by Lewis Ambrose
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has taken plenty of criticism since arriving at the club back in 2008 but is happy the club is on the right track.
Since arriving Gazidis had to wait until 2014 to see Arsenal lift a trophy, and sat through plenty of abuse while fans waited for success on the pitch to arrive. The people in charge at the club always pointed to a post-2010 benchmark for financial prosperity to arrive and they have no started to deliver.
“Well there was a lot of noise [about Wenger’s job] and of course it wasn’t easy for anybody at the club,” Gazidis told In Focus.
Even after the FA Cup win and arrival of Mesut Özil and Alexis Sánchez some fans believe Wenger is past it, with the manager abused as he stepped onto a train after a defeat to Stoke last season. Gazidis insists that Arsenal want more and are on the right track but also defended the performance of the club during the barren years.
“We all wanted to be doing better. We wanted to be delivering more to our fans,” said the chief executive.
“The football was always good and we maintained – even through those difficult periods – a high level of consistency year to year.
“We’re the only club that stayed in the top four and in Europe throughout all of that time. So it’s not as if we fell off the face of the map but of course we always wanted to achieve more.”
Özil and Alexis are undoubtedly world class and both talk Arsenal to a new level. Petr Čech has been added this summer and will look to build on the success that the previous two signings from huge clubs brought. The FA Cup victory in 2014 was Arsenal’s first trophy since 2005. The wait for another was just 12 months as the club retained the trophy. What’s next?
“There’s a growing belief amongst the team that they can do some special things together,” said Gazidis.
“Certainly what we want to do is to compete to win the Premier League and to compete to win major trophies.
“It’s been great to win the FA Cup twice in a row and that’s a terrific achievement and another part of the club’s history that we’ve added to, but now we want to take that forward and go even a step further.”
A step further would see Arsenal showing a serious capability of winning the Premier League or Champions League. It seems to be the aim but we play in the most competitive league in the world.
Unfortunately it is out of our hands, we’ll just have to wait and see whether or not we can pull it off.
Regardless I think, by now, it is safe to say the club is in good hands.