Thursday, 7 April 2011

Boardroom changes? - New kit with old style - Jenkinson deal done?

Morning Gooners.

Well the tumbleweed is certainly growing beyond all proportion this week. I know the first team haven't had a midweek game for anyone to report on but I've known international breaks to be more interesting for Gooners than these past few days.

We'll start with a rather intriguing tweet from the guys at It said:
" understands that #Arsenal will make a statement in the coming days which will relate to future of the club at boardroom level."
This statement was made following a previous tweet from the site's editor which said:
"Imminent news out of Arsenal Football Club. I am sworn to secrecy. I am told good news. I can say no more."
There have been rumours the present board have been in talks with Alisher Usmanov's Red and White holdings, but if there were changes at boardroom level I would be surprised to see the Uzbek offered a seat at the boardroom table. Why would the board see now as the right time to offer Usmanov a seat? He's been a major shareholder now for a number of years and Peter Hill Wood et al haven't sought to bring him inside the inner sanctum of the club preferring to speak with Stan Kroenke.

If the board were looking to expand, why wouldn't they offer Lady Nina Bracewell Smith her seat back? She is Arsenal's fourth largest shareholder and has recently been seen at the Sunderland game. Why not bring her back in from the cold? Rather the devil you know than the devil you don't.

There has also been a thought that David Dein might come back to the club. Whilst I would love to see Mr Dein return, I can't see it happening with the boardroom shaped the way it is.

With all this talk of boardroom changes it's renewed my belief that the club need fresh blood at the highest committee running the club. For too long it seems there have been a lack of ideas being generated to push Arsenal forward. It feels like we've been stagnating since our move to the Grove and a fresh voice or voices could play a vital role in pushing us forward again.

The present board seem content with the team finishing in the top four each season but there has to be a pressure on the manager to deliver trophies, if he's been given all the resources he's asked for.

If Arsene Wenger is however putting out a team with one arm tied behind his back through a lack of transfer funds, we have to accept that he's doing the best job he can.

As much as I admire the work Pat Rice and the rest of the backroom team do, I would personally like to see some fresh faces around the manager next season. These people don't necessarily need to come in as Wenger's assistant but some fresh ideas being put to the manager could be exactly what we need.

And that also applies to the boardroom. Some fresh faces there wouldn't go a miss either. New ideas to get this club moving forward, it's something every Gooner would support.

There has been lots of talk about the new kit for next season, which celebrates the club's 125th anniversary.  I've been told that prototypes of the merchandise have been seen doing the rounds within the club with the old crest in use. Which is a strange one, but certainly most welcome.

John Cross in his Daily Mirror column has written about the manager changing his attitude towards signings. Whilst there are many things in his column I don't agree with him with, I do agree the manager has to take the handbrake off when it comes to spending.

An extra million or two for Xabi Alonso, £500k more for Mark Schwarzer. It's pennies compared with the prices Manchester City and Chelsea are prepared to pay. I know the manager has respect for the money he's spending, but for me he has to use the club's money to bring it success. If we win the league or the champions league, that money invested in the squad is soon made back.

And whilst I'm here, I was at the ground on Saturday and within the area I sit there were no fans fighting one another. We were more disappointed and frustrated and resigned to not winning the league than taking lumps out of one another.

Finally, there are more rumours on the chances of the club signing Carl Jenkinson. Nothing is as yet confirmed, so we'll wait for any deal to be announced by the club but the chances of the 19-year-old making the move across London are believed to be high.

Arsene Wenger's press conference for an away game would normally take place today, but as we're playing on Sunday it has been switched to tomorrow. Expect to hear the latest injury news from the boss later today when he'll sit down with Arsenal TV Online for his pre-match interview.

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