Arsenal Fans: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Emery and Wenger

In the midst of all the giddiness and joy among Arsenal fans at the prospect of a brand new, literally shiny, high profile manager taking over the reins of management from that wizened, grizzled old grand-dad we had all gotten used to, something just doesn’t ring true.

Don’t get me wrong. Although am a well known partisan for Arsene Wenger, I have nothing against Unai Emery and wholeheartedly welcome him to the club and truly wish for him all the success possible. He is young and handsome, a very telegenic face, around which the PR people at the club can only drool. Apparently, when unveiled to the media, he said all the right things which had the hacks in rapture as they pounded their keyboards, oiled their tongues for radio or were dabbed with makeup before video recording the usual clichéd segment for TV. Most of all he has a brilliant CV, starting in the boondocks of Spanish football taking a couple of clubs to promotion, excelling at Sevilla with 3 Europa League titles and, prior to Arsenal, managing one of the biggest-moneyed clubs in Europe ending with a quadruple of titles. Surely he is the perfect man for the job.

And that is what triggers my contrarian instinct. The script is just too perfectly written.

By the way, we all have a contrarian streak genetically coded into the deep reptilian recesses of our cranium, the one that tell us: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is”. But too often, most of us get suckered by our emotions, based on narratives fomented by the mainstream media, and forget to listen to our brains, not our heart.

Something is “too good to be true” with the narrative we are now being sold. According to almost all the usual suspects  Emery will save us from the washed-up, stupid, old fool who only managed an Invincible year as part of 3 league titles, 7 FA cups and kept us in the top-4 for 20 out of 22 years:

Emery will get Arsenal more organised than they have been”. (BBC)

“What they will be getting is a coach who is fully committed and, in his approach to preparation, a startling break from what they have been used to. If Wenger’s twilight years at the club produced a team that often appeared under-coached, then the reign of Emery will be the exact opposite.” (Independent)

“Where Arsène Wenger’s teams may have descended into the painfully one-dimensional, Emery’s outlook is one of nuance and precision, which may well suit Arsenal’s developing team rather more than the entrenched, haughty collection of Parisian stars.” (Guardian)

Disorganized, Under-coached and One-dimensional

So less than two weeks after Wenger’s final game the football media takes off the gloves; no more of the hypocrisy, flattery and lofty odes to one of the greatest managers in English football. His teams, in their own words, were disorganized, under-coached and one-dimensional. Thus the need to hire Unai Emery who it is predicted will bring glory to north London, apparently the type experienced by Sevilla and PSG.  Mark you Sevilla last won the Spanish league title in 1945-46 and PSG has not even made the Champions league final since gobbling up hundreds of millions of the best oil money the sheiks of Qatar could throw at the club over the past 7 years.

Apparently things were so bad under Wenger, Arsenal’s last trophy of worth was the FA cup as far back as May 2017. Moreover, things were so bad in the 17-18 season, they had a mere 14 home-wins, the second highest in the league.

This is the same media (as well as most bloggers and podcasters) who choose to ignore the fact that since 2005, Wenger has progressively been outspent by three clubs in the premier league. In fact one news media, in their effort to downplay the magnitude of the disparity, characterized Arsenal as the 3rd strongest club financially in England. In other words, this liar and misleader, was suggesting Arsene should be consistently averaging 3rd in the league because of the financial resources available.

Clearly the new manager, who is currently being feted and glad handled, is already being setup. He is expected to outperform Wenger’s average 4th place finish over the past 12 years at a time when United and Chelsea are desperate to make up the difference with City, there being a gap of 19 points between 1st and 2nd at the end of last season. Moreover as was reported in sputniknews.com, Abramovich recently had his Tier I visa held up by the UK government, a privilege to freely travel back and forth which is tied to volume of his investments in the country. It doesn’t take an expert to predict he will make another handy investment in Chelsea in the next transfer window to prove his bona-fides.

Why this elaborate set up?

Why are we being sold such a grand story of failure by Arsene, so much so that the club needs a savior, a metaphoric David to rescue Arsenal from the Philistines? Isn’t it amazing that in 2 years, Arsene moved from being the most powerful man at Arsenal to being a has-been. Be reminded that the 16-17 season started with great optimism, the club having acquired Mustafi, Xhaka and Lucas Perez to supplement the group who came 2nd to Leicester the prior year.  But at the start of the season and Mertersacker, one of the cornerstones of the central defensive partnership, suffers a season-ending injury. The new Koscielny-Mustafi or Koscielny-Gabriel partnership is unable to replicate the level of the old-firm. In October, Santi Sazorla, the mastermind of prior year victories over United, City and Chelsea also suffers a season-ender. To this day the combined ‘expertiste’ of the media makes no connection between the injuries to two of Arsenal’s best players and the club coming 5th that season. Instead there is a massive blame-game on Wenger. When he was offered only a two year contract, it was self-evident his future was in doubt.

