Is Arsene Managing His Shopping Bill?

Arsene’s recent television interview has been widely reported, his dig at the teams who finished around Arsenal last season so thinly disguised that they were all standing in the snow, holding a big sign stating, “Yes, it’s us he is talking about“.

Wenger has a point, to a degree. Observing that if the club spent £150m, they would go “bust” is indisputable. Arsenal is not owned by a sugar daddy and cannot call on seemingly never-ending financial reserves to keep the company solvent. It is a fact of the plurality of ownership that is unavoidable.

The complaint is that Wenger does not spend the money that is made available. In the transfer market shopping centre, he may cast an envious eye in the direction of Harrods or Fortnum & Mason but knows that his budget is designed for Waitrose. There is nothing to be gained by denying this or complaining about it; it is his lot and his job is to improve the quality of the squad within the club’s means.

Inevitably, it rankles – with not just the manager but supporters also – that the title can be bought but it has always been the case. The dominant Liverpool side of the 80’s was not built from an Academy; they went to the transfer market and bought astutely, mixing big name signings with lesser known players, garnished with a few youngsters. Manchester United have done the same since then.

Plotting a path through football’s history, it is worth noting that some sides have spent heavily and still won nothing. Leeds are the obvious example in the Premier League era, Manchester City also have previous. Their feat of losing the title in the early 1970s – signing Rodney Marsh for huge money unsettled the side – is set to be repeated this season with last night’s defeat to Everton ensuring that Arsenal are second at Christmas. Buying is no guarantee of success.

Where Wenger strayed into dangerous territory is equating the huge money to two points. Questioning where the money would come from once he had spent £150m for minimal gain is dubious; if the gap made up is the difference between first and second place, relatively speaking a large chunk of the money will come from increased ensuing commercial revenues. Win the Premier League or Champions League and exploiting previously untapped (or under-tapped) global markets becomes significantly easier.

However, this is not Arsenal’s business model and the one mentioned above has little scope for re-investment as moneys generated are for debt clearance, not squad improvement. Failure to be successful in the following season restricts debt clearance and has nothing for re-investment, a vicious circle becomes a never-ending spiral. Wenger has a point.

His biggest issue though is balance; youthful potential against proven talent. There is space for both in the squad but striking that balance is critical to the long term future. Arsenal have been able to trade off the past few years in signing youngsters, proving that ability will get you into the first team quicker than elsewhere. That advantage will be gradually eroded by the insistence of football authorities to enforce homegrown player quotas. Other clubs will be offering similar opportunities as this rule and financial restrictions bite.

At that point, Arsene may find his budget enables him to shop occasionally in the more expensive stores, foreign talent will become relatively cheaper as transfer fees become aligned to income. Until that time, the current policy will not change and expectations need to be re-aligned to acknowledge that fact in transfer windows.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on December 21, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 136 Comments.

  1. Still no comments…btw nice post Yogi

  2. In 2008 and last year a couple of signings could have pushed us over the winning line.Yet Wenger wants to win it his way.He is too stubborn for his own good.

  3. Not surprising GrArse, you commented minutes after it was posted!

  4. @Andy…. are you so sure?
    This year we are a lot luckier… maybe manu and chavs can continue to have injuries, cause we wont stop….sadly

  5. Thanks YW. So many blogs are calling Wenger ‘incompetent’ because he isn’t going to break the bank in this window. These people need to get a grip. I’m very happy with the way we spend our money, finding players like Sagna and Chamakh for example. Players have much more pressure on their shoulders if they come with an inflated fee.

    I’m beginning to cluck without my fix of that oh so addictive Wengerball…

  6. Nobody can say “if we signed certain players it would have pushed us over the line” Man City did that with Rodney Marsh and, more recently, Newcastle United were 12 points clear and signed Asprilla to push them over the line,the rest is history!

  7. we have lost 10 in a row versus our immediate rivals. but our shareholders are happy. we had better buy eden hazard and not haggle about the price, else we will be the new liverpool next year. we have already lost 5. ugh, i hate to sound like a doomer, but this season has been depressing to no end, and now we have the promise of more loss and equivocation. are we losers?

