Despite all the changes has anything really changed at Arsenal?

It’s been an excruciating summer transfer window, especially after what we were promised and what was expected two seasons ago, when Gazidis introduced the three musketeers stooges, whatever suits your agenda.

I have looked at three areas that should have changed, but it seems, the same old Arsenal still carries on, despite the appointment of a completely new coach and backroom staff, along with the views expressed on here that we were getting “Our Arsenal Back”.

1. Contract Negotiations:

It has always been alleged that AW was the man who dithered, offered ridiculously low bids and, by doing so, lost us many players. To date, we have been in “negotiations” for Tierney since the end of last season, with his name being seriously considered as early as last season’s January window. Two known bids have been received by Celtic.

The same goes for Saliba, with his name on our wishlist for over five months and his current club confirming our interest in the player, with confirmed bids.

Zaha is another player firmly linked with the club, with at least one firm bid being rejected. Finally, the only other confirmed bid we know about is Everton, and this one seems to be gathering speed with the help of Edu.

It seems that we have no problem with the salaries we are offering, as it is being reported that Tierney, Saliba and Zaha have all agreed to personal terms and want the move.


2. Transfer fees offered:

The never-ending awful negotiating techniques of our club, it seems, continues. All of the three clubs that we have made known offers to, stated quite clearly what they wanted and, just like before, we went in with ludicrously low offers that were insulting to those clubs. Not only has this reflected badly on our club, but it has also opened up the opportunity for them to play hardball and create an auction scenario, as in the case with Saliba and the rumoured spud bid.


3. Players and issuing of contracts:

When Aaron Ramsey was left to run down his contract and allowed to leave for free, the club lost between £40 – £60,000,000 on his transfer value.

The agreed contract written out by Gazidis was rightly taken off the table…but then the club sat back and refused to re-negotiate anymore, perhaps believing that he would accept an offer less than he thought he was worth!

Five players were offered and accepted new contracts, some of which doubled their wages and these were seen by many as deadwood. Lichtsteiner was granted a one year contract worth £3,640,000 as a reported back up to Bellerin.

Saurez, on loan for six months, played about 45 minutes for the club and (if we take his salary at Barca as a guide) cost the club £540, the injury treatment costs he received.

Kos has been offered (reportedly) a two-year extension of his contract worth £1,820,000 a year, along with his current £3,640,000 totalling £7,280,000…he will be 36 when it comes to an end.


In summary, fellow Gooners, have we seen any difference between the new and old regimes in the areas I have discussed- contract negotiations – transfer dealings – salaries?

Is there any of you out there who still feel that, since the changes made two years has it really made any difference off the pitch?

Even if we end up signing the four players mentioned, has the saga been any different or better?

This is not about trying to defend any one regime, rather trying to address a falsehood that claimed it would be different once changes were made.

Terrible mistakes have been made in the past, we all know that, but why is it continuing?

The one and only constant in all of this over the last ten years has been one man, the owner of the club, surely that is now plain for everyone to see?

By ken1945


  1. If Kroenke cares so much about his money, he must be highly disappointed with the way his club is run by incompetent people in the past

    However, I believe Sanllehi and co wouldn’t repeat their predecessors’ mistakes on the contract-expiring players. I predict we’d either see some contract extensions or sales of Aubameyang/ Mustafi/ Ozil

    1. Thanks Martin, it looks as if everyone is understanding the questions and don’t see it as supporting any regime or individual.
      It’s hard to get that across, but we need to try.
      kronkie has been the one single individual since our CL defeat, still wielding power. ?

  2. I’ve been a Gooner for over 50yrs and ‘Say one thing and do another.’ has been our clubs motto for ages.
    Picking managers just because they used to play for us, building a new stadium so that we could compete in the top-end of the transfer market,what a joke.

  3. The only thing that as changed in my view is the manager (and not for the best).
    Our transfer dealings are still excruciatingly slow compared to other top teams ,I mean we started bidding for Tierney 3 weeks ago and we are still trying to get that over the line.why is it so hard to just complete a deal.
    I would say in a nutshell Ken it’s still the same ,if anything it’s got worse seeing Stan now owns 100% it feels like a little secret boys club on the board .
    What concerns me which I mentioned earlier was the timing of Joshs statement and Emery and Edus which followed,it felt staged and everything that was said we’ve all heard before .
    Enough of the talk just get it done .
    No doubt you will have the REALISTS out to shoot your article down ,but it won’t be anything we haven’t heard before.

  4. Agree with the 3 points in this article 100%.

    These are the 3 things that have annoyed me the most about Arsenal in recent years.

