Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The real reason Arsenal aren't winning trophies

Arsenal have the same business plan as lower league teams or mid table premiership teams.

At the beginning of every season, if you are Barcelona or Real Madrid then you will be spending big and branding your way to Champions League glory because that is what you have built yourself around. In the case of Arsenal with similar goals, surely they are also capable of that?

After leaving the FA Cup this week and losing an opportunity to win 3 FA Cups back to back, you have to wonder why a team like Arsenal can play outstanding football with outstanding players but then just falter for weeks on end.

Are we to believe that these world class players with world class players around them who have shown the ability to demolish big teams can go weeks on end struggling to survive and exist?

We need to start looking at the bigger picture and Kreonke's comments regarding branding for fan's behaviour is the way to go. Kreonke doesn't believe winning trophies is important. The aim is to get more and more fans involved and fans spending money and that brings in the money, when balancing against other achievements.

So what is the problem with winning a trophy? Why is it expensive?

I think the problem is, can you sustain that kind of achievement? Are Arsenal a trophy winning brand?

How can I hold onto fans? How can I make fans that don't want to win trophies?

So how expensive is it to be a trophy winning product? How expensive is it to be a product that wins trophies year on year?

Can we afford to do that? It's expensive because it will attract fans who want that, year on year. That, is expensive.

Maybe we can do that for a few seasons with the FA Cup but I think there is expense otherwise.

Leicester City can do it for one season. They sell themselves as a freak of nature and it's all fine. Arsenal's difficulty is selling themselves as world class by being Champions League capable and then just standing alongside giants. That's the brand and dare I say it, that's the way they sell themselves to their target market. There are the older fans who will turn up to Arsenal no matter what - it's fine, we're losing, it's cool.

Then there are the newer fans who are the people the club are targeting now. The type who will stand by the club even when there are nudge nudge wink wink, injuries ("oh, we lost because of injuries... oh woe is us") and we just miss out year on year. We're fourth, but we can be higher, we could get higher, just wait and see, the promised land is nearby.

The problem is the Leicester City analogy. They can go to the top and win one year and have that history. Then fumble around the brilliant 5th to 10th position area year on year and the fans are happy.

Arsenal can win the league, Arsenal can win a lot of trophies. We have the finances and everything else. We're just lost in this world of somebody following the modern day business ideas of late that we are targeting markets, we have to not over fuel our product and I am sure the people and Manchester United are, right now, hoping ex-players will be quiet about over selling the club when the competition is so tight with Manchester City, Tottenham, Chelsea and others, all strong contenders.

The Premier league is a league of almost rans.

The business strategy of most football clubs is just holding onto fans with branding of players, branding of football, targeting with social media culture and the lad culture and that works.

Unfortunately, we're not playing football and this is why football is losing itself. It's about money but it's about branding and business too and doing things with a business narrative. It's unfortunate. Everyone is killing the sport. The game has always been commercialised so let's not romanticise ourselves but ever since United started investing in so many new markets to make money and then telling people "oh, we found these magic players", no, they got into a lot of money by investing on the back of major changes in global business like oil in the middle east and east Europe and the back of the South East Asia tech boom and targeting the affluent middle classes there with glamorous football and the oh so androgynous Fergie's Babes, or more accurately, the Fergie labelled let's go looking for kids and hide our financial strategy by telling them we played good football.

These business practices has killed football.

It's great that Leicester are at the top. I hope their run, when Arsenal win the league this year, gives the impetus to remove business and we remember how great Ranieri was at Chelsea before he had to leave.

But, we need people in business who understand sport. Who understand football. We don't have that so, the satanising of football will continue.

I need to end by saying, there is so much connection business to business. Fans will always tell themselves that this doesn't exist and players and footballers are miles away from this but now, the days of the best team winning are over. It's the team with the most money who wins and that's got nothing at all to do with sport.

Every other team? They just survive by desperately holding onto fans.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Trying to get over the rigmarole of morale - Arsenal Vs Leicester

I think it is important to look at football as a series of ups and downs. I have been following the woes of Manchester United (woes being used loosely) online and in the media and I find it odd that everybody expects United to be at the top and something crazy is happening. Being 5th in the league is not a bad place to be and we have to remember there was some stumbling in the final years of Alex Ferguson as well.

So what we're left with is, why did this happen, why did that happen and we're a big club, our players are sponsored by the best companies and we're so popular and we score great goals and I spin like a Ballerina when I score a goal.

