Pravda, as it was once known, noticed three things during the kids 3 – 0 win in the Kroenke Derby. That’s three things in a three-goal win…
Junior took the PR reins following that letter. He and daddy aren’t owners of Arsenal, he said; they view themselves as “custodians”. It’s a little late in the day to play that card; Enos’ previous (in)actions make it clear he and KSE are anything but custodians. Certainly, their engagement with fans only ever comes when some PR firefighting is needed. His interview on dot com certainly falls into that category.
The younger Kroenke emphasised that contrary to daddy’s infamous comment, he and Pops were committed to winning trophies:
Our ambitions are silverware. Silverware and trophies.Josh Kroenke’s ambitions for Arsenal
He opened himself up to immediate criticism as well. “I think anything short of [not winning silverware and trophies] is not a success.” You’ve succeeded in being a failure so far then, Junior.
Nothing during KSE’s reign supports the notion that they are ambitious to win silverware, that they are gearing Arsenal up for success. Speaking to Gooners in USA podcast, Junior underlined how far behind the curve KSE is and has been:
It’s no secret we have a champions league wage bill with a Europa League budget right now. I think that’s a fact. It’s one we’re trying to figure out how to face internally at the moment.KSE is not rushing into changing things
The reality is that this is the third season of having “a champions league wage bill with a Europa League budget” and they are “still trying to figure out how to face [it]”. Raul and Vinai bear their share of the blame, particularly the latter, previously a senior executive at the club for a number of years.
My Name Is Dick Law Not Dick Head If You Don’t Mind
However, KSE’s ownership of Arsenal during this time has been nothing short of disastrous knowing the economics. Why, for example, was Ozil given a salary-driven contract at this level? With seemingly no likelihood of league position improving, the club surely had to make it performance-related? In other words, weighted toward bonuses which ‘inspired’ the player to consistently deliver the performances his salary demands. Whether you like it or not, being the club’s highest-paid player ever brings that responsibility.
KSE didn’t stop Gazidis and Law negotiating that deal. The Kroenke’s lack of intervention left the current management – about whom there are a lot of questions anyway – with a millstone.
“The real question is can he be motivated internally and externally to produce that on a regular basis?”, stated Law recently. “Now, it absolutely has to start with a player, the player has to want to. No manager can make a player play if he doesn’t want to. But I know Ozil wants to.”
The question is surely whether Ozil wants to play for Emery? It doesn’t seem that way; neither party is strong enough at the club to force the other out. After losing his battle with Neymar Jr, that may be a blessed relief to the head coach.
Back to Junior. There are no “shortcuts” to success, he said. Nobody thinks there are nor has there been any claim that there are either. Bringing the club back into the Champions League fold is vital but requires “a daily approach to the little things from the top down.”
Ambitions Limited By Fear or Small Minds
A fairly big thing is the squad strengthening. Celtic rejected the latest Tierney bid, not because it was low but too weighted toward add-ons. This isn’t a new complaint; we’ve been ridiculed for an unrealistic approach to the structure of deals this summer with the Saliba deal still not completed reportedly for this very reason.
Celtic, by our approach, are able to make us look like a small club. Worse, parsimonious and run ineptly. Those caps fit too comfortably in the PR battle. However, Junior’s words are also undermined by these sagas. We can’t sell players nor buy them; hardly the actions determined to improve the club’s immediate and long-term future.
Junior thinks we should “be excited” on the basis of future deals. In other words, we’re being promised jam tomorrow by owners who give us no reason to believe they are paying anything more than lip service to supporter frustrations.
He underlined that with his perception of what is and isn’t supporters “jobs”.
In a shock to some, we’re not required to be patient. No, seriously, read the podcast transcript; he actually said that. They want us to be patient; hope for it. However, to claim we aren’t after the last decade requires some serious cojones. Maybe Junior and Pops need to speak with Messrs Sullivan and Gold to find out what fan protests can be like. I’m pretty sure you won’t see hide nor hair of either Kroenke if they were subjected to the mood which swept the White Elephant as the ‘Appy ‘Ammers crumbled 3 – 0 to Burnley.
We’ve Done A Really Good Job
I think the greatest concern – or maybe the root concern – surfaced when he couldn’t name one English football club whom Arsenal can emulate in returning to the top four. He responded by pointing out that KSE, in his opinion, has “done a really good job, especially over the last 5-6 years.”
Let that sink in for a moment. We’re following the KSE path to glory, where “if you point to the Los Angeles Rams, if you point to the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche, Arsenal supporters should see a model there that says you have elite young talent, led by wonderful coaching, and an environment where every resource is available to them, and that’s what we can provide to Arsenal.”
Every resource except additional funds. It’s telling the KSE approach isn’t bringing success to the Rapids, probably the most comparable of all their investments. Hey ho. Or Hi-ho, since KSE are proving footballing dwarves.
Nothing Junior said is anything other than hastily constructed lip service to supporter concerns. The adverse publicity, particularly the outright criticism of KSE and Enos, may yet force action. But for all the fine words from Junior today, we’re still a club which is not tackling the problems dynamically. No signings this summer yet so we’re left with a squad constructed of straw.
We’re less than a month from the new season. 26 – twenty-six – days until we kick-off at Newcastle. Instead of talking a good game and making the right noises, Junior, how about you and daddy getting off your Arsenal’s? Shove a stick of dynamite up the backsides of the club hierarchy and get deals done. At least give us the illusion of giving a rats arse about the club.