The facts say that Arsenal have the ambition but the ability may be lacking

We lack ability, not ambition

The transfer window is in full swing, and not surprisingly every day seems to produce new Arsenal transfer rumours. We are linked with God knows how many players. Most of them make no sense at all, and my guess is, at least 90% of the rumours are inventions by either the press or by agents, who have a clear interest in stirring them up.

If you subscribe to the usual myths about Arsenal not spending etc. the rumours, can easily be taken as “proof” of that particular point of view. I mean, we have probably already been linked with at least 20 players, and as we haven’t confirmed any signings yet, isn’t that proof??

Of course not. It is a simplistic way to look at it. Like looking out the window and using the “Eye test” to see the Earth is flat.

 A bit along the same lines are the demands, that if we don’t buy this or that player, it is because we lack ambition. A claim, which is rooted in the same false myth about Arsenal’s lack of spending. This lie is then connected to our owner, and in a manner, which would leave even Trump envious on how to use fake facts, we have completed the picture, that our owner’s greed is really our problem. What makes it even more strange, often it is claimed our owner is both greedy and at the same time should have an interest in Arsenal becoming a mid-table club. It only takes 30 seconds of afterthought to comprehend how contradictory this is.

Anyone wanting Arsenal to really make money, has a clear interest in seeing us back in  the Champions League on a regular basis. The loss of revenue by not being there is so significant, I would think nearly everybody should be able to see it. Even our owner, can probably see it, don’t you think?

It would of course be very handy to explain our lack of ability to challenge for the PL title, which we have seen for so many years, with just pointing the finger at our owner. It can’t be denied, if we had an owner with both the desire and the need to use Arsenal to wash money, wash reputation and/or a political regime, we could well have been in a different situation. But I am extremely happy that we don’t have an owner buying us titles with blood money, and I would take our owner any day in that comparison. Quite frankly, I find it a bit embarrassing that Arsenal fans complain we lack ambition, because we supposedly spend less than those owners do.

 Each person can of course make up his or hers own mind about the moral issues.

What really shouldn’t be up for debate are the facts.

This past season marked the seventh season in a row, where we finished below both Liverpool and Spurs. A disturbing fact.There is no doubt, there is some correlation between how much you spend, and the results you get. So of course, you can say, you must spend to stay among the top clubs. Whether you want Champions League because of monetary ambitions or sports ambition (or both), you do need to invest in players. In that respect, the actual investment in players is a relevant way to measure ambition. Here, it is important to establish, it is the nett investment in players, that is the relevant figure. The nett shows the difference between how much you make on selling players, and how much you spend on new players.

As it happens, over the past 10 years Arsenal have a nett investment of around £525 mil. in new players. 2 clubs have invested more; Man U with around £864 mil. and Man City with 839 mil. Cheslea have spent less than us with a nett investment of around 366 mil. and Liverpool are fifth having invested around 339 mil. Spurs have only invested around £221 mil.

In fact, we are not far off having spent as much as Liverpool and Spurs have combined!! Unfortunately, I think the picture would only look much worse, if salaries were added to the spending over the years.

 Let’s then make some fact based conclusions:

 Arsenal do not have less ambition than other clubs

  1. Our owner is indeed willing to spend
  2. Huge sums have been spent, but they are not giving the desired results

No. 3 is the most interesting conclusion, I think. Because this means, our real problem is not lack of spending, or lack of ambition, if you like. Our problem is obviously, we either have spent the money on the wrong players, or we haven’t been able to create a team strong enough out of the huge investments. Maybe a bit of both? And the problems go back many years.

 So, what I am hoping is not so much for a lot of money being spent again in this transfer window. Especially not spending on one or two players, which some fans might want as “proof” of ambition. What I am hoping is that we will see clever spending on players, that can add to the talent we have and create a competitive team in the years to come.

That would be ambition, I think.. 

kind regards

Anders S

Learn more about Arsenal’s proud history – Decade by Decade CLICK HERE to visit our new Arsenal History section

WATCH THE TRANSFER SHOW –Alfie and Rob discuss Arsenal signing Pepe replacement (Bowen?)

Tags transfer window


    1. If you’re Bissouma where will you go? champions league football or europa? Conte or Arteta? You tell me. Simple maths.

      1. But he won’t win anything at Spurs. Saka has won more trophies than Harry Kane. Fact.
        May be Bissouma is not interested in winning anything

        1. You can’t be sure of that with conte
          Conte goes every where to win not to bred kids for the future, let’s watch and see how this goes

    2. Bissouma is due in court for charges related to Sexual assault. If he is found guilty then the Spuds are welcome to him! Unless they know there is no evidence to support the case? If he is cleared and goes to the Spuds for £25m, then we would definitely have missed out (again)..

