It is time for the Kroenkes to show their true ambitions for Arsenal in the next two weeks

A few weeks ago, I wrote that I wouldn’t be surprised if Arsenal didn’t spend any money this January.

This was reminded to me recently by a reader who said I had been proven wrong, with him believing the Gunners were about to purchase Mykhailo Mudryk.

If you believe some reports, our plan B was a loan for Joao Felix. Chelsea outbid us in both deals.

Despite negotiating for weeks, it’s believed we were quite far off meeting Shakhtar’s asking price.

That’s why I pleaded with the club to be creative in the market (for example take advantage of Zaha’s contractual situation), because I never believed they were going to spend 80 million in the winter window.

History tells us, this is a month where the policy is to slash the wage bill, with the best you can hope for is a loan without any obligation to buy.

You have to go back to the 17-18 campaign to find the last time we spent serious money at this time of year, the action plan since has been to bring in a body who can make up the numbers, but who doesn’t cost anything.

In the meantime, appease your customers by making them believe you have identified a target so you can say you tried.

12 months ago, that individual was Vlahovic….

Yet if you’re not willing to agree on the number being quoted to you, are you every truly interested in that player?

Mudryk ending up at the Bridge was rightfully overshadowed by our performance in the NLD where we showed a maturity not displayed at the Lane in years.

How we handled the pressure of a title race compared to the chase for the top 4 was night and day.

It would be easy to get caught up in the notion that the squad doesn’t need strengthening, and it’s a credit to our players that this theory exists.

In reality though, we have 7 players who have started every League match, which I assume can’t continue?

Yet this is where Arteta and Edu need to surround their employers with their knowledge of the product.

Football has never been the priority in the Kroenke’s portfolio. What they might not realise is having an 8-point gap at the top of the table in the middle of January is something that might never happen again, it’s not guaranteed to happen every year.

The Manchester Club’s and Chelsea have the resources to be better next year, while Liverpool will regroup. Newcastle are not going to go away either.

This could be our owner’s chance to write themselves into immortality and be remembered forever. They need to act from a position of strength.

Even if it means spending some of next summer’s budget now, if that’s the difference from being Champions or not …. It’s worth it.

Whether you judge our owners on when they officially bought the club, or (like me) reference when they had serious power on the board, we have factually regressed under their stewardship.

We were title contenders when Stan Senior brought his first shares, then slowly on and off the pitch standards have dropped.

We became a club who settled for being in the top 4 and then got so much TV revenue it didn’t seem to matter where we finished.

Let’s not forget; if the Kroenke Family had their way we would be playing in a Super League where each fixture would carry zero jeopardy.

The business model would be to collect 300 million no matter where we finished, just for being a brand.

In our near two-decade drought for a trophy though, there have been moments where Arsenal missed out on being Champions due to a fear of making that next step.

Not replacing Almunia, not meeting Bolton’s asking price for Cahill, not bringing in experience to help youngsters like Nasri and Van Persie, not resigning Fabregas, the summer where we only brough Cech, offering 40 million and 1 pound for Suarez….

To be a big club you act like a big club, a big club would invest from a position of strength.

Remember this is Edu’s job, he gets paid a lot of money to scout and plan for transfers.

We know all parties ‘off the record’ talk, and for us to have wasted weeks talking to a target who went elsewhere is poor form.

It also highlights the difference in Todd Boehly’s approach to our owners.

Boehly identified who he wanted and was decisive, while we haggled over every last penny.

Not improving our squad this month could cost us something special – and that would be unforgivable.

It’s the crossroads of the Kroenke’s reign.

How much do they want to be Champions?

How important is it to them!

Are they prepared to take that next step?

Dan

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Tags Arsenal transfer window Kroenkes

38 Comments

  1. Very good article Dan! Imagine sitting 4th at the end of the season and someone asked the board if they would have exchanged 30million for an EPL bus parade in London with red and white confetti everywhere? The pain in the room and arsenal fanbase’s collective anguish on allowing such an offer to pass will be thick enough to slice with a knife! An extra 15-20 million could get us over the line and bring further revenue in the future through many avenues! But, this is Arsenal, so No!