  8. if the gap made up is the difference between first and second place, relatively speaking a large chunk of the money will come from increased ensuing commercial revenues.

    No YW, the difference in revenue between winning the league and coming second can be as little as £10M. Football is not winner takes all.

    That was a very good point Arsene was making.

    The returns to ‘spending big’ aren’t that high. As I said it could be no more than £10-30M extra revenue even when you get a clean sweep of major trophies. Compare Man Utd’s revenue when they won league & Champs League to ours…the difference was maybe £25M. Please don’t bring up Real Madrid…..

    I’m not saying glory doesn’t improve a club’s commercial position. Long term, sustained glory of course would improve a club’s position. There are 2 issues though; 1, If you don’t succeed, then what? 2, if you do succeed it’s obvious there’s a point where the losses sustained are so grand that increased revenues don’t cover all.

    Football is not in touch with its fundamentals. Man City’s loss from last season is higher than their revenue in one whole year! They’d need a swing of maybe £200M in revenue to make it all make sense.

    Chelsea should offer a timely reminder. All the promised recuperation of Abramovich’s £700M has not materialised and is unlikely to materialise.

  9. and great f’ing youth project if we lose bendtner and denilson next season along with fabregas.

  10. “Is Arsene managing his shopping, Bill?”

    Must you encourage him, Yogi?

  11. How do we have the promise of more losses and equivocation jaymin? You sound like you’ve already lost. We’ve got TV5, Cesc and RvP all coming back (either from injury or into form) who are undeniably 3 of our best players. Losing 5 games at this point with our best defender out isnt the end of the world. We have been lucky in that Chavs and Utd have also slipped, but that luck is sometimes the difference between challenging and winning. Chin up, there’s a long way to go yet…

  12. Bendtner and Denilson cant get in the team,hardly an earth shattering loss IF they go.Cesc will go sometime but we have this lad called Wilshire who i hear might be ok,equally,Nasri can play his role! jaymin, its been an awful season so far hasnt it! 2nd in league,semi final cc and dream game v Barca coming up! Awful,just awful! What a dullard.

  13. Yup. I agree with Geo and ZP from the other thread. Leaders, ‘difference-makers’, ‘go-to players’… Thomas Vermaelen, Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie. These are the players you’re looking for. Our three best players… the cavalry is coming.

  14. i don’t mean to sound defeated, but if our project is to come to fruition, we cannot lose bendtner or denilson, even as backups. we need them, nobody can come in an readily replace them, except someone like wes snjeider or robben, whom we will not bid for anyway. i want us to hold what we have, and if we don’t, it will be a fucking shame, because bendtner and denilson, especially denilson, are stars.

  15. Neither Denilson nor Bendtner are going anywhere.

  16. Football is not in touch with its fundamentals.

    Exactly, when Wenger says “I’m amazed that people are amazed that we do that[spend what we can afford]” it shows how far away football finance is from reality.

  17. The three amigos as Duke (Goonem not Doomin) wrote, were once Rosicky, RVP & Fabregas.
    A big ask from us fans, of Rosicky to act the ‘leader’ after such along period out, I feel.
    Someone on Untold did a statistical analysis of games that did not involve RVP and Cesc. Interestingly, win ratios were consistent. But they left out Rosicky, even though he’d missed a few seasons, so I thought it was a flawed study. And they ignored unbeaten runs (Shock horror: involving Denilson and Song) where RVP might have scored every goal and made every assist!

    Vermaelan’s a good substitute there.

  18. ‘Take out Droggie, Lumpy and Ricky (Carvaleheo, who did have a stinker against Barca) from the Chelski side, and what do you get?

    Sh*t!

    What do you think of sh*t?

    Tottenham!’

  19. >Carvalho

  20. I like watching RVP play with Arshavin. He has a way of banging a pass in fast to his feet that’s half ‘wake-up Andrey’ and half challenge – ‘let’s see you play then’. He makes a point of picking him out and bringing him into the game if he’s been isolated. You can’t overstate the lift players like this give to the players around them.

