Mikel Arteta is racking up the frequent flier miles. Monday night, he joined Stan Kroenke (and I think Josh as well) at a Colorado Avalanche game, a 2-0 win over the Blackhawks. In a few days, he’ll fly halfway across the world in the other direction for Arsenal’s winter training camp in Dubai. I hope Mikel is flying Emirates, because if he isn’t, what’s the point of that shirt sponsorship?
The Gunners had a busy summer transfer window, spending a club-record £156.8M, which was the most spent by any Premier League side. They added Nuno Tavares, Sambi Lokonga, Ben White, Martin Ødegaard, Aaron Ramsdale, and Takehiro Tomiyasu. All 23 and under. All having impressive seasons so far.
It’s a safe guess that at least part of Mikel’s trip was to discuss the January transfer window — who he’s targeting, how much they might cost, and what funds are available. But I’d bet it was less of a direct ask to open up the coffers and more of getting some facetime, bringing him up to speed, looping him in, and circling back situation. A “per my last email” if you will.
We’re “trusting the process” with Mikel Arteta and that includes the Kroenkes. It makes sense that they’d want updates on both the short-term and long-term progress of the plan for their club (property? investment?).
In all seriousness, isn’t this what we wanted from ownership? Not to give them too much credit for doing (less than) the bare minimum, but we’ve wanted Stan & Josh Kroenke to seem more involved with Arsenal and to act like they care about the club for a while. It would be even better if they actually cared about the club, but let’s take it one step at a time. I’ll settle for “appearing to care” for starters.
I wouldn’t read too much into the meeting, either. After all, it’s kinda what managers are supposed to do, as in club managers and managers as people with oversight. To my knowledge, it hasn’t happened super frequently with Arsenal, so I guess it’s good that they’re meeting in person. But I’d bet there is open communication regardless of the frequency of face-to-face meetings. Basically, I’m cautioning against trying to glean too much from this meeting / speculating too hard about what it means.
Shifting gears entirely — hopefully the success or failure of the L.A. Rams in the NFL playoffs won’t have any effect on the Kroenkes vis-a-vis Arsenal. But Enos Stanley Kroenke is a human being and not all the decisions that humans make are rational. So Arsenal need to get the transfer business done before the Rams potentially lose on Sunday to not make the Super Bowl, which would clearly sour Stan the Man on sportsball. Or they should wait until the Rams win on Sunday to make the Super Bowl so that he’s in a good mood and willing to spend more.