Where’s the wounded Arsenal lion?

One of the saddest acknowledgments in boxing – is when a boxer is described as the ‘greatest fighter to have never been a world champion’. In many cases, this failure to reach his true potential can come down to a variety of things, such as not being promoted properly, being held back by criminals, being black in the days of segregation, or being on the end of an unfair points decision. It’s not always the boxers fault, and in most cases it’s not down to any lack of desire or ambition.

In boxing terms, Arsenal FC is now just a journeyman, certainly as far as Europe goes. Happy to pick up the money – and there to get beat. That’s the journeyman mentality; there to get beat by those who have a genuine aim to be champions. Arsenal FC: the Journeyman that constantly gets knocked out, but somehow still makes the millions that champions do.

My issue with Arsenal is not the fact that we are by far the biggest club to have never won the European Cup/Champions League. My issue is that this doesn’t bring out the wounded lion in the management, or indeed many of the fans. All those who booed the Olympiacos defeat were not booing because their hopes of us winning the competition had been dashed. They were booing because they expect us to qualify from the group – so that we can then get knocked out in the second round by the first decent team we play. The journeyman tends to beat the ‘Tomato Can’ but then goes on to get beat by a world class fighter.  It seems now that the Arsenal journeyman can’t even beat ‘The Bums’ anymore.

No serious football club has two multi-billionaires as the main shareholders – and then attributes it’s failures on not being able to financially compete. No serious football club leaves tens of millions in the bank, whilst being content with a squad that have been proven failures in Europe. A business will do that, but unless you’re a shareholder, then it’s nothing to celebrate or even take an interest in.

Enough gets said and argued about Arsene Wenger and I won’t add to that, because even with his departure (which probably won’t happen) there is a bigger problem at this club. You only have to look at Stan Kronke’s wig, to know that he likes to make money rather than spend it.

Silent Stan is no wounded lion. Fuck no, far from it; I doubt that ‘Dough Boy’ is even aware that Arsenal have never won the European Cup/Champions League. In fact doubt he’s even aware that we got beat by Olympiacos on Tuesday. This profit junkie has got off way too lightly, whilst the usual ‘F*** Off Wenger’ facebook posts do the rounds after every bad result. If a manager is making bad decisions, on a regular basis, then it’s up to the owner to take action. Nobody is going to voluntary leave a job that pays £8.5 million a year.

The problem is that Stan Kronke does not recognise that there is a problem. Why would he? He’s never been on the end of any meaningful protest aside, from the Black Scarf Movement, who are a small but passionate minority. The fans have to start making it clear to Kronke that Arsenal is about football first and profit second (or how about just screw profit and give the fans a better deal with ticket prices).

For all there is to dislike about Roman Abramovich, the reason Chelsea are successful is because the owners’ ambition matches that of the fans. He goes to all the games, whilst at best – ‘Dough Boy’ will turn up to one match which is usually around the same time of year as the shareholders AMG.

If Wenger does leave, and Stan Kronke stays – which is the most likely scenario in a year or two – then in the coming years, Arsenal will still remain the biggest club to have never won the Champions League.










6 thoughts on “Where’s the wounded Arsenal lion?

  1. MickeyGoonz

    I absolutely hate the journeyman analogy you’ve used. It makes me that you must a vacuous, odious git. Not everybody can be a world champion boxer, tennis player or golfer. That is obvious. Even if you are ranked 50 in the world, or 100, that still requires tremendous talent, determination and huge commitment and discipline and years and years of hard work. To label those people journeyman is a total insult. Who the f*ck are you anyway? Have you ever done anything of note in your entire life?

    Arsenal are sh*t though. I think Roy Keane nailed it. Soft.

    1. Matthew Bazell

      Heat of the moment, I forgive you calling me a git. I’ma published sports author on boxing and football and ‘Journeymen’ is a standard accepted phrase which is used universally by everyone in the sport..I respect anyone whose brave enough to get in the ring, period. For Arsenal it’s a where they’re content to be and that’s the point of this article and what I believe, you’re welcome to disagree.

  2. MickeyGoonz

    Apologies for calling you a git. Got annoyed by the journeyman analogy. I don’t wanna be another troll.

    Best not to compare Arsenal to any kind of fighter though.

  3. Iain

    Sounds about right. I was discussing this yesterday with my boss- we work for a stockbroker- and the business model at play here seems sensible, ie to have the the best performance that a minimum investment can provide in a market where competition out-muscle you financially. The issue is , a normal investor relations strategy, ie delivering the best share price performance for the shareholders doesn’t work here-apart from keeping silent stan smiling.

    At a football club you have a secondary set of investors- the fans , that drive substantial parts of your revenue. The fans, like any group of investors demand performance. Although the primary business strategy of making money is of less importance to them. Upshot is Arsenal have swung too far to being a money making machine and not enough creed is taken to being the best you can possibly be with the funds available.

    Its a tough dichotomy, but as of now nearly all the fans I know have had enough of Wengers frugality. Its not losing that matters – as that happens in every club. Its the refusal to invest to improve glaringly obvious areas of the team that riles. Football is like a bull market in finance. If you want a commodity as you speculate it will improve the success of your company and its overall value, then you must speculate to accumulate. Yes you can spend 100m (tiny tots :-)) and go nowhere but thats not really where Arsenal are now. Thanks to Wengers vision on spotting potential he has a decent squad that can play great football– enough to beat a raft of other spending vastly more to get fourth/third year after year. The issue we all have I think is that, for most, is frustrating and not enough. Now is the time to kick on and a few ‘top top quality’ players would most likely turn us into real contenders.

    These world class players cost a bundle and other clubs dont want to lose them– unless that is they receive an offer that they cant refuse – Yes its poor business sense to overspend on something but when you are seeking growth then sometimes you speculate towards it. BT Sport paid too much for the footie rights, this meaning Sky also paid too much BUT market share was achieved and they are now a serious contender to Skys crown in football viewing, Sometimes you have to buy on to the top table – and until Arsenal get this then it will remain a tier 2 club, frustrating to deceive every time. Time to get serious. Pogba will be £80m plus, so would Aguero/ Lewandoski or of that ilk. Make a statement, lift the team, become the tier 1 team Arsenal should rightly be with their finances…or, stick with theWenger plan.

    For me- having supported the gooners for 40+ years, I think all must consider how Wenger has revolutionised the club and made it the club it is today– best stadium in the UK, a team of all internationals etc etc- but with every revolution there comes a stall point- that has been reached years ago and now growth in performance is on the wain. Time then , and I say this with sadness, for a new broom at the top. Board and manager.

  4. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Enjoyed the post.,
    Someone in le grove shouted it so thought I would pop by..

    Would wenger really mind not winning league again ?
    In sure he love the adulation of having this Mis thought theory that he is a master of bringing youth through as well as the thought that he plays the beautiful game?

    I wonder if wenger is a really nice man to know ?


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