By Tony Attwood
I really had to laugh when I read the sentence “There is no leadership at the club whatsoever and that’s why issues like the above are happening.”
“The above” of course was in relation to Koscielny saying he didn’t want to go on tour. The blog itself was one of the hundreds and hundreds that are endlessly negative about Arsenal. They were negative about Mr Wenger, and now they are negative about the club under Mr Emery. The piece concludes, “This season is careening off the road before a plane has left the tarmac, and that’s before Xhaka is given the captains armband.
“Arsenal is chaos, it’s staggering how badly we’re being run at the minute.”
But what I find particularly droll and interesting about that blog, and all the others that follow this same negative-negative pathway day after day, week after week, is that they didn’t actually look at the situation and ask why was this handled in a different way.
And in matters like this, “why” is always the key issue.
I can’t think of a time in the recent past when Arsenal would have reacted like this to an event of this nature. It would have been handled internally and quietly, leaving the bloggettas to scribble away and deposit their bile, while remaining very Arsenal like above it all. Reading the press of the 1930s I think Chapman would have dealt with it in a flash. In the 1920s Sir Henry Norris would have had it sorted straight away. But since?
Mr Wenger could have dealt with it, but it was taken out of his hands. The directors directed the media team to do as little as possible.
So why, on this occasion have Arsenal come out so very publicly with the story. Why was it that, effectively, it was Arsenal.com that gave the story to the media.
The most obvious answer is Edu. Now, unfortunately for me the timing of today’s little eruption and Arsenal’s response wasn’t perfect, as the research on Edu and his approach was only just being finished as this Koscielny news broke. But this sort of situation would fall very much under Edu’s role, and looking at what he did at Corinthians and for Brazil, this has Edu written all over it.
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Of course I wasn’t there to watch Edu take control of the situation, instruct the press officer, and the guy who runs Arsenal.com but I am pretty sure that Edu has come in to change the whole approach of Arsenal in relation to both the media and the players. When we put up the Edu piece I think you’ll see what I mean.
If we think way back to the days in which the directors would cower in their room in Highbury while the media was baying on the steps of the main entrance demanding a statement (you might remember that time in Mr Wenger’s first season when the media went berserk on a horrific story about Mr Wenger and tried to taunt him on the steps, and the directors begged him not to face them) we can see this is a totally new approach – just as Mr Wenger had his own approach.
The difference is this time the approach is coming from the Director of Football rather than the manager. Mr Emery might have said of Koscielny “we leave him behind” but in the past the press office would have been left to make up a tale about injury problems.
We’ve never had someone like Edu before at the club in a directorial role. And I think this is going to be fun.
Oh yes, and ignore all the media coverage about Arsenal not knowing what they are doing and behaving like chickens minus a head. That is the hallmark of blogs repeating the same old story hour after hour. This has every hallmark of a club that knows exactly what it wants to do and how it wants to do it.
The article “Edu comes to Arsenal: why this is the moment everything happens” will be published around 0710 BST tomorrow
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