Nothing makes you smile quite like Arsene Wenger scrabbling to push in on the new signings like he knew what was going on in Europe as he presided over a pretty average ship.
“You have Dick Law who retires, and has gone back to the States. He is still with us for a while, but we look for somebody as well who has experience in negotiations. We have Huss, who is top drawer, but has just joined us, but is doing an excellent job. I rate him highly. There is still a need.”
“I know them all because I’ve been in the game before them,”
“So of course I know everybody in every club in Europe, basically I know them all.”
I admire the fact that even when his grip on power is on the decline, he can’t let anyone think the big decisions don’t reside with him.
If Wenger knew about all these fancy backroom people who were outpacing him all over the Europe, why did it take so long to make the move to bring them in? Surely Wenger didn’t think the way the club were dealing with transfers was optimum? Surely he didn’t believe in the signing of Gervinho way back when? Surely he didn’t wonder how all these incredible players were passing him by?
This bit made me laugh. When asked who the new guys would be working with…
‘With me. Ivan has nothing to do with buying players.
‘Today we have a structure in England, we know everybody. We have taken somebody who has international experience and that is why we made that decision.’
Before you lose your minds. Wenger is right, Ivan doesn’t run the transfers or player recc. No one should want him to. He signed Sven and Raul to take care of that. The point of the new structure is the new guys report into Ivan, not Wenger. That’s the big change you need to be paying attention to. The infrastructure is CEO run, not manager run.
Anyway, I’m splitting hairs. It’s clear now why Wenger has been making such a fuss in the media about his future. He knew this was about the drop, and he’s not happy.
Regardless, point is, the new hires will be here long after Wenger goes. I don’t bank on the manager leaving next season, but I am pretty sure he will be shipped out within two years. Ivan was fighting a one-man battle last year. Now he has a world class Head of Recruitment, as well as a champion Head of Football Relations to back the already sound argument that Wenger is finished.
You also have to remember Stan K is currently tasting the glory of hiring an exciting young manager for his LA Rams franchise. Apparently, from the stories I hear, Stan is absolutely over the moon about what’s happening there and he’s willing to talk Rams with anyone who cares to listen to the progress being made.
He can’t like the shit he gets for backing Wenger, who would? His young son can’t like overseeing a train wreck of a team, who would? Surely both must wonder what it’d be like to oversee a team that was lean, smart and fighting for the major trophies.
Why settle for something you know that’s going to fail? It’s not like we’re saving money. We’re a bloated club that’s lost. Find yourself a vision.
I watched ‘Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond.’ I genuinely wanted to hate the Jim Carrey documentary, but it really is quite profound and I can’t stop thinking about it. Working in advertising, you spend a lot of your time trying to understand what the people are looking for. Jim, in his early years kept asking himself what the people wanted from him. Then it hit him.
“They want to be free from concern.”
The next night, he went on stage and said, ‘how is everyone tonight?’ and without pause, delivered ‘alrighty then.’ He was telling people he didn’t give a fuck, and they shouldn’t either. He was there to free them from the everyday. That line ended up in Ace Ventura, his next film bagged him $10m.
That’s a long-winded way of telling you that your audience is important. Arsenal fans want to feel like their club is competing. They want to feel like The Arsenal put as much effort into winning as they have done supporting this whole grotesque stadium move that made a lot of undeserving people rich off our pennies. They want their hard work replicated, rewarded, and the vision of being a superclub realised.
In the last 10 years, Arsenal fans haven’t tolerated the ‘well, we’re lucky to be in the top 4’ bullshit because that’s not why we moved from a ground we loved. That’s not why we accepted a soulless bowl that we paid through the nose for. We moved to reach the promised land. We moved to become the Bayern Munich of England. We moved because we were told we were shooting for the next level.
It never happened. We didn’t even attempt it. The fans knew it. Simply put, if Arsenal behaved like Bayern, the fans would be happy.
You and I don’t need Manchester City trappings. We don’t need £150m signings. We want something a bit more Arsenal. We want the modern take on Wenger 1998. We want ingenious scouting. We want to see incredible youth. We want a manager that electrifies the ground with innovative football, exceptional technical execution, with exciting young players we can feel proud of.
We don’t need to be the most extravagant, we’d take being the smartest.
These backroom signings are the beginnings of an Arsenal dream I’ve talked to you about for years. The most passionate football intellects working together to create an Arsenal brand of magic that engages you deeply on every occasion.
That’s where we’re heading now. Arsene Wenger laid a solid foundation that needed a new architect ten years ago. Well, the new team is now surveying the damage and planning for the next phase of development. We are going to become a superclub, and it’s going to be incredible.
I couldn’t be more excited. We have something unpredictable coming. It’s going to be exciting. It’s going be innovative. You’re going to fall back in love with the Arsenal Wenger sold to you 22 years ago. A marriage rekindled. A spark renewed. This is going to be the start of something special.
We are the Arsenal, and it feels exciting again. x
P.S. Realise I’m shooting my load a little early, but such is life. Listen to my fu*king podcast, and LOL hard at a Spurs that could go 7th by Thursday.
Also, I got so carried away about the signings, I forgot to talk about Huddersfield tonight. Start Jack and Danny (Essex rhyming slang, right there).