Stone Cold Friday: When Chickens Come Home To Roost

First he traded the Cadillac for a microphone. Then he lied to me about the band. Just as well he’s delivered the post. Here’s Darius..

Yesterday afternoon, a few of us at work huddled around a radio with our notebooks at the ready listening to the Chancellor meet his clear target of becoming the most unpopular politician in history. We weren’t interested in the headline grabbing “we’re all in it” nonsense – we just wanted to know how the government’s ruthless austerity measures were going to affect our small business and our personal lives.

I remember thinking that I don’t really give a damn about how many aircraft carriers we remain with, I just wanted the local council to collect my rubbish on time, and for someone to force banks to start lending to small businesses and stop contributing to our misery.

It was interesting in this same week, that football conspired to remind us how out of touch with reality the game has become. For starters, it was hard enough wading through the mountain of the ‘Rooney and Fergie’ soap opera in the media to find a decent story about Arsenal’s Champions league rampage against the Ukrainians.

Yet in this media frenzy about ‘Boy England’ – there is a profound lesson that I found myself reflecting on. Football doesn’t want to learn the fact that the game does not exist in a vacuum. Call it arrogance, call it vanity – the fact is that the establishment’s head – alongside the majority of clubs and their owners have their heads so far up the proverbial rectum, no one seems interested in embracing the reality that the rest of the world has to live within their means.

The fall of a footballing giant like Liverpool hasn’t been enough to serve up the reality check, and it’s entirely appropriate that Manchester United is in the spot-light. Observers up and down the country are baffled and bewildered about how United got themselves in such a mess, culminating in one of the most bizarre press conferences the United manager has ever given.

I don’t accept the assertion as suggested by some, that United lack ambition and have made poor choices when it comes to the squad. The bottom line is that it’s not a choice. They’re damn broke – plain and simple. You wonder why this is a surprise to the handful of pundits and hacks doing the circuit on radio and TV, the writing has always been on the wall. They just refused to believe that United would start the fall from grace.

The irony of all this is that even now, Arsenal and Wenger continue to be derided and ridiculed for having the audacity and courage to do what is right for our club. Wenger in particular, has sacrificed a lot and put his credibility on the line by having the strength to see through an ambitious vision that continues to balance sound management of the business and entertaining competitive football.

The “hasn’t won a trophy in 5 years” stick has been swung his way so many times, very few have stopped to reflect on the context or overall success made in this same period.

Even among Arsenal fans who are of the “give us trophies now or else…” persuasion – There has been little or no acknowledgement that the necessary and sometimes painful path Arsenal has taken in the last decade has started to show itself as the resounding success it has always promised to be.

As football drowns itself in a sea of debt, bad management, hopelessness and the vanity of thinking that the game is immune to the laws of economics – Arsenal stands firm and grounded. It stands as a pillar of hope and stability for the future. It stands as a beacon of the virtues of the beautiful game. It stands as an oasis of sanity in an orgy of excess.

And yet we’re told that Arsenal is not ambitious. What? Because we refuse to run the club with debts that surpass the GDP of some developing countries? Because we refuse to live beyond our means? Because we have a tight fisted and egotistic manager with a Masters degree in Economics – who is only interested in proving the media and establishment wrong with his youth experiment?

I sometimes wonder what is more sad. The fact that clubs seem incapable of grasping the scale of the crisis football is in, let alone the economic crisis chopping its way through the rest of the world; or whether the opinion shapers in the game – as Consols refers to them, actually recognize how intellectually bankrupt they are on this issue.

There are people who still think it’s sustainable to pay ridiculous transfer fees and absolutely obscene wages when hundreds of thousands of people are losing their jobs and livelihoods around the world every week. There are still those who think that there is romance and sensation in football being a high stakes game where clubs spend tens of millions of pounds as a matter of routine.

If you wanted to know how ridiculously out of touch this school of thought is – ask Roman Abramovich. He’s only manage to get little under 2,000 extra Chelsea supporters for a cool £700 million and counting. But he’s won trophies I hear the screaming from the shadows. What has Arsenal won?

Arsenal has won the right to be respected for keeping their head when all around them are losing it. For having the foresight and vision to know that they needed to secure the long term future of the club and give us the chances to win those very trophies for years to come. And believe it or not, we’re going to do it within our means.

Just as our lives are about to ruthlessly change with the austerity measures that the government has shepherded us into – and so shall football have its casualties.

The future is bright, the future is red and white.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on October 22, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 148 Comments.

  1. Gothenburg Gunner


  2. Gothenburg Gunner

    whose not first now BB

  3. I gree with you 100% great blog tell so called glory hunters would u perfer to be in same situation as Liverpool don’t forget they hv 1 or two thropys n arsenal didn’t but look where they are even Manu the other two rich clubs well they are two words away from to become the poorest club when the owenr remeber he is jst wasting money one dy he will sy am done n that will be it

  4. First time I saw this article on the Guardian site:

    Just a reminder of how good we’ve had it under Arsene, even against Man United, is that when Overmars scored at Old Trafford to win the match in 1997-98, it was our first goal at Old Trafford in seven years!

    When I even start thinking for a second that I feel bad for Fergie and United over the Rooney situation, I think back at their constant efforts to lure PV4…

  5. Very good article.

  6. Fantastic post.
    Now watch us destroy Citeh at the weekend.

  7. Great Post! People can evade and refuse to acknowledge the laws of economics, but the inescapable nature of those laws will always win whether in football or your personal life. All I can do is express gratitude to Arsene and the board for being a beacon in this storm of irrationality.

