Gazidis Backs Wenger, Slaps Lazy Media Attitudes & Adebayor
The performance of the season is coming under more scrutiny internally, having been played out in the back pages over the past fortnight. Apparently Arsene is up before the shareholders this week so expect some not so tough questions since the club vet them beforehand.
Ivan Gazidis has met with the AST and pretty much told everyone what we expected to hear:
I am not happy where we ended up but I am pleased we are disappointed by it..So why aren’t we feeling great about it? The answer is because we have higher expectations
Which is exactly how it should be. One would hope that the relationship between the senior management of the club is strong enough to robustly examine what went wrong and why. I am sure that it is but more importantly, the Board need to continue to support the manager in every way that they can.
There is a balance that needs to be struck. Rather like the building of The Emirates, there is a project plan in place and the timelines need to be examined; is the club ahead or behind where Wenger expected them to be once the club moved from Highbury?
I suspect that in some respects they have exceeded expectations, expectations that were raised following the first eight months of last season. Gazidis indicates that this is the case:
Right now I think it is important to have some perspective and be brutally realistic with ourselves – but not only on the negative side but the positive side as well
Unfortunately outside of the confines of London Colney and Highbury House, the former is outweighing the latter. Too much finger pointing is taking place, with little clue as to how to correct. Names of incoming players are bandied around like there is no tomorrow, with no perception of how that player will fit in.
“He’s 6 foot five, fourteen stone and kicks lumps off of anything that moves” seems to be the mantra for those desiring a new first XI centre back with little idea of how that improves the team. Too much emphasis is placed on the words of hacks who have no more clue about a players abilities than you or I. Sometimes it is quite the opposite.
Gazidis also dealt with some of the ill-informed criticism of Wenger:
The idea that Arsène Wenger is some stubborn guy who is not open to having his ideas challenged and there is nobody there who can say ‘listen we need someone with experience in the middle of the park or at the back’ just isn’t true. He is asking questions of himself all the time and talking to people all the time. He does not believe he has all the answers and I see that as one of his strengths. ‘He is not someone who takes the easy route to protect himself. He will place the protection of his players above that.
The problem is that Wenger-bashing is something of a national pastime in the back pages, opinions are based on hacks and managers who cannot get close to the Frenchman and vent their frustration in spite. The media has no-one but themselves to blame. Despite being courteous with them, his wariness is understandable given the vile stories that The Daily Mirror ran within days of Wenger taking charge of the club.
Single-mindedness is a trait that all successful managers have shown. Wenger is employed to manage. By the very essence of his role, he is a footballing Magpie, taking in ideas from here, there and everywhere, moulding them into his own formula. It is in truth a dictatorship, albeit a benevolent one. All of us have opinions about whether he has had a ‘Eureka’ moment and struck gold or whether he has panned Fools Gold. None of us has the stress of knowing that their livelihood and reputation is judged over ninety minutes, twice a week, negatively impacted by injury.
There now follows a brief educational interlude:
Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin contractus, contra here to draw together, make a contract, reduce in size, from com- + trahere to draw from
a binding agreement between two or more persons or parties
a business arrangement for the supply of goods or services at a fixed price; make parts on contract;
Latin negotiatus, past participle of negotiari to carry on business, from negotium business, from neg- not + otium leisure
to arrange for or bring about through conference, discussion, and compromise;negotiate a treaty;
In footballing terms, those two words in the same sentence are typically met with general relief when the player in question is considered “one of us” or disbelief when said player is not rated. Occasionally, there is a lot of hype surrounding these circumstances, (un)welcome attention from a (generally) foreign suitor.
Whatever the situation is, quite possibly the most crucial aspect of those negotiations is money. Nobody makes any qualms about it, most people accept the situation and understand that this is the case. So why is there a furore about the interview that Emmanuel Adebayor gave and why use it as a stick to beat him with now?
The circumstances of the interview need to be understood before analysing the content. My memory is sometimes unreliable but the conversation took place last summer. Around that time, the Togolese striker was in negotiations with Arsenal and AC Milan, two of Europe’s biggest clubs. Trophy winning potential would have come into, as would the standard of football in the respective leagues. Both clubs are rebuilding and despite what the media tell you, England is not the b-all and end-all when it comes to club football. So it then boils down to money. Adebayor wanted more, he got more without having to move. All pretty standard stuff.
So why are people getting bent out of shape over his words? Perhaps they expected more this season, rightly so. Yet he is not the only player to have fallen short of the standards of the previous season. Moreover, despite an injury disrupted season, he is still in double figures for domestic games alone.
The truth is people do not like his attitude towards the game. Cultural differences need to be recognised and less castigation of a man who grew up surrounded by poverty and hardship. At least he has that as a reason for wanting to make as much money as possible, a clear desire to improve the lot of his family, which is more than can be said of certain other former players.
Posted on May 14, 2009, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Emmanuel Adebayor, Football, Ivan Gazidis, Premier League, Soccer. Bookmark the permalink. 352 Comments.