I feel like this summer, more than many that have passed before, is feeling like one of the worst.
14 years of neglect have hit us very hard.
We have regressed.
Our nearest rivals have progressed.
If we were looking at a graph, it’d be the saddest graph in the world.
5 years ago, Spurs and Liverpool were behind us in the league. Now they are Champions League finalists with monster transfer budgets. Both clubs invested in elite coaches with big ideas. Both clubs are now attracting the very best in the game. At the same time, Arsenal fans were purring at the idea of Wenger being given big money to spend.
£350m later… we’ve managed to make things worse.
Arsenal didn’t make hay while the sun was shining.
Many people are complaining that Spurs are spending after a stadium move. That’s because their frugal strategy of prioritising youth, smart buy and great coaching is reaping bigly in Europe. They had a coach that took them to the Champions League final after spending zero pounds last summer.
Arsenal’s issue, for all the bluster, is that we were never really that future-facing.
We hoarded Champions League money when elite players were adding 50%+ year on year. Remember when we baulked at £32m for Higuain? Remember when we fucked up Suarez? There are so many times we didn’t pull the trigger because leadership at Arsenal hid under the comfort blanket of Wenger’s perceived view of value.
Arsenal didn’t recognize the clear patterns that were emerging in football.
They didn’t preempt what the uplift in TV money would mean for agent expectations with contracts. Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Alexis would still be at Arsenal on £180k a week if we’d given them proper money when most major clubs were bumping salaries. At the very worst, we’d have sold them. We waited until it was too late and lost two for fuck all and had to keep the third on outrageous cash because of Ivan’s ego.
We never paid a premium when it made sense.
We didn’t take chances.
We didn’t refresh our talent, ideas or thinking.
We invested too much in players that were good for a culture of meekness. Too little in players that could have taken us to the next level.
Now we’re in a situation where we’re in danger of being gazumped by Spurs for Saliba, we’re being hardballed by Celtic with Tierney, and we’re seriously contemplating selling Auba to fund a move for a 27 year old winger who scored 15 goals last year.
Edu is having a week off after the Copa America according to Ornstein.
What a mess.
Still, Adidas is our kit sponsor, so who cares?
Thoughts on the leaked advert (someone in deep shit over that mishap):
This is a great spot.
I love the humour. The respect for the local area and the texture. I like the mix of old and new. I love that Wrighty is in it. I like that Adidas are massaging our egos pretending that we still run North London.
There’s a lot of hope in there.
It’s so great to have a proper sportswear brand backing us.
Mustafi is going to look about x4 better sliding into the back of Harry Kane next season.
Bring it on. Being shit with good clobber. Bit like me playing in goal with silver mercurials back in the day.
‘All the gear, no idea’ my
friends teammates used to say to me.
See you in the comments. x