Kudos to those who connect today’s photo without having to use an internet site or search engine.
Anyway, by now you know that Ornstein has spoken:
Deliciously, this came on the day Henry Winter had launched one of his diatribes about how Arteta’s appointment was a signal of softness from the Arsenal hierarchy. It wasn’t a statement of intent; chasing Diego Simeone was a statement of intent, even though the Argentinean doesn’t want the job or to leave Madrid. Never let the trivialities get in the way, eh Henners?
But John Cross took one look at Winter’s pretentiousness and declared, “I see yours, and raise it”:
I’m sorry, but which part of Arsenal died in this process? What complete claptrap.
What this has underlined is how well the club controlled the information and leaks about the process. Everyone was telling us how Arteta was a shoo-in, how it was just a matter of time. Out of nowhere, Emery waltzed into town and blew everyone away with his presentation and that was it; adios, Mikel, hola Unai.
Except there are counter-claims that despite not being on the original shortlist of candidates, Emery presented a fortnight ago. Or was contacted a fortnight ago; whichever it makes no difference. Just as we’d got our heads around Mikel Arteta as being the new Arsenal boss, we’re now thinking an experienced man might be the best candidate after all.
How about Mikel as his #2? Does that tick every box for Y’all? Was that the plan? IDK.
His credentials were questioned; one-horse title race…blah, blah, blah…finished second…blah, blah, blah. Cross says he’s not an ‘A’-lister. We’re not an ‘A’-list club at the moment; that’s the harsh reality.
A List is Better than No List
While I understand the clamour for an ‘A’-list appointment, let’s put this in context. We finished sixth last year, fifth the season before. We’re not the champions who finished fifth or worse; we make up the numbers, along with 19 other teams. We’re trying to break out of that cycle.
Consequently, the appointment is never going to be an Allegri or anyone of that ilk. Thomas Tuchel underlined that when he said he wanted to join a club which challenged for the Champions League. PSG have the money to do that while we don’t.
And the way that Roman Abramovich fell foul of the British authorities, don’t expect Alisher Usmanov to be investing in the club for the first time. Asking a billionaire to prove their money is legal is like asking the EU if we can leave, keep all the good parts and leave the regulations behind; it isn’t going to happen.
Consequently, we are left with a manager who ticks a great number of boxes, not least of which is working in a set-up where players are brought in as punts and sold off very expensively. That last phrase is relative; Sebastien Squillaci was expensive in the context of the deal. Mind you, that offers hope that someone might want to buy Mustafi.
While there are those who question his credentials, I believe they are impeccable. Remember the 5 – 1’s? I know they are tough to forget yet Emery bantered them off with a 4 – 0 first leg win turned into a 6 – 1 second leg defeat. Remember that laughter at the time? It’s got something of a hollow ring to it now.
However, the situation was succinctly summed up in one tweet:
While that was all going on, Santi Cazorla said goodbye:
As one door closes, etc.