  2. Brilliant article, my take is arsenal has become too big for the kronkes to suppot with fund , they will be hounded out of arsenal if we fail to win the league due to their lack of ambition

  3. Let’s just remember few things:

    Yes, Arsenal made Vlahovic number target but couldn’t get him. Maybe failure to get him was a reason we’re not in the Champions League this season.

    Because we couldn’t get Vlahovic, we got Jesus. And Jesus is one of the reasons we’re now on our way for the first league title in 19 years.

    So there’s positives and also negatives about missing targets, like in life in general.

    I sincerely hope we get some bodies this window because Wenger’s greatest mistake was not signing anyone when Ramsey got injred during that 2013-14 January window which ultimately cost us at the end.

    1. And I also agree with the article:

      If Arsenal, MA, Edu and Co really, REALLY want a player, they should wrap up negotiations quickly, like they did with Vieira.

      Boehly is spending money like stupid, which I predict will end catastrophically for them given that there don’t seem to be any direction. However, they are getting the players they apparently want, rather quickly and without a fuss.

      Wenger dilly-dallied with Ronaldo and the £10 million price tag. Arsenal did the same thing with Hazard, Mata, Ashley Cole’s contract.. Point being, if the club executives really think a player is right for Arsenal, just do the transfer.

      1. The Arsenal didn’t dilly dally with Ronaldo either.
        United put in a better offer and the rest is history.

  4. Few corrections needed to be made.
    1. We bided for Cahill he was left with 6 months on his contract for 7m, Bolton said it was disrespectful but the same Bolton sold to Chelsea for 7m so you are wrong.

    2. Almunia’s problem was Wenger’s because Leyman was still better than Almunia when Wenger chose Almunia instead.

    3. Fabregras didn’t want to extend his contract then. In fact he was on strike to force his move to Barca. That’s why I don’t want to see him near the club again. He should go to Barca or Chelsea where he won trophies.

    These are the facts.

    1. People get so bitter over these things – like how some just wouldn’t touch Vlahovic anymore because he chose juventus over us last year.
      Fabregas coming back to arsenal would have been an admission he was wrong and would have enabled his redemption (and why wouldn’t we want that!?). It also would have been very good for us on the pitch – fabregas was like Ozil with more goals, tackles and a real winning mentality – something that has been lacking until very recently.

      1. That 🐀 Fabregas would never have got redemption from the fans for the way he left us ! No problem with any player that wants to leave, but there’s a way you go about it. You put in a written transfer request, you don’t go on strike !!

    2. Can anyone call Kroenke, Arteta and Edu and tell them the feelings of our fan base. Get us players to back up urgently needed positions in our team. Most fans may not forgive if at the end of the transfer, there won’t be any addition which may eventually cost us the EPL

  5. The next 14 days are going to make or break our season.

    If we sign players, and we need players not player.
    And be able to walk into the team.
    We are going to have to, probably pay over the odds for them.
    Something which is totally against us.

    This could end up bad if nothing happens quickly.

  6. Arsenal have money as we have seen from Mudryk bids, but only they know the specific amount. There are players available, Thurman for 15 million for example that are priced very reasonably.

    Question is are they the calibre of player and character the club is looking for?

    We always hr about “a list” of players they are interested in, but it seems that things go quiet when we don’t sign the primary target.

    Frustrating to again be in a position where we clearly need to strengthen in January yet have signed no one.

    Last year that decision cost us a real chance finishing top 4. I’m hoping they learned a lesson and add depth, at least a loan to strengthen us to maintain our title run.

  7. After seeing that amazon season of Arsenal. I have changed my view on Josh K. He is sensible, takes interest in the club and support the ppl in place when n where required. So indisagree the emphases is not on owners but Edu n Co. They have a job to do. Edu has done some good deals but he has also done some real clueless ones as well plus he is too slow in getting things done. Honestly I don’t think or does not look like we will sign anyone in the Jan transfer window. We wasted too much time n effort on Mudryk. Rice is definitely not coming next summer as we can not compete with Chelsea and Rice is a Chelsea fan I have heard so no chance.

