Attitude and Technique: Which Comes First In Defence?

As the coach says, kudos to the young lad for asking the question.

The answer applies equally to football. Think about the times whenever you hear from Dixon, Winterburn, Adams – and lesser now – Bould. It is always about defending first and foremost.

The coaches words made me wonder about the players we have now. Nacho is a defender; George Graham would have liked him and the way he applies himself to the basics. I’m not so sure about any of the others. That doesn’t mean they aren’t good players – some of them are – but few of them are good defenders.

Attitude is the one thing which lets them down. It seems like I’m picking on Mustafi, but I’m not; his is the first name which sprang to mind in this segment.

It’s painful to watch. I was going to point out that he’s a Germany international but their poor showing in the summer suggests that defending isn’t quite as good as we’re led to believe it is in the Bundesliga.

Everything about that goal is wrong from a centre-back’s perspective and nobody dares say it’s a one-off and expect to be taken seriously.

It is all about the attitude toward defending and that is the one thing that concerns me about this coming season. IBased on what I’ve seen in the pre-season friendlies, I don’t think Unai Emery has effected a great change.

The proviso is obviously none of them were competitive matches. Emery told his adoring public these were about match sharpness and grasping the changes he wanted. However, irrespective of circumstance or opposition, a defender with the right attitude always displays defensive thinking and concentration.

I hope I’m wrong and reading too much into the friendlies. We’re five days away from finding out.

No, Mr Bond, I Expect You To Die

Mustafi isn’t the only defender with question marks over him: each is flawed. While Mustafi is the more error-prone, playing a high defensive line is a questionable tactic with Sokratis in the centre.

He is more defensively astute than either of our previous first-choice centre-backs but that’s hardly a recommendation. There’s a sense that he’s a stop-gap signing, a two-year man tops. But he has a cynical edge to his game – like Lichtsteiner – that is a welcome advance from the naivety we’re used to.

My guess is that Emery is working longer-term on the younger players. Chambers is further down that road in terms of experience and I suspect that’s why he’s allowed out on loan. Maybe he is in the shop window; I don’t know the answer to that. A year-long loan at Fulham gains him more Premier League experience, which benefits Arsenal if he is part of the long-term plan.

We’re linked with Bond villain Demagoj Vida but Wolves reportedly bid £15m for the Croat. I doubt we’re interested; an over-active Mr20% looking at clubs whose defence he thinks his client could improve is probably the answer.

There must be some defensive improvement through the change of style. When we pressed in the friendlies, it looked quite good. Inconsistent as players got used to the demands of the system, but good. That helps the defence – as will cover on the flanks for the full-backs – and is one reason why Mesut Özil is unlikely to feature on either flank.

Defending isn’t his game; fair enough but in a press, everyone has to do it or the system falls down. There’s an element of defending he’s going to have to do. However, the full-backs need more support than they got during the summer. There’s no question of that.

Bad Habits

More importantly for the centre-backs is the pairing of Torreira and Xhaka coming together. I’d expect some of the Uruguayan’s streetwise tactics will rub off on the Swiss. However, having a defensive midfielder in front of the central defenders is a novelty and I would expect that to bring a positive response from the back four.

Is too much expected of Torreira? There is a danger of that, no doubt about it. We’re so desperate to see an improvement that it’s reached Pythonesque levels. He tackled someone! He’s a defensive messiah! Our reality is that there’s a lot of work to be done with that side of the team’s game and one summer won’t solve those problems.

Confidence in the defence is low. I don’t recall seeing an Arsenal back-four so bereft of it, even in the ‘Banter era’. Bad habits surfaced in the summer occasionally which Emery and the coaches must eradicate. Do that and it becomes an issue of personnel. Future transfer windows will then see a big turnover in defenders as he looks to move out those bad habits permanently.

Manchester City is a baptism of fire on every level. There’s no breaking yourself in gently to the new system. This is a team which scored nine against us in three meetings last season. We must see an improvement on that, surely?

’til Tomorrow.

