I read Arsene's comments on the close season this morning and one particular quote stood out for me. This is it:
“Then we had the fact that we could only complete the transfers very late. It was only possible then, and it was unbelievable how it happened finally."
The use of the word 'fact' is of particular importance. Personally I think Arsene is using the word 'fact' to describe that this is what happened, I don't think he means it wouldn't have been possible to get transfers done earlier if things had been done differently. However I am not sure whether Arsene would go back and do things differently if he had the chance to turn back the clock, by saying 'it was only possible then' he seems to imply that the club would not do things differently if they could go back and try again.
I think that as supporters and shareholders we need to push the club for answers as to why it was not possible to get some transfer deals done earlier, I cannot simply take it as 'fact' that nothing could not have been done earlier and better if the club had been more organised and dynamic in their transfer negotiations. This is a very serious issue to me that questions the very competence of our club's management to sort out player transfers.
I know the club made early bids for certain players including a certain Gary Cahill. I also know that we have several million pounds left over that was not spent come the end of the window. I am no unrealistic fool, the club could not have gone out and brought in several big 30 million pound signings having sold no one, however in my eyes there is no doubt we could have done some useful early business and brought in two or three players, the fact that we did not do this suggests some significant levels of incompetence exist in the club's strategy. The manager and the board are both implicated in this failure, precisely how the blame should be divided has not yet been defined.
The biggest concern for me is that you cannot learn from your mistakes unless you own up to them, acknowledge them and change your approach to prevent them repeating in the future. I have seen no evidence that anyone in the club thinks the club has done anything wrong, the manager's words appear to show that he thinks no mistakes were made and that everything was done perfectly. This shows a state of denial or a lack of honesty, and either of these are deeply concerning to supporters. I think there is something rotten present in our club's management structure and it needs sorting badly, the first step in this will be us as supporters pushing the club for answers on these so called 'facts'. Either we have a manager in denail, an incompetent board or a bit of both.