Tag Archives: She Wore

Josh Kroenke – Is he starting to get it?

Speaking to BBC Sport, Josh Kroenke has revealed that following the Europa League defeat, he pushed Vinai Venkatesham and Raul Sanllehi to ‘be aggressive and find out what’s possible’ in the transfer market.

The full interview is well worth a listen, and raises the question that maybe josh is starting to get it?

Back in June a selection representatives from all the fans groups, some bloggers and some people who have been active in fans rights sat down together to discuss what was happening with the club and how we, the fans, could influence things.

Out of that meeting came a letter to Stan Kroenke and #WeCareDoYou was born.

The letter mentioned “meaningful action” and that “change needs to start with better leadership”.

“It is sad that an institution like Arsenal FC has such passive ownership. All of us want to see a clear sense of purpose and direction. KSE should start by being more open and accountable and explain how they intend to achieve the goal of winning the game’s major trophies.”

In response to the statement, Josh Kroenke replied in kind.

Whilst this reply did not address anything within the original statement, it was the beginning of a longer communication. By acknowledging the letter and the fans concerns, he had at least shown he was willing to listen to Arsenal fans.

Now the letter to the Kroenke’s probably did not influence how the club behaved in the transfer market. Anyone who thinks that the letter or any other sort of protest has forced the club to spend nearly £140million is arrogant and only looking for personal congratulations.

But what the letter has done is force Josh Kroenke to step out of the shadows and address the fans.

At this point, some will say “Josh but not Stan”.

Josh Kroenke is his fathers representative at Arsenal. He is the one who goes to games. Attends meetings. When he speaks he is speaking on behalf of KSE, on behalf of his father.

The clubs transfer plans formed following the Europa League Final. Some might say that this is too late, too little; but I would prefer to say “better late than never”.

Kroenke speaks a lot in the interview about a decision to be more aggressive in the transfer market and showing aggressive leadership.

This is the exact opposite of the passive ownership that the letter mentions.

For years Arsenal have taken a cautious approach in the transfer market. Ensuring that the club does not overspend; but often underspending and leaving themselves short.

The summer of 2015 is a perfect example of the club not being aggressive enough in the transfer market.

That summer we bought just Petr Cech. We failed to sign an outfield player.  We finished 2nd points behind Leicester City. A more aggressive approach to the transfer market would have seen us win the title.

Now I do not think the Kroenke’s have injected cash into the club. But what Josh has done is let Vinai and Sanllehi know that it is OK to be more aggressive with the clubs money. That they have a multi-billion pound empire behind them supporting them. That it is ok to take a risk, that they are not risking the future of the club.

In the interview, Kroenke also indicates that this new, aggressive Arsenal is not going to be a one off. That it will be the future.

“We’re excited to keep pushing that now and into the future… I hope our fans understand that by being aggressive that’s exactly what we were.”

“The hard part is staying patient and understanding that we’re putting plans in place that are going to unfold over the next several years.”

Josh finally goes on to dispel that myth that the Kroenke’s are ‘not interested in winning trophies.’

“Our ambitions are the same as the fans. We want to win and we want to win as much and as often as possible. And doing it a fun way, where they’re seeing some really entertaining football as well. I think we’ve got the group to do it,”

“We have the highest of ambitions. In North America, we are trying to win. The [Los Angeles] Rams were in the Super Bowl last year. I can only imagine what a Champions League final is like after being over in Baku.

“There are six great clubs in the Premier League and unfortunately only four [Champions League] spots that are guaranteed. The economics involved – to be able to reinvest back into the club, attract different players who only want Champions League football… our goal is to get back and to win the Premier League.”

Whilst the interview with Josh does not address everything that the letter back on July bought up, it does show that maybe he is starting to get it.

This summer the club have taken meaningful action, and it seemingly started with better leadership following the Europa League final defeat.

The fact that this is the 2nd time we have heard from Josh in about a month shows he realises he can not be a passive owner. That he has to be more open and accountable.

I do not expect the Kroenke’s to come out tell the world what their plan is to make Arsenal great again. But we do need to know that there is a plan, that there are goals. And Kroenke has done that.

There is still a lot to be addressed and a long way to go reconnect the fans to the club, but in coming out and speaking alongside the clubs actions this summer show we are back on the right track.

It is the beginning of a new journey, and hopefully Josh Kroenke continues to show aggressive leadership and drive the club forward.

KSE still have a lot to do to show they care, but this is a start.

Keenos

Note: These are the views of KeenosAFC and not an official statement on behalf of the the signatures of the #WeCareDoYou letter

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Taller Cazorla is a Baller

It usually takes a foreign player a few weeks, even a few months to acclimatise to Premier League football.

Players coming from Spain have often struggled with the higher paced, more physical side of English football.

Dani Ceballos has not needed time to settle. He has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water. His man of the match performance against the Burnley Bully Boys was one of the best home debuts I have seen from an Arsenal player.

Ceballos was everywhere. His performance was all action. He attacked with intent, and also defended soundly. He covered every blade of grass.

The way he controlled the game in the middle of the park reminded everyone of Santi Cazorla.

Taking the ball in tight spaces, a drop of the shoulder and he was away.

