Josh Kroenke, hire a proper CEO before it’s too late

by & filed under News Review.

I want to talk about exec leadership at Arsenal today because it’s absolute lunacy what’s going on at Arsenal at the moment.

I awoke yesterday to Kia trapping off on Talksport about upcoming changes in the structure at Arsenal football club. Totally egregious that a super-agent is airing Arsenal gossip on talk radio. Not just any super-agent, one that is at the centre of a scandalous transfer story for David Luiz, and one that is the agent of our technical director. Why is he talking?

Arsenal, repped by Bertie Mee, Herbert Chapman, Arsene Wenger and known as the Bank Of England club because of our class, has let the dogs in the back door and they’re running amok.

Think about this, two people seemingly driving the club at the moment have been involved in two of the most infamous transfer stories in history. The Tevez/Mascherano deal with West Ham and the Neymar transfer at Barca.

Is it any surprise that we’re in such a mess?

Raul, seemingly in lockstep with the fast fading great ‘Invincible’ hope Edu, is running the club into the ground.

Our last three January signings – Mari, Suarez, and Soares – boast one completed 90 minutes in the league. They’ve cost us £15m, enough to fund a top European 22-year-old for 3 years. Sure, it’s unfortunate that Mari suffered a bad injury, I feel for him, but the reality is he wasn’t playing yesterday if David Luiz had his head right. If you can’t displace a 33-year-old fading centre back when you are 26, it’s highly likely you are probably not the future of Arsenal football club.

The problem Arsenal has is there is no CEO. Dual leadership doesn’t even look good on paper, it’s a shit idea, always has been. You cannot share power. You need one person accountable. That’s just how humans work.

We need someone at the top of the tree who can get their head around the commercial aspects of our operation and the football parts. We need someone with the guts to scrutinise deals, challenge the data, and do the right thing for Arsenal. How many execs could survive our January signings alone? How could you rationalise the signing of Pepe for that huge fee, with a certain Jorge Mendes involved, buying from your mate (who was banned from French football for 3 months for allegedly breaking financial reporting regs)  from a club that is run by someone who sees fees as the most profitable part of the game? How does he explain the run down contracts? How does Raul survive our position in the table? How has he moved Arsenal forward?

It is disgraceful that we are in such a mess 3 years after the so-called rebirth of Arsenal football club.

If Josh K doesn’t care about the club, he should care about looking like a fool, care of Edu and Raul.

If he doesn’t want to run Arsenal, he should invest in someone that can.  Arsenal is a very wealthy organisation. Josh should go and find a CEO that understands sports or entertainment. Look into CEOs that have done positive things with limited funds. Speak to Hans-Joachim Watzke of Dortmund and find out what he needs to move to London. Go and speak to Ian Ayre who is in Nashville at the moment after a solid stint at Liverpool where he hired Jurgen Klopp. Speak to Beppe Marotta of Inter Milan (previously Juve). Do something creative. Rummage the NFL, the NBA, find anyone doing interesting things at prestigious sporting entities. Just don’t leave Arsenal to rot under rudderless leadership.

To make matters worse, Ivan Gazidis, who initiated all this, is now working off a Le Grove suggestion from 4 years ago. He’s hiring in Ralph Rangnick to bring power and pace to a slow league. Quite incredible he’s finally making a good decision while we’re still suffering from the most despicable power grab in European football history. No owner, no board, a patsy Technical Director, and super-agents so comfortable they are gossiping on the biggest sports radio station in the UK about our great club.

Nothing sums up our problems more succinctly than the David Luiz debacle.

1) Arteta had to drop a 33-year-old for a big game because Arsenal can’t afford his deal

2) Allowing him to derail a game because his head was gone

3) Having this problem after paying, according to The Athletic, £24m for his services. ONE YEAR.

4) Allowing a whole media cycle to be dedicated to whether Arsenal can seal a deal for him, because he’s important.

This one transfer is everything that is wrong with Arsenal under Raul. A lack of preparation, a lack of data, ‘contacts’ scouting, disgraceful fees, and absolutely shit output.

How can David Luiz be so important?

