Do the Gunners need Oiling Up for Success?

What sort of club do you want Arsenal to be? What sort of business model would suit us best?

With another club getting oiled up to the eye balls now, and there always being a chance that Arsenal will be bought by a sheikh or two themselves, I am wondering how fellow BKers (and other, silent readers of the blog) think our club should be owned and run.

Football clubs have huge turnovers now and with that come big financial risks. Barcelona just decided to take on a €1.5b loan to get themselves out of – or even more into, depending on how you look at it – a financial mess. They could not keep hold of their big stars and let them go to their rivals for free. The club has imploded over the summer and it will take a long time for them to get back to the top. Running a football club is risky business.

Ajax have a great youth academy but (have to??) sell their gems at an increasingly younger age, after which they have to build all over again.

Citeh and the Southern Oilers have shown that success can be bought if one just keeps pumping extraordinary amounts of money into the club. But it is not just that: Abramovich is ruthless when it comes to hiring and firing managers and has a good eye for who will bring him instant success/return on investment. Citeh made one of the management appointments of the new millennium by getting Guardiola instead of him going to the Red part of that post-industrial city.

Big money with (loyal) top quality managers is a strong recipe for silverware. But how much fun is it to win this way?

Pool have of course made the other big manager signing of the modern era. Klopp was a great managerial call by the Pool BoD, and with relatively modest investment they have found a formula for success with attractive, winning football. I am much more jealous of them.

Man United and Arsenal, the power houses of the first 15 years or so of the PL, have lost out to superior oil money and wrong managerial appointments.

I don’t really want to look at what went wrong, though. All good eras in the PL come to an end and then we have to hope for a new one. The question is, do we have the right structure and ownership model in place to be successful again?

For me this is a question of sound and ambitious financial management and top level football management knowhow at Board level. It’s also about vision and values as foundation to the long term running and success of the club.

Furthermore, it is about holding on to our best players long enough to reach the summit again. It is also about listening to the fans and good comms; about being aligned and having trust in the longterm direction of the club.

There is room for improvement at Arsenal regarding the above, but we are not in a bad place. The club have made a strategic decision to invest in youth and young quality players to build a team from scratch. They have trust in Arteta and his vision of beautiful, winning football; but if he doesn’t work out there will be a solid base and squad for the next manager to build on. This is vitally important.

I have high hopes for Mikel but this season will need to bring a step improvement and the jury remains out. I think he will deliver.

A vision and long term strategy, excellent management knowhow, using youth where possible, spending between £50-100m every season, holding on to our best players sensibly and managing the club in a financially sound way, is all I am asking for. I don’t want us to buy success by simply outspending others through unlimited funds. Really, what is the fun in that? If Pool can do it, Arsenal can do it.

I would like more passionate involvement from the Kroenkes and am not sure we have the required knowhow at Board level now, but the decision to stick with Arteta (‘s vision and direction) and investment in quality young players has made me very excited for Arsenal’s journey ahead.

Or is this not enough? Is the only way to success to be oiled up to the eye balls?

By TotalArsenal

37 thoughts on “Do the Gunners need Oiling Up for Success?

  • I’m very confident we’ll be top 5. I think 4th is a real possibility. The battle for 4th is tight, and I think we are the best. If we can string together the results, it’s ours.

  • Cheers Neal, I am hopeful about a high finish but don’t think Arsenal will get into the top four this season. For this we would need consistency and I think we aren’t there yet.

  • Since Arsenal won the Premier League back in 2004 we have seen three clubs dominate the league, Man Utd with 5 title, Chelsea with 5 titles, Man City with 5 titles, Liverpool won it once and of course the Leicester season of 2016 when Arsene let it slip through his fingers.

    That tells you how things are developing.

    Liverpool did it with shrewd management across the club, some fantastic scouting, buying and selling and they’re still do it, yes Total I envy Liverpool as well but because they are run efficiently by Fenway who’ve put some top people in charge. Fenway were doing this when our own owners were more focused on ousting Ursmanov and that’s why we are light years behind the Scousers.

    Man Utd last won the title in 2013 so they too are slipping down the oily pole, apparently Old Trafford is crumbling and needs a fortune spent on renovation.