77 thoughts on “Attitude and Technique: Which Comes First In Defence?

  1. According to the BBC Stan has made an offer of £600m to buy out Usamov. Or whatever his name is!

    Stan apparently wants private ownership to enable the club to constantly challenge for the premier league and champions league. Someone should tell him we need to qualify for the latter first!

    Will be interesting to see, once Ramsey is fit, who plays as the two midfielders. My thinking was that at home against the non top 6 he would play Xhaka and Ramsey with Ozil at n10. But against the top 6, especially away, he would play Torrieria and Xhaka, push Ramsey further forward and play Ozil wide, but as you say this will leave one of our fullbacks exposed. So does that mean Ramsey drops to the bench as I can’t see Ozil not player.

    Reality is probably at least one of these four will be injured, like Ramsey now, for large periods of the season so problem solved!

  2. So Stan seems to have won the battle?

    Not good news for any small shareholders like everyone’s favourite twatter Piers.

  3. MikeSA

    It isn’t just small shareholders. It’s everyone.

    Arsenal has never been owned by one person before. Always been multiple owners. And before anyone says it isn’t all bad, it isn’t good either. We’ve now got to service his debts before buying players. This isn’t a brave new world; we’re part of the assets propping up his vanity move of the Rams to LA.

  4. Stan’s Press release says no debt will be loaded on the club, but once it’s private nobody will know. LA Rams’ stadium costs are spiralling like Spurs’ WHL toilet seat. He needs funds. My guess: he will sell with a tidy return on his outlay.

  5. Not for some time, Pete. Not until the Rams are settled in their new home and he sees whether he needs the Arsenal revenue to support KSE.

  6. Yogi,
    Eventually, the reign of a single owner (Kroenke) at the Ems will be over. Surely there must then be a safeguard introduced so as to ensure a democratic Board with proper powers, responsible to (say) a multiple ownership.
    Otherwise this regrettable status quo will continue ad inf.

  7. Kroenke’s words may be genuine when he says he won’t secure the debt against the club, but then again, if KSE become the sold owner it can do what it wants. He may be a syrup wearing liar, who will load a £1Bn of debt on the club the day after the share transfer and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Or maybe he is genuine and will keep his word. Although that may change some time down the line, if say one of his other clubs has a financial shock, or he buys another plaything, he may then load debt onto Arsenal.

    The only person who can realistically stop this is Usmanov, if he chooses not to sell. But then he is hardly a knight in shining armour. He hasn’t promised to try to buy 89.99% of the shares and let the AST have the balance to keep multiple ownership. If anything, Usmanov as sole owner would be more likely to follow the hire em, fire em spend spend spend Abramovich model. We have been truly stuck between the devil and deep blue sea.

    The biggest loss with sole ownership will be the transparency and accountability. It may be a token measure, but at least the AST try to challenge Kroenke, Ivan and the Board at their annual meeting. Under sole ownership that all disappears. Now, if Kroenke guaranteed he would not enforce the purchase of the AST shares and openly welcomed the trust, this would not be a huge problem. He would probably win a lot of fans over. But he hasn’t. The announcement is about wanting 100% ownership, so that paints a clear picture that he doesn’t want the supporters owning a tiny share of the business and holding KSE to account. We are but merely a pesky fly. The Bayern model doesn’t float his boat.

    Anyway, the same happened at United. Their fans got angry too. Oh and a huge lump of debt did get dumped back on their club. But they still won trophies. Although their chairman does appear somewhat more effective than ours.

    We need to remember, as fans, supporters, however you describe yourself, we are just customers these days. Consumers of football, over-priced piss in plastic pint pots and shite shirts. However, unlike anything else each of us purchases, we have zero elasticity for purchasing a substitute product. And that is exactly why people like Kroenke buy into large fan-base clubs.

  8. It also frees up Usmanov to invest in Everton – and potentially try to put one over Kroenke pushing us further down the PL pecking order.