      Speaking of missing out, that has been our biggest problem for years. Waisting too much time on the right players we know we need but missed out on because of dithering. Ultimately ending up with panic buys on the final transfer deadline day! That’s the Arsenal way!!

  1. Bissouma going to spurs makes me want to question the ambition of the management of this club…we are always slow in the market..well they least I say the better

    1. This takes me back to when Chelsea got Kante, we got Xhaka because we dithered over a few details and look what happened. We could have got Bissouma but Spuds got him, who will we end up with and what will the consequences be?

      1. Great example, Reggie that still irks many. Unfortunately Arsenal FC is run by incompetents as far as managing financial and player assets are concerned (as set out by Anders S in his article).

    2. Yeh so slow , the 1 year we got someone early and it was Cech and that was it.
      Our team is so bad it lets so many slip through for the sake of a couple of bucks which in turn costs us anyways.

  2. I have been saying it’s…I don’t think Edu and Arteta have a plan for next season..I may be wrong,but it’s can we sign marquinous or whatever knowing we need fixing not signing kids for the future…I am not a fan of Arteta and Edu

  3. Now I am starting to give up on this team already.

    I think 6th might just be our permanent finishing position with the other top 6 teams improving their teams.

    I can’t believe I am envying our neighbors already.

    The importance of a good coach is huge.

    Check out this team Conte is assembling already and compare it to ours –

    Son. Kane. Kuluveski.

    Perisic. Bissouma. Hojberg. Spence.

    Davies. Dier. Romero.


    This is so unfair 😭😭😭

    1. Plus they are looking at signing bastoni or bremer …….spuds have a real shot at the title next season….Conte effect😰

  4. Everyone knows it’s not a spending issue anymore it’s what the money is being spent on.

    The Spuds making shrewd moves on the transfer market while we dilly-dally. It’s embarrassing.

    Bissouma would be an instant improvement for us and has indicated a desire to join us on at least two occasions then BANG going to the scum for 25mil?!

    Our recruitment is shocking.

    1. Good he’s gone. Edu would’ve paid 50m and pocketed the balance. Edu always give away our players for free or very cheap but buy expensively. Edu follows Sanhelli blueprint of recruitment.
      No wonder he holidays with Kia Joorabchan and Sanhellim

    2. 👍 and dont fotget Guimaraes was available as well and Arsenal declined to go after him.

  5. We be to get 8th this coming season if we don’t act fast with our transfers or we just waiting for the scraps again

      1. You’re the one not being real. The best players are being mopped up and you’re saying we shouldn’t act fast till the dying embers of the window when most of the players available then would be mostly average

        1. Sign a player at the death and tell us they are not ready to start the season while we may be dropping important points, sign players earlier let them have a good preseason and know their new team mates. We are not buying excuses this time around

      2. Its a new summer with new, ambitious talk from our manager and the owners of the club.
        But we all know its the same old shit – aiming for players we have no hope in attracting.
        Even though we are only four days into the window and its horribly unfair to write them off so soon but you can’t help feeling an air of disappointment already.
        The problem is they simply do not learn – Arsenal are famous for dithering and delaying on transfers. How many players have they missed out on?
        Another problem is they pay out far too much for players who are over priced. Would any other club spend £50 million on White? No offence to him but £50 million !

  6. If this club had Ambition Arteta would not be our manager .
    Crazy to think him and Edu have a free reign to do as they please ,even crazier that this club gave him a new 3 year contract especially on the back of completely blowing our chance of Cl football .’
    AMBITION !!! Don’t make me laugh .

    1. You can laugh as much as you like. But there is no denying, the lack of spending that is usually claimed by the ususal suspects is a lie, and not the problem.

      1. AndersS, your well argued synopsis of the appauling management of the financial and player assets of this Club gets to the heart of the problem.

    2. Have to agree with you, when we look across to our neighbors.
      1. Manager to lead the team
      spuds go through 2 mangers last year before they get in a top manager in Conte.

      Meanwhile, Arsenal bring in Arteta; never managed a day in his life, nor built anything. Add to that Edu, his first gig with any club.

      Which club shows ambition?

      spuds add in January to strengthen for their end run, Arsenal decimate the squad hoping no injuries hit.

      Again, which club shows ambition?

      So far spuds about to finalize an upgrade on RB, on verge of Bissouma in midfield, on top of their upgrades in January.

      In comparison Arsenal cut wages, trying to extend Nketiah on 100k a week, and just signed a 19 Brazilian who is “for the future”

      Sadly we are not showing ambition at all, once we fired 2 managers for missing top 4 but now we extend a manager who has failed in 3 attempts.

      Is the top 6 our new top 4? Are we being groomed to accept less and lower expectations?

      I ask that general question because I don’t see the ambition, no goals on the manager, no achievements expected going into next year.