  8. Mongolian Gooner

    “Arsenal stands firm and grounded. It stands as a pillar of hope and stability for the future. It stands as a beacon of the virtues of the beautiful game. It stands as an oasis of sanity in an orgy of excess.”
    Well said. I take my hats off to you…

  9. Lets be serious here, Arsenal will win the league this season

  10. Afro Goonie Gooner

    I think I speak for all Gooners when I say that even though we cry out for new signings and say SPEND SPEND SPEND, there is still no other way we would want our club to be run.

    I will pose this though. I think the issue is – That in this current economic climate with the job losses and foreclosures on housing, it seems only natural for us as human beings to latch onto the extravagance of football as escapism. Much in the same way we look at celebrities.

    We want to at least watch what we will never achieve or get close to.

    The only thing I can say is that it is normal, and thank you to the people who actually run our wonderful club. It is a true sign that our club has the courage to surround itself with the professionals that respect and adhere to the values of The Arsenal Football Club.

  11. Great Post Darius…

    I only wish the rest of the footballing world would decide to live within their income and strike a balance..other clubs celebrate loosing money and winning trophies in the short term and finding themselves in a liverpool-esque situation. you an only wonder if the future is really bright for such clubs.

    Anyway, seriously looking forward to the Man C fixture, hope we totally outclass them and show them that thuggery don’t win you matches. i hope B52 gets to play and score, I just can’t wait to see the kind of celebration he has up his sleeves.

  12. Afro Goonie Gooner

    I will pose this though. I think the issue is – That in this current economic climate with the job losses and foreclosures on housing, it seems only natural for us as human beings to latch onto the extravagance of football as escapism. Much in the same way we look at celebrities.

    I wouldn’t totally agree with that. Football to some of us is a passion that has to be fulfilled. ESCAPISM, I doubt.

  13. **Cue huge round of applause and standing ovation** Great writing sir.

  14. What is most galling is that what we pay for petrol/gas at the petrol/gas stations get siphoned off to the likes of Mansour and then into the pockets of greedy players like Adebayor , Barry, Milner, etc. at Citeh, and potentially Rooney should he join them greedy bunch at Citeh.

  15. Mongolian Gooner

    Today is a birthday of our Manager.

    Happy Birthday…

  16. Excellent Darius…

    Happy Birthday Mr. Wenger.

  17. Great post once again Darius.

  18. Excellent article. My thoughts exactly. As a 40 year plus supporter I despair of the “what have we won lately” argument. Arsenal has always been different to the rest a class apart, and is continuing to lead the way. We can be proud of the club and not just proud of the team.

  19. I am insanely short of words to describe how touching this post was.
    Great post Darius.
    Thank you so much for your, excellent in every single aspect, blog Yogi.
    I Salute you guys.
    Good day…

  20. Happy Birthday Wenger !!

  21. Nice post.

  22. My reasoning for the ‘you ain’t won nothing in 5 years’ argument is as follows…

    These opposition fans, pundits, critics and everyone else know we have the finest stadium in the Premiership, they know we are financially sound, they know we play the best football, they know and hear everyone raving about us from all over the world, and they know we have the best manager. Add into the mix several other factors: Our manager is French, our team has been largely foreign, and we always no matter what stand up for what we believe in. << These factors result to a huge amount of admiration, but at the same time jealousy and envy that a French manager has come and delivered more than any English manager could dream of.

    Then… With issues regarding injuries, tactics, excessive spending, transfers, wages… Arsenal has always taken a logical approach, and a footballing approach. Coming out and saying what we believe in, many of our fans our following our clubs and manager's approach to try and reason the rights and wrongs of football. << Many do not like this approach, and see it as a threat to the traditions of English football. These factors play a huge part in the anti-arsenal press we get.

    All in all, no matter what we achieve in every department, and even winning a trophy or 2 this year. These people will play our success down, they will say "1 or 2 trophies in 5 years, try doing it again next year" or "Chelsea weren't at their best"… and so on.

    The truth is our club is so successful already and they know it, we are just looking for the cherry to put on the cake which is in the form of a trophy. Our next step will be total dominance, and the 5 years of effort that went into building such a fine crop of players, fighting off the media, fighting off people who use the English culture as an excuse for assault on the pitch every week, and managers and pundits who like Darius said are 'intellectually bankrupt'.. will fade away, or grinning into the cameras admitting how the work Arsenal and Wenger changed the face of football.

    This 5 years no trophy argument… its just a statement that they use to make them feel better. Their fictional belief of Arsenal not being successful keeps them going..

  23. Darius,

    Simply excellent. Spot on again.

    On Rooney: some forget his lack of loyalty was demonstrated on his departure from Everton shortly after having declared his never ending love and loyalty! That he is now claiming that trophies (and ‘money’ – “matching his ambitions” was, I believe his euphemism here) are the reason for his latest breech in loyalty should make him particularly appealing to some who proclaim to support AFC. I wait with baited breath.

    Keep up the standards and the class that will forever be associate with the Mighty Arsenal.

    Sunday should be interesting if we can keep Ade quite.


  24. this is the best i’ve seen in a long time wen it comes to the sincere analysis of football clubs and arsenal. we hv the best football manager on earth, the best board and the best philosophies that put the long term future of our darling club into consideration. i cant wait as thiis economic crisis seems to be the beginning of the end for most of the reckless clubs

  25. It will be interesting to see, when we rule the world and we are the new orthodoxy, if the ‘opinion shapers’ become as blind in their praise and analysis for all things Arsenal as they are in their sad bleatings at present….

