A Fistful Of Dollars Or The Fatman Menace?

The quiet time is upon us, no football until Sunday. A time when journalists will devour their plates of food and consume copious quantities of alcohol whilst attempting to create mayhem all around them. So, a normal week then.

It appeared that the fallout from Hull would be the talk of the week but never one to let the grass grow under his feet, Stan Kroenke snaffled a handful of shares to leave himself even closer to the edge of an Arsenal takeover attempt. Given that he could buy the remaining 17 or so shares required to cross that threshold from Danny or any one of the Board crew, exterior reasons must be behind any stalling on this front.

The popular reason or belief is that he does not want to pay the £10.5k per share he would have to for any deal before May of next year. Quite possibly this is true.

Or perhaps he is waiting for the outcome of the renegotiation of the contracts concerning sponsorship of shirts and the stadium. According to a report in this morning’s Daily Mirror, envious glances have been cast around the Premier League as Arsenal realises that the long-term nature of The Emirates deal was good at the time in helping secure the external borrowing for the new stadium and disposal of Highbury flats but now looks somewhat paltry compared to deals achieved elsewhere.

Perhaps he is waiting for Usmanov to get close to the threshold and then hope he tippi-toes over it, ridding the club of the Uzbek Menace once and for all when the bid fails. The Uzbek can see £32m disappearing down the swanee if Kroenke does not make a bid in the next five months or so, observing that, “it is important for the stability of the club for him to clarify his position.

Mr Pot? Please let me introduce you to my good friends, Kettle and Black. If anyone is unsettled by Kroenke, the vast majority are deeply disturbed by Usmanov and his intentions. The media would adore a battle between the two, guaranteeing that back pages would be filled with all manner of salacious gossip disguised as background fact, mixed with a sprinkling of attention to the detail of each deal.

The pair know the Takeover Panel rules and therefore the calls from Red & White are empty rhetoric. Usmanov does not have to wait until he reaches 30% to launch a bid neither does Kroenke. So, let’s be having the pair of you: outside with your piles of used fivers, business plans, the works.

Prove that you can afford to buy Arsenal through improving the club’s financial standing, without loading debt and still have money to spare to continue the investment in not just the first team squad but the reserves and youth academy as well. As it is the season of goodwill, put together a package that will permit a reduction in ticket prices to boot, opening more of the stadium to proper fans rather than relying upon corporate sponsors.

One upshot of this is that according to reports in The Guardian, Kroenke wants Arsenal t0 undertake pre-season tours to the USA, a direct conflict with Arsene’s desire to continue taking the team to Central Europe. In a World Cup year, there is little football sense in undertaking such a jaunt but huge commercial scope, even if none of the first team ‘regulars’ (although they are all regulars with the current spate of injuries) can be there. Whilst I can see Wenger’s point, no evidence exists that such trips are detrimental with all recent Premier League champions traversing the globe.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on December 22, 2009, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 175 Comments.

  1. ho ho ho ho ho

  2. Absolutely pointless in playin in the U.S.of A pre-season. the spuds did it and it was just easy games for them and they would inevatably start the season off in poor form ,arry came in and got rid of the pre season in micky mouse land. it would not in the slightest be good for us. I’d be pissed if we had to play out there.

  3. Usmanov’s latest rant is a sign of weakness. It seems to me that Usmanov is now playing to be bought out.

  4. Will Clichy be fit for Sunday???

  5. This is one story the media will love to shit stir.
    Goody 2 shoes Kroenke vs Bad ass mafioso Usmanov is the stuff news columns are made of.

    I was listening to a discussion last night on radio about Arsenal and Kroenke and it occured to me that the so called gurus and pundits of all things football have no clue and had never had a clue what was happening behind the scenes at Arsenal. It was comical to hear them try and invent a story of a likely outcome of Kroenke’s interest – and how this is going to affect Wenger and the team. Actually, it was a revelation to hear them do it live on air as opposed to sitting down in a pub on fleet street and inventing a story for the tabloids as they sip their lager.

    There was even a suggestion that it was happening now so that Wenger could be given the much needed millions to spend on the January transfer window since Arsenal were in a position where their squad has been shattered by injuries and their season is over. If they don’t spend money they will fall out of the top 10 of the EPL.

  6. Could be an early title decider on sunday!!!!

  7. JD Gooner.

    From the last Wenger update, Clichy will be available for selection by the 9th of Jan when we play Everton at home, but he’ll more than likely be on the bench.

  8. How many times have Manure toured the world and still end up with at least a trophy?

    Not only they receive more revenues from winning the trophies, on top of that, they receive that extra few millions of dollars each year from touring the globe. Sales from merchandise will go up, brand quality will increase, which will inevitably increases the value of the club.

    Expanding your fanbase is is just as an important investment as winning trophies.

    And as Yogi stated, there is no evidence that it is indeed truly detrimental as Wenger might suggest.

  9. Off topic but I just thought of something.

    I know we are being linked to any football player on the planet that has had a ball at his feet in the 6yd box. But to add a name into the mix of our potenially new striker. How about Roque Santa Cruz.

    I would actually like that.
    So that’s Villa, Dzeko, Cruz and Gignac on my wishlist. Obviously only one of them.

    And the ‘we need a defender brigade’ are winning me around but only if we loose Senderos, so there I would like Upson, Hangeland or Sakho. Cant see any of those 3 playing second fiddle to Vermo and William.

  10. Aw is the problem.As rosicknote rightly pointed out MU have been winning in spite of stamina sapping.I feel AW has too much power and shd be held accountable for the gunners failure these last few seasons.

  11. @Sam
    Tru dat! He should be sacked and we should get Hughes instead!!

  12. Define ‘failure’ please.

  13. On the Usmanov-Kroenke so called battle, I believe none of them wants to make a full takeover. As you stated the law doesn’t say you need to have 30% to make a takeover so if they really wanted to they would have made an offer a year ago already!

    I believe Usmanov realised he is unwanted by all party in the club so I guess a takeover by Kroenke would be a blessing in disguise as he could sell his share and make a profit.

    As for Kroenke, he is in a good position at the moment, he has a seat on the board, his views are listened so his influence is growing.

    As some of the other Americans who bought in the premier league (Hicks, Gillet and glazers) he comes from franchise sport in the US and by seeing the problems mounting for his fellow country men he must have realised that owning a football club in England is not as easy as a franchise in the US.

    Indeed, the two systems are completely different. In the US you can’t get relegated if you mess up, you are helped in buying rising stars if you are crap (the draft picking order system) and if you have problems with the fans you just move the fuck away in another city!! Which is a complete different world from european sport!