Ok, I’m being mean to Luiz. He’s not a bad player, even now. He’s been good under Arteta. However, his full body of work and the short term nature of his signature will always be judged as another bad piece of business. Edu should have signed someone young that could have grown with the club, instead, he did what was right for his agent, not what was right for us. I am pretty sure we were recommended Akanji last season, I saw him land a beautiful assist from deep for Dortmund a few days ago, he’s 24 years old and we could have signed him for about the same fee we nabbed Luiz for. Even if we couldn’t, are you telling me the best our scouting network could muster was someone in the Kia portfolio?

I also need to counter the ‘what about Martinelli’ argument. Of course, Raul and Edu will bring in some players outside their network, they can ‘t give all the deals to their ‘contacts’. The problem is just how bad the bad deals are. Emery, Pepe, Luiz, Suarez, Soares, Mari… not to mention heavy links to Willian, Kurzawa, Nuno and interviewing Perreira.

We need a prestige exec to come in and lay down the law with Raul and Edu. Ask them what drove certain signings, get into the weeds on what the fees were, understand why we are in such a mess, and ask for a clear plan for how they escape the doom. If the answers don’t suffice, move them the fuck on and start again with a clean slate. We have a good coach, now support him with the players and infrastructure he deserves.

Josh has to know that he’s being played like a fool. I cannot believe that he doesn’t have a single friend who is not giving him clear advice on just how bad the mess we’re in is. I’m also deeply hopeful that the Edu guff in The Athletic about how he goes about transfers was a reaction to the bad press. I also hope that Raul is going to pull the Luiz deal because it’s too hot for the club after the stories of last week.

Josh should speak to people at the club. People that have left the club. He should get into the details and see if his money is being spent wisely, then make a decision on whether he wants to be pushed around like the rich kid trying to buy friends in the school playground.

Something needs to change, my fear though, is there’s still some way to drop before actual meaningful action is taken.

Arsenal needs the accountability that comes with world-class leadership. The longer you leave hacks at the top of your organisation, the more expensive it becomes to dig your way out of the problem.

Time to act, Josh.

See you in the comments. x

P.S. Emergency podcast below.

1,281 Responses to “Josh Kroenke, hire a proper CEO before it’s too late”

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  1. Wasi

    Marc

    Leno was shouting with his lungs out and not one player had the guts to confront maupay then.

    Now we will most probably concede 5-7 more goals by the end of the season than we would have if Leno was not injured.

    Leno is saving that goal from Maupay.

  2. China1

    And yeah no one minded one bit that Leno just got intentionally elbowed by a fucking hunch back troll. Smiling and tapping him on the back etc as if he was the victim when he got off without even a yellow for causing our keeper to get seriously injured

    And I don’t believe for one second the elbow was an accident. From minute one their entire genius plan was just relentless fouling in the knowledge that the ref was a cunt. Plan worked a treat

  3. Marc

    TBM

    “You’re a great writer and this a really good blog, but you need to be careful here. If you double down on this nonsense you could be threatening your current readership and all the hard work you put in until now. Tread carefully.”

    Absolutely spot on – right now Le Grove is about the guys on the comments section not the guy running the blog.

    It’d be a real shame to see a global Arsenal community disappear because Pedro’s turned into David Koresh!

  4. CG

    Wasi

    “”””Need more players like Guendozi.””””

    57 games.
    0 goals
    1 assist

    Easily wound up, immature, caricature, show pony.
    A french Div 2 player.

  5. Mics_

    Fabregas and RVP both had a nasty edge to their play, in the best way. They didn’t take shit. I can’t think of anyone in this squad with that same edge. Some would say Guendouzi, but I tend to think he’s just more of an idiot rather than someone who knows the edge that a bit of targeted aggression can get you.

  6. Leftside

    That picture of Leno on a stretcher speaking up for himself whilst our players meekly look on is a still image of what present day Arsenal is.

  7. Wasi

    The season is a write off.

    Dont start slating Arteta . Give him time. End of next season at the LEAST. 18-24 months ideally.

  8. Habesha Gooner

    I just hope this our liverpool phase where we are going through a crappy patch and we come back some time. I don’t want this to be our Leeds United kind of phase. This is a serious concern for me. we are going further down every season and there is no going up these last 10 years.