      1. How many players is Villarreal buying for Unai Emery next season, having won the Europa League the previous season and got to a Champions League final last season with far fewer resources than Arsenal?

  7. I can’t believe we didn’t try to sign bisouma since he’s better than Xhaka and much more consistent than partey, this team is fond of looking for nobody else wants to buy. No wo der we end up with average players. Tell me who else we can sign now for 25m that will give us the quality and experience of Bisouma? We will end up pursuing one bench player from Juve all season. How do the management intend to close the gap onthese top teams? Spurs would likely win a trophy this season and still finish above us. Its heart breaking.

    1. And to think that Bissouma has on several occasions made a “come and get me plea” to Arsenal and we completely refused to act. We gave Xhaka and Elneny new contracts while he’s going to Spurs for £25m. Lokonga cost us £20m

      1. Dont rub it in, Arteta probably didn’t want him anyway, we know what Arteta wants. Yes men!!!!!!

        1. @Reggie
          It seems he and Edu are trying to buy up the Brazilian reserve team and hope they come good to be sold on for profit…IJS

          1. For profit? Nonono so much better to send them on loan until their contracts runs out…maybe we can offer to pay some of their wages and give low options to buy in case the player is doing well

        2. 👍👍”Yes” people win diddly squat in sport and destroy businesses and organizations.

  8. What I like about this article is that he just prove me right even though I disagree with most of what was said.
    Maybe I am wrong, but I can’t help to feel this write up is nothing but defending the owners lack of competency.
    I wonder how people could trust a project that’s being trusted by these owners.
    When we have been on a project for like 2 decades with little to show for it.

    1. My point is, you can’t accuse the owners for lack of spending and use that as a proof of no ambition. That is simply not fact.
      The owners may have lack of competency.

    2. The owners have shown a complete inability to sign and/or retain quality management since the removal of David Dean. Experienced knowledgible management at Board level and below is essential, when the owners dont know the industry in which they are operating.

  9. I hope the unwise spending also includes the players signed by Arteta and Edu last summer cos we are usually being told that almost all players who were here before Arteta were the ones who were not good, dross, useless and deadwood.
    And I find it biased to just praised Kroenke for spending without blaming him for hiring misfits to manage those funds and also for making atrocious decisions board level. Kroenke is the actual culprit, like it or not.
    The Glazers have been blamed for Man Utd’s fall from grace despite spending the most over the last ten years. So why shouldn’t Kroenke be blamed?

    1. I am not saying Kroenke shouldn’t be blamed.
      I think, he should have seen our problems much earlier.
      But I am saying, the criticism for not spending is based on a lie.

      1. I agree with you, likely 350 million or more spent when this Summer window ends.

        The money is there, the investment was available, plain and simple.

        50 million on an average White was a waste of funds, and a huge miss to fill in gaps in the midfield.

        14 million wasted on Mari, Willian sign-on and wages, 2 Ceballos loans, extended Cedric’s contract? Why?

        Couldn’t “guarantee” Emi would start, but spent 30 million on Ramsdale and he seemed to be a guaranteed starter most of the year.

        There were successes as well, not everyone has been a bad decision. Personally I think Tomi is tops for his quality and consistency when he played and not injured.

        But too much has been wasted on positions that were not screaming for upgrades. Had Saliba, Emi, and Leno.

        50 million on White (had Saliba), 30 million on Ramsdale, 14 million on Mari, 18 on Tomi, 8 million on Tavares, and extended Cedric.

        Around 120 million on defense alone, and Bellerin, Luiz, and Leno were better statistically. Our defense was actually worse this year.

        Yeah yeah, injuries, like Luiz and Bellerin, and Leno didn’t get injured?

  10. Arsenal feels like a team with no ambition…….the last three players they signed……two from USA and one from Brazil does not scream ambition ……..

    1. John, I don’t give a “rat’s arse” where players come from provided they have the quality to play for, and improve Arsenal FC.

  11. Anders, good article. I agree with many of the points you make.

    I think the way we operate in the transfer market or our lack of capabilities costs us massively. We spend a lot on players that mostly fail us. On top of that, we pay salaries that make these failed players hard to sell for decent money.

    I read Haaland is on £175k a week and bought for £51 million. I also read we are offering Nketia £100k/week!!!! This is silly money. Haaland is probably the most wanted striker in Europe and is on half of what we paid Auba and if the articles we read in the press are right, we might have to pay 35-50 million for Jesus. That shows me that City is investing much better than we are. They upgrade to Haaland for 0-15 million if they sell Jesus for 35-50.

    Many of our expensive players have been major disappointments. Mustafi, Xhaka, Laca, Pepe, and Torreira all players we paid big money for at the time we bought them but all players that did not live up to their price tag and expectations.

