Arsenal Need Evolution, Not Revolution

So, here I am. A 36-year old bloke who really should be revising for a couple of university exams in the next ten days, and instead I’m sat here wondering just why I think so differently to a great many other Arsenal fans, and on a great many things….

Thursday Night Paranoia

Ok, so we’ve now got to play in the Europa League, and that means Thursday night games and the resulting inevitable panic over a new schedule. But why? Thursdays are a day like any other, and it’s still 11 men against 11, and it’s still 90 minutes, so why all the fuss? I just don’t get it.

Every Thursday, followed by every Sunday. Unconventional, granted, but there’s no reason at all why supposedly professional players should suddenly find themselves unable to cope with it. If anything, the fixture schedule is actually better than any we’ve had while playing in the Champions League, when half the matches were on a Tuesday, half on a Wednesday, and the weekend league game getting shunted into any one of half-a-dozen different slots over three days, all at the whim of the TV people.

No more Napoli away on a Wednesday, then Liverpool away on a Saturday lunchtime, and people panic about Thursday-Sunday-Thursday? Behave.

Director of Football = Magical Solution / “Bring Back David Dein!”

Now this is one I really struggle with.

Sure, we’ve been an abject shambles in the transfer market ever since he left in 2007, but would bringing back a 73-year old man who hasn’t worked in club football for a decade really solve all of our transfer issues? (And that’s quite apart from the role his agent son, Darren, played in ripping the heart out of that team with the transfers of Fabregas, Clichy, Nasri and Van Persie).

The other, similar, call is that the club should appoint a Director of Football to oversee all transfers and contracts, but – apart from Wenger’s oft-stated refusal to work in such a model – what is the point of someone else getting it right off of the pitch only for Wenger’s outdated training methods getting them injured, tactical nativity failing to get the best from them, or, as with Lucas Perez this season, simply leaving a proven talent to rot in the reserves because Wenger’s ego was deemed to be more important than the interests of Arsenal Football Club.

I personally believe that the one man in sole charge is still the best model for a successful football blub. For example, Liverpool’s insistence on everything going through their own ‘transfer committee’ is partially to blame for their recent struggles under Klopp and his predecessors of the last few years.

If everything was going right, would people still be calling for a total restructuring of the way the club operates? Of course not. What we actually need is a CEO to take the financial and paperwork jobs off of the manager, so all they have to do is give a list of players he wants to sign/keep, and then everything happens without them, leaving them to concentrate on getting things right on the training ground and pitch. What we need is Ivan to step up and start doing his job.

Blame the Board!

Stan Kroenke is not a bad chairman. There, I’ve said it.

The only thing that you can criticise him for is the £3million he has laundered out of the club in each of the last two seasons, but considering the money that the previous board, under Sir Peter Hill-Wood, Danny Fiszman, Dein and Ken Friar paid themselves in wages, “expenses”, 5-star travel and accommodation to away and European games and even in using the club’s facilities for their own business deals, Stan’s “consultation fee” is probably less of a percentage of the club’s income than that lost to anyone else ten or twenty years ago.

In fact, the only thing which you can blame him for is his hands-off approach and lack of pressure he puts on those he employs. Although he certainly lives up to his ‘Silent’ nickname with his hands-off approach, is that also in itself a bad thing? Would we rather instead have an egotistical chairmen treating the club like his own toy and constantly meddling in everything? Not only would none of this be a problem if we were top of the league and everything else was fine, but there’s plenty of fans from other clubs out there who would love to have him at theirs.

Both the lack of a Director of Football and the owner’s hands-off approach would not be a problem if the team was playing well, being run well, competing in Europe and winning league titles at home. As with everything else at the club, its failures belong to one man and one man alone. The man with “complete control of the football side of the business”. Arsene Wenger.

EM

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4 thoughts on “Arsenal Need Evolution, Not Revolution

  1. Jack Chatterjee

    Dear EM,
    Thank you for writing this post. I have to say from my perspective you are missing the point. Firstly Kroenke is an owner who does not have ambition and that’s a problem. Secondly he likes Arsene because Arsene doesn’t spend money in the transfer market which is good for him as from his standpoint the club has surplus funds. The main problem I see is Arsene toeing Kroenke’s line of thought. I do not believe we have to spend obscene amount of money to do better. Just take a look at the tots they have spent much less money but they have improved year on year under their new manager.

    People have been craving for David Dien because when he was at the club atleast the incoming players were all class players with more hits than misses. More importantly David Dien was one guy whom Arsene would listen too. After he left the club it’s just Kroenke from behind the scene and Arsene thing his line and being the front man. The club is on it’s way down and before Kroenke realises he would have devalued the Arsenal brand. He may not loose money because the TV rights are going to keep bringing him much more money, what he wont realise is if he kept the club in winning ways he would earn much more. You can’t fault Kroenke though he is a real estate guy, somethings may be utilised of his comprehension. The truth is all the ardent arsenal fans are up for even tougher times if we don’t stand up collectively and bring in the change. When it comes to change everyone talks about Man U struggles. No one talks about Conte being a change and what he did to Chelsea no one talks about how tots brought in the change and have done much better. We are just being afraid. A change done properly can be a success. Arsenal should bring change at all levels required to bring success. Whether we win the league or not we should see a new era where we play the Arsenal brand of football and are consistent. Beyond that in a game wining and loosing is a part.

    Reply
  2. Pete the Thirst

    I agree with a lot of what you’re saying:

    Thursday nights…a better pub night than Tuesday or Wednesday

    Sunday games…we play plenty of them already

    David Dein is 73 and he made £100 million out of the club ‘he loves’. Questionable judgement…

    but I’m not sure about Kroenke…he hasn’t shown if he can run the show yet. His first job should be to sack Wenger and do it sharpish

    Reply
  3. Curtis Mayfield

    I agree with everything except Kronke. Look into his America teams and see how shit they are. This is the road AFC is on with Kronke.

    Reply
  4. PHILBET

    I cant agree with anything you write, basically your just squealing because we don’t win every game, title and cup. you could find an argument in a locked box room with yourself, sure there’s lots wrong with the world maybe even somethings at Arsenal but you are in no position to put that right, if you want to own a football club put your hand in your OWN pocket and buy one,with your own money YOU can decide the manager,CEO, Director of football, transfer policy,season ticket prices,et al.Just because you “support” doesn’t mean they have to win all the games employ “bionic” mistake free, employees at every level, just to make you write love letters instead of moaning ones.
    If you meant what you wrote you would not be here next season,but you will be and the one after that and the one after that, your crying will be in vain and when the good times return you will be naive enough to think its your wonderful support what aided it.

    Reply

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