and Ozil seem to rather play Ramsey in then looking for Laca… not goof.

  12. Bamford10


    “We can’t play 4 at the back with Xhaka as our DM.”

    Precisely why Xhaka should not be our starting DM.

  13. Leftsidesanch

    Is there something in Lacas contract that he can’t complete 90 mins? Only been done once. I just think Wenger makes changes for changes sake. Then keeps doing it.

  14. Up 4 grabs now

    Xhaka will go down as one of wengers worst most expensive buys.
    Can’t defend, not quick enough to go box to box, rarely scores, passing stats look great because most are arteta sidewaysesq.

    Denilson Mark 2

  15. Jamie

    Xhaka is bizarre. Makes a hash of short passes, but hit’s most of his long ones.

    Extremely limited player though, and not suited to the prem.

  16. Ishola70

    Superb character from the team to come back to win from a goal behind.

    Important win today because Liverpool would have been breathing down Wenger Poos neck otherwise lol.

  17. raptora

    Another winning goal by Ramsey. Won us two FA Cups too. Yet some fans love Wilshere more for playing silky football and that one Barcelona game. Hollywood Ramsey they say. Dude’s been playing, giving his best, always fighting, always you can count on him to pop up with a goal and assists. Exemplary off the field attitude as well. The only thing reminding us of Wilshere, while Ramsey was always there for us, were the pictures of him smoking and drinking beer. Wilshere is a fighter. He has guts. Ramsey is selfish. He plays for himself. It’s okay.

  18. Paulinho

    Raptora – Ramsey has probably got the most bottle out of anyone on our side.

    When the shit hits the fan in the away matches he’s the only one that keeps playing his game, and doesn’t sulk. The irony is Sanchez is seen some samurai warrior in comparison with the Welshman, when in reality he sulks and twists and turns himself in riddles, and ends up being a liability rather than a help.

  19. alexanderhenry

    We’ve all seen this before. After the transfer chaos and shambolic early performances , Wenger manages to cobble together a decent run and we take our place in customary fourth.

    Things never seem to get bad enough do they.

  20. graham62

    Congrats to England’s U-17 team.

    Now let’s give these kids a chance.

    The FA, whilst sorting out all their crap, need, in hand with the PL, to take a serious look at ways of improving these kids chances of playing at the highest level.

    A reduction in the number of foreign players would be a good start.

    The talent is there, now let it blossom.

  21. Wallace

    crazy news about the kids. we never win shit at youth level. thought Foden looked the outstanding player after watching the highlights from the SFs. moves like Jack did at that age.

  22. Ishola70

    “We’ve all seen this before. After the transfer chaos and shambolic early performances , Wenger manages to cobble together a decent run and we take our place in customary fourth.”

    lol you are so continuously insistent on here that Wenger will get his fourth. Supreme confidence it seems.

    We will see.

  23. London gunner


    Your obsessed with bashing Sanchez it’s white laughable when he is clearly are best player whose million miles better than Ramsey. Silk or no sulk.

  24. graham62

    No disrespect intended, but I would love to see an all English Arsenal team just once before I die.

    Never going to happen though.

  25. Dissenter

    Your lot know how ton turn sporting failures around.
    You tuned your olympics failures around now it’s your football.

    England have the best youth footballing system in the universe.
    Now set rules to make premier league teams PLAY these players.

  26. Ishola70

    It’s no good going back in history Wallace.

    We are talking about this season.

    It will just be a little too hot for Wenger again just like last season to get his holy grail fourth.

  27. Wallace


    City & the Spuds are beyond us, but Chelsea have dropped back, Liverpool are as erratic as we are, and I don’t think Mourinho’s a good match for Utd.

  28. alexanderhenry


    ‘it will just be a little too hot for Wenger again just like last season to get his holy grail fourth.’

    Note, I’m not saying arsenal are the 4th best team in the PL. However I think we will get 4th.
    Something’s not right at Chelsea and their players have caved in before.
    Liverpool are a mess at the back and can only seem to pay high risk, kamikaze football.
    Spurs are better than us , no question, but they will continue to drop points at Wembley and have to deal with the intensity of CL football.

  29. Ishola70

    lol beating a dire Everton away and winning at home to an average Swansea and I sense the confidence in Wenger again to at least get back CL football.

    The league is still young and people forget that the away win against that shambles called Everton was the first win on the road.

    Plenty of bumps and hiccups yet for Wenger.

  30. graham62

    Was looking at some of the spectators clapping away at the Emirates this afternoon.

    “Oh jolly good effort. What do you think Mortimer?”

    “Can’t see a dash thing Randolph, that awful man standing infront of us is blocking my view”


    How has it got to this?