    …or will they just die as the dinosaurs did and a new wave of brighter, smarter pundits arise.

  26. consolbob

    …or will they just die as the dinosaurs did and a new wave of brighter, smarter pundits arise.

    I live in hope! But going by their mentality of following the herd, I expect them to slowly catch on and stick around unfortunately. Bringing up how the decline of United, Liverpool and whoever else opened the door for Arsenal, how foreign owenership killed their clubs (still being used as an excuse), all used as a reasoning for our success. Not the foundations our club layed down, and the ignorance of their clubs to aknowledge a more sustainable way of running a football club.

  27. Listen to what Harry Redknapp had to say about his team: “We are just one or two big signings away from being a team able to challenge for the championship” and compare to our approach of grooming our youngsters and discovering and buying lesser known experienced players based on their ability to improve the team rather than their price tag. And how we waited and waited for Chamakh and Arshavin till their valuations came down to earth at the risk of not being able to sign them. That’s how prudent we have been in managing our resources. And yet by the same token Wenger had been taking beatings after beatings from so called supporters and ex-players in their pundit roles.

  28. Nice articel Darius,

    I’d like to ask, was it Fergie’s spending that led to united’s financial woes or the fact that the club was bought via a LBO?
    From swissramble’s lastest article on manu, I’d think its the latter. I do think fergie shouldn’t have stuck up for the glazers in the way he’s been doing though, and I’d like very much to believe Wenger wouldn’t do the same in the unlikely event we get taken over that way.

  29. *article

  30. I think fergie’s been keeping his enemies close

  31. A manager that spends 20m+ on Carrick, 20m+ n Verron, and 30m+ on Ferdinand surely can take some blame for the clubs financial troubles. Imagine if Wenger spent that amount on Carrick, he would be the laughing stock! Carrick can’t even get near the England setup!

  32. Chris, you forgot to add berbatov (30m). That was just ridiculous.

    However, I don’t think there is any reason why you can’t spend money you make, if one chooses to. So I don’t have a problem with united’s spending, before the glazers.

  33. This has to be one of the best posts ever written. My hats off to you darius. Happy birthday monsiuer Wenger

  34. Nice one Darius.

    Evra saying Rooney shouldn’t be allowed to play & Manure fans threatening our Wayne:

  35. what’s up everybody?

  36. Booyakashah! Braap! Boom! And every other onomatopoeia to signal my overwhelming agreement. Outstanding Mr Stone.

    & may the boss live long and prosper. Happy birthday Lord Wenger!

  37. Arsh on Wilshere:

    “Maybe we’re similar in height and build, but we have different styles. I think he’s better than me even now, he’s playing so well at 18-years-old. Everyone knew he had big talent and now he’s at an age where he can show it more.”

  38. Darius good article

    I am going to play the devil’s advocate this time. Yes it was right to live within our means but does that preclude us from winning trophies, I think definitely not. With a few good games for Fabianski should we believe our goal keeping problem have been solved, I think not yet. Most of us still believe we could have done much better had we replaced Sol and Lehman better plus and earlier.

    Look a purchase like Squilacci and a better Goal keeper does not cost an arm and a leg and certainly would not put us into debts of Manure and Liverpool proportions.

    So while we can celebrate Liverpool’s and Manure’s positions it still does not excuse our own failings to compete effectively within our means

    No Fear We Are The Arsenal!

  39. The Manchester United Football team was purchased, in part, by Mr. Glazer with high interest money since the banks were not interested in this particular project of Mr. Glazer. He had to go to the loan sharks. The writing has been on the wall for a long time over at Manchester United. They are swimming in black ink!

  40. Nice post Darius.

    On the whole I couldn’t agree more. It’s stuff myself, and probably most of the posters on here, have been saying for years. ALL Arsenal fans should just say a big “thank you” to Wenger. End of. We could so easily have gone down the other route. Luckily we are managed by something of a visionary who saw it all coming. The day of reckoning for the bloated greed and madness of modern football seems ever closer (jesus that sounds pompous! sorry). You have to say though, that for Man Utd / Fergie the whole Rooney debacle is the sweetest karma imaginable. The first rat has deserted the slowly sinking ship….

    The parallels with this Government’s “austerity measures” makes me uneasy though. I should imagine the Bullingdon brigade (& co) are more than happy for the masses to be swept along by the Rooney saga. Especially this week of all weeks. Football is entertainment at the end of the day. As much as I love it.


  41. Chrisgooner you forget 17 million on Anderson and 7 million for bebe a player who was so bad he couldnt even make the squad!

  42. Here’s what I think will be the City XI:


    Richards Kompany Lescott Bridge

    Y. Toure De Jong Barry

    Silva Tevez Milner

  43. Two owls…loan sharks – a truly appropriate description of hedge funds peddling PIKS around like candy.

    @Consols – self preservation will only ensure that these neanderthals adapt to become a more greasy pundit to fit the new footballing order. The bigger problem is that the media is still the last bastion of imperialism – and they have the capacity to reach the masses. They’re well versed in taking advantage of the maxim of never under-estimating the power of stupid people in large numbers.

    Look at the way Sly Sports and Talk Shite have brainwashed the masses with their intellectual masturbation.

  44. I think they said Adebayor would be playing after his hattrick last night…

  45. No one is saying go out and spend £50m but just give us what this club is desperately lacking a top quality keeper.Thats all we ask you dont have to break the bank.We are so close but we fall short in the keeping department.

