Our CEO is a transfer target for AC Milan?
You have GOT to be kidding me!
Look, I’m game for Gazidis being a good CEO, I’ve mostly defended him over the last few years because it was apparent his vision of the club could never be recognised under the power grip of Arsene Wenger. I never really bought into the view that we needed a football CEO at the club, and everything I hoped he’d do as a true leader, he has done (the plan hasn’t worked yet, worth noting that).
We’re basically 8 months into an Ivan Gazidis Arsenal. He’s brought in the right experts, he’s swept out the dross, he’s opened up the coffers, he’s empowered the right people and he’s made a pretty solid move for a new manager (maybe a touch safe).
Now Milan want a piece of him?
A club with an opaque ownership setup. A club the breached FFP and got booted from the Europa League. In Italy? I mean, the Italy part is pretty sweet. You can’t knock that place. I’d move there.
Back to the point… I’m really quite doubtful he’d want to leave Arsenal after 10 years, just as he’s shaping the club in his own vision. Now, I don’t want to speak about things I don’t know, but hey, I do it everyday, so fuck decorum… but my guess here would be that even though Milan is a beauty of a club, there are a number of risks associated here.
- It’s a volatile club, you have next to no job security
- It takes a lot of stress to shape a broken club
- Serie A is the 4th biggest League in Europe (I think France is now 3rd biggest for TV revenue)
- No one goes to the ground in Italy
- He is LOVING the PR he’s getting for his reputation at Arsenal
- He’s already the richest CEO in world football
- The owner doesn’t give a fuck about Arsenal, so there’s no interference like he’d get at Milan
- London is fucking cool and I think he has a youngish daughter who is college age, so a move would be disruptive
- He needs to prove to the fanbase he’s not a fraud
The rumour feels a bit like Wenger>Madrid back in the day. Maybe he’s agitating for a pay bump?
There’s a pretty fucking amazing interview with Wenger on RTL. On his biggest mistake:
‘Perhaps staying at the same club for 22 years. I’m someone who likes to move around a lot, but I also like a challenge. I’ve been a prisoner of my own challenge at times.’
AMAZING LINE. I agree.
On his darkest sin, which I thought was going to be women.
‘My taste for patisseries. I’m from Strasbourg. I eat them every day.’
‘I love Bob Marley. He’s pure class, in a chill kind of way. And his music was surprising for back then. Also, there’s something so sad about the fact he died at 35. He loved sport, music… for me Jamaica reminds me of that. Sport and music go together very well I find.’
On being invincible:
‘Effectively we were unbeaten for a year and a half. 49 games. It’s an interesting detail because when we won the title in 2002 I told the press my dream was to win the title unbeaten.’
‘I got lambasted as pretentious, arrogant etcetera. We lost the title the next season to Manchester United. In 2003/04, I asked the players why we didn’t win the title. They said, ‘it’s your fault’. I asked why.’
‘They said: ‘you put too much pressure on us.’ And it’s interesting because I told them the only reason I said it was because I truly believed it. And then they did it. Which proves two things.’
‘One, sometimes we don’t put the level of ambition high enough. We don’t dare, we’re scared. But you must set the bar as high as possible. Two, sometimes you must plant the seed and wait for it to grow.’
Now, I love the bottom line. I truly believe you can do achieve whatever you want if you have a plan, a sense of entitlement and a lot of luck. Arsene completely beat that out of the club after we moved ground. He used money to excuse everything, and the fans lapped it up. He created a boogey monster out of wealth, and gave up trying to find ways to win. He didn’t change anything. He had a recipe that worked, when it stopped, the only variable he thought changed was cash. He waited 10 years to prove that more wages and bigger transfer budgets would be a solve, then the world realised football had passed him by.
As fans, we allowed that nonsense to pass because we weren’t ambitious. We trusted Wenger and we shouldn’t have. We couldn’t see what was right in front of our eyes… or worse, we could, but we didn’t want to believe it. We allowed amateur idiots to cocoon us with utter drivel, linking our lack of positivity to performance. The real negativity came from the fans who thought we’d crumble without Arsene, and that’s the absolute irony of it all. The people who made you feel good about Arsenal were the real frauds, because, within 7 months, we’ve made more progress than we have in 14 years.
Imagine if Wenger had changed tact? Hired in the best fitness coaches on the planet. Picked off young coaches from Germany that could bring a pressing system to the club along with dynamic tactical thinking. Imagine if he’d fired Steve Rowley and brought in a Sven like body in 06? Imagine if he’d opened his eyes to video analysis. Imagine if we’d run a wage bill that was 40% lighter so we could have a cash surplus to buy players with? So many terrible mistakes.
Instead, Wenger reframed success to be something lesser. He lowered the bar, convinced the fans that the world was unfair and sold us a richer tomorrow that would fix the misery.
What a waste of 10 years. Now we have a doer who is going to have to be accountable, and that’s why we’re all very excited.
My biggest issue with Wenger is he talks an incredible game, but nothing lines up. He’s a winner who isn’t curious about solving problems. He’s an economist who failed to understand inflation. He was an accountant who didn’t understand the diminishing returns of cash in the bank. He’s a scholar of the game couldn’t see emerging trends of better coaches. He was a futurist that lived in the past.
But he’s gone now, so I should stop talking about it.
Full transcript here.
See you in the comments x