Arsenal are in a shocking situation in the last week of the window by Gooner100
How can Arsenal get to a situation a week from the end of the transfer window with:
– An overblown squad with too many makeweights?
– Four key players genuinely at risk of leaving (Sanchez, Ozil, Chamberlain and Mustafi) – all starters in the first 11?
– lack of real competition in key roles (Ozil or ?, CB’s with few real proven options if the core is injured, or a CM that lacks real domination…)
……and as I say, so late in the window that we have almost no chance of responding if any of the four go, which would probably further weaken the team??
I wrote a post earlier this week about Gazidis. Midkemma got it, a few others maybe. Gazidis said and I quote, ‘The changes [we’re making] will keep us ahead of the game. Our strategy is youth development, player signings, and player retention’.
Personally I’m struggling to see how execution of a pretty glib statement is working.
Youth development is producing the occasional player. But let’s be charitable, it’s fine and yes we care more about youth development than most major clubs.
Player signings; Lacazette for sure, early days but the guy is class. Mustafi is seemingly keen to move on (like to know what’s happened there tbh!), Xhaka (tbc..good days and not so good tbh), Elneny (hard worker but not at the level we need), Sanchez (looking to go), Ozil (..just a frustrating on/off player who swings from being a World Class asset to a complete liability). So I can’t subscribe to this part being a great success.
And the final comment is clearly rubbish as we’ve retained the wrong players for too long and are losing the ones we want to keep.
So whatever you think of Wenger, no matter how much people want to take the easy option and say ‘this is all Wenger, he is in total control, no one else gets a say’, he signed a 2 year deal, the behaviours were well known and the challenge to move on was clear. In fact Gazidis said ‘this would be a catalyst for change’.
So I continue to say that the frustrations need to be directed at the board for not sorting this situation. For not asserting the necessary actions on Wenger. For not making sure these issues, which were visible months before the transfer window even opened were not sorted. For not being proactive enough. And in the case of Ivan for not taking the necessary executive decisions that as CEO he is expected and empowered to take to sort this, even if this meant tough talks with Wenger himself. That’s his job!
AFC is not a distributed business with a CEO overseeing multiple businesses in multiple countries. Sure from a commercial perspective, but there is one club based in North London. One team. One squad and one manager. To have allowed the club to get to this chaotic place, is a shocking indictment of the board. There is are only two transfer windows, so no surprise event that took them by surprise!
As for the manager, as I said in the post, Wenger is set in his ways, good and bad. He can create gold from nothing or act in the most irresponsible and myopic way. He has done great things but equally frustrated most Gooners at some point. The board should have made sure the weaknesses were redressed and the strengths supported. Instead it seems they’ve carried on as normal, remained apathetic and in fact allowed the off field issues to now materially jeopardise the success that is likely on the field.
As I said in the post, the board have a week to sort their acts! Move the relevant players out (sell them, loan them, do a deal…contribute to the salary bills if necessary, drop the prices etc), go out and get the couple of players we need, lock down the players we want to keep. This could have been so much easier, so much more controlled and financially balanced, if the board had been making this happen 3 months ago!