Only Wenger plays the piper and dictates the Arsenal tune.

And we back again…

The Interlull has come and gone and this one in particular seemed pretty eventful as we were not really short of Arsenal related things to talk about on social media, from Wilshere’s performance for England to the injuries to Kos and Ozil and how they were reported, to Wenger’s decision or indecision to keep Ozil on the pitch against Chelsea, the AGM and how we have found ourselves in a situation where there is even a chance Steve Bould could be asked to play Centre back.  All in all, it wasn’t dull from a news perspective.

Thankfully I had a lot to distract me as the folks from Big Brother Africa timed their show to fit into this no club football period to get some attention and attention they did get. Never been a follower of that show and never will be, can’t see why a whole continent would sit fixated on a show watching the first set of people who would get laid. Seriously, there really has to be more we can do with our lives right? Who am I to judge right? Just my opinion..

To more Arsenal related things, the AGM took place and like I tweeted on the day it held, the fact that an Arsenal fan far away Nigeria can feel connected to an event of this nature is just one of the beauties of the Internet. Everything and anything about the club is discussed and depending on who you follow, you can get some real insight into the inner workings of the football club. This just forms a rich reservoir  of footballing knowledge that fans of clubs like Chelsea and Man City with their single ownership structure cannot have.

You would expect that with the club ending its barren run this AGM would be a much happier event but with the 3% increase in ticket prices that ended up directly in Stan Kroenke’s pocket, not signing a defender, injury crises and all the many issues that bedevil Arsenal these days it wasn’t one for too many champagne clinking glasses. Every AGM has some statement that stands out from it;

 ‘Thank you for your interest in our affairs” – Peter Hillwood (2012)

‘Unfortunately he [Gareth Bale] doesn’t play for Tottenham Hotspur,’ said Gazidis. ‘He now plays for one of our rivals.’  –  Ivan Gazidis (October ,2013)

I don’t think that my wish or intention to double guess what Arsene Wenger wants to do – as you know, your board backs him 100 per cent. If he has a plan, we back him, if he doesn’t have a plan, we keep quiet. – Sir Chips (October 2014)

Surprisingly I didn’t see much online discuss about this particular comment as everyone seemed fixated on the 3% ticket price increase and the beauty of Ivan Gazidis slides, but really if our Chief Executive says confidently that our manager completely runs the club then we really need to be asking ourselves some questions

  1. Is this how modern football clubs are run?

Man City, Man United, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich do not operate this way?

  1. Has this Alpha and Omega approach proven to be successful with evolving times in football?

Considering we are alone with this approach, there is no one to benchmark against.

The way I see it, therein lies the real problem of our beloved club. One man who makes the decisions on how we play? What type of grass we play on? The length of the grass?  Who we sign? How much the player we sign is worth? How much he should earn? What kind of football financial model we operate? and maybe the length of his own contract??

Regular readers of the blog would know I am a huge believer in Arsene Wenger and also a strong supporter of the club maintaining its model of being self-sustainable but for a club that leads the way on so many frontiers of modern changes in sport, to have such an autocratic model to its management style is wrong.  Very wrong!!Any indication that this will change doesn’t seem forthcoming so we can only sit and hope the best comes out of this model.

I wonder if our AGM and the UK’s Labour Party’s announcement that going into elections in 2015 they would be seeking greater fan participation in the running of football clubs.

Supporters would have seats on every board and the right to buy a significant slice of a club’s shares when its ownership changes. Labour says it would be “the biggest legislative shake-up in the governance of English and Welsh football clubs since the advent of the game” Fans could also purchase up to 10% of the shares when a club changes ownership. The buyer acquiring control – defined as 30% – would have to offer the trust up to a tenth of the shares they were purchasing for 240 days following the deal.

Interesting stuff right? Currently only Swansea have some fan ownership in the premier league. I guess we know who the likes of Tim Payton would be voting for come 2015.

To more footballing issues, we go into a run of games were you would expect that we pick maximum points if we intend to make any challenge for top positions in the league. Hull, Sunderland, Burnley, Swansea, Manchester United, West Brom, Southampton, Stoke , Newcastle, Liverpool, QPR, West Ham then the year ends. Realistically only two of the teams in that list would expect to challenge for top four positions by May 2015 and I’m looking at least 30 points from this set of games. Anything less than that would be seriously disturbing.

The focus would be on the defence and you would expect that Hull would be practising several tactics to create issues for what would be our makeshift defence on the day with possibly Nacho Monreal playing along side Per and Hector Bellerin on the right side. Lots of have been written about Hector and how he seems be coming of age nicely and the game against Hull should help us see what he really can bring to the table. For some odd reason I think I would prefer to see Coquelin play there  as we would need as much experience in that back four as we can gather, but I would also love to be wrong.

So I hope we all enjoy this game and it becomes the start of a run of games that should see us put up a challenge. Have a nice day Gooners! Keep the Canon in Your Heart.

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