Morning friends, how are you doing?
Been any news for us to speak of lately? anything that could constitute groundbreaking at The Arsenal?
Of course im talking about the news filtering out through the usual back channels yesterday that Arsène and Stan had agreed a new deal for the manager and he would ratify it yesterday at this all important board meeting that took place yesterday. This meeting at which all manner of important decisions would need to be made and a meeting in which the managers future would be decided.
When in fact the stark reality of the way the club is run became clear to us yesterday as the various media sources close to the club confirmed that the decision had been made the day before when Arsène and Stan met for dinner to discuss the future.
Arsène and Stan – the true power at Arsenal and the two men who hold all of the cards as we watch the farce that is the running of our club unfold. Stan loves Arsène and was always going to ask him to stick around. Why would he not? The man delivers a profitable entity and also allows the absentee owner to turn up twice a year, taking little notice of any flak, because it’s all directed towards his manager in Arsène.
But let’s not feel too sorry for Arsène, because he’s paid very handsomely for his work and its a work that he’s embedded himself so deep within, that he doesn’t know what else to do. Which is why this deal has been signed for another two years. Make no mistake about it, this deal is not about the progression of the club, it’s about keeping a man in a position that he knows, because he knows little else. This decision has been taken out of fear, not any kind of planning, and even the staunchest supporters will know that.
After all, you can’t have witnessed some of the rapid decline in performances this season, and not realised that the club has started to look ragged from the football side. There have been too many examples. Too many poor performances and with any other elite team the manager is judged on those results and swift action is taken. In pursuit of improvement. That is not the case with Arsenal. Decline is acceptable if there is a narrative to spin with it. We won the cup and it was glorious, bet it just added a bit of gloss on to a season that was a dog’s dinner at times. Yes we finished with a higher points tally than any team never to hit the top four, but all that really showed me personally was that the other teams around us are evolving even more competitively.
We were told that every one of the top teams would improve this season and they all have, quite markedly, but for us the signs have been there that there simply isn’t the same level of improvement at Arsenal. But instead of asking difficult questions and making difficult decisions, the powers that be have opted for more of the same, because they don’t know how to hold the most powerful man at the club accountable.
And that’s where the real frustration from me comes this morning, not because I have a deep-seated hatred of Arsène, because I really don’t. It comes from the fact that the way the club is structured is that they simply don’t know how to make the right decision for the evolution of the club. Arsène has structured it in his image and now that change is needed throughout the club, as an organisation they are powerless to do anything.
The hope from some has been that this will at least force the club in to making the necessary structural changes to ensure that when Arsène does go we are in a better position, but we all know that is balderdash, right? Arsène rules the club as almighty dictator and he isn’t going to allow anybody to undertake any restoration whilst he’s living ib the house. So we’ve got two more years before we’re back in exactly the same situation again. All the club and Kroenke have done by giving Arsène a new deal is put off the inevitable. Its like when you have a hangover on holiday and your mate tells you to drink through it. ‘Hair of the dog’ and all that. It may feel ok for a while but eventually you have to get over a worse hangover than the original one. That’s all the board are doing; drinking through this current hangover.
Eventually they are going to have to sober up.
I think whats also slightly aggrieved me about this whole situation is the spin that has been put on it. It was clear Arsène wanted to sign a new deal some time ago, yet we were told that it would be March or April that we would find out. Yet here we are in May and technically we still dont know. We’ve been told that the decision would not be based on one game alone (i.e. the cup final), yet the action has been swift to take advantage of fan positivity after the final. If the outcome of the final had no bearing then why didn’t they announce this new deal at the end of the season?
We were also told by Arsène that his future and the speculation surrounding it had no impact on team performance. Yet when the season drew to a close he told us exactly the opposite.
We’ve also been led to believe by Arsène that when he feels the team are not competitive any more, he would step aside, yet we haven’t been competitive in the league for nearly a decade.
I don’t get it. Why are we now supposed to believe that despite all of this spin, that Arsène and Arsenal have found a formula for success for next season, that all of the troubles will be dealt with and that all will be rosy in the garden?
Sadly we all know it won’t. We all know we’re in for another two years of fan factions, fighting and probably the same football as we’ve had to endure at times this season.
More thoughts from me tomorrow on this i think. It has so much about it that i think it’ll be a topic of discussion for a while to come.