Time for ‘Silent Stan’ Kroenke to show he cares: Richard Buxton
Under owner Kroenke, Arsenal are in a state of flux, with fans threatening to revolt and progress on transfers painfully slow
Murphy's law continues to place a firm stranglehold over Arsenal.
Everything that could possibly go wrong for last season's Europa League finalists already has.
Barely 12 months since Stan Kroenke's complete takeover was ratified, the Gunners are in a state of flux.
Their much-heralded dawn of a new era has disintegrated into wreck and ruin.
Supporters are threatening to revolt, their captain has downed tools while progress on potential transfers is becoming painfully slow and now borders on the embarrassing.
Putting on a good show in Kroenke's backyard with a 3-0 win over Colorado Rapids yesterday morning (Singapore time) merely masked the Gunners' plethora of problems.
Arsenal's plan to, in their head of football Raul Sanllehi's words, "outsmart the market" has been shown as little more than a glorified penny-pinching exercise with Unai Emery expected to perform miracles on a shoestring transfer budget of just £45 million (S$76.5m).
It is hardly uncharted territory for the north Londoners. Liverpool owner John Henry ridiculed their £40,000,001 bid for Luis Suarez in a cheap attempt to trigger his release clause with the now immortal phrase: "What do you think they're smoking over there at the Emirates?"
Six years later, however, they are still up to those old and tiresome tricks. A pursuit of Kieran Tierney has descended into farce, with Celtic growing weary of attempts to pay for the left-back in instalments.
Wilfried Zaha, similarly, is seen as an object of affection but not affluence, despite the winger preparing to forego his Champions League ambitions.
The absence of elite-level European football underlines why Arsenal are now poor relations in their own parish, with Tottenham Hotspur able to hijack their move for Saint-Etienne's William Saliba.
Outgoings have also been criminally mismanaged, with Aaron Ramsey allowed to join Juventus on a free transfer after contract negotiations stalled, while his former employers had wilfully thrown an eye-watering £350,000-per-week deal at the polarising Mesut Oezil.
Emery shoulders a degree of responsibility for the current malaise, with his calamitous loan signing of Barcelona misfit Denis Suarez during the second half of last season said to be behind the surprise departure of Sven Mislintat, the club's former head of recruitment.
With such disarray becoming commonplace, it is little wonder that Laurent Koscielny is questioning whether he wants to continue to skipper a seemingly sinking ship this season.
Kroenke's reputation as "Silent Stan" reflects his lack of hands-on involvement in the day-to-day running of his various sports franchises.
But, if ever there was a time and place to abandon his long-standing moniker, it is right now with his most high-profile investment.
Fans have this week publicly outlined their concerns to the American business magnate.
They care, he doesn't.
In that respect, Arsenal share a rare commonality with Manchester United.
Both sets of fans love their clubs but hate their current American owners.
They also view harking back to the glorious past as the de facto route out of trouble.
Where the hedonism of 1999 is currently United's preferred poison, Arsenal have chosen to look only five years beyond that.
Memories of Arsene Wenger's last English Premier League-winning side are now dictating the future.
Freddie Ljungberg has been elevated to Emery's assistant while fellow "Invincible" Edu is the new sporting director, having catastrophically failed to land transfer guru Monchi.
That sliding-door moment has seen Sevilla's summer arrivals already into double figures, while Arsenal have drafted in only teenager Gabriel Martinelli, who scored against the Rapids.
Unless "Silent Stan" finds his voice soon, those shouting back at him will becoming deafening.