    In addition, we always take too long to get our targets. Last season 3 of them arrived after the season started.

    If we had a wish list for our targets one would expect a capable club to have a realistic list that only includes targets that want to come and play for us and that are within our price range.

    It seems not so for us. If indeed we want Jesus we should by now know if he wants us and if the answer is no, we should move on swiftly to our number 2 target. If the answer is yes, get the deal done before other teams get in on the action. The longer you leave your main targets out in the market the more chance you have that another team will snap them up.

    As you say, we have the money or we have spent the money but in a highly dysfunctional way.

    Look at what we reportedly got for Guendouzie!!! Look at the numbers being quoted for Leno and Torreira. Those are all indications we are not very capable.

    For me, David Dein would have gotten £50 in today’s market for Torreira, Leno, and Guendouzie but with our current transfer team, we will be lucky to get £25 million for the 3 of them. And how about Pepe??? How expensive of a mistake is that going to be. Overpay on the way in and undersell on the way out. Just terrible.

    Not to speak of this winter’s joke where we supposedly waste an entire window on a striker who don’t want to play for us and only wants to play for Juventus. So we end up shipping out Auba without replacing him and we narrowly miss out on CL football mainly because of injuries to Partey, Tierney, and our inability to score goals. This is mismanagement in my book.

      1. Your right 375/week which is close to what we paid for Auba who was over 30 and stopped scoring.

        Barca is supposed to want to sign Lewandowki for 175k per week according to the Sun.

  12. Net spend does not tell the full story of a clubs spending. Sales count a lot too. The fact we lost Ozil free, Sanchez for free Laca free Auba free Ramsey for free skew our net spend so out of whack. We cshould have got 50m for Sanchez 50m for Ramsey 40m for Auba. We should not have paid 72m for Pepe. So if we had got those sales and not bought Pepe we would have had a net spend of 315 similar to Liverpool who also if you remember got the 150m bonus off the Coutinho sale. It has been the inability to offload players earlier which is killing our net spend. Mustafi Socritis and now Chambers Torreira Bellerin Niles Willian Leno are all going cheap. I agree a smarter rather than a larger spend is the answer. To be fair all this mayhem was carried out before Arteta. Mikel should be judged from July 2020 onward. What is amazing is that despite a terrible owner, a clueless manager hopeless players and the worst fans in the league we finished 2 points off CL and 11 points ahead of the brilliant star studded Man U. I say trust the process.

    1. Calling Arsenal fans the worst fans in the league! Go and learn how to communicate and respect people.
      Another empty reply-bait from the usually empty poster who always complains of our players and recommends we only use academy players. My only mistake is replying you as I usually don’t due to the emptiness of your posts

    2. Brilliant star studded Man Utd🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

    3. If you believe haaland is on 175k/week I don’t know what to say to you. Over 300k as reported. Aside haaland, Nunez I can’t or shall I say I don’t know hottest striker at the moment. If for anything,there are too many great winger at the moment. It pains me that spurs is signing bissouma because on his day he’s a beast but let’s be honest tieleman is above him. Tieleman is a team player, right attitude and classy player. And I believe this will be a make or break season for partey. How many dfm should we have? So assuming partey is fit, do you think bissouma will be happy to sit? Answer is no. So tieleman is the more versatile. Can easily dispose xhaka. And can play as a dfm if needed. If you haven’t watch him play, go and watch his game. Ps: this is me hoping and assuming we sign him. Now why are we not in for cucurela? That Brighton left back? We all know tierny cannot survive a whole season. This is how his career has been. Go in for him at least we would have quality and push Tavares to the wing. I see Tavares in the mold of Gareth bale. Bale started as a left back. He’s good going forward and has the strength, he just need coaching. Jesus is as hard working as Sanchez. We should rap that up. He has a point to prove. And if there is money to sign one more attacker I would say go and get rashford. With the right mentality and right focus rashford is a classy player. We don’t need more cb. Saliba,Gabby,white,holding, rekik then throw in tierny that is more than enough. If Mari is coming back too. Where we are short is RB and lb cover. We don’t have any suitable cover for those positions. After that we need cover in midfield because for some reason ESR has not kicked on. Maybe too much was expected of him or I don’t really know but he’s not pushing. Ask a defender who he would rather face between est and martinelli? Maquinho if YouTube is to be believed, we have our own Douglas Costa. They are cut from the same skill and low center of gravity cloth. And I believe he will stay because martinelli was 17 but yet made his debut without going on loan. We need to offload pepe,nelson ( nelson because I don’t see him progressing being on the bench) so it’s better he move on. Azzes,patino,biereth,balogun,Norton cuffy, McGuiness, should be promoted. We have group stage for them. My happiness is saliba is begining to accept the fact that he needs to stay and prove doubters wrong. There is good relationship between these players, you could feel it. I don’t need any character to come and disrupt it. Transfer window has just opened let’s hope itl be a good one.

