The nightmare month continues. All but three of the articles on the first page of Newsnow concern potential transfers. Regulars know I see no point in adding to that noise, particularly as I know about as much as those who have written all of those pieces.
I have spent the early part of this evening watching the AST session with Ivan Gazidis. The content is freely available on Arsenal.com so if you have an hour and a half to spare do have a look. For me the most interesting ‘disclosure’ was confirmation of numerous anticipated changes in the playing staff this summer. Not that that will come as a surprise to anybody as it was fairly common knowledge around the club, but the fact that the CEO has now made it a matter of public record should reassure some of those who have argued for investment in the footballing side of the business.
I was less than impressed with the explanations for the price increases, and particularly the impression that the club is now on a planned collision course with silver members. I hope I have got the wrong impression, but there was implied criticism of those who maintain memberships without using them, or cherry pick games to attend. The club’s own arrangements with Supporters Clubs relies on silver members making their tickets for matches they will not be attending available to red members within those clubs. This is an argument that could be applied to silver members outside of that structure who do not purchase tickets for every match, for a variety of reasons.
What I find more fascinating is the reaction to the meeting from the wider Arsenal community. Did Ivan say the right things to bring any wavering supporters back on board? Probably. Did he do anything to bring the dissenters closer to the fold. It seems not, if you look in the usual places. Views have become entrenched, I think, until there is physical evidence of attempts to take the side that last short step to on-pitch success.
Losing Cesc (Oh Bacary, we all knew but why did you say it?) and Samir Nasri would provide ammunition for the discontented. The quality of any replacements should the unthinkable happen, and of the reinforcements being sought in defensive and attacking areas, will determine the mood of many ahead of the new campaign.
At the end of the day though, I have signed up for life, I’m afraid. Regardless of who is, or isn’t, pulling on that anniversary shirt next season I’ll be there, willing them to achieve. I suspect so to will the naysayers. Regardless of how many times it is said, there really are few who will apply the ultimate veto of not watching the club that is ingrained in so many hearts.
And Ivan knows it.
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