Well yesterday was depressing – not so much the result, but the manner of defeat. Total lack of concentration for five minutes – though the warning signs had been there all game, as similar through balls to those that led to both goals were cut out by the last defender two or three times at least before one got through. On every occasion the defence were not in the best positions, not supporting each other properly, not holding the same line, not aware of what each other or the attackers were doing. Anyone still think there’s no problem with the coaching? Overall Arsene Wenger is a more successful manager than George Graham, but he has a blind spot on defending you could hide the Empire State in. GG would have the players out on the training ground every day from now till May after a performance like that. And don’t bother quoting statistics about total numbers of goals conceded or any other crap. Arsenal have talented and expensive players throughout the team, so they should be better than nearly everyone else, and shouldn’t concede as many goals as most teams. It’s not the numbers that are the problem as much as the manner.
Enough of that. My blood pressure is rising. Instead of me writing any more, here’s a rant from Arsenal shareholder and season ticket holder Darren Epstein, who shared all that follows on Twitter, would you believe. He has given me permission to quote him. He doesn’t blog himself, so if you want to engage with him find him on Twitter at @DarrenArsenal1 – over 53,000 already follow him.
“The idea that the average fan goes on about 8 years is a nonsense in my opinion. Only those who shoot from the hip do. But the degradation of squad especially in the last 18 months or so, that’s why we’ve become what we’ve become: somewhat uncompetitive.
Twenty-four points behind Man Utd, who we used to compete with for the league, with probably the most average league in years, which makes it even worse. Arsène admits that too many times his defence has been found wanting this season, whether CBs or lack of a DM. Sadly he is the only one at fault for that.
All of a sudden we have a side issue of a ‘mysterious’ consortium to talk about, rather taking something away from the real issues both on and off pitch.
People focus on £123m in the bank, but that number was from last year, we have months of revenues since, which means we have a far higher amount.
The biggest issue for most is not that we were lied to when we moved, but the fact that they’ve known revenues will go through the roof in 2014, so instead of allowing a share dilution of even 5-7%, which would have meant nothing to incumbents but would have brought in £75m+, they decided we don’t need other options, we will make do, we will get by. Only one place would have benefited by offering shares: Arsenal, the club, with lowered debt and allowing cash to be freed to be spent where it was needed. But the Board were so worried about “outsiders” that they didn’t go with it. Did the board vote on whether a share issue should be a source of funding? No answer to that, because I have asked that question to Ivan at three different Q&As and he won’t say either way. Why? Because doing nothing benefits only one person. If new shares are issued incumbents would have the chance to buy proportional to their holding, which means Stan having to actually put his hand in his pocket to put money into the club in order to maintain the same size shareholding. Alisher Usmanov already said he wanted a share issue. So again, those ‘custodians’ made a decision not for the benefit of the club, but for themselves.
We are being buttered up for Stan to put Josh Kroenke on the Board in the summer in my opinion, and a statement that he’s committed to the club. But all decisions are to benefit themselves and majority shareholder Stan Kroenke.
The club continues to be an utterly dysfunctional club in ownership terms, and one that somewhat has been dictated to from beyond the grave, with a feud that in essence had nothing to do with Arsenal, but with a falling out that had consequences, with R&W not getting input to the club.
Instead of a leveraged buy out, we had the opposite: we’ve had a value increase for shareholders, built on the back of fans paying and selling assets.
I understand why a lot of people now have turned on Arsène, but you can’t hide fact that at least six of the last eight years we have been VERY competitive. However, the bottom line in all of this is that the manager has pretty much said what most of us have said: many of the current players not good enough. I believe even two world class players wouldn’t be enough now, I think we need four to turn it around properly. And will we ever get them under Stan Kroenke?”
You can also engage with me on Twitter (if I’m in the mood – I won’t lie to you): @AngryOfN5