    You don’t see other clubs dragging their heels for an entire transfer window over new signings.
    You don’t see other clubs lose arguably the best players on free transfers.
    You don’t see other clubs signing new players and not using them.

    What I don’t understand is that the people that should make these decisions at the top level have all been changed recently.

    If that’s the case, WHY IS IT STILL HAPPENING?!

  5. Imagine we can’t solidfy our leaky defence and we are hoping that by a stroke of luck we will compete with financially endowed team if man c , Chelsea man u,
    That’s pure foolishness,
    Yet we have a CB in belik that wants to give his all, and we want to sign a 19 CB for 27M that will not play with us.
    Men, I wonder what kind of business sense this is or what achievement we are aiming at

  6. Saliba is confirmed, médical test tuesday; but for next year he need to confirm potential saw in 15 games or so…

    We have same issue for a dé/ecade; cheap. Incapable to put money for 1 or 2 top players each year

    We have 50 millions budget, when even 90m be so low, everton, Leicester, Westham, Wolves & co likes have more.

    Instead to buy Koulibaly, put 90M, lock center defense we need baddly, our top priority this season and past; we put 25M on Saliba for next Season as we got sokratis or mustafi, Xhaka for 30M but can’t put 10 more for Kante, we need more players, back wings , CM, winger!

    Look at reds! 2 top players every other year; where precisly needed..’ killing it in attack but destroyed in defense is like have a hole in a bucket you try to fill with water. Empty when get Home. Got Virgil & Keeper; no more Big hole. Ours is do scary each Time a team passes midfield, it Can be a goal.

    1. What are you on about mogunna. Have a beer,kick back and relax. Edu’s got this eh.

  7. Great article, Ken ?
    I really don’t understand the dithering! We need players, that’s blatantly obvious.. then to look on Sky & see the Mancs have pretty much sealed the 80m deal for Maguire, have already signed AWB.. and are going to bid 70m for Pepe!! Sheesh! And what are we doing? Dithering… can’t even seal a 25m deal!!
    Unai has said they’re working on things and that he wants to bring in possibly 4 players, but what’s the hold up!! City do not need anyone, yet they’ve spent!
    Come on Arsenal, 18 days left…

        1. Tell me Dan kit,who is going to take the job once Emery goes? Be careful what you wish for man!!

          1. Tissiam. Dan thinks the great managers of world football will be lining up to takeover from Emery at the Emirates.
            It is far easier to try and placate fans by constantly churning through coaches, than to spend money addressing the real issues in player quality and squad balance at Arsenal.

  8. If it looks this bad to the fans imagine how bad it looks to other clubs. Do you think many take us that serious any more?

    It’s laughable and embarrassing!

    Arsenal as a club should have examined the situation a long time ago and been better prepared. But, they’re not..

  9. Nice article Ken, you stated the key areas that make us all cringe.

    With Sven i felt we were proactive in the market, identified a good mix of vetern and youth players. Now it seems more scatter shot approach.

    Players leaving on a free really hurt club financially. The delay on Sanchez sale hurt, and Ramsey walking for free really hurt also. Everyone to blame for those mistakes, Raul, Emery, Gazidis, and Wenger. Club lost £100 million with those two.

    For me it’s down to the owner. If Stan or Josh want deals done then as owners give the order. Does anyone belive they are truly ambitious? Or think club is better with a single owner?

    I’ve always felt Kronke’s are happy to just tread water; self limitations on spending, milking fans as much and as often as possible with minimal investment.

    Overpay average players, and they paper over cracks rather than solving problems. Why extend Kos and Monreal who clearly have regressed from age?

    Not sure what the future holds. Whatever it may be it will heavily depend on academy youngsters and gambling on other younger players.

    They have preached patience, and will not accelerate our renewal by spending money. Haggling over £25 million as if our cubbards are bare. Haggling for Zaha or Pepe is one thing with tens of millions on the table.

    Their words don’t match their actions; not with stadium, not competition with the best, or the blustery title talk.

    1. Durand, no one has satisfactorily explained to me how Emery is responsible for Sanchez (Emery was at PSG) leaving in a “swap deal” and Ramsey, refusing to sign a contract extension and running his contract down?

  10. Well said. It’s all of the same stuff we’ve heard before! I’m looking at our market activity as of this moment. I see Ramsey, Welbeck, Cech are gone all on frees and we have brought in a 6mill youngster that may not even be readyfor 1st team this season. And Saliba which is reportedly finished won’t be in squad this season, so we have done nothing to improve our first team, gotten rid of none of our poor players, yet we are supposed to believe that we will be ready for start of the season and push for EPL? No way. This summer has been very bad for us, and a few words from Josh changes nothing.