  21. Thank You!
    That’s Alright!
    Oooooo……..
    Who’s That Team WE CALL THE ARSENAL!

  22. Andy yes lets sign a few players Essien and Torres. We don’t want the added risk of somebody non EPL as they may take time to adapt to England/English football. They break a leg or something and we end up the new Leeds…

  23. I’ll check that out in future Limpar… RvP and Cesc know this team like none other apart from Clichy. There will be a point in the near future when both are on top form, and that in itself can win titles. 2 world class players playing at their best… Rooney did that last year and saved their season from being utterly mediocre. Hopefully the Chavs will be the game where the team wakes up and realises their true potential…

  24. I marvel at the way people react as if it is set in stone that Dennison and bendy are off. Just cos a club expresses interest in them does not imply that they are for sale.

    Also people should truly accept that we cannot legislate for the injury thing. We had 3 new players at least this season them RV and Diaby are our for so long which is not likely to have been part of expectations for the season

  25. Ole

    Not sure of your point – I didn’t say all £150m would be recouped in one go just that any additional revenues would have to pay for the £150m spend?

    YW

  26. mario balotelli has been the recipient of such disgusting racist abuse that he ought to take a break. given his comments, he should rather be the recipient of the type of abuse little bitches receive. in america, we call this “****** abuse.” he’s a european with a snood, and may jack wilshere or aaron ramsay snap his leg one day.

  27. @Ole, Think you’ve misunderstood Yogi’s point. The 150m would maybe get us 1st place and, say, a CL final. This would bring in marginal improvement in competition revenues of, say, 15m.

    The point Yogi was making is that this business model only makes sense if it suddenly means we sell a million more shirts in Asia and go on a big money pre-season US tour to cover the rest of the spending. And we haven’t even started talking about inflated contracts and broken wage structures.

    Personally I don’t wanna see Arsenal go down this route. What do you think?

  28. Steve C at 1:53pm,
    Me too..

  29. Geo,

    I dont have any issue if the increasing the stake if to “block any potential takeover bid”. If both the billionaire owners hold their stake at 29.9% and don’t try to takeover or make any changes to the current policies, I’ll be happy to have them both on board.

  30. I didn’t mean that I wan’t Usmanov to be on the board. I just meant I’ll happily take the ownership scenario..

  31. Yup IndianGooner I agree. Let’s hope he sticks at 29.9… I’m sure there’ll be plenty shouting for him to take over completely. The same who will be shouting for Wenger to be sacked and for twats like Balotelli to be bought.

  32. Nice post YW:

    Rightfully or not professional sports clubs are judged by the the world outside of ACLF by the silverware on their shelves. Arsene gets a lot of grief from all sides because he has done something different then the average manager, and so far it has not worked the way he envisioned. If it does work he will rightfully be hailed as the most astute and forward thinking manager of all times. If it does not work then I am not sure how history (outside of ACLF) will judge him. Myself I think the positives he has brought given our financial situation far outweighs the negatives up to this point. In retrospect I wish he had mixed in a few more experienced players who had won some silverware at other places. The downside of having a youthful talented squad grow up together is that they seemed to have developed some group phobias together that you described in your post yesterday. A couple of older heads (other then Gallas) might have helped but no way to know for sure.

    I doubt we will bring in any new players in the upcoming transfer window and I am sure Arsene will take more grief for that. This year represents a huge opportunity to win the league and break the cycle of negativity that has developed in the collective team brain. If we do not win then next summer we have lots of money that we could add 2 or 3 experienced higher profile players who might tip the squad mentallity. Part of how Arsene will be judged will be how he handles the checkbook now that the finances are in our favor. If what we read it true about the clubs profitability we are one of the richest clubs in the world. Not Man City rich, but way a head of all but a few clubs. I think we actually have a transfer profit over the last couple years counting Ade and Toure’s sale and it would be disingenuous for anything close to that to continue over the long term given the boards promise to reinvest the Emirates windfall into the squad.

  33. Balotelli must have been inspired to join Graham Taylor’s chicken embargo.
    Big Sam is not alone!

  34. I think Wenger has done wonders to keep us in the top 4 while all around clubs are spending huge sums which, as has been observed, guarantee nothing.