  8. I stand with you on your comment because I don’t think arsenal will sign any player this January transfer sessions. I just pray that none of their key players will get injured like Gabriel Jesus because if they do, the club might miss out on being crowned champions in England. They have so many obligations and will definitely need extra help to go the extra distance in order to be crowned champions.

  9. Boehly’s scattergun approach will not even get them into the top 4 this season and I don’t even think Potter was consulted in their acquisitions. Whilst I think we need backups for Partey, Saka and Martinelli, I’m not convinced we need to spend stupid money on untested players and believe there are young players already at the club who could turn out to be more than able if necessary. I’m not saying we don’t need to buy anyone but that we need to consider value. Having said that, noises coming from people close to Arsenal seem to indicate Rice could possible arrive in this next couple of weeks and it also wouldn’t surprise me if we sign Zaha.
    Watch this space………

  10. Not allowing yourself to be scammed into paying 100 millions for an unproven played is not penny haggling.. This is an emotional piece lacking in substance..
    So now Liverpool has to regroup.. The common view here is August and before was this was going to be a City/Liverpool 1 and 2..

  11. Didn’t Ornstein say Josh has no problem spending the money wolves were asking for Neto only problem was we couldn’t balance our books?
    People on here seem to ignore the fact that we have to balance revenue vs expenditure. Can’t compare us to Chelsea, Boehly has had at least a 500 mil cushion and could still thug the thing by giving long contracts to players. We do not have that luxury, UEFA would use us to prove FFP is alive.

  12. Over the last couple of years they have done really good business.

    I fully agree about the striker last January, that may have kept us out of the top four – we also may not have been ready to stay there.

    Going back a few years we did not have much of a plan, limited funds and we made a number of pretty poor signings.

    We are in a much better place now and some fiscal responsibility is required for us.

    Think about the price for Murdyk and the length of the contract – that is a huge gamble. Yes, it may pay off but it might not and I don’t think we can afford to gamble above about $40 M.

    When we spent in the summer, our two signings were proven EPL winners.

    Maybe the purchases right now need to be cover, the grizzled old veterans to see us to the end of this season. Murdyk was a long-term buy, maybe the focus for this window is short term and then get guys like Rice in the summer.

    I fully admit to writing lots of posts in the past that were anti-Arteta and Kronke but they have won me over and I have faith that they will do what is best of the club (even if no signing is better than a bad signing).

  13. Dan,
    I would be grateful for clarification over the slashing of the wage bill. Are the club in the process of offloading anyone to achieve that aim?

    The other point is that I regularly read (not necessarily from you but from others) is that Kroenke has forked out over £350,0000,000 since Arteta arrived to bring the club back to a position of being able to compete. Now that begs the question as to whether or not that really is a huge amount to have invested to win the league, or not nearly enough from the Kroenke organisation who I suggest you think are only interested in top4 for the CL spot and will, therefore, likely deny us victory in May when the trophies are dished out because of their business model. I find it difficult to know what we want/expect. One minute its get the deal done and pay the price and in the next breath it is all about huge sums being spent to back Arteta

    1. They go hand in hand don’t they? Huge sums must equate to success or the funds were poorly spent.

      Spend the money, do it wisely and achieve something.

      Obviously if you send 350mil and don’t make top 4 it is a failure.

      Why does it seem like many are already trying to make excuses for us not winning the league.

  14. I have a feeling that the Kronkes, like all seriuos sports people, love victory. Outside world cup, champions league and, maybe, europa I do not know of any other cup that is more interesting to win than the premier league. I see the Kronkes listening to the pleas of millions of Arsenal fans to improve the team within the next two weeks and help put Arsenal again as number one premier league team. The boys are doing well, thank you the Kronkes for deciding to help them.

  15. I remember Dan publishing an article in which he stated that Arteta needs to make sure that Arsenal finishes fourth in the league, and if he does finish fourth, then he (Dan) will raise his hands up in recognition! At the moment, he has discreetly shifted his story to focus on winning the league!

