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Seeing Arsene Wenger through Kroenke’s eyes

In what will go down as one of the most intriguing transfer deal of recent times, Arsenal is expecting a swap deal for Arsene Wenger. It’s expected that Chelsea will by the end of the season complete a transfer deal that will secure the 68-year-old French man, with Antonio Conte joining the Gunners in a straight manager swap with no fees involved.
The Italian who has recently been confirmed by Italy’s Football Association as the number one choice to take up the national team’s coach position may eventually end up in Arsenal.
Conte who has less than 18 months left on his Chelsea’s contract is expected to be swapped for Arsene Wenger who by the end of the season will have just a year left in his recently signed two-year deal.
Former Arsenal player, Stewart Robson, thinks it’s the right thing to do. He said, “Conte is a brilliant manager. When he goes to a football club, and if he comes to Arsenal, he’d make sure the players did what he wants them to do. 
They would know exactly what their roles on the side are. And that doesn’t happen at Arsenal at the moment. He’d be a great fit at Arsenal.”
This is coming after the huge defeat, 6-0 (in all), melted on the Gunners by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
It started by Arsenal losing perhaps their best chance at silverware this season with a humiliating 3-0 loss in the Carabao Cup final to Man City on Sunday, then fell further out of the top-four race with another loss to City by an identical scoreline four days later. Wenger’s side has now lost four of their last five games in all competitions, with their seven 2018 defeats more than any other Premier League club.
The recent development has seen fans and former players of the club share criticisms of their out of favor manager.  Wenger responded to the rush of criticisms in a statement he made to pressmen after the Carabao Cup final:
“I am just amazed that I have to always answer things that are exactly the same, I am here for 21 years. I turned the whole world down to respect my contracts. So I am still amazed that I still have to answer these types of questions, my position is my position. 
Honestly, that’s the last worry I have at the moment. My worry is to focus, to get the team ready for tomorrow’s game. We are in that kind of situation where you want to focus on the next game. I don’t ask you if your position is reviewed at the end of the season. 
My job is to focus on performing and my job is to perform. It’s for other people to judge me. It isn’t for me to evaluate that. Does it stop you to sleep that my position is uncertain or would not be certain or is certain? No. 
What is interesting in football is the performances of football, the game you will see on Thursday night. That is what is important. All the rest may make headlines but it is not really interesting. 
You could find that [walking] on both sides; You can always get out pictures from a game that justifies what you think. You find in every single game, on both sides, moments where a player doesn’t track. You have to analyze why. Has he made two runs before to go in behind and was exhausted, or did he not track because he didn’t want to? That is the different. Of course, the players gave me everything. I am long enough in the game to know that when you lose a big game, people always say that the players don’t want it enough. 
Did we lose the game because of that? I am not convinced. When there is a big difference like 3-0 you always get that impression. For me, it is not the main reason. We got to the final and you don’t get there by coincidence. You have to fight to get there and we did. 
We didn’t play against a poor team in the semi-final, we played against Chelsea and we have shown that we can fight. We have to live with the criticism, it’s part of the modern game. People who comment – their job is to comment, so you have to live with that. What is important is how we respond.”
Also speaking after the Thursday night’s loss:
He said, “We must stay together but it’s very difficult, You come up by the stairs and go down by the lift. That’s what confidence is. That’s the level you have to show to play for Arsenal. When your confidence is low the first thing that goes is the fluidity and movement – the spontaneous side of the game. 
You could see that tonight. I don’t deny City’s quality but we’re going through a difficult patch. That’s part of football. We must stay united inside and focus on the next game and put the effort it. Confidence is that you know that you have done it before. My confidence is in the quality of the players. Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan need time to adapt – things change quickly in sport. That’s part of the modern sport – you have to accept that. Every game you lose you’re under a big pressure but they have just joined us – I’m sure they will do well”
Notably, between both circumstances, here are two out of the many famous critiques that spoke of Wenger loss:
Gary Neville spoke on Sky Sports and labeled Arsenal as “spineless”, questioning why some of their players were walking and failing to track back. Jamie Carragher after the Thursday night game attempted to teach the Arsenal owners how to do their job in such situation.
He had demanded that the Arsenal board provide clarity over Arsene Wenger’s future and believes the Frenchman should stand down in the summer. According to him, fans of the club should wake up on Friday morning to an official statement explaining how and when in the nearest future Wenger would be leaving. And even though he tried garnishing the statement with praise for the French man, his bitterness was well established.
It’s not the first time fans of Arsenal are showing their displeasure.
