Arsenal have just proved that we have zero ambition

I have always said to be a big club you have to think like a big club. So, this week of all weeks, with gooners as worried as they have ever been, the club choose the worse time to confirm that Luiz, Mari and Cedric will all be around next season.

Stan Kroenke may just as well hold up a sign which reads ‘we have zero ambition.’ There’s no way it’s a footballing choice. Are we meant to believe the likes of Arteta and Edu, our ex-players, believe the answer to our defensive issues is extending the stay of one of our worst centre backs? Or is it simply they realise there is no money to spend, and in terms of value you’re not going to do better than buying a defender for 15 million?

In comparison when Pep Guardiola felt his full backs were not good enough, Man City spent over 100 million on two left backs and two right backs. Us, Cedric on a free. That’s the same Cedric who Southampton were baffled that a club our size would want on loan.

The point of a loan is to prove yourself and earn a permanent switch. It’s not his fault he arrived injured and then broke his nose, but how can not playing one single second, earn you a move to the Emirates having not been good enough to be starting at Saint Mary’s?

3 starts (1 of which was to Portsmouth, another 25 mins at Man City) is all Mari had to do to extend his time in North London.

So, with us taking up the option of keeping Mari and Luiz and with the arrival of Saliba I guess we know the rumours of the likes of Upamecano are just that, rumours.

Remember last August, when everyone was including the Saliba fee in our outgoings, didn’t I say it will be counted towards this summer’s budget? I can’t think of what else Luiz could have done to prove he’s past his best. Even in his prime he was famous for his lack of concentration. He has somehow managed in 7 months to concede more red cards and penalties then he did in 6 years at Chelsea. He’s been rewarded for that.

Can you imagine one of the Manchester Clubs, Liverpool or Chelsea being 10th and rewarding 3 of their defenders? It’s decisions like this which show we are not a big club anymore. This is why the fanbase need clarification. Even if it’s bad news, let us know the financial situation. It will stop so many gooners having false hope in the next transfer window and feeling let down yet again. We might even then understand why certain decisions are being made.

If not, we are forced to believe that Arteta as a manager and Edu says they see them as ‘long term important to our technical plan.’

Could that be true?

Dan Smith


  1. We actually needs to know and be aware of Arsenal’s footballing problems and also the board as well and how some of our players come in. Arsenal actually needs players that will stand and defend our records as a Team of Gunners.. but not actually the class of players and our Star of ball actually not good for now…

  2. I disagree.

    Cedric was free and gives us another handy option in a position we have long had few options.

    Mari it’s hard to judge. Arteta has seen much more of him in training than we have. He was cheap, not yet at his peak and will hopefully give us an option tactically when up against stronger, taller fron lines. If Arteta wanted him, I’m willing to trust his judgement.

    Luiz is touch and go. He was great in our run of form before the break but could never be considered a first XI player. My feeling is that he’s been signed for his leadership skills tha are otherwise sorely lacking throughout the squad. It would be unwise to ignore the psychological impact that certain players have. Is that worth £100k+ a year? I’m not sure, but given our paltry budget and the short-term nature of the deal, it seems justifiable albeit contentious.

    At this point, it’s not a lack of ambition. It’s the financial reality after an embarrassing string of recruitment howlers, both on the quality and salary front, and an unprecedented decline in income.

    This summer will perhaps be our most important window in the modern era. For now, Arteta and the board have my full backing.

    1. I’m with you on this soares and mari I think will turn out to be good deals, as for luiz I can only think he wouldn’t sign a short term contract to finish the season and we had to give him a year otherwise we would have no one as back up .

    2. luiz is a dead cause, and we need to get rid of defenders. Just because he is better than Sokratis doesn’t mean he’s worth keeping. He’s highly error-prone and a one year extension for someone who has relatively high wages with a team that already has a high wage build is a ludicrous decision. Also, Mari is gunna be average and we ALL know it. Shouldnt have signed.

  3. i heard this news and i immediately lost interest in arsenal related matters even today’s match.
    they should have handed luiz a short term contract to finish the season with us. that is understandable but having to endure another long season of this horror is unacceptable. i am quick losing faith in arteta.. looks like a perfect nice and yes man to me
    if he can stable the ship and with the amount of fans supporting him even with so many questionable decisions on and off the pitch. they he is what the board bargained for
    i keep asking myself are we actually heading for the worst or the better.

    time will tell
    this news once again shows that fans opinion is as good as nothing when it comes to making decisions at this club.

