Arsenal CEO confirms our “focused on youth” project and calls for unity

The Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham has decided to contact all the Arsenal staff and players at the end of the transfer window, to assure them that, despite the awful start to the season, the long-term plan is progressing as it should.

VV acknowledges that we have dropped far below our standards, and those of our rivals at the top of the table, but there is a strategy in place, which he has explained is to concentrate on “Europe’s most exciting young talent” that can “grow and develop together under Mikel”.

Vinai’s message was acquired by HITC, who have reported our CEO as saying: “Our approach for this window was framed by fully recognising that we are not where we want to be on the pitch — finishing eighth last season, with no European football for the first time in many years,”

“This is well below the standards each of us all have, and of course that our fans rightly demand of us, which is to be competing for the biggest trophies in the game.

“Whilst we would love to jump from where we are to where we want to be in an instant, we need to be realistic that the gap is too large to do that. As such, our activity this window has been focused on youth.

“Our strategy is to fill our squad with some of Europe’s most exciting young talent, with players from both our academy and further afield, that can grow and develop together under Mikel to take us where we want to get to.

“Whilst this will not be overnight, we can make positive progress, and it gives us the best route to future success in a sustainable way.”

From his words you can tell that he has accepted that we are dealing with a long-term project, and we are going to have to accept a few setbacks along the road. But he calls for us all to be postive that things can only get better as the project progresses. “Of course, I write this update against the backdrop of a hugely disappointing start to the season. I know how tough this is for all of you, both as supporters and employees, with criticism coming from all angles.

“At times like this it is critical we stick together and stay positive. We have a very important run of games coming up after the international break and I’m confident we can and will come out fighting.”

Our CEO then takes his chance to praise our owners the Kroenkes, who have authorised a record spending spree for Arteta and have failth in our new “stategy”. “Although Covid and no European football bring financial challenges, our owners, Stan and Josh Kroenke, have sanctioned very significant investment this transfer window in support of our strategy,” he said.

“This has included signing Nuno Tavares (21), Ben White (23), Sambi Lokonga (21), Martin Odegaard (22), Aaron Ramsdale (23) and Takehiro Tomiyasu (22), as well as renewing deals with Emile Smith-Rowe (21) and Kieran Tierney (24).

“All of these players are signed on long-term contracts.”

So this has only confirmed my opinion piece that I wrote earlier, saying that fans just have to keep calm and trust in the project.

Good things come to those who wait!

Tags Vinai Venkatesham

34 Comments

  1. PJ-SA says:

    It’s crystal clear to see what’s going on here. The whole MA project failed epically so management has lined up their best excuse yet.

    All of a sudden our whole club has been relabelled as a youth project to save face and bide time with the fans.

    Pathetic and misleading

    1. Mark says:

      Stop repeating the same comment in every post..and get rid of that tinfoil hat..What’s next? the earth is flat?

      1. PJ-SA says:

        Ah yes Mark, the biggest supporter of mediocrity on JA. Do you have posters of Arteta on your cot at home?

        1. Admin Pat says:

          And PJ-SA, do you have a dartboard with his picture on, so you can take your never-ending anger out on him???

          1. PJ-SA says:

            Lol admin! Defend people’s right to an opinion when it suits you…and when it doesn’t, opinions are not allowed. You forget your own words from earlier?

            “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”

            You lack objectivity.

          2. Admin Pat says:

            Oh PJ, get with the program. I defend my own rights as well, mate, not just yours….

          3. PJ-SA says:

            “Or maybe that just shows the “ignorance and arrogance” of fans like you that demand instant success?”

            Another example of you attacking someone’s opinion because you didn’t like what they said.

            No-one likes a hypocrite mate!

          4. Admin Pat says:

            Haha, I didn’t attack you. I just turned your own words on yourself!

        2. Mark says:

          Yes I do, I also had one of Emery which replaced Wengers. You see unlike you, I support whichever manager is working with us at the time.
          Realizing that AFC is in transition, has been badly managed for decades and will need a period of time to get back on its feet is not supporting mediocrity and being realistic..You should try it.
          Is Arteta perfect?..no…Is he the one to carry AFC to glory?..I dont know but I see and respect what he is trying to do..