What is most striking is how this was the opening for the chief executive, Mr Gazidis, to seize power away from Mr. Wenger. In the summer of 2017 we are informed the CEO has moved his offices from Arsenal House to London Colney, the training ground. In relatively short order Mislintat becomes chief scout and Sanllehi as head of football relations. As a famous denizen of this blog tweeted there are now 5 people doing the job Wenger performed by himself.

But while the corporate office has grown bigger and surely more expensive, Arsenal suffered on the field with points lost not only due to player inconsistency (at least 8 first team players from 2016-17 are gone) but also from a pattern of poor and biased refereeing by the PGMO. If the CEO and his team were campaigning for VAR in the executive suites of the Premier League it was a “silence of the lambs”.

The Coup

What convinced me that the Emery appointment may be just one big show is a piece in the Guardian by one David Hynter which suggests he was ordered to do a PR piece on behalf of Mr Gazidis. They are quick to highlight the following:

  • Gazidis is responsible for signing Ozil
  • Gazidis is, first and foremost, a football lover.
  • Gazidis has long advocated a management structure that does not rest on a single point or employee because, when it fails, there is the potential for the whole thing to collapse. He has wanted a broader coalition of talented specialists greater than the sum of its parts and, for so long, his efforts were frustrated by Wenger, to whom the club’s majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke, was in thrall. Wenger had a hotline to Kroenke and he could shape or veto Gazidis’s ideas.
  • Gazidis wanted a director of football but Wenger pushed his friend Dick Law into a position of executive-level authority.
  • Gazidis wanted greater expertise in data and contracts and hired Hendrik Almstadt only for Wenger to say he did not want him.
  • Gazidis oversaw the purchase of the data analytics company, StatDNA, but Wenger was not a fan.

Hynter concludes with a flourish:

“It was a meticulously orchestrated coup and Gazidis carried it off while showing all the respect in the world to Wenger, who has watched virtually all of his people leave the club. It has felt like a plot-line from Gomorrah, the Neapolitan mafia drama. Gazidis was not always the favourite to outlast Wenger. Now, his position looks stronger than ever.”

I could not have said it better than Mr Hynter. The evidence clearly points to a coup. He says it in triumph but I am disgusted by the lowball tactics that have been employed.

As an aside, while I arrived at a similar conclusion, by taking the available facts to their logical conclusion, because yours truly does not write for a big mainstream newspaper,  I would be accused by the charlatans in the media (as well as the bloggers and podcasters) of being a conspiracy theorist for calling out Mr Gazidis for being Wenger’s Brutus.

Unfortunately, most coups fail because they are based on lies and the golpistas (Spanish) rule without the consent of the people. That is why I fear for Emery. He may think he is a big-time Charlie but he is just a chump in a giant con being played on Arsenal fans. The new manager will find the Premier League is made up of several merciless sharks; mainly the three clubs with giant financial teeth whom he cannot compete in the transfer market, the other big one being the PGMO whose job is to protect the big boys from being upset as the PL needs the external money to keep flowing.

I wish Emery all the best but the signs aren’t good. He is on 2 year plus one contract suggesting he is a placeholder, a short-term appointment. Does this mean Arsenal has ended its tradition of managers being long-term appointees with time to build a team that can compete for titles without busting the bank?

Am not predicting the future, but as much as most fans are optimistic that under his management it could get better for Arsenal, I am duty bound to warn my readers that odds are even and it could get worse. Be afraid, be very afraid.

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329 comments on “Arsenal Fans: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

  1. “As part of his contract extension with Tottenham, Pochettino is rumoured to have a release clause which would allow him to move to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, although this hasn’t been confirmed.”

    “rumoured” – I bet it is (slaps thigh and laughs loudly)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The Spanish and the British press are having a rumour battle andy. Spain says Poch is allowed to leave for Real. Britain says Brexit doesn’t mean Spuxit.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Guess they could also consider Klopp if they are looking at decent managers who don’t win anything in England

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think Klopp is a probably on their list as well Mandy – he has had an excellent PL campaign and his sides play some damn fine football. Maybe his big ‘character’ might put off the Bernabeu hierarchy though.


