Arsenal slumped to a 2-2 draw with Southampton on Saturday. It was the newest in a line of poor results which have plagued the club and caused Unai Emery to come under intense criticism. On Sunday, Arsenal fan group We Care Do You released a fresh statement condemning the club’s decisions.
We Care Do You Release New Statement
In the first statement released in July, We Care Do You charged that Stan Kroenke is not the owner they want nor the one to improve the club. This newest review of the state of affairs opens with much the same sentiment:
“In July we issued a statement from a number of key Arsenal groups outlining our concerns at the direction of our football club. A supporting petition was signed by over 100,000 individual Arsenal fans who not only felt a disconnect from the club but also had grave concerns about our future.
“Since then we have been told to ‘get excited’ and to support the team. As Arsenal supporters we have done both.
“There exist many issues raised in our first statement that remain unaddressed by the club. While these matters have not gone away, it is the overall alarming and desperate state of things on and off the pitch that need urgent action and take precedence amongst our concerns. Until the club and especially the senior management structure is running efficiently, effectively and ambitiously, then few other issues can or will be satisfactorily resolved.
“The early optimism of summer, around what appeared to be good business and positive signings, has given way to renewed concerns about the club’s overall direction and the leadership of the owner. It feels like the club is rudderless and floating aimlessly, unsure of its destination.
“It appears that reported unrest in the dressing room is affecting performances on the pitch and the board’s clearly stated target of a top four finish at season end looks in serious danger with barely a third of the season played.”
Lack of Communication
The group also detailed feelings of disconnect from the club due to a lack of communication:
“We spoke about never feeling less valued and this has continued with an astounding lack of communication from the club. We understand it is the Arsenal way to deal with issues internally but the current communication vehicle – the drip feed and leaks to certain journalists – is unacceptable and unsatisfactory.
“Communications on the whole have been dealt with poorly, and the tactics used only add to the confusion, uncertainty and unrest among the fanbase – which in turn is motivating Arsenal’s opponents, who can clearly see we’re in trouble.
“As documented in our initial statement, Stan Kroenke made his ambitions for the club clear: ‘KSE’s ambitions for the club are to see it competing consistently to win the Premier League and the Champions League’.
“We still see no evidence of this and current form would suggest that the club is moving ever further from these goals.
“We raised previously the need for new and dynamic appointments at board level; people with Arsenal DNA are needed at this time more than ever. Sadly, the club’s reaction to this recommendation has been an unresponsive dismissal of it. Can we assume you are still satisfied that the right people are in the right positions, as Vinai Venkatesham suggested they were at July’s end of season supporters’ event? Again, the evidence so far this season implies an intrinsic lack of understanding, ambition, appetite and ability to take the club forward.”
Regression Under the Kroenkes
We Care Do You finishes their newest open letter with a condemning observation of the Kroenke’s ownership:
“Following our statement in the summer, Josh Kroenke made an announcement implying that an ambitious KSE had arrived to save the day and secure the club’s future. The fact is that KSE acquired a controlling share of Arsenal in 2011 and had significant influence prior to that.
“The last decade, notwithstanding the FA Cup wins, can legitimately be seen as lost years both on and off the field, when the team has not only stagnated but actually regressed. To date that is the legacy of the ‘Kroenke years’.
“While the club’s away support continues to be magnificent, home crowds are starting to deplete and this situation will be further compounded by what will soon become a toxic atmosphere, if the current turmoil and lack of true leadership at the club continues to translate into poor performances on the pitch.
“We want clear acknowledgement that the board recognises the issues faced by the club, and how severe these are for the future of The Arsenal. As supporters we want actual communication and measurable assurances from the board that actions are in place to address this seemingly inexorable slide.
“As many great managers and players have said over the years, everyone involved with The Arsenal must: Remember who you are, what you are and who you represent’.”
Convenient Timing and Repercussions
This statement came out right at the same time that the Telegraph published a very interesting article. They claim a club source has confirmed the suspicion of player unhappiness under Unai Emery.
This may be coincidence but the two events might also be related. Many of the founder of We Care Do You in fact have connections to the media and could have easily caught word of the article.
A club can fight either internal or external problems handily enough, especially one of Arsenal’s size. But it is much more difficult to fight both internal and external issue simultaneously.
The desire of any fan is for their club to succeed. If the meaning of the statement is to force a change, this certainly proves desire. That desire might be damning at the moment, however.
The new We Care Do You statement only adds to this toxicity. At a time when the club is trying to return to the Champions League and convince two star strikers to sign new contracts, toxicity is the last thing Arsenal needs.
Embed from Getty Images