Morning all. It is, as you would expect, very quiet in the world of Arsenal. Normally a bad result produces a kind of media silence, and a bad defeat at this moment in time absolutely demands it.
Still, the blog must go on, and with regards to yesterday’s there was an amusing amount of people reacting the headline and not reading the post itself. Normally this is something writers find frustrating, people going spare and commenting because of the title without checking out the substance of the post, but this time it provided me with a few chuckles.
If only they knew what Wilf Spunktrumpet could bring to this team.
Elsewhere – and thanks to everyone who brought this to my attention – our esteemed majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke, is facing some bother after the city of St Louis filed a suit against the NFL for the relocation of the Rams to Los Angeles.
According to St Louis Post-Dispatch, “The St. Louis parties as plaintiffs provide a list of what they claim were false statements or misrepresentations regarding the team’s intent to engage in good-faith negotiations and stay in St. Louis.”
One of the ‘Fraudulent misrepresentations’ cited is from Kroenke himself who said in 2010:
I’m going to attempt to do everything that I can to keep the Rams in St. Louis. … I’ve always stepped up for pro football in St. Louis. And I’m stepping up one more time. I’m born and raised in Missouri. … People in our state know me. People know I can be trusted. People know I’m an honorable guy.
Far be it for me to raise an eyebrow here when many of our American readers this morning can do that job far more effectively, but this is probably why he rarely speaks and remains true his nickname of Silent Stan. It’s because when you do speak it’s on the record and people hold you to account when it turns out things you’ve said contradict the things you do.
For example, in 2011 he gave his only interview since becoming majority shareholder of the club to Jeremy Wilson of the Telegraph. It was one of those where he spoke a lot but said very little, no doubt careful not to say something that people might point to later on. Something, you know, like this:
We are going to engage with our fans’ groups. We are always going to try to protect the club, develop the club and make it a viable competitor.
Engage with fans? No. Protect the club? No, but they have a fantastic focus on protecting the investment. Develop the club? That one we have to give them to some extent because things have improved on the business/marketing/brand/wank nobody really cares about side of things.
Make it a viable competitor?
We’re 22 points behind the Premier League leaders. That’s some top notch viable competing right there. We’re out of the Champions League for the seventh successive season at the Round of 16 stage. And even the one thing we always did, the glue that has more or less kept everything together – finishing in the top four – looks like a mighty challenge this season.
Now, does Kroenke being exposed as a typical ‘franchise’ owner looking to make more money in a bigger market come as any surprise to anyone? Of course not, but it does illustrate that when it comes right down to it what fans think and want is a long way down the list of things he gives a shit about, and we haven’t yet had that much experience of that outlook when it comes to Arsenal.
At some point in the future though, that may well happen, so maybe it’s time people started preparing themselves for it. While much of the focus is on Arsene Wenger right now, and understandably so, as long as this man is calling the shots there’s the need to look at the bigger picture too.
Finally for today, Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel on his team’s hastily rearrange fixture with Monaco last night after the attack on their team bus:
A decision made in Switzerland that concerns us directly. We will not forget it. It is a very bad feeling. A few minutes after this attack the only question that was asked was: ‘Are you ready to play?’ As if we had thrown a beer on our coach. At that time we did not know the reasons for this attack. There is a feeling of helplessness. The date was imposed on us. We weren’t asked about playing the game.
Uefa is eager to continue playing and, of course, we have to keep it going but we still want to be competitive. Every player has the right to deal with it in his way. The team did not feel in the mood, in which you must be for such a game. We were attacked as men and we tried to solve the problem on the ground. The players had the choice not to play but no one chose this option.
Some people will say they’re professionals, it’s their job, and that the show must go on, but when you read Tuchel and what midfielder Nuri Sahin said, it’s clear they were in no real state to play so soon after what happened. They’re not just footballers, they’re people who, thankfully, didn’t suffer any serious injuries or worse.
Their team was attacked with three explosive devices, I don’t care how professional you are, or want to be, that’s not something you process in 24 hours. Essentially someone was trying badly hurt or kill you, that’s a lot to deal with for anyone, and there really should have been more understanding of that.
Anyway, UEFA, Kroenke, what a shower of mickeyblisters they are, so to sign off today in a nice way, here’s a puppy, who loves you even though he’s never met you.
- Just realised I should have titled this post ‘Stan’s LA Law troubles’ because there used to be a TV show called LA Law and that would have been a nice reference to that but I didn’t think of it until after I published so there we go. Yet another crushing defeat inflicted on me by life and my own brain. Thanks for that, stupid brain.