Ivan the Terrible.
And that’s not a bad thing. The more I read on this guy the more I like him. Take this quote from today –
“If we ever felt that coming in the top four was good enough, then we should not be doing what we are doing.”
Looks like Ivan is laying down the law, telling our young Gunners that just settling for a finish in the top 4 is unacceptable. That they are going to be expected to now start delivering on their potential. Much was said about our lack of experience last year. Hell, even the opposition where using the “men against boys” phrases ad naseum last year.
Well, let’s chalk last year up to trial by fire. They had a shaky start and then went on a tear for the last half of the season posting one of the best records in that span in the EPL. Now the lads have to step up and take the next step. This what we all believe and it is obvious that this is what Mr. Gadzidis believes.
I have to admit I am beginning to see a good cop bad cop routine devleop between Ivan and Arsene. And this may not be a bad thing. Ivan comes out lays down the law and Arsene does what a good manager does and supports his players and gets them focused on the task at hand. But I do wonder if Ivan is voicing this about the players – what is he telling the manager?
This is shaping up to be an interesting season. It does seem like from all the right corners the gauntlet is being thrown down – our senior players (senior is a relative term), our manager and our chief executive are saying how its coming up to a now or never situation. Yes, I know we’ve all heard it before. But there seems to be a little more emphasis this season as in maybe everyone knows this is it.
Last week Arsene came out and said if this doesn’t work this season that he would have to consider starting from scratch. Take that in conjunction with Ivan’s comments and those of the other players and I see a different attitude this year.
However even attitude can’t change what we want. Nothing less of some sort of silverware this year will be acceptable for this squad. If they fail in that – finishing in the semis will qualify as abject failure.
Well done Ivan. Well done.
PS. Props to Arseblog – they were the ones with Gazidis interview.