  9. nicky:
    Yogi,
    Eventually, the reign of a single owner (Kroenke) at the Emswill be over. Surely there must then be a safeguard introduced so as to ensure a democratic Board with proper powers, responsible to (say) a multiple ownership.
    Otherwise this regrettable status quo will continue ad inf.

    Nicky,
    Assuming KSE do become the sole owner and at some future time do sell the club, there is no obligation (at least in current law) to require multiple ownership. KSE could sell the club to any other multi-billionnaire or oligarch. Unless the purchaser wants to create a multi-ownership model or the supporters can raise the best part of £2Bn (not likely!) and buy the club, it is not going to happen.

  10. Stu,

    Nice summary Stu, apparently Usmanov encouraged Kroenke to take his shares off his hands so I doubt that he’ll be any obstacle. It’s a sad world that we live in I’m afraid where someone will try to make money from the very air that we breath if they can. Anyone for a revolution?

  11. andy1886,

    Totally agree Andy. Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri wanted to buy a big but second tier club with heritage and take it to the top level….well that was their message. Couldn’t take sufficient control of Arsenal to do that and Farhad has already bought into Everton. It wouldn’t surprise me one jot if Usmanov picked up Bill Kenwright’s shares and looked to develop them into a top 4 club. £550m plus whatever else he wants to invest could transform them.

  12. The issue is Kroenke as a single owner and running from the USA, lacks transparency. Roman at Chelski is a single owner, but his Club won PL and CL in the last 10 years, and never hesitated to spend and never lost the winning mentality for his Club.
    Usmanov will invest in Everton. They will buy players and it is a danger that Everton not far from Arsenal in the PL table will overtake Arsenal which spends very little.

  13. andy1886,
    I’m not convinced we have the stomach for revolution is this country. Plenty of bigger issues across England and the UK at the moment, but not a lot happens and even less changes. When I see the old Etonians being strung up, the country doing what’s best for it and all it’s people, proper investment in the NHS emergency services etc and fair taxes to pay for it, then maybe, just maybe, I might expect a full on revolution against KSE.

  14. I find the timing of the Kroenke bid odd right at the end of the transfer window unless anyone is away of a regulatory reason for this? Is it to distract from no further investment or timely with the Gazedis runours? Or will we get another big signing to rubber stamp fans acceptance of a change to sole ownership, just seems odd given then sentiment and fragile situation of a club in transition with a squad with still much work to do!?

    Left centre back and left back remain a concern for me as does the lack of a devastating chaos wide player. Bernard on a free would do! Nelson I thought would be good but he seems to lack arrogance to show off his skills and kill a man to me (kill as in beat and dazzle).

  15. YW:
    MikeSA

    It isn’t just small shareholders. It’s everyone.

    Arsenal has never been owned by one person before. Always been multiple owners. And before anyone says it isn’t all bad, it isn’t good either. We’ve now got to service his debts before buying players. This isn’t a brave new world; we’re part of the assets propping up his vanity move of the Rams to LA.

    I’m not disputing that, I was just making the comment that minor shareholders are now going to be forced out against their will.

    The longer term effects?

    Sure, it doesn’t look good.

    It always amazes me though that the Glazers, who are relative lightweights in comparison to the owners of Chelsea, Citeh, Arsenal, and now probably Everton too, got in early and grabbed the crown jewel before anyone else.

    They’ve taken out money hand over fist, so its quite interesting from a comparative perspective how much success they still had alongside the Chelsea and Citeh models.

    In terms of RA and Usmanov, the cool relations between UK & Russia might be having a bit of an effect on their business dealings in the UK?

  16. Stu,

    I’m don’t think there would be a revolution in terms of pitchforks and flying torches, and when it comes to Arsenal, I doubt we’d even get to Liverpool vs Laurel and Hardy in the not too distant past.

    Imo the type of “revolution” we’d see at Arsenal would just be an extension of what we saw at the end of last season, i.e. people just not pitching up, which initially hits match day revenues in terms of food, drink, and merchandise, then hits gate receipts, daily then seasonal, and eventually ends in lower sponsorship contracts.

