Around this time last year, it’s said that prior to a home game in 16/17, our CEO Ivan Gazidis, mentioned we needed a catalyst for change.
He was, after a poor transfer window and early 17/18 start, ridiculed for this assertion.
However, is he now having the last laugh? Maybe.
Wenger has gone.
New players have come in.
And we’ve added some noted executives to boot.
Let’s examine each area, to see what has changed since this time last year:
We needed some serious firepower, and a regular striker, despite the presence of Alexis and Giroud. However, we got in PEA and Lacazette, plus the retention of Ozil and acquisition of Mkhitaryan showed a slightly new direction in our attacking play. Moreover, young players such as Mavropanos have shown we’re willing to develop youth.
- Wenger’s powers
Part of the issue is that our legend had too much power at the end of his tenure. This was diffused by the additions of Sanllehi and Mislintat, and it appears that the chief role of a manager now would be in coaching, preparing, and motivating players. Few major world football clubs have all-powerful managers, and the club needs to be aligned with the contemporary format.
- Coaching staff
Some of the coaching staff is leaving, such as Boro Primorac, Colin Lewin, and Gerry Payton. This relates to another manifestation of the point that things have got stale.
- Commercial income
We have gained a new cryptocurrency partner, though whilst the shirt deal is up for renewal soon, it remains to be seen if commercial income can rise accordingly.
It is possible though that due to our high match-day income, the club doesn’t need to raise as much commercial income. After all, the Emirates’s size and facilities are designed for this. However, more money does mean more tools to compete, and if other top clubs gain the best deals, this leaves us short.
- New managerial appointment
His stated aims for this are reasonable. However, it does seem there is shortlisting and process involved, and some diligence in terms of fit and availability. If Allegri does stay at Juve, then it’s beyond our control. Enrique supposedly has asked for too much money, and this is beyond our control. So there is at least some process enacted.
So has there been change? It seems like it. And it seems fairly positive.
The coaching one is telling since it could be due to a stagnation of coaching talent that we have not improved defensively. We’ve actually got worse defensively in recent years. This lack of coaching, in my mind, is why our home form far exceeds our away form for 17/18.
And it is true that Wenger had got too powerful towards the end. So there needed to be some curbs on how transfers were done. Because of delays, we’d missed out on a lot of top targets. Numerous agents and players even had developed a negative view of our dealings, as they were often slow, unresponsive, and in some cases derisory.
We are identifying the issues at hand, and solving them.
But then Gazidis knows that we need to solve them accordingly, and if not, it would reflect badly on his competence as a senior executive.
So despite initial mockery, Gazidis requires some kudos in seeking change.
Much is said of a power struggle at Arsenal. I believe it’s speculation at what is occurring. Clearly, the Kroenkes had to sanction the departure of Wenger. But then it seems the Kroenkes have endorsed Wenger’s departure, and Gazidis’s changes. It seems that the entire acknowledges the need for change and that Stan and Josh are more prone to this. Maybe our views on their adherence to Wenger were misguided.
We will see if these actions are valid or not, or will produce the desired effects.
Other than that, let’s ride the wave. We’ve wanted change. And now we have it. The catalyst has been sparked. But then let’s see if it bursts into flames, or allows a smooth, pleasant, and successful ride.
One thing is that Gazidis is putting his neck on the line, whilst exercising the power that a club CEO should yield.