  4. Sean

    How do you know that Soares was free?

    Had he be signed on a Bosman then yes but he wasn’t he was signed first on loan and now on a permanent deal.

    1. The loan wasn’t free, the signing was. Not sure what you’re saying. The article discusses recent contract agreements not deals done in January.

  5. Not necessarily. We used very little money so far so we might have enough to have 2-3 good signings. It’s good we sorted out early some squad players like Cedric, Mari, and Luis. If we sell Sokratis, Mustafi, Holding an AMN, and loan Mavropanos, we will have room and money for one more top defender.
    We can then sell Elneny, Mici, Ozil, Xhaka, and Laca, and use the money to buy 2-3 good midfielders. So instead of pouring money on a LB we got one for free. We got a cheap CB that might be worth a gamble- he won’t be world-class but may diversify our squad. If that will be our only business that won’t be good enough, but I really think it’s only the start for us.

  6. My problem with Arsenal players is not even the quality again because everyone knows they are not good enough. But their attitude is what is making me go crazy. You can imagine Guenduozi is bragging about what he earns against an opposition who is beating him on the field of play, it’s appalling. If they like let them bring back Yaya Sanogo

  7. What people fail to grasp is we have no money, it may sink in one day but WE HAVE NO MONEY. We have spent large amounts of money over the past 5 years with the bottom line being we get CL football. Wenger failed, Emery failed and so did the people that risked the finances on substandard players whom we paid fortunes for and too, with little return in very poor tranfer and contract dealings. Im afraid the financial wastage has caught us up. Poor decision by everyone bar none at this club are now strangling us and taking this club down. We have been managed badly, we have been run badly and we have played a risk strategy that has failed and caught us up. It isnt just saying it, it is fact, we are not a big club anymore because the club has put itself into an impossible situation by poor poor decisions over managers and players that were wrong.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. We didn’t have much money before this pandemic, the financial situation is worse now. It’s no good people saying sell Mustafi, Xhaka, Mikhi, Ozil etc but the bottom line is nobody wants them.

      1. I thought roma wanted Myka, Ozil was being lined up to play in Turkey and Xhaka was off, with terms agreed, before MA talked him out of it.
        As for Mustafi, don’t kid yourself, if The Arsenal want to sell him, they could tomorrow.
        As at this point in time, not one of them have been officially listed for transfer in July, so it seems that the only people who want them out, are those fans who don’t want them and that means nowt.

    2. you made some point
      1. i want to know about our financial situation because you already sounded very sure about not having money
      2. you said bad choices about managers please remind me how many managers we have hard over the years
      we can keep looking for excuses while things keep going from bad to worst
      let us keep pilling up excuses for this millionaires while they keep underachieving and hiding behind excuses

      1. First of all we have spent money for the last 5 years on players, with the next seasons budget having included CL revenues, which we didn’t get. Wenger was kept on too long because he failed to achieve targets, Emery failed to reach his target. Both were given a budget with a proviso of CL football and to at least the quarter finals. Its probably hard to blame Arteta but he was expected to get us in the CL this season because the money we spent last summer was fuelled with CL qualifying or bust, im afraid the flush is busted because its all gone tits up because of.

    3. Why sign Luiz then, who is on what, 120k a week?? Doesn’t make sense. The squad would just be better off without him and use Holding, Saliba, Mustafi, Chambers next season. (Lets be real, we aren’t getting a new CB). Oh, AND we signed Mari too, and still have Sokratis and Mavro on the books. That is SIX other CB’s we could use instead of Luiz, who is not impressive enough to chase after and give high wages to. Awful decision. Soares and Ceballos were the only ones who made sense.

  8. A heartfelt and well constructed article by Dan but one thing he says puzzled me. He asks why cannot the club tell us once and for all that we have no ambition! To my logical brain the very fact that we have no ambition is the whole REASON they won’t specifically come out and tell us.

    These charlatans who make financial decisions are relying on the still existing percentage of Gooners who, even after 13 long years of Kroenke, have STILL not worked out that we are without ANY ambition at all.

    In short the charlatans wish to keep on fooling as many fans as possible for as long as possible. Most of us have known for many years that under KROENKE WE HAVE ZERO AMBITION and I would have thought a bright guy like DAN WAS WELL AWARE OF THAT ALREADY. But it seems not, otherwise why pose that pointless question Dan?

