I’ve been walking a tightrope for a while with the Kroenke ownership. I’ve been vociferous about invisible Stan’s tenure and his passionless business model, but I’ve been more optimistic since the obvious involvement of son Josh Kroenke.
Josh Kroenke has started to become more of a presence at the North London club and when he talks, he talks with a believable sincerity, but its actions that speak louder.
Stung by the fans criticism of his father and the way the club was being run, Josh Kroenke came out fighting to reassure supporters that the family were in football to win.
Then the transfers started to happen, not the usual type of Arsenal transfer activity but another kind, one that had a level of realism and ambition. Fans had needed to be convinced of a genuine desire that matched their own and they needed to hear a language that could rekindle their belief, which implied that everyone was on the same page.
Now before everyone thinks I’ve gone soppy because of one highly successful and surprising transfer window, I still have reservations. It’s hard to lose embedded misgivings when Arsenal have tended to string the fans along on promises and financial sob stories for so long.
I’m still not convinced by the managerial concept of Emery, Edu, Sanllehi and Venkatesham, but I’m willing to accept that they have shown far less maladroitness than Manchester United and Ed Woodward.
Yet despite the understandable euphoria, this is really only the ‘go’ square on the monopoly board, the first real opportunity to fashion a purposeful change in staff, style of play and direction.
Arsenal have shown you don’t have to throw a trailer full of cash to get players, you can make clever deals over long term periods and even extend to loans to reinforce, but it will be results that count. Before we give too much credit, the fact that one player (Saliba) went straight back on loan and another one isn’t fit (Tierney) shows that the window wasn’t perfect.
However, even if we don’t consider this as a perfect transfer window, it heeded to the words of Josh Kroenke and to a certain point of content for the fans to say the least.
At this point, I’m also going to offer a word of warning after this summer madness. Please don’t expect Arsenal to perform like this and to this level in every transfer window.
As I see it, they will either go back in for Zaha and perhaps add another central defender and creative midfielder but other than that, they will look to the academy to fill in the blanks. Unless someone exceptional is on offer in January, you may as well carry on with life as normal.
The priority now is Champions League qualification and Emery has the tools to take them there by finishing in the top four.