  46. I’m going out in Manchester tomorrow night for the first time… I’m expecting to stumble across Adebayor attempting to bump and grind with some cheap Beyonce lookalike to S Club 7, drinking VK with James Milner, proclaiming that he’s the best thing since chips and gravy, and that he should be the one to replace shrek and save Manure from oblivion. That’s definitely going to happen, mark my words.

  47. oi afro…..stop stealing my swag……terrific post…take a bow….you alog with the author of this post stone cold friday….love it!love it!

  48. To Goalkeepers are hard to find. We have since Seaman tried quite a few out between the sticks. There is nothing out there that is attainable and good enough for the Arsenal. Those that are good enough won’t be sold.

    Schwarzer wasn’t even allowed to leave and he offers nothing more than what we have.. apart from his experience perhaps.

  49. Top Goalkpeers* sorry for the typo

  50. They have a strong team Ole.

    My prediction for our lineup:

    – – – – — – – – – Super Fab 1 – – – – — – – — –
    Eboue – – Squillaci – – Djourou – – Clichy
    – – – – – – – – – Song – Diaby – – – – – – – – – –
    Nasri – – – – – Super Fab 2 – – — -Arshavin
    – – – – – – — – – – Chamakh – – – – – – – – – – – – –

  51. I’d go with that lineup too Chris. Rosicky and Theo to come on later to up the tempo if needed…

  52. stone…

    a great analysis…

    thank you.

  53. I think the off-form Arshavin will be up for this one Geo. I feel sorry for the guy right now, hes going through a patch where everything he attempts doesn’t come off. Could be confidence? – something I never thought I would say about Arshavin..

  54. Very good.

    But there is nothing we can do about the overspending of Chelsea and Manchester City. My personal solution has been to disregard them as members of the Premier League. I don’t consider Chelsea to have won any trophies during the rouble era, will not, and will not consider anything that Manchester City achieves to be real.

    Today I look at the league table and I see my Arsenal topping the league on equal 14 points with ManU and Tottenham. I see West Brom only two points behind the leaders which is excellent.

  55. I say thee nay Chris.

    That should be:

    – – – — – – – – Super Fab Ω – – – – — – – — –
    Eboue – – Squillaci – – Djourou – – Clichy
    – – – – – – – – – Song – Diaby – – – – – – – – – –
    Nasri – – – – – Super Fab Α – – — -Arshavin
    – – – – – – — – – – Chamakh – – – – – – – – – – –

    1 and 2 just don’t cut it I’m afraid.
    Super Fab Α (as in Alpha) because the goal kinda go through him so I say he starts off our attack.
    Super Fab Ω (as in Omega) because our defence ultimately ends with him or behind him.

  56. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Great piece, a fitting birthday tribute to the main man!

    Interesting that Wenger has used the Rooney crisis to talk about the inflationary effect of the Bosman ruling. Is AW laying down a marker re: the renegotiation of Cesc’s contract in 2013, that is, the club will not indulge in Rooneyesque wage inflation antics forever?

    Because with Jack and Aaron firmly established in the midfield by that time, alongside whoever else manages to muscle in from the Reserves (Lansbury? Aneke?), would it not make sense to cash in on Cesc if he still wanted to leave by then? Win-win for everybody, without the deleterious effects on costs to the club.

    @Geo – Ade to ManUtd, marriage made in heaven, can’t wait! (And looking forward to Sunday to see what we’re made of against David Silva, who is bloody amazing! What a pass for the third goal vs Poznan! Shame Jack won’t be there, though.)

  57. Well said.

    In the current economic climate, I’ve never been prouder to be an Arsenal fan.

    Clubs have seriously lost the plot. Even Barca, who used to be all about developing talent, still indulge in some pretty rediculous transfer activity. 50 million (reportedly) plus Samuel Eto’o for Ibrahimavich. Fucking crazy stuff.

    And Tottenham fans remain blissfully content to have their manager constantly claiming ‘Two more players and we’ll take the world’. Content to have Arry put his ambition before the fanancial stability and long-term future of the club. Something which, to a lesser extent, Ferguson has also done.

  58. I think he will be too. He seems to be trying loads of flicks and back heels which aren’t coming off. Maybe a couple of goals in a game will get him back to his dangerous best… Rosicky’s looked great recently as has Nasri, so maybe Arsh is getting a bit anxious about his starting place..?

  59. OMG!!! Rooney just signed a new 5 year deal

  60. Rooney was soo stupid. thank God for Cesc

  61. Apparently Rooney has signed a five year contract with Manchester united.

  62. Gooner wife..oops!u beat me to it.

  63. from @iainmacintosh on twitter…

    “Imagine if someone in your office announced that he was off ‘cos you were all useless, but then returned on Monday with a massive payrise… “

  64. Will there be deflation in football?
    The manager describes the structure as inflationary. It’s been designed that way? Ker-Ching.
    Unless there’s a change, apart from seeing a few clubs go bankrupt, what will happen?
    With Arsenal looking healthy, playing the best football, with a team that will play together for years & with the Usmanov’s & Laporta’s of this world being held back at arms length, just, I’m not sure if I care about the other clubs.
    (FC BBB in court again – I’ll stop laughing at the Ibrah-Eto ‘transfer’, soon…)

    One concern: Because AFC are successful, they won’t need to drop prices for tickets etc, which is a shame. Unless ticket prices come down, they might never pack out stadiums, in the pits of Ballackburn, and the Land of Notlob. Will the companies paying for TV rights, care about stadiums that are half-empty? They don’t appear to, in big events and some other sports.

