CEO EXITS – BUT NOT THE REAL ONE

by .

Arsenal made the shock announcement that Vinai is exiting the club after 14 years. It might feel like an odd move – we’re winning, everything on the shop floor looks good, fans are happy… but I don’t think his exit is particularly surprising. Arsenal doesn’t have a normal corporate setup and titles aren’t always what they seem.

He leaves the club better than he found it – which will look good on the resume for whatever he does next. He seems to have put his name to a lot of soft projects that the fans have enjoyed. The atmosphere rebirth has his name on it, the fan artwork around the stadium seemed to be a point of pride, his relationship with supporter groups has been top tier, he drove a deeper relationship with under repped communities, and developing the fandom in key markets like America seems to have been a key push by him. Another commendable trait is he has kept his profile low through the rebuild. Ivan G was a much more front-and-centre type character – you don’t see much of Vinai, which considering the Ws we’ve been hailed for of late shows great restraint. I’m sure he’ll have people ready to snap him up worldwide when he takes his next steps.

Back to the job…

The CEO role at Arsenal football club isn’t really a position of significance now and I doubt it will be moving forward. Back when it was Ivan G, maybe it was, because Stan ran the club. Ivan took over the club in 2007 when winning wasn’t really the mission. We hired average people, performed averagely considering our position in the Premier League, and didn’t win a single major trophy. When Ivan eventually ducked out after a flaccid tenure – what did the club do? They gave the commerical bits to Vinai and made him the Managing Director. They then experimented with an absolutely disastrous co-leadership thing with Don Raul. A real dark moment for the club because some very, very weird things happened during that period that didn’t shine a positive light on anyone – it certainly looked like were were not a priority for ownership during that phase. Regardless, we put a very inexperienced person in charge of CEO duties that would normally be reserved for someone with a big resume.

What does that tell you about the CEO position at Arsenal? That it’s a placeholder position. Why? Because Josh K is very much the CEO of Arsenal. He has a direct relationship with the manager, he calls the shots on transfer budgets, and he gets involved in club strategy. The ‘Be Excited’ heir from KSE is now one of the best owners in sport. He’s winning big trophies, executing elite strategies across nearly all of his clubs, and he’s bringing a lot of joy to the fans.

Then you have the on-the-ground people. Tim Lewis, the exClifford Chance partner (and Arsenal fan) has a big role at the club on the board. Since he came into the club in a more pronounced way, we’ve got better. Raul was binned within 6 weeks, the shopfloor was cleared of bad eggs, we started hiring better people, and we’ve moved forward at immense speed. Would it be a stretch to say he has more influence than Vinai had? I prefer not to speak.

So in short – nothing changes now that the CEO is exiting – because the CEO was never the one with the title.

It’ll be interesting to see what we do next in that position – the club has been making lots of corporate hires in all sorts of interesting positions. Mark G has exited, and now we have fresh blood in PR. They’ve hired marketing execs from brands like Puma. It looks like there’s a lot of movement as the club seems to be trying to do more to capitalize on a moment when we are actually good – and to maybe catch up with clubs doing things a little bit differently to them with less.

 

There are different ways we could do things with a new CEO. Some clubs go for football expertise with their hires – people who know the system, can sit at UEFA meetings gain concessions whilst also having great relationships with agents and players. I’m not sure we need that, considering the draw we have right now.

We could also go for someone that is a commercial beast – because we’re about to have a very good 10 years and our financial gains over the past 20 really haven’t been that good. We’re currently 10th in Europe for revenue and we now sit firmly behind Spurs, Liverpool, Chelsea, and City. That has to be an area for improvement because I’d say outside Liverpool, we’re a much bigger club than the rest of them, and we’re nowhere near them.

Ivan Gazidis told us years ago the plan was to be the UK Bayern Munich – well, as it stands, we’re currently nowhere near Bayern. A whopping e200m gap sits between the clubs. We are in a bigger league, we’re in the English capital, we have an outrageous brand – why can’t we be playing closer to where they are?

