I was going to write this blog like a letter, but I felt like an idiot, so instead, let’s just talk about issues like we normally do.
Josh wrote back in double-quick time and he also did an interview on the website.
However you cut it up, he was affected by the critique, he penned a thoughtful response and he said some things that should please. He also spoke with passion, which makes English people happy.
He correctly called out that Arsenal has been making a lot of changes. I can go along with that. We’ve also made a lot of mistakes, which is why things are so bad at the minute.
He basically said what we all knew… Arsenal is a Champions League spender on wages with a Europa League budget. So forget about financial favors some of you thought Raul was going to snag in his sit down with the KSE crew this month.
He also empathised with the fans. He really tried to double down on the fact that he went to Baku and saw the tears in the players eyes. I understand that he wants to be seen as a fan, but flying out privately to watch your team in the final is par the course. Regardless, he wants you to know he gives a fuck.
He really drilled home the importance of Edu, calling him the final piece.
He said the club and his family is in it to win it. That was great to hear.
Overall, it was a good response and timely.
I don’t want to write like the leftwing media here, ‘we got what we wanted, but it’s still not enough’, but I do think there are a few things about the response that need addressing.
Firstly, if you want to win and that’s what the focus is, what happens if, like the last 10 years of KSE bland-on-toast, it fails?
Will they sell up and move on in shame? Is there any consequence for not winning? If you can’t make a club work in over a decade, why not sell up if you fail again?
Seems a ridiculous thing to ask, but ultimately, if winning at all costs fails, why keep it going? Pass it onto someone else and make $2.5b in the process.
Secondly, I find it staggering that someone overseeing the wreckage of this summer can confidently say that Edu is the final piece of the puzzle.
Are. You. Kidding.
We have a bang average manager, there’s no chief scout, our head of performance was booted back to Australia, we are a total mess.
Edu is the FIRST piece of the puzzle.
Another point, that hasn’t been addressed by anyone at Arsenal.
What is the timeline?
You can’t keep talking about winning if you don’t state what you want to win and by when.
Is the whole exec leadership team going to be held to account here?
I read that Josh is a very likeable guy behind the scenes. He looks like a fun guy, he has a yacht, is a total playboy, and probably has Thierry Henry in a WhatsApp group.
My question is… do they fear him? Is Raul’s neck on the line if we are not in the Champions League in 3 years. What is Vinnai being held accountable for? Who is demanding absolute fucking excellence at the club moving forward?
Where are we going to be in 1 year, 2 years, 3 years… and what is the crowning glory of this group of men?
Saying you want to win means nothing without a timeline and brutal consequences for failure.
If we want to be seen as an elite team, there has to be a standard we’re held to… because the sharp reality of business is this: If you don’t hold people to account, they generally don’t hold themselves to one. This is exactly what happened with Ivan Gazidis. His main goal was self-preservation and all of his decision making was geared around prolonging the gravy train.
He bottled firing Wenger when Klopp was available. He bottled paying a little extra for BIG names. He allowed Wenger to sit on cash and treat it like his own, when the real value was in rapidly appreciating players. He bottled the manager decision. He bottled creating a structure with hierarchy. He bottled seeing his vision through. Why? Because Josh and Stan didn’t hold him to sporting standards. His standard was to never rock the boat, which meant low-risk decisions, always.
Raul has the job of his life, he has fallen up the ladder and now has incredible wealth and power. He will hold onto that job in the same way as Ivan did if Josh isn’t careful. Winning SHOULD be part of his remit. Not a nice to have.
I would love to hear Josh come out and tell us the standards he expects. I would love to hear in the press that losing at Arsenal comes at a cost. I don’t want to hear our manager say that he likes Arsenal because the pressure is different. I don’t want a coddled environment. I don’t want to hear the players let whingeing get in the way of prep . I don’t want the bus driver running team motivation speeches. I don’t want to see average players prancing around at the club because they love their contracts. I don’t want to see our head of psychology on the club website 5 years straight if he’s not improving the mental state of our players.
I want us to be the best.
Ok, I’m sounding like a brat now, but simply put, I appreciate Josh speaking to the fans… but we have been fed inspirational words for too long. Time for action, great results and dire consequences if things don’t move forward.
In other news:
The Saliba deal is nearly done. That’s great fucking business.
Arsenal are still chasing down Tierney
Ceballos on loan is something we’re pursuing
Malcolm could also be on the cards
The talk is hot for Everton
Emery is expecting FOUR players this week
Get a centre back in the mix and the summer won’t have been a total disaster. The season will be, but that’s another story.
See you in the comments. xx