So, it would appear Arsenal are going to do a Liverpool and rock a more modern version of Houllier / Evan’s. Vinai Venkatesham and Raul Sanllehi did a joint interview with king of the internet, David Ornstein.
Most of the chat was fairly standard Arsenal speak. The self-sustaining model, we’re all friends, there’s one vision… their big message seemed to be evolution, not a revolution. That’s great news. When a long-time CEO leaves, it creates a power vacuum… that can often be filled with bad ideas and big changes.
“I don’t see this as being a time for revolution, where things are going to be turned completely upside down. There will be some change, things will evolve, of course we will be looking improve and push the club forward, but don’t think you’re going to see dramatic change ahead.”
“This is evolution, not revolution. We do believe they were in the right direction so that will go on.”
The path Ivan put us on was a safe one and a good one. Everyone is out there doing the job they’re hired for. Vinai takes care of off the pitch stuff, Raul takes care of on the pitch. There will inevitably be a crossover, and that’s where being adults comes in handy.
The other two messages were pretty standard, but also welcome. Firstly, the two joint bosses seem to think Stan and Josh want to do good things with the club.
“We last saw them [Kroenke and son Josh] two weeks ago and they are very, very clear – they are 100% committed to this club and want to get the club back in the Champions League, back competing for Premier League and competing to win the Champions League,” Venkatesham said.
“They’re behind that vision. Two individuals who are hugely passionate about the sport, very energised and excited about the future opportunity we have.
I still have doubts about this, we’re the sibling that went to Europe to study art, whilst the older brother stayed in LA and took a job in banking. But, with rumours of losses coming in the next batch of financials, you can’t say we don’t invest. I also don’t think you need to have a mega net spend to be successful. Just remember this, since 2010, Real Madrid has a lower net spend than Arsenal and quite a few more CL medals.
Arsenal need to pick a vision and roll with it. We need to be aggressive about gathering up young players on the cusp of greatness. We should have been there for Hazard, we should have been there for Dembele. If we’re seen as a stepping stone to Barca, so be it, as long as we’re the team that’s taking the chances on elite young talent. It always helps to have Pep budgets, but you can make up for weakness in talent by having better scouting and really smart ideas on the pitch. That’s what Atleti has done, that’s what Juve has done, that’s what we’ll have to do.
The second message, after taking the club private, is that the fans are still important and they see engaging with them as essential to a well run outfit.
“I don’t think fans should be concerned around any lack of engagement with the club going forward.
“One of the key things we’ve been speaking about over the past few weeks is how we can continue to step up our engagement with fans, look to build more constructive relationships with our fan groups as well. These aren’t just words, these are things that are very, very important to us.”
We’ll see where this goes. I think fan groups have been burned after the last 10 years of madness. It’s going to take some effort from both sides to retreat from the position of aggression. The club needs to offer access, the fan groups need to give the new regime a chance. The most difficult thing Ivan had to deal with was the fact he was a straight up liar. You couldn’t trust a thing that came out of his mouth, the new regime should learn from that. We’ll take a shit sandwich, just don’t tell us it’s peanut butter and marmite.
As sad as it is to lose the shares that have been in people’s families for generations (great story here), the reality is they were worth nothing. I can say that, because I’m an heir to a share. It’s a nice to have, but it didn’t give us any power. It was about as useful as a signed shirt. The big loss is not being able to air grievances and the worry that the club doesn’t need to give a fuck about you anymore.
However, this is football, fans are hugely important to the process. If they don’t feel respected, they don’t turn up. Arsenal are still struggling to fill the ground, even after a mega run of wins. There’s a lot of trust still to be built, but a clean sweep of management on and off the pitch is a good place to start.
Onto website stuff. I’m having trouble working around the issue of you having to fill in your details over and over again. I updated my blog to the latest WordPress, that meant GDPR has come into play, so I’m going to have work something out. If you know anyone who can help, that’d be amazing.
Right, see you in the comments.