This is where Leicester comes into it. Ranieri's response to his position has always been a bit of "it's alright, we're doing ok. We're in a good position and we hope it stays that way.". In contrast, lets look at the big teams who are always being questioned of their position and their legacy and what will happen to them.

As a blogger, we can copy the actions of the big players in the media and blame players and blame tactics and intentions forever and ever but we fall into this mode of negativity that removes the basis decency of football that binds us. Let's not forget it's what we share in football that matters.

So I would like to look at Arsenal in this light. We are in a very good position in the league. We have absolutely phenomenal players and I have to state clearly that we have so much benefit for us that none of it, be it the FA Cup, the Champions League or the Premiership should be deemed negatively. We are still part of a huge competition and be a part of that.

What morale becomes if we fall for negativity is, morale becomes controlled by whoever controls the communication. We start to do things and say things that are a detriment because our assumptions go nobody. Let's say we have an opinion about a certain player - ok, he shouldn't play or he is out of position, then what? We're not even sure why we say things other than wanting to cut them like we're a tiny version of the Tory party and eventually we cut everything that nothing is left in the world other than it being replaced by a made up company with a name like "Manwhokickswithlegs PLC" who are in a lot of debt, much like a lot of football clubs.

So there is always a chance in football. But that chance is only possible if we see the benefit in what is possible.

We should beat Arsenal because Leicester are the team now under pressure to perform.

I have a couple of petitions that need signing. I might repeat these a few times. I feel the NHS is losing out and basically, people are dying and the more we lose the NHS the more people will die.

Thanks for helping and please share.

Thanks again.

This is for the Junior Doctors. Wherever you stand on this, most of us in favour if not all of us, we need people who work in the NHS to be comfortable and able to be happy with the service they provide. The debate is now about blaming. That's not 21st century logic.

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/petition-against-junior-doctor-wage-cuts-in-england

This is related to saving a hospital. Deadline close.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/109473

This area has massive congestion problems in a hilly area. If Emergency departments are closed, more deaths will happen - so say people who have studied this for a long time. Save lives - sign the petition. Thanks

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/118690

Basically, if you can just try and sign more petitions it would be great. It is something to help people out there.

Monday, December 08, 2014

The dissipation of class - Arsenal have had internal problems since 2002

You'd think that Arsenal's problems are year on year, a new thing. You'd think that every Summer we can start again like a new beginning and feel fresh in the light of making new decisions and opening up new ideas.

The answer is no and that is because we need to take a look at how we relate to our activity at Arsenal. How we show the world what we are doing. We blame people instead of sitting down and communicating - we also shame them.

The problems at Arsenal are encompassed by how we scapegoat individuals publicly because we have a self righteous approach to everyone to prove we are doing the right thing. This we have seen in the boardroom for a number of years now and we forget, that this does affect player performance. Conflict, bitterness, judgement and punishment is passed around and when it is irrational it affects everyone involved. The major activity sadly started when we were at our best between 2002 and 2004. After that, players left,our football fell and we tended to blame the people we released instead of solving problems, maturely, professionally and progressively in the boardroom and in the backroom.

We have a tendency to publicly shame individuals then ignore them to say we are doing things with class and doing them with some style and integrity but any group, any organisation, any culture can find their blame models to make themselves morally elitist. This sense of moral elitism to show off our style of football, our financial situation, our charity work or whatever else, is in fact immoral because we blame individuals for doing things that they are paid to do. In fact, we blame them to do things that we pay them to do.

We blamed Ashley Cole for asking for 5,000 pounds more than was in a new contract. We blamed Vieira (who had at least 5 more years in him) for asking for more money. Both players gave us major trophies and arguably one of the best periods Arsenal have had. There were also other players. We stuck by Dennis Bergkamp for standing around for many years (a great player but at the expense of scapegoating world class players?) while we chastised Jose Antonio Reyes, Sylvain Wiltord, Marouane Chamakh, Samir Nasri simply because they had an opportunity to play at a club that plays differently.

Simply because they wanted a chance where there were more options to play beyond a method that broke around 2006

I do believe how a club plays is important here but that will digress this towards something else. I do feel players want to be open and flexible and this is emulated in Sanchez who drives forward and breaks down defences. Something I saw in Wiltord and Reyes early on in their time at Arsenal before they were programmed into the Tiki Taki conditioning system which has not worked effectively since 2006.

The problems though stem back to us openly talking about our boardroom problems.

