Arsenal haven’t lost a game since 28 August, so it’s a pretty decent time for Stan and Josh Kroenke to stick their head above the parapet to let everyone know that they’re doing a swell job.
We’ve not heard much from our owners since April when they sparked furious protests from Arsenal fans for signing the club up to the doomed European Super League.
Aside from publicly dismissing a £1.8 billion bid from Spotify owner Daniel Ek, father and son have been pretty sheepish on the media front, preferring instead to let their money do the talking in a bid to buy forgiveness via the transfer market.
It’s very difficult to determine whether this summer’s business, which saw us recruit six first team players, would have happened without spring’s unravelling of trust but that’s not going to stop our billionaire overlords from pretending otherwise.
Where we are now – feeling good because we’ve won a few games – is the fruit of their labour, the coming together of a grand plan, the result of years of experience owning sports franchises on the other side of the Atlantic.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Josh Kroenke explained: “We’ve only really owned the club since 2018. We have a young manager, we have a young squad and we’re charting our path to the future.
“In the United States we have a certain model and we’re implementing that here, and we have over the last three years, which is, young players, talented players with the right mentality, let them grow together while continuing to sprinkle in talent throughout the squad.
“Eventually it grows into something very special. The power of continuity behind the scenes and people working together and pulling in the same direction is an underrated aspect of pro sports. With the power of continuity and allowing this group to grow together, special times are ahead for this club.”
Given Stan Kroenke is on record as saying, “If you want to win championships then you would never get involved [with owning a club]” it’s also amusing to hear Josh talk about the need for a change in mentality. One wonders when the penny dropped.
“Arsenal fans should expect the best. That’s what they’ve expected throughout their history and that shouldn’t change at all,” he said.
“Do we have to rethink how we’re going to go about achieving those goals? Absolutely. This summer that really played out. We weren’t breaking any transfer records but the net spend was very high.
“We had many areas we needed to address on the pitch, those were addressed with players of a certain quality, of a certain age, and I think what gets left out quite a bit is, we needed to change a few mentalities around here. We needed to get mentally stronger.
“I think from the new signings to the kids that are coming through from Hale End to the senior players that are setting the tone in the dressing room on a daily basis, that mentality is to go out and compete and leave it all on the pitch. That is a quality that can make our fans proud, win, lose or draw.”
As for the Super League debacle, Josh hopes 48 hours in April won’t define how supporters view KSE in the long term. It’s quite a convenient way to position our involvement in the project, given it had been months, if not years, in the making.
“As someone that always tries to find the positives in things, when you’re at the bottom, there’s only one way to go and that’s back up,” he said.
“I said this to our fan advisory board who we met with last night, I don’t want a 48-hour period to define us.
“We were presented with an opportunity. We asked ourselves a question, which was what was worse, a Super League or Super League without Arsenal? And we answered that question that we should be included in that.
“Were we wrong? Obviously. We listened to our fans. We made a quick pivot, removed ourselves from the situation. We apologised, and now we move forward.”
He makes it sound very easy.
We’re not sure the supporters are ready to forgive and forget just yet.