Eventually the truth will out. And thankfully with the help of Unai Emery seemingly incapable of the levels of spin that we were used to under Arsène “only if we find super super top top quality players Wenger, he admitted that there is no money for permanent signings this January and that the club are looking only at short term loan deals.
Of course we’re all disappointed. We know that Arsenal probably need a decent centre half, a wide forward and possibly another full back, but I think the reality of Unai’s words are just the veil being lifted from the tragic mismanagement of a club that is supposedly the sixth richest in world football.
The poor decisions made by the trio of Stan Kroenke, Ivan Gazidis and Arsène Wenger have left us in this mess we currently find ourselves in.
For Stan it is an owner that probably turns white at the prospect of ‘speculate to accumulate’. He doesn’t want to spend a buck to get two back. He’d rather take half of that buck and put it in his piggy bank, whilst hoping the other 50 cents sprouts green shoots and magically makes him more money.
The sad thing is that’s exactly what has happened due to the money swirling around the Premier League and Champions League trough.
And the likes of Ivan Gazidis lapped it up whilst he could. He saw that we could basically be a profitable entity by simply treading water and has used that to his advantage. From a personal point of view he probably thinks he’s played a blinder; mismanagement with a bit of fortune that the Premier League money spiralled, whilst feeding spin and then when it looked like it was all going to go Pete Tong he jumped ship.
And he has jumped ship. Consider this: one year ago we signed the Mesut Özil mega deal, whilst also picking up Aubameyang. Great PR for Ivan and he made sure he was snapped with Sven in Dortmund doing the deal. Fast forward to the summer and there’s rumours of his exit. Seven or eight months later. Chief Executives don’t just go on Indeed.com and search for roles. They plan waaaay in advance and Ivan will I’m sure have been putting the feelers out at least a year ago.
But to really show you’re a top draw CEO you need to make sure you have a few gems to show your potential new employers. The Özil deal said to those Ivan wanted to “hey, I’m overseeing this guy and his renewal. I can keep our best players” and the Auba deal said to the same people “hey, no Champions League, no problem! I can sign the big players and get the deal done”.
Make no mistake about it folks, Ivan Gazidis has a massive role to play in the shoddy situation we find ourselves in.
But so does Arsène Wenger. Arsène spent years procrastinating on players. He spent years turning his nose away from deals to tell us that we could have signed that player years later. He kept his network and didn’t think to freshen it up. When he needed a cabinet reshuffle to get new voices he buried his head in the sand.
And now we find ourselves with plenty of overpaid and underperforming players. I say underperforming because for the transfer fees and wages we paid we really should be looking at being an established club. Yet the top four looks a little bit beyond us this season and finally, ahead of an away game to West Ham, we get the current coach admitting that it’s all a bit of a mess.
But what if we’re saving all of our cash for the summer?
That would be lovely and if we could all trust that the club truly did have a “war chest” in May, June and July then perhaps it’s something that we could stomach, but we all know where this is going. We all know what happens in the summer and it involves Arsenal hoping that those young players we have step up, because Arsenal spending £100million to dine at the top table just isn’t us.
And it never will be under Kroenke. I don’t know very much about the accounting side of football but I do know that until Arsenal file accounts with companies house at the end of February we have no idea what the situation is with the finances. And by then the window will be well shut and we’ll probably know our fate with regards to the Champions League too. If we miss it, well, I suspect it’ll be another summer of praying for a few untapped gems.
Sven and his diamond eye will have never had to work as hard.
We should be talking about the game tomorrow. We should be looking at a bright future at The Arsenal. But right now it just feels like the failures of the past are etched a little too clearly in our minds eyes to get us thinking about the stuff we actually love.
Perhaps things can change and let’s all be pleased that two of the three protagonists are gone from our club. If we could just get the final millstone from around our collective necks in the shape of Stan Kroenke and KSE then that would be great. Sadly, however, it feels like that particular turd will not be flushing itself for some time.