Fans came out and took sides. David Dein was first to be attacked and then we can go further back to saying George Graham left under similar circumstances. I am not going to take sides here but I do believe a professional and morally sound club would not air their dirty laundry out in public. I am sure every big club has their conflicts and frustrations at the top but they keep them private.

While Arsenal still believing they are better than others felt they had to express this better-ness by finding fault in others.

Now... this open assault on all things evil has led to the manager. Fans are frustrated. I do think it is wrong that this happened but openly we can see problems and when you see players running around pushing themselves for so long you wonder; why can't we just go defensive for one game. From the players to the manager.

What Arsenal have lacked is reason, logic and rationale. We haven't been considerate. We give players a chance because we think it is "kind" instead of thinking, if a player works hard and produces results, we play them and we pay them. We don't seem to promote or encourage cohesion. We seem to think a nice happy happy approach on each individual player is better - instead of thinking, we are building a team and the cohesion of a team is better than the individual approach.

Ultimately though, these problems from the board room to the back room staff that oddly turn out to be family members, friends or ex-players we believe are bionic because they have Arsenal blood, spreads. It spreads across the club as a corporate culture that affects the football at the club.

We can't deny the effect David Dein had. What I believe David Dein bought to the club was external influence. He was capable of introducing a connection with the outside world that Arsenal never had before because Arsenal had been a bit of an old boys club until we started to take advantage of a more cosmopolitan business model. We were able to see that our communication on an international level transformed our culture but this changed soon as more money became probable to the club during a lot more money in the market. Money we used to build a new stadium but also led to open, public fights.

So it's odd i think, that we can't as a club become corporately stronger but we blame others.

Do we have class? In some cases, maybe. Some cases it is showing off. Bruce Lee said something along the lines of, Showing off is fools glory and it is what we do. We show off about being stronger in a game, more passes, our financial record, our new stadium and our ex players.

Let's be honest here and rationale. Arsenal have many advantages and strengths. We have been in the Champions League for many seasons and we will be again this year. We have won many trophies as well and almost won more. The club is doing well elsewhere too but I do believe that there is room for change and it is about our conduct. That is important.

We need to start being a football club. Football being the major factor. We need to to start focussing on people who want to win. Is this glory hunting? I guess it is but not for trophies primarily but for wins and morale because winning and morale  is part of respecting football and we do an injustice and a dishonour to every other football club when we can't use our resources to their best ability because we merely want to show people we are better than them - secretly we know, we haven't got the more important results for all the effort with which we've grown in the past 10 years.


Monday, April 07, 2014

The Liverpool conundrum - Everton Loss - Been here before - No more excuses

The problem at the club is not the board and it's not transfer policies or other factors. The problem is simply a sense of fear that has plagued the club for decades. What actually changed in the eighties when David Dein arrived was a sense of money that came about with a lot of the changes in that period. We also entertained the likes of George Graham and the new form of football that he and also Arsene Wenger brought with them.

Yet we have to accept there isn't an infinite never ending date with these guys. We are at odds to our surroundings and environment and if we don't adapt, then we will struggle and falter. What Arsenal didn't do was, they didn't adapt. The essence of the "In Arsene We Trust" rhetoric was born out of fear. It's like the right wing Tory campaign of, work in progress, in the future things will change. Well, the same was said with Thatcher in the eighties and with John Major later and we keep forgetting that only the rich do well in these periods.

We couldn't trust Arsene after a few years of loss because they didn't adapt quick enough and they didn't take any of the chances given to them. Usmanov, bought money in. That was the trigger. A market was created. Chelsea had new money and so did United. Liverpool made a bad deal but suddenly, we thought, no, we don't want to do what they do... we'll do what we want to do.

Doing that didn't work. A lot of Arsenal fans were saying this for years. We started as a minority and slowly we grew and embedded the internet. Many didn't have a voice until smart phones and youtube came about. That literally changed things and has led to some changes at the club but nothing major and nothing highly significant. We still believe, arrogantly, that we can do things our way.

How far do you think we were from signing Suarez? I would have taken him for 50 and maybe even 60 with the way he plays. If he had the midfield of Ramsay and Walcott and the growing brilliance of of Chamberlain, we would have been unstoppable. Yet, we were arrogant. We believed we could do without it.

We have failed for 9 years now. We have also struggled to gain momentum. Yes, we have stayed in the black and remained financially secure but so has another 1000 clubs around the world. We're not alone in remaining financially secure and existent. We appear to believe we have the monopoly on financial security. We don't. We haven't won a trophy for 9 years so our only accomplishment has been getting into Champions league.