          Having read a few of your post here I realize that you have no issues with indiscipline at the club(Guendo), that you are interested more in media hype names than a balanced squad and thirdly you will soon end up at Chelsea or City…So i dont take you too seriously…

          1. Mark says:

            “its being realistic”

          2. Oba says:

            We have heard alot of this during wenger era saying trust the process of our youth, infact they manage money but still no moving forward when the owner suppose to pump money into that decade you said but never did?. Why can’t our owner go for super quality youngsters that will improve and lift this squad, nothing change in this squad, only ben white and Japanese guy are the new faces, can these two players lift us ” I doubt it”, board still making this same mistake, this season already over for arsenal unless we win Fa cup or Carabao so that we can play in Europe if not that is not possible…. Will the club decide to buy Maddison, Declan, bissouma, Martinez next summer transfer window when they finally realized their mistake ?, Why can’t them go for these players i mention above this summer transfer window instead of going for lokonga, giving Xhaka another deal, when you knew partey is injured, why not buy Declan rice as well, why not buy Maddison instead of Ødegaard or if you want Ødegaard why not send Elnerny packing… I hope to see improvement with that £163m spend in this concluded transfer window.

  2. Malaysian gunner says:

    Wenger aldo had project Y.He said when the boys develop they would startle the fw.Alas it was not to be .
    This y project must deliver results asap.Arsenal are taking a huge gamble.
    Hopefully the yg can start integrating soon and win

  3. A J says:

    A very risky “strategy” to embark on at this particular precarious point in time.

    But against all my natural instincts, I for one am looking forward to seeing our new crop gradually integrated into the side.

    League – out of the question.

    Top four – I think not.

    Top six- debatable.

    A pot – possibly.

    Frustrating I know (to put it mildly), but the current regime set their stall out upon this path preseason.

    It is not hiding behind excuses etc.

    Prior to his arrival M A’s remit was to include overseeing a “clear out” of players who were clearly not going to figure under him (for more than one reason).

    In comings were then going to be of a very specific demographic.

    Young players who’s increase in value during their tenure with us was a viable aim.

    So whether passionately agree or not (and the facts before us right now are obvious), if this was / is the “Process” & “Project” let’s get cracking.

    Haul ourselves form the bottom of the pile , integrate these guys and I’m afraid its’ “sink or swim” time.

    Same old hackneyed, overpaid, overblown, comfortable players or the new fresh young brigade.

    Bring it on (again, against all my natural instincts).

  4. VasC says:

    So what Vinai wishes now is to “Trust the NEW PROCESS!!!”. A second new “project” in less than two years. I guess, soon we’ll be having a new “Home” process, “Away” process and a “3rd” process every season to coincide with each new kit release. COYG!!!

  5. A J says:

    Hi VasC.

    If you followed this WHOLE story closely, you would have seen quite clearly what was/is unfolding.

    I posted on here the steps that this supposed remodelling would take from the outset – and it has, more or less to a tee.

    Said “model” was from a “business” perspective, and it has been implemented.

    Has it worked to date on and off the pitch – clearly not.

    Was/is M A the right man for such a job ?

    Do we have a driven owner ?

    No.

    But yes, like it or not we now enter a new phase.

  6. GunneRay says:

    VV’s way of saying, “we went cheap so we can hopefully sell for more later”. Trust the process (again)!

    What a pile of s**te. If Arsenal as a club are happy to lurk around the lower quarter of the EPL then I guess it’s a great idea to gamble of youth. How can this kind of mentality and global strategy attract more fans, sponsorship or investment? Ah, I forgot, there is still a chance of the “Super League” in the future. No need for fans or investment!

  7. fairfan says:

    Arsenal lived off past glories for ten years.
    Arsene stayed a couple of years too long, Emery was not given enough time or the players he wanted while it took Arteta 18 months to realize the Arsenal squad was not Man City.
    Unlike the past decade though there has been an acknowledgement of past mistakes made and a clear pathway and time frame laid out.
    A young, talented, disciplined + loyal team is to be built. Already six new recruits have been signed.
    Gabriel Tierney Partey Pepe Martinell Saka and ESR are already on board.
    Guendouzie and Saliba may yet rejoin.
    Azeez Balogun and Patino are being groomed. Next summer 3-4 more new recruits will come in.
    The excess will be shipped out.
    In 12 months we will compete for top 4.

    1. A J says:

      Hi fairfan.

      A very insightful comment.

      Frustrations are running mega high right now (me included), but your post deals with the NOW.

      I particularly like the line about at last acknowledging the errors made to date (over many years), and setting about addressing them – hence my post above re’ there IS a plan being worked through- whether folk like it or not.

      As for the last line – it’s gonna go one way or the other in terms of this squad coming together – in more ways than one !