    So Rooneh signs a new deal, and the Glazers get to Carry On. Nice.
    Is that a surprise, given the timing of events: Two months to a window, ineligible in the European games…blahblahblah.

  65. I reckon he will still leave. The club will have persuaded him to sign a contract so they can get a bigger fee.

  66. Id like the next headline to be –

    ‘Rooney parts with agent’

  67. …,Rooney parts with head…..

  68. I think Andy has got it correct. It just stinks of a future sale.

  69. Ronney is even a bigger twat than I thought. Limpar the twitter thing is just a perfect analogy. He think he is smart coz he is probably the highest paid footballer on the planet right now (not for long as Man shitty will try to by an old superstar ala Ronaldihno and give him a truck load og gold to join them.) but he is too stupid to realise that if your teammates do not like you, you won’t see the ball that much!

    Evra summed it all up, if he does not believe in the squad he should not play for the club. I agree that even if his ploy all along was to get a pay rise he will have to fuck off to another club as the rest of the team won’t play for him anymore. Chelsea could be a good place as they love the cheating backstabbing caracters in this part of London.

  70. ‘evening all!

  71. “I am signing a new deal in the absolute belief that the management, coaching staff, board and owners are totally committed to making sure United maintains its proud winning history – which is the reason I joined the club in the first place.
    I mean is this a joke?? what a TWAT!!

  72. @Finsbury. Our ticket prices do make me wince sometimes. It’s an unfortunate league table to top. Having said that people that chastise AFC for those prices often fail to take into account why ticket prices in North London might cost more than in Blackburn. Not to mention Wengerball vs. Allardyceballs. The price of single tickets is too high IMO. They should be 20-odd to 30-odd rather than 40-odd to 50. But more worrying ticket price hikes are happening in other parts of the land. Wolves for example have the 7th highest average season-ticket price in the league – and are situated in one of the of lowest areas of employment. And they’ll probably get relegated. And they play awful, awful football. Similar situation at West Brom, in terms of prices vs. employment – and it’s reflected in their poor home attendances.

    More should be done to get the very local fans (like yourself!) though the turnstiles, and for local children too, to give them the bug and get them to carry the torch. But in general, the percentage difference of Arsenal tickets to Blackburns is probably just the same as a the difference between a pint of Staropramen on Upper Street and a pint of Bass in Fat Sam’s local.

  73. Lagooner at 12:48 am –
    great link, fires me up for them this season.
    Interesting to note that mist of their wins are because of moments of c*ntery & cheating.

  74. *most

  75. HAHHAHAHAHAhahhahahhahahhAHAHHAHAHahahahhahahahahHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHhahahhaha

    I never thought Rooney could be this funny!!

  76. I can hear the United fans now… everytime Rooney scores…. ” Money, Money, Money!!! “

  77. LOL Chris! what a waste of time..

    BTW, fabulous post, Darius!

  78. You can imagine the conversations they must of had with Rooney.

    … Rooney why do you want to leave, are you sure its not the money? I have had enough playing with these muggs

    … Well we can sort that we can invest in some players next summer, we promise, we only have 500m left to pay off ? Thats a start, I still ain’t happy. Whats gonna make me feel better till then

    Bang.. 180k contract, happy now Rooney!?
    … Rooney looks up with a big 🙂

  79. “£180k per week? Ah, that’s the kind of ambition I was talking about. Cheers Alex.”

    Problem solved… Wonder what Evra etc are saying..?

  80. If you compare ticket prices to football games to opera or theatre in London, it’s not that expensive. In absolute of course ticket prices are high, and it’s impossible for normal people to take their kids or wives.

  81. You pay for the quality on show. If i were paying £50 to see Man City or Chelsea play i’d be livid. But getting to watch our lads playing our way at our beautiful stadium, i’d happily pay more to be honest…

  82. Soooo Rooney never wanted to leave and Sir RedNose’s comments were all a cunning ploy on his part. So its ‘what a great bit of man management by Alex’ and hugs & kisses all around ~ with SSN running a pic of Alex with an fatherly arm around a smiling Rooney.


  83. And those ‘fans’ with their banners at the ground and balaclavas at his home were just showing the love for Rooney and all hes done for Man U.

    What a total and utter media circus that was – SSN musta loved it. No more stories of Man U crumbling under rising debt for quite a while now – Alex and Wayne save the day!

  84. All this & everyone forgets the prostitution gate..

  85. Looney is a whore with absolutely no class.

  86. Limpar,

    The only issue I ponder is that children, & teenagers, should be able to get to games. And as you describe, that applies everywhere. (Heard a really annoying story about local boroughs in London not being allowed to bid for tickets at 2012 for schoolchildren, as there are few tickets available, and the organisers have other priorities/’clients’.)

    The club gave me (and many others) a ticket when they built the new stadium!
    A bit of a gentle inducement to ease through planning, bless ’em.
    Well, actually, there was a programme you had to apply for. Unfortunately, I found myself moving to Berlin at the same time as Arsenal moved home *curses*. To be fair, Berlin is not a terrible place to be, if you’re in your early twenties, and your work-mate is moonlighting as a seriously good promoter, with guests like Peaches playing amazing sets in a basement somewhere…
    it’s a hard life.