  9. James wood

    Arsenal players livid with their own performances after the game blame Maupa for his challenge on Leno.
    A challenge most forwards make on goal keepers.?

  10. Jeff

    I don’t care what anyone says or how they try to justify it but you do not hire a novice to manage a Premiere League club like Arsenal. You just don’t do it. The fact that it has happened says there is something so very, very wrong with this club and I don’t know if there is even a cure at this point.

    Anyone at the club with any bottle or clout needs to rethink the Arteta decision and go back to basics. Hire an experienced manager who WANTS TO WIN.

  11. Terraloon

    Around two years ago I posted on here that I was concerned that it was possible that whoever succeeds AW may not be able to get anymore out of the players .

    I was slaughtered. Comments not only disagreed with me but the vast majority clearly rated the players and not one could countenance things getting worse.

    So 24 months on , and I am not advocating that there was any error in getting rid of AW but Arsenal are yon an extremely slippery slope.

    Some pointed to not losing any games in 2020, some pointed to the wonderful ( cough cough) summer 2019 transfer window, some point to the Messiah aka Arteta, some said the two month breaks would enable the players to buy into the plan but the reality is no money, no heart, no plan, no CL or EL football and a bloated overrated, overpaid and all this from the dis fictional club previously known as Arsenal

    Brighton should be cannon fodder for Arsenal. They weren’t.

    Surely no one can any longer big up anything that happened today. The senior players looked confused. The younger players looked out of their depth.

    Arsenal look slow, ponderous, disinterested and completely lethargic.

  12. Wasi

    CG

    How many goals/assists did Scholes have?
    Or Gilberto Silva?
    Fernandinho?
    Fabinho?
    Busquets?
    Casemiro?
    Kante?
    Ndidi?
    Verratti?

  13. China1

    Umm CC…

    It’s true that he hasn’t had a transfer window but he just had MONTHS with the arsenal players and no games

    He’s had his preseason, no question about that LOL

  14. Champagne Charlie

    Dissenter
    Your views have been generating less and less traction with me of late, you’re pretty much the sites resident sensationalist who thinks over the top analysis leads to an enhanced voice.

    It doesn’t, you sound daft. You think you’ve dissed Arteta as a manager inside 12 games, you’re a marvel you really are. Add it to the list.

    Azed
    You’re like a jilted Ex, get over Emery mate it’s not healthy the amount you compare. Between that and the hours spent trawling month old posts of dial it back just a touch and go more organic with your thoughts.

    You wanted to give Emery time upon time, now suggesting Arteta be afforded the same start to a season is a wild concept? Dry your eyes.

  15. Marc

    “Fabregas and RVP both had a nasty edge to their play”

    As did Bergkamp, Keown, Adams, Vieira, Petit, Lauren etc.

    If the Brighton player had done that to Lehmann he would have gone into witness protection already.

  16. Emiratesstroller

    Marc

    Aubameyang is not a target player. He likes to play around the pitch with free
    movement. You can argue whether Lacazette should be taken off and replaced
    with Nketiah, but that is not the reason we lost today.

    We have known all season that our midfield is a mess. The stats I published two days ago tells you all you need to know about this department. Our problems there are evident against all levels of opposition from Man City to
    Brighton. They are constantly outplayed.

    Our defence is what it is “bargain basement” level and that is all we have got at
    the moment at our disposal.

  17. China1

    The not losing in 2020 thing was an embarrassing stat to make a big deal about considering we only played for a couple of months before lockdown LOL

    it was hardly a 49 game unbeaten run was it? Liverpool will likely end this season with only one or two defeats in the entire 38 campaign but arsenal fans were bragging about not losing any in a couple of months of games followed by month after month of lockdown. Achievement much?

  18. Champagne Charlie

    “It’s true that he hasn’t had a transfer window but he just had MONTHS with the arsenal players and no gamesHe’s had his preseason, no question about that LOL“

    As one of the most outspoken about COVID you’ve some memory lapse.

