Showing posts with label Stan Kroenke. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stan Kroenke. Show all posts

08 October 2021

Cue the hand-wringing, pearl-clutching, and smelling of salts. Spare me.

And with that, yet another club has sold its soul to the highest bidder, relegating our precious club and its noble values to fall behind yet another rival in the quest for relevance if not glory. With news that the Saudi takeover of Newcastle has been completed, we can look forward to a future in which the Magpies shoulder their way towards the top of the table, leapfrogging the likes of the Arsenal and the other knights in shining armor who remained committed to values of purity, chastity, the "right way", and—you know what? Spare me. Suffice it to say that we are hardly as pure as the driven snow over here. In fact, one might say we're getting the worst of both worlds, bankrolled and sponsored by some very sordid types without getting any closer to grabbing that brass ring.

11 November 2014

AKBs, WOBs: by all means, let us both go for the jugular.

Well, we're at each other worse than a pair of starving, rabid pit-bulls after a measly scrap of meat, as if winning an abstract argument amongst ourselves off the pitch will amount to anything on it. If the "Wenger Out" crowd manage to shout down the "Arsène knows best" crowd or vice-versa, will Arsène himself notice? Will the board? Instead of insulting each other, the players, the manager, or the board, all of which will amount to less than zero in the long run, perhaps we could sheathe our swords an cleave closely to our cleavers. Abraham Lincoln once declared, "a house divided against itself cannot stand." Now, our divisions may be legion, and they are unlikely to spill over onto the pitch itself, but if we are to be the 12th man on the pitch, we have to get this house in order and soon, or, if you'll pardon the mixed metaphor, this ship will sink and fast. With that in mind, please read on...

16 October 2014

One question that won't get asked at the Annual General Meeting

Here we go, right as the we're about to return to some proper footballing action: the Annual General Meeting. It's sure to provide a fair amount of sturm und drang with pointed questions put to Stan Kroenke, Ivan Gazidis, Arsène and others who hold the purse-strings of a club so many of us love so dearly. Given the power that these and other men hold over the present and future of Arsenal, we have a right to know what's been going on and what plans they have for what should happen in the future. However, given what's gone on in the last decade, what with our own trophy-drought, slaked if only temporary by the FA Cup win, and with goings-on elsewhere, I have one question that I wish would get asked. It won't result in any shocking revelations about transfer-fees, cash reserves, or ticket-prices. Worse, it's a hypothetical question.

20 January 2014

Silent Stan's in London. Might there be more than one contract to sign?

It's being reported that majority owner Stan Kroenke is in London to finalize a new contract with manager Arsène Wenger, said to be a three-year deal worth £24m. As important as it is to secure Arsenal's near-future by keeping it in Arsène's hands, I can't help but hope that there are other machinations and agreements to be made.

On one hand, handing a new contract to Arsène is on its own reason enough for Kroenke to hop across the pond, but, on the other, it is January, and the transfer-window will only be open for a few more precious weeks. Could the two have more on their agenda than Arsène's deal? Please?

New rumors come and go with the frequency and constancy of a Miley Cyrus scandals, so it's hard to focus attention on any one of them at any given time. However, with talk around Draxler persisting, and now Juventus's Mirko Juvinic, among others, please don't blame me for getting my hopes up.

As I discussed in my previous post, I suspect that Arsène is looking beyond his time with the club, building a squad that can adjust to a new manager because of its own strength and cohesiveness. With that in mind, if I have any inklings or insights into the man's thinking, signing players like Vucinic, Berbatov, and even Jackson Martinez or Mario Mandzukic seem less and less likely to me because their ages reduce them to short-term stop-gaps at best.

At the risk of letting my optimism get the better of me, then, a three-year contract for Arsène keeps him at the club until the close of the 2016-2017 season, at which point a player like Julian Draxler would have matured, reaching the heights of that potent elixir of youth and experience as the rest of the squad, men currently in their early twenties, may well have coalesced into one of the most-dominant sides in the Prem. Yes, other players would be needed, especially on defense, but there is nothing to say that players like Koscielny or Mertesacker can't play another four or five years—after all, John Terry and Nemanja Vidic, while not the dominant players they once were, are still candidates in the debate for best center-backs.

While it's far more likely that Kroenke has come to London to put ink to Arsène's contract, and that we may have to wait until summer to see significant signings, I daresay that confirming Arsène's presence at the club could go a long way towards convincing certain players to commit to a club about whose fture they might otherwise have concerns about. Look down the table at other clubs that are under new management, and it's easy to see why players might want to know who'll be in charge of Arsenal before they commit. It's not just stability or continuity that Kroenke and Arsène would be signing off on; players would know for certain that they'd play under a manager renowned for taking talented, young players and turning them into superstars, even legends.

The contract Arsène is apparently about to sign (or has signed already) would bring him to his 67th birthday, and it might then be the last time for young players to play under one of this generation's best managers, one singularly capable of putting polish to diamonds in the rough to bring out their brilliance in a way few other managers, if any, can. Knowing that Arsène will be at the helm for another three years might be just enough to convince Draxler or Costa or Pogba to more seriously consider a mid-season switch in order to maximize their time with Arsène.

It's not as far-fetched as it may sound (at least, that's what I keep telling myself). Let's hope that Stan and Arsène agree to terms quickly and then can turn the discussion to which player or players should and could be brought in to strengthen our title-chase. I could think of no better send-off for Arsène than to win a few pieces of silverware, this year and in years to come.