    Looking at the overall accounts we made £61m after tax in the 2009/2010 financial year (That’s after everything is paid, day-to-day costs, wages, debt interest etc., etc.). I won’t include the fees for players who have left since then (Eduardo for instance) as that money would go into next year’s profit for the purposes of this point. I think that about three-quarters of that profit would be reasonable for the manager to be able to spend on new recruits, after all we are in the business of running a football club here. The fees are a bit of conjecture as they’re never officially announced, but we spent around £15m on the two new centre-halves. So we’re probably sitting on around £25m-£30m which could be spent in the next transfer window should the manager wish.

    Now I don’t think anyone is naive enough to think that most areas of the team could be upgraded if we had unlimited funds. And I’m sure everyone has their position or positions in the team that we think players should be bought for. My own would be competition for Alex Song in the (nominally) defensive midfield spot. When he’s injured, suspended or on international duty I think we have a big drop-off in quality to who plays there, whether it be Denilson or Diaby or anyone else. I reckon we could do something there for that £25m-£30m with plenty left over which would provide cover and competition.

  35. Balotelli seems to have been inspired by some of the greats…like Adebayor. AC Milan is his Rhianna.

  36. “not sure how history (outside of ACLF) will judge him”

    Start with Geroge Weah, although that’s not the start, take a detour via Japan, listen to players like, say Nasri, describe AW’s godlike status outside of the british Meedjah…throw some pie in Tapies face, leave ‘Arry to rot in a club near some sewage works, and you’re getting there.

  37. > , say Nasri, or even a repected rival:Drogba…

  38. Geeeooorrrge Weeeeaaaaahhhh!!! One of the best players that ever lived. Fact. Don’t you hate people who end a sentence with ‘Fact.’….?

  39. Well, it’s a bit much to ask a chel$ki fan to understand such things.

    After all, when Chel$ki first got promoted to the football league, back in the day, they did not have a stadium, let alone a team.

    All they had, was a little ca$h.

  40. Sorry, that should read:
    >they did not have a team (as in players. People who play Football.), let alone a stadium…

  41. I was wondering when that 2nd one would be posted, cheers Finsbury!

  42. Man City is a joke. West Ham wanted to sign Adebawhore on loan until they learnt of his Man City wages. £180K per week!

  43. Geo.

    In fairness, the defending was rubbish.
    The Lord of Football, Maureen’s D-Fences never look that stupid.
    Nope. Never:

  44. Where did this £150 million figure come from?

    I am yet to find any arsenal fan who thinks we need to spend £150 million to improve our squad. Arsene has done a great job in assembling a group of players at relatively low cost but even he admits the team does lack experience at times. Even the most illogical fan has grown used to our pragmatic approach in the transfer market. I think what some clamour for is signing ‘one or two’ players of experience and quality in the position(s) they feel we are lacking, even if it meant letting go of one or two others.

  45. Defending was rubbish, but it still takes something special to score a goal like that… And as much as my distaste for Barca has grown, I really enjoyed the spanking they gave the special one.

  46. Block4 @3:00PM:

    Seems like a logical approach.

  47. How much would Lassana Diarra cost?

  48. Seems like a logical question.

  49. IF Wenger signs someone in January, I hope it’s a completely unknown £3mil bargain who is enough to ‘take us over the winning line’. Then those calling, yet again, for a big signing that’s never going to happen will realise that Wenger does actually know what he’s talking about. And we can win without spending big. Trophies are coming home this season, without taking a huge gamble on a player with an inflated fee, who will have bags of pressure on him to deliver.

  50. Geo.

    I can’t get tired of watching those two goals from Weah. Unless I’m meant to be working!
    The 5-0 against Madrid was very satisfying. Just been checking: if the Gunners make it through, the CC final is on the 27th of February, right in the middle of the Barca tie, I think.

    Boring Boring Arsenal!

  51. Me too, been watching them at work…!

    Well luckily we’ll be playing our 2nd string team for the CC anyway so no fatigue for the Barca matches… Any other team in that final would be worried about that fixture list… Exciting couple of weeks there! Can’t wait!!

    In fact, I just can’t wait to see us playing again… I feel empty inside.

  52. “…the cycle of negativity that has developed in the collective team brain.” Bill, you are such a mug.