    He must also realise that buying a club on loan doesn’t work as Liverpool fans can attest an even if Man U seems to be in better shape, I just can understand why fergie didn’t spend the millions from Ronaldo if they were available to him! We’re talking about a guy who spent 17 million on NANI!!!! So I believe there is something happening with Man U loans as well.

    Kroenke doesn’t have the money to buy the club completely and he is not going to sell one of his franchise to fund his move as his money comes from the fact he owns the whole Colorado sports and media industry!

    To conclude, I don’t think we will see a change of ownership anytime soon! As for the sponsorship deal I’m sure Glazidis will gat the club a good deal as we have a good financial stability and more visibility than a lot of other club (I can only see Man U, Real and Barca and maybe Liverpool having more visibility than us).

  14. If wenger goes, fabregas goes, the whole team follows. No more attacking football, no youth developement, lastly no reason to remain an arsenal fan. They’ll be just another club. I honestly couldnt watch football week in and week out if i werent watching arsenal play. Wenger is LEGEND!

  15. I agree with DukeGoonem.

    The Austrian training camp is our Shaolin Monastry. A spartan and serious place in mystical surroundings. A place to concentrate on football, and football only.

    Manutd’s Harlem Globetrotter plastic lunchbox bullsh*t parade is a place to concentrate on cheerleaders, humvees, casinos and light, refreshing bottled beer.

    That’s no place for our impressionable young things to go gallivanting; bumping into Jonny Evans as he runs naked down the sunset strip, sloshing cava through his hair and rubbing cocaine into his gentleman’s area.

    What would Francis Coquelin think of that, huh? Answer me that.

  16. On holiday from ‘Le Grove’ Sam?

    I know I shouldn’t even bother looking but their post is so miserable and vile this morning. Sam, if you’ve not been – reckon you’ll love it over there.

    Yogi, sensible comments as always and pleasantly devoid of vitriol and anger.

  17. On my wish list:
    1- Villa: he is not cup tied, his club needs money fast, he is awesome but probably still too expensive.

    2- Chamack: He wants to come to the club, would be cheap but Bordeaux won’t sale as they have a good draw in the champions league (olympiacos) and the money from this games will be higher than what we would pay for him and he is cup-tied.

    3- Bring back Simpson fron the QPR loan, he scored already 10 goals for them, he is good, already an arsenal player, knows how the team plays!

  18. great write up as usual. visit my blog @ http://www.gunnernation.wordpress.com for all things Arsenal and the Premier League.
    cheers

  19. Darius Stone,

    Seems to me like Usmanov has been well and truly blocked and now he’s working the refs. Why would he do that? He wants Kroenke pushed to take over the club. So he can take the offer and scoot. My take.

    gunnerluc,

    Your comment makes so much sense to me. Seems like Usmanov is open to taking his gains and scooting.

    All,

    Idiotic comments swimming around. If it’s good enough for Man u it’s good enoiugh for Arsenal. Get a brain.

  20. Manure often start the season very poorly then pick up later, it is normally seen that the celebrity tours do not help on field performance. If they added 20 million to invest on a player, then maybe it balances, if he is any good, inlike berbatov.

    Seems best though to leave it to Arsene, he probably knows a bit about it. You would think so anyway, but maybe not.

    Good to see media distractions getting dredged up just as things are starting to look good for us. It needs to be ignored.

    3 points on saturday and we are really flying, that is the most important thing for the club right now.

    If we can win the league this year, then integrate fully Wilshere, Ramsey, JET, Lansbury, Bartley, Vela, Merida into the squad the future will be pot filled whatever else happens. Got to get the first one though.

  21. Why are we so desperately anti-Usmanov? It does seem that we will be ready to do almost anything to avoid Usmanov… Now Usmanov indeed has the money, and Kroenke is a sports-businessman. The best idea is status quo definitely, but if we need to choose amongst the lesser evil, who would you choose us to be? A billionaire’s plaything, or a money-making venture of American businessmen? Closest parallels being – Abramovic, or Hicks/Gillette?

  22. “A billionaire’s plaything, or a money-making venture of American businessmen? Closest parallels being – Abramovic, or Hicks/Gillette?”

    I don’t think the comparison fits here, what happens if one day Abramovic decides to pull the rug and run? Wouldnt the club be worse off than either MAnu/Pool? I’d hate to see Arsenal go to the dogs like that!

    Limpar you are very funny today, the thought of ” Jonny Evans as he runs naked down the sunset strip, sloshing cava through his hair and rubbing cocaine into his gentleman’s area.” is hilarious.

    Whether Wenger decides to buy or not remains to be seen but whatever he decides to do as a supporter I’d be 100% behind him. He knows!

    When the time comes for him to leave Arsenal(hopefully many years down the line) I hope it’s coz he is retired and not off to coach another club.He truly is a legend.

  23. The present multi ownership system has served the Arsenal pretty well over the last couple of decades. It would that we have got a sensible board.
    Someone buy a share at £15000 pounds that would up the value anyone has to pay for the next year and probably keep things carrying on the same way
    Sorry lads I’m afraid I havent got the dosh
    Great article as usual Yogi
    Thanks and seasons greetings to one and all
    Dave

  24. Limpar funniest comment ever at 11.30. I can picture two conflicting movie montages ala rocky 4, with our boys training old school and deep in meditation, and then… Jonnie Evans.

    Great that mate!

  25. I don’t think that the present multiple ownership arrangement works at all.

  26. Travelling in pre-season is known to be detrimental. It tires athletes and messes their internal body clock.
    Jet lag adds extra pressure on the body. For every 2 hours of time difference your body needs at least 1 day to adjust.
    That could mean that the team would have to come back at least a week before the start of the season. Even more if Arsenal is involved in the pre Season Community Shield.
    If we were to finish fourth, then we would have to play that extra Champion’s league qualifier. That means that the team must be in top condition from the start rather than two weeks after the season starts.
    Playing pre-season in the USA after the World Cup can be a good attraction if you bring players who did good at the tournament, otherwise it can turn to be a expensive flop.
    Moreover US likes winner and unless you win something or you bring glamorous super star you are unlikely to attract them. At least in n umber beneficial to the tour and the marketing department. Do not forget that none of our players are world wide star a la Beckham, Ronaldo, Kaka.
    For Rangers and Celtic because of the low TV money the extra money brought by touring abroad is important however for Arsenal the extra money is less important with regard to their budget. Even more so if it is done to the detriment of the Emirates Tournament.