      1. Lucia, I think we should cut our losses and sell Partey for big money and bring both Bissouma and Tielemans in. I would take a fit Partey any day but the problem is he is unlikely to be fit when we need him most.

        If Partey, Thierney and Tomiyasu has not been injured during the final phase of our season I am convinced we would have kept 4th place. We have a history of staying too long with inury prone players.

    4. @fairfan.
      You are right about the nett spend. It only shows your willingness to invest, or your ambition if you like.
      If we had been better at buying players, developing players and managing contracts or selling players over the past many, many years, the picture would be completely different. That is actually my point.

      1. But the fact is we are not good at it. And no one is ever held accountable for it so that therefore lands at the owners as they do nothing about it hence making them unambitious

      2. AndersS, it is obvious that fairfan’s comprehension of your original article is lacking.

    5. I think Arteta has little influence on our transfer activities. If it was up to him we probably would have already brought our targets in. I am under the impression that the transfer “process” is a tedious one controlled by Edu and the board.

      It seems that Edu very well might have to go back to the board for every change in terms and price etc. This (if true) is not very effective.

      For me, we have 2 massive needs, striker and midfield player (we can not count on Partey – he is injured too often, the PL might well be too physical for his body). By now we should have signed both of these or at least one. But, as often, we might end up backing into some unexpected target in late August who might or might not work out but will not be ready for the beginning of the season when we could drop the 3 points that keep us out of the CL just because we didn’t get our transfer business done in time.

        1. What, and give up the money he is on at Arsenal and have to look for another job paying as well as his current gig?
          Conte knew he wouldnt be unemployed for long. Mikel Arteta?
          People who think Arteta is in line to follow Pep Guardiola as Manchester City need to look at what other managers are coming through their stable of clubs.

  13. Its not lack of ambition being the only reason, poor decision making is the most important thing. Buying the wrong players, hiring the wrong managers, hiring the wrong director of football and putting young kronk in charge. Nothing at this club points to success, from the top to the bottom. We have a group of fans hell bent on defending our young manager, when it is as clear as the nose on your face he isnt up to the top managers in the game. How on earth are we going to compete with total novices and no idea how to get success. We have wasted millions on players and managers with very little to show for it except constant mediocrity. Our whole ethos is WRONG!!!!!!!!

    1. But Spurs ethos is brilliant that’s why they have not won the title since 1961. Everton have two billionaire owners spend like crazy have never won the Premier League and finished on the cusp of relegation. Liverpool despite billionaire owners and a great manager have won just one Premier League title in 30 years. Man U with a 1 bill spend since Fegie have not won the title again. In fact every fan of every club even Liverpool and Chelsea (bar Man City) constantly point to their club being rotten to the core. Its what many football fans do.

      1. Stop talking CRAP. ITS ABOUT WHERE WE ALL ARE TODAY!!!!!! If you are real you will see we are not in a great place. So stop talking crap to just get a response. I want this club to go places, you dont and im not happy with the way it is going.

        1. @Reggie
          Stop answering this reply-bait poster.
          Who cares how long Liverpool haven’t won the EPL? All we care about is how their core foundation has been solidly built to last long while delivering success to rival that of the free-spending Man City, all achieved within a reasonable time frame with experienced and we’ll chosen heads to oversee it. That is ambition and not only spending money anyhow like the Kroenke’s do.
          Tottenham has finished above us for over half a decade now. And what’s worse? Thay have a world class manager whom I greatly fear. His impact is already showing
          Man Utd isn’t an example to follow but may just be about to get it right with their recent managerial appointment
          Chelsea shouldn’t be mentioned in the same sentence as Arsenal as they are above us through and through, although we’re about to know the stuff they’re made of
          Arteta is a yes man and will only appoint yes men. Refused to sign Bissouma for £25m but agreed to sign Arthur Melo on 2yrs loan with a €40m obligation to buy. This looks like horror movie to me

          1. I dont usually but now and again, if he replies direct with his spurious replies, i tell him what for. Agree, this Melo guy is not the answer and i dont like the nicey nicey yes men team we are building. Apart from Gabriel who is a bit of a warrior although flawed, we have players with very little character and not much fight. I dont like the ethos of Arteta.

    2. Reggie, our fans believing in Arteta or defending him is not much of a problem IMO. This owner does not care too much about the fans. It was clear to me that Wenger stayed at least 3 years too long. A period that could have seen us sign Klopp or Pep. However, even when the majority of fans realized Wenger was no longer on operating on the cutting edge of football the owner stuck with him.