    Preseason is at least 6 weeks of two-day training sessions and tactical work in a group. You think zoom sessions and iPad coaching is a preseason equivalent? Pull the other one.

  19. Terraloon

    Wasi

    Are you seriously comparing Guendozi with that list of players.

    He is a headless chicken who can’t hold a position , makes too many poor passes has no idea what’s going on around him.

  20. Marc

    It’s very possible that Emery served a purpose as the break between Wenger and a new manager with no comparison. The problem is Arteta isn’t just not getting results he doesn’t seem to have a plan or even a clue on occasions.

    I want him to be a success because I don’t know where we go next if he doesn’t work out but he really needs to get his shit together.

  21. alex cutter

    “If the Brighton player had done that to Lehmann he would have gone into witness protection already.”

    Stop being such a candy-ass. that type of collision occurs every match. Leno fell awkwardly.

    You are correct though about the squad being full of pussies.

  22. Receding Hairline

    “The not losing in 2020 thing was an embarrassing stat to make a big deal about considering we only played for a couple of months before lockdown LOL”

    To be honest very few people gave that stat any relevance, only one person on here kept going on and on about it and it had more to do with a certain player than the team

  23. TR7

    This season was a write off even before Arteta was appointed as Arsenal manager. Yet he did improve our play a little bit in the few games he managed before lockdown. But I guess a 3 month break was too much for a team which had just begun to regroup mentally and chart out the way forward. Uncertainty over Auba’s future, injuries and poor team selection/substitution at times have only added to our woes. The only gripe I have with Arteta is his reluctance to get rid of players who always cost us games but still really premature and ridiculous over the top Arteta bashing here. Give the man some fucking time. He has not even had a transfer window yet to get the players he wants or offload the ones he does not like.

  24. azed

    You wanted to give Emery time upon time, now suggesting Arteta be afforded the same start to a season is a wild concept? Dry your eyes.

    CC

    Lol

    Go check my comments on the first day of the season, I stated Emery has had a year to understand the league, all results would be blamed on him.
    I don’t care about Emery as I have always stated our squad is poor.

    You on the other hand were pretty sure was squad was top 4 but you will not judge Arteta till he improves a top 4 squad just to beat Brighton?

  25. Marc

    Emirates

    But that’s my point – either play Auba in his best position and set up to work to that or drop him – especially if he’s off at the of the season anyway.

    Right now Arteta wants to keep him but as what?

    It all looks a muddle with no clear plan or concept of what Arteta wants to do.

  26. Mics_

    Marc, too right! Ha, Mad Jens was not to be fucked with.

    Embarrassing stuff, Leno himself the only Arsenal player showing any outrage.

  27. azed

    “He has not even had a transfer window yet to get the players he wants or offload the ones he does not like.”

    Arteta brought in Cedric and Mari… Don’t rewrite history please.

    Also, this blog claimed the players were good enough so why does Arteta need a transfer window?

  28. Marc

    “These players would actually do very well in the All Islington Five A Side Tournament”

    What’s very well? Making the qtr finals?

  29. Tom

    “…week, worst start to a campaign in 40 years,…,”

    CC, ha ha at this rate with another couple of losses that worst start to a season number will become 60.
    It was 30 just a few days ago lol.

  30. Champagne Charlie

    “Whats to say he wouldn’t? You can’t say that for certain“

    I didn’t say anything for certain. But my view is based on the realities faced this season and isn’t a selective argument to prop one person up against the other.

    Emery was close to top 4 last season and made the EL final, dissenter was using last season as a yardstick for Arteta without accounting for this seasons circumstances. Finishing 5th last year means very little given this year we were mid-table and miles away from that sort of form.

    To weaponise that in an argument against Arteta, who inherited such a mess, is absolute bollocks.

  31. G8

    Ya let’s blame all our 10 yrs midfield woes on that headless chicken Guen..
    Because we don’t like his mop hair

    Seriously!

  32. Emiratesstroller

    Marc

    The real problem at the moment is that there is “uncertainty” whether Aubameyang is leaving or staying. That applies also to Lacazette, Luiz and a
    whole host of other players at the club.

    This season is already a write off and the owner and management need to start making very quickly decisions who is staying or leaving.

