A Silence of Convenience by Neil Watson
I am fairly confident this article will meet with a record number of aggrieved reactions and disparaging comments because the truth is often the most uncomfortable thing to admit. One of the best lessons you can teach the young is ‘learn from your mistakes’ and ‘be honest when you are wrong’. In that way you can learn and as a consequence you will grow mentally. By not admitting when you are wrong means you choose not to learn.
And so let’s get down to it. Stan Kroenke and the senior management of our club. The management that have spent in excess of 150 million pounds in players in the last 2 years.
When things were very bad within our club we, as fans, blamed the manager and the owners. In truth the inner issues of a club can be speculated on by fans but we never ever know. None of us know why Ozil has such a bad run of form, why Sanchez was so keen to go anywhere… loads of things involving Ramsay, Jack, Bellerin…..
So now we find ourselves on a run of form that was last achieved 7 seasons back. The same owner yet a different manager and a few new players.
In reality should fans not be congratulating the owner and senior management for securing the services of a manager that, if form is any guide, was unjustly ignored as manager of the month? Let’s be honest was he on top of anyone’s lists when the club were looking for a replacement for Wenger? Some might say he’s had easy fixtures to accommodate and they’d be right but even the easy ones need to be won. You can do no more than win them regardless of how many goals you score.
I’m part of the majority of Arsenal fans who think poorly of Kroenke. We see him turn up at the occasional home game and have zero connection with the fans. I think most of us assume, probably quite rightly, that his ownership of our club is purely for personal gain. But isn’t that the point?
The undeniable point here is that if you’re going to blame someone individually for our team playing terribly you have to praise that same person when things turn around and the results go in your favour. We were terrible and so the manager was changed, a few new players were bought and we then went on a run. We look sharp on the pitch, the team play with smiles on their faces and we can look across London at our noisy neighbours and feel for the first time in a few years our ship is once again sailing in the right direction whereas they maybe about to embark on something less pleasant.
At the end of this season we will be able to judge Kroenke for the first time without there being an existing structure in place since the day he arrived. The Wenger regime is well and truly over and we are seeing how well the senior management and ownership can run our club and what will transpire as a consequence of their new found freedom.
To précis, and stay focused on this point when commenting, if you’re like me and most, who vehemently criticised Kroenke for causing the crisis within our club over the past couple of years then surely you have to accept that the current success we are enjoying is at the very least partially due to the new structure within the club that his money created.