  27. godof86,

    Usmanov doesn’t even have enough money. If we’re going to be a billionaire’s plaything, at least one who has real money.

    Top 10 anti-Usmanov reasons:

    1. He’s a Man poo fan.
    2. There are doubts about how he made his money and the source of his wealth.
    3. He’s an ex-convict
    4. He knows nothing about running a football club.
    5. He wants to take money out of the club. He’s said he’s in it for profit, and he’s asked the board to start paying dividends.
    6. He will take the club in a different direction to the one that’s seen Arsenal go from a Top 15 club in the world to a Top 5 club. All in the space of a few years.
    7. If he wants to be a benefactor, he can already be that. Just write out a cheque for £100M and post it to Arsenal Football Club.
    8. Small shareholders want to have a say in the club (AST) and that doesn’t seem likely in the event of an Usmanov takeover.
    9. The board don’t trust him, and no matter what you say about them, they’re gooners and that’s good enough for me.
    10. He’s too fat and too ugly.

  28. This story about Kroenke and AW being at loggerheads over a possible US tour is a complete fabrication. Utter bullshit.

  29. I don’t like the idea of Usmanov owning the club either, OG, but you don’t know any of the stuff you have listed. Apart from the last one and frankly no-one on the board is shaggable either.

  30. Personally I prefer board rule with AW in charge of football, and no outright owner.

    If Frank Or Yogi came about some stray billions and wanted to take over the club, I’d happily convert to the single owner model.

  31. Well as it happens, OG.

  32. I am in fact Usmanov….if you look carefully you can see the zip on my foam fat suit.

  33. Frank,

    I actually know all but Number 8 as hard cold fact.

  34. My intention is to take the club to number 1 in the world, OG, so you can discount Number 6 too.

  35. This webchat thing’s pretty cool. Not all the questions are retarded.

  36. Not all of the Board are gooners. So you can discount Number 9.

  37. My take is that times are a changing wether we like it or not. And it looks as two options are likely, Usmanov Arsenal and Kreonke Arsenal. I wouldn’t pretend to think I know what either outcome would mean. However I agree that things could do with a change, but only in the sense that we had a little more money and could remain prudent.

    I like to think that at Arsenal we are a less of a rollercoaster club with players coming and going like a bloody japanese train platform. We appreciate our players (mostly) and get time to see them develop and therefore have more of a mutual love. Fans and player. This for me is one of the main reasons I love Arsenal.

    However with recent supposed quotes and gossip claiming that Wenger ‘lives within his means’ and ‘Runs the club within constraints’. Suggest that the running is not Wengers ideal. Recent linkings of Wenger and Real where a worry, he stated that it would be ‘interesting’, obviously we would be crazy to think that wenger would not want to loosen his constraints.

    Therefore the candidate that can offer more but yet maintain Wengers School of football philosophy for me would be the ideal. The closer the better. To me, and this is only based on what the media shows me Stan would be the man.

    God of 86 stated comparisons as Hicks and gillete, this would be godawful. Perhaps though we could be lucky and get a ‘Randy Lerner’.

    Who knows but time will tell, and we hopefully will get to maintain Arsene and his philosophy (the greatest thing to happen to the club in my time as a supporter).

  38. Yes, Frank. Not all, but virtually all.

  39. There are no doubts about how I made my money, Point 2. I tapped into a board member’s supply chain and syphoned off several billion pounds worth of blood diamonds. That is why he dislikes me.

  40. You are probably right, OG.

  41. Luckily, the blood diamond guy doesn’t own the club.

  42. I could handle a management team of Kroenke, David Dein, Ivan Gazidis and Arsene Wenger.

  43. If that were proposed I would give all my shares to charity.

  44. The English FA are meeting to decide bans for Nasri and Song after tea time.

    Hull players have been referred for physiological counseling after the trauma they suffered at the hands of these foreigners

  45. Have you been reading the Daily Wail again, Ritesh?

  46. I heard that Given’s considering leaving citeeh… Shouldn’t Wenger be looking to try and pull him away???

  47. How lucky we are to have AW as our manager.

  48. Yep Frank, and Mirror too. But was just listening to the webchat with Wenger. We are privilege to have such a gaffer at Arsenal.

  49. Usmanov v Kroenke
    Why would either invest very large sums of money in a club, where shares pay no dividends?

    Maybe they see the club’s business model as functional and self-sustaining:

    The manager astute to player selection, entertaining play, vision of youth academy, scouting system world-wide, new stadium;

    all laying the foundation to build on a global image, where vast amount of untapped revenue can be generated through licensing and media.

    All this raising the share value.

  50. Arsesession, a long post.

    The balance sheet of Arsenal keeps growing every year because of the healthy business model. So if any of these guys were to buy shares, they would become richer by just holding their shares.

    If they interfere in Management, they run the risk of hurting the model, a large part of which is player development. Example, a simple accountant would say, lets tour the US and make more money + increase merchandising. An economist would say, what is the risk to the current revenue stream, if we increase revenue from merchandising.

    Wenger gives you 25M+ from sale of players every year…. and these guys want a couple of million from merchandising…. its a crazy world

  51. Please..forgive the instrusion from one living in the former colonies (US of A as you call it). It is obvious from some of the comments that several of you need to loosen the chin straps on your pith helmets, put your dogeared copy of Kipling on the side table and venture out..into the world. Arsenal are wildy popular in the colonies/states and although the clever description of the USA gives Maria “LOL”, etc. you may find the humanoids over here are the very thing YOU claim to be: fans of The Arsenal.

  52. Thanks OOU.

    So lucky to have Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, so lucky…

    What are the odds on Nasri getting a ban for the Villa game, especially as he’s just finding his form? Will the bookies still be paying out?

    Wouldn’t be the first time that some form of skulduggery has interrupted an arsenal players season this year.

  53. Actually I think it is you people who call it US of A, Rtist. We just call it America.

  54. Will this be good or bad for Arsenal’s futebol future. I never trust what I read or hear from the media. They have habit of making things up and only reporting on what is consistent with their template. What I mean by template. The media has angle on the story and they will not report any news that does not agree with their story. So what is the real truth.
    The media couldn’t get it right even if the truth truth bit them in the butt. Why let the facts get in the way of a good story.
    The Gunners are in good shape.
    spam bobby http://bobbygee.wordpress.com/

  55. FATHER CHRISTMAS

    ho ho ha ha ho ho ha ha! Merrry christmas everyone !!! For christfuck sake sam, why dont u go back to le grove son, christfuck sake.

