I’m writing this as the transfer window has just closed and Arsenal have ended up with a £17m profit. For a club of Arsenal’s size, with I believe the 5th largest turnover in World football this is a pretty shocking state of affairs, as much smaller clubs like West Brom, Brighton, Bournemouth, Watford and Huddersfield all had a bigger net spend and showed more ambition in the transfer window than Arsenal.
It was an appalling transfer window from start to finish. Kierran Gibbs eventually ended up going to West Brom for £7m, after Arsenal had turned down an earlier bid of at least £10m. The Ox wanted to leave Arsenal so desperately that he turned down a far bigger contract offer from Arsenal to join Liverpool.
Arsenal bid £30m, £40m, £50m in an attempt to sign Thomas Lemar, before pulling the plug on the deal. Only to return on the very last day of the window to bid £92m for a player we probably could got for £60m in June. Comically Lemar turned Arsenal down scuppering the deal to take Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City.
Who could blame Lemar as Arsenal messed him about for two months before getting cold feet and pulling the plug on the deal. He’d also probably watched the 4-0 capitulation by Arsenal at Anfield and seen the disastrous team selection and tactics and thanked god he hadn’t signed for us.
Now Arsenal are left with an unhappy player who had his heart set on a move to Manchester City. How is Sanchez going to behave when he returns to Arsenal, a club he doesn’t want to play for. Will he start to play up and be disruptive and rebellious. If he does it will have a demoralising affect on the rest of the squad.
Let’s not forget that our other marquee player Mesut Ozil still hasn’t agreed a new contract either and will no doubt quietly try to see out his contract and walk away on a free at the end of the season. I don’t know about you but I want players who are committed to the club. If they don’t want to sign a new contract get shot of them. I don’t care how good they are, if they don’t want to play for us get somebody else in that does. To me this is weak management by Arsene Wenger and bad for team spirit.
How can Arsenal let nine players get into the last year of their contract, with another eight players in the same position next season. That is pure negligence on the part of Arsene Wenger and the club. This is a result of Arsene trying to do more jobs than George Osbourne and keep all the plates spinning at the same time.
Contracts were neglected because Wenger didn’t have the time to devote to it. We are a billion pound enterprise that needs a specialist to sort out contracts and transfers. The board just let Wenger stumble his way through it with no accountability by them or Kroenke. We dither and try to lowball so much with other clubs and agents when conducting transfers that some of them alledgedly refuse to deal with us.
Make no mistake this club is in rapid decline. Sunday was a perfect example of this. Liverpool were organised, energised, vibrant and attacked at speed. Their players all believe in what their manager is telling them. While we were the complete opposite. Disorganised, lethargic and slow and players that don’t believe in what Arsene is telling them.
It wasn’t too long ago that Alexis Sanchez chose Arsenal over Liverpool and Luis Suarez wanted to sign for Arsenal. I don’t think that would be the case now. Liverpool are on the up and we are on the way down.
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Stan Kroenke made a terrible decision for Arsenal Football Club by giving yesterday’s man Arsene Wenger a two year contract. But a marvellous decision for Stan Kroenke. Imagine if we’d had a new manager in charge this season. There is no way Kroenke would have got away with a £17m profit in this transfer window.
Arsenal need to attract bigger and better commercial deals. But these brands want to be associated with successful clubs and successful clubs owners invest in their playing squads. Marquee players appeal to marquee companies.
Arsenal are failing spectacularly on and off the pitch. They have become dysfunctional. Arsene Wenger’s best days as a manager are well behind him. The geriatric board are just puppets for Kroenke and our majority shareholder isn’t investing any money into the club. The rumours that the club has no money rung alarm bells with me. The highest match day revenue of any club in world football. The biggest cash reserves in world football and record TV deals but we have no money!
We know that Kroenke has had problems building the new stadium in Los Angeles and is being sued for a billion dollars by the city of St Louis. Could it be he is using the money that Arsenal generate to subsidise or leverage his US sports ventures in some way. I wouldn’t put it past him.
I’m convinced that we will continue our descent into mediocrity unless we can rid ourselves of Stan Kroenke and be in no doubt he’s going to take some shifting. So much for the “Catalyst for Change”.