Thursday, January 28, 2021

Why Stan Kroenke Is To Blame, Not Arteta

Stan Kroenke is the current owner of Arsenal. He is also the owner of the Los Angeles Rams amongst other US sports teams. Arsenal have started the season terribly. They currently sit in 15th place in the Premier League, just four points ahead of 18th place Fulham.

The club is in total disarray and is a danger of being involved in a relegation battle if they are not careful. Stan Kroenke is quite rightly taking a massive share of the blame.

The Timeline Of Stan Kroenke’s Time As Owner

Kroenke bought a 9.9% stake in Arsenal in April 2007 and has gradually had more control of the club as the years have gone on. He now has full control of the football club, as of 2018.

Kroenke has overseen a gradual decline of Arsenal during his time being involved at the club.

This is no coincidence.

When Kroenke came to Arsenal, the North London side was three years removed from winning the Premier League and going the whole season unbeaten. They had players such as Cesc Fábregas, Robin van Persie and Thierry Henry to name a few.

Van Persie, Fábregas and Henry alongside Alexander Hleb, who also left for Barcelona.

Henry would leave in the summer and Fábregas and van Persie would also leave within the next three to four years.

This can be blamed on the new stadium, which Kroenke was not involved in. However, as the years have gone on, Kroenke has continued to not spend and appears more focused on the Los Angeles Rams then he does Arsenal.

There have been many examples of this in the family, as we saw with Josh Kroenke turning up to an Arsenal training session in L.A. Rams gear.

Josh Kroenke alongside former manager Unai Emery.

“I didn’t buy a stake in Arsenal to win trophies”, Stan Kroenke stated back in 2016. This is not a comment that sparks confidence from the fans.

Managerial Issues At Arsenal

Long time manager Arsène Wenger departed the club in 2018, the same year Kroenke earned full control of the club. Unai Emery was appointed in during the summer but didn’t last more than 18 months. Mikel Arteta was brought in as the replacement.

Both managers have failed to turn things around, despite Arteta winning the FA Cup last season.

Mikel Arteta celebrating FA Cup glory, something he has won as both an Arsenal manager and Arsenal player.

Whilst criticism of both managers is justified, at some point the blame has to be pointed to Kroenke.

The Viewpoint From The Fans

During Jurgen Klopp’s first press conference with Liverpool, he made a point about how to impact a club.

“It’s not important what people think when you come in, but what they think when you leave.”

In similar fashion to Manchester United, Kroenke and the Arsenal board have managed to completely alienate the fans.

I have spoken to a few Arsenal fans and asked them for their thoughts on Stan Kroenke and the board.

“I’d say 99% of Arsenal fans can’t stand him. He is never at any games, doesn’t have much involvement as he leaves that to his son. The only investment he’s made was sanctioning the Partey deal, so it will be interesting to see if he will do that again”, one Arsenal fan told me.

“Kroenke cares more about American Football than Arsenal. Kroenke needs to care more for the club”, another Arsenal fan stated.

“He’s not a good owner. He doesn’t show interest in us and never attends games. The people he’s got in charge to run the club below him aren’t good enough”, tells the final Arsenal fan I spoke to.

“If he was like Abramovic or the Manchester City owners, we could be run well as they are owners that care about winning trophies. But on the other hand, he does give us money for transfers, they are just managed badly”.

Roman Abramovic celebrating Chelsea’s Champions League triumph.

There is an argument that Kroenke is doing the right thing by leaving it to the manager. However, we have seen Chelsea owner Roman Abramovic at their games, showing a real love for the club. Whenever Kroenke is pictured at the Emirates Stadium, he looks far from interested.

Issues In The Arsenal Boardroom

Arteta appears out of his depth. Whilst the Spaniard and his predecessor have been the ones choosing the signings and starting lineups, it is Kroenke who is choosing the managers.

How much longer in charge will Mikel Arteta get as Arsenal manager.

Kroenke is also responsible for the boardroom around him. Kia Joorabchian and Edu have also be held responsible for Arsenal’s downfall.

Whoever has been involved in the recruitment needs to be held accountable, which once again shows the issue with Kroenke and the board

Nicolas Pépé was signed from Lille in the summer of 2019 for £72 million. Whilst he has shown glimpses, has not been the signing Arsenal fans all thought he would be.

Pépé only managed 8 goals in 42 appearances in all competitions last season and has so far only managed 5 goals in 19 appearances in all competitions this season.

Nicolas Pépé was shown a red card earlier this season after a headbutt against Leeds player Gjanni Alioski.

Whilst we have seen worse statistics, these are not the numbers you would expect from such an expensive signing.

Pépé is just one of several disappointing signings in recent years.

Sead Kolašinac, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi, David Luiz and Willian have all come in during the past four seasons and have flattered to deceive.

William Saliba and Alexandre Lacazette came in with plenty of expectation. Saliba came in for £27 million with many expecting him to be the next great centre back of the future.

William Saliba during an Arsenal training session.

Whilst he is still young, he has not played a single minute for the first team and is expected to go out on loan once again in January.

Lacazette was signed for £46.5 million from Lyon as one of Europe’s hottest prospects. He had a good start in his first two years with the club, with 27 goals the first two seasons.

Despite this, he has not hit the heights that his price tag and time with Lyon justified. He has scored 40 Premier League goals in 108 games. There have also been plenty of negative headlines off the pitch for the Frenchman.

Lacazette is struggling for form, despite being played more centrally this season.

The recruitment has simply not been good enough from the Arsenal board. Aubameyang and goalkeeper Bernd Leno have been the exceptions, but even Aubameyang has struggled for form this season, especially since he signed a three-year £55 million contract in September. He has scored just two goals in the thirteen games he has played since putting pen to paper on the new deal.

Stan Kroenke and the board have also allowed German midfielder Mesut Özil to sit with one of the highest-paid contracts in the Premier League (£350,000 a week), despite Arteta not including him in the Premier League or Europa League squads.

Something is not right in the Arsenal board. They can keep sacking and hiring new managers but until better decisions are made in the boardroom and Kroenke more gets involved, the club will never progress.

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