    Experience is overrated. Arshavin is experienced and most want him dropped for Walcott. Squillaci is experienced yet most on here prefer Djourou. Szscezney is far better liked than Almunia, despite having made just one league appearance. But when it comes to talking about hypothetical, sometimes entirely fictitious ‘experienced heads’ – from other teams – our fans froth with excitement. Very strange behaviour if you ask me.

  53. But Limpar, you can’t win anything with kids. That was proclaimed by a modern day Socrates. The lack of culture on a sight with the very word in it’s name is just embarrasing. Sort it out mate.

  54. Geo @ 3:46:

    Spending money on players as long as it does not put the teams long term financial status at risk is not a bad thing. Its not cheating and it does not diminish the legacy of project youth etc. Some seem to think that winning with an extra $60 million in the bank is some how sweeter then winning with $20Million in the bank. What should we do with the extra 40 M? All fans even the doomers just want to see us win. Certainly there are no absolutes but dictates that we can not hurt our chances of winning by using the money we have in the bank to strengthen the squad. I think most fans would be glad to give up a little of the moral high ground for a few trophies providing we do not endanger our long term financial status.

  55. @ YW, Block 4

    The flaw in your argument about spending a bit more money in order to recoup it through greater success is that you cannot be certain that spending a bit more, whether £1.5 million, £15 million or £150 million, WOULD catapult us into a higher position or guarantee us a Cup triumph. What if you spend a bit more once and it doesn’t have the desired effect? Do you keep spending a bit more until it does? What if it never does? The luck we have had in the CC draw combined with the other big teams being knocked out coudl end up being of far greater benefit to us than any additional experienced head (of whom we have several, by the way). And it won’t have cost us a thing.

    And of course you don’t actually know how much money Wenger has available because you do not know the details of the players’ contracts.

  56. Bill, personally, I’m prepared to wait for our success and domination to naturally occur, and that is what Wenger has been working towards. We are on the verge of winning many trophies, of that I am sure. Our project is coming into fruition now, and we are capable of winning the league with the players we’ve got, if the mentality is right.

    So what you’re saying is that we’ll just leave that £40mil or whatever sitting there? Do you not think that money gets spent on upgrading facilities, developing our medical research, renewing contracts, scouting the world, charity work, paying off debts quicker and reducing interest, etc etc etc?? And how do we know how much money there is to spend??? Even if there is £40mil ‘left over’, do you think we should do a Redknapp and spend it all on complete gambles? People that would need to settle into the prem, players that feel they are bigger than the team, players that would demand huge wages compared to the rest of the team????

    Personally, I think that approach is flawed. If we had been spending big on these players for a while and that was the norm, it wouldn’t cause as many problems within the team. But we haven’t and to start doing so now would seriously harm morale, team blend and harmony which seems to be at an all time high these days.

  57. Wont be here for your reply unfortunately, but will check back this eve… Peace.

  58. After a predictably tricky start to the season for tired World Cup stars Van Persie and Fabregas and Diaby… and unlucky injuries to Vermaelen and Frimpong… we are only just now getting our squad up to full strength. You could see it coming I suppose… and certain, more physiocentric pundits did predict setbacks, and a slow start for the top players. It goes a long way to explaining the tumultuous form of the top three.

    Now I can play Football Manager with the best of them… but is now really the time? We’re poised to be able to pick a team from the strongest squad we’ve had in years. I would suggest stopping with the silly bollocks, wipe the drool off your Michael Essian duvets and get behind this exceptional group of players… they have a great chance of achieving big things this season.

  59. We cannot be sure that we will be alive tomorrow but it doesn’t stop us living like we will…

    There might be no guarantees but there are calculated risks. If one compiled the stats of all the winners of the top 5 leagues in Europe in the past decade I am pretty sure you’ll find a positive correlation between ‘spending’ and winning. Man city may not have won the league but I remember them being relegation fodders quite recently. Wenger’s good means that we don’t have to make that £150 million lavish investment.

    For all those who choose to see the potential pitfalls of spending do remember the other side of the argument is, historically, stronger.

    I support Arsenal win, lose or draw…there is no other way

  60. Still, where did this £150 million figure come from? Am I missing something?
    I have seen the Al Jazeera interview and the reporter never mentioned or suggested it.

