Arsenal are finally playing dirty…and I love it! by ThirdmanJW
There are multiple reasons why Arsenal became an absolute joke under stewardship of AW and IG (Wenger and Gazidis), and probably one of the biggest contributing factors was how soft we became, both on, and off the pitch. We essentially became a charity for crocked footballers, and under-performers were rewarded with riches wildly beyond their contributions to the club.
We now know that AW and IG were to blame, because look how much things have changed since their departures, whilst it’s still Kroenke in charge. If it was all Kroenke, then nothing would have changed. It’s not to say that Kroenke isn’t a terrible owner, because he is, and I hope he’s gone ASAP, but he wasn’t in charge of the day-to-day operational side of things. As long as AW and IG worked within the financial remit set out by Kroenke, they were given carte blanche, which turned out to be a disaster! As we also know, Wenger was 100% responsible for what we saw on the pitch.
So, what has changed?
We were told before under Wenger, that if a club doesn’t want to sell, then we cannot buy. Classic deflection tactic for Arsenal’s poor negotiation skills at the time, because EVERY player has a price. Now, we seem to be far more aggressive when chasing our targets, and seemingly happy going toe-to-toe with other clubs for a player. There were other clubs going for Pepe, so we just blew them away with better offer. Maybe we paid slightly over the odds, but at the end of the day, we got our man. Makes you wonder how many quality players we’ve missed out on down the years because of AW and IG lack of flexibility on their valuations.
Better still, look at what we did with the Partey signing. Atletico were playing hard-ball, which they had every right to do, so we sucker punched them hours before the window closing. Losing one of your star players like that, would have stung. It was great, because it even took Arsenal fans by surprise.
Another change of tact, is how we’re dealing with the deadwood. Instead of rewarding them with playing time, new contracts, and pay raises, which was the general policy under the previous regime, we’re actively trying to offload them asap. If that means banning them from the first team, then so be it. Sokratis, and Ozil refused to move on, so it looks as if they won’t kick a ball this season if they stay at Arsenal.
In regards to on the pitch, we’re a lot more competitive now, more aggressive (even more so now we have Partey), and a little more street wise. Whereas before playing Arsenal, it was effectively a training session for the big boys, now they have a game on their hands.
To Arsenal fans, it may look as if Arsenal are finally getting their hands dirty, but I think it just looks that way because we have been used to being a soft touch for so long. Arsenal are now just acting like any other club would do, and it’s already working wonders, because these decisions are finally being made for the betterment of the club, instead of the individual. This is so important because it’s set a precedent. No more free rides!