Where do we go from here?
It’s the same old Arsenal, seemingly.
We all have our views on the manager, but then what really is the issue? And what really needs to change?
One way I look at things is via how each facet is aligned for success.
I think for any organisation, in any industry, should have the following to be successful:
- Strong vision/strategy/mission
- Strong leaders
- Good employees
- Good products
- Excellent support systems (facilities, machinery, etc.)
This applies to football clubs too.
Look at Real Madrid. They, as the biggest club in the world, demand the Champions League and La Liga, which they have gained of late. They have strong leaders and good players/employees (Perez, Zidane, Ronaldo, Modric, etc.) They clearly produce great/winning football, and their training facilities are world class.
Juventus is another example. Top manager (Allegri), new stadium/training facilities, great players (Higuain/Cheillini), great team, and a strong ownership.
Can we say we have all of these? Possibly, but not enough.
Our mission is weak. We say we wish to compete for the Premier League and Champions League, but we don’t. Our challenges are as pitiful as our “catalyst for change”.
We have great players, and even our squad players are seasoned internationals. Half of our squad, if not more, could play in the Russia World Cup. Or have won World Cups, European Championships, or Copa Americas.
Our team performances are critically erratic, though our training ground is second to none. The Emirates, despite being eleven years old, is still unsurpassed in the UK vis a vis facilities.
So we are not as holistically as strong as Real Madrid, but then we have a long way to go to get to where we wish to be.
So how do or should we change this?
Even if Kroenke is an absentee and/or disinterested owner, I have some thoughts on how we can change.
- Kroenke doesn’t need to be active, but then there needs to be a CEO/director who ensures the vision is being met. Gazidis should be given a brief to meet out a strategy, and ensure there is accountability for its attainment or not. Citing need for “catalyst for change” is one thing, but talk is cheap. It’s only pertinent if the change is actually happening, or will be realised.
- Commercial activity needs to be ramped up. Iwobi/Nigeria is a critical opportunity here. Why not get a popular Nigerian brand, in any industry, and have Iwobi as its pin-up? It would boost Arsenal’s image in the country, and that of Iwobi in his familial homeland. Our commercial revenue has been increased of late, especially via the Konami/Pro-Evo link, but then there is a lot we can do additionally. There is no reason why cannot, with some foresight, gain £150m every year in commercial dealings.
- Wenger’s technical team needs a continual revamp, and there needs to be a new tactical plan. This may include a director of football, but the training regimes need to change. This also encompasses the coaching staff, in all areas
Why not also try fan-presence on the board? The club has always been progressive in its operations. Wenger’s tenure alone is defined by this. A fan presence, whether from the AST (Arsenal Supporters’ Trust), or a collation of online/print media, could ensure accountability at the club. And this is in large part what is lacking.
These may seem like empty ideas, but it’s self-evident that there is a malaise of our own doing at this club. Due to a lack of ambition, drive, and passion in our organisation, we have drifted from being a top four to a top six team. We need to reinvigorate this drive, in order to challenge.