  56. This just in:

    RvP’s medical operation is successful and AW feels he maybe ready to play by May..

  57. @ Ritesh
    building brand (marketing) is what ‘americans’ do best. (this is not giving my stamp of approval for Kroenke, claiming his character is purer than Usmanov)
    I do see Gazidis as key nurturing revenue streams – more than any owner.

    For Arsenal players, they don’t need the tour – the season is 61+ matches is exhausting. However, maybe a tour for a mix of select youth and select starters.
    (again speculation)

    Global tv (Rights) and or internet: the revenue opportunity is staggering.

    All this compounding the normal annual profit and share value.

  58. Els:

    I saw your earlier comment. Santa Cruz would be an excellent buy. I doubt City will sell. Hopefully the board and AW will use some of the money from the Ade/Kolo sales along with selling Senderos/Randall and a few other players who are not really in the long term plans and use the money. Just think of the moral boost winning would give the players and everyone around this club. All the negative fans and negative blogs would be silenced. People might even stop reading Le Grove.

    This year is the most open of any EPL season I have ever seen. Everyone is dropping points. We have a great chance if we can get someone who can score 12 goals in the 2nd half of the season and make sure we have adequate cover for our defense.

    I think we need another CB as much or more then a CF. It seems unreasonable to risk the season by being so thin at CB. If TV or WG went down we would be in huge trouble especially when we Play ManU, Chavs, Villa and LP in a short time period at the end of Jan. WG is out of contract at the end of this year. Who knows if or when JD will come back and how good he will be. He has never been able to stay fit in the past. Fortunately we are loaded with midfield talent yet he leaves us incredibly thin at CB, arguably one of the most important outfield position on the pitch. We can not go on a Man City like spending spree but if we add good CB a goal scorer we could win the double and be set for many years to come.

  59. Bill while I do think the squad could do with 2 newfaces, I would hope it would not be at the loss of any of our currently commited players. So if Senderos goes then let’s get a defender. And only sign a striker if Wenger thinks we need it. I’m not to sure, but the players I listed couldn’t hurt could they?

  60. Bill, Just curious.

    How did you reach the 12 goal figure? Are you suggesting that if we get someone new to score 12 goals we’re home and dry?

    If that was the case, I would suggest that there’s a hell of a lot more than 12 goals from Eduardo, Nick the B52 striker, Vela and Theo.

    I have a problem with the notion that buying a new striker solves our problem. It’s not as straight forward as that – and besides, the so called new player has to tick all our boxes and be able to play Wengerball when he hits the ground running.

    I don’t know if anyone has noticed that since we lost RVP and the conspiracy (LOL) against our left backs continues, Wenger has actually changed things round and our game is falling into place again.

    Let’s be open minded and stop this myopic argument that if we don’t buy reinforcements then we will fail. Buying is not a guarantee that things will work – the media will tell you that it’s the solution, but solutions can only come from within.

    I’m particularly dismayed at the way ‘economically’ challenged football commentators who are bankrupt of any understanding of basic economics still continue to tout multi-million purchases as the only solution for success.

    For one, someone needs to point out the blunt reality that winning a trophy is not worth plunging a club into debt for and secondly, in the current economic environment, there’s absolutely no place for the brazen ‘cheque book’ management that has put clubs like Man United, Liverpool, Portsmouth, West Ham, Hull and a plethra of other clubs in a financially precarious situation.

    Fergie and Benitez can’t even buy toilet paper without the banks checking that they will receive their interest payments on the loans to their clubs if the two managers go to Macro to do some shopping. Portsmouth can’t even afford to fix the toilets in the stadium and fans have to tip toe in while lifting their trousers to avoid touching all manner of bodily fluids on the floor.

    If Arsenal find a player who is likely to add value to the current squad, then I’m very supportive if we buy such a player. I don’t think though that we should buy anyone for the sake of appeasing certain constituencies.

    Banking and supporting Eduardo and B52 – as well as Vela makes more sense than pinning our hopes on a new signing to score 12 or however many goals.

  61. 12 goals? Eduardo, Arshavin and Fabregas will piss all over 12 goals, apiece.

    You never know but, Diaby, Denilson, Nasri, Ramsey, Rosicky, Theo, Vela, Bendtner and our free-scoring centrebacks might just fancy pitching in too.

  62. Top post Yogi!

    This is one of the saddest developments at the club that has come to pass at our club. Arsenal being bandied around like a toy. Quite frankly I have been against foreign ownership from day one and the short time of such acquisitions in the league, almost all of them have turned into FIASCOS.

    Liverpool, west ham, man united… you name it, If a club was cash strapped and invites a sugar daddy to help them out like chelsea did, I can understand that, but What really drives me up the wall about the situation is that the club NEVER asked for it. It was being run well enough, but Usmanov had to poke his nose in with the help of that ABOMINATION david dein.

    Anyone who thinks usmanov has the interests of the club at heart is an IDIOT! The most repugnant thing is that he is holding the club to ransom with his antics despite nobody asking him to be there in the first place.This shows up everything we need to know about his intentions.

    I would have preferred none but now that it seems INEVITABLE, Kroenke must be supported. Atleast he has the experience with sports “franchises” (I hate that name).

    Whatever happens lets hope that our beloved club does find ourselves in the position of so many others in the recent past taking to this phenomenon and PAYING DEARLY!

    Cheers all!!!

  63. Since YW has decided to hold me in moderation for using ‘bodily fluids’ in my post, then I’ll try again….

    62. Bill, Just curious.

    How did you reach the 12 goal figure? Are you suggesting that if we get someone new to score 12 goals we’re home and dry?

    If that was the case, I would suggest that there’s a hell of a lot more than 12 goals from Eduardo, Nick the B52 striker, Vela and Theo.

    I have a problem with the notion that buying a new striker solves our problem. It’s not as straight forward as that – and besides, the so called new player
    has to tick all our boxes and be able to play Wengerball when he hits the ground running.

    I don’t know if anyone has noticed that since we lost RVP and the conspiracy (LOL) against our left backs continues, Wenger has actually changed things
    round and our game is falling into place again.

    Let’s be open minded and stop this myopic argument that if we don’t buy reinforcements then we will fail. Buying is not a guarantee that things will work
    – the media will tell you that it’s the solution, but solutions can only come from within.

    I’m particularly dismayed at the way ‘economically’ challenged football commentators who are bankrupt of any understanding of basic economics still continue
    to tout multi-million purchases as the only solution for success.

