Why Arsenal’s problems are not on the field 1


As the sun sets on yet another season, the feeling is all too familiar. A season with so much promise, so much expectation ending up with no trophies and few positives to speak of. It is now 12 years since we were the champions of England. For a team of our calibre, with the resources we have at our disposal, that is far too long a wait. For there to be a continuous pattern of failure for such a long period means that there are fundamental issues are our club that must be addressed. It is clear that our squad was one of the strongest, if not the strongest in the Premier League this season. With all due respect our squad on paper is better than Leicester’s, yet they are champions and we are not. It is clearly not an issue with the players then, but pretty much everything else:

The owner

Aah Stan Kroenke. The man is known by many as “Silent Stan”, given that he hardly speaks up about the sports teams he owns and Arsenal is no exception. This man wants nothing from from our football club than to receive a nice handsome dividend every single year. He has no interest in winning trophies. Just two months ago he was quoted as saying:

“If you want to win championships then you would never get involved.”

Now I don’t care what anyone says about how little they think Stan’s influence is on the club, but if the owner of any organisation, whether it be the local coffee shop or one of the biggest clubs in the world instills a particular mentality on their organisation, that mentality will flow through to every part of the club. This is why CEO’s and owners get paid huge sums, they are meant to influence the organisation to achieve the best that they can be. Kroenke clearly couldn’t care less. He has no reason to achieve the best, which is to win titles, he is happy to rest on his laurels and achieve top 4 every season.

As much as we hate Chelsea, look at Abramovich. Look, I don’t agree with everything he does but look at the passion he has for his club. It’s his baby. It was his dream to win the Champions League and to consistently win titles, and I’m afraid to say that in the last 12 years our London neighbours have achieved far greater things than us. Their owner’s passion and desire to win championships influences everyone in the club to reach for that goal. Given Kroenke doesn’t care, it should be no surprise that we don’t win titles anymore.

The solution would be to give the majority shareholding to Usmanov. This man currently holds 30% of the shareholding but actually cares about the club:

“I want the absolute best for Arsenal and am prepared to do whatever is necessary to ensure the success of the club.”

He has been highly critical of the way the club has been run in the past. When Robin van Persie was sold he was of the view that ‘the current politics of the club’s management’ were partly responsible for Arsenal’s failure to win more trophies.

Here is a man who would challenge everyone at the club from the manager down to achieve great things at this club again. I really hope he can buy out Kroenke’s stake and become majority shareholder.

The manager

This one is glaringly obvious. Wenger out.  Hear me out.

I was a Wenger supporter for a long time, and I’ve been very patient with him, but consider the fact that for many years the reason given for us not competing in the transfer market was that we were paying off the stadium debt. We were patient. We then bought Ozil. Then Sanchez. Then Cech. We spent money and now were a force to be reckoned with, or so we thought.

During the financially stricken years we always played second fiddle to United and Chelsea. We simply were no match for them. We always sought to comfort ourselves by celebrating “St Totteringham’s Day”. ‘At least we finished above Tottenham’ we would say. We then bought world class players, and we will, in all probability finish below Tottenham this season.

If he cannot motivate a squad like this to win the title, and Ranieri can motivate his squad, which is, with all due respect inferior to ours, it means there’s a problem with the manager.

The Champions League is a broken record of being eliminated in the round of 16, playing one good leg in a tie but terribly in another which eliminates us. We have gone backwards with this manager, he did great things in the past but it is time to go. He simply cannot be competitive in this day and age. It cannot be more clear how far backwards we have gone.

We must be careful about who we replace him with, it cannot be just anybody, my solution would be to bring someone like Simeone in. You see the passion and energy he shows in the sideline for a start which Wenger currently lacks, but you see the organisation and determination his team shows. It is this motivation that he instills that brings about big results against the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. That is what a great manager should be.

The fans

This is going to be a hard one to swallow as the ones reading this post are likely to be fans.

To be brutally honest I think our fanbase is poor to say the least. It’s not to say we don’t have numbers and don’t have the away support, I think that is great, but when it comes to this large number of fans actually doing something, nothing gets done.

Back in 2014 when Moh from Arsenal Fan TV wanted to do something about Arsenal not spending money, he made several signs saying “if you don’t spend, we won’t spend” for everyone to hold up. People wanted change but when it came to it, nothing happened.