  31. raptora

    Morata is the only one, out of the three big money CF signings this season, that can make something for himself. Very active vs Bournemouth even if he missed like three 100% chances, he was mostly unlucky. Lukaku at least has his physical and second floor presence. Seriously worried for Lacazette being our man. We played good football with loads of dangerous attacks vs Everton and he still didn’t fit well. Today Giroud for 10 mins had two good chances while Alex had close none. His all round contribution is not nearly close to enough. Morata with a great assist right now. I just don’t see Lacazette being much more than the poacher some people said he is. I hope he just needs a bit of time to settle but first signs are not good in my book.

  32. TonyD

    How can top 4 or 3 be good enough for you Wallace & Pierre?

    We’re already 9 points behind City and probably 12 by next Sunday.

    Maybe we’ll struggle into 4th this season only to get humiliated in the last 16 as usual.

    Don’t you guys want to win anything outside a domestic cup? Or at least be seriously competative by only just losing the league on the last game of the season?

  33. Ishola70

    Did Pedro mention the reaction Wenger got at the AGM?

    Wenger : “My hunger, my commitment is bigger than ever,”

    That line being the end of his speech was met with thunderous applause.

    lol Arsene FC Forever.

  34. TonyD

    Now the easier 10 games are done, the next 12 EPL games will be more interesting.

    Maybe we’ll get 22 from 36 points.

    Any thoughts?

  35. TonyD

    I thought Wenger’s “I give 99% of my time, commitment and efforts to this club” was hilarious.

    I thought so with giving the team that 99% and not winning the EPL & UCL surely it’s time to give up.

    Then I remembered we are a financial business and not a football club anymore.

  36. Marko

    No disrespect intended, but I would love to see an all English Arsenal team just once before I die.

    Maybe if we get relegated a couple times otherwise no just no.

  37. Carts

    Fantastic result by the England u17s.

    Had the pleasure of watching all of their games and from what I saw, I’d say at least 7 of them have a great chance of making it either in the prem or high level championship.

    Foden *
    Hudson- Odoi
    Labaditirre [sp]

    *Stand out performers
    Those guys are at BVB, City and Liverpool. It’s vital that they’re given the opportunity to develop and push on.

    The margin is so small that someone like Brewster could well end up plying his trade with Accrington Stanley. But from what I’m hearing. klopp likes Brewster a lot so who knows…

    Foden is in the City squad; and Sancho has already featured, though momentarily, for BvB.

  38. Redtruth

    “No disrespect intended, but I would love to see an all English Arsenal team just once before I die.”

    “Maybe if we get relegated a couple times otherwise no just no.”

    We would be relegated a couple of times with an all English Arsenal team.

  39. WengerEagle

    Find the AJ love-in a bit strange, Hearn has done a bloody fine job marketing his ass that’s for sure.

    He’s just stiffing bums and a way over the hill Klitschko whi had him in quite a bit of trouble.

    Massively overrated and just shows us the current state of HW boxing.

  40. Samesong


    Maybe its his character that people like. I like his attitude. And well people love a British champion. No he’s not the greatest fighter I have ever seen but he’s got heart and can knock a man out. That’s what people play their money to see.

  41. WengerEagle


    I know but it’s weird, you’s had one in Fury and nobody got behind him even though he has much more charsima that AJ who while a stand up dude, is pretty bland.

    He also beat Klit in a more impressive fashion than AJ did.

  42. Paulinho

    Frustrating that Pulev pulled out. He at least had the boxing ability and range to give Joshua some problems early on.

    Takam is just completely pointless fight. Walking punch bag.

  43. Cesc Appeal

    Joshua’s boxing skills are not that great at all. He has no head movement, limited skill with his feet.

    What he has got is phenomenal speed for a heavyweight and packs a wallop. That is a dangerous and exciting combination.

    I will always remember Martin’s face after getting tagged, basically ‘what the f**k was that’.

  44. Samesong

    I know but it’s weird, you’s had one in Fury and nobody got behind him even though he has much more charsima that AJ who while a stand up dude, is pretty bland.

    Charisma , the guy’s a fruit loop.

    Fury was brilliant against Klitscho and trust me he has his fans out there.
    Fury is definitely the better boxer out of the two.
    The problem with Fury is just is he don;t take boxing serious. Whereas Joshua is on it.

  45. WengerEagle

    Yeah this guy he’s fighting has no hope of winning barring an absolutr fluke of a haymaker connecting.

    I don’t know I just find MMA much more dynamic to watch these days, bored of boxing outside of GGG, Canelo and Loma.

    Wish Fury would come back for some much needed entertainment.

  46. WengerEagle


    Yeah he is a nutter but he’s highly intelligent and funny as fuck.

    Great shit-talker, had Haye absolutely shook and struggling for words when he himself is known as a mouth.