So, the problem is adapting and doing what others are doing. Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool etc. are not stupid. The reason they do what they do at boardroom level is, because it works. It works and it brings trophies. It brings credibility and it respects football.



The other factor I want to highlight is the back-room staff which I had raised here previously. This is something else that we get lost in. We felt our back room staff could do no wrong and our ex-players would make absolutely amazing coaches or somebody's son or brother would be the best man for the job.

This is the problem and this is the political facet of this that relates to the Tory government. The belief that we can blame everyone else for doing what is right but when we struggle and we make mistakes, we're a work in progress.

So the big question is always, which new manager and which new players. There are always players and managers available. I'm not absolutely brilliant at this so I'll leave that for the clubs to decide but if other clubs can use their funds wisely and Liverpool can pay over the odds and succeed and win Champions Leagues - so can we....

The problem is, you can't fix a broken culture over night. We have to remove some people from the back-room and also change the board's ideals. Create a plan, that has a buffer zone but also the ability to buy at least one world class player or two proven international players with honours, every year. It will take a few years but we will need to change our culture and we will have to adapt from kissing our own ass when nobody else does.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Alan Hansen, Russia and a difference of opinion

Yesterday I wrote about how some fans don't agree with people who are ever critical. Ignoring the possibility that criticism is part of our rhetoric when responding to observation, such an approach is deemed badly by many people.

So upon hearing Alan Hansen is leaving the BBC, I had to ponder exactly where we will be without individuals who can give a credible view on football. Many will not agree with Alan Hansen a lot of the times but to give a constructive view on a subject is always useful. In a world of aggressive media, initiated and catalysed in the hope to get viewership we will always remember people who disappear from our media who offered something different. I for one admired Hansen's view, most of the time.

Yet this takes me further as to how we view the world. In a recent even regarding attacks on Members of Government and how social media responded, in favour or against what is said, it pained me that people don't actually go out there and do research. People don't go out there and look for a balanced view on the world. I accept that a difference of opinion, especially an opinion that is way over the top and unseen can really shake the foundation of the status quo but at the very least, if we give "reading" and "research" a chance it would useful.

So, then it is so sad, that twitter creates something where people create opinion in small sentences. I thought and I view twitter as a place where people can share links, that we can read in full and try to analyse. Oddly it creates, now, something that aggravates global tension even further.

To go to war, or not to go to war. Doesn't this remind you of the massive amount of publicity that was associated with the Manchester United and Arsenal games of the past. I recall reading or watching something where, people were mocking football fans for taking the game so seriously. Which is why, a balanced perspective is so important. We must be careful what we say, we must be careful what we communicate and we must also be careful how we express and indulge with others. At the very least, working with others in a balanced format is probably the best way forward which aids everywhere.

Making rash decisions doesn't help. It may work in the short term but in the long run, where does it leave us?

In the world today, we have this rhetoric where we create an opinion that states, no good can come of something. We don't see that some benefit can come from something. We ignore it, neglect it and in some ways hope it will be destroyed. In fact our media today is created in this way. Regularly the media encourages us to look at things in the hope we can see how dreadful it is and how useless it is to the world.

Maybe this is idealistic or is it? We already have billions in the world, operating, daily, hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second on the basis of what benefit we can gain from anything around us, in order to survive.

So sad that our media is actually made up in a great way of what lack and what lack of benefit is around us. If we can avoid conflict, we must avoid it. Maybe not for ourselves but for that person sitting next to your or near you, who someone else probably relies on.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Don't we all know fans like this at Arsenal



The above is a great video on the subject of the kind of Arsenal fan who knocks other fans for their opinion on Arsenal.

You know the type. Who think we should be positive (their brand of it) and not say anything negative. Their only real response is we should focus on how shiny a player's knees were or how good a pass some random player made in the game which looks good for our future.

These kind of fans seem to have only one goal. To try and prove how great a fan is and they'll remain this way all the way until their old age, trying to prove how better a fan they are. Oh of course, they'll say at some point they do criticise the club and they have mates who they disagree with who also disagree with the club but how dare somebody else, new, that they don't know criticise the club. Criticising the club is just for him and his small band of friends.

What I find odd about these fans is, ex-players criticise the club, the manager criticises clubs, if you are in a work place or any environment people criticise in the hope things will change. So, I don't understand how they can logically, rationalise and create some kind of ill fought assumption of reasoning by saying they are in the right?

Are they so blinded by money and authority that they fear Wenger won't flash their eyes at them if they say something wrong against them.

