Happy ‘middle-o-week’ day to you and your kin. I hope it shall be a fruitful one and you take advantage of the day.
Arsenal still reside in Singapore and we’re getting plenty of emoji-based icons to denote how hard they’re working, how they’re doing double sessions, all the while being given more access to backroom footage than we’ve ever been given before. It’s nice to see that we’ve been granted a little more access to the inner workings and on the Football side it looks like the mood is good in the camp. All smiles and all good.
Which is just as well because on the administrative side of the club, the noises about Gazidis heading off to Italy to try a new project just won’t go away and unsurprisingly, Gazidis isn’t exactly first to the mic to tell everyone he’s staying at Arsenal.
Of course he won’t do that. He’s human. We’re all human. Having his value reassessed by people in a positive way like the current transition has been up until this point is nectar to his ears, because a couple of years ago there were calls for his head and protests outside the ground also questioning what he does.
Now he finds himself front and centre following Arsène’s departure and lol and behold we see a bit of speculation; all good for the man’s ego and so I can see why he would entertain it.
But the idea that he would jump ship now, as he has just been given the keys to the Aston and told to ‘have a go’, seems beyond bonkers to me. He’s a guy who has spent years in the shadow of Arsène and suddenly he’s surfaced and looked to me like a man with a purpose. With a point to prove. A guy who wanted to show he could manage a seamless transition and improve a football team for the better. If he left now it would feel to me as if he’s taking it because he’s not as assured in his own ability to transform a club as we were led to believe.
This was Ivan’s time to shine and so far he’s overseen a rather sunny outlook. And not just because that fiery ball in the sky keeps popping up every day over London this summer!
So to see him move on would be weird and in my opinion, stupid on his part, because he won’t get any of the potential kudos a successful season at Arsenal could be. He’d also be taking on a Milan who seem to be in a worse position than we are, with a lot more work to do, in a league which isn’t as commercially lucrative as the Premier League. It feels to me like he’d be taking a step down, pressure and challenge-wise, which would be odd.
Or would it? Perhaps he wants less of a challenge? Perhaps he’s at a time in his life where he doesn’t want as much pressure? Perhaps the Arsenal job has been one in which it’s been pretty easy because he’s always just had to sit in the background as Arsène took the brunt of most public ire?
If any of the above is the case, then you really have to question whether it would be better for Arsenal if he left anyway, because we really don’t need a CEO with a ten year record of being a background player in the theatre that is professional football, who jumps ship as soon as the first sign of having to step up occurs.
So I guess my overwhelming emotion of the Ivan to AC Milan rumour is that whether he stays or goes, it would be best for Arsenal, because I don’t believe that we want somebody who isn’t prepared to have more of a public profile. Ivan has spent many years saying lots of positive things and speaking very well, but if he left now you’d have to conclude that they’re just hollow words. The hollow words of a politician.
But I suspect he’ll stay. Certainly for this season to manage a transition. I could imagine that an Arsenal team with the backroom staff already embedded for a season would be one that he could probably say “I’ve managed transition, I’ve done my bit, now it’s time for me to move on” would make more sense. So I wonder if some of these rumours now are the beginning of that happening. Which would make more sense.
Ugh, all this talk about Ivan and the way the club is run, and not a bit about the playing side. But I guess that’s football these days. We watch a spectacle that is run by a conglomerate to make money. Lots of money. We love businesses. So we have to get used to talking about the business side of football.
Anyway, there’s a friendly tomorrow so at least we can pour over every minute of action to give us an insight into what Emery’s Arsenal will look like.
Back tomorrow with some sort of match preview.