Football’s link to money has been well-documented. From highly paid players to mega-money buyouts, our beloved sport has become more about business than ever before. While there are indeed many success stories for risk takers in both business and football, it is often a measured approach made by the most successful people. Perhaps it’s worth asking if the Kroenkes may just be the right people to guide us in the modern game where Newcastle could get relegated before they get to spend big.
First off, this wasn’t written to justify the ownership, manager or their decisions. While working on this article, I’ve argued with myself, trying to figure out where I stand and found that, as is the nature of football, opinions should fluctuate. New evidence should indeed change our minds. While I don’t fully “trust the process” or want the manager out, I know that fans on either side of this spectrum want what’s best for the club.
The Kroenkes have spoken of the need for “stability” since their relationship with the club began. From the word outset, many of us saw the word as an excuse to cover up greed or a lack of ambition in the transfer market. While results have certainly been worse at times than our biggest spending rivals, it is difficult to deny that there is tangible benefit to this stability which we are slowly beginning to reap now.
However, dear reader, I’m sure you’ll ask: “is stability enough to keep a club in touch with ambitions such as ours?”
Maybe it is. Maybe it’s not and neither of us knows for sure.
One thing that is for sure though is that the absence of this stability can severely harm these ambitions, as can be seen with the case of Newcastle.
For months, we’ve heard of the transfer kitty which Newcastle’s management would be given to spend. In an instant, the conversation shifted away from “how much can they spend” to “are they permitted to spend 200 million pounds,” with lists of the players who the club would buy being met with lists of those who were surplus to requirements.
Exciting times clearly lay ahead for Newcastle fans, be it this season or next but in a world where confidence is everything, we see a squad that exhibits none. The reasons are many. Bad form and the pressures of a low league position are the most obvious, but stability never comes up. Footballers face a notorious struggle with relation to job security. The battle to stay motivated and work throughout the week without knowing the future of your employment causes much tension for players and managers alike.
Those of us who have done entry-level business at university would’ve come across Frederick Herzberg’s theory of motivation which tells us that without certain basic factors, including job security, motivation toward a job is impossible in any field. The trauma of events like job loss has been directly correlated with adverse effects on the body, even being linked to cancer in some cases. Surely then -in a sport where nothing but your best is enough- being told you’re surplus to requirements whether you perform or not must relate to being second to bottom at the halfway mark?
A run that includes just 1 since the takeover, a fired manager, a tally of just two goals in 5 games and an ownership group that believes that the club “could be relegated” and promised a major overhaul, are evidence of a business currently headed in the wrong direction. Add to this, discussions in the media on which players were likely to “meet the chop,” and we find a situation which seems like a festering pot for` demotivation and a failed spending experiment like QPR’s.
Surely, even those of us who believe that footballers hide behind mental health can empathise with a company giving its WILLING employees the benefit of the doubt.
Some may see this instability as an inevitable symptom of change, and in 20 years, Newcastle could be the biggest club in England and way out of our sight, but with signs of growth weekly, Arsenal fans have much to be excited about in the near future.
Of course, we hope the growth is sustained. Maybe though, just for now, let’s be content with stability in an unstable world.
George, I must say this article is intriguing – coming from you. I get you though – and that includes the struggle you had with yourself when researching and writing this article.
My take this season has always been to focus on one game at a time. The progress if there will inevitably be cumulative. The results are slowly but surely showing on the pitch. I know we’ve got a long way to go, but I’m happy that we seem to be heading in the right direction.
Having seen what we’re capable of mid-season, and having no European football or domestic cups – if you exclude the possible 2 games remaining in the league cup; then it would be very disappointing that with only the EPL to focus on, we don’t finish in a champions league place. We need to finish as far up the table as we can and provide some daylight between us and the following pack for there to be a tangible indication of the progress we’re making.
One other thing. The moaning and bitching that has happened this weekend about Arsenal postponing the NLD is also an indicator of progress. If we were languishing in mid-table mediocrity, no one would give a damn. The football establishment is just pissed that Arsenal is proving all their pre-season predictions wrong. According to most of them, we were supposed to be in a relegation fight all season.
Excellent read, it does make you wonder. Arsenal had a time post Wenger when it seems things started going off the rails a little, but now it seems a proper structure is being put in place at the club again. ( was actually quite impressed they managed to get the NLD postponed, they must have presented a case pretty well, as we know, the football establishment isn’t always sympathetic to Arsenal, especially over Tottenham or is that just a perception I have?)
Newcastle are an interesting case, it’s clearly going to take them some time, I hope they are not just allowed to spend stupid money
I would add Everton to Newcastle, they have one or two people involved that some may have wished at Arsenal, things do t seem to be going so well up there, let’s see if their new man can succeed where some decent and experienced recent managers have failed.
