Today there is a fan Q & A at The Emirates in which Raul Sanllehi and a few other Arsenal representatives will sit in front of a selection of fans to discuss the recent history and upcoming future of Arsenal. It’s something Arsenal have done for many years and is something that is good that a small collective of people get to ask whatever questions they like.
This year’s Q & A is expected to be a little more spicy, mainly because it comes off the back of a poor end to the season, as well as a team easily weaker than last season and at the time of writing we still haven’t signed what you’d describe as a first team regular to replace the experience of the likes of Ramsey, Cech, Welbeck, etc. We’re at the end of July and all of the ‘talk’ at the club a few months back about having a plan in place has been just that: talk.
That’s why the #WeCareDoYou campaign got off the ground. Not because of signings, although that is a small part mainly because we want to see the team competing and improving and as it stands right now, we don’t look anywhere near that. No, it got off the ground because we want to see better leadership. The leadership we’ve had has been words and platitudes from the likes of Gazidis or in the Kroenke’s case until recently, deathly silence.
So the Q & A tonight should, I believe, be another opportunity for fans to voice concerns about the way the club is run.
And forgive me for sounding a wee bit cynical here, but the timing appears incredibly coincidental that Arsenal will almost certainly announce the signing of Saliba and Ceballos today, on the day in which they will have known from the #WeCareDoYou campaign, fans are not happy with what is happening and want action.
My personal two pence worth is this:
A couple of signings – one on loan away from us and one a loan signing for this season only – will not shut down any discontent. Action is needed by the club and it needs to have started from the second Josh opens his mouth and continue for longer than a few weeks and a couple of deals.
Questions about regular engagement with the fans, about accountability for those running the club, about safe standing, about the European Super League; all of these have been asked and the response from Josh – which was welcome and a start – didn’t fully answer.
We all want success at Arsenal. That’s the ultimate aim of the campaign is. Everyone is willing Arsenal to improve, to get better, to try all they can to turn us back in to a competitive team, with or without KSE. If KSE showed the kind of leadership we’d have hoped then I couldn’t really give a monkeys about whether they ran the club or not. If they truly acted like ‘custodians’ as Josh said, then I’d have been alright with that, but so far the reality has been very different.
We haven’t seen some new ownership step up in the last 18 months. These guys have been asleep at the Arsenal wheel for over a decade. They need to show us, not tell us of their desires to make Arsenal the best it can be.
And that’s what I’m hoping is the flavour of the Q&A this evening. I hope the people that ask the questions tonight ask pertinent questions designed to get Arsenal to respond and give us all comfort that we’re going in the right direction. For clarity to me that means answers to some of the unanswered questions asked by the collective of us fans behind #WeCareDoYou.
We want Arsenal living it’s modern slogan – Forward. And we get Victory through harmony if we get more transparency from the owners and administration at the club, if we get clear direction, if we know that failure has consequences and if we feel like everyone is doing all they can to improve The Arsenal. Not just their coffers in the US.
Catch you all tomorrow.