    That kind of revolution takes a while, but can be just as effective in the long run.

    However, as we’ve seen at Arsenal, its not something that is driven by any zealotry, its driven by ambivalence, which takes quite a bit longer.

  17. Flaming torches, not “flying torches” – this is not Harry Potter! 🙂

    I wonder whether the whole Gazidis saga isn’t linked in some way to this?

  18. Waz,

    I can’t claim to be a fan of players “showing off their skills”.

    I admire and prefer players who have skill that they use only when its appropriate, like Bert used to, or Ozil or Mikitaryn.

    If Nelson isn’t keen to showboat (unlike AMN the other night), I’d take that as a plus and a sign of maturity.

  19. A very sad day. The last vestiges of the old Arsenal Football Club have now gone. The biggest change we have needed since 2010 was Kroenke out. Unlikely to happen now.

  20. MikeSA,

    I suspect you are right Mike, but with more members than seats there will still be others who will come forward and buy enough seats to keep revenues up. With a new manager and new players, there is an air of optimism on the playing front that we have not had for a decade or more. So I expect the Ems to be fairly full for the next few months.

    The timing of KSE’s bid smacks of coinciding this with the uplift of the new manager. Had Kroenke tried this last season he know there would have been flying torches, lanterns, bedside lamps and candelabra heading his way!

  21. Just to make it absolutely clear:

    This is not an offer. Usmanov has sold his shares to Kroenke. There is an irrevocable undertaking to sell which happens at 3pm today.

    I say that because the media bar the FT are reporting it as an offer; it isn’t. It’s a sale. Will take KSE a while longer to clear up all the individual shares, but as of 3pm, they are just bits of paper.

  22. Lsg:
    A very sad day.The last vestiges of the old Arsenal Football Club have now gone.The biggest change we have needed since 2010 was Kroenke out.Unlikely to happen now.

    Hey LSG did creating the new profile sort out the username and e-mail caching issue?

    It is a sad day indeed. It’s just business. Sports entertainment

  23. YW:
    Just to make it absolutely clear:

    This is not an offer. Usmanov has sold his shares to Kroenke. There is an irrevocable undertaking to sell which happens at 3pm today.

    I say that because the media bar the FT are reporting it as an offer; it isn’t. It’s a sale. Will take KSE a while longer to clear up all the individual shares, but as of 3pm, they are just bits of paper.

    It’s just business YW. Would you do the same if you were in Kroenke’s position? I know none of us like it and yes inevitably we will be saddled with KSE’s debt’s. But I’m afraid it’s a case of like it or lump it. LSG might have the right idea about Leyton Orient, Brentford, Fulham, QPR etc.

  24. This is a team which scored nine against us in three meetings last season. We must see an improvement on that, surely?
    ——————————————————————————————————-
    If we do, it will be because we only end up playing them twice.
    I suspect our defence isn’t anywhere near it needs to be for a top 4 club.

  25. Stan is a soulless ghoul and doesn’t give two flu*ks about the AFC fanbase. He will use the club to suit his, and his benefit only. He didn’t give two flu*ks about the fans of the St. Louis NFL team when he relocated them to Los Angeles.
    It bears repeating: he isn’t a fan of the game and he doesn’t tread the box scores, he looks only at the quarterly financial reports.
    I keep praying for him to have a heart attack…then I realize, he doesn’t even have a heart.

  26. MikeSA,

    I see what your saying, I guess what a meant was him having the personality and confidence to terrorise his full back, something the most effective wingers tend to have. Beat a man and the effenciecy to provide end product by way of cross or pass once the defence is on the back foot

  27. I am not worried per se about sole ownership, but Kroenke should not drag the Club in respect of his debt management affairs, and that he should dig deep into his pocket for players’ purchase and funds availability to ensure that Arsenal can shine as a brand. Glazers do the latter, and have engineered massive commercial sponsors. Kroneke should do this too. He should also know that a Club thrives when it becomes a winner in a season and draws fans together.