It is said Josh Kroenke has taken greater involvement at Arsenal , don’t know whether this is the case or not, but the club does seem to be going in the right direction with its young players policy ( to me at least, though some might convincingly argue that) .
As you say, just get a feeling things are starting to settle down and go in the right direction after clear and obvious mistakes post Wenger and Gazidis
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Odumbe, I didn’t write it.
I myself in my life and those I have been able to influence have been sceptical of everything always checking the source before being able to trust anything.
First of all is stability good in modern football? Well chelski have done well since they have had the stability of a sugar daddy owner but within the club managers, coaches players even down to their youth teams are extremely unstable and their doing very well, their model is based on instability.
I would even challenge the “fact” we have had cumulative progression as winning five games on the trot against weak and sometimes threadbare opposition is difficult to gauge. Add in the games against Everton and Forrest and the cloud gets thicker.
Was Xhaka’s sending off against Liverpool and his isolation against city, the players getting it wrong or managerial tactics still not working after two years.
There are definitely improvements in certain positions but that could just be down to a few players and that happens in all teams even those who end up getting relegated.
As far as mental fatigue or illness is concerned anyone making a judgement from the outside is very foolish.
Ian is right, stability is only good if it’s good, it can also be bad, if things are bad the last thing you want is stability.
I think I’m having my leg pulled here
Not at all Ian. If things are bad they have to change. And that’s the opposite of stability.
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reports that even with counting xhaka, AMN, and Balogun, Arsenal did not have the required number of players to play the NLD and that is why it was called off, also being suggested that AFC might have to ask for the CC semi final second leg to be called off too.
seems Pablo Mari is set to go on a six month loan to Udinese, and Arsenal have terminated by mutual consent the contract of 26 year old goalie Dejan Illiev
Couple of other Arsenal bits today, Azeez and John-Jules recalled from loan but expected to leave for other clubs before the end of Jan.
Kolasinac departure also close to fruition now and could be concluded in coming days.
Burnley v Watford tomorrow has been called off. They will have by tomorrow evening played 6 games less than Chelsea.
Our game v LFC on Thursday in doubt, and at this point our game v Burnley must be in doubt too
Arsenal U23’s play Bournemouth U23’s tomorrow evening, kick off 7pm, the game is live on Arsenal.com
That Mr DT from AFTV, seems a really charming fellow
Guess we won’t be hearing from him for a while
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ARSENAL have officially terminated SeaD’s contract he has signed for Marseille as a free agent
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With Sead and Mari going if we don’t have any players back I make it we have 9 first team outfield players available.
Ghana are out so we can have a coming.home Partey
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our U23’s beat Bournemouth U23’s in the PL Cup, 4-0, Flores x2, Henry-Francis and Cozier-Duberry with the goals
youth defender Norton-Cuffy has gone on loan to Lincoln for the rest of the season
Again nothing as yet on the ARSENAL website about fitness of players for Thursday, does that mean we will again apply for a postponement.
So a Saudi club has bid to take Auba on loan with an obligation to buy which would save us 25 million in wages.
The F.A. are investigating an ARSENAL player after irregular betting patterns from several betting syndicates for a player getting booked in a certain minute. The last player to be found guilty of this was banned for two years, this could be a disaster.
Ian no player being investigated yet, just the irregular betting patterns.
That’s good but if they are proved then night follows day and we lose a player who has played this season which could be someone like Sead (no damage) to Aaron (major damage)
Tbh Xhaka getting a card would be worth a punt.
We don’t know enough about this yet, but what we do know, if these things are going on, they will look to make examples of certain teams and players. I have an idea where they may look first,
But suspect it will come to very little,
I don’t think you get very good odds with Xhaka, I think it’s likely to be a player that doesn’t get booked often.
Or doest play very often
You guys have thoughts on this one tonighty? I havent a clue; could win, could lose, could get thrashed, could be stale as on old crust and could go to the sweaty pens, could have gone to radio rentals, could sell off a few more players before the transfer windy ends? Sure would be nice if we made a game of it, like last time out.
One thing is for sure,(OT) I feel sorry for the 48% who didnt whats happening and have to now swim in the sloopy poop of it all.What a fkn rotter.
COYG! Give us something to smile about!