In the recent home game against West Brom, there was supposed to be a mass exit in the 70th minute to protest against what the club is doing. Nothing happened.

When we didn’t sign a single outfield player in the last summer transfer window people were talking about staging a protest outside the Emirates. Nothing happened.

When we protested with signs and banners at the Etihad in Manchester last week, the fans physically fought with one another rather than unite.

During games I can hardly hear any singing, the atmosphere at times was really poor.

What is the point of having such a big fan base when the fans don’t have enough passion to be the 12th man? What is the point of having such a big fan base when the fans can’t even stage a protest properly even though they want change?

Take a look at Liverpool. They have their own problems, but go to Anfield on a matchday, their chanting and singing will give you goosebumps. This sort of thing gives the players an edge, they are the 12th man, whereas we really don’t have one.

In terms of protests I’ve seen teams from the A-League in Australia be more organised than Arsenal, which is embarrassing. When the Western Sydney Wanderers were not happy with the treatment they received from the Australian governing body, more than half the fans left the stadium in unison. They were united. Letters were written, the message was sent to the FFA and they responded.

Our fans can’t even agree on anything. We are too busy fighting. We like talking about protesting but never actually do anything. So ask yourself, if the fans aren’t going to do anything about expressing their disgust about the way the club is being run (apart from a few useless Twitter rants) will the club ever change anything? No. Will the players get that extra edge on the pitch if the fans aren’t making enough noise or singing enough songs? No.

So even as fans we need to take responsibility. We need to unite and let the club know that there needs to be change, otherwise nothing will change and the club will take us for granted.

I genuinely believe that it has got to the stage now that it doesn’t really matter who we sign this summer. We could sign nobody, we could sign Messi and Ronaldo. Nothing will change unless the owner, manager and fans do, it is as simple as that.

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One thought on “Why Arsenal’s problems are not on the field

  • Peter12

    Excellent analysis. Here are my additional thoughts. The team: although technically our individual players might be somewhat superior to Leicester’s (no disrespect to Leicester team), they are inferior in certain regards. For example, they lack physicality needed for EPL, apart from Giroud; they lack height, again apart from Giroud; they are inferior in terms of tactical discipline (note Ramsey, Konscielny, Paulista, Coq, the Ox); they are inferior in terms of shooting accuracy (The only exception is possibly Cazorla & may be, may be Elneny); they are inferior in terms of hunger to win games. The team as a whole lacks a dominant captain; they lack specialist free kick or penalty taker(s) (Cazorla does his best);

    the fullbacks are not good crossers of the ball, not particularly effective tacklers. Apart from Giroud the team cannot even reach a cross to head a ball; so they don’t even try (except for Alexis – but the again he will try anything).

    These shortcomings are which the manager has to take responsibility for since he is entirely responsible for every aspect of the team. Leicester City has a manager who has leaders on the pitch, specialists, speedsters with the ball at their feet who are efficient in their shooting, with their one-on-ones (Giroud, Walcott take not) and urgency on the pitch. They play very narrow in defence and wide in attack. They have a manager who will chance the players if things are not working (not wait until the dreaded 70th minute). He is modest and works with a minuscule budget compared with Arsenal; he understands his players strengths and specialties and always plays them in their natural positions. Are you getting the picture?

    And you know what? He doesn’t blame the fans. Professional football is a sport for spectators. It may not be a sport for the owner, or the CEO, or even the manager or some players but it is for the fans. NO FANS MEANS NO CLUB, NO TEAM, NO MANAGER, NO CEO, NO GROUND, AND … NO OWNER. These people should be aware of this little fact. The fans would like to see some trophies, yes, but most of all they want to a game which is fought hard with passion, with energy and excitement with purpose – a good spectators game. Look at Liverpool, Westham, Tottenham; what can you say about their boards and their managers? They may have smaller budgets, grounds but they have aspirations and young managers. They have managers who like to play the kind of football which excites the fans. These teams excites the fans and the fans return the passion and support. They never, never blame the fans, if for no other reason than the fact that it is the fans who feed (on caviar in this case probably) the players, the manager, the CEO, and the owner! BEWARE YOU GUYS; IF THERE WERE TO BE A TOTAL ABSTENTION BY THE FANS FROM A SINGLE GAME AT THE EMIRATES THE OWNER WOULD HAVE TO TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION TO ADDRESS FANS ISSUES – RATHER THAN TO IGNORE THEM. OVER TO YOU FANS.