    For one, someone needs to point out the blunt reality that winning a trophy is not worth plunging a club into debt for and secondly, in the current economic
    environment, there’s absolutely no place for the brazen ‘cheque book’ management that has put clubs like Man United, Liverpool, Portsmouth, West Ham, Hull
    and a plethra of other clubs in a financially precarious situation.

    Fergie and Benitez can’t even buy toilet paper without the banks checking that they will receive their interest payments on the loans to their clubs if
    the two managers go to Macro to do some shopping. Portsmouth can’t even afford to fix the toilets in the stadium and fans have to tip toe in while lifting
    their trousers to avoid touching all manner of bodily fluids on the floor.

    If Arsenal find a player who is likely to add value to the current squad, then I’m very supportive if we buy such a player. I don’t think though that we
    should buy anyone for the sake of appeasing certain constituencies.

    Banking and supporting Eduardo and B52 – as well as Vela makes more sense than pinning our hopes on a new signing to score 12 or however many goals.

  64. I know it probably will not happen, but it is fun to talk about.

    The players you listed would be awesome. I completely agree with the concept of youth development and growing the team from within. However, I worry that sometimes the the whole concept of “project youth” has become more important then winning. We have to keep in mind that the goal of a football team and its players and supporters is to win. If this team wins once it could go on a many year run.

    I know how much AW or the board hates to spend big money on one player. It feels like they consider it a sign of weakness. However because of what AW has done for this team he has put us very close to being a truly great club. 2 players could really put us over the top. Dzeko and Sakho would probably cost around $30 – 35. The same amount we cleared after selling Ade and Kolo and buying TV. Think of the morale boost for the fans and the other players to add someone who could really make a difference. This would not invalidate everything that AW and the board has worked for. The reason we are so close and we have the money to buy good players is because of what they have accomplished. Arshavin, Vermaelen, Nasri, Rosicky, Gallas, Sagna, Eduardo, were all purchased and that did not ruin our youth academy or kill any good young players.

    Go Gunners.

  65. naga gunner, I wish you’d be a little more frugal in the Caps Lock department. I’ve just spent 30 odd seconds of my day trying to work out what FIASCO was an acronym for.

  66. So could RvP make the world cup???

    Wenger said possibly april to play the last few games of the season.

  67. Naga gunner.

    The English Premier league is a global brand. if you think that the influence of ‘foreigners’ as you so eloquently describe it is restricted to players on the field, then you’re as naive as someone who thinks a mega byte is a new meal from Mc Donalds.

    Arsenal is one of the most attractive business propositions in the sports world. It’s stupid to think we won’t attract interest.

    Would it be acceptable to you if Arsenal maintained it’s multiple ownership model but all the owners were foreign? Foreign influence on what is now a global game is sometimes made to look like a ‘dirty’ thing and Englishness the prefered option, yet the foreign influence across all levels of the game is the very reason the EPL is a global brand of such magnitude with support from around the world. What did you think was going to happen when the EPL was exported around the world??? The English Premier league isn’t English any more and the faster we get used to that, the faster we’ll tame down the xenophobia that laces the anti-Arsenalism we experience everyday from the British media establishment.

  68. Points to Rtist…it’s true. The Arsenal are a massive global brand.

    Rtist…don’t take it too harsh either…sarcasm and levity don’t communicate too well online…little of what’s said here is truly meant to be nasty.

  69. ha ha ha ..

    LimparAssist,

    Loved that!

    ….and sorry! 🙂

  70. Except towards Americans though. We are always very nasty to them, Rtist.

  71. David Dein is not an abomination.

  72. Axis: point taken..

    Best of Holidays to each and everyone of you..

    Will be watching The Arsenal/Villa match from a poorly lit Irish pub…in Las Vegas!..stranger than fiction..

  73. Duke,

    I for one would be thrilled to see The Arsenal in America. That would give me a decent chance of seeing them perform without nicking over to England. I don’t think it would be detrimental to their performance, lots of teams have played far, far away and then performed admirably. The spuds played crap because, well, they are the spuds. It had nothing to do with pre-season travel. I would love Arsenal to become a bigger brand over here as well.

    Kroenke, while leaving much to be desired on the philanthropic front of his business empire, would hardly be a poor owner. Usmanov would be disastrous.

  74. Navada is -8 hrs behind GMT. What the hell will you be doing in an Irish pub at 5.30 am watching Arsenal play Villa.

  75. The real point of the AW announcement on RvP is that initially there was some doubt as to whether he would be able to play properly again. There was a possibility that his career was over. That simple fact gives the context to the mindset of the squad in the following two weeks. What an appalling prospect that would have been and no wonder AW was in a rage.

  76. Darius:

    Thanks for your comments. Differing opinions are what makes these blogs fun.

    Certainly buying 1 or 2 players does not mean we will automatically win the EPL, but it sure would help to have someone like Dzeko would could add the so called option B to our team this year and in years to come. Adding a CB seems almost a no brainer given how thin we are at CB. Hamstring tear for TV or WG and we are toast.

    NB52 will be excellent someday but he has not shown he can score the goals we need in the EPL. He is only 21 and most strikers need time to mature. Look at RVP, mentally and physically he was not ready for the role he had this year until he turned 26. The same is true of most strikers. Vela, Walcott, Ramsey, etc are going to be excellent but they are not yet ready to play consistantly at the level we need now. Ramsey is good one game then not so good the next. That is the norm for 20 year old players. Eduardo has not shown that he is really back and ready to consistantly score goals.

    I do not want us to go into the financial crapper, but I suspect we could afford 1 or 2 difference making players that could help us this year and next.

  77. Happy Holidays to everyone on ACLF. Thank to YW for another great year of posts. Darius, thanks to you for providing more excellent and well written commentary on this blog.

  78. An Irish pub in America? Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

  79. Best to you as well rtist…

    Darius…too much logic there about the striker issue. Better scale it back. lol.

  80. Bill,

    I think you’re naive. You can never satisfy neagtive fans. You can only embloden them. They’re negative by orientation.

  81. The English media’s neurosis with ‘foreign’ vs. ‘englishness’ in football, whether it be in terms of ownership, fanbase or playing staff, is ridiculed by American franchise types who see no ‘foreign’ in anything, only ‘international’. Everyone is equal, and equally good for a dollar.

  82. Buying guarantees nothing. If anything buing can create problems.

    One of the problems Aston Villa had last season was the brain dead acquisition of Emile Donkey.

  83. We do need a striker. As usual, Wenger is right. We need either for one of the ones we have especially Eduardo to find form, or for a new one to come and settle immediately.

