More Platitudes Than Answers But The Show Goes On
A late one this morning due to time pressures. Yesterday’s Q & A session drives this morning’s headlines, Ivan Gazidis played forward defensive for the club. Minor own goals aside – really Ivan, utility bills increasing driving ticket prices up? I’ll pass your details to the umpteen callers each week who offer to save us money in this field.
Gazidis offered the expected defence of KSE, confirming that Danny Fiszman sold to Kroenke because he trusted him to do the right thing for Arsenal. Justified or misplaced? That remains to be seen. There is potential for mistrust to emerge, KSE have promised not to load debt on the club relating to the purchase; no such promise can be elicited regarding dividends. None have so far been taken from other sporting ‘franchises’, Red & White may yet get their wish.
On the subject of transfer activity this summer, Gazidis talked it up like everyone else. The media take this to be more signings and departures, no, wait they have already assumed that. For Sport this translates as the club being ready for Cesc’s departure, AS acknowledges that the recent words of the manager whilst also contemplating a high transfer fee because of the midfielders talent and the fee paid for Torres by Chelsea. The underlying message is still, We are Barcelona, You cannot hold out forever. Shame no-one has told Arsenal that but Wenger is having to draw on all of his experiences with Vieira and Henry to fight on.
A cheap accusation is to claim the manager is unsackable. To do so is to ignore his previous record; irrespective of recent seasons, Wenger has delivered more than the Board had asked. Doubles and silverware bought him goodwill, the changes to the playing side of the club even more so. He kept the club in the Champions League whilst the stadium was built and continues to do so.
The challenge now is to win trophies once more. KSE has a record of making changes after a season in charge but this is football, managerial loyalty is more entrenched, particularly at Arsenal. Fans did manage to bring about the departure of Terry Neill but David Dein was a prime mover in the subsequent departures of Howe, Graham and Rioch, the latter with the aid of player power.
Would the board listen to fans now? There is a healthy scepticism within the club, recognising that the loudest voices often do not represent the majority view. But complacency should not set in. Arsène should be accountable for the team’s overall performance. That does not mean adopting the hire and fire mentality of Chelsea. Ironically, making this information public would ease the pressure on the manager. It would increase on the board instead if the targets are deemed too soft, a reason why they would never take that course of action.
If the failures on the pitch continued, at what point would the board act is a question often asked. I am not sure they would get the chance. Wenger is a winner and was visibly affected by the collapse last season. A recurrence and he would more likely take the decision out of their hands, feeling that he has taken the club as far forward as he can.
There is a joint responsibility of players and management to return the club to winning ways, not just the manager. Gazidis and his team of well-paid executives should be making the deals to bring players in; no point in holding yourself up as a model club or hoping that the market fades with FFP regulations, if you are not winning trophies. At Arsenal’s level, that outcome means the model is wrong.
Recent comments from senior players have questioned the mentality prevailing at the club. In media terms, this is a crisis. The reality is different. It is not tangible evidence of the manager losing the dressing room, a questioning attitude is healthy provided it is used constructively, a tough call in the destructive atmosphere around the club. The hoped for tonic never arrived, platitudes were made about ongoing talks with transfer targets. Turning them into arrivals is Ivan’s job, best let the man get to work.
Posted on June 14, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 180 Comments.