Success plays a big role in this – but United are still coining it in despite a very rough decade. Arsenal sit 90m euros behind Spurs – 90m behind us is Dortmund. Spurs don’t even have a stadium sponsor yet. We should be doing better with the brand and history we have. Hopefully the next 10 years, with a young team everyone loves, and a serious model driving us to success – we can capitalise. Selling Arsenal right now must be easy. I hope the revenue guys have their PowerPoint presentations up to scratch!

It is progress that as fans, we don’t really care too much about corporate hires in 2023. 5 years ago, the role felt more consequential because it felts like our ownership was absent and we had a lot of frauds trying to drive the club. Now we have a clear vision that we’re executing against. We just signed Declan Rice for £105m – our biggest problem as a fan base is whether a kid that scored in a Champions League final will be good enough. We are living in a dreamworld.

Part of that was crafted by Vinai, so we have to thank him for him time, wish him well in his next endeavor, and hope that he landed a nice payout on his exit so he can afford all the nice merch Arsenal produce.

On the other side of things, be thankful that nothing is going to burn down with him gone. The club is in great shape, the ownership group give a shit, and all the hard work is paying dividends.

Ok, see you in the comments. x

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X haka

About £20 million Brighton’s team cost yesterday to beat Manchester United again
De Zerbi beat us 3 nil as well last season.

He is one special special manager.
The race is already on to get him next.
No excuses today. Arteta has to win at Everton or we will too far back and the season will drift.

Pierre

Markymark “. Pierre can’t let go and is stuck in a complex grief cycle” Ha ha، Couldn’t be further from the truth ، which doesn’t surprise me given your bizarre hatred of our greatest ever manager who changed the face of English football. I’m not sure why you get so wound up by the mere mention of Wenger’s trophy haul which coincided with the beautiful game we played under wenger ، the memories of Wenger’s football will live on forever which I know is a pain for you but as you mature you will no doubt begin to understand the… Read more »

Un

China
Same with the ox
Always seemed a nice lad
But then so is Saka.

Rich

We have to win today, we’ve got the joint most time to prepare after the international’s, and our only absence is Partey. That’s a blow, but Everton could be missing Coleman + Calvert-Lewis. We’ll obviously drop some bad points across the season, but after dropping 2 points at home to Fulham, dropping anymore points today doesn’t need to be fatal, but would be a blow. We had the best away record in the league last season, today we need to destroy that Goodison hoodoo. If Jesus is fit to start we should start him, otherwise go with Eddie, but other… Read more »

Un

Welbz was always an extremely capable player
Sadly yet another in those years who just couldn’t shake off injury to become their true self. Same as Ramsey diaby super jack Eduardo Theo ox Koscielney The Verminator and Santi. Even rvp to a great extent could have been a global superstar had he stayed fit before he was 28 and still is one of the best I’ve ever seen. Cesc has injury troubles once he hit 22

So many players at arsenal. Can’t be coincidence.

Markymark

Pierre – you react every time I say anything about Wenger so I suspect the person who’s getting wound up is yourself. You’ve reacted immediately now so perhaps that’s continuing the pattern. I simply noted that Wengerist’s are the only group I see regularly listing failed bids as part of a roll of honour to be celebrated. As object reasons for eulogy of Wenger fell away ( inability to win a trophy in Europe, falling in line behind United , Chelsea finally City. It became more subjective, more personality, more Wenger is always the answer. Regressive group dynamics come into… Read more »

Pierre

Arteta should get some advice from wenger on how to beat Everton. Wenger never resorted to using aggression to beating Everton، he had trust in the players skill and technique to do the job.. Too many think we need to match Everton’s physicality on the pitch to beat them ، I disagree ، I think it is more important to be brave ON THE BALL، meaning have belief in our ability to play our natural game. Personally I would start Vieira as Everton’s defence is there for the taking if we play someone who can play the killer ball. Odegaard… Read more »

Markymark

Pierre – with all respect Arteta is not going to ring up Wenger who is far too busy these days taking the coin from a corrupt Francophone organisation ( hope he’s built up a nice watch collection). If Wenger did ok against Everton well done. Though in 2016 it was all about Wengers atrocious record against Ronald Koelman after losing 2-1 against him and Everton.