  87. And what about the ankle injury? Is it real? Who is lying? Fergie or Rooney

  88. I’ve just read the report. Paul Scholes gave him a real injury with a tackle to teach the lying wanker a lesson.

  89. Great post Darius.

  90. This stuff’s interesting, wonder how much of what we were getting enraged about over the Summer was completely fictional:
    I mean sure “English tabloid fabricates shite” is hardly a massive shock to anyone, but this many articles attributed to one writer is just bizarre. I wonder if any clubs besides Barca will lodge complaints.

  91. Football has lost it’s soul! At least I am an Arsenal fan- a club that strives to play football as it supposed to. Football is about entertainement,skill, banter, aesthetics, its about fostering a community spirit, bringing people together! I remember how we use to play the game at the beach, always looking to play “the beautiful game”, winning was not about who scored more goals, we would debate for hours about who had the best tricks. If one scored what we called “english goal” i.e. cross-header goal, or route one goal it didnt count! Thats the spirit of football- enjoy the game! Rooney, City, Liverpool, Glazers, Chelsea, Fat Sam, Stoke, Martin Taylor, the idiots at Talk Shite etc etc- football is dead!

  92. Darius:

    Nice post. Certainly better to underspend and still compete then to go overboard and spend ourselves into oblivion. Wenger is truly a incredible. He has been able to compete and maintain CL football and build and incredibly talented squad, and the best group of young players in the league on a budget. I do agree with Henristic regarding ManU and Liverpool have not really being damaged nearly as much by their spending on players as the LBO’s.

    Everyone who is realistic agrees completely that we should live within our means but I do understand why some of the fans are discouraged. The reason for building the stadium was to allow us to compete financially in the transfer market with the likes of Chelsea yet in the last couple of years we have a significant transfer profit. We also charge the highest ticket prices in the league shutting out a lot of those people you describe in your post, yet we celebrate making a big profit. I realize that football is a business and most businesses exist to make profits, However professional sports club are not a typical business. Clearly we need to be stable and live within our means but do we need to make large profits in order to do that? I would also hesitate the celebrate the demise of our rivals. Part of Arsenals financial success relies on the success of our league and its popularity and the exposure from TV and media. If our league starts to go down hill it will inevitably hurt our club.

    We can beat Man City this weekend if we keep our shape and do not get caught on the break. We will certainly have most of the possession and lets hope we can turn that into goals and a convincing win. Would go a long way to establishing a bit of “mojo” for this team going forward. We have a very talented and deep squad and I really believe if we can get over the hump and win that first big trophy that many more will follow. Getting the first one will be the toughest. COYG.

  93. Mongolian Gooner

    I remember when we used to play football two on two. When we get the ball we had to pass at least two times before attempting a goal.

  94. Wowsers, Rooney’s just like Adebayor! Mercenaries all round!

  95. I read the original article by Adrian Durham, & trust me it was a disgrace..

  96. Happy birthday to the most important man in my life…lol

  97. Wow, Finsbury, that sounds amazing. I’d love to live in Berlin for a while. OOU has lived in Germany too. You two might’ve set up a German Gunners Club – if they haven’t already got one.

    Runebreaker – “If one scored what we called “english goal” i.e. cross-header goal, or route one goal it didnt count!” – that’s made me smile, I remember playing games where rubbish goals didn’t count! That’s the spirit of football! Excellent.

  98. Cheers Gadget. Can’t believe I just clicked on to the TalkShite website. I feel all dirty now. Adrian Durham and that Yorkshire pudding Gough are just wind-up merchants. It’s their job.

    The Rooney saga is baffling. I assumed he had a deal somewhere (City) else already. I suppose it makes sense to hang on to the great scouse potato until they can get a decent price for him. They can recoup most of his wage demands with his brand name merchandise etc. It papers over the cracks for now. Hilarious and sickening to watch…..the photo put out of Uncle Fergie with a paternal arm around Rooney is a particular low point. Dear me. For once I almost have a little sympathy for Man Utd fans….only joking!

  99. Yes MJ, it was truely a disgrace. Such an argument lacked thought, reason, and balance. It’s a mystery how these mediots actually given jobs.

  100. sensationalism, Gadget. Most of the ‘fans’ fall for it..

  101. Great post Darius. And happy birthday to a great man.

  102. @ Ole Gunner

    “If you compare ticket prices to football games to opera or theatre in London, it’s not that expensive. In absolute of course ticket prices are high, and it’s impossible for normal people to take their kids or wives.”

    I agree with the comparison made with West End theatre prices. But there are some “normal people” who have husbands. Just saying.

  103. I’m picturing Alex Ferguson bent over David Gills table with his trousers around his ankle and Gill whispering in his aea – “let’s just do it until the summer. I promise we’ll get the money back with a big transfer. Just let him screw you a bit more”.

    No prizes for guessing what Rooney is doing on the other side of the table from Gill.

  104. What is hilirious is that his son is a Arsenal fan, and his forced into taking him to the Emirates, to watch all those awful ‘foreigns’ that his son worships on a regular basis, they also just happen to play the best football in the league. Know wonder his got a rather distrubing man crush on Lil J!!

  105. You guys should lay off Rooney. He may be an ugly man who beds sluts but he drove a hard bargain. Why shouldn’t he get paid what he feels he deserves? He isn’t a shareholder at manu. And why should he do the Glazers any favours? If the ship is sinking you might as well take what you can before it tips over. Why get paid 90k when you can command more than that. Rooney maybe a cunt but he earns his money. Long live the sterling pound!