    To begin, the fact that we are capable of winning the league at this particular point in our evolution is simply a gift that we were not expecting at all. It makes little difference to us if we win the league or not; what is important is that we finish in the top four as part of our development process.  This is not the time to put undue pressure on these young lads to win the league, because then, if they don’t, individuals like Dan will come flooding out with nothing but sheer criticism and negativity. 

    Currently, we are supporting the team in qualifying for the Champions League, which will provide more funds for the acquisition of elite players. This is part of the process…

    Last but not least, I seem to recall that Dan authored an article in which he questioned Odegaard’s credentials to be our captain. He made it abundantly obvious that Odegaard is not suited to serve as the captain of Arsenal… In light of the above, I ask that you kindly publish a retraction article.

    1. Not at all mate , Arteta finishes top 4 I say well done , its when we were not doing that i said it wasn’t good enough

    2. @indeed.
      You are so right.
      Dan Smith who has been one of the meanest critics of Arteta, calling him “the cheap choice”, in numerous articles, is now laying the ground for further attacks on manager and owner.
      In stead of recognizing how well Arteta and all the players DS has been against, are doing he is preparing to slate them for not winning the PL.

      1. Goal posts have clearly shifted and rightfully so, failure to add reinforcements and push for the title would be unforgivable.

        It is not about winning but showing intent and having the mindset to try and push on to make that a reality.

        It sounds like others are making excuses already for us not giving ourselves the best opportunity should we fail. Excuse no 1 being, winning was not the target.

        Well winning is now!

        1. Who says, we will win the title by headless buying now?
          The strategy, we have followed the past 2 years is clearly taking us forward with huge steps, and can make us a force for several years once completed.
          We should only buy, if we can get the right players to suit our strategy, and there clearly aren’t many around in January.

  16. Spending big money got nothing to do with club size or ambition. It’s just the matter of club ownership and its principles. Success determined by the manager and the type of players. We tried big money players but never got success. Arsene Wenger modernised English football and almost all the clubs followed suit. Now, Edu and Arteta started a project which is fruiting greatly right now and a lot of clubs, as usual, follows the Arsenal way. I think we are the most financially astute club in Europe. And now we are playing the best football in Europe with a young manager with a very young team. Well, maybe Napoli FC could be our equal.

  17. Arsenal and their management seem to be sensible to I support them

    Who told u we would have made top4 if Vlahovic came ?
    That means he would have hit the ground running & scored so many goals right ?

    Look at Man Utd’s Anthony, he doesn’t seem to have improved the team to me – in short the team looks like they don’t really need him

    Whereas Garnacho seem like he adds something to them
    (i.e : Solutions can be found internally);

    The write-up is too emotional, almost sounds like tantrum, also like u just need an addition for addition sake

    We can be better, but we not doing bad, it’s shrewdness & it makes sense

    Jesus (Nketiah)
    Martinelli (Smith-Rowe, Nketiah, Viera)
    Saka (Viera, Nelson)
    Odegaard (Smith-Rowe, Viera)
    Xhaka (Viera)

  18. Da, it seems that your view regarding our offer being a long way from chelseas is not correct.
    The SD owner has stated that both offers were for the same amount of money, but it was the way the deal was structured that appealed to SD.

    Now if you want our club to be like chelsea when it comes to transfers and salaries, then that is your view… I disagree and it seems that kronkie, MA and Edu are of the same opinion.

    I can only imagine your outcry if we had actually signed Mudryk on a seven and a half year deal and he then became a flop (which may just happen).

    I wrote an article a while back, praising the kronkie’s for their support of MA / Edu and you lambasted me.
    Now here we sit at the summit of the PL, with a spend of over £350,000,000 and you still feel the need to have a go at the owners.

    I cannot see ANY other PL club that can boast that kind of success with the spending power given.
    It’s not kronkie who decides what players are brought in (unlike chelsea it seems) it’s all down to MA and Edu. The money is there as the SD owner has proved.

    I can’t think of a better owner and management team at this juncture of the season and I’m very happy as an Arsenal supporter.