  61. I am with Geo, I am willing to wait. Seriously can you imagine the likes of Gibbs, Wilshere and Walcott in 4 years time?

    I dont know, I am a bit tired of one match meaning so much. Truth be told, no one was saying we needed to but until the flukey goal united got and now its kinda depresing me, the over analyzing that is. I just want to enjoy the football. just my opinion.

    Lets set our focus on Chelsea!

    One more thing, Henristic all but overlooked home support yesterday?! The very nature of the word support says it all. Fact is most teams have a better record at home than away and I cannot help but believe that the overwhelming support has much to do with it.

    Anyway, again, lets focus on Chelsea!

  62. Funnily enough I can see us bringing someone in this transfer window – and by that I mean it wouldn’t come as a suprise… and that’s because we have a very large and very active scouting network monitoring a huge number of players across the world – and if circumstances align and it’s the right time for us to move on one of those targets then that’s what we’ll do (Ryu Miagi – case in point). But I doubt we’ll spunk £15 million on “DM competition” for “nominal defensive midfielder” Alex Song… only for him to squat in the queue ahead of other central midfielders: Denilson, Diaby, Ramsey, Wilshere, Frimpong, Coquelin, Meade, Galindo… and all the others I forget the names of right now. Can’t see that at all.

  63. I must say I very much enjoyed your comments yesterday, Paul N. As always – one of my favourite posters on ACLF. A very Happy Christmas to you and yours.

  64. I’ve fought many a battle on here with all sorts of posters, some of them by mistake! I really like Limpar and Paul’s posts. Great fans, great posters.

    I will say this. There is a habit on here currently of misrepresenting or ignoring what is actually said by some.

    Over the past few days there has been a debate about signings, as always. About our defence, ditto. We have not had twats, at least not many, coming on here saying that we should sign Messi, Stumpfucker and Rooney to make us ‘winners’.

    You might think, reading some of the posts that this had, in fact, been the case.

    Come on. We were poor against manu. Yes, the goal was lucky but we were never going to win that game unless we had luck ourselves. Not for the first time we came up short. This team needs to improve if it is to become a title or Champions league winner. I really don’t care how. Truth be told it won’t bother me much if we don’t win anything either. I am an Arsenal fan.

    Let’s not keep on saying though that it’ll be alright when Cesc/RVP, Vermy/ Theo are all fit. We’ve been there. Maybe we will be, maybe we won’t. This side can be improved by additions from outside the existing squad.

    Hey. I don’t care if Arsene decides otherwise but to deny the possibility of improvement through signings is just odd.

  65. YW

    ” In the transfer market shopping centre, he may cast an envious eye in the direction of Harrods or Fortnum & Mason but knows that his budget is designed for Waitrose.”

    I see AW as the shopper who goes into Harrods or Fortnum & Mason on the prowl, looking for the best sale items. He’s talked to the staff, he knows when the best sales will start. Now, it probably wont be the hottest item on the cat walk that summer in Milan or Paris but he will get the quality he needs for his “wardrobe”.

    That’s my take on it

  66. “I am with Geo, I am willing to wait. Seriously can you imagine the likes of Gibbs, Wilshere and Walcott in 4 years time?”
    —————–
    I think the same thing was said about Cesc, Clichy, Adebayor and others 4 years ago.
    I enjoy the youth ‘movement’ and the prospects coming up, but what we have seen at Arsenal is not much different that an many other clubs, even top clubs nowadays, that that is high turnover.
    Many are still baffled at Flamini and Hleb jumping ship, but I think with the shrinking of the world by massive media involvement and travel technology (plus lets not understate the massive money involved in how rich players are, too), it has led to more talent heading to different leagues quicker and more often.
    I wish we could have the days of 15 year servants to the club, but I don’t know how realistic that is anymore.
    Expecting a 17 year old to stay until 30, especially as a “top class” role player, or part time starter, or 2nd stringer, etc is asking a lot.

  67. @FunGunner 4:10

    I wasn’t advocating spending beyond our means at all, in fact it was just the opposite. I was under the impression that we make a profit in order to invest that profit (or at least part of it) in the team.