Un

Pierre
Odegaard a game is about supplying the ball to the runner
We don’t run behind looking for the killer ball
Our wide players run behind looking for the cut back
Odegaard is often the guy orchestrating that
Without him we are just not the same team creatively
Once we have a killer forward I’d imagine his assist and key passes will increase

Un

Not bothered too much if they don’t though as I feel he is our heartbeat regardless of his assist stats

Muppetman

Ode scored in the last game so let’s not be too harsh lol

Muppetman

Pierre is always driving his own narrative

Un

Also corners and free kicks count as key passes when leading to header or a shot and Odegaard rarely takes these. This will pad the stats of someone like Maddison

China1

Saka’s clearly a sweet boy but there’s a little bit of an edge to his play imo

He sometimes goes looking for free kicks and pens where Walcott wouldn’t and if he gets frustrated he tends to let it out on the pitch through scoring a banger

Un

China

Yeah I don’t disagree with that
Just saying Saka is a nice lad too

Markymark

I’m not sure Walcott was meek from memory who could create carnage and was often an effective super sub. Often the comments about him missing a football brain came into play ratter he was more instinctive. Did Walcott come from a multi sport background? I wondered he he’d missed some pure footballing brain set from this. The Walcott family seem to be blessed with high achievement generationally. His decision to not see football as the the be all of his existence should not be held against him. I suspect there are a fair few players who simply hate it but… Read more »

China1

Marky I think actually the story is Walcott only really started playing football at about 13 or 14.

Which means he was truly prodigious to be a Southampton player at 16.

But it also explains a lot because like you said he was instinctively quite brilliant but genuinely lacked a good footballing brain for when he had time on the ball. His instincts were amazing but his brain wasn’t there and I think that makes sense if he missed several years of play as a kid compared with his contemporaries

China1

In those days the Southampton academy was one of the best in the world as well

There was once a site which made a Southampton academy 11 from that sort of time and it was a serious CL looking squad lol

If Walcott had been raised in a serious football coaches environment from the age of 7 or 8 like most players who end up pro, he’d have probably become an incredible player and in the very top bracket imo

Pierre

Un “Also corners and free kicks count as key passes when leading to header or a shot and Odegaard rarely takes these. This will pad the stats of someone like Maddison” I think you’ll find that Odegaard takes our free kicks، not sure about corners now but he used to take them but his delivery from dead ball doesn’t have enough speed and whip on them to make them dangerous.. Wanting Odegaard to create more is not a crime، 2 key passes in 4 games (3 at home) is not enough for a creative genius( Rich’s words). Vieira has 2… Read more »

Un

Pierre

Of course it’s not a crime but if his inclusion leads to the team creating more overall then his inclusion is justified

Rich

Pierre The idea Ødegaard isn’t brave on the ball is a load of nonsense, you’ve acted liked a deranged ex-lover since Ozil was rightly annexed from the club. First of all you claimed Ødegaard couldn’t press, and just ran around aimlessly pointing, when he won the ball back in the final third more than any other player in Europe’s top 5 league’s. And won possession back for Norway on 10 occasions midweek. Then it was he didn’t score enough goals…. Then when he did start scoring, and proved you wrong yet again.. Apparently he wouldn’t repeat last seasons scoring exploits… Read more »

Chris

Un All the quality players we had from that era you mention, technically superb but they just lacked a certain collective mental toughness I think. Hard to put your finger on exactly what, as individually, certainly in the case of van Persie and Cesc, they both had an e egg e to them and a spiky trait too but we did also get terrible luck with injuries as you say. Cesc got injured against Liverpool I think in late 08 and from then on he seemed to keep picking up niggling injuries. I remember players like Rosicky, Hleb, Wilshere, Nasri… Read more »

Chris

Simply with Odegaard it’s in the eye test for me. Wonderful player to watch and his quality brings out the best in others around him who would suffer for his absence. I’m not too worried about certain stats that may paint a different picture, those will likely markedly increase as the season goes on.