  28. I can’t wait for YW’s post tomorrow. I expect a doozy.

    I am wondering why I became a life member of the AST now. That organization’s raison d’etre has been practically erased.

  29. Bong! That’s 3pm BST….. we can now assume Red and White Holdings have sold to KSE Inc. The latter will then enforce the purchase of the AST and any other privately owned shares.

  30. Waz:
    MikeSA,

    I see what your saying, I guess what a meant was him having the personality and confidence to terrorise his full back, something the most effective wingers tend to have. Beat a man and the effenciecy to provide end product by way of cross or pass once the defence is on the back foot

    Fair enough, just me misunderstanding your point then.

    Apologies!

  31. More iconic English institutions have gone to foreiners’ hands. I an afiry reklaxed, and hope that Usmanov ‘s next move to sink that money to Everton will be noticed by Kroekes and they will ensure that the Club gets funds.

  32. Stu,

    LOL.

    I do agree with that, but the season ticket queue had definitely eroded in the last few seasons, and the steadily increasing number of season ticket holders who chose to attend dressed as empty seats definitely had an impact on Wenger’s demise.

    That said, with the new interest etc, it will take a good while before any similar sentiments start taking root or having any impact, if any.

    I suspect there might be some element of truth to the timing in the regard you mentioned, but it might also just be down to Usmanov’s personal situation too.

    I saw one other question around the possibility of this whole issue possibly having something to do with the Gazidis saga, but I haven’t noticed anyone offering much in the way of comment on that?

  33. MikeSA,

    Wondering about how the Gazidis issue might be connected too. Maybe Yogi will have some ideas but we are on the dark about his motivations… the one thought I have is that this clears the way to make Joshie boy the executive of the club with no board etc…

  34. Living in Highbury and listening the sounds, my bet is Josh will be the CEO eventually. Gazidis in all probability will go, not sure imminently, but will go .

  35. skywalker:
    I am not worried per se about sole ownership, but Kroenke should not drag the Club in respect of his debtmanagement affairs, and that he should dig deep into his pocket for players’ purchase and funds availability to ensure that Arsenal can shine as a brand.Glazers do the latter, and have engineeredmassive commercial sponsors.Kroneke should do this too.He should also know that a Club thrives when itbecomes a winner in a season and draws fans together.

    Skywalker, I think you are jumping to conclusions here. Kroenke hasn’t (yet) dragged the club into any personal debt management issues. If he is true to his word and the purchase (funded by him and KSE) is not then loaded back on to Arsenal directly or indirectly, then there is no issue here. Yesterday the club was exposed if he or KSE went bankrupt, today it is too. So no change there.

    As for Kroenke digging deep and funding player purchasers, he really has no obligation to do so. Just because Abramovich and others have done so to ensure their teams have a much greater chance of success, Kroenke doesn’t have to do the same. Up to now he has made it fairly clear that he wants Arsenal to be successful long term on the basis of a self-funding business model and no sugar-daddy windfall. We may not like that. It may mean we cannot catch Chelsea, City, United, Liverpool etc in the short or medium term (or ever) but that’s what we have. The official offer document specifically mentions the club – not KSE – funding development in playing/non-playing staff and facilities and is quite noticeable that it does not refer to any KSE injection of funds. So I am not expecting any changes to the funding model.

    Which leads me to question Kroenke’s motives behind the purchase. The offer document says sole-ownership will benefit the club and assist it in challenging for the PL and CL, yet there is no mention of changing the business model. So what is the benefit to the team (and its chances of success) by removing Usmanov and the AST? It’s not as if Usmanov was on the Board and causing delays in purchasing/developing decisions. So that line is somewhat spurious. The purchase may simply be a vanity project, or maybe Usamanov was a paid in the neck behind the scenes, or maybe the funding model will change (don’t hold your breath) or there are currently undisclosed plans to use the full value of Arsenal to lever some huge borrowings to benefit Kroenke personally or his/KSE’s other sporting ventures. The latter is the real worrying part of this.