  5. Agree on Klopp, he would certainly be on my list, probably ahead of Poch.
    Difficult to see who will end up there, Allegri, maybe. Luis Enrique is Barca tainted, Ancelotti has been there, Sarri-unlikely I would have thought, conte-tainted and demanding, Jose-dark horse at best, Wenger, would surprise me, think they will go for someone younger, but stranger things.
    Just glad we got Emery before this happened, not least as it could cause another managerial merry go round.
    It’s all pointing to Allardici, didn’t he once say he would make a success of a club like Real?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. keep reading, in spurious sources, that a new young player is on his way, this time we are shopping at Adli

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mandy

    He’s just 17. He’s Lidl Aldi

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Zinedine Zidane
    Always loved his
    balance,control (In the main)
    Sense of the moment – As a player and a manager
    Elite vision As a player and a coach
    I will be interested to see if he will take another job.

    He did a French interview recently which was very interesting

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Very good Shard!
    Yacine him play yet?

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Dissapointed that the Swiss National team decided to train on a waterlogged pitch in the driving rain. This not taking into account that Granit needs a pitch that allows the ball to roll so he can avoid the press.
    Perhaps there is not enough funding for an indoor facility , this should not have happened, the risk was not assessed well.
    His screams made me so sad (Which can be heard above the driving rain).
    I love Xhaka , tonight I am a very sad Arsenal fan.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. So are Chelsea really in trouble or is this wishful thinking?

    Bid for Kante! (Especially if Xhaka’s injury is serious)


  12. Haha. Good one Mandy.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Man, these Swiss don’t mess about with their scans.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. £1billion to add just 19,000 seats

    Liked by 1 person

  15. birdkamp
    Is this true?


  16. It seems that it might be true
    I just want all the players come back healthy
    I hate when any player gets injured

    Liked by 1 person

  17. He is so tough to see him go down a scream like that was a worry

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Wwwb. Stadium rebuilds aren’t just about stadium capacity. Or even about increased gate receipts, though that is a part of it. It’s really about having the corporate facilities so that your club becomes a ‘destination’ for Sponsors. And even more, it’s about increasing the club’s valuation.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Shard
    Oh I am well aware the upsides i.e corperate facilities.
    Gate recipts have nothing to do with this because 19,000 seats would be would put the price up of every other seat to a level that would be eye watering for the vast majority of Chelsea fans.
    No that stadium is about a whole lot more , the smoke and mirrors wont only be in the burger joints and the toilets.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Haha. True enough I suspect. Didn’t Abramovich switch from oil to steel? Maybe some orders were to go to his own company for the construction. I assume that sort of stuff is pretty standard. And there’ll be financial jiggery pokery. But anyway, still not sure this signals the beginning of the end for Chelsea. I hope it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Shard
    It is possible in this set up ‘After care’ services for ‘Friends’
    Concourse vendor positons offer a long term investment if you know,you know, you know…

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Really hope it’s right Xhaka is going to be fine. Would be completely gutted about a serious injury for him.

    Is a real favourite of mine, great to watch and…I think he’s probably our most important player. Don’t like any midfield combo without him at present.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-soccer-worldcup-swi/swiss-xhaka-relieved-after-escaping-with-bruised-knee-idUKKCN1IW2WS?rpc=401&

    Hope Reuters have this right.
    Xhaka is a vital and very good player for us, he plays an extremely taxing role, we need him for the start of the season

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Just a few casual writers hanging around casually waiting for a topic to emerge….

    Liked by 2 people

  25. I have always hoped that Big Weng would have a few years with the French national team before returning upstairs. A suitable window to not stand over the shoulder of the new gaffer and to return in time to support the Arteta regime hehe.

    Has Zizou just thrown his hat into the ring to be the next french manager alongside the old gaffer?
    Only a mild contrast in options there for the French FA compared with Southgate, Biggus Sammus and the Neville Neville corporation/brand. (they have outstanding PR consultants. Lol?)

    Then again the French FA have made some equally remarkable appointments in the past. To the dismay of French football lovers it’s possible that neither Arsene or Zizou will end up in that job.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Stuart MacFarlane
    ‏ @Stuart_PhotoAFC
    54m54 minutes ago

    Only 31 days until pre season starts ⚽️👍🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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