AST meeting, Arsene, George, Manu and the board.

Good morning to you, ladies and sirs. Initially, I did intend todays’s entry to be a few views on Arsenal’s tactics and their lack of flexibility. There’s quite a bit of news to get through, so I’m postponing that one until tomorrow.

The AST meeting took place last night. Unlike many of my peers, the innermost secrets and idiosyncrasies of the club aren’t something I pretend to be at all au fait with. Yesterday I was glued to Twitter reading updates from folks attending, so I’ll do my best to relay the important and interesting parts.

When I picture the meeting in my head, I have a chuckle to myself. Imagine, if you will, an old Western Saloon; members of the ‘AKB’ playing poker, a grizzled bar-keep polishing glasses and a bespectacled man tinkling the ivories in the corner. Then silence as the saloon doors swing open and Pedro from Le Grove walks in. In reality, the venue is probably a dingy room with a few complimentary vol-au-vents and a vague hint of coffee, B.O and urine wafting from the assembled masses.

The setting, of course, is irrelevant; what’s of the upmost importance is the subject matter discussed, a great deal of which I already knew (our sponsorship deal with Nike is fucking atrocious), but they’re were some fascinating facts. For example; Alishar Usmanov offered investment, but the current board refused; Since David Dein’s departure, pushing for transfers is Wenger’s responsibility and he’s constantly offering prices way beneath the players value (Cahill and Mata); The club has £50m available for acquisitions, but that figure includes wages and signing-on fees. Most obviously, it’s a universally agreed statement that Stan Kroenke is a bit of a fucking idiot. If you’re interested in the finer details, I suggest you check out the timeline of Walid Arsenal on Twitter – he was at the meeting and provided an excellent blow-by-blow account of what was said. Alternatively, you can check out the Mirror’s ever-so-slightly hyperbolic interview with Tim Payton of the AST which includes more information regarding fans’ views on Arsene Wenger, wages and the transfer budget.

In other news today, there’s been a bonanza of ex-Arsenal folks chipping in with their 2 pennies worth of opinion on the state of the club. He may be French, he may be quick, his name may very well be a porno flick, but Emmanuel Petit did make some very valid points:

“If Arsene has to leave the club they need to find a big manager to settle down and that would be very difficult for the next manager,” he said, “I think Arsene’s still the solution. They need to change a few things in the transfer market, change a few things in their politics to bring a competitive team.”

Along with our former French midfielder, bung-taker extraordinaire and turncoat ex-manager of Spurs (I’ll never forgive him for that) George Graham stated:

Yes, Arsenal are in crisis. It has been slipping away for the last couple of years. They’ve not been replacing those players who left four or five years ago.

‘They’re lacking leaders and the quality of the players they??re bringing in is just not up to the standard if you want to win the Premier League.’

Arsene’s not won anything now for the last six years so there would be doubt in there. They’ve got money and I can??t understand why Arsene has not gone out and bought some real quality players.

‘But he has a fantastic reputation and I don??t think the board will forget what he has done.

Again, and it does pain me to say so, I can’t really see a lot wrong in there. It’s undoubtedly beginning to get a little irksome when you’re constantly having sift through stories of one-time Arsenal employees throwing their opinions into the melting pot – at times with no small measure of hypocrisy. I think ‘crisis’ is too strong a word for the situation at Arsenal – Rangers are in a crisis. There are problems. Fortunately, they are are problems with reasonably simple solutions. The real question is whether or not our manager is too stubborn to put aside his failing philosophies in favour of rebuilding a winning team. I hope the truth has dawned on him in recent weeks, but I can’t be too confident. We are set to lose £45m if we fail in reaching 4th, so his ability to sufficiently rebuild may be hampered somewhat. These are worrying times.

Thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards. Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter – @_ArmchairGooner.

4 thoughts on “AST meeting, Arsene, George, Manu and the board.”

  1. Err… James Usamanov didn’t offer any investment per se, from what I know he suggested a rights issue scheme. Any idea what that is?

      1. I believe some of the tweets read that AW had rejected that idea. Now I have no idea why the hell would AW start having a say in how many shares should an individual or company buy or sell. Silly stuff if you ask me.
        Now do you have any idea what it actually means? how does it work?

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