How many reds are this team going to get this season! 3 in 4 games FFS
Anyone doubting there was covid and injuries on the squad only had to look at that performance to know they were telling the truth
Really need a striker and possibly MF from within or outside the club, this team looks like it is running out of steam
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Arsenal set to sign Goalkeeper Matt Turner from New England Revolution, and loan out Bern Leno, to Newcastle, with a purchase clause if they avoid relegation
Mandy I think that is 14 reds for Arsenal under Arteta,
once again despite being in a losing position, and going on to lose, we only used 2 of our 5 allowed subs, I really never understand that approach we see so often from Arteta. Surely throw on fresh legs, whats the worst that could happen
Didn’t see the game as I was flying to Switzerland but the fact that Xhaka got sent off after coming on as sub was disscuting especially as he’s serving a suspension anyway, he has to go !
Strangely depressing isnt it? We expected another stalwart performance, perhaps you could say there were some moments, but in the end we were left with a grey hangover? Maybe if a Partey had started and then could have got sent of early we might have dug in a bit more? Hopes a tyrant in a weird way…and often it empty fumes to burn as gas?
However,even after the City game, and the 1st leg we still seem not good enough, yet.Trouble is I just dont trust Arteta, ironically we now have massive pressure to scrape top 4, that wasn there before, but getting in the Champions league for the cash is surely not enough, we must try to compete, yet domestically we arent really doing it,sort of, but we are still a Europa league team, and not necessarily a finalist in that comp?
The Luton fans going on about how we need to get top four etc.Well we had a manager that could do that until you lot got in his shit.
One thing seems a bit peculiar and thats the total mess the management of our midfield has been in this mid- winter period? Ok forget the red cards, how would it have been if Ainsley had played and not been farmed out? They knew many players would be off for the ACON…
I felt sorry for Tomi and Emil, coming back in when you been out for a while isnt easy and amateur level, what it must be like at the top I have no idea. Im not sure an in- form Tomi would have been turned so easily?
Anyone know why Chambers was even on the bench…the betting problem?
Liverpool are a great side though and we gave them a game, I like Klopp, it was funny to me when the stato said ” do you know its the first final ever with two German managers”, and he looked at the camera and said “sorry”.I personally wished he had come to us, despite the failings at BvB.
Trouble is Burnley doesnt exactly get the cockles cockling?
I would be sorry to see Leno go, you?
“but we are still a Europa league team”
I have not seen us play Europa league standard football let alone Champions league from the games i have seen over 90 mins this season.
The standard seems to be lower mid table to championship football.
There was loads of hoofing to Lacca, saka and Matti , very few moments of intelligent play.
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🚨 Exclusive: Understand #SWFC are in talks to sign Arsenal forward Tyreece John-Jules on loan until the end of the season.
He recently returned to Arsenal following a loan stint with Blackpool.
Worked with DM at Doncaster. Can play a few positions.
Ejeheri saves a late penalty from Watson and Swanson charges in to block the rebound brilliantly! 🤯
Clutch stuff from our young Gunners out here! 💪
⚪️ 1-1 ⚡️ | (88)
#AFCU23 | #PL2 🏆
Arsenal play Burnley on Sunday, and then have not got a fixture till February 10th, and their only other game in February is on the 19th v Brentford.
So with the Transfer window shutting on the last day of this month, it really gives Edu and Arteta a great chance to get deals done, get the squad improved, get those in that they want and get more out that they no longer want.
The media say we are after a CM and a St, with Melo of Juventus and Vlahovic of Fiorentina the men we most want. Plus we are said to be close to signing Turner from New England Revolution in as our back up keeper, to replace Leno who wants out
jayus Norwich have got themselves out of the relegation spots, with a 3-0 away win over watford, who go into the bottom 3
Trouble is ED they have played twenty seven more games than anyone else
Thanks for the upbeat article.
It was the opposite of stability that the Kronke’s bought to the club when they arrived. Some turmoil.
and then they appeared to freeze for a time almost as if they had been forced into an agreement with the previous owner and so they hired PR clowns to attack the coach whilst they spent zero money (which is unheard of for an owner in football) for about a decade before sacking the greatest coach in the history of the club and then going on an orgy of spending giving the money to people with some of the most questionable records in the history of the sport that very money to spend.
Pepe and Saliba etc. To mention these facts at the time the slimey toad who destroyed Barcelona & was hired by the Kronke’s, after destroying Barcelona court case and all…that was to be negative and unsupportive.
There are worse owners in the sport for sure but that doesn’t given these braying donkeys a free pass for their poor showing.
I like that Arteta wants to play an 8 at 8 on occasion.
He has good qualities.
But if he can’t manage the big egos in the sport has he already hit his ceiling as a coach?
The PR clowns who do not know Football exposed themselves again with the divergence of their coverage of Xhaka and Partey. Very strange, but funny too it would be rude to complain about this opportunity to laugh at disingenuous click baiting idiots.
Be interesting to see what happens with Xhaka. re-signing Xhaka was an indication that my previous thought on Arteta managing egos might not be true…fingers crossed!
New podcast is up