So we have a shiny new away kit to salivate over I see? It’s a shame we don’t have any new signings to be featured in them. Had we done what we were supposed to be doing this summer, had we done what was said in March from Sanllehi about having been speaking to people for months with plenty very eager to come to Arsenal, maybe we’d have a double blow of excitement to go with what is clearly an away strip that resonated with the fans like the home one did.
But alas, that isn’t the case, which is a shame. It’s ok though, because Josh Kroenke did a video telling us to ‘wait and see’, so I guess that means we have to take him at his words right?
There probably are some deals on the verge of being done and when that happens I’ll most certainly be applauding and happy, but on the subject of Josh Kroenke and his statement and video to the fans, forgive me if right now I’m taking it all with a hefty dose of salt.
Not least because the way in which the open letter to the fans was written makes it look like he’s saying “we HAVE made changes in the last 12 months, so there”. In much the same way a politician blames the previous regime when he gets in to power, Josh has talked up the recent changes and echoed a narrative which sounds very similar to the Ol’ Arsène Wenger ‘judge me in May’.
It doesn’t really talk too much about the fact that the KSE ownership stretches back over ten years and so whilst hint at previous regime issues, Josh also kind of doesn’t acknowledge that it was his fathers ‘administration’ that were ‘running’ the club more than 12-18 months ago.
As the #WeCareDoYou campaign statement said, we want there to be more dialogue and accountability with the ownership, but what I will say is a positive is that Josh has at least spoken to the fans. Let’s not forget that before the statement yesterday we had barely a peep from ‘Silent Stan’ and so if this is the start of more regular dialogue between the fan base and KSE then that is to be applauded.
If KSE are going to at least show that they are going to hold the senior operational staff at the club accountable for success then that is a good ‘tick’ from my perspective. But we have to see it in action.
Don’t just tell us, show us. Engage fans in relation to things like the safe standing, or the European Super League, which should concern us all too because it could fundamentally change the way in which football is played, moving it more into line with the NFL model than anything else.
Leadership is what we’re looking for and with leadership holding those who run the club to account we might start to see Arsenal moving in the right direction. The reason we’re in this mess at the moment is because KSE left Wenger and Gazidis in post too long when it was clear they weren’t delivering the expectations that should have been set by KSE.
I’ll leave that part of the discussion for now I think, as the rest of the #WeCareDoYou team are putting together follow up responses which address stuff in more detail. But the overriding message from me is that it’s good we at least have a response, but we need more to come from KSE and we need a ‘show us, don’t just tell us’ response.
Back on the pitch and to echo Josh’s statement about signings, Unai has been speaking about potential incomings and has mentioned three or four that he wants to bring in, which is good. I think we can all guess at least two of those, but who the other two – a winger and a box-to-box midfielder- are remains to be seen. The type of player seems to change with every passing day and my hope is that we’re not just scatter-gunning Raul’s network to find out who is agreeable. If there’s a plan in place and a type of player that does a certain role then let’s get on and do it. But we better do it quickly because the window is now on T-Minus 22 days and counting. So if we’re going to see some new signings appear in that volume we need to have somebody new popping up every five days or so. Unless the plan is to get it all lined up and have them all jump out of a massive cake at The Emirates? That’d be nice. They can give all the remaining sponge to the assembled journos to keep them ‘sweet’ ahead of the new season…sorry…horrendous attempt at humour there!
Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is that we have some areas of positivity based on what people like Josh and Unai are saying, but we’ve had our fingers burned so many times we need to see action instead of rhetoric.
Catch you all tomorrow.