  8. Tommogun58 says:

    I get the plan but this is not the Dutch,French,Italian or spanish league this is the toughest football league in the world and even tougher to win, I realise there is a project that Arteta has sold to the board but it is going to be a very long time before we see a premier league win, I don’t want us to just settle for fourth every season, I WANT TO SEE US WINNING THINGS FOR GOD SAKE.

    1. Grandad says:

      If you see winning as the be all, and end all of being a football fan, perhaps you should change your allegiance to another London Club, run by a self confessed criminal who became a billionaire by selling off state assets .A new Manager cannot turn water into wine ,and whoever takes over from Arteta will not be able to challenge for the EPL title for some time.This transfer window has disappointed me as we have signed the wrong Brighton player at a time when we have a really talented CB out on loan, and in Odegaard we have someone who last season did not pull up any trees in the EPL.The fact that we have been unable to sell a host of mediocre players cannot be attributed to Arteta, despite the views of those who consider him culpable for virtually every aspect relating to the running of a Club which has been mismanaged for at least a decade.If fans are looking for a quick fix to bring about success they will not find it at Arsenal for some time.

      1. Oba says:

        Huge money investment on right Super quality young player will give us that quick fix and that success we are been looking for since invincible era

  9. siamois says:

    I have been very impressed with the business West-Ham have done, spending around 25- 30M/ player(Zouma,Vlasic…) and a couple of very good loans,I can only imagine what he or any other experienced manager would have done with 150M.

  10. Kevin Shipston says:

    Hmmm..isn’t it supposed to be about having a good blend of Youth and experience, so that the younger players learn from the seniors…I remember a few years ago the ‘project’ was to develop players and only bring in marquee signings..whatever happened to that?

  11. Jah son says:

    A youth project entrusted in the hands of a youth. Dwl so where is the adult in the room. The great Arsene tried the youth thing and it cost us fans ten years of misery. Now Arteta an unproven is going to show Wenger how it’s done. Over to the real arsenal fans like guy and got no idea and where is the fox 🙄

  12. A J says:

    “in the hands of a youth”

    Know what you mean Jah son, in terms of managing & directing a club the size of ours but;

    Mikel Artea – 39 years of age.

    Edu – 43 years of age.

    Hardly spring chickens.

    I only wish age could be so re-defined.

  13. Oba says:

    Arsenal Ceo, board and owner are just typical liar, there is no process to trust here. If they are going for youngsters, they should go for super quality players that will this squad, Is Declan Rice not young, is Maddison not young, is kalvin Philip not young, is bissouma not young, three of all this player will improve our squad massively. Arsenal will not finish above 8th this season, this squad will not finish in top 7.

  14. A J says:

    Oba.

    You’re missing a key point.

    Part of the current demographic policy is not ONLY age, it’s the potential to increase VALUE vis-a-vis ASSET base (which we have been appalling at for many years).

    The players you list would come in at a cost that leaves little leeway to sell on at a profit in say 3 or 4 years time.

    We would all love to bring in the type of player you list, the current regime do not see the mileage in this.

    We used to build a side to achieve 4th, now under Mr Kroenke the INVESTMENT in a player speaks volumes.

    Given the above, how long until The Arsenal challenge for the meaningful titles again ?

    1. Oba says:

      Am not missing anything A J, wenger did the same thing where did it get us to?, Now Arteta baby Arteta then why did they sack wenger then?, They should have told us they want to be a selling club rather than sacking wenger.

      1. A J says:

        Hi Oba.

        First of all I remain a huge admirer of Arsene Wenger, and have nothing but respect for the great man – and that will always be the case.

        Totally different eras, but Chapman v Wenger for our greatest ever manager – Wenger takes it.

        But of course we must move on.

        Why did the club sack Wenger you ask ?

        Arsene was at the club for 22 years – incredible by any measure.

        Even the most open mind was beginning to suspect at the time, that if this man does not retire he will inevitably face the alternative – and sadly so it turned out.

        In the latter years under Wenger a number of mediocre players were brought in to sustain the “4th place” trophy year upon year – times have changed.

        However …………….TEN of the 14 players involved in Arsenal’s humiliation at Manchester City were at the club under Arsene Wenger.

        The club are attempting to change this.

        Also Korenke is not getting his European bonus right now, so he is protecting his outlay by way of profit on his purchases – speculate to accumulate in his mind.

        Arsene Wenger 22 years

        Mikel Arteta since 2019

        I suggest the sacking debate would be for very different reasons.

        By the way, a valid argument could also be why jump from the Wenger era to Arteta’s tenure to date.

        Was Unai Emery not given sufficient time ???
        (I don’t buy into the language thing).