    @LimparAssist 4:58

    That’s just my own view of where something could be done in the team, as I said, others will have their own view too. If you think that doing absolutely nothing when we have money in the bank is the right way then fine, I will be leading the drinking party along the pubs in Blackstock Road should we win the league in May, but I think that spending some cash that we can plainly afford in key areas isn’t some kind of heresy.

  68. screw the defence, I want goals

    luis suarez, because every team needs a cunt or 2

  69. goal.com (i know not really reliable) is reporting that David Dein is expected to be named head of the FA, could we use that to get the wellington decision overturned?

  70. Block 4, maybe the competition you was looking for { Song } is already at the club, in Manu Frimpong. I was gutted he got injured so bad as he may have made as big an impression as Jackie W.

  71. This really says it all:

    “Arsenal shares are currently worth £11,125 each”

    I wonder how much was it 10 years ago?

  72. lol @ Word!

    Bob,

    Over relatively recent years, I’ve enjoyed the signings & performances of Overmars, Wiltord, Campbell, Pires, Reyes, Rosicky, Hleb, Nasri, Vermaelan etc…
    Over the summer, there was a thread about the pros and cons of bringing in a player like Mertesacker to replace the departed CB’s with Limpar, I remember. Without resorting to snide or presumptive comments about others opinions, or the need to make false and misleading statements about the managers strategy. It’s easy!
    I prefer(ed) a player like Koscielny. But then, I’ll happily admit to being a sucker for players with Pace. It’ll be easier walking up to a game at TNHOF against FC BBB, knowing Kos might be playing, instead of last years uninjured possibilities. For those who’d desire a clogger against that front line, I refer you to Messi’s header against ManIOU.

    With a few long term-ish injuries of late, there have been rumblings about signing one or two other players recently.
    As usual, I look forward to being pleasantly surprised, if any signings are made. Hopefully not Hangerland or Schwarzer.

  73. FunGunner

    I don’t advocate spending money to recoup it, nor did I suggest that in the post. I merely pointed out the flaw in that argument. I’m with Cbob on this one though; a new face in January would freshen things up – a strong personality might be best, shaking the players up every now and then.

    Nobody outside of the club knows Wenger’s budget but based on comments by board members, it is not wide of the mark to say he did not spend it all in the summer. Nor should he if the player he wants is not available. But let’s not ignore that he has money to spend.

    YW

  74. U think DD will do this arsenal Board a favour?

  75. I’m not clear whether you agreed with my last post or were criticising it Finsbury!

    Probably my fault, I walked to the pub for lunch today and had to fortify myself for the walk home!

  76. I said the other day that Consolsbob was very wise…

    Gunner4ever, what exactly does the high price of an Arsenal share say?

  77. does david dein hate arsenal that much that he won’t help?

  78. @allezkev

    I hope you’re right and Frimpong makes it at the club. However, he is a completely untried youngster recovering from a very serious injury, so while I hope for the best for the lad we obviously can’t rely on him right now.

  79. the board i said not arsenal… likely he has issues with the current board which may interfere i

  80. @TS,
    i don’t know much about the supposed “falling out”, but i’m perplexed as to how Ryo Miyaichi can be granted a special talent permit and Wellington Silva can’t.

  81. Limpars, thanks!

    The respect is mutual!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours also!!

  82. Block4. good point, but that’s the conundrum AW has. The same applies to Ramsey, we don’t know how Aaron is going to be when he fully recovers. All the same i think we have to give them time.

  83. Busch, well yes it is also contigent upon them being patient. Its up to these younsters to look beyond the right now and see that they can be the team that is mentioned as one of the greatest all time Arsenal sides.

    I can bet that all three of Ade, Flamini and Hleb wish they were still with the Gunners. It must be weird not being able to enjoy winning the CL or being one of the highest paid players in world football while warming the bench.

  84. Respect to you too Mr. Bob!!!

    I agree that we didnt do much at OT. I am hoping so much that we can show the world how great we can be on Monday. We are right there, just need a little nudge over the line.

  85. consolsbob,

    It’s not you! I’m not the most articulate writer around.
    But I don’t understand the need for inaccurate accounts of recent history (not from you!) or misquoting others in order to have a thread where someone expresses their