Arsenal Debate – Questioning the Kroenke’s ambitions and Arteta’s credentials

Mr. Stan and Josh Kroenke – What are your real ambitions for Arsenal FC and is Arteta the right man? by Larry

Hello again my beloved Arsenal Fans. It’s been a long, long time since I wrote an article on this website going back to December 8th, 2019. I want to say that I love all you readers, fans and contributors to this website and sincerely want nothing but the very best for the team and its success.

I will also state that I am still hoping that Arsenal can achieve a Top 4 finish this season, especially after two consecutive eighth places finishes, and nothing less. The Arsenal Football Club that we support is a BIG club in the Premier League with a history of championship pedigree and is the ONLY team to go unbeaten in a 38-game season.

The Arsenal Football Club we support is supposed to be challenging for league titles along with the other domestic trophies every season, even if we fail in the end.

The Arsenal Football Club we support is supposed to qualify for the Champions League every season. Arsenal qualified for the Champions League for nineteen successive seasons from 1998-99 to 2015-16.

What has gone drastically wrong since our last qualification in 2015-16? Our legendary Manager, Arsene Wenger stepped down at the end of 2017-18 season with Arsenal finishing in 6th place on 63 points some 12 points off 4th place. Arsenal finished in 5th place on 70 points at end of 2018/19 season under Unai Emery and runners-up in the Europa League final.

During 2019/20 Emery was sacked mid-way through the season and Arteta hired.  Arsenal finished in 8th place on 56 points, some 10 points off 4th place but winning the FA Cup under our Rookie Manager. Arsenal finished last season in 8th place again under Arteta on 61 points some 6 points off 4th place but did not qualify for any European competitions for the first time since 1994-95 season. As we all know, Arsenal are currently sitting in 5th place on 54 points with 8 remaining games. I ask you three important questions now?

What are your expectations for the remainder of Arsenal’s season?

Do you think Arteta is the right man for the job?

What is the owner’s real ambitions for Arsenal FC?

I travelled from Manchester to attend Arsenal’s home game against Brighton last Saturday, but was truly disappointed at the poor performance overall.

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 09: Yves Bissouma (R) and Lewis Dunk of Brighton & Hove Albion battles for possession with Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on April 09, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

I paid £162.00 per ticket for my son and I to attend but felt like requesting a full refund after the game. Since the game I’ve watched the commentors on Arsenal Football TV website like Robbie Lyle, Lee Judges, James Bayliss and Cecille Thomas analyse the game in depth. I also am a big fan of ESPN FC and routinely watch and enjoy the pundits post-game analysis. The truth of the matter is that most of the criticism for the losses to Brighton, Crystal Palace and a few other games was aimed at Arteta.

In summary, Arteta continues to make the same mistakes with team selection time and time again. Since his appointment during the 2019-20 season and until now, the high number of players that have fallen out of favour with Arteta is staggering, whether they are still out on loan, their contract terminated or been sold.

Can I list a few? Aubameyang, Willian, Mustafi, Guendouzi, Maitland-Niles, Saliba, Torreira, Tavares, Ozil, etc. Let’s move on but I ask the question again? Is Arteta the right man for this job? Do you think he can still manage the team to a Top 4 finish especially with injuries to Partey and Tierney?

Let’s turn our attention back to the owners for a minute. What is the owner’s real ambitions for Arsenal FC? The true answer to this question is so important to us Die-hard Arsenal fans.

As we know or have heard, Mr. Stan Kroenke is a very successful American billionaire “businessman”, and I am assuming so is his son Josh. Mr. Kroenke also owns a number of American Sports franchise that are performing very well. Just in case we need a reminder:

Owner of the LA Rams- NFL Team who just won the coveted Superbowl title in February this year which was hosted in his new £5.5bn “state-of-the-art” Stadium,

Owner of the Denver Nuggets – NBA Team, currently positioned 6th place in the Western Conference division and sitting in a playoff spot,

Owner of the Colorado Avalanche – NHL Team, currently leading the Central division in points with the best overall record in the entire national hockey league,

Owner of the Colorado Rapids – MLS (Major League Soccer) currently sitting in 9th place out of 14 in their division from 6 games with 28 games remaining, and…

Owner of the Colorado Mammoth – NLL (National Lacrosse League) currently sitting in 1st place in their division.

Owner of Arsenal Football Club – estimated valuation of £2.8bn by Forbes April 2021….

I highlighted the other professional sports franchises/teams owned by Mr. Kroenke of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (KSE) so that we Arsenal fans can see the big picture and maybe see where our beloved Arsenal FC fits into Mr. Kroenke’s scheme of things.

Do you think Arsenal FC is a top priority to the owner and for it to succeed? What is the owner’s real ambitions for the club?

In closing, I want to share my thoughts with you and my reasons.