  106. And remember what Wenger said. What happened at manu could not have happened at Arsenal because they would have renegotiated a long term contract long ago. That’s why we kept Cesc. Which brings into question the whole manu management structure. No wonder they are going bust!

  107. Well Fergies magical power has been crushed ones and for all. Rooney shows that one player is indeed bigger than the club. One player is so big he can shit on his club, his team mates and the fans and yet come out as the winner.

    Rooney IS United.

  108. Well we lost Flamoney because Wenger trusted him!

  109. Limestonegunner

    Excellent article articulating the broad case for pride in Arsenal’s distinctive approach to football on and off the pitch.

    You don’t need to exaggerate to make this point however. Chelsea (and make no mistake, I hate that club more than any other in all football because their model is evil, their owner is a corrupt OILigarch who has defrauded a hundred million Russians, its fans have a history of neo-Nazi racism, and many of its players are utter cretins –I just pity Spurs) has made more than a couple thousand fans with the money Abramovitch has poured in and trophies they have won. You meant of course 2 thousand season ticket holders; I understand that. But that isn’t the only index for judging their fan base–they aren’t a big club by local London standards but they have recruited millions of new supporters across the world who are buying merchandise. That is obvious and well-known. Their on-pitch success and increasing supporter base has allowed their commercial sponsorships to skyrocket in value as well. They massively overspend but have capitalized on their spending and the success it has brought to take that club from a modest base to a much larger and commercially attractive one. Whether this base of support generated in the last 7 years or so will last once Chelsea has to start living within its means, more or less, is an open question, if they can’t maintain the heights of success they have recently enjoyed.

    On ManU and Liverpool, the debt of the club takeover is most significant. But, Liverpool, in particular couldn’t afford the transfer budgets on their more limited resources. ManU can, were it not for the debt. Fergie didn’t alter his approach upon the Glazer takeover-he was used to spending ManU’s ample turnover. So managerial behavior is important but the takeover debt is very decisive. As others have pointed out, the Swiss Ramble articles on these subjects are very informative.

    We have to hope that such takeovers never, ever happen to us, and that our shareholders never take money out of the club either.

    We stand as an alternative, a beacon of reason. It has proven financially successful and we have hope it will have equally glorious results in sporting success to accompany our attractive style. That will be very sweet when it happens. It also doesn’t mean that differences of opinion on how to deploy the club’s resources mean a rejection of the overall philosophy of living within our means, the way it is so often interpreted.

    But this is also why, for me, this weekend’s game is very important. We didn’t defeat the evil of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and I relish this opportunity to repel the junior Chelsea in Manchester. Defeating them is striking a blow for the success of the Arsenal model as well as our chances this season with this great team.

  110. @ Bill

    The reason for building the stadium was to allow us to compete financially in the transfer market with the likes of Chelsea yet in the last couple of years we have a significant transfer profit

    No. The reason for building the stadium was to compete financially with clubs like ManUre at the time – ie clubs which are rich from their own earnings. Abramovich and the Sheikhs were not on the scene at the time. What makes it impossible to compete with Chelsea and now Money City is that they have a bottomless pit of money which they have not earned and do not have to account for. Those are the clubs that can “buy” the PL trophy because they can spend the hundreds of millions it takes to buy the squad – which we do not have. They also have the luxury of getting it wrong, not winning anything, and still being able to spend hundreds of millions on players season after season. We cannot afford to do that.
    “But we don’t have to push the boat out,” I hear you cry. “Surely we can afford to buy good experienced players!” Well, good news, Bill – we can…and we do! But we still WON’T buy players we don’t need, nor will we pay more than their value to the club in the case of players which we do need. What would be the point? And before you say, “they will push us over the line,” consider AA. He’s a world class experienced player. If he had cost us £30 million instead of £15 million, would the higher price have ensured that we won a trophy?

    And then ask yourself what would happen if AW really pushed the boat out and spent all £56 million on, ooh, Jose Fantastico…and we still didn’t win anything? Because that is the possible scenario which is always ignored by the spend brigade. And we can only do that once – we’d have one shot at blowing our savings.

    By the way, if we had not moved stadium, we would be much worse off financially AND lower in the league table.

  111. Reading an interesting in the Sun or Post, can’t remember which, on the richest foreign club owners in England. Surprised that our Asimov is richer than Abramhovic!

  112. I don’t believe that Wenger lost Flamini. That’s what he wants us to think. He fancied Diaby as a new Vieira and saw Flamini as a stop gap measure. Unfortunately Diaby didn’t develop into a Vieira. But now we have Song.

  113. great post Darius. Quite a treat, and one I’ll be rereading before too long.

    still finding all this Rooney stuff hard to believe. My first thought was that this was a compromise btw him and Utd to guarantee a large transfer fee. if not, this is just embarassing..

  114. Well said FunGunner…give it a rest Spend Brigade, Wenger will never splash the cash, and never did before. I think even if we have 100s of millions in surplus he will not go out and buy 4 or 5 players at 30 million each.

  115. Asimov? Isn’t he a SciFi author?

  116. Kenyan Gunner- when Flamini left Wenger stated very publicly that he was extremely disappointed as he had him a chance and felt betrayed that after the trust and confidence AW had in him he caught the gravy train to Milan. In effect Wenger had been given assurances that Flamini would sign but little did he know that Flamoney was in the driving sit.
    On a seperate note is Wellington Silva joining us in Jan next year? I for one can’t wait, this kid is something special. The only player I can compare him to at present is Nani but Silva looks much more skillful! But he will need to bulk up!