  15. Durand says:

    Not surprising.
    1. Continue to roll out excuses
    2. Again with “the process” but offer no details or milestones
    3. Continue to move goalposts and claim progress

    Flowery words but results matter. Oddly asking fans for patience, yet ignore or dismiss the last 10 years of fans patience.

    Sorry but pitch results are pathetic, no progression from manager, and only answer is “buy more players” Yet who knows what Arteta’s system or style is?

    Sorry but tired of the endless excuses for Amateur hour at the club.

  16. Val says:

    I like the approach, i really do whether or not MA is up to the task of taking this exciting young group of players to the top is extremely debatable.

    I said in a previous post a few days back that i would give MA till October interlul.

    By that time he should have all players back and fit, that also gives him time on the training pitch to get the new guys up to speed.

    Fans are umming and R’ing about all the new signings and this and that, i personally feel that this is the approach we should have gone through when Wenger left, at that time we would have atleast been of interest to the best young players around due to actually having European football of some degree.

    But we didnt at the time and UE came in and done well really, it just collapsed on him from the UEL final onwards – he gets fired and MA comes in, turns the team performances around which seemed like an impossible task – for any manager, let alone MA who was in his first job.

    Then, Covid and the penny pinching began ( even more than usual) and it seemed like quick fix signings more than anything, with Mari and Cedric coming in, then Willian follows in the summer, i call these quick fix as they were cheap and filled a spot we needed, at the time ( possibly)

    I do believe that this youthful approach can definitely bare fruit, in a season or 4, but we are talking about the now and it is for us fans the hardest time.

    The board have probably said they will asses him at the end of the season, which would be the right thing to do to really see what he has, can and is doing to improve the players and team, But we, and not we as fans, we as a football club need results to start turning around and fast, otherwise the board will have to act so that would mean yet another different project from another manager.

    There are pros and cons to everything, the massive con of not having european football and consecutive 8th place finishes have made our club undesirable, especially for the better players we would want to go for, which is why i think the club have decided on this project.

    If MA can turn it around again, fair play – i like the youth, i like the young Englishmen throughout the squad, it makes a change.

    If he can’t, i’d imagine any quality manager / coach would do amazing things with this bunch

  17. RFrancis says:

    We are now “focused on youth” under a rookie manager who has so far wrecked the playing careers of more than six young prospects – in just over 18 months in charge. Vinai’s interpretation of the Fox Guarding the Hen House.

  18. Sid says:

    Looks like a classical marketing pitch! Also, didn’t Raul come out and issue a statement in favour of Unai Emery before sacking him? Also, I hope Vinai has a failsafe in place because with fans in the stadium it has a chance to go haywire and Stan Kroenke’s cash cow will turn into a dog. Also, we have to remember that it was Stan Kroenke who turned Arsenal into a cash cow from a star unit. People slate the negativity, but I think this much is expected. You can see that Arsenal fans all around are tired of the shut-in year that we had in football. This point is really important as a closed-off way of life is very quickly susceptible to stress, and when you start to dislike the only thing that acts as a stress reliever for you, you become prone to negative outbursts. Now after one and a half years, people see the same stale dish being served up to them by different waiters but the same chef, what would the restaurant expect? Would it tell people to have patience and digest the bad dish? In such cases, it is really hard to employ perspective because that is reserved for more important things in life. Sometimes enjoyment needs to be mindless, not always requiring deep thinking. Perspective should better be employed by our club, and I hope they have done it. Many international fans may lose interest in a club in this day and age. Some people do like successful ventures, and as not all attend live matches, the sense to continually support does not become binding. Also such a notion does not usually make logical sense. But then when has football been about logic, lol! So with these thoughts, I would wish all the players and our gaffer the best of luck for the next match against Norwich!

  19. Kevin Shipston says:

    I can only see one ‘project’ working at Arsenal. That would be an ambitious new owner for starters, who has a clue about, and is passionate about football and success.Then maybe you’d have the right people appointed at the club. The ”project’ would have to be a total rebuild at all levels, from top to bottom, where incompetence is rife thoughout. At managerial level, there is a huge job to do at Arsenal also, that many/most experienced managers would shy away from, so maybe asking a rookie manager to undertake that, was just slightly naive.
    Without any identity anymore the club just carries on adrift like a rudderless ship. The only ‘project’ viable, is someone coming along who grabs this club by the scruff of the neck and sorts everything out- naff recruitment, naff scouting, naff football ‘directors’ naff CEOS….the whole kit and caboodle, because that is the ‘project’ that is required. Most expensive ticket prices in the League…You’re avin’ a laugh

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