    It seems to me more probable that Eduardo finds form (suported by Arshavin, Bendtner and Vela) than it is that Dzeko comes in winter, settles immediately and fires us to the league title.

    In fact the problem is the time before the window opens. To not drop poinst until our injured and off form calvary arrives.

  84. Darius Stone!

    I understand your point and believe me, its not necessarily the “foreign” ownership that bothers me. Its the constant haranguing and boardroom unstability that annoys me. Its not healthy for the club.

    You will agree with me that the club was being run well enough before this. I am not against investors making profit and I understand football is a business, but I just think that the owners whoever they may be should also have some consideration and understanding of the fact that a football club cannot be considered the same as a biscuit company.

    I am just saying that hill wood despite all his weaknesses will have more consideration and affinity towards the culture and tradition of the club.

    I have no problem with a COMPLETE multiple foreign ownership if it is run with the best interests of the club at heart.

    You will excuse me for having my reservations after the situation at west ham, liverpool, and most recently man city. Do you think that the way clubs should be run?

    Cheers!

  85. Noone else seemed to be moderated for saying ‘Am*rican’. Double standards.

  86. Darius: yes…no plans to sleep the night before..

    Frank: Oh dear indeed..

  87. Frank @3:33!

    Thank you for supporting me YET AGAIN! My pillar of constant support, I was wondering where you had gone!

    🙂

  88. Gris Gris.

    Happy Christmas to you and yours.

    Axis, if we’re going to spend over £10 million on a human being then we best check out the logic for it, no? LOL!

    Bill – thanks for your comments too. My sense is that we have to look at added value and consider which is the shortest less risky route to the success we need.

    Both buying from outside and promoting and supporting from within have inherent risks and rewards – and there are people at London Colney paid to make those decisions. More often than not, they’re not wrong.

    On the issue of players not being ready – it reminds me of the often misguided mantra that is designed as a tool for self preservation. They say “The youth are the leaders of tomorrow”. Fuck tomorrow, we want them today.

    I have total faith that Eduardo will deliver the goods sooner rather than later and that NB52 will also do so once he’s back.

    The interesting thing for me especially is that both NB52 and Eduardo are very good link players and work well with the rest of the team. Let’s not look at them as the replacement girlfriend’ after having lost RVP. They are very different players and we should focus on their strengths rather than trying to get a new RVP.

  89. I’m back. Feel good supporting Arsenal, the greatest club ever.

  90. SomeRandomGunner

    Anybody has a link or transcript of wenger’s web chat ?

  91. The English media’s neurosis with ‘for*ign’ vs. ‘englishness’ in football, whether it be in terms of ownership, fanbase or playing staff, is ridiculed by Am*rican franchise types who see no ‘for*ign’ in anything, only ‘international’. Everyone is equal, and equally good for a dollar.

  92. I rather think that young Mr Grace is an abomination, naga.

  93. Fellow Arsenal fans

    I’m Howard and back after a long blog-free holiday. However, why has YW removed my name from the blog? I’m pleading to be reinstated because it doesn’t promote free speech and is unhealthy to do that to another fan.

    Poliziano, LimparAsist, Naga Gunner and others, could you please help me get reinstated? I’m prepared to comply with any condition YW will put in place for me as a regular on his blog.

  94. OK. The condition is you don’t post.

  95. Frank

    Why don’t you put in a word for me instead?

    Ole Gunner

    Are you there to help?

  96. You see you can’t be trusted. You were told the condition and within minutes you broke it.

  97. Darius:

    We can agree to disagree.

    I do not want to F–k tomorrow. Even if we buy 1 -2 players it does not ruin NB52 etc. RVP got better while he was 2nd or 3 option striker and he became true world class player while he matured. I hope he comes back to that level but I do not think we can assume that will happen. NB52 can probably be true world class, but not yet.

    I wanted to compliment you on the post you wrote 2 Fridays ago where you discussed our GK situation. In the 2nd to last paragraph you discussed our defense and how it could improve. I think what you said regarding improving the defensive mindset and culture of this team is the single most important thing that can bring Arsenal trophies. I know I scream about buying players, but improving our defensive “nous” that you described is even more important. Barca who last year had one of the most potent attacking teams in recent memory won the CL by holding Chelsea and Man U to 1 goal in 3 games. Mental toughness on the defensive end will win trophies for this Arsenal team. However, I still think a couple players would really help. Sometimes buying a player can really change the teams mentallity more then their physical presence would suggest.

  98. Bill.

    If you look at all my responses to you on this issue, you’ll note that I am supportive of a new signing for Arsenal if and when we find someone who will add value to our squad. I’m not a supporter for buying for the sake of buying.

    I’m sure if we needed to, Wenger will buy.

    Thanks for your compliment about the post I wrote a couple of weeks ago. I believe the answer to our success is a mental one. We have technically superior players who are capable of making the grade. Defendign as a team is something we need to do consistently. We are already the most lethal attacking force in the country – the goals we’ve scored cannot be argued with.

    …And it’s OK to disagree occasionally.

  99. I for one am glad the AW didn’t do a KLF and burn £20M on signing Melo.

    Although the sight of Arsene Wenger going all Technotronic, dressed up as a neon shamen and burning millions on a stage in front of Platini, Blatter & a televised audience would make me laugh.

  100. As far as the ownership thing is concerned, I’d prefer Kroneke to Usmanov

    …Stan Kroneke has consistently turned teams into profitable brands, and he has never interfered with day-to-day operations. Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Mammoth, Colorado Crush & Colorado Rapids.

    He’s made his money with the real estate that support the teams…It’s likely his primary desire is to restructure and make profitable the Highbury Square properties…he seems to like stadiums and the profits that come of them. He’s a billionaire in his own right and he’s married to the heir of the Wal-Mart fortune…I can’t see him trying to take money out of the club…it would be pointless.

  101. any transcripts for the web chart please?

  102. The depressing point about the ownership of the club is that the supporters have no say whatsoever. It would be very easy for an ‘owner’ to lose the already fragile support Arsenal has. I guess silverware will bring more ‘fans’ but what sort of people will they be? The club won’t care of course as long as they pay up.

  103. hey this is a real nice post and i also like your blog layout, have bookmarked your site and looking for more updates.

  104. There is something truly rotten about the ‘ownership’ of football clubs.

  105. It would be fantastic if Arsenal came to play here in the US of A.

    Whether it’s a good or a bad thing for team preparation for the new season is solely up to Wenger to decide what’s best for his team.

