It was an interesting day yesterday, not much concrete news on the transfer front which won’t exactly come as a surprise however there were more revelations, debate and discussion about Arsenals transfer strategy or lack of it.
The team flew to Turkey last night for tonight’s game and Arsene gave a press conference which to me was quite revealing.
Wenger said: “You don’t know what we have done, you don’t know if we did bid. It’s quite amazing that all of the people don’t know and yet they always have opinions about things they don’t know.
“It’s not down to me to explain to you everything I do. It’s impossible. If we do a transfer we will announce it. We don’t want to hurt anybody, not Newcastle, not anybody. You can’t reproach us on one side for not buying and yet on the other side when we try to buy to reproach us as well. That is a bit contradictory.”
History tells us we do know what’s gone on, that being not a lot apart from dithering and indecision and that is exactly why Arsene finds himself under intense pressure. Pressure he has created himself yet refuses to accept any blame or responsibility.
To say “It’s not down to me to explain to you everything I do” displays breath taking arrogance, fans part with their hard earnt cash every season, so yes you do have to explain to us Arsene. Match day revenue in just 3 games pays for Arsene’s yearly salary of £7.6m so the fans are very much entitled to an explanation.
Football is a product, in no other industry do you buy a product and are told “like it or lump it, don’t dare question me” Trading standards would be all over you.
In Arsene Wenger we have a man who is known to be stubborn, who is known to dither, who has dated and inaccurate beliefs on a players value and refuses to budge from these beliefs. A man who, despite having a degree in economics, cannot or refuses to believe in the basic economic principle of supply & demand.
Time has moved on, Wenger hasn’t. He thinks he doesn’t need to because he knows or at least he thinks he is untouchable at Arsenal. For now I expect he is, however that cloak of invincibility is fading day by day along with the value of Stan’s investment.
What Arsenal need is whole sale change, at board level, at first team level & youth level. At board level we have a CEO who seems to answer to the person he is supposed to be in charge of, Dick Law being laughed out of boardrooms, the latest being Valencia, an owner who has no interest in the clubs affairs and an ageing board with little or no football experience. The problems at first team level can be summarised in 2 words. Arsene & Wenger.
At youth level, the conveyer belt of talent feeding the 1st team ground to a halt a long time ago.
The AST, lead by Tim Payton have now changed tact from “patience” to echoing what most of the fans are now saying, that the current situation is unacceptable and unforgivable. For me this is a positive as they are the only fans group who have genuine power to try and change things. Other fan groups it seems are regarded by the club as an inconvenience.
The Arsenal way is do as I say not as I do.
On radio 5 last night there was an in depth discussion about Arsenal & the transfer market, most of what was said we have heard before, however one of the guests was the former sporting director of Monaco who spoke well and gave an interesting insight into doing football transfers in today’s climate.
It is clear Arsenal miss David Dein, they need a director of football urgently, someone with experience in football transfers who can also manage Arsene Wenger. He spoke highly of Manchester City, a club who had an Arsenal-esque summer in 2012, but learnt from their mistakes and improved the structure of the club over the course of 12 months which has enabled them to identify and sign their transfer targets early then have the new players integrated into the squad in plenty of time. Exactly the way it should be. You could argue money is a factor and it is but Arsenal as we know can now compete, it’s just a shame they have no desire to do so.
So where do we go from here? Well for me, if you sack Arsene Wenger you solve a lot of the issues quickly; board changes take time but need to happen. Make no mistake, Arsene Wenger wont change. He is old and set in his ways; he refuses to be held responsible for the team’s failings, and sets his own targets which he then tries to sell to the fans as success. Fourth place as good as a trophy being the latest.
Add in blind loyalty to his players and a fear of upsetting them or “killing” by signing better players, (Alonso & Denilson) and you have a man who despite what he says, is not acting in the best interests of Arsenal FC but in his own beliefs. In any other job that’s gross misconduct. The sooner he goes the better.
Thanks for the memories Arsene.PG