    AJ is dedicated and his physique os insanely impressive, to the point I’d be suspicious of him.

    He lacks boxing IQ though and his footwork is piss poor.

  47. Paulinho

    WE – Yeah the only division that excites me a bit now is light-middleweight. Likes of Charlo, Hurd and Andrade. Also love Erislandy Lara, though he can get involved in some stinkers if the opponent is not right.

    What do you think of Bisping-St Pierre?

  48. WengerEagle


    Jesus shows how out of touch I am with boxing, can’t say I know any of those boys too well, Charlo’s a stud for sure.

    Follow MMA much closer than boxing last couple of years, just gravitated towards once the talent in boxing dried up a bit and became made about it ever since.

    Fancy Bisping to win a decision handedly leaving GSP’s face a bit of a mess, don’t think that in this day and age you can take 4 years out and come back the same physically in your 30s, his body was on the wear even in 2013. Also bigger man and good at stuffing takedowns and he’ll just stand on the outside and tool George up Imo, could end up being a snoozer, much more hyped about Masvidal-Thompson and Garbrandt-Dillashaw.

    What about you?

  49. Paulinho

    WE – Know very little about MMA overall – just a few of the big names – so not sure. Just know GSP is a legend and moving up in weight after a long break so interesting to see how he handles that.

    Bisping is good entertainment though – the way he wound up Rockhold was hilarious – and he seems to be improving bit with age as well to be fair to him.

  50. WengerEagle


    Haha yeah was great, Rockhold had got the lot and could well have exploded into a bigger star even (lacks charisma though, talks like a plank) but he got KO’d by his ultimate troll in Bisping who is the only man that he seems to really hate.

    Tough as they come Bisping but yeah, definitely has improved with age. Never really beat anyone of note before Silva who was way out of his prime in 2016 which made the Rockhold KO all the more glorious. (Rockhold man-handled and finished him in the 1st fight and was the Champ).

    What do you make of Loma in boxing? Certainly tonnes of hype around him.

  51. Paulinho

    WE – Lomachenko is excellent, although to be honest, I haven’t seen huge amount of him or as much as I should’ve really. I know it was his first fight and losing shouldn’t be the be all and end all but losing to Salido kind of killed the ‘special’ hype for me. Although it is impressive the way he has rebounded since and the way he dealt with Walters(who looked beastly at one point) showed how good he is, but there’s not many fighters in his division that I rate so kind of waiting for him to have a defining fight before really having a look. His next fight against Rigondeaux should tell us a lot about how good he is; Rigondeaux himself being class act and one fighters usually look to avoid.

    Yeah a past it Anderson Silva seems to have given a few fighters a leg-up recently. Chris Weidman another who looks bit flattered by the hype that victory over Silva gave him.

  52. Carts


    “Find the AJ love-in a bit strange, Hearn has done a bloody fine job marketing his ass that’s for sure”

    Tad harsh, that. AJ, imho, is definitely a likeable character and comes across as being very humble.

    Hearn has done well to revitalise boxing and build up AJ as a brand. It’s unfortunate that AJ was born in an era when the likes Tyson, Lewis and Klit.

    If we’re going to say AJ is overrated, considering he’s the best, currently, out there, then the whole HW scene is overrated

  53. WengerEagle


    He’s certainly looked a bit special against Walters and Sosa but yeah, they aren’t names like Rigondeaux is, that will show us how great he truly is if he can put a clinic on a world class opponent like that. His footwork and the variety of strikes he puts together are crazy to watch even if he’s not as eye catching a power puncher as a Golovkin is.

    Exactly, for me Weidman’s 1st win over Silva to become champ was just as much Anderson clowning around with his hands down as it was Chris taking advantage to stop him, he took his chance brilliantly but if Silva was motivated he would have won imo.

    Weidman is a top all rounder though and is a superb grappler, he’s been beaten decisively 3 times in the space of a year and a half though against 3 superior fighters in Rockhold, Romero and Mousasi to bring a screeching halt to that hype train.

  54. WengerEagle


    Yeah for me the whole current HW scene is rubbish, Wilder is a pisser and I fancy AJ to stop him when they fight.

    AJ is the best of a bad bunch and a motivated Fury would have beaten him imo.

    For me he’s VERY luck he’s in this current era of HW, any of Tyson, Lewis, Holyfield, Vitali or prime Wlad light him up.

  55. useroz

    “No disrespect intended, but I would love to see an all English Arsenal team just once before I die.”

    “Maybe if we get relegated a couple times otherwise no just no.”

    Or watch our U5 games…before Wenger starts buying babies from somewhere he fancies. Not a secret Wenger fancies certain gene pools from which he shops his top top qualiteeee (hopefully in football). .