    It matters not to me whether we are eight or fifteen in league, because it makes absolutely no difference if we finish outside European Qualification
    places.

    We know that we have had a bad season. Now is the time to start planning for
    2020-1 and Kroenke needs to show some commitment to the cause.

  33. Wasi

    Terra

    I made that comment to CG because hi thinks that midfielders that dont make goal contributions are useless

    Guendouzi has massive talent. He might no become as good as Scholes but if developed correctly he can be a real asset for us.

  34. Sid

    When push comes to shove Arteta goes into ze handbrake mode
    xGA was dismissed here but we have been awful all through the difference is we faced poor attackers,

    Fitness levels are also bad, its going to get ugly by seasons end

  35. Nelson

    Now that European football is out of reach, It is time to have another round of cut in players salary. They don’t deserve their wages.

  36. Tom

    Getting undone from a corner by a tall Brighton side is not unusual, but getting undone from a short corner by Brighton is kinda awful and squarely on coaches for not running proper drills or getting on players to stay alert.

  37. Marc

    No one’s expecting Arteta to win the fucking league with the squad he’s got but managing a single win against any of:

    Bournemouth
    Palace
    Sheffield Utd
    Burnley
    Brighton

    would be a start. We’ve got Southampton away next match right now who would you put money on? A win for Southampton would basically guarantee safety.

  38. Mics_

    10 years of midfield woe? Cazorla was pretty damn good, Ramsey, Wilshere before he got crocked, Ozil when he actually cared … Guendouzi is not in the same class as any of them.

    To be clear, he’s far from the only problem. But let’s not pretend that Guendouzi is anywhere close to the caliber of midfielder that we need, and that we’ve had not all that long ago.

  39. Marc

    “Bournemouth
    Palace
    Sheffield Utd
    Burnley
    Brighton”

    4 points out of 15 under Arteta – a clean sweep puts us 3 points behind Leicester.

  40. Emiratesstroller

    Mics

    Guendouzi is a headless chicken and the idea as some suggest that he is in the
    potential class of Scholes is ridiculous.

    He offers absolutely nothing apart from running around pitch. He is easily dispossessed and his recovery is poor particularly when he tires in later stages
    of game.

    He was bought for peanuts as a borderline squad player and that is bluntly what he is. The idea that he is a starting X1 player is indicative of the calibre of
    our midfield.

  41. Wasi

    Suga

    He is still only 12-15 games in his managerial career. With time hopefully he will get better at game and player management.

  42. Marc

    Wasi

    But that’s not what we were being told by many on here when Emery was in charge.

    I’m glad that Emery’s gone – he royally fucked up the end to last season but right now Arteta’s not looking much if any better.

  43. Mics_

    Watching Wolves right now. I’d kill for that Neves-Moutinho midfield. They’re both class. Moutinho’s gotta be fifty years old and he’s still better than any midfielder we’ve got.

  44. Marc

    “With time hopefully he will get better at game and player management.”

    Let’s hope that happens before League 1 shall we!

  45. Mics_

    Emiratesstroller, agree 100%. He’s a bench player who only starts because this is the worst crop of midfielders we’ve had since … I can’t remember, actually.

  46. Dissenter

    Wasi
    ‘ I know . But we need to be patient with Arteta.
    Many may deny it but this squad is poor’

    Too poor to beat Brighton
    Lol, cry me a river, your Arteta defense is embarrassing .
    After the city loss, you said let’s wait till the Brighton game… now it’s player poverty
    Gimme a break

  47. G8

    Mics, aart from cazorla the rest you mentioned were either duds or crocked

    He is 20 yrs old , so far has performed better than cebellos, xhaka, ozil, willock, AMN, suares toriera ..
    If only the rest of the pansies on 100+ K week to do their job first then we can blame him

  48. Pierre

    The WOBS have no shame…

    A good percentage of them are on here gloating at the situation we are in..

    Don’t they realise that a this defeat opens the door for Ozil to walk back into the side and take us on another unbeaten run.

    He did it when Emery dropped him in nov 2018 , the team foundered without him so he brought him bac and low and behold , results improved .