  117. Runebreaker, as I said “that’s Wenger wants us to think.”

  118. after visiting the talk sport website for the first time, i now know why you all refer to it, pretty much exclusively, as talkshite.

    one contributor was really furious at the Arsenal fans for cheering wholeheartedly for eduardo’s goal. just wow. It’s called class. also he hardly mentions that we were up 5-0.

  119. Dups, yeah Asimov was that futurist. Fat boys name has escaped my mind!

  120. guys I’m really worried about Tom Vermaelen, Tom Vermaelen, Tom Vermaelen number 5.

    I’m not liking AW’s aloofness at the AGM on the subject. Something to the effect that the medical staff are struggling to fully diagnose.


  121. So it was about money after all then. well he had alot of people fooled into thinking it was about ambitions when all along it was his last throw of the dice in which to get Ud to up their contract offer, wouldnt be suprised if Fergie was in on it to get the glazers to give Rooney what he wanted, the whole thing looks like an inside under the glazers set up.

  122. thats well said FG.

    It would be an absolute insult to football if Oil City manage to win the League this season..

  123. Speaking of Sunday’s match did you guys see the dangerous tackle De Jong made yesterday. And the bloody fans were cheering him. I expect another ugly antifootball Mancini special. A midfield of Toure, De I’ll break your leg Jong and Barry. Millions of pounds spent to play shit football. We have to do football a service by beating them!

  124. @ NJ –
    Wenger cleared things a litle bit regarding TV5 yesterday. He said it was a concern, but not a long term one. Still 2-3 weeks he says, & lets hope it stays like that!

  125. Finsbury
    “To be fair, Berlin is not a terrible place to be, if you’re in your early twenties, and your work-mate is moonlighting as a seriously good promoter, with guests like Peaches playing amazing sets in a basement somewhere…
    it’s a hard life.”

    I hate you so much. 😦

    Any chance I can come and stay round yours for a weekend or seven???? Pleeeeaaaazzzee!!!!!

  126. MJ

    I saw that. AW has been so aloof about his injury though it has me nervous. He’s said VERY little on the subject.

    I guess thats what we get though. For a whole season, when we 100% needed him to remain injury free to challenge, he was healthy as an ox. His first missed premier league start was after birmingham in march if I’m not mistaken.

  127. Serk, sorry! I’m back in krapyrubsnif for the time being.
    London has some appeal too, like Arsenal FC!

  128. Well done ‘Arry – Portsmouth have been done for. More of the same please….

  129. It remains to be seen whether Man City can buy the Premier League.

  130. what a surprise fat donkey Rooney sign a fat contract and soon will be saying he stay because of Ferguson ,the fan and because it s MU and he love the club.We hear all that before,Gerrard,Terry,Lampard .A.Cole use all the same excuse and got a big fat pay rise .
    Not a surprise England will never win until this F**k*r retire from international duty.Love money f*ck the club and fan

  131. Wouldnt you guys be embarassed if something like this had happened at Arsenal? I know i would be. And i think its a testament to our club’s true quality, that when we see something like this going on at another top club, we find it hard to imagine.


  132. I agree with you Duke, Rooney would not survive outside the UK. He would not “Literally” survive if he went to the Oilers…the only viable place was Chelsea and I don’t think Fergie would let him go to one of his rivals.

    It was all a scam…and it’s obvious the Mancs are crap without his advantages with referees and media hype over him.

    Maybe they start calling him Mr. Phooney (derived from Phony)

  133. I was emabarrased by what Cesc did..

  134. yea MJ I hear ya. I was too. But imagine if Cesc had slagged off his teammates directly, the club’s direction, etc etc.

    I think the difference btw the Fabregas and Rooney situations is the difference btw ARsenal and United. And that difference is class. plain and simple.

  135. Right NJ, I wasn’t comparing the two situations..

  136. honestly MJ, i thought abotu the fabregas thing as i was posting my initial comment so I’m glad you chimed in.

    Great minds…


  137. ”I think the difference btw the Fabregas and Rooney situations is the difference btw ARsenal and United. And that difference is class. plain and simple”

  138. The latest news (yesterday) from AW re TV5 is that he is three weeks away – so the total time out will be 6 weeks. He said they have given him a final treatment which they think has “killed” the inflammation.

  139. FG

    6 weeks? uhh by my calculations that would be more like 10.. didnt he go down first week in september? his last appearance being blackburn?

  140. thank you MJ

    seeing how this is my first POTD award, I’ve prepared a short speech..

    I want to thank Fifa 97 and the Nintendo 64 for exposing me to Arsenal, I want to thank the big man upstairs, Mr. Jenkins, without you, none of this would’ve been possible!

  141. confirmed. TV’s last appearance was August 28th against Blackburn. thats WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more than 6 weeks. I wish you were right FG

  142. FIFA 97 NJ, LOL!! didn’t all the players look same innit??!!
    I am relatively new here to give away that award officialy, so I hope other ACLF veterans approve of it..

  143. yea. very geometrically shaped faces and body parts hahah.

  144. well he definitely said 3 weeks to go – perhaps he meant six weeks so far?

  145. Finsbury – You living in Berlin?

    I live in Germany too at the moment. About an hour away from Hannover. Great country to live in. Happy with the Peaches sets! I get to plenty of gigs in Dusseldorf and Koln.

  146. FunGunner | October 22, 2010 at 4:38 pm |

    That’s true. I’ll remember to say spouses next time.

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