Abandon ship! The captain has left the building. by Konstantin Mitov
Mighty good morning people! The elephant in the room finally dropped it’s cover and Ivan Gazidis will be leaving Arsenal to take control of AC Milan. The man who finally took over the club from the hands of Arsene leaves the moment more money arrived on the table.
I can understand that, we all change jobs. I’m changing mine right now, because of more money and the promise of a better tomorrow, but the reason Ivan leaves with a pinch of salt is the fact, that this is his project. He hired Raul, Sven and ultimately Emery. Now he leaves, before the projects even see THEIR first milestone.
We will not be appointing a new CEO right now and I can understand that for now. If hypothetically I was the new CEO I’d like to know that if I’m going down in flames, it will be with my own ideas. Ivan was given the chance to implement his own vision. One where the manager is not an all-powerful entity and so we hired a bunch of people, some of whom now rise up to the top of the hierarchy much sooner than expected.
Ultimately Ivan’s close to 10 year reign here should be judged on the success he brought to the club. The FA cups we won are just not enough for the potential this club has, with the amount of fans it has and the infrastructure in place. He failed to convince the Kroenkes that Wenger wasn’t cutting it anymore before we lost our CL spot. There was an actual time when the club needed 2 or 3 signings and a good manager to compete with Europe’s elite, but we missed it.
Remember Ivan said that we looked and couldn’t find better than Wenger, so although I won’t be missing him too much, it’s disappointing that everybody abandons ship. Which person will take responsibility if results don’t turn around? Stan K? We’re taking a new approach with a duo in charge having Raul Sanllehi as head of football and Vinai Venkatesham as a managing director.
Although Raul has overseen some of the greatest success of Barcelona, Arsenal is a whole different challenge, with a lot of obstacles in the way. Will he be able to take the challenge? Does he even speak the language? Then we have our former chief commercial officer, moving to the top of the food chain as well.
Looking at him, our kit deals haven’t been the best, although the Adidas one will be an improvement. Our sponsorship deals are also not the brightest ones, so it remains to be seen how this duo will work, considering one just recently joined the club and the other is not related to the footballing side at all.
This club is in a great mess. Arsene, Usmanov and now Ivan is leaving. This leaves the Kroenkes in absolute power. People who have taken over Arsenal for it’s financial potential, which can be even bigger than it is now, but they have no understanding of the traditions of our club, nor the sport it’s in. Worse, they aren’t even interested. It’s all about the money.
These structural changes affect the players no doubt. And our players aren’t known to have the greatest of mental strength. We’re not Chelsea, where the players drop their guns whenever they don’t like the manager and then rise back to be title contenders. Our mentality for the past decade has been one of averageness. The nearly men. We need a major rebuilding plan and the architect just left. But as ironically as it is, it’s not the greatest loss.
Whether the new people will do a better job is a major uncertainty. It’s not like we’re doing great on the pitch either. Despite striking some wins in a row, we’ve only beaten West Ham, Newcastle and Cardiff. Not the greatest bunch with all my respect. We have a manager who continuously tries to play Cech as a sweeper keeper when it clearly doesn’t work. We keep Torreira on the bench only to introduce him at half time to change the dynamics of the game, and we’re keeping faith in players like Bellerin and Mustafi who continue to make mistakes.
I hope that lessons will be learned. A lot of people (including myself) asked for change. For Wenger and Gazidis to be gone and they are. We’ll see where it goes from here. Right now we need to focus on improving the performances and delivering the results. If we keep getting the points, there will be less focus on what happens at the board level.