    And what of Newcastle?
    Well Everton have proved that having a lot of dough to spend guarantees you not a lot, but the Saudis are not the kind of people to let the grass grow under their feet, it’s all about image, ego, being the top dog or top camel for them. It’s all about making them as acceptable as Vladimir Putin’s front man Abramovitch has done at Chelsea.

    I never thought when I saw Patrick Vieira lifting the EPL trophy that almost 18 years later, as it will be next May, that my Arsenal wouldn’t have won the league a couple more times in that period, but that’s how it is and I do wonder if I’ll ever see an Arsenal captain lifting that beautiful trophy again in my lifetime under KSE?

  • Social Media were mocking at the 0-5 defeat of ManU vs Liv. Even local (Singaporean) businesses and government entities as well.

    I find it distasteful in the greatest sense that they did that..

    We were there in their shoes not too long ago, and I hope that they can drag themselves back to winning ways again.

  • Hi Total – I will read your post later this morning.

    Here are the results from last weekend:-

    1st OX10 with 5/6 plus 4 points for getting most correct = 9 points
    2nd Eris with 3/6 plus 2 points for a correct score = 5 points
    3rd Madhu & Kev with 4/6 = 4points
    5th GN5 & Total with 2/6 = 2 points
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    For the season to date:-

    1st Eris with 52.46 points
    2nd OX10 with 49.13 points
    3rd GN5 with 46.13 points
    4th Madhu with 38.66 points
    5th Total with 39.13 points
    6th Kev with 34.66 points
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Well done OX10 a big score of 9 points bounces you up to 2nd place.

  • Here are the coming weekends choices:-

    Leicester City v Arsenal *
    Watford v Southampton
    Tottenham v Manchester United *
    Aston Villa v West Ham United *
    Arsenal Ladies v Brighton Ladies
    Valencia v Villarreal

  • NJK84, I have no idea what the Singapore media are saying but I know that the media can go over the top and you are right we have been on the receiving end far too many times.

    However I must admit that I got deal of joy watching Man U get trounced and kicked off of their pedestal.

  • Did I read that right.? The comment from njk84 sg.We The Arsenal should have some sympathy from the mocking of Man Utd on social media etc?R U Avin a laugh? The media,I’ll include the Man Utd pundits of Keane,Neville,Scholes etc who can’t wait to tear into Arsenal at any excuse? Or who can forget the poison dwarf PatriciavEvra & his mocking “ men against boys”.You find it Distasteful do you? I suggest you sod off back to whatever united blog you crawled out from,Sharpish & take your woke ,snowflake support with it.Ffs.Never heard anything like it in my life!

  • Uwot?

    You are way out of line mate – NJK84 is a staunch Arsenal supporter and his views should not be mocked.
    Frankly I hope that is the last comment you will make on this site and if you persist I hope you will be banned.

  • Get a life pal..Will be the last time I’ll ever waste a comment on this site if the common view on this blog is pity on any criticism levelled at Man Utd & hope ,yes,I read it right, that they get back to winning ways.? Is that some sick joke?What a shower of snowflakes

  • Uwot,

    This will be my last comment to you – but just for the record I was born on Avenell Road and watched my first game at Highbury in November 1947.

  • Well I’m sorry you feel that way.For the record.I’ve lived in Finsbury Park.3 mins from the ground.All my 60 plus years.Yet I have never in all my life,come across the comments on an Arsenal blog professing sympathy for Man Utd,of all clubs! No wonder this great club of ours is in the sorry mess it currently is with “ supporters” & I use the word v.loosely in this context,currently stipulating their sadness at their plight? A club who continuously mock us & hate us with a vengeance.

  • Uwot, I am not offended, but consider me amazed by those comments.

    I am a true red and white supporter, and it is only human to feel compassion if things gets out of hand.

    I know how manu** fans will scoff at us, and I am equally amazed by how they crumbled against Liv at home. However, when I see Facebook posts mocking the he** out of the scoreline, it does sound a little distasteful. Imagine that the media mocked at the scoreline we had gotten many seasons ago. I will stop buying from those places if I were you.

    Cheers from Singapore

  • Kev, you will see a Gunners’ captain lift that trophy again, I am certain of it.

    Maybe the Kroenkes are only now getting the hang of it. Let’s hope so.