Chris

“Bale another straight line sprinter from Southampton. That was their profile for footballers.”

Matt Le Tissier would like a word…

Sakablyat

Are the Havertz apologists now saying he’s come for the physical games, the man’s built like a stick

Rich

Our issues in 2007/08 + 2010/11, was a lack of quality squad depth. We had excellent teams that played fantastic football in both those seasons, but ultimately we didn’t have the squad to get us over the line. Missing Alonso in 2007 + Suarez in 2013, the most frustrating misses, both players would have been game changers, that would have likely changed the course of our history. We had a decent enough team in 2015/16, nothing overly special, but the league was weak, Wenger decided to gamble on injury prone players, and didn’t sign a single outfield player in summer… Read more »

Jamie

Wally was mediocre. Professional, but with an extremely limited skillset. Beyond having electric pace and average finishing, he had nothing else in his locker and certainly never fit into a possession-based system. He managed to score more than 10 PL goals in a season just once in his entire career. He wasn’t an assist machine either. His highest PL assist tally (10) came during his highest PL scoring season (14) – by far his best season at Arsenal (2012-13). He spent 12 years as an attacking forward at Arsenal and only reached double figures in PL goal contributions (goals +… Read more »

Rich

Sid

We finished second in 2015/16 with 71 points, which is recent season usually puts you into 4th.

But in fairness to Wenger in 2016/17, we missed out on 4th with 75 points, and that’s the only time in top flight history that total hasn’t secured a top 4 finish.

Un

Pierre
Nobody has claimed that odegaard is a genius. Genius isn’t allowed to flourish in such tight systems in modern football
But within the system he’s very effective at finding space and pockets to open teams who park the bus, even if it’s not directly the final pass, he’s the one proving, like xavi more than bergkamp

Rich

Welbeck goal contribution every 175 minutes across his career. Goal contribution every 171 minutes in the PL, and every 182 minutes in the CL. Jesus goal contribution every 109 minutes across his career. Goal contribution every 104 minutes in the PL, and every 88 minutes in the CL. Jesus is a brilliant player, with excellent numbers, who’s contribution goes way beyond just end product…. But whether his style of play is sustainable much past the ages of 29-30, I have my doubts…. When these style of all action players regress, they usually fall straight off the edge of the cliff.… Read more »

Un

Jamie

Walcott offered a goal involvement in 2/3 of his starts
Spent much of his career injured an out of position and is one of our top 15 highest goal scorers of all time

His record at centre forward is 21/39 appearances with 11 assists

91 goals and 68 assists from right wing in 356 appearances 47.75% GA
A goal involvement every two appearances (including many sub appearances (which skew his stats)

https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/theo-walcott/leistungsdaten/spieler/33713

Rich

Sid More competitive doesn’t necessarily mean better quality, you don’t make yourself any better, just by making others worse. That’s just a really lazy way of “improving”. When socialist say levelling up, what they really mean is levelling down. High standards are a good thing, not a bad thing, because they force others to evolve and strive to not just meet those standards, but exceed them. It’s why bureaucracies are designed to fail, because if you’re a business who doesn’t progress and innovate, someone will do things better and more efficiently, and then come and take your business. But when… Read more »

Pierre

Un “Of course it’s not a crime but if his inclusion leads to the team creating more overall then his inclusion is justified” His inclusion is justified because of his outstanding performances last season، we are still waiting for him to produce last season’s form. I just don’t think he has got going this season، he hasn’t played poorly by any means but I think the system change has affected his game creatively probably due to the fact that our right back is not creating the overload to create space for saka and Odegaard، also it is noticeable that he… Read more »

Pierre

Un
“Nobody has claimed that odegaard is a genius”

Rich has called him a creative genius …

Un

Pierre I completely agree with that
I think all of our players are trying to get used to the new system
Only rice and Eddie have looked like their usual selves over the four games so far
Let’s hope something clicks today as we need the oooints and are starting to look a little slow on goals scored

Un

Rich has called him a creative genius …

Pierre
Well that’s a bit premature for me. I’m not sure our system permits genius in the middle of the park. It’s too choreographed and stifles players like Odegaard from making his own decisions in any given situation

Un

When socialist say levelling up, what they really mean is levelling down.

Rich
True words. People who are envious and bitter at those who can produce something and create better living standards for ourselves. We don’t rely on fabricated positions or crony/state handouts.

Jamie

Un –

He was certainly injured for large parts of his career, which is unfortunate.

He makes the list of goal scorers and goal involvements by virtue of being at the club for 12 years. He has more assists than Pires, Freddie, Santi, Alexis. Almost as many goals as Bergkamp.

He played over 15000 minutes of PL football for Arsenal and only scored 65 goals. That’s just 1 PL goal for every 4 hours on the pitch. Auba’s finishing stats are significantly better.

Maybe I’m being harsh on his assist record though. He had a few decent seasons for sure.

Mr Serge

Leave sid alone there is only so many points you can get across in 2 lines.

Un

Jamie Yea but 1) he was often playing while returning from injury or carrying an injury . I distinctly remember him saying numerous times about the psychological impact of half pulling out if you’re going to get clattered, which he did because he skinned people when he wasn’t being hatcheted 2) he was playing out of position. He was very unfortunate in that he rose to prominence at the beginning of the lone striker era and his game wasn’t obviously suited to such a role like Drogba or Adebayor. His goal involvement ratio at striker was significantly higher and had… Read more »

Un

I’ll tell you one thing
I’d take Walcott over Raheem Sterling all day every day

China1

It’s a real shame that when Chelsea are in such a hole they’ve got such a gift as getting to face Bournemouth Seen them a couple of times this season and each time they’ve looked so so poor and a nailed on relegation scrapping team. Wouldn’t bank on them coming straight back up if they do go down as well They’re going to need to go 2-0 up imo to be able to get anything from this game And it’s a pity because winning this may give Chelsea a little confidence boost. On the other hand if they don’t win… Read more »

Rich

I don’t know how you wouldn’t think this guy was a creative genius, his ability to break lines, and get the ball into dangerous areas, is absolutely elite:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwtGPJYQSqg

China1

Un cmon lol

Sterling is on a bad run of form but has elite goal contributions across his career

He’s probably been the most underrated winger in the world at city

He’s no Mo Salah but he’s on the next rung down. At city he was fantastic

China1

This Bournemouth team wouldn’t look out of place mid table in the championship

China1

Dude takes a shot just now not under pressure in the center of the pitch and it’s so far wide it goes for a Chelsea throw in I mean FML

But it’s still 0-0 at least

China1

Half time 0-0.

If Bournemouth can SOMEHOW score first they have an outside chance of taking at least a point

Un

China

Aubameyang outscored Jesus but who would you rather have?
Sterling has scored 154 goals 59 assists

Walcott 132 with 95 assists

Pretty even. Walcott is the better player o. The ball too

Put Walcott in that city team and he would have wiped the floor with sterling’s stats

Un

Raheem Sterling is so bad on the ball
Terrible touch, no footballing brain. No skill. He’s just got pace and a bit of instinct. Players like him make the game fucking dull as dishwater
He kills attacks
Im sooooo fucking delighted we didn’t go in for him
Gimme Havertz all day long

Mr Serge

Raya and Vieira start havertz and Ramsdale drop to bench

jwl

David Raya (GK), William Saliba, Ben White, Gabriel Magalhães, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard (C), Fábio Vieira, Declan Rice, Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah.

MidwestGun

Interesting….. lineup. for sure.

DIXC

Arteta is ruthless

Wegotsupermik

Ramsdale and Havertz dropped. One seemed inevitable, the other much less so as Arteta seemed so committed.

Samesong

Un

How are you talking about Sterling when your boy Mudryk is a potential flop? Sterling at City was unplayable at a point. He’s a better player as a left forward.

MidwestGun

So…What up y’all? ready for today? And yes a draw or a loss would be sooooo bad. Not sure what the England’s best was smoking.

Lineup could be brilliant… could be disaster. One of those things… time for Vieira, Eddie to step it up. And Raya is a wild card.

Samesong

“Not sure what the England’s best was smoking.”

More like balloons

R.S.P.C.Arsenal

Ramsdale will go to Chelsea in the next window

MidwestGun

Damn Bournemouth should be winning, this game. Had open looks in the last 10 mins.

Chris

Each to their own but I’d certainly take peak Sterling over peak Walcott, based on what we have seen from both players. But that’s not meant to be a dig at Walcott.

Chris

Glad to see Arteta is picking a team on form and not reputation.

Didn’t think he would go with Raya starting this soon, was half expecting it on Wednesday for the CL.

Samesong

Chelsea may sneak a win here but they certainly aren’t looking all that. They can cry about their 9 injuries after they spent a billion.

Samesong

Bournemouth couldn’t finish their dinner at this rate.

Chris

Come on Bournemouth, would love a late goal here for the cherries

MidwestGun

Poch looking at his bench like… damn … who can I play to win this.. haha Need another half billion dollars I guess. Not enough bench strength.

Freddie Ljungberg

Ome would think this is exactly the kind of game that Havertz would be needed in.

Going to be interesting to see how Vieira does from the start, against a physical team. Still not convinced he can produce anything other than flashes of brilliance when he has time and space on the ball, while otherwise being a liabilty. He does seem to have stepped up his intensity this season though so here’s to hoping he can do that on a regular basis.

TheLegendaryDB106

Nice debate about Wally. For me, he is part of a group of 3 players whom I would class as “what could they have become had they not been so injury prone”. That would be Wally, The Ox and Jackie boy. 3 players who had they been fully fit for most of the time, could have potentially achieved more with The Arsenal. Coming back to Wally, he scored 108 goals in the 12 years he played for us, which is 9 per year. I do believe that this number could have been much higher had he been less injured during… Read more »

Rich

What a game that was, one of the best 0-0 games you’ll see this season.

No midfield in the second half, just training drills of attack vs defence, with neither team equipped to hit a barn-door from 2 years out.

China1

Yes!!! Bournemouth actually looked way better once Kluivert came on. He was excellent

Great draw. Suck on that Chelsea

5 points from 5 games with your expensively assembled frauds and overrated manage 🙂

MidwestGun

When Theo was on form… nothing better than to watch him run like lightening behind the defense.. One of my favs to watch but hard for me to say he was a good enough all around player to be better than Sterling.

Chelsea don’t look much better under the Poch.. so far this season.

TheLegendaryDB106

What an interesting line-up.

Raya playing instead of Ramsdale and Fabio on instead of Havertz.

And with Eddie playing up top, I see Gabby J being subbed in to act as the wrecking ball for the last 30 mins of the game.

It would be great to see both score a goal today and give us the 3 points!!

Samesong

Freddie, I think Viera new found confidence will surprise people today.
Those little fouls he will win and through balls will be needed today. it’s not always about physicality.

MidwestGun

New post.. switching over.

China1

Buzzing from that great draw. Fuck off chelsea. Hold so much hate for that bunch of wankers The whole lot of them can fuck right off Onto arsenal, great job to see arteta picking based on form. Look vieira might put in a stinker. He might get hauled off at half time for havertz who may win us the game with a late hag trick. Fine. But I just don’t want to see playersooking well off the pace being automatic starters when players on the bench are looking really good. Vieira absolutely earned the chance to start today. Hope he… Read more »

Mee

Got to laugh at Chelsea… How can they be so undermanned when it feels like they have been signing everyone with a pulse the past couple of transfer windows.