Most Gooners out there are Emery Out.
Recent results haven’t been good – evidently. And on the eve of the Leicester City game, it’s dark and peak times at Arsenal right now.
Even those who were largely Wenger In want Emery gone. This shows how dark it’s got.
This is a time where our new structure has to be tested – KSE has talked big about being charting a new course. As the side isn’t functioning as it should, it’s time to question now how they can correct things.
The first point to examine here is our head of football, Raul Sanhelli.
As a seasoned executive, he must know what it’s like under pressure. He was at Barcelona for crying out loud, and the pressure there is intense.
But as Arsenal isn’t firing on all cylinders, Sanhelli must be under scrutiny now, and not just him but the man (or men) above him.
Sanhelli was once a top figure at Barca – and if anything that’s a key reason why it was a coup to sign him up.
Barcelona is one of the biggest clubs on Earth – unquestionably.
It has won many big trophies and hosted numerous great players. Messi, Ronaldinho, Guardiola, Xavi, Iniesta, Koeman, and the late, great Johan Cryuff have all strut their stuff at the Camp Nou.
Its stadium is world-renowned albeit run-down, and its academy is the best on Earth by some distance. Hector Bellerin started his career there, as did Cesc Fabregas once upon a time.
But there is a reason, amidst its wealth, resources, and history, why it remains successful.
It is ruthless.
It has done and will do, anything it can to gain success.
There is a reason why it gets into trouble with UEFA/FIFA for breaching FFP. It’s a beast designed to compete at the very highest levels of the game, even if it breaches standing rules.
This includes moving out successful managers, or players, at their primes. Luis Enrique and Zlatan Ibrahimovic can testify to this.
And this ruthlessness ingrained over decades comes from the very top of the organisation.
Raul Sanhelli was part of that “top”. During his time there, he helped create the contemporary Barca which was once Pep and now Messi-led.
Emery is failing – that’s clear to see.
But if the Barca ruthlessness is there – it must be exercised now.
If not, then it means we have deeper issues afoot.
If Emery doesn’t go – does it mean that Sanhelli is not up to it?
He was installed to get us on track, and have seasoned footballing knowledge and action at the highest levels.
He also has contacts with the super agents, who handle all the top players. When Gazidis and Wenger ran things, the club didn’t really engage with them, partly out of moral principle. But if the club needs to compete, then dealing with Mendes and Riola et al is required. Nice guys finish last, and to finish first, it’s not about being nice and noble. Part of the reason for hiring him was this modern savvy, which we lacked when Wenger, Gazidis and Law ran dealings.
The executive changes we’ve seen would be for nought if we don’t see concerted action.
It could mean that we’ve regressed even further behind if the “upstairs” department is off.
Our owners must know what is going on, as they are not stupid.
Arsene Wenger left us for a mix of footballing and financial reasons.
I suspect the latter was more the case.
We finished sixth in his final season and were someway off Champions League football.
And the longer it continued, the fewer revenues Arsenal would gain, and the fewer revenues the KSE group would earn in kind.
And with the empty seats at games, fan unrest, and potentially lower sponsorship deals, we weren’t at a prime position to earn revenues.
Yes, we did get the Adidas and Rwanda deals, which are amongst the highest of their type in the country and the world.
However, sponsorship operates on a simple premise – if something moves fast, cotton on to it. Brands can get bigger recognition if their sponsor has that appeal. A Europa League side lacks that appeal – so Wenger ultimately had to go.
If they persist with Emery, then the internal changes resulting need to be questioned also. Is the addition of Sanhelli helping? Has the return of club legend Edu helped either? With the continued bad results, Emery needs to go also, as the same financial pressures would result as it did in the latter Wenger period.
KSE clearly have restructured to make us more nimble and able to compete. And bigger clubs, like Man United, would kill for a similar set-up.
But it would certainly call into question whether KSE is indeed serious about their project, and their desire to get Arsenal back on track.
This is not to say that behind the scenes discussions aren’t happening.
Maybe Emery is being told that he needs to shape up or he’s gone.
Maybe Sanhelli is sounding out managers with views for replacements.
Just as players get routinely tapped-up, managers do too. And of course, there are some high profile managers out there who are looking for work.
As a fan, there’s a limit to what I can know regarding internal club processes and views.
All the same, the current crisis would prove how well Sanhelli and KSE are handling our affairs. The club wasn’t ruthless enough in the latter Wenger period. Let’s see if they’ve regained it in the coming weeks and months.
If there is no stern plan, then KSE ultimately would take the hit. The #WeCareDoYou campaign seemingly fizzled out once Pepe was signed, and our resultant “winning” of the transfer window. However, if Emery persists with negative performances and results, that and more could re-emerge to make the Arsenal ownership more contentious.
We wanted change and we got it.
So now is where the rubber meets the road for our new regime. Let’s see how well they handle it.