No need to take a touch, his passing was on point;, it was quick, it kept the ball moving.

Shorts passes and long passes, he opened up space where there seemed to be none. Switching the ball from one side of the pitch to another to set up breaks. He was simply fantastic.

https://twitter.com/willow1886/status/1162974317816221696?s=21

Ceballos now gives Unai Emery two fantastic options depending on how the manager wants to set up, who the opposition is.

In though away games against the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool, play Ceballos in the number 10 over Mesut Ozil. In behind him play Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira.

That 3 man set up gives the side defensive stability in the middle, high energy for the press, and still

Has plenty of creativity in it.

At home against the likes of Burnley, Ceballos goes deeper alongside either Xhaka or Torreira, with Ozil playing ahead.

That set up is then more attack minded, with Ceballos able to create and support Ozil in attack, but can sit alongside a more defensively minded midfielder in defence.

Ozil was at his best when he had Santi Cazorla behind him, supporting him.

Cazorla was able to get the ball to Ozil in space quicker than any one else in the team. He was also able to take some of the creative burden off the German. He also created space for his teammate.

Cabellos will be able to do similar. He will be the perfect deeper foil for Ozil. Do not be surprised if the German returns to his best form this season.

Arsenal have missed Cazorla since he picked up that injury against Norwich a few years back. Jack Wilshere – his natural replacement – became too hampered by injury. In Cabellos we finally have another Cazorla.

Just a pity there is no option to buy next summer.

Keenos

Match Report: Arsenal 2 – 1 Burnley

Arsenal (1) 2 Burnley (1) 1
Premier League
Emirates Stadium, Drayton Park, London N5 1BU
Saturday, 17th August 2019. Kick-off time: 12.30pm
(4-2-3-1) Bernd Leno; Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, David Luiz, Nacho Monreal; Joe Willock, Mattéo Guendouzi; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Dani Ceballos, Reiss Nelson; Alexandre Lacazette.
Substitutes: Emiliano Martínez, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Calum Chambers, Lucas Torreira, Sead Kolašinac, Nicolas Pépé, Gabriel Martinelli.
Scorers: Alexandre Lacazette (13 mins), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (64 mins)
Yellow Cards: David Luiz, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Arsenal Possession Percentage: 68%
Referee: Mike Dean
Attendance 60,214
There is something special about our stadium at this time of the year, maybe it’s because the grass seems to be greener, or perhaps the spick-and-span feel of the place gives everything a feelgood factor, or it could be the aura of anticipation which hangs heavy in the air giving the impression that at last, we could be really on to something for the first time in quite a while. After just thirteen effervescent minutes, Alexandre Lacazette showed his strength and determination in holding off Erik Pieters, pirouetting awkwardly and shooting the ball through goalkeeper Nick Pope’s legs to open the scoring for the season here at The Emirates.
After this auspicious beginning, the scrap began, which to be fair was always going to happen against the Lancastrians. David Luiz showed both his experience and confidence many times in the first half in dealing with issues that the defence found difficult during the last campaign. His addition to the squad could very well be an inspired one for the club; he may well turn out to be a stop-gap signing at best, but it’s not often that such a defender becomes available, and Unai Emery should be applauded for his gamble. Burnley caused us problems down the channels, and our organisational abilities, which have been called into question before, worked well to neutralise the threats.
Young Reiss Nelson was unlucky not to score (as was Mattéo Guendouzi), but all of our good work during the first half was undone by Ashley Barnes’ messy equaliser just two minutes before the break. The second half became somewhat of a revelation when our Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos started to make his mark on the match. Johann Gudmundsson was caught dawdling by the Spaniard, who duly relieved him of the ball, then slotted it deftly to our man in the Number 14 shirt, who wasted no time in introducing the ball to the back of the net.
Dani Ceballos is truly a different class, and his awareness both on and off the ball were a delight to behold. He had a hand in both of the goals, and his celebration after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the winner with 26 minutes left, showed his passion for the club, and above all this, a desire to succeed, an attitude that has been found missing in the team for quite a while now. The rest of the match became a case of game management and just holding on to the lead, which we achieved successfully. 
So many good things to mention in today’s match; the defensive pairing of David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos worked well, and although at times it looked a wee bit frail, time and work on the training pitch will iron out the rough spots there. The young guns, namely Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mattéo Guendouzi all gave good accounts of themselves, whilst one feels that Nicolas Pépé will become the player that we all know that he is eventually. And what is there to say about our forward partnership of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang? They surely must be one of the most feared strike force pairings in Europe, and as it looks as if they have simply carried on from where they left off from last season, we should be in for some exciting matches in the coming few months. This is the first time in ten seasons that we have earned maximum points from our first two matches of the season, and although it is not best practice to get carried away, it still has to be said that we go into the Liverpool match at Anfield next Saturday afternoon with our heads held high and hope in our hearts.
Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as this season is going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners.
Our next match: Liverpool at Anfield Stadium on Saturday, 24th August at 5.30pm (Premier League). Be there. Victoria Concordia Crescit.
Steve

Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten: Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris 1930-1962 by Steve Ingless (Rangemore Publications, ISBN 978-1-5272-0135-4) is now available on Amazon.