      I believe in Arteta or maybe I should say, I think Arteta is probably the best we could get at the time. When we had CL football we could have attracted a top manager. Those days are gone. So if we sack Arteta there is no obvious superhero like Klopp or Pep who are dying to have the job.

      Ten Hag is not even a sure thing for Man U IMO. Vierra is not a sure thing as a replacement for Arteta. Which manager would want to come to our club today with its current structure and stake his reputation?

      We should start by fixing the problems above Arteta and then work our way down.

      How I wish David Dein would come back to clean up this mess.

      1. John, i respect your opinion but for me the main problem to our failure to secure top 4 was the inexperience or lack of ability of Arteta who was employed by the krankies, so it is all a bit of a shit storm, if you ask me. I dont see Edu and Arteta getting this club to where it should be considering the investment put in. The investment isn’t the problem but the investment IN THE WRONG PERSONNEL is.

        1. Reggie – I can’t say I have great confidence in Edu and I can’t say I would not have preferred Klopp, Pep, or Conte as manager. But there is still a part of me that has not written Arteta off completely. He has done enough for me to create a faint hope that he might just develop into a very good manager. He has not done enough for me to convince me he is the one. So I am on the fence. If we supply him with Jesus and Tielemans and we have a poor start and will gladly concede that he should be judged on progress by December and replaced if we are nowhere.

          My biggest concern remains the question of who would replace Arteta and if we replace Arteta Edu should go as well. This would mean our club/board/owner finding a better due to replace Edu/Arteta Can we trust them to do that? Viera is not the answer.

      2. Who really knows, but I’ll just throw this out there to consider regarding managers who “wouldn’t come”

        1. Likely over 350 million spent when this window closes, isn’t money what many manager want to bring in their players?

        2. Complete control over the squad. Who stays, who goes, who goes on loan, and what players are brought in. Even at the expense of club losing money. Isn’t this control and final decision what managers want?

        3. No pressure of getting sacked. Arteta failed to finish top 4 for 3rd straight year, and got extended for 8 million a year.

        Wouldn’t manager wouldn’t kill to not have top 4 pressure, and after 8th 8th and 5th get a raise to 8 million and extended 3 years?

        I find it hard to believe that based on everything above the best we could do was Arteta.

        All that money to spend, complete control, little accountability for results, and no pressure to win now, and not a single top manager was interested? Arteta was the best we could do? Sorry, doesn’t pass the smell test.

          1. Keep an eye on Ange Postecoglou and Glasgow Celtic. Overturned a 25 point deficit to Rangers to win the Scottish Premiership and League Cup, rebuilt the squad with negative nett spend, retained the existing coaching staff and now in the Champions League in his first season.

  14. From what I’ve been reading it’s not the fault of Arteta & Edu but the reluctance of the Kroenkes to support their transfer preferences. If it was my money being spent I’d be reluctant when I see £72 million wasted on Pepe, the relative failures of Tavares & Lakonga & injury prone Tierney, Tomiyaso & Partey.

    1. It all a mess, kronks have put their faith in duds and now are probably unsure what to do. They haven’t a clue about football or fans.

    2. it was still kroenkes fault anyway…una Emery ask for zaha but them gave him pepe….. arsenal need to replace Xhaka as soon as possible because with Xhaka still in that MF area we are not going anywhere

  15. Management is poor on all levels, no one escapes blame.

    Arteta’s finishes in table got 2 other managers fired. You can add choked away 4th now, 3 games to play 4 points up and Arteta can’t get squad over the finish line.

    Edu’s job is more than just “talent scout” right? Aside from recruiting Brazilians, how is his overall job performance?

    Ownership signing their Rams players in the off-season for NFL, a defensive player 3 year deal for 95 million.

    Can’t find 25 million for Bissouma? Rams aren’t static, so why is Arsenal?

    Spuds handling business early and proper, we sign a kid for 3 million who isn’t expected to start.

    If Arteta is frustrated, speak up my boy! 3 year extension not like they will sack you for asking.

    Rams a tight run ship won the Superbowl, Colorado Avalanche on verge of Stanley Cup finals, but Arsenal?

    Youth revolution, process, massively mismanaged in comparison.

    Blame is well deserved from the top down

  16. A really astute article, as we have come to expect from the fine and mature brainof Anders.
    However , I also have what I consider a fine mind and I have to say that I think Anders avoids in his piece , ONE FUNDAMENTAL ASPECT OF OWNERSHIP, which I have long time been saying on JA.
    That a beneficial owner is not one who is ONLY extremely wealthy, or who is not invovled in state sponsored murders, as a couple of our present Prem owners are RIGHT NOW.

    No Anders, a real and beneficial owner loves an cherishes both his club AND the sport it plays and cares on a daily basis about how those he apoints to run it are doing.