From a few seasons back, they’ve made famous the #WengerOut campaign but have never been able to get the owners of the club on their side. And that is where the problem lies. In all the criticisms, outbursts and complains only one man can take the decision to sack Wenger – Stan Kroenke.
But before you crucify him, let me take you into Stans’s world and just maybe you will be able to demystify the mystery to Wenger’s untouchable ( or should I say unsackable status).
Stan bought a bit of Arsenal first in 2007. Then he had just a little stake and his powers were equally very small. It was in 20011 that he made a move to become the owner of the club and there must be something Danny Fiszman and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smitha saw or didn’t see in him that made them sold their shares to him. Without their decision to sell to Stan, perhaps Arsenal won’t be in this situation.
From when Stan got the wheels of power, it was 7 years back in 2004 that the club last won the league. Meaning since he became the largest shareholder of Arsenal with the highest beneficial interest in and controlled voting rights of 62.89%, they haven’t been able to lift the EPL cup 7 years later (and that’s 14years after the last lifting of the cup).
So does it mean Danny and Nina got it all wrong to have sold their shares to Stan?  Is Stan not bothered that they are not winning these important trophies?
Well to have answers to these questions, we must unveil the character and personality of Stan and attempt to see the true nature of the US$8.1 billion worth American.
You must understand that Stan is what you may want to refer to as a reclusive person. So much so, that he is usually called ‘Silent Stan’ because he doesn’t like to be in the media and almost never gives interviews to the press.  Stan rarely interferes in Arsenal’s day-to-day operations. And you must understand that this is how he made his billions. This is what works for him.
So why you are awake watching your darling Arsenal being beaten by Man City and feeling poor with day to day recession in bragging rights. The owner of the Club, who should sack or promote Wenger, is probably having a good nap or reconfirming the updated Arsenal’s report on his sleeping bed, beside his darling wife.
Also while you are busy comparing Wenger to Pep, Mourinho and whats obtainable in modern football, Stan is focused on the outlook of things. This is how Stan sees things as it concerns Arsenal:
–    When he consults Forbes, they tell him his Club is 6 on the financial table of things. As per profits and value worth. He, as a smart businessman, asks further, ‘Which clubs are at Number 10, 8, 4, 3, 2, 1?’ Forbes tells him Juventus, Chelsea, Bayern, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United.  He then reasons, of how first of all being in the center of these giant brands is a good result considering the 12 Sponsorship goliaths behind Manchester United, the super commercial attractions to Real Madrid for doing the impossible by retaining the UCL, the money PSG life saved to Barcelona for Neymar, the amazing German brands that have adopted Beryan as their ambassadorial tool, the money Carabao drinks pumped into Chelsea as they won the league last season, and smiles to the fact that his Arsenal Brand is ahead many steps ahead Juventus despite winning their league and getting to the UCL final last season. He notes a good job and sends Wenger and the directors an SMS, ‘ well-done guys’.
–    While you are going to the league table to notice their 6th position, he is opening a file of their latest financial result, of announced £25.1 million profit. After which he joins you to go see the table. He tells himself, 6th position? Not bad considering the massive spending that took place among those on top. However, he calls the director just to know if there’s a particular reason for this, other than the obvious. The director, over the phone, reminds him of their strategy to stick with self-financing and their in-house agreement to accept all the challenges that will come at a time when the inflation of transfer fees, player wages and the fees demanded by agents are super-heated.
–    One of the rare occasions he decides to come by Emirate Stadium, he sees a disgruntled fan with a placard that says #WengerOut. He wonders why and so beckons on the young lad to explain his protest. Then the English man opens up on how Wenger is not winning titles. And so he must leave for a younger coach. So Kroenke having listened to the boy decides to ring Wenger. He asks Wenger through the phone, ‘Are you tired of managing the club? You want to leave?’. Wenger says, ‘no, I am just starting’. So as a businessman he picks up Wenger’s CV to reestablish himself with the outlook.  And he sees;
“In the history of Arsenal, Arsène Wenger has been the longest-serving manager and has won the most trophies. He has won a record 7 FA Cups, 7 FA Community Shield, and it was his team that set the English records for the longest win streak and longest unbeaten run. Based on social media activity from 2014–15, Arsenal’s fanbase is the fifth largest in the world. The club has won only 3 Premier League cups and he is the winner of them all”.
And he is impressed and wonders if the #WengerOut army is high on snowy drugs.

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About Ediale Kingsley

Ediale Kingsley is the Founding Editor of Jersey Number Twelve and Head of the Trends & Sports desk at National Daily Newspaper. He thinks he is polygamous, married to three wives; Football, Laptop and Internet. When not writing, he is writing or prepping to write. These days he is everywhere talking, filming and showing-up football and films. This National Daily trained journalist went to school to be a graduate in accounting.

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