Important long interview with Josh Kroenke on the BBC.
[Some of the key statements – below]
“Going into the summer we knew we were going to have instruments in place that were going to allow us to be aggressive and they weren’t going to be dependent on sales. The guys went out, worked their magic and I’m happy to have them on our side.”
He said fan pressure (letter from the great and the good) was not the reason.
“The transfer market is an evolving, living, breathing thing. We identified key targets, worked on those deals and over time we were able to execute them.
“That’s hopefully a sign of encouragement for Arsenal fans that, when we’re out in the market place, you might never know what we’re thinking and you could be surprised by some of the names that come up.
“As for January, I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We’ve got to evaluate some things in the short term and figure out where we might need to address going forward, so when January does roll around we’re going to be proactive again.
“Let’s be aggressive and find out what’s possible.
“We had certain age profiles that we were after.”
Meanwhile, money was recouped via the sales of Alex Iwobi, Krystian Bielik, Laurent Koscielny, David Ospina, Dominic Thompson, Xavier Amaechi and Carl Jenkinson, Eddie Nketiah‘s loan and sell-on clauses related to Ismael Bennacer and Jeff Reine-Adelaide.
On the question of self-sustaining or financial injection, Kroenke said: “I’m not going to go into too much detail – people can read between the lines of being aggressive and what that might mean.
“It’s going to be a private matter for us here at the club, but I hope our fans understand that by being aggressive that’s exactly what we were.
“There are six great clubs in the Premier League and unfortunately only four [Champions League] spots that are guaranteed. The economics involved – to be able to reinvest back into the club, attract different players who only want Champions League football… our goal is to get back and to win the Premier League.” (Not sure what some of the other 14 clubs will think. Aston Villa, Wolves and Everton have great traditions, as did Manchester City until the current owners invited contempt.)
He added: “Passion can go a couple of different ways, but knowing the passion of the Arsenal supporter community, it would be an incredible sight to behold. Being here on matchdays, it gives me the chills even just thinking about it. But to know that the supporters were united behind our group would be a very powerful thing and I think this is a group they can really get behind.
“They need to understand who we are and what we’re trying to accomplish. It’s important for them to try and understand our personalities as people, because at the end of the day we’re fans – we want to win and it makes our job a lot easier when we do.
“It’s important for them to know how passionate we are. When I met with some of the fans’ groups last season I told them that trust is earned over time and I would love for you to trust me now but unfortunately that trust has to play out over the next several years. We’re just getting started and hopefully we’ll start to earn more and more trust with the more and more work we put in.
“The Emirates is a place that is always going to be special to me and my family. I’m excited about being here, hopefully a long time.”
The emphasise his points, gross spending in the Premier League was led by Arsenal (£155m). Average spending by Premier League clubs was approximately £71m – up £10m per club from last summer, with over half the clubs breaking individual player transfer records.
Meanwhile Alexander Lacazette says he can score more and hopes the newly appointed ex-Arsenal left-back Sylvinho, can shine at the Groupama Stadium.
Irish Daily Mail points out that Lacazette earns in the region of £140,000 a week and Aubameyang on close to £200,000 a week but that the pair will both be given substantial pay rises if they commit their futures to the club. Sportsmail says Arsenal are also willing to include financial clauses that would trigger another pay hike if they can propel the club back into the Champions League. Emery says they both have to be in balance.
Talking of salaries, The Daily Independent points out Manchester United spent £41m on Alexis Sanchez’s salary since he joined from Arsenal in January 2018. And he has netted just five times during his 45 appearances for United meaning each goal has cost £8.2m.
Guendouzi tells the ES he prefers his hair to David Luiz’s, while Sokratis, somewhat ominously tells the ES he will prefer defending against Liverpool than Burnley.
Paul Merson tells the Mail – he thinks Arsenal will play three at the back a lot more this season with Tierney as a wing back. Not sure this is a good thing with regular changes from four to three and back again last season.