    1. We have always agreed Jon about Kronke. I’ll railed against him for years based on his antics here in the States with his teams.
      His sole goal is milking the teams for his profit, as long as milk is there. He strings fans along, gets a player here and there, but NEVER ASSEMBLES A TEAM TO WIN.
      Kronke bleats for the sheep about his “plan,” and our “bright future,” but after 13 years neither you or I buy what he’s selling.
      Until people have had enough and back it up with action he’s going nowhere.

      1. Durand
        I hear what you are saying. If as you say he is milking us how do we, the life long Gooners ‘persuade’ him to go?
        With players taking wage cuts it all feels a bit bleak here

        1. Good question, afraid I don’t have good answer. The money dried up for his Rams in St Louis, so he moved them to Los Angeles.
          He can’t move Arsenal, so until his profits start drying up he won’t do anything. He’s clearly losing money now, and there is no “competitive balance” like in the NFL.
          So he will either have to invest in the club, or a slow decline for us is a slow bleed of his profits.
          Changing managers hasn’t worked, changing Ivan with Raul and Edu isn’t working so far either. The question is how greedy is he?
          Will he accept a fraction of profits by missing out on CL and being content, or will he spend to increase by getting back into CL? Rules are different in England than here in States with NFL and NBA player trades and drafts.
          Transfers will tell us if he is adjusting to new normal, or will his greed force him to spend in short term to more profits in long run? We’ll see

    2. jon, you like me and others on this site obviously have experience in business. What I simply cannot understand is how a businessman of his obvious acumen to build and retain a fortune, chooses and maintains senior executives and a Board, who are degrading his player and financial assets?
      Published figures show how much money Arsenal is spending each season on transfers and wages, comparative to other EPL and European clubs, yet instead of competing near the top of the EPL Arsenal is sitting 9th.
      The money Kroenke is providing, given he is taking nothing from the Club, is being mismanaged. Why does he not intervene and put the broom through the senior executives and Board, because his Arsenal asset will surely decrease in value?
      Maybe Durand, with his greater all round knowledge of Kroenke’s US franchises, can explain whether his senior executives and boards are similarly inept?

  9. Arteta should not have taken the job!!!. Except like I hear, they know what the strategy is hope to achieve a better outcome within the constraints.
    There were managers like Klopp who was available at a time, so were players who are stars in Mancity who indicated green lights to move in YET the Management knew better. It appears what the recruiting department looks at are compromising, fungible, and not assertive, One who will not rock the boat and risk the bottom line.

  10. Kroenke is not involved, it’s the two idiots in the picture above and Edu who need sorting out. Yes ultimately the Kroenkes but the three stooges were appointed to run the club and they will run it into the ground.

    1. How naive can you be! Without serious money which can only be okayed by KROENKE, no manager ron earth can hope to work miracles with this pathetic and unbalanced squad. Yes, others below Kroenke have made mistakes, of course they have but to imagine they are the REALculprits is, as I say, ,


      1. jon, Kroenke is not taking money from the Club, but the financial and player scouting, recruitment and contract management are inept. Kroenke doesn’t tell the senior executives who to buy and sell, and the available funds have been misspent.

  11. look i disagree with our signings showing no ambition, rather it shows a reality. Arteta has realised that our midfield is absolutely awful. So in reality getting in cheaper defenders is a must to invest whatever money we have in the midfield.

    I do agree with Dan that from a boardroom level its and absolute shambles. Kronke bought Arsenal as an asset in his portfolio. He needed this to increase his saleable assets to get bigger finance for the real franchise money spinner the LA Rams.

    Premeir league clubs earn nothing close to the NFL franchises. Raul is becoming too reliant on agents for our signings. We need to be intelligent using data analysis and relationships to buy players. We have bought good players to be fair 90% of the time. Leno, Mari, Saliba, Tierney, Torriera, Pepe and Martinelli. So when we look at those you think yeah sign more like these. The big problem is have they really sorted our issues when we still have deadwood in the team and sign players like Luiz.

  12. James I share your concern regarding the increasing use of agents ,rather than Club scouts, in the recruitment of players.This is a crazy policy which may line the pockets of the parasites of our game, but it will not help us to unearth hidden gems .It will enable us to bring in experienced players who are past their sell by date relatively cheaply, but as a development plan it stinks and is yet another example of the incompetence of those who are currently charged with running our Club.

  13. Mari and Cedric, price wise and positional make sense; Luiz is unfathomable, unless he is seen by Arteta as a DM.
    By the way Kroenke is “hands off” and does not tell Raul, Ravi and Edu who to offer contracts to.

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