    I’m not a big fan of the big moguls Americans, Russians or any kind because they’ll always have their ulterior motives, which is a return on their investment.

    I don’t think any of those people will waste their money if they thought for a minute that there is no gain in it. Even Fizman, David Dean and the like they would not have bought into the club if they didn’t believe they will gain from it.

    Only people like Wenger, Chapman and the like are “purely” in love with the club because there is no investment involved…no big money.

  106. Howard the Unwanted Fan

    Well, I’m posting as an HOWARD THE UNWANTED FAN from now since my name Howard is unwanted here.

    I think we’re in a strong position this crucial December. Chelsea at 41, Manu at 37 and we at 35 with a game in hand. It’s not a bad position to be, in December. It could’ve been worse but those ahead of us have been dropping points as well.

    What to do in January? Nothing. We’ll have Nik B back and Eduardo will come back to his old self soon so the shouts for a striker may be out of place. Almunia also seems to be putting his nightmares behind him. Rosicky, Clichy, Gibbs are all coming back.

    Moving forward, we need to beat Villa. The game against Villa is more important than the Chelsea game. I can see Chelsea dropping points again against Birmingham so a win against Villa will put us in a strong position to lead the pack by end of January.

    This is the most tightest league in recent times and we have a big chance to win it and the players should be made to step up.

  107. I agree Frank, I don’t like the idea that these business concerns should get in the midst of the more important stuff…namely football, Arsenal, and it’s continued sucess on the pitch.

    Success off the pitch is critical as well don’t get me wrong, but I think part of the reason that I’d prefer Silent Stan is because he keeps his ass out of the news…he seems to have no need to feed his ego through the media, and that keeps the news about Arsenal, not it’s owners.

  108. Do you have any English pubs in America, G4E?

  109. How do you suggest making them step up, Howard?

  110. Darius:

    Buying for the sake of buying is not good. We should buy to fill a need and I think there is 1 or 2 needs today and there are players out there who can help this team. Buying 1 or 2 players would also be a morale boost for Cesc, Arshavin and the whole team. Arshavin certainly added more to the team then a few goals last year.

    As you point out, Ultimately, the TRUE answer to our success is mental. No matter who we buy we will always be fighting for 4th and perhaps making CL quarterfinals until we improve our defensive mentality and develop a team wide winning culture. That is why I think this year is important.

  111. I agree Axis. Kroenke is far more preferable to Usmanov! He is one of those that purchased a hockey team and moved it from Quebec city to Colorado. This team has been very successful on the ice and I suspect that it has not struggled financially. He did a tremendous marketing job with the Avalanche.

  112. Ronald De Bore?

  113. David Dein is the big brother.

  114. Those after a link to the webchat, it’s just been posted on arse.com.

    With that microphone headset on, doesn’t AW look a little like Ed Harris from The Truman Show?

  115. Frank, lots of English pubs here in America. Some even with “authentic” names like “The Fox and Hen” or “The Richmond Arms.” Usually they serve a decent selection of ales and grotty food and attract their fair share of expats. My local one even attracts manure fans in all their unshaven, pot-bellied glory spouting rubbish about Rooney and “The Ginger Ninja” Scholes.

  116. ‘Cue the Sun.’

    That’s probably how AW starts the day!

  117. Is there an Arsenal pub?

  118. Hi Frank, I think there are some…

  119. I wish! Usually the big pubs have a mix of all fans segregated by what game is on. For CL fixtures one room will be the manure game, one room the Arsenal game. There seem to be a fair amount of Arsenal supporters here in Denver so there will be about 10-20 of us watching the match and occasionally breaking into song.

  120. That is a great idea, however. I’ll try and organize a pub in Denver that we could turn into an Arsenal one. Would be nice.

  121. Well, I guess Gris Gris answered that question better than me 🙂 I just don’t go out a lot now a days

  122. I hope alexander dosn’t mind Gris Gris

  123. So there could soon be an Arsenal pub in Denver. keep us updated, Gris Gris. How about it then, G4E? Where are you?

  124. Now perhaps this Rtist fellow, the one who anachronistically mentioned pith helmets in reference to colonial America which of course ended in 1776 well before the pith helmet was ever worn by English soldiers. Him. He could start an Arsenal pub in Las Vegas instead of trundling along to a pota…er…Irish hostelry, to watch matches.

  125. I’m in Arizona Frank, more to the South and more to the West.

    Not much happening here…they say at 8:00pm you can hear the sound of a roach walking down the street.

    I’m thinking of moving to the North of Virginia, Maryland, and DC area.

  126. FinsburyParker,

    Wasn’t the Melo rumor a swap deal for EE27? What an awful deal that would have been. Eboue is three times the player Melo is.

    There’s only one Eboue!

  127. G4E, I must say you’re looking rather masterful this festive season..

  128. Well before you go, start a pub in Arizona and thenwhen you move another one in Maryland. Baltimore maybe.

  129. Btw what do you make your roaches out of that you can hear them?

  130. You’re in Denver huh Gris Gris? Nice. My grandmother just moved out to Blackhawk. What an awesome little place.

  131. Not that kind of Roaches Frank 🙂 I wouldn’t let those roaches go down the street alone.
    ===

    Neves Denilson….Click Click Click.

    Thanks KS, I told you I will just be ready during this festive season to take over the mantel from Song who will be going to the ACN.

  132. Howard the Unwanted Fan

    Frank

    The answer is hairdryer treatment, bollocking or the Anfield treatment.

  133. Yes, you said a little more than that but that is the passed and I felt privileged to be one of the few to herald your auspicious return..

    __Arshenal__

  134. I see. Quite a psychologist then.

  135. NJN:

    Not sure about all the transfer rumours. I gave up following speculation a while ago, so now I’m just surprised when something happens, with the soap opera around AA’s signing being an obvious exception.
    Eboue staying when the likes of Flamini etc. moved could prove to be an important moment in the evolution of the squad.
    Whatever the reasons, his positive attitude is there for all to see towards his role within the squad. I’m really glad he chose to stay, if he was thinking of leaving. He is playing with a lot of self-belief and confidence at the moment, which has probably helped the squad in recent weeks.
    I still remember the CC game from a few seasons ago, one of Denilson’s first. Arsenal were loosing away to the Spuds, AW sent on the senoir ‘big Guns’ of Hleb & Eboue, game over.

    Some ‘fans’ can abuse him all they like, but he is a serious footballer and everyone, including the Spuds, know it!

  136. @ els

    You seem to think that either Usmanov or Kroenke taking over would mean more money thrown at players. Rid yourself of this notion.