    To be fair to Abramovitch, he was a low life, BUT he both knew and cared about Prem football, at least from the moment he first bought Chelsea.

    Kroenke, by STARK COMPARISON, plainly does NOT.
    THAT LACK of daily and present care does us immense harm. Why else would a switched on and clued up owner have so willingly left the appalling GAZIDIS THERE SO LONG TO WREAK SUCH DAMAGE!!
    Why else would such as owner not have seen the remorseles year on year drift in Wengers last several years and not have changed manager MUCH earlier!!

    Why else would a switched on owner have appointed the disastrous and “suddenly vanished overnight” SANLLEHI and not been closely invoived in his various , shall we say,”various business negotiations”!!.
    So Anders, I respect you view and agree with much of it .

    But on Kroenke, I think you are being either naive or disingenuous and I think what I say in this post is far nearer the WHOLE TRUTH than your fine but incomplete piece.
    Just my take of course.

    1. Jon, thank you for your comments. They certainly have merit IMO.
      We may disagree on our preferences on Abramovitch and Kroenke.
      But I am in agreement with you regarding Kroenke having made bad decisions, and that includes not being involved in making decisions at all on some issues.

      1. Anders, I don’t think an owner needs to care so much. I think an owner needs to be a smart man. A smart man knows his limitations. I care deeply about Arsenal but I am just a fan. As the saying goes, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. This is why if I owned Arsenal I would put a guy like David Dein in charge. So Kroenke’s problem IMO, is that he is not a very smart owner and doesn’t maximize his investment. He should bring in a person who knows the club and knows football and trust that person. His weakness IMO is that he has not appointed a single person that can be viewed as top drawer football manager/director brain with a level of maturity and experience far superior to Edu. If you have a young manager you need an experienced guy above him.

        1. John63, “a smart man” who “knowing his limitations” selects and retains highly competent Board members and managerial staff experienced and knowledgible in the industry of the enterprise he owns. In KS&E’s case with Arsenal FC, Premier League football. Unfortunately David Deins, Klopps, Guardiolas, Simeones and Contes are thin on the ground.

        2. @John63
          Basically an owner needs to be involved in setting out the targets and the overall strategy and making sure, he has the right people in the right positions. Kroenke probably thought everything was rosy, when he bought Arsenal, but he failed to see Wenger and the rest of the management no longer were top of the crop.
          Personally, I think our structure now is better, but do we have the right people? Time will tell.

  17. It’s always nerve wracking to see other teams making moves in the transfer window before Arsenal. But then I remember it’s only been five days since it opened and the international break is still underway. So I’m happy to be patient.

    Edu’s inexperience in the transfer market does concern me but I still think we’ll sign two or three top players who will improve the squad. And for footballing and moral reasons give me Tielmanns or Zinchenko over Bissouma any day of the week.

    It also helps me to remember Wenger’s annual reminder that transfers are only one of the three ways to improve the club’s playing personnel. On the other two, I think we are doing better than okay:

    1) Existing players improve – I’m expecting virtually all of our key players to contribute more next year (minus Xhaka, Holding and Elneny who at least should stay at the same level)

    2) Internal promotion – Saliba looks ready to make an instant impact and I’d expect at least one of a number of academy players to play meaningful minutes – Nelson, Balogun, Biereth, Hutchinson, Flores, BNC, Pantino. Take your pick.

  18. Does anyone have a feeling of disappointment and dread over this transfer window?
    For some reason I do…..

  19. Ya, all need to chill. today is just 5 days into the transfer window.
    Plus, its not your money to spend.

    I don’t have to remind you that investment is not an emotional thing and what you lot be spewing is all emotional rants.

    To say Kroenke is not a smart investor is appaling. That man has found a way to succeed in all his sport franchises. We differ as fans because for us, success is trophies and we have the for the club in us.

    Investing smart does not need to be fast or too slow, but balanced. At this point, it is too early to say Arsenal is slow in the market especially where you irritation comes from the fact that Spurs have signed 4 players.

    Speaking of being smart in the market, a lot of factors influence how your journey goes like your need, degree of desperation, yours and their valuation of the player, interest from other teams, etc. either of these can affect you business positively or negatively.

    Clubs know that arsenal needs to reinforce its squad this window and as such are trying to strong arm Us into entering unfair deals – don’t forget we already think we have dullards who don’t know how to negotiate.

    Again, if we rush to sign like you lots are saying, chances are that we will be paying through our noses – more fuel against our negotiators

    Again, if Bissouma was on our list or top of it, 25mil we would have gotten him. Besides, funny how for all the fan fair about his abilities only Spurs bid for him. Before you mention liverpool and other top clubs, would he have chosen spurs over Liverpool?
    Also, that he is a good player and because we fans love him and want him does not necessarily mean he must be in out team…Look at Man-u and their brilliant star-studed team.
    I remember how we all thought Pepe was our Messiah. He was in everyone’s top 5!!