  • Uwot, in some cultures mocking an opponent when they are down and out is regarded as distasteful and disrespectful. I can emphatise with that. Maybe you should try so too.

  • Thanks for the update, GN5 ⚽ ⚽ ⚽
    Wow, OX10 has done very well this week. No wonder PB quit the competition; he knew he has no chance! 😁😁

  • There’s a few of you here that are perhaps not too familiar with British football culture& The rivalry’s & unfortunately, hate ,go deep.Thankfully it mostly manifests itself in what we call “ bantz” or banter as it’s more commonly known.It is the lifeblood of football rivalry & you take EVERY opportunity when they become available to let the rival clubs( particularly the ones that hate us ) just in case you don’t know who they are.I’ll list them in no particular order,Manure,the chavs,the spuds,the Bin dippers,the Orcs( Stoke city),Leeds Utd & Bolton & a few others to mention.That they are crap.You certainly don’t sympathise with them or leave a shoulder to cry on.Now these clubs mentioned have plenty of support in the press,tv ,radio & even on the pitch & FA but that’s another story.(lets not go there.) who are only too willing when the opportunity arises to stick the knife into Arsenal.So no,I won’t be empathising at all.Not one little bit for I am a LOYAL supporter unlike,it would appear the flip flippers on here.

  • TA, good post and apt due tk takeover of Newcastle. I agree wiht everything that you have mentioned. Here is my take and what I would love my Arsenal to be.
    Sport is about contest on the field and for that there has to be a level playing field. Surely the ownership model and diabolical application of FFP makes it impossible to ahve a level palying field. When it’s further skewed by hoarding of big players by richest club whose owners are as varied as a state to oligarchs, investment funds and business men, the alternate method should be innovated in such a lopsided field. Here I would love Arsenal to develop its own blueprint. The current strategy based on young and hungry players is an exciting one and may need some fine-tuning and better footballing brains to manage the same. I for one don’t want big players on obscene salaries be part of out club. Iam happy to watch young talent grow and achive success at the club.

  • Thanks for educating us, Uwot. I never knew that we had rivalries with those clubs and now I know how to behave like a proper Gooner and hate their guts. Thank you oh you wise Old Gooner. 🤭🤭😅😂😂😂

  • Great post Total – thank you.

    My take on the subject has always been the same. I simply want to see attractive, winning football and a team that is good enough to compete for trophy’s and titles. For me the main excitement is in the chase to the top of whatever competition we are playing in.

    Ideally ownership should be deeply involved in the club and listen to the fans through the likes of a forum – or representative fans attending monthly meetings to air thoughts and grievances.

    The Kronkes appear to be becoming more flexible with the purse strings – but they will not be foolish spenders as they have to protect the longevity of the club – which is after all their investment.

    The vision articulated by Arteta is very sound and the mixture of youth and experience looks to be well balanced – time will tell if it will work.- I, for one, wish him well, but it will take more than one season so we all have to be patient while the team goes through it’s high’s and low’s to find the right balance.

  • Wise words, GN5, and all agreed.

    The comms with the fans needs further improvement, but you can tell things have changed as the atmosphere in the stadium is much more positive now!

  • Uwot, most of us Bergkampesque bloggers are seasoned Arsenal supporters and we most certainly do not need to be educated in Arsenal rivalries – some of us were experiencing these rivalries before you were born.

    If you want to become a viable and respected blogger on this site then you could start by commenting on the posts and not criticizing other people’s comments.

  • Total – The atmosphere was electric against Aston Villa – it took me back the the early Wenger days. All the fans need is to see the team perform and grow and they will continue to get behind the team – we badly need our own 12th man..

  • Glad to see you go UWOT and don’t let the door hit you on the way out!
    Arsenal have always bucked the trend, ever since Chapman’s days and were always ahead of the curve when it came to their approach to Football. The oiler clubs have a fatal flaw, in that they require rich owners to spend cash endlessly, while trying to buy every “top class” player and maybe manager available. However when things go south as they inevitably do, they stumble and fall because they have used short-term success as a crutch to keep their fans happy. The Arsenal’s approach can be painful and slow but it will achieve results.

