Josh Kroenke has urged Arsenal supporters to keep the faith with a long-term project at Emirates Stadium, with the club’s owners proving in a Super Bowl triumph for the LA Rams that their vision for success does work.
The Kroenkes, who also have the Denver Nuggets pursuing ultimate glory in the NBA and the Colorado Avalanche sitting as favourites to land the Stanley Cup in NHL, have invested heavily in order to deliver tangible reward on North American sporting stages – with big money spent by the Rams on putting Matthew Staffford, Odell Beckham Jr, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald, Von Miller and Jalen Ramsey on the same team.
Those efforts are yet to be replicated on a soccer scene at Emirates Stadium, much to the frustration of a passionate fan base in north London, but Gunners supporters are being told to trust the process and believe that good times lie just around the corner.
What has been said?
Co-owner Kroenke – the son of real estate magnate Stan - has told the BlueWire’s Road Trippin’ Podcast: “We’re excited to be where we are in the Premier League, we have a great young squad, great young manager and we’ve got a bright future.
“Now that we have 100 per cent of the club - we’ve had it only since 2018 - we’re laying the foundations of a really bright future.
“I think if any of the Arsenal fan base wants to look at our teams here in North America, which surprisingly they don’t do very often.
“It’s not that they don’t care, they are very curious about our operations and I want to say to them and sit down and explain how we look at things, whether it’s a person in the media or the fan that happens to grab me in the hotel.
“And what I say is that we’re really proud - over here we draft and develop - at Arsenal we have an amazing academy, where these kids work their way up. We have some amazing academy products playing for us right now, starting to play really meaningful minutes."
He added: “We have several other young kids just starting to enter late teens and early twenties who are starting to make some noise at the first-team level and we have a couple of guys in their mid-20s who we have recruited and they’ve matured with us for the last few years and are starting to lead the leadership charge behind the scenes.
“And so you see the foundation of the culture that I talked about and I think you see it starting to manifest itself on the pitch.
“I’m not sure where we are right now, I think we’re sitting in fifth or sixth in the league, we need to be higher, our goals are to be higher, but to be there with the youngest squad in the Premier League, I think is something every Arsenal fan should get behind.”
The bigger picture
Arsenal are sat sixth in the Premier League table, two points adrift of the Champions League spots but with three games in hand held over fourth-placed West Ham and two on a Manchester United side that is sat directly above them.
Focus has been narrowed on pursuit of success in the English top-flight after failing to secure European qualification last season and slipping out of domestic cup competitions in the current campaign.
Little business on the recruitment front was done in the January transfer window, with teenage talent Lino Sousa acquired with one eye on the future while American defender Auston Trusty will remain with MLS side the Colorado Rapids until the summer.
There is plenty of speculation to be found regarding supposed summer targets, but elite continental football may be required in order to get those through the door and the Kroenkes will have to prove that they are prepared to dig deep in order to emulate the successes being enjoyed in their homeland.