  36. LSG,

    Yeah, that sits right with me.

    Ivan’s the pawn that’s broken up the empire and put the new one’s building blocks in place. But he’s getting fucked over this summer now this deal is through, cos Josh is coming. Sacrificed for a new Queen. If you like 😉

    Josh can just parachute in and tick things over, no big battles to be fought. Plus, daddy’s the full time owner now, so his corner is fairly well protected

    Hence why he’s been flirting with Milan, cos these deals come from way out time wise and he’s known for a while

  37. Damon,

    Daddy makes sure Joshie never has to answer to any board or questions from the plebs at an AGM. Ivan was looking forward to being the preening kingpin but will have to search for a spotlight on some other stage.

  38. LSG,

    Any mid-sized company needs at least an executive board, and considering they sit in the US, I would imagine Stan would want some non-executive directors to ensure governance, otherwise its a recipe for graft or mismanagement.

    I also wonder whether Syrup Jnr would want an executive position in the UK, seeing as he also oversees some of the Syrup Empires’ other operations too.

    I don’t think he was intending to replace Gazidis, more likely Keswick?

    Perhaps Gazidis is just looking at where he currently is and thinking its not going to get too much better and he has an opportunity to get involved at a major “fix me up” at a significant pay rise and with a future share in the profits of any sale.

    If he can revive Milan to say 1B pounds in a sale, and he’s offered 2 %, that’s a rather healthy 20m he gets to pocket over and above his salary.

    He might get a better percentage for all we know, but I think he’s on about 2.5m at the moment?

    Say he pockets 3 or 3.5 plus bonuses at Milan over the next 5 years and gets 20m comm, thats and extra 25-27m above what he’d earn staying at Arsenal.

    Given that he might be feeling a little uneasy over latest developments, perhaps he thinks its just too good an opportunity to pass up?

    I assume the other C execs are likely to stay (typically the CFO and COO are the next two most important), so maybe Raul gets a promotion if they think he’s up to the task?

    Otherwise they’re going to have to go through a bit of a process.

    Its likely to be far less public that the manager/coach one, especially now.

  39. Two aspects puzzle me about the situation which has arisen at Arsenal FC.
    1. By taking over all the available Arsenal shares, it is said that Kroenke will now use the Club’s profits to offset his failing sports businesses in the USA. Previously, he was by far the
    biggest Arsenal shareholder, so wasn’t he always able to do that?
    2.The subject of protests by season ticket holders not turning up at games has arisen again.
    A similar plan arose during Arsene Wenger’s tenure, which didn’t work. Seats paid for but not occupied have no adverse effect on gate money.
    And from my own way-back experience, the casual attender at Arsenal home games is never guaranteed easy access. 😉

  40. MikeSA,

    There are also suggestions that Usmanov may be interested in buying Milan and I’m sure that he would have some form of contact with Gazidis, so putting two and two together (probably making five) you could see how that might play out.

  41. Horrible horrible disgusting news.
    That’s the end of transparency.
    Pretty clear to anyone that this is not about improving the club, it is only about improving KSE’s financial basis.

  42. MikeSA,

    I agree it is more to replace Sir Chips but I think they will get a corporate overseer to replace Gazidis. I was thinking more about the spotlight as face of the club, the figurehead, and Gazidis looked like he wanted to have that attention. Still no AGM needed and in terms of board, you are right but it needn’t conform to the UK rules or be a public representation of Arsenal directors like in the past. I think this is a more comfortable environment for Joshie boy.

    But I merely speculate and wonder about this too. I still remember your insight some years ago here about how the policies of the old board seemed to be designed precisely to raise share prices ahead of a sale. That really put things into perspective.

  43. andy1886,

    Interesting, Andy. Maybe Everton is not where this post-Soviet oligarch wants to invest. But the American enterprise, Elliot something or other, is just taking over at Milan. Perhaps Usmanov will be offered a share with a role and influence, otherwise it might be a year or so for a full sale by the new owners to AU.