    Allow Edu and Arteta, lets wait for them at the end of the window.

    1. Yes I agree. Let’s wait until the end of the window like they did in January. Seem to remember them wasting weeks chasing shadows of Dusan who never contemplated Arsenal.

      Trust the duo that couldn’t take the obvious hint everyone else did.

      Sarcasm aside, I agree it’s early but Edu and Arteta need to really solve position problems this window.

      A 4th season in a row finishes outside the top 4 is a pretty damning indictment on their abilities.

        1. Should have both been sacked at the end of the season Before last let alone this season just gone ,but instead gets a bumper 8.8 million 3 year contract for doing absolute nothing .
          The Arsenal Way .

          1. Yeah I totally agree but the fact we have given him a new contract it should be this after this season. Then again I don’t think they will no matter where we finish more than likely have more excuses lined up

          2. just imagine what this team could have actually looked like if MA had been ushered out the door last summer and a “real” manager had those monies to spend…if there’s one thing this club is consistently good at, it’s doubling down on their stupid decisions

  20. Arsenal have NO ambition. If the Spuds sign Yves Bissouma who wants to come to Arsenal then Kroenke/Edu/ Arteta, in that order are a bunch of Wally’s. Lost football club. As they say in the States, ‘SHMUCKS’.

  21. Arsenal will def sign players starting tomorrow, they were being cautious because of internationals and injury they are being cautious I THINK

  22. A thoughtful and well written article. Ambition is not defined merely by spending or titles.

    Spending is partly having the resources and partly a function of how the club is run.

    Man City is run as an advertising vehicle for the nation-state of Qatar. Newcastle, no doubt, will be the same for Saudi Arabia. In City’s case, the goal is not for the club to be self-supporting or profitable, it is to generate positive associations for the nation of Qatar and to give that nation state influence beyond its borders. It is what geo-politicians call ‘soft power’ or a normal person would call influence. As a result, City spends what it needs to spend to get the results it needs to keep the club and the country viewed as positive, successful, and ‘good.’

    PSG is the same. Newcastle will be as well.

    Arsenal’s ‘ambition’ is constant, though not always fruitful. Arsenal built the emirates to remain competitive with Man U, but even before the stadium was built, the gusher of TV money reduced the importance of game-day revenue. Arsenal had more money from their stadium, but that money was a pittance compared to how much more money came into the game through TV rights fees. The ambitions was there, but the conditions of competition changed making the investment nearly moot.

    Net spend is not, however, the only or even best way to measure spending. Gross spend matters because net spend is part luck and part good business and part club policy. Arsenal, for example, spent 140 million last season, and most of it was net spend, but they spent so much net in large part because the club was so poorly run, it wasted 70 million in player value by losing players like Calum Chambers, Aubameyang, etc. on free transfers and unproductive loans.

    At the moment, Arsenal need 2 center forwards, a central midfielder that scores, depth on the right wing, and depth at both fullback spots. Any number of players might be signed to address those needs.

    And, as you correctly point out, lots of players Arsenal are not , have never been, and never will be interested in signing, are ‘linked’ to the club.

    Ambition can be measured in who is signed to addressed those needs. Arsenal might possibly sign any one of Alvaro Morata, Jonathan David, Gabriel Jesus, Tammy Abraham, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Ollie Watkins, Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Eddie Nketiah, etc. to play center forward; but the quality and immediate readiness of the player is tied to the nature of the team’s ambition.

    Sign no one and there is an answer.

    Sign Alvaro Morata, a player who was not very good last time he was in the Premier League, on the cheap because no one, including his home club, wants him, and that says, we need a forward, we cannot afford to compete for quality players at the top of the market, so we’ll take a gamble on a player with a checkered record in hopes we can find a bargain.

    Signing Jonathan David, a young, up and coming, but perhaps not Premier League ready player says we’re willing to invest, but we know we cannot compete yet, so we can invest now and hopefully the player will mature and when he does, we will be ready.

    Signing Gabriel Jesus, a player who was successful at a very good club, with goals and assists in his locker, says we are ready to compete for titles and trophies and we are ready to win and are willing to invest in the present as well as the future.

    Signing Romelu Lukaku says we want to win now, our window might be closing with these players, but we cannot sign a top, up and coming player, so we’ll throw the dice on a forward who might score 25 goals or only 5.

    Arsenal have always had ambition, it is, as you so rightly pointed out, that they screwed up the results part through lack of executive ability and in some cases, bad luck.

    BTW – Bissouma is not the right player for Arsenal. Arsenal need goals and assists from midfield. Bissouma, while a terrific player, provides neither.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs