I decided to say a little something yesterday on Twitter, to chip in, on the whole Stan Kroenke thing. Y’know, the whole ‘get out of our club mate’ vibe that has been consistent for a few years. I didn’t get any abuse, but I did see a few sneers from people online about those being vocal about the majority shareholder.
What I noticed was there was a selective of people who have either said something along the lines of “nobody listens to your voice on Twitter”, or the general feeling was “Kroenke isn’t the problem”. To both of those train of thoughts I’ve been pondering since yesterday. On the ‘nobody listens’ I’d probably agree to an extent. Certainly in terms of the owner. He is probably aware of fan sentiment through third parties, but he doesn’t really care. But the club do listen to social media channels. They will understand that many people – the moderates too now – are getting more vocal in their apprehension and to some extent, rage. You only have to look at the announcement that Riyad Mahrez has signed a new deal with Leicester, to see that fan sentiment is getting mutinous quite fast. I’ll come back to Mahrez in a second though.
The second comment, that Kroenke isn’t the problem, for me has a very definite ‘what question are you asking?’ about it. We all know that Arsène controls everything on the football side, so if you were to be voicing your anger in Kroenke’s direction because of the football side, then I’d agree. You can argue as to whether his lack of ambition with his other ‘sports franchises’ reflects on Arsenal and their approach to football, but personally I think that’s clutching at straws a bit. Where I think Kroenke is most definitely the problem, is that he has been syphoning cash out of Arsenal for a couple of years now, under the guise of ‘management fees’. Stan Korenke has put nothing in to Arsenal. He has purchased shares in Arsenal, but they have only increased in the years he’s been at the club, so if he sells up tomorrow he has profit on his shares and £6million in ‘management fees’ that he can say he’s got from the club. I’m convinced he uses the assets of the club to further his American interests and all Arsenal are is a cash cow from him to extrapolate value from. That’s why he’s a parasite for Arsenal and that’s why I’d love to see the back of him.
But enough about that guy, I really don’t want to have to think or talk about him any more, rather the football side. Mind you, we’re hardly on cloud nine with that either, are we? I mean the news about Mahrez yesterday and the way lots of fans reacted to it, just serves to show me that fan sentiment is getting to an all-time low under Arsène. You only have to look at the immediate responses after the club post any tweet to see how upset people are right now.
From a football view it’s clear now that Arsenal weren’t going to go for Mahrez. The decision by the player initially seemed bizarre to me – especially when you considered there’s supposedly no buyout clause – but the more I think about it, the more I wonder whether he’s decided that nobody is in for him, so he might as well cash in on his form now. I can only assume that Ranieri has convinced him that he can go next summer of anybody comes in. Kind of how Henry signed a new deal for us, before joining Bqrca the season after. Or how Cesc gave Arsène one more year, before sulking his way to Barcelona, too. That’s all I can assume has happened. I also have to assume that Arsenal had a sniff but nothing more. He held the clubs attention for a bit, but they’re after something bigger, so nothing came of it.
The real worry – a genuine one if you ask me – is that we’re reaching for the stars, when just aiming for a decent sized mountain would do, because clearly this ‘madness’ signing is the golden egg that everything is being hung on. I’m wary of this approach. We’ve tried it with Suarez, with Higuain as the back up, then ended with nothing come 1st September. I think we’re heading for the same mistake and I really worry that we’re going to miss out on this year’s Higuain in the shape of Lacazette. The club knows it needs a striker and a centre half, the manager has said as much with comments, but also with actions by going after Vardy. So if we get to 1st September and we’ve not augmented the squad in defence and attack, you’d have to call this summer the second consecutive disaster we’ve had. The only way to counter that is by winning the league and sadly, I just don’t think the other big clubs will be weaker for the second year in a row, it just won’t happen.
So we’re on 18th August and still playing the waiting game. We have just over 2 weeks before we’ll know whether the club have failed miserably or acted on the weaknesses. At there will be an end to all of this one way or another. I’m weary of it.
Hopefully Arsène will have his presser today and give us some team news ahead of Leicester on Saturday afternoon.
Catch y’all tomorrow.