Is Paul Merson Correct? By Dan
Paul Merson has a reputation as a pundit of really exaggerating to emphasise his point. I remember an example where his analysis was Mertesacker was slow, Salah and Mane were fast.
Most viewers would have agreed but he went too far, saying if BFG played he predicted it could be 8 or 9 and that it would be impossible for Liverpool not to win. The game ended 1-1.
Like most ex-Gunners he’s obviously concerned how far his former club have fallen. On this weekend’s Soccer Saturday he was critical of our situation and questioned how things would improve.
Again though he goes over the top.
When asked if Arteta’s job was safe at the Emirates he suggested it was purely because ‘who would want it’, describing Arsenal as a ‘great club’ but that managers want to work with ‘good players.’
He’s half correct.
I refuse to believe that since Arsene Wenger left we have hired our first-choice targets. The recruitment team will claim that both Emery and Arteta topped a shortlist of approx. 50 applications because they happened to interview well.
In reality any coach with ambition is only moving to North London if they think it’s realistic to build a title winning squad. The moment an Allegri hears the transfer budget, he would withdraw his application. Enrique literally confirmed this.
So in reality your choice of candidates is left with individuals so grateful to get a high-profile position they are willing to accept the limitations.
Let’s not falsely educate the next generation of gooners though. If Stan Kroenke wanted too, he could make being Arsenal coach a post that the very best in the world would be interested in.
A chance to live in London, off the pitch a well-run business, world class stadium and training facilities, decent academy, massive fan base, proud history, etc.
Yet in the summer it’s very likely that the Manchester Clubs and Chelsea will compete for the likes of Haaland, Grealish and Kane while our net spend will be approx. 50- 80 million.
Several companies follow the model of investing huge amounts to make more in the long term. If we don’t adopt that policy soon, we will be left standing still, with the gap growing bigger.
Some will pick out stats that suit their argument saying we recently spent more than Chelsea, conveniently ignoring the embargo at the Bridge and any net spend influenced by our rivals ability to sell a lot better.
The fact is the Kroenke family have had power behind the scenes for about 15 years, so saying well done for buying Pepe for 70 million after overseeing a decline from Champions League Final to 8th is a bit odd to me.
I’m old enough to remember an 8-2 humiliation at Old Trafford convincing him to spend a fraction of the money recouped for Nasri and Fabregas.
I recall being top of the League at Xmas one year and us not finding 2 million for Schwarzer, forcing us to stick with Almunia.
The likes of Van Persie went on record claiming he didn’t agree with the direction of the club. To prove it he won the title with Man United while we banked the money.
Famously our stingiest moves cost us Luiz Suarez and Higuaín.
More recently Ramsey was allowed to leave for free and we are still waiting to replace his goals.
When we needed a centre back, we replaced Koscielny with Luiz, making the position weaker.
Knowing Ozil was left out of the 23-man squad he did nothing to bring in any creativity.
For the third January in a row we only loaned players while slashing the wage bill.
In that time in the same month, Liverpool brought VVD and United Bruno Fernandes.
He’s the only top flight owner who got players to take a pay cut to protect staff jobs …. then still made 55 redundancies.
Why do you think Alisher Usmanov took his shares to Everton? On our board he realised Mr Kroenke had zero intention of building anything. The TV contracts being so much revenue that Stan Kroenke no longer cared where we finished. He would make money regardless.
The notion that he’s not responsible because he’s not involved in day-to-day operations is so naive. In any corporate environment an owner has targets and projections to meet. If you fail, saying you chose to put your feet up in America and stay out of things isn’t an excuse.
If the wet floor sign wasn’t put up at Asda, a person slips and breaks their neck. They sue the company, not the staff member who last mopped up. A court wouldn’t say, ‘well the CEO wasn’t in the store, so he has zero accountability.’
Arsenal simply are a failing company yet are still charging customers the highest ticket prices.
Morally it’s so wrong that I pay the same to watch a mid-table side then I did for one who were always in top 4.
Would be like a retailer selling a horrible dress for 100 pound when another store offers you 60 for a designer label.
While we are run this way, Merson is correct in saying that we won’t attract a world class manager.
We will simply repeat the cycle of a manager so grateful he accepts limitations, we slash wage bill, loan players, while fans falsely convince themselves our next youth prospect is fantastic (because they play for Newcastle and West Brom?)
I wouldn’t word it how Merson does, but he’s correct in that we are a great club but not one that anyone with any ambition will want to touch. No mistake though, we are a big club who just don’t act like one.
That’s what frustrates the majority of us. All the resources are there, but we just choose not to go that extra level.
We refuse to be the best version of ourselves and that’s the worst attitude to have.
Do you agree with Paul Merson?
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