  11. No, nothing has really changed. Staten Kroenke still sits on the throne and his only real ambition for arsenal is to for it to be one of several assets in his portfolio.

    The club has had its soul sucked out and the constant reiteration of an arsenal philosophy is nothing more than a mask that hides the underlying strategy to make arsenal a bigger brand (and cash cow) without investment into the club to make it successful where it matters most, on the pitch.

    While he remains in power AFC will remain a mediocre team with mediocre success.

    1. Started to think that there is no soul and arsenal are like a vessel state, time for an arsenal phoenix club back in woolwich, can share at Royal Arsenal Rugby Club.

  12. Some of us made it clear it wasn’t all about AW. It was a lot of Club philosophy. It just so happened that AW was a willing tool due to sheer coincidence of philosophy. And for sure AW did fantastic job. But club needs to show ambition and willingness to change philosophy in the face of increasingly competitive and financially demanding EPL world. Welcome to the real world of AFC!

  13. Things have changed for the better, e.g. deadwood are going instead of rewarding their dreadful performances, assessment of the squad now happens, we have a manager who actually watches the games etc.

    There is also a clear lack of understanding about the length of time needed to solve problems. Unless you have insane amounts of money, it’ll take time to solve the problems that Wenger/Gazidis left. It’s laughable that some think the new regime are making the same mistakes, when in fact they’re still trying to clear up the mess, whilst moving the club forward. Ozil is always a great example of this. Wenger and Gazidis created the problem of Ozil, and that problem is likely to continue until 2021 when his contract expires. How is that the fault of the new regime?

    As I keep saying, I feel it’ll take a minimum of 3 years (starting from 2018) until we really start seeing a difference.

    1. TMJW, I respect your thoughts and comments and you and I disagree on most things as we both know.

      I have to say thoguh, you have missed the point of the article completely!!!

      I made sure that I didn’t blame either the new regime or the old in my thoughts…I just asked why the pattern hasn’t changed under a new set of people compared to the last.

      Until we address this simple question, the “blame game” does nothing to solve the same issues we have today as we did two / three years ago and the fanbase will remain divided.

      Tell me,what has changed…because that was the over riding question that everyone has discussed and only you haven’t addressed!!!

      What is your opinion regarding the three headings then, using my examples?

      1. In regards to the the three headings used in your article, they are all knock on effects from the previous regime. To put it simply, the previous regime wasted a lot of money, and potentially missed out on huge sums by not selling/selling at the last minute. They also left the new regime with hardly any assets to raise additional funds. On top of that, the new regime are struggling to move players on because of their wages.

        It may look as if nothing has changed, but what can the new regime realistically do within the self sustaining model, with a low budget, and a real lack of options to quickly increase the budget? They have no choice to be tighter than ever, especially with no CL football.

        I hate Kroenke, and maybe nothing will change, but I think we have to give the new regime a fair bit of time to see if anything will change. If we had gone through lots of different managers, CEO’s, negotiators, directors, etc, over the last decade, then I would agree with you. But up until last summer it has always been the same two men of Wenger and Gazidis calling the shots, within Kroenke’s model. I feel the self sustaining model can work, it’s just that Wenger/Gazidis were not only not implementing it properly, they were the worst any one has ever seen at any club, in regards to wasting money/devaluing assets, etc.

        1. So TMJW, how do you explain offering Lichsteineir a £70,000 salary – supposedly as back up to Bellerin – then playing Jenkinson in front of him?

          How do you explain offering a 33 year old an extension of 2 years costing the club £3,640,000 plus his current £3,640,000 as not wasting money/devaluing assets etc etc, as is the case with kos?

          Just two examples by the way!!

          Are these the actions of a changed vision going forward?

          How on earth can you blame the previous regime for putting clauses like CL status into the Tierney negotiations?

          How can you bring budget limitations into it, when that has been the case since kronkie became involved with the club?

          What do the things that are happening today, two years after the three you reckon it will take to clear up the mess, have to do with the here and now?

          We are still wasting money, we are still messing up our transfer negotiations and we are still offering ridiculous contracts…with a completely new backroom staff.

          Why can’t you just admit that this is happening, ask why and try to drill down and find out the root cause?

          In another four years, if we are still in this state, will you still go back to blaming AW and (I assume) UE. Or will you look for the common denominater, something that it seems everyone else (not the vast majority) who has contributed can see as clearly as day follows night, the owner…he who has the FINAL SAY on everything to do with the club, irrespective of who is the CEO/Manager/Coach, simply because he owns it lock, stock and barrel?

          1. Lichsteiner was only on that for one season, and there was no transfer fee. So that’s a poor example from you.

            Kos value was low anyway, but yes, money wasted I would say.

            But do you honestly expect them to make zero mistakes? Because EVERY club makes mistakes. It’s just that Wenger and Gazidis were making the worst possible mistakes, and on such a consistent basis. There was always going to be consequences, which is what we’re clearly seeing now.

            The best example of how apocalyptic their mistakes were, was with Sanchez. Could you imagine Chelsea letting Hazard get down to the last 6 months of his contract, and then swapping him for Lucas Vasquez?

            What you’re saying makes no sense, because you’re either saying that Wenger and Gazidis didn’t make any mistakes, or they did, but problems they created suddenly vanished into thin air once they left.

            We missed out on around £300 million in just the last couple of years of Wengers tenure, let alone all the other years. You honestly think that couldn’t have been used to reinvest? Do honestly think that wouldn’t have a knock on effect? Swapping your best player for one of Utd’s worst, or giving Ozil 350k a week is the fault of the new regime?

          2. In reply TMJW, so the fact that we wasted £3,640,000 on a free tranfers salary doesn’t really count???
            Is that what you really think…it doesn’t count?

            Of course Ozil’s salary was a disaster, but you have really answered “why” when you brought up Sanchez haven’t you?
            The fan base was in uproar and the club had to ensure we kept Ozil in order to prove we were still a “big club”. Don’t you remember the outcry?

            I don’t expect any human being not to make mistakes and I have never met one who hasn’t.

            If you remember The Arsenal were trying to keep Sanchez and, reportedly, offered him a bigger contract than Ozil…the player wanted to leave and got his wish.

            So, if we missed out on £300,000,000 during AW’s reign that could have been invested…what happened to the money he brought into the club an estimated one and a half billion?
            Do you think that could/should have been invested in the club and have you asked yourself where it went?
            What about the £40-60,000,000 lost on Ramsey when the new regime refused to deal with his contract issues? AW’s fault I supppose, even though it was 18 months after he was relieved of those duties?

            The season AW left, we finished sixth and played in a semi-final of a european tournament…last season, with six new signings and a loanee, UE finished fifth and competed in a european cup final.
            Do you think that was regression or progression with a team basically full of “deadwood, overpaid players”?

            The difference between you and I is that I see and admit AW’s mistakes, while you only see his failures and deny his many successes during the kronkie takeover and, finally, ownership of the club.

          3. Ken you’re talking rubbish again! I’ve never ignored Wengers success, it’s just that many like myself were not blind like other fans to his faults. We could all see many years ago that we were getting worse and worse, and that we had to change before it was too late. Wenger was sacked when it WAS too late.

            Ramsey was the fault of the old regime because THEY let his contract get into the final year. Yes maybe the new lot should have tried harder in that final year to sell him, but any club is in a weak position at that point. Why was Ramsey not sold right after Euro 2016? Could have got huge money then.

            Saying the club had no choice with the Ozil contract, because of Sanchez going, is a false excuse, as your 2 highest valued players shouldn’t have been allowed to get down to the last 6 months of their contracts in the first place. Catastrophic management! If you told me keep Ozil on 350k a week or let him go on a free, then I would have taken free all day long! He did nothing to even earn a new contract, let alone a pay raise, and unsurprisingly done nothing since signing his extension…apart from dye his hair.

            You seem fairly smart, so it baffles me that cannot understand problems? Do you not realise that sometimes there are consequences to one’s actions? Sometimes you can solve a problem quickly, sometimes it could take an extremely long time. It’s good you acknowledge faults of the previous regime, but I still do not think you appreciate the damage they did, and the mess they left the club in. Like I keep saying, in regards to buying, selling, and contracts, Wenger and Gazidis were the worst anyone has EVER seen at ANY club, at ANY point in history! No club has ever devalued its assets or let them go for free on the scale that those two did, not even close!

  14. Ken1945, thank you for addressing the root problem of Arsenal F.C….The man is responsible for all these mess.

    1. Sol, hope you don’t mind me using your tag to answer TMJW?

      O.K. You didn’t answer my questions on Lichs waste of over £3,000,000, or the money AW bought in and where it’s gone and why we are still procrastinating in the transfer market.

      AW was relieved of his duties regarding transfers and contracts, when Ramsey had two years left on his contract…not the one that you say…check back because it’s a fact.
      gazidis offered another obscene contract, which was quite rightly taken back…but then the club decided not to negotiate further….nothing whatsoever to do with AW, why blame him?

      But that was not the point I was making…the point is it is still happening…why?

      So now your saying we should have sold a player who was a great part of the squad, after he proved himself in the Euro ’16 campaign? Well, with that logic, we might as well sell Aba because he just won the golden boot…in fact why don’t we sell every player that proves he can influence/pllay the game of football at the end of every season? Great way to utilise one’s assets eh?

      AW tried so hard to keep Sanchez, but the players head had been turned and, in order to keep our other best player (strange, I didn’t think you rated him!!!) the club offered Ozil this obscene, unwarranted and grotesque salary and he accepted it.
      This is all there in the history of the club, why you cannot recognise it is so perplexing.
      Like you, I wouldn’t have done that, but it’s history and at least he was able to afford to have his hair dyed!!

      If you noticed that Ozil had dyed his hair, you must have seen his overall contribution in that game….until you get over his salary, the man will be a nemesis in your thinking.

      Finally, you make this extrodinary statement that AW and gazidis are the worst ever devaluers of clubs assets…I agree with gazidis most certainly, but you didn’t answer the question about the billion plus money that AW’s teams brought to the club did you?
      Perhaps you weren’t around when Peter Drysdale took Leeds into a spiralling downfall, or the Portsmouth, Sunderland, Villa, Birmingham, QPR, Chelsea (one day from liquidation), Sheffield Wed/Utd, Blackburn, Newcastle, Bolton, Preston, Coventry, Wolves (to name just a few) when their management and board ACTUALLY did what you are saying these two guys did…funny that kronkie, the multi billionare who knows how to make a buck or two, didn’t want to invest in those clubs don’t you think?

      No, he knew EXACTLY what he was buying and your assesment of the club is so skewed you can’t see straight!!
      I will not call your comments rubbish just because I disagree with them, but whereas I (hopefully) answer every question you throw at me, there seems to be a lack of the same when discussing facts.

      1. Ken, in all honesty, many of us believed at the time that, with his experience and footballing CV, Lichtsteiner on a free transfer and a salary of £70k/week was good value, similarly the loan of the injury prone Suarez at the time.

  15. Yep you have articulated the problem at Arswnal exactly. This is because of Kroenke wanting to be fully in control of the bidding processes. He has no idea how the transfer process works. Unfortunately both Venkatesham and Sanllehi are not football men, but trained in money and finance. They are primed to always bid under. Of course in the UK Crystal Palace and Celtic will tell them to **** off. This suits Kroenke who doesn’t really want to spend. So I’m sure the old mantra of ‘how hard we tried’ will be upon us in the next three weeks. As usual we will sign loans and freebies and maybe a cheapie. I hope I am wrong, but we know how this group operate and without Mislintat nothing will probably happen. I’ll say a prayer we sign Zaha, Fekir, Tierny, and others. Fancy coming to the movies Groundhog Day is on.

  16. I’ve been saying it for the last couple of years now kroanke hasn’t got a clue how to run a football club to win and compete he only states figures and to be pacient let’s see what happens in the next few years his son josh is a bigger fool than dad is( ,,,Actually we fans are the fools The only way for us to go forward is for the kroanke Family to get out of our football club SELL SELL SELL AND IG HE WONT SELL Hit him were it hurts in his POCKET BOYCOTT THE Stadium and stop being the football kit ,Just maybe just maybe he might change or sell to someone who wants to put Arsenal back on the map,,In other words put your own money ? in and invest if he did that in a couple of years he would get his money back tenfolds .I hope im completely wrong its been nearly 10 years we’ve gone backwards and are a laughing stock so what does he expect us to think ,all this crap about him waking up at 4am in the morning ,what a load of rubbish be a man not a nance then you just might get every one respecting you and make you one of the best owners in History Ivan say so much more but it will be forever . Words WE WANT ACTION NOT BROKEN PROMISES

    1. 2 or 3 years they say before we see a change from the mess left behind, 2 or 3 years of full stadiums, making the kroeks even more wealthier. Tough love suggests we boycott stadium, don’t buy anything, kroeks won’t do anything to support us as long as we keep buying tickets etc. Let us empty the stadium, we can’t wait for 2 or 3 years. No guarantee that he will spend then, that we will be a powerhouse once more. Every year they sweet talk us and every year we fall for it. 10 years from now we will have this same discussion unless we stop it now. #nowisthetime

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