by Matt Lorrimer-Roberts (@MattLR28)
Over the past few weeks we have seen many things come out from Arsenal. You could say that whatever happens behind closed doors is becoming the main concern of our club. In full we have been told that:
- Transfers are done or there’s no deal (Saliba & Tierney), through a variety of media outlets.
- Introduced the worst kept secret in the world of former Gunner Edu becoming introduced as the Technical Director.
- Had the club staff rotate more than a merry-go-round
- New kits being launched and had a supposed “protest” at home kit launch.
- Club captain, refusing to take part in the clubs pre-season tour of America.
- Fans creating the #Wecaredoyou campaign to ask what is going on with everything behind the scenes.
- Josh Kroenke responding in a letter and an interview for all fans to hear.
So let’s begin with some good news then, we have Edu back at the club. For many of you he will be best remembered as an invisible, for others it will be for the goal in the Champions League against Inter Milan. But he might be the man to be defined at the club by what he now does off the pitch as Technical Director. But what does the role mean? Is it just another fancy title for a former player to take up or does it involve some actual work?
Well according to FIFA, the role is defined as leading development programmes and preparing for the future. This means he will be working closely with the other members of the backroom staff such as Per Mertesacker; Raul Sanllehi; Vinai Venkatesham and Unai Emery. Edu has had plenty of experience of this since retiring, he has been in the role for both Brazil and Corinthians. Something that will be able to please some fans. With Edu in the role, hopefully there is some light over the current bleakness some of the fan base is feeling.
Carrying on with the staff rotation, we had been now told that another invincible, Freddie Ljunberg is to swap roles with Steve Bould. Our previous years go by number eight is to become the assistant to Emery while Steve Bould become the new U23’s coach. I hope that we will be able to see Freddie become more than just a seat occupier and make sure that the youth team players are used right when they are needed to.
After this news we have had the media continuously taunt our fans for days, firstly by saying that we had agreed transfer fees for both Saliba (a central defender, who we would loan back to St-Ettiene for the season) and Scottish left back from Celtic Tierney. This has not been the case at all. Fans have been patient all summer waiting for players to arrive or even leave but nothing has happened apart from what we already know. There still is the question of if we do not buy in the positions we need are we looking to utilise the academy players instead? The transfers don’t seem to end until the window closes but with news coming out that club captain has “decided to go out on strike” was hard to swallow. We have no idea what has brought the events to happen, all we know if that Laurent Koscielney has decided that he no longer wants to be apart of the club we adore so much. His time with us has been filled with finals ending up in disarray and joy. He has been a very important player for us, when we needed him he has stepped up. His goal in The FA Cup final against Hull to draw level is one many won’t forget. But for now many fans chose to abuse him instead of allow him to be honoured, this has the feeling of Alexis Sanchez all over again but this time the damage will be worse for the way the club and some fans have been reacting to his situation.
After this news coming to light, we then focused on the new home kit which you have to credit Adidas for the design. It is just brilliant and shows a very traditional home kit something our previous kit suppliers failed to do multiple times. And even the new away kit, a new idea on the bruised banana kit is equally impressive. However, not all seemed to be happy with just the kit release. Not many but a few fans thought that it was a good idea to protest the owners that not many approve of, Stan Kroenke. This lead to nothing but was shared on twitter about how silly and childish the attempt was. Some may say it was just a publicity stunt from someone wanting to do more than promote himself with AFTV not around.
The next thing we know #WeCaredoyou? Became a source of integrity of getting some answers that we needed from our owners. Even a petition has been shown to help address our concern that we need to know that the Kroenke’s actually care about the club. Something that many of us actually will get around. This is a process and some of this has been addressed many fan groups and influencers have asked for as many fans to spread the word. As far as we know the Kroenke’s refuse to sell the club and we are long term assets to them.
A few days later in an Arsenal interview and a letter addressed to all the fans, Josh Kroenke spoke out about the club. Calling his family custodians of the club. Something that I find disrespectful and making out that they are holding the club more like hostages then owners. He even says that the Kroenke’s aren’t aware of the traditions and values of the club we hold so dear. Josh also spoke about that the main goal was all about winning, which seems rather odd when previously Stan has come out and said that he doesn’t care if arsenal win anything at all. When doing this interview the look in his eyes gives me something that hes not being truthful about it all. Even talking about silverware and trophies, like he has a clue. If im not mistaken most trophies are considered silverware.
The last bit to take from the interview is that he says big things are happening in the transfer window, they are being as aggressive and trying to get the deals done as soon as they can. After last season seeing so many players being brought in was brilliant and encouraged the fans. It now seems like a backwards step that the deals haven’t been going as smooth as we’d like them to.