Silent Stan, Stand Up And Speak Out


It’s been just over a week since Cesc Fabregas’ departure for Barcelona, and now this afternoon, we’ve been told that Samir Nasri is on the brink of securing a lucrative move to Manchester City.

Everyone knows what tomorrow’s headlines will include. The usual, apocalyptic-like phrases such as “meltdown“, “the end” and “it’s over” will smother the backpages of every tabloid in the country.

Some segments of the media will also start to intensify their demands for Wenger to be sacked.

There’s no doubt that portions of the media have always identified Arsene Wenger as the “problem” of Arsenal Football Club – despite being a man who has totally revolutionized the club to such a massive extent, since his arrival in 1996.

I appreciate things seem bad at the moment. We’ve lost multiple players this summer, and the squad is looking pretty bare, and with just over a week left of the transfer window, time is certainly running out.

Arsene Wenger is an incredibly intelligent man. You’d have to be an idiot to reject a statement like that.  But as mangers go, his footballing brain is second to none. Some will argue that his patient style of play is frustrating at times, but for me, the idea itself is the perfect way to play football.

With his admirable vision of how to run a football club, he was able to overcome the financial advantage possessed by Manchester United which had been created by thorough and heavy investment. Since the Premier League begun in 1992, he is one of few managers that has been able to prevent the total domination of Manchester United, by winning 3 Premier League titles.

Jose Mourinho has always been labelled as “the special one”, ever since his arrival at Stamford Bridge in 2004. However, I will always remain adamant that he wouldn’t have been able to succeed in English football, without relying on the vast millions he took from the pockets of Roman Abramovic.

Without the sudden influx of these ‘clueless sugar daddies’ who have come in and to an extent, have ruined football (I may be talking to the older generations here), Arsene Wenger would have gone on and won a lot more – in the right way as well.

He would have won leagues, rather than buying them – like Manchester City will soon do.

With our move from Highbury to The Emirates, a trophy drought was always inevitable. But even so, this so-called “devastating” trophy drought has put Wenger’s position in doubt for some people – much to the delight of certain bitter individuals in the global spotlight, who want him out so the Arsenal decline can begin.

Do I expect some people to call for Wenger’s head over the next few weeks? Yes, of course. They always have, and unless he creates another Invincibles side, they probably always will.

We cannot let the media and other forces to drive out the greatest manager we’ve ever had.

Seven years down the line, Arsene Wenger is still here. But is he still fully in control of the club, like he was in the days of The Invincibles?

Since 2004, multiple pivotal members including David Dein and the late Danny Fiszman are no longer in the boardroom. Alternatively, Stan Kroenke has come in, and currently stands as the majority shareholder of Arsenal Football Club.

Kroenke promised “to build on our rich heritage and take our club to new success” while also possessing the ambition to “run the club in a way which protects our long term future”.

Funnily enough, Silent Stan has said very little since.

Wenger has been attacked from every angle for his transfer dealings this summer, but yet, the man in charge of the club gets away scot-free.

In addition to that, the public relations department at Arsenal has been virtually non-existent.

Ivan Gazidis, as well as Stan Kroenke, are sitting together in a dark room, and are getting away with doing very little, while Arsene gets regular “attention” in the media spotlight, and is portrayed as some sort of criminal to Arsenal Football Club.

Would this happen if David Dein was still around, working closely with Arsene Wenger every day? Definitely not.

It’s got to the point that now, I’m completely fed up with the daily crucifixions that Arsene receives. He’s being completely left out to dry by the Board, who don’t want to take, or at least share, the blame.

Wenger does not run this club any more – not like he did when David Dein was around, when we were unstoppable.

Up until this summer, the club had always travelled out to the quiet Austrian town of Bad Waltersdorf for pre-season. But as soon as Stan Kroenke came in, the regular trip to Austria was immediately ruled out. A decision that has, and always will upset Arsene Wenger.

But Wenger, being the respectful man that he is, did not complain. When a new boss comes in, the last thing you do is immediately criticize his policies.

Arsene Wenger is (forced to be) loyal to Stan Kroenke. No matter how much respect Kroenke has for Wenger, he’s not going to give in to his demands, by sacrificing his own personal beliefs – even though those beliefs may include “doing sweet FA”.

It will be a very, very, very dark day for Arsenal Football Club, when Wenger calls it a day, for whatever reason.

As I was too young to properly experience George Graham at the helm, I can only admit that Wenger is the only manager that I’ve seen at Arsenal. But even then, in my opinion, there’s no doubt that he’s Arsenal’s best ever manager.

Wenger is an extremely honourable man. Unless he gets sacked, or is forced out, he will see off his contract.

If Stan Kroenke and the rest of the Board are sitting there perfectly happy, letting Arsene take the blame, no one can expect Wenger to come out and expose the Board in the public eye. As much as I’d like him to, he just wouldn’t do that.

Will David Dein return to Arsenal boardroom? I asked him at The Emirates Cup and he replied “I’m here every week”.

Dein still loves the club, but more importantly, he sees Wenger as a truly magnificent manager, which he still is. It would be great to see the pair working together again, building an even bigger and better club.

Despite his rather indirect response to me, of course, I would love if David Dein were to make a return to the executive side of Arsenal Football Club – although I do admit that the recent actions from his son does worry me a little.

The Board need to reassure the entire Arsenal community of what their intentions are – no matter how ambitious.

Silent Stan has invested a great deal into Arsenal Football Club, which makes it even more fascinating why he isn’t doing anything to push the club forward. Being the ambitious billionaire that he is, surely he wants to get a decent return at the end of the day?

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