Our summer dreams are in tatters, or so it said here until the headline was updated at 9.12am. I’d tell you our dreams are in ‘taters. Ploughing fields in Shenley may seem extreme but planting a crop or two is the way forward. We can make a bob or two from the farmers’ markets around the M25, which is more money than Enos will be investing in the club this summer.
Money, however, is desperately needed. It’s long been accepted the club’s budget is limited; £45m is the received wisdom, plus whatever is raised in sales. I started writing this post as a football equivalent of Snog, Marry, Avoid but it became quickly evident I can make a case for selling most of the squad. Finding buyers is not so easy, especially for the underperforming high-earners.
Yes, Mkhitaryan and Özil, I am looking at you.
A cheap shot, I confess, but cutting the wage bill is as much a target of the summer as signing Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser. The Scot is a good example to choose; to some, this summer is likely to be underwhelming. Speculation is rife that the previous speculation about who we were keen on signing changed with Wednesday night’s humiliation. In other words, there is speculation about our speculation.
I don’t know that pop will eat itself but the football media certainly is showing cannibalistic tendencies.
Losing to Chelsea stripped the emperors of their new clothes. Vinai and Raul talk well but can they walk? We won’t know for certain until we’re unable to achieve any of next season’s ambitions but surely you can wait until September before passing judgement…
The mood is as grim in the dressing room as it is in the stands it seems.
With Friends Like This…
Granit Xhaka put the boot into Unai Emery, according to a report after Wednesday’s final. He dissected where we lost the match but he couldn’t, however, say if we improved during Emery’s first season in charge:
I don’t know. I’m not the right person to give you an answer about this.Granit Xhaka hands in his transfer request
Which begs the question as to who is “the right person”. If one of the players cannot give a straight answer about the state of the club, we won’t get anything from anyone else. Xhaka, despite claiming he has “a contract” at the club, is one of those I expect to leave if a Champions League club comes in.
He appears to have no love for the club, not one shred of determination to improve Arsenal or even an admission that he enjoys the easy life Arsenal provides him. Just a contract, a bit of paper which is worthless in football.
The self-financing model means we are the English equivalent of Ajax, Porto or Benfica. Selling players is our lifeblood and has been for some time; we just haven’t been very good at it. However, there are a lot of players in this squad who flatter to deceive as much as Xhaka. He clipped the bar on Wednesday but in the second half, disappeared quicker one of David Copperfield’s stooges.
Our reality makes a mockery of the reports claiming we are one of Europe’s elite. We’re only there because of a prime piece of real estate; the only reason, of course, Enos bought into us. He’s a money man and the money is all his, man.
Making A Rod For Our Own Backs
The Emirates is the biggest lie of all. Sold as a way of making us competitive with the genuine elite, we’ve slipped further behind. Mismanagement by Gazidis and the board, as well as Enos. Scared of Wenger, they failed to revitalise the club with a new management team.
Gazidis, in particular, proved to be a snake in the grass, scuttling off to Milan. Arsenal subsequently lost Sven Mislintat, a man eulogised but whose results in the transfer market were patchy at best. He appeared brilliant but the truth was less prosaic.
The bar for comparison is very low; £35m for Mustafi is the worst piece of business since we signed Francis Jeffers as a ‘fox in the box’. Given the intervening years saw no-hopers like Campbell, Chamakh, Silvestre and Squillaci, purchasing Mustafi was a spectacular failure at every level of the club’s management.
It’s going to take a lot of money to put this right and according to Safe Hands, not enough is going into the squad. When diplomatic Yorkshireman – a contradiction in terms, I know – David Seaman lays into the club, you know it is serious.
Give him some money. Give him a transfer window. There have been two transfer windows that have gone by and he’s had nothing. The board need to back him or otherwise, we are going to be left further behind.David Seaman on Arsenal’s woes
What more can you say? It’s an unholy mess and there isn’t much confidence around that Arsenal can put it right.