  • Another fine post addressing a subject of contemporary relevance. To be honest, I felt some trepidation when it became clear, in 2007, Arsenal was to be taken over by one of Usmanov or Kroenke based on their shareholding, as we all watched them play a bizarre game of attrition. As it turned out, Kroenke showed tenacity and forced Usmanov to blink first, leading to his acceptance of £550m for his Holding by 2018, making Kroenke sole shareholder (largely so). To be fair, I preferred Kroenke because I had read someplace that it was his willingness to carry on with the club’s tradition of a self sustaining model that swayed the existing shareholders at the time. That model appealed to me (still does) and is a thing of pride for me, as a fan of the club. So, clearly, while it isn’t even in my control, I would rather not wish the club to be “oiled” in any form so the pride in trophies won would be worth it.

    But that’s not the way the up and coming fans of the game see things. It is a “micro-wave generation” we are raising now who see the fastest way to success and glory as the right way, hence, you find fans of a typically traditional club like Newcastle celebrate being bought over by a Monarchy with a not-so-good reputation. They will refer to decades of being left out of trophy hauls as reason; plus the banter from rival fans of clubs with limitless funding, who point at their trophy cabinet as proof they were right to root for such a takeover by billionaire owners willing to use extra-judicial means to provide financing for the club’s player needs, at whatever cost. We have glory hunters for fans these days; in Nigeria (as with most other countries/continents, these days), it is not uncommon to hear a fan of one club declare “I now support club X and no longer club Y because of my sanity, as my club can’t win trophies….”.

    I am with you, TA, on the more fun way to attain success being to use own (footballing) resources rather than buying the trophies. Life is about peaks and troughs, so clubs will rise and then go into obscurity (and may even rise again, as NewCastle May well do). What is sustainable is a model that emphasizes more of “growing organically”. In doing so, we must be wary of the need to sustain commercial attractiveness by remaining competitive, no matter what. We need to get a good team managing the club, from top to bottom. Anything else and we may be left too far behind.

    PS: forgive any typos as I am posting this when I should be asleep.

  • GN5, great work you’re doing with keeping the records. Nice to be back on top, albeit with OX10 on my coat tails, too close for comfort. 😁
    Well done with that kind of score. You obviously, have a nose for these things.

  • Madhu, I can appreciate your resentment for the endless banter over United’s loss and maybe it is overboard in your neck of the woods (Singapore). But, I can’t say I feel sorry for them or would even care that the slag-fest is taken to such heights. No way. Not with what they make us go through whenever we hit a rough patch. It is the way of the world we live in now, I guess.

    I cannot have any sympathy (talking sports, strictly, not tragedies) for the following clubs: the Russian chavs, Manure and Spurs. The memes from United’s loss have been hilarious and all I can do is enjoy it when I can as they will do the same thing to us (even worse) as soon as we have our next meltdown.

  • goonereris, mate I think you got the person wrong. I don’t live in Singapore and most definitely don’t sympathize with Manu. When they dominated PL before Arsenal were their worthy rivals I detested them. Not only beacuse of the seemingly baised media and somehow all decisions used to go for them. How manu games they had extra time from refrees to get a result. Above all Fergie wiht his foul mouth and x rated comments against refree always went unpunished. I always taught why any refree with an ounce of self respect would tolerate this nonsense from a classless guy. To be honest this was the same question I had whenever I watched McEnroes outburst against umpires. I hate these kind of entitled men with foul mouth and they should not have any space in the world of sport.No sympathies for Man U at all. They deserve what they get and hopefully long may it continue. Selfishly I secretly wanted Man U to defeat pool to keep our Invincibles record for another season.

  • Morning Gooners.

    I’ve just had a wonderful cup of Gods own brew and am now ready to face the world. I’ve got my booster jab this Friday so thank you Big Pharma and the Government.

  • As Kev said earlier we’ve been drifting for a long time. We’ve gone from Invincibles in 2004 to also rans for the past few seasons. Arsenal & Mik have a plan. Whether he is the Boss to take us there is not certain.

    Focus needs to be on the Youth side. London is a large city with some great potential players. We can’t compete with the transfer funds that the West London Money Launderers or the Manchester clubs can throw about, but we can be savvy and pick up some rough diamonds.

    For the record I have no sympathy for Man United. Their fans are amongst the worst I have come across on a game day. I have witnessed them assaulting family groups and smashing up provincial towns. Horrible.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s