    @ Frank
    Why do you want David Dein in charge of Arsenal? And what specifically do you have against Peter Hill-Wood?

  137. Thank goodness the FA have backed off over the Nasri charges, probably because they would have had to ban an honest Englishman as well in order to avoid the appearance of bias.

  138. Yay! Phew. We could do without the hassle. I expect you’re right about the reason, Passenal, but I hope also it means that the FA are becoming less inclined to target us unfairly.

  139. It seems that Bennett made the decision, Passenal. I think he is trying to forget last Saturday as soon as possible.

    He doesn’t really want his performance under examination.

  140. First sensible decision Steve Bennett’s made for a few days, then!

  141. I add to that, the media only shows the incident starting with Nasri stepping on their player’s foot….but actually their player shoved Nasri off the ball first.

    I don’t know if any of you saw it, but their player Garcia – I think – started this whole thing not Nasri.

  142. Does anyone have a reputable site confirming no further action over Nasri?

  143. I live in the states and would not want to see Arsenal come over here for pre-season. Leave that to clubs who feel it is necessary to whore themselves out.

  144. I saved that Up For Grabs Now podcast til this evening. Great stuff. Cheers Maria.

    “Eboue doesn’t want any lucky heather, Hunt!”

  145. I disagree Gainsbourg, coming here is not necessarily whoring the club out unless you’re coming only for financial reasons or the money.

    Playing an MLS club here is no different from playing a Grandbourliki or whatever the hell from some farm in Austria. in fact an MLS team may be a better challenge.

    The only concern would be the long travel to the states, what kind of weather (Hot/cold) in which state? If you can organise to play some good teams then why not? But of course, only if Wenger thinks it’s OK.

    I think Wenger prefers a quiet place, with good weather and away from the media to have the players fully concentrating on their preparations. I totally understand and prefer that.

  146. It is a long, long story, FG. I will tell it some time.

  147. I was only saying during the game what a wonderful ref Steve Bennett is.

  148. It would be real NICE to beat Villa!
    Would be good for the team’s confidence going into 2010.

    Hello YW…been a minute.
    Frank, Ole, Naga….merry Xmas in advance

  149. To all ACLFers…merry Xmas & a happy new year in advance

    Hope the snow in Europe’s not been too much of a damper?

    ARSENAL, AW & RASERS!

  150. Agree with u Gunner4Ever, I think AW does prefer a natural & quiet place to get his troops ready for the season. Wisdom calling I’d say..

  151. Frank, I look forward to hearing it.

  152. Hey Aman…How are you? Merry Christmas to you YW, and all the Arsenal Gunners out there.

  153. I just finished listening to part one of Arsene’s web chat. The questions were better than I expected and Arsene as usual comes across very well. We are so lucky to have him as our manager. I wouldn’t swap him for anyone else. He mostly watches the games with the commentary off, so I’m in good company as that is the only way I can stand it myself!

  154. Oh my god that podcast is hysterical…new favorite!!

  155. This had me in stitches.

  156. Howard the Unwanted Fan

    I don’t think a US summer tour will be bad for the team’s preparation. Manu and Chelsea have done that and managed to do better than us in the league. It will also improve the Arsenal brand coupled with the fact that it will bring US fans closer to the club.

    There are many Arsenal fans in the US, in fact in their thousands. There are clubs bearing the Arsenal name in far away places like the Midwesten states with same shirt designs and so forth.

    When I visited the US last summer, I had to wake up early at times to watch Arsenal play on the Fox sports Channel. A tour of the Arsenal team will be great for these fans, especially in Florida, California and the Midwest where I’m told most Arsenal fans are concentrated.

  157. yea Howard, FSC is my lifeline to watching matches… somtimes its hit or miss, but the last 7 or 8 EPL fixtures have been shown!!

    woo hoo!!!

    im kinda tossed up on the US tour thing, but i think Arsene has a point that this is not the year to do it bc of the World Cup etc..

  158. noticed some discussion on English pubs in the US-of-A…

    i currently reside in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and there is an Arsenal bar called the Highbury!!!! its amazing… when i found out there was actually an ARSENAL bar i litterally crapped my pants, well you know what i mean

    would love to start seeing more

  159. ArsenalArseneArshavin

    nasri not getting a ban

    great

  160. NJGonner…That is hard to believe! An actual Arsenal bar in Milwaukee. Brett Favre leaving the Packers was also hard to believe and I did crap my pants.

  161. I agree with Muppet

  162. I agree with Gunner4Ever who agrees with Muppet who told Howard to fuck off

  163. now thats the Christmas spirit..

  164. To all those that thanked me for the podcast am glad to be of service and to all those that didn’t hear it LISTEN!!

  165. It’s Up For Grabs Now – The Arsenal Podcast with Alan Davies Join TV star and Uber-Gunner, Alan Davies and guests for a discussion on Arsenal, Arsenal and Arsenal. http://podcast.playbackmedia.co.uk/arsenal.xml

  166. Gunner4Ever – If you do end up moving to the DC area, you’ll be depressed to find there’s nothing but plastic Man U fans up here!

    It’s rare I even find someone I can talk football (errr…. soccer) with, and when I do they are inevitably United or Chelsea “fans” who can’t even name a single Arsenal player. Sad, really. I was impressed the other day though when I was by the grocery out in a small country town in northern virginia, and the checkout guy was a dead ringer for RvP. I asked him if he knew who Robin van Persie was, and was pleasantly surprised when he said “yeah, plays for Arsenal, right?” My pleasure turned to dismay when he quickly informed me he was a United fan. What’s wrong with people?

  167. Thank god for ACLF .
    Thank god for DIABY.
    Thank god for DENILSON.
    Thank god for ARSENE WENGER.
    Thank god Iam a fan of THE ARSENAL.

  168. Mean Lean & KS…Thanks guys, you made me laugh…it is the Christmas spirit indeed.

    Taeryn, thanks for the heads up on the DC area…it still better than having no football fans at all….at least I can tease those plastic Mancs and Chel$ks when we beat them 🙂

  169. Dupps that was so funny!!

    Taeryn atleast those are mancs/chavs fans who dont know our players. I know plenty of the mancs/chavs PLASTIC fans that know only of the household names in their team…ask them who Owen Hargreaves/ Hillario is and they’ll ask who they plays for. Or when you are watching a game they will keep calling one of their players on the pitch another player’s name who isnt in the field. Pretty pathetic if you ask me.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS all ACLFs and a very HAPPY NEW YEAR.

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