Ignorance is hardly the path to success by Konstantin Mitov
Well lovely Arsenal people, we finished the transfer window with 0 signings that will impact the squad. I hear a lot of opinions about how not making any deals was actually smart, because we didn’t spend crazy money on players by triggering their release clauses like Isak of 75 million pounds. And I agree his stats don’t set the world alight – 4 la Liga goals, 3 in Europe and 1 in the cup.
Compare that to Vlahovic and you can see why we were pushing hard for the Serbian. Here’s where you start to see the problems in our “strategy”. We didn’t have an alternative for Vlahovic, and we knew long and hard that he wanted Juventus. We didn’t have a plan, and it’s not the first time.
People seem to have forgotten how we lost the first 3 games of the season, because we’re close to the top 4.
But the harsh reality is we weren’t well enough prepared. We knew in the summer Laca and Eddie’s deals will run out. Here’s major problem number 2. We allowed players to run their deals down, even though just a few years ago, we were promised we won’t allow that to happen again. Nobody will moan that we cancelled Kolasinac’s deal, because he wasn’t worth anything, but if he was a Liverpool player for example, would he really go for nothing?
And of course, there’s Aubameyang’s move to Barcelona. Was he playing great for us – no. Are we where we are in the table, because of him? No. Was the way we managed the situation good? Hell no. This major problem number 3. We deal extremely poorly with players. Here is Xhaka who literally costs us on the pitch multiple times in just one month, after a broad history of failure, and we’re okay with him. He escapes with whatever he wants, he can flip us off and that will be tolerated, and he’ll be given another chance.
Then there’s Guendouzi, who made one show of aggression which we desperately lack in the team, and he was removed from the squad completely. Same with Aubameyang, something happened, and he’s destroyed. Those players could’ve been worth something. If we didn’t want them, we could’ve handled it internally and just sell them to make some money to reinvest in the squad.
Now, we’re letting Auba go for free, which slashes his enormous salary off the wage bill, but the real issue is giving it to him in the first place. We were desperate to keep him, because he was hard to replace, now we’ve paid him a lot of money for one and a half season of poor performances and now we’re letting him go for free. This is bad business, not smart one.
Then there’s the final major mistake. We are in the battle for the top 4. We’ve left ourselves two strikers, both of which are out of contract at the end of the season. We had offers in the summer for both, but we opted to keep them, only to pay them salaries, lose any potential income we might’ve gotten, and they have a combined goal tally of 3 league goals. All from Laca.
This happens for multiple reasons – number one is the way the club is run is just pathetic. No serious club would leave itself in such a poor position to their assets. Then there’s number two – the lack of clear targets. This whole situation is acceptable, because our goal is not the top 4, nor was it winning the cups, that’s why the early exits were brushed off like nothing happened.
We cannot adapt to change fast, and that leaves you behind in football. “The process” is all nice and dandy for the future, but in football ignoring the today can make the future pretty hard. Why do relegation battling clubs change managers? Because relegation means lack of funds and a long hard road back to the premier league, if it is possible at all. It’s much easier to avoid it, than to try and fix it afterwards.
Same is when you battle for the top, once you fall off, the battle becomes really hard. Vlahovic didn’t want to come to fight for 8th place, which is where we will finish in my humble opinion, although I do wish I am wrong. Our squad is made of players who are either young – the Martinelli’s, Saka’s and ESR’s, or overpriced and underperforming like Pepe, Laca and as was Auba who left, then there’s the disaster in Xhaka and the only good, experienced player left is Partey.
You don’t get into the top 4, because we lost lots of points due to lack of experience. Our main threats are the young players. It’s their faces the cameras show, when we don’t perform. This weight shouldn’t be on their shoulders. This is again extremely poor management of the club. It’s the negligible attitude shown from our owners towards their most prized asset. It’s what reverted us to a dictatorship model under a younger, prettier dictator sold to us as “the process” and “the future” who in reality lacks the same basic ability to manage big players as our previous one did, with one big difference, Arsene had credit in the bank for what he did in his early tenure.
But that was a time where people like David Dein were at the club, and all the power wasn’t at Wenger’s hand. That allowed for different people to make decisions which ultimately favour the improvement of the squad. Now, there was either no one who recognized the need for a striker AND a midfielder between Edu, Mikel and the board, or that issue was ignored. And I’m not for one second buying the “money” bullsh*t. We spent 150 million in the summer. If that was to propel us to the top 4, it was plain stupid, to not push one more time when halfway through the season we can actually achieve it. It is mostly in our hands.
But I’ve said this enough times and I am myself bored of sounding like a broken record. The Kroenkes do not care about Arsenal being at the top. The club is never getting there with Mikel in charge and Edu as technical director. We were told in 3 years’ time we’d be fighting for the premier league and the champions league. Well, Arteta enters the third year; he’s basically removed between 10 and 20 players and there are opinions he’s in “year one of his actual project”.
That kind of thinking is why we haven’t competed for the league for 17 years. We refuse to accept reality. We do not evaluate ourselves to the here and now. We aren’t conscious about what needs to change to adapt to a rapidly changing environment, which leaves us living either in the past glories or self-delusion of future ones.
Ignorance is not the way to success; it never has been.