The 5 messages Gazidis wants to you to understand about Arsene Wenger

by & filed under News Review.

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Ivan Gazidis took to the stage yesterday in an odd press conference. He didn’t really give much information away when it came to specifics, but he did give a lot away about the thinking behind moving Wenger on now, rather than at the end of the season.

Here are the topline points he tried to deliver.

1. Arsenal moved Wenger on

There is no doubt that the move to find a new manager was sparked by the club, not the manager. The resignation was the nice way out. Reality is, Wenger could have taken us down two divisions and still not moved on voluntarily. Ivan was keen to impress this without saying anything. When asked about whether it was a mutual decision, he said, ‘I’m not here to talk about any private discussions.’

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Wenger, OUT

by & filed under News Review.

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The most important announcement of Le Grove’s entire history.

Arsene Wenger has left the club.

The greatest manager in our history will leave at the end of the season.

I’m speechless.

We knew things were going to get tough for the big man this summer, with the imaginary reviews. But it looks like our theory about Josh K being the grim reaper were true. He was sent over by Stan to takeover the club, and the PR team probably told him the best way to start a new era is with decisive action.

Wenger is going, but the side story for me is this announces Josh Kroenke is now going to be a more solid part of the club setup moving forward.

Ivan Gazidis finally pulled through. After being near-fatally wounded last summer by a horrible back alley deal between Wenger and Stan K, Ivan worked some behind the scenes magic. He hired Raul Sahnelli, Sven Mislintat and attacked Wenger’s power grip on the club. I was told he actually tried to take things further, but a furor was caused by some of the proposed additions to the team.

Those moves made it very difficult for Wenger to work his political magic this summer. The new guys came in, ripped out the deadwood of the squad in January, they added new blood and high-quality names, and the rot continued.

At the heart of it, Wenger had no fail-safe.

He was damaging the club financially. We lost a huge amount on Alexis Sanchez, not only in cash, but in pride. Losing your best player for under half price is a terrible look. Not just that, because contracts were so badly organised, Mesut Ozil was allowed to hold the club over the barrel.

Going beyond just those two names, Wenger has been hoarding average players for years. He’s been fattening them up on a hideous socialist wage structure which has left the club nursing a £200m wage bill, whilst Spurs are above us competing on £60m less. Wenger was no longer offering value.

Not just that, he was destroying the careers of young talents. Project British core was an out and out failure. Kieran Gibbs went to shit, Jenkinson shouldn’t have been in it, Jack Wilshere lost interest in the game, Theo Walcott never fulfilled his great potential, Chambo went to Liverpool and made a semi-final of the CL, and Aaron Ramsey was always injured.

The club stopped being a sporting entity. The objective wasn’t about greatness, it was about an old mans ego and his rampant desire to hold onto power. The club didn’t exist for trophies and elite glory, it was a vessel for a long retirement. When you stop operating on a sporting values level, it makes it dull for fans who’ve been paying huge amounts of money to see their heroes compete at the highest level.

When fans don’t show up, don’t expect sponsors to. The empty stadiums started in February this year. That’s not because of bad fans, it’s because they’re seeing the same old dross week after week. The ultimate protest is not going to a game, the ultimate show of how Arsenal had fallen is fans couldn’t give their Arsenal tickets away.

The time had come. The Champions League Top 4 trophy didn’t arrive, Wenger wasn’t developing players, the fans were bored and not showing, and the football was drab.

I think ultimately, the success of The LA Rams helped push this move. Stan is enjoying the great press around his LA team, and I’m sure he wants some of that over here.

Wenger is gone.

It’s the right move for the club.

The next two years will be tough, but at least we’ll be watching an exciting project.

I’ll write more on Wenger at a later date, but damn, I’m going to enjoy this moment.

A new Arsenal will rise, and we’ll look back on the banter years and wonder why we didn’t do this sooner.

Have a great day. x