    But I didn’t think Gazidis got on with Usmanov… IG was always Kroenke’s man. Maybe something has happened in Kroenke-Gazidis relationship. Who knows?!

  44. Nicky@5.11
    Kroenke couldn’t just do what he wanted before with profits, or taking cash out of the club. He had to worry about the minor shareholders. He could do what he wanted with his percentage of the profits, but he couldn’t artificially lower profits by loading payments to KSE as a cost to the club, without potentially starting a legal battle.
    Now he can transfer money from entity to entity as he chooses.

  45. Rumours are Kroenke wants to attract more commercial sponsorships, and branding club better with a global reach like Man U under Glazers. The private ownership makes this easier in his opinion. The realism is he has become the sole owner, and nothing we do or say will change this. The hope is, the branding the way he things may bring more funding for players.

  46. I’m pretty worried over our defense as I said yesterday. All of YW’s assessments of the state of our defensive unit jibe with my impressions. It is just preseason, but I have a feeling it will take some time to drill this group as a cohesive defensive unit. This is partly why I would play 352 and sit deeper v City. I wonder if we are ready to coordinate a collective pressing approach—Ozil has to buy in or it doesn’t work as pointed out in the post.

  47. theskywalker,

    Why couldn’t he do this before? Our commercial performance vs rivals has been pretty woeful for a very long time and he has been majority share holder for a long time now.

    How I wish FSG had bought AFC rather than Liverpool. We got terribly unlucky in our billionaire.

  48. theskywalker,

    Also, what Kroenke has never seemed to really endorse is the idea that you need to take some risks to try to win because winners generate much greater commercial and brand value. You cannot do what the Glazers did without setting high sporting ambition to accompany the absolutely ruthless commercial exploitation of the club. Kroenke probably wants to expand commercial exploitation but is unwilling to risk anything to pursue sporting success. The worst possible combination of attributes. Under his “stewardship” AFC has stagnated and only now trying very late to put in place structures to modernize the club.

    What is Arsenal known for and associated with during Kroenke’s ownership?

  49. Theskywaker,
    The club is now fully private without transparency , but this would have no affect on the ability to attract better paying global sponsors . In fact , even if a higher sponsorship was found, there is no way of ensuring that all the funds remain in the club.( once KSE take their commission for negotiating the sponsorship.)

  50. Phil,

    He tried to pay KSE millions in consulting fees. He drained altogether about 10m from the club with the takeover cost and two 3m or so payments but AST embarrassed him at the AGM and made a fuss about asking what KSE did for these consulting fees etc… and so it stopped. Gazidis even had admitted that the protests and complaints from shareholders about this were the reason the practice stopped. He can do it now without having to tell anyone or answer about it.

  51. LSG,
    The rumours on Gazidis were a precursor to the Kroenke purchase news. They must be linked.
    No way Gazidis isn’t aware of the sale.
    This can’t be a coincidence.

  52. LSG,
    I think he will make up for that now.
    No pesky minorities to worry about, or keep him accountable.

  53. So, a done deal, Kroenke’s underhand newest takeover. English was never my strong suit, but I’m sure there is a suitable acronym there. I can’t see anything positive for a fan at this moment.

  54. Phil,

    I agree with both points. Obviously IG knew and Kroenke will start taking money out. He’s already done so and now there is no check.

  55. Chambers has officially joined Fulham on a season long loan and Nelson is set to sign a new long term deal.

  56. Yesteday’s news, C! Where you been? Today and tomorrow are Kroenke bashing days. Then it is onto City talk. Most gooners seem nervous. I’m expecting a loss so not too worried. Chelsea is the one, I am concerned about. We need to take advantage and win, but has put away form improved?!

  57. LSG,

    Perhaps by design, perhaps by chance, but if you think about it, if Stan had built the business up by bringing in bigger sponsors and upping the revenue he would have had to pay Usmanov more for his shares, so in that sense perhaps he was holding back a little?