Yet we have to start to question why this becomes a group activity and I think I discovered it recently.

In certain areas of society, amongst certain groups, you are attracted to and encouraged towards having particular pursuits and interests. If you don't have those pursuits, it could be the theatre, fine dining, going for an afternoon to meet friends, basically, activities that your locale and immediate affluent social circle pursuits - if you don't have these pursuits then you are not around something which you can parade and flash in someone's face as elitist.

It is about being elitist. Arsenal haven't left the top flight of football. It is usually more affluent fans who fall into this bracket. Of course, obviously, not all fans who are affluent aren't like this in fact, I'd say the vast majority are intelligent enough not to be like this but the ones who usually are, have this trait about them that they don't want to deem their weekend jollies with disdain because it will be, not a scar on something they love, but a scar on who they are in their social hierarchy.

Observe this for yourself.

Where as the rest of us can do the simple maths and can see society for what it is and if it's not performing you question it. It is I guess a question of maturity, intelligence and also being comfortable in your own skin. Being able to speak for yourself. They don't appear to share the Wenger ideology of being yourself and being your own player. They're more like a Chelsea brand of football where everybody will try and surround a player and hound them like they're some Z-list celebrity demanding a reasoning to their existence.

Anyway, enjoy. Believe this is a video about Muslims in Football. Think it's great. I believe religion can make a man a better person. Yes there are some people around who would like to politicise and militarise religion but that hasn't really worked to any great extent.




Monday, September 02, 2013

Immigration and the Transfer Policy


The question of immigration was highlighted today in the news. Apparently, 60% of the UK see immigration as one of the economic problems in this country. People believe immigrants exploit the UK and cause social problems.

This is highly odd considering how many immigrants, or children of recent immigrants make up the fabric of this economy in the public and private sector. It's even more bizarre when you see how connected the world is.

To make this even more funnier, we, as a nation celebrated war after war and revolution after revolution which had the clear consequence, the main result of bringing people together. We believed if we fought for the rights of particular people and we broke down the Berlin wall and took apart communism or supported civil rights that it would bring us together.

Then we believe immigration is a problem.

People have no idea what they want. I do know what they do want though.

I believe people do want to see benefit in others. I do believe people want to see what another person can do for them for benefit. We can take a sordid view here and a very sad one to keep it on topic, that there are many people in the world who have had constantly horrible experiences with the people around them.

So I ask the question - what is another man, or woman, taking away from you?

God in his brilliance has given us so much without wanting for anything. That is because we have everything around us.

What exactly will the removal of immigrants do for us?

It's all so odd and that is why I connect it with the transfer policy. We started the season, shouting and screaming at all the problems at Arsenal, which can be a representation of the world here. We wanted immigrants to come in. We wanted new people to come in to change things - but then, oddly, we won the games after that. Then we believe we are a strong nation/club, like the United Kingdom that can do so much better but they only way we can do that is if we connect with our opportunities if we make the best of what is around.

The UK has problems that are over shadowed by statistics. Let's not forget that. We can, take a lot of help from the best footballing country (arguably) on the planet, Germany (home of Ozil?) and change things around can't we... yet we have to ask, what exactly do we want?

As an Arsenal fan, I believe, we have had multiple foreign players, play great football for us and win us a lot of trophies. Every club in the premiership has been the same. Yet, if we look at the clubs in the lower leagues as developing nations - not many foreign players go to those clubs.

People come to big clubs, nay, they are invited to the big clubs because of what they do for us and how they transform the world and they do transform the world, to the tune of Billions of people inspired by the kick of a ball. We are all connected by this amazing ideology that connects the planet and we can see colour, creed, race, identity, background is not important because we see together we can change things.

That is what we need. These values have driven us forward and made the world a better place. Our ability to connect and treat each other equally is the future. We cannot stand by and believe particular things are important when we have now been given so much to work with as a planet and to help each other out.

Arsenal proved this weekend that we are a great club and we can still win trophies but we need to improve for the sake of what it represents. We need to improve to keep the ideology of working together and working with people from different backgrounds together. We need to consider how we can get the best out of people.

There are so many ugly views and nasty ideas in the world these days. Coming out of a recession like our 7 years without a trophy (ok, it's not a recession) will bring forward many parties for blame but only a fool would separate themselves from those parties - because our value system now says we can use anybody and everybody for our benefit.

Some great things have been built at the club and greater things can come from it. I am sure Arsene will make great use of what he acquires.