    He tried it again at the start of this season, again the team floundered, so he came back in.

    Ozil has been an ever present in the league for Arteta up until the last 2 games .

    In fact , our only defeat in the league prior to lockdown was at home to Chelsea .

    We were one nil up with Ozil on the pitch, he was substituted and we conceded 2 late goals without Ozil on the pitch.

    If Arteta has any sense he will bring Ozil back into the side as it is clear that when Ozil isn’t in the side we
    1) concede more goals
    2) create fewer chances
    3) score fewer goals
    4) lose more matches .

    Arteta will get it right , this is just a blip, he allowed himself into thinking that Ozil was not needed .

    He will see the error of his ways.

  49. Wasi

    Marc

    He took a crooked, mentally depleted squad on.
    We were closer to relegation than top 4.
    Many of the fans had already written the season off.

    Arteta came in brought some structure and style back. We were keeping clean sheets and winning games. We had a defined pattern of play and we were displaying it on the pitch.All in all he gave us hope that Top 4 is still possible.

    Maybe Arteta did some overthinking in the lockdown. The 4-2-3-1 before the break was working quite well . I think he should have rolled with it until the summer when we buy 1 or 2 midfielders who are more suited to 4-3-3.
    By benching the senior players maybe he wanted to stamp his authority. It hasnt worked yet but maybe with some training it will. ( the 4-3-3)

    2 things I want to point that I think Arteta is getting wrong is
    The 4-3-3 makes Auba ineffective
    What is going on with Martinelli. January Potm for us. Changed the game against Olympiakos against coming on and is our best game changer alongside Pepe. Sure he should be getting game time ahead of Reiss and Joe and Eddie. I cant think he is not giving his all in the training so what is the problem?

  50. Wasi

    Dissenter

    ‘After the city loss, you said let’s wait till the Brighton game’

    I said I will reserve my judgement until the end of next season. That is when Arteta has had at least 18 months and 2 TW.

  51. James wood

    I have praised Guen but his attitude stinks.
    A squad player at best but not a starter.
    His head seems a bit mixed up.

    Arteta does look like a novice on the touch line.
    But let’s see how it goes next season after he has had a clear out and made a
    couple of signings.

  52. Dissenter

    When people say that Arteta is only a dozen games into his managerial career and that he will get better
    …do they understand that he could also stagnate or just worsen?

    I recall when Monk took over at Swansea, he looked really good and then the helium oozed out of the balloon…and that was it.

  53. S Asoa

    Arteta is following the Emery template the way he sets up for games. Arsenal gave Arteta an apprenticeship to learn, but see the cost.
    Raul is a rotten apple. Arsenal is in free fall since Kroenke took over.due to sins of omission and comission.
    Time for Kroenke out

  54. Redtruth

    First few games under this demented figure we put 10 men behind the ball then we opened up a little and scraped a couple of wins and now we are playing in the fraud’s image

  55. Pierre

    Ruth
    “PierreOzil performed that well he got Emery sacked”

    That being the case …ozil should be knighted.

  56. Un na naai

    I’ve not read any of the insults directed at me

    I’m done
    This is me bowing out
    Had enough of the lot of you. Life is tough enough this year without all this bollocks

    Rejoice
    Pedro doesn’t need to ban me
    I’m off
    Fuck the lot of ya

    Oh by the way
    All lives matter
    Any black or white person who falls for this is abducting idiot. You’re being conned
    Don’t listen to Pedro, he’s just had his mind warped

    Black murder are 90% at the hands of other blacks
    0. 5% of black murders are at the hands of the police
    0.1% of them are unarmed

    You are 18x more likely to be the victim of interracial murder if you’re white and interracial rape is nearly exclusively black on everyone else

    Looooooool
    BLM is a con
    Bam me all you want Pedro I’m leaving anyways

    Truth needed to be told

  57. Dissenter

    Unai na
    Nice to get all that load off your chest given that it’s been eating you up for so long.
    I hope that makes you feel a lot better. I agree that your life matters as well as anyone else.

    Pedro won’t bin you for that. I’m sure he has bigger things to worry about.

  58. Sid

    Poor thing, i feel sorry for him
    1.Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year