    It’s also likely he’s going to move the registration to Delaware, which I understand allows significant opacity compare to other jurisdictions.

    It was always difficult for Stan to take money out the club until now.

    He tried the fees thing and got some bad press for that.

    He certainly didn’t want to pay out a dividend because that would have entailed cash outflow to Usmanov and the minor shareholders.

    From the Usmanov perspective, that would have made it a reasonable investment, so might not have been inclined to sell.

    There might be a good deal of luck involved, especially wrt to the personal circumstances regarding Usmanov, but I think Stan’s had his eye on this for some time now.

  58. andy1886,

    That would be interesting!

    I guess we’re all either highly imaginative or this things got more sub plots than a [genuine movie buff can insert title here] movie.

    You might well have a point regarding Usmanov rather moving to a none UK club based on the current climate, although that might seem a bit short termist?

    Perhaps it’s a case of Gazidis agreeing with the US hedge fund to do a fairly decent patch up job on Milan with the view to brokering a deal with Usmanov once the holes have been patched?

    I can’t really see a US hedge fund being in this for the long haul, it’s not a fit for their model, so I think you might well be on to something.

  59. Is it just me or have things regarding Ramsey suddenly gone a bit quiet?

    Maybe it’s not as newsworthy at this stage but its just niggled at the back of my mind a bit.

  60. MikeSA,

    I don’t think we can sell him to anyone he wants to go to for a few we would accept on wages he wants. He’ll stick around. The saga will continue. He’ll have a great Sept-Dec and the club will be extorted for a massive contract before a severe thigh/calf strain ends his season effectively in late Jan/early Feb.

  61. MikeSA,

    I don’t know how you’ve done it but you have almost managed to suggest a possible silver lining here. The Usmanov situation has been holding him back—very interesting. (The Kroenke era of success is about to begin!?!). You have my admiration!

  62. LSG,

    Lol, I wouldn’t go that far!

    I suspect that any additional revenue is likely to be the cream that he skims off in the form of dividends.

    That said, retaining and building cash reserves in the company does also increase the value, but if he’s in it for the long haul he’s more likely to use it as a cash cow.

  63. LSG,

    Mind you, in the past he has made mention of the Glazer’s at ManU, so perhaps he has an eye on building the product to build revenue too.

    I was thinking a bit about this last night, the US market is difficult for football, there have been many false starts over the decades, but in Asia there is a very reprieve market to be tapped from his perspective.

    To make bigger inroads into that market (we are already quite popular there), the club will have to be more successful and have a higher profile than we already do, so perhaps he does intend to work at improving the club?

    In that sense there is a bit of a difference compared to his other sports franchises in that whilst Grid-Iron, baseball, etc are all very popular in the US, it’s not that popular elsewhere in the world, so very limited potential outside the US?

    So Arsenal might have more potential to build into his largest asset if that’s his plan.

  64. MikeSA,

    To your comment at 10.20pm…….there are some interesting points in there Mike,not least of all the ‘being held back one’.
    Many years ago I lived with a woman (who was quite hard work…..)and we bought a completely knackered house together.With renovation work being my forté I started in earnest to sort the place out.With all inevitably the aforementioned woman and myself came to an end…..and I had to buy her out of her half…of the house that I had put considerable value on.
    Maybe I should have taken it easy and not gone full on into the project,and I could’ve bought the other half for a fair price less.
    Still,I’m no businessman but a bit of lateral thinking would have helped….a bit of Stan thinking.

  65. Jonnygunner,

    It must also be said that when the writing was on the wall,I did hold back on certain things as I knew I would never get anything back for my efforts,so I did do some Stan thinking,but well after I should have.
    You may have struck gold with your twist on Stan’s possible train of thought,and I’m happy to buy into that,because we’re supporters …..and as YW always says…it’s the hope that kills you…..

  66. Talking of improved sponsorship deals it seems that we’re going back to Adidas for £60m a season which is double the Puma money.

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