    1. Well said.
      DS has always tried to make it look like Kroenke isn’t allowing spending.
      It has been non factual all the time, but he keeps on misleading for some reason.

      1. Funny how so many claim we were right to walk away but were upset we bid 40mil + 1 for Suarez and blamed Wenger.

        What makes this acceptable and that not?

        1. We have a strategy, where we only buy the exact profiles that Arteta and Edu think will fit. If there aren’t any obtainable for the right price, we wait.
          We don’t just buy for the sake of it.
          It has brought us this far.
          Would be stupid to charge strategy, when It works.

  19. Hi Ken1945…

    What a pleasure it is to read your response! It has been quite a journey to reach the point where we are pleased as a fan group…

    Remember my analogy about rehabilitating a dilapidated building… I concluded then that as long as the builders have a plan, they should adhere to it, and a new structure will soon be constructed to the delight of many.

    In addition, I believe that nothing is absolute and that probabilities often determine outcomes. Currently, our likelihood of winning the league has grown, and I will put it at 80%. This indicates that Arsenal will win 14 – 15 of their next 18 matches, or 80% of their upcoming matches. This should put us in position to complete the season with 91 points… There are other additional factors/parameters that may influence the outcomes of these games, but I believe the team has learned control over a significant number of them, barring injuries.

    We will have to wait and see if this is sufficient to win the league, but at the very least, it should be sufficient to place in the top four!

    Cheers!

    1. Fire, hope you are well.

      Over the MA reign, I have changed my mind so many times, I was in a tailspin!!

      The Kronkies, Mikel, Edu, different players and their worth to the club being the main ones.

      In hindsight (why wasn’t we born with this?) I was 50% right and, therefore, 50% wrong.

      As I write this reply, we are top of the PL, through to the next stages of the FA Cup and Europa League.

      We now know that the Kronkies were prepared to spend £100,000,000 on one player over a certain period (just as Chelsea have done) and yet they are still being questioned as to their commitment!!!

      If we fail to win the PL this season, it will not be because of the Kronkies in my opinion.

      I smile when I read that we have to play City twice in the PL – Has anyone considered the fact that they actually have to play us twice??

      Don’t get me wrong, I still remember being bottom of the league etc etc but it is the fact that I still remember those days under MA, that I now appreciate EXACTLY what he, Edu and the Kronkies have done.

      Take care.

      1. Maybe because the money was not spent and until it is we are possibly shooting ourselves in the foot like last year.

        I agree, failing to bring in any reinforcements and falling short will not be a Kroknie problem but will be on Edu and Arteta as clearly the cash is there to be spent.

  20. Usual misleading stuff to discredit what is going on.
    In the past 10 years Arsenal are in the top 3-4 spenders on transfers and salaries.
    That is the plain and simple fact.
    Not Kroenkes fault the money was spent unwisely before Arteta, Edu and Josh Kroenke devised the plan we now are following.

  21. So much misinformation, but whatever.

    KSE has had losing teams for years, except the Avalanche (NHL), whom he inherited a winning organization.

    He bought into AFC, part shareholder, and did not help Arsene spend money, as the club had the banks on their backs for the debt of the stadium, not 1 cent did he invest.

    Yes, the Rams won the superbowl, with home field advantage, in new super stadium, showcased by the socialist NFL, and won with a negative 2 turnovers, including a pick six, only 3 times in history has that occured, so, a fluke, but whatever, the ramS are back to losing again and are in dissaray. The nuggets have been perenial losers, however the have won here and there but not a championship, but are averaging 3rd place in a 5 team division over 20 years of ownership.

    The amount offered by AFC was the same as the chavs, but the terms were not, player salary higher, and amount required up front. Saurez all over again!

    This entire idea that even if we don’t win league and that we are built for the future, is built on the back of our youth, problem is they will be on a million minutes, and that does not bode well for the future.

    Heaven forbid Partey gets injured or others and AFC craters to 5th, what is the narrative then?

    Best start in AFC history requires investment now- END OF STORY!

    If investment and a plan does not materialize, the brand is going to be playing you all for another 20 years.

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