I feel Arsenal FC is not a top priority for Mr. Kroenke as his LA Rams and Colorado Avalanche are higher priorities. Why? Mr. Kroenke is American and loves American sports more.

Maybe there might be a parallel between his middle-of-the-table Colorado Rapids MLS team and our beloved Arsenal. Who knows?

I feel Arteta is not the best Manager for Arsenal FC if the club is to routinely challenge for the league titles, the top 4 and domestic trophies going forward. Why? Mr. Arteta lacks experience and has never done it before. Arsenal is a BIG club and needs an ELITE Manager to succeed going forward.

I feel the owners will not sack Arteta even if we finish outside the Top 4. Why? Arsenal FC is not their TOP priority unfortunately.

In my opinion, the owner will be satisfied with a Top 6 finish and Arteta will remain in charge to continue with his “PROJECT” ….



Larry J Dunlop

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Tags Kroenke


  1. Well written and without any bias. Gary Neville recently said they even if Arsenal should finish in the top four, Arteta should be sacked cos he would have reached his ceiling being inexperienced as he is. I was incensed with the comment and almost began swearing at him out of anger for saying such nonsense. But looking at it all over again and it’s clear to see that he was very very very unfortunately correct. Arteta needs to learn his trade with a lesser team where he has to push himself to get the best out the players he has and not just cast players away cos there is an owner who will spend money to get any replacements he requests for. Josh cancelling the nonsensical Arthur to Arsenal deal in January which Edu was desperately pushing for tells you all you need to know about our technical director. We find ourselves in a position where we have an inexperienced manager having absolute power, being supported by a somewhat inexperienced technical director handling a vastly inexperienced team of players. We need an elite manager and technical director cos we won’t win anything with kids

      1. Most of the managers who would have been near perfect (I would say) have gone to other clubs. Allegri, Ancelotti, Conte, Tuchel, Nagelsmann Lopetegui or Ten Hag. I would have been greatly excited to see Conte at the Emirates. Ten Hag is off to the Theater of Nightmares. We need someone with experience and I’m hoping that by the summer, the club will make a decision on a manager with the tactical nous and experience to lead this global brand forward instead of spending more money on the current project

        1. It seems you and I have the same problem. We can’t think of an obvious candidate to fill his shoes. Conte would have been good and possibly Ten Hag but Ten Hag is unproven outside of Holland. Nagelsmann is shown his limitations and might well get the sack. and the others are out of the question.

          I would only be “willing” to sack Arteta if we can get a proven replacement, not another experiment.

          Maybe Brendan Rodgers?

          1. I forgot about Rodgers. I mentioned the “summer” cos I know that there could be a manager available then who fits the bill. Like you said, we do not need another “project” or “process”. We need experience. I’m honestly not convinced about Edu. Tottenham changed their technical director and manager. Look where they are. And I tell you they they’ll be even better by next season. Same with Newcastle. So the competition for the European places will be more fierce and intense.

  2. I think Arteta has surprised many. After 3 games we were written of. Now, before the devastating injuries to Thierny and Partey we were looking decent for a top 4 finish and have a definite playing style. Arteta deserves credit for that.

    The fact he is not very experienced doesn’t matter so much as long as we finish top 4 or 6. If we finish top 4 then how did his supposed inexperience harm us?

    My big reservation about Arteta is how he deals with adversity. I have no complaints about how his preferred starting 11 plays. But I do have a major issue with his decisions when his preferred 11 are not available.

    The fact he started Xhaka at LB, destroying any continuity in midfield and playing a player, not a natural LB was a horrendous choice. Tavares played well at the beginning of the season and was brought in on Arteta’s watch. It is his job to instill confidence in Tavares. If Xhaka is deemed a better LB than Tavares this late in the season we either should not have bought Tavares or Tavares went backward under Arteta, neither is acceptable and both problems rest at Arteta’s feet.

    IMO, Arteta has an attractive playing style in mind and was able to transmit this to our players. All of these are positives.
    I am worried that his weaknesses will be magnified next season should he qualify for Europe. If you go to Europe you can not play your preferred 11 all the time and you will have more injury problems. This is the area of football Arteta seems weakest in.

    I am not an Arteta out fan. My opinion of his season will greatly depend on his choices over the remaining games. More so than the results. If he continues to make strange choices to fill the gap Thierny left I will become neutral on whether he stays or not. If he dares to play Tavares and manages to get some performances out of that lad the way he performed earlier this season, Arteta will get some credit from me.

    I fear 4th is a bridge too far for this injury-ridden squad but I still want to see performances much better than we saw over the last 2 games.

  3. In the last 10 years in Europe we are 5th on the Net Spend (583 Euro Net Spend) ranking so owners have made funds available….contracts and players have just been mismanaged resulting in poor revenue from sales.

    Only teams we are behind is:

    Man U
    Man City

    Our net spend is above:

    Real Madrid(not even in top 20)
    Bayern Munich
    AC Milan
    West Ham

    Clearly our main issue is the way we conduct ourselves in the transfer market, over spending on players we never recover revenue from when they leave….it’s that simple.

    Only fault I have with the Kroekes is not hiring staff that are good in revenue recovery.

    1. You are right that we have been atrocious in our revenue recovery. But it’s been worse since “The Process” started. Marina Granovskaia of Chelsea will never agree for the board to pay players to play for other clubs like we’ve been doing since “The Process” started. What is Edu’s function for God’s sake? At least the players’ transfer values should be considered. Lampard had an issue with Chelsea board when he was manager because of his continued benching of Kepa. While we all knew he wasn’t very good that season, the Chelsea board argued that he was an asset and needed to at least retain some good transfer value. Again I ask, what is Edu doing?

  4. Gary Neville lasted just 10 games at Valencia and is officially rated as the worst manager in football history. The ambition of the Arsenal’s owner is irrelevant and his money is not needed as TV rights, sponsorship and merchandise pay for the clubs financial needs. Since the Liverpool revival Man City Liverpool Chelsea Man U are the big four in the PL these days. Nobody on planet earth expected Arsenal to get top for this season. Arsenal and Spurs are 5th and 6th. After two disastrous seasons Arteta was given a last chance and has begun a 2 year rebuild which is going well despite two recent losses. Top 6 by May 22nd will be a clear indicator of the success of the rebuild at the half way mark. Then we should next judge Arteta’s progress in January 2023. However if Arsenal finish 7th this May then Arteta must go.

    1. Of course Arsenal’s needs are not covered by the string of examples you give out.
      We, according to MA, need SEVEN top players in the summer, along with the ability to pay their salaries and their agents fees.
      Just take Grealish as an example at a reported £98,000,000, or Salah, with a rumoured £400,000 a week salary increase on the table.
      We have no chance of signing Haaland (?) because we haven’t got the money for starters.

      Where on earth are you finding that kind of money from gate receipts etc etc?
      Plus, of course, MA himself is in line for a bumper £8,000,000 a year new contract it is reported.

      While we sell players like Guendouzi and Mavs for peanuts, have no european, top PL revenue or fa cup revenue, expect more of the middle of the road signings and we know that will never allow us to compete with the top clubs…. be realistic to begin with.

  5. Based on the amount of money Kroenke has spent for Arsenal, he seems ambitious

    FSG needed nine years to make Liverpool end their major trophy drought

    Kroenke just increased his Arsenal shares to more than 90% in 2018, so he’d likely need five more years to make Arsenal win EPL or UCL. It could be with Arteta or another manager

  6. Larry, I enjoyed your article, and though I don’t agree with you on Arteta not being the man for the job. He’s already shown great potential, all he has to do is reach it, and so far, the trajectory has been upwards. On the owners, I’m no fan of Stan Kroenke, but I think Josh is a different breed from the father as he’s overseen a lot of changes and seems he wants to really change the way the club is, so I actually do believe this regime and I believe in the manager. This summer, the rebuilding process will continue and move up a notch when we get a new striker. So there are a lot of positives actually to look forward to

  7. There are some interesting numbers in the article regarding when we last qualified for the CL and how many points we were (and are now) off 4th place that gives perspective to the often quoted phrase that “Wenger & Emery were sacked for only achieving 5th”, I don’t think it was as straightforward as that

    Wenger was a genius Manager for us, the best we have had and I loved every minute that he was our Manager, but would the squad that Emery inherited have won the League within the next few years?

    The Club didn’t appear to think so and the process (as in the often sarcastically used phrase of “Trust the Process”) started with Emery’s 2 year contract appointment

    If Arsene had to go I was pleased with the appointment of his successor, Unai was and is a fine Manager, seems like a nice bloke as well and is doing very well now in his native country

    Emery bought Leno, Tierney, Torriera, Guendouzi, Martinelli, Pepe, Saliba and tried Ceballos on loan as young talent to add to the very promising youngsters we already had to start the revolution for the future well being of the Team and therefore Club

    He also bought Sokratis, Luiz and Lichtsteiner (free) as oldies to try to help the youngsters form

    In total Emery spent around £200m

    All of these aspects of change have continued under Arteta and it’s beginning to look like it might pay off

    Wherever we finish in the League this season we are set fair for a real go next but need to get the right new players (young or old) up front to complement Ode, ESR, Martinelli, Pepe and the amazing Saka as an attacking force

    I believe we are that close

    1. Enjoyed you POV FF, but let’s remember UE didn’t spend a penny as the three musketeers and gazidis had that role from the season before.
      Aubemeyang was also one of their purchases and, if you look at the list, only one (Tierney) seems to have been a regular starter although Martinelli is now back in the fold.
      Leno and Pepe sit on the bench, while three are on loan and the other three have left the club.

      All down to the wishes of MA, quite rightly, so we should be judging him on his transfers in and out the players he has loaned out and the strength in the depth of the squad since he arrived.

      The game tomorrow will show just how strong this squad (that he didn’t strengthen, but weakened) is, bearing in mind Chelsea hammered Southampton 6-0 last time out.

    2. Fingers…you and I share the same view…we are much closer now and I am sure Arsenal will be a force in 2022-23




    1. Shame on you, if you believe that, as fans, we can’t voice an opinion that differs from yours.
      No need for the capital letters either, it doesn’t make your opinion any more valid I’m afraid.

      1. Then why did you stopped when we had good run of games?Definitely not an opinion just ‘BLIND ARGUMENTS’

  9. Why sone fans concern themselves with others free choice to use capital letters, which do no harm , is to my mind, a mystery.

    1. It’s like being preached to, or insinuating that one cannot see the point being made Jon.

      After all, even YOU can write an opinion down without using the capital letter every time.

      Of course, it’s my free choice to point this out in a friendly non threatening way, wouldn’t you say?

      1. Of course everyone on JA preaches whether we use capitals or not. It’s how we roll. Because following football is not a science but a passion 🙂 Of course I am not preaching here. No, no and no 🙂

        1. Sorry, I thought you were giving your opinion – now if you were PREACHING that would be different.
          Let’s rock and roll down the aisles 🎶🎸

          Sorry, some people don’t like the use of these silly pictures, but I find it helps emphasise a point 👍

  10. Arteta is not the man to lead arsenal forward, the football is predictable and boring… We are struggling to make top 4 when West ham had a European campaign, Tottenham and man Utd sacked managers and have been poor all season and yet we praise Arteta like he’s doing wonderful things! Had this Arsenal team been in Europe this season they would be struggling to make top 8 Next season we’ll likely be in Europa or conference league and the wheels will come off again and the excuses will ring out once again, Arteta has to contend with Europa and the world cup it’s not his fault, he couldn’t get vlahovic, edu didn’t get him the signings he wanted etc etc. I doubt any other manager in world football would get the backing Arteta gets..

  11. The bigger question is this, “is Arsenal progressing?” Followed by “based on what metric?”

    In terms of the table, Arteta has only finished 8th, twice. That would be “regression” not “progression.”

    Didn’t Emery also have many new signings? Still managed to finish 5th, 1 point off 4th; and have European football.

    The season is not over with 8 games to play. It could end very successful with 4th, “progress” with 5th or 6th and European football.

    Anything less is failure based on the table which doesn’t lie. People can speak about platitudes, but how many points is that worth?

    Enough for CL? Europa league? Standards matter, for roughly £250 million spent you want something for it, is that unreasonable? Perhaps achieve 4th before asking for 6 or 7 new players and over £100 million more of the owners money.

    FFS, if complete control and roughly £350 million to spend in 2 Summers is made available, why the F$%# did we settle for Arteta?

    Give any manager those funds and 2 1/2 years worth of excuses and freedom from being sacked in that case.

    Imagine if the manager was held accountable to the standards he holds players like Pepe, Lokonga, Tavares, Saliba (not ready), etc….

    Standards matter, and when a club lowers theirs or makes excuses/exceptions, don’t be surprised when performances and results drop.

  12. I concur with other comments from fans the coach that we have does not have experience even if we can sign the Neymas of the world we cannot compete with the top clubs. There were lot of experienced good coaches when we appointed Mickel yet the Management knew that the team had been in problems for a long time we need experience d good coach.

  13. Not a big part of manager hopping personally, any manager needs 2-3 season to imprint his style and get good players suited for that. So I really hope Arteta gets another season with Arsenal.

  14. If changing managers was the solution Man U would have returned to the top by now. Since Ferguson they have had David Moyes, Luis Van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Soljkhaer and the current one. Every year that passes Arteta gains experience and is therefore more experienced than he was two years ago. No serious Arsenal supporter should be calling for Arteta’s sacking. Instead we should ask that he becomes more tolerant and less confrontational. A player like Matteo Guendozi would still have been with us if Arteta was more tolerant and he was a player of great promise. Perhaps as Arteta gains more experience he will become more confident and thus more tolerant. Let’s wait and see.
    The current reality at Arsenal is that we have four of our best players out injured: Tomiyasu, Tierney, Partey and Lacazette. Very few teams, if any, can cope with such a situation. We should. therefore, put this situation in its proper perspective. Is it a coincidence that bad results have coincided with this scenario? Obviously not. Whichever manager you bring will perform poorly when he has a number of his first team players missing.

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