A lot has happened over the past 24 hours. The PR machine is whirring into action and it is super clear that the club wants you to know that:
- KSE spend money
- Edu is a man with a plan
- Arteta is highly rated and his performance unlocked budget we didn’t have
We still don’t know the exact details of the cash injection/accounting trick, but it seems clear from the media that we had some help from our owners. KSE seem much keener to be seen as important to the process these days, a far cry from the years when Wenger was running the show. This is a good thing. KSE clubs are doing better these days. Well, the Nuggets are at least. Something must have clicked for them, because it now it looks like they realise investing in their teams can reap huge dividends.
The second reason I like the investment is that it seems to be tied to the impression the new staff has made. Mikel Arteta is a young manager, many thought that he was hired so the club could go cheap, but that FA Cup win and back door entry to the Europa League clearly gave him some cred points with the Kroenke family. The messaging has been clear, the Partey signing was a thumbs up to the progress. I really like that, it’s premature, but it seems the club already has an eye on City and Barca coming for their star at some point. If he has another good year, expect a renewed deal, and hopefully all the money from our CERTAIN TOP 4 FINISH, RIGHT?
It’s also worth noting that, although fans savage the Kroenke’s for not spending money, it doesn’t correlate with reality.
We’re the 10th highest net spenders in Europe 2010-19. Staggering, right? The money hasn’t been the problem, it’s who we’ve let spend it (a well-trodden narrative if you’ve been reading this site).
That shifts me onto phase two of the thank-you tour. Arsenal PR has been VERY keen to make sure people know Edu actually does things outside solitaire in the canteen. He has been front and centre over the last few weeks. He’s talking about his plan, he’s telling everyone he got the club excited about it, he’s very proud he delivered on it.
I am pleased with the way we worked because we are facing a very difficult situation with Covid and in the market, everyone is quite worried about the future, the planning, whether they have the money or not, the revenue, so it is quite challenging but the way we did it was amazing.
Edu and Arteta have hired players with more than just legs (As Edu actioned), they think they’ve hired winners. They wanted players to reshape the culture of the club. Willian will always look like a weird deal to me, but when you look at it through the lens of ‘winner’, you can’t argue. Partey, winner. Luiz, winner.
If you see Willian, he brings us experience and a very special physicality in terms of speed. If you see Gabriel, he gives us a lot of physicality and presence. Dani, quality. Thomas, physicality, quality and mentally he is very strong. But in the end if you see all these players we brought to the club, they are very good here (points to legs), but they are better here (points to head) which for me is very important because when you talk to the players, they have a lot of ambition, they are excited and they are hungry to win a title again. This, for me, is important to have in the players to not only be good here (points to legs), but good here (points to head). And they are.
What I do like about this Edu PR tour is that he could easily claim the glory, but he doesn’t.
It is not only Edu, it is not only Mikel Arteta, we have a lot of people around us in the club that it is important to mention as well, financial, legal, medical, recruitment, our loan manager, but we cannot forget of course the support, of which I received a lot of, from the board and the owners. Without them, we cannot do much and I feel really comfortable with the way we are working and communicating together, we are talking almost every day right now so that is brilliant. I tell them with that possibility to have that type of relationship, I feel much stronger. That is the way they give to me and to Mikel as well, so that is the way we are working right now.
Bar talking about himself in the third person, I do like leaders that pump their team. There’s a lovely pic of him celebrating them on Insta Stories. We’ve lacked that at Arsenal over the years. Empowering talent to make moves. I like that. It’s basic, but smart.
I also assume Edu wants to get ahead of me telling everyone there are questions marks over how good he is. He seems very, very happy with how things are going… I couldn’t be more pleased for him. He passed the first test this summer, i.e., no one is crying over Raul. We don’t need him and we’ve just proved that under the toughest footballing circumstances in our history.
This was a good window. The club made purposeful moves that can all be justified. We’ll have to forget about January. Focus on what we’ve seen in the last two months and it all makes sense. We’ve signed experienced winners, elite young talent, and we’ve taken a chance on 5-6 under 23s that might make it.
I am finding it VERY tough to be a blogger that has nothing to moan about.
Though I do find it interesting that there are so many spreadsheet merchants upset about Partey. I don’t want to be ‘that’ guy, but honestly, if we’ve been tracking Partey since his Almeria days, and our new recruitment team thinks he’s good enough to put their reps on the line with their paymasters, you’d have to imagine they might be looking at better data than the folk on the internet.
He’s a class signing. I am STILL in shock we did it. Partey is going to be fucking immense for us.
The club omitted Ozil from the Europa League squad along with Sokratis and Saliba.
He is finished. There are stories doing the rounds that we’re trying to buy him out of his deal. The club is trying to get a deal, he’s not budging. What a humiliating way to exit the building, being a petulant child. So ungraceful. He’ll soon realise that his power is linked to his age, then I suspect he’ll regret his last 3 years.
There’s also a lot of consternation about William Saliba. I don’t have an in on this at all. However, I do know two things. 1) If he were ready, he’d be playing. 2) Arteta doesn’t have a vendetta against Raul signings.
I have some thoughts on this. Firstly, Ligue 1 has a lot of great players, but it lacks the same power and pace we have in the Premier League. That’s not a debate, I really don’t care how much Ligue 1 you watch. Young players flourish there because there’s a lower level of competition.
I think it’s clear that he’s not physically up to the standard. He’s literally a teenager. There are very few teenage centre backs playing regularly anywhere in the world. Factor in that he was injured a lot last year, which might be linked to his body not adapting well to his huge frame. Jack was overplayed in his teenage years and now he’s being let go from West Ham in his twenties. Being overplayed at a young age isn’t great for you.
People seem to have taken offence to him being loaned to the Championship (if it happens). Now, there are two reasons this might be the case. We could have messed up the registration back to France. Or, Per Mertesacker, Ben Knapper, and Edu might reckon the things he’s lacking as a player right now are better serviced in the league below the Premiership. The Championship is incredibly fast, it’s beastly from an aggression perspective, and… it’s in England. What better place to toughen up and learn the lingo?
It’s a bit of uneducated opinion to say Championship football is a shit standard. Eze, Watkins, and Leeds are looking pretty damn ok so far this season. Maddison, Joe Gomez, and Andy Robertson all started there. I don’t think Arsenal fans would sniff at Buendia or Benrahma if they joined. William Saliba could do a lot worse than Brentford this season.
Ok, I am now off. Have a great day. Big love x