Arsenal are broken. And the bleak outlook is there is not an obvious way to fix us.
Under the Arsene Wenger / Ivan Gazidis regime, Arsenal declined, and the solution was clear. It was time for Wenger and Gazidis to go.
Bring in a new manager with fresh ideas and a CEO who will drive us forward.
Wenger departed, in came Unai Emery, Raul Sanllehi and Sven Mislintat.
The 3 new appointments, alongside Gazidis, was supposed to bring in the new era for Arsenal. A separation of powers.
Emery deals with what is happening on the pitch, Sanllehi off the pitch, Mislintat the recruitment and Gazidis the commercial side.
It quickly fell apart with Gazidis, and then Mislintat leaving.
Despite the changes, Arsenal continued to be broken. But the feeling was we were making gains off the pitch under Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham, and the problem was on the pitch with Unai Emery.
So Emery fell and another “new era” was set to begin following the appointment of Mikel Arteta, who led us to FA Cup triumph.
The first post-Wenger era came to an end when Sanllehi was relieved of his position, meaning all the men in to replace Wenger had departed the club.
So the 2nd new era. Arteta, Edu and Venkatesham. And it has collapsed once more.
The solutions were obvious under Wenger / Gazidis, and under Emery. The worry this time is the solution is not obvious, and it highlights just how broken the club is.
You can get rid of the manager, and following many limp displays that is probably the right decision. But will that change anything?
A new man comes in and he still has the same players.
The same set of players who have now let down 3 managers.
The squad needs a total overhaul. But it needed one under Wenger, and under Emery.
Including Wenger’s last season, Arsenal have spent £420million in the previous 4 seasons. We also have one of the highest wage bills in world football.
So despite spending on average over £100million a year, we still have a squad where the “not good enough” out weigh the “good enough”.
So we have a new manager, but do we trust those around him to search, select and recruit the right players to play that managers way? And can we get rid of those players at the club sitting on big contracts?
Do you trust a recruitment team that thought bringing Willian in on a 3 year, £200k a week contract was a good idea?
So a new manager, whilst it might improve the performances on the pitch to some extent, it would not solve Arsenal’s problems.
Any impact of a new manager would be temporary with the club in disarray off the pitch.
We also have the European Super League. I am bored of talking about it now but it is clear that those running the club, both Venkatesham and the Kroenke’s, are not working in the interests of the Arsenal fans.
So you go through it one by one:
- The players are not good enough
- The manager is not good enough
- The recruitment is not good enough
- The men running the club are not good enough
- The owners do not care enough
The only part of the club that seems to be working is the academy. But how long until the poison running through the first team begins to drip down to the academy? How long till we start losing our bright young prospects to Tottenham, to Chelsea or West Ham?
So do we sack Arteta, Edu and Venkatesham? People might cry for that, but then who replaces them? And who is making the decision on who comes in to replace them?
If we got rid of all 3 in one swipe, it will be the 3rd overhaul of the clubs management in 4 years. Anyone you just can not run a successful business by continually getting rid of the senior leadership team.
I have never worried so much about where the club are going then I do now. Because the reality is I do not understand where we are going. What we are driving towards and how we will get there.
And I also think that those working for the club do not know that either, and that is the biggest worry.