The Arsenal joint leadership team dropped an impromptu exclusive with some of the hardest hitting journos in the game… I mean, kind of… I mean, they interviewed themselves.
The most choreographed tap dance since Michael Flatly swooned my mother with River Dance back in the day.
The piece drew applause from many people who were captivated by the vision.
Not me. Nor Matt from The AO.
The whole piece felt a bit wet.
TL;DR, the vision is ‘Making Arsenal fans proud’ and the execution is ‘the Arsenal way.’
A vision has to be measurable because ultimately, you have to be accountable for delivering results.
‘Proud of you’ is not measurable. It’s broad, extremely subjective, but it’s a crowd pleaser for fans that know no better. It’s a little bit like telling someone they do the dishes the best… a bit of flattery to cover-up a cop-out.
I am proud of Arsenal in the Community. They do incredible work across a broad range of categories. Unreal commitment. Is that mission complete? No way. I love the trimmings around the club and they remind me that I support a classy outfit, but ultimately, I’m in it for the football.
A vision needs to be more specific, and I’d have hoped for it to be more football oriented.
Vision: To be Premier League Champions inside 5 years
Strategy: Project Youth 3.0.
- Arsenal become the number 1 destination for world-class talent between the ages of 17-23
- We build our whole backroom team in service of identifying, training and elevating their talent.
- We attract them by offering them good contracts that are heavily incentivised, combined with an elite platform to showcase their skills.
- This is a 5 year plan. We’re going to be honest with the fans, but what we’ll promise in return is a footballing philosophy built around pace, power and explosive flair. Arsenal will be the most spectacular destination for attacking football in the world.
- We’ll do this by hiring an innovative coach that believes in the vision. We’ll surround them with hand picked specialists, built to an American sporting model. We’ll hire the best of the best in every position in the club.
What did we get?
We’re going to promote kids, have tough conversations about contracts, buy smarter, and do things the Arsenal way.
They both said they want to win trophies, but there’s no timeframe. They both reeled off the Ivan-esque prose that it’s hard to win trophies, which again, felt like excuse padding. Also a bit weird to pump Emery and call the Europa his comfort blanket. If we’d been more aggressive about the league we’d have made top 4… the comfort blanket now has us in a roulette moment with Chelsea.
They said the owners are down with winning too.
“They are really passionate about how we can move the club forward, but also realistic. They know we’re not going to go from where we are to deliver our ambition overnight & know there’s going to be a whole load of work along the way to get there”
… delay, delay, delay. Arsenal are obsessed with things taking a long time, being difficult, harder to achieve than buying a loaf of bread. When you are communicating a plan like that, it shows you don’t fully believe in it. You’re already complaining. It’s tiresome.
Elon Musk sells the future like a hero. He over promises and under delivers every quarter… but you know what, the outrageous ambition he has shown has him sending spaceships to space and returning to land on a pad the side of a golf green. Did he set out to investors and say, ‘listen we want to have spaceships landing on these pads, but ultimately, it’s pretty tough getting a space permit, then there’s the recruitment thing, total nightmare, then there’s the budget, which can I just inform you is 5% of what Nasa spend.’
Fuck no. He was shooting for the literal stars, and if he fell short, at least he achieved something.
Overall, I was a bit flat coming away from it. There was no real substance. My only hope is they have something magic up their sleeves, but it doesn’t seem that way. For a piece that was recorded internally, they did a pretty uninspiring job of rallying the troops. What do the staff and players think? Are they on a wild ride? Are we going somewhere? Is there a mars shot going on here? I must have missed it.
This is my big issue with Arsenal. Our special sauce isn’t special, it’s just Heinz ketchup. There is nothing unique about having a desire to play young kids. There’s nothing unique about being financially prudent. We’re not the richest, we’re not the smartest, we’re not the most artful… so once again, we bumble into the summer with a manager that hasn’t really moved the needle guiding the vision of the club for the next two seasons.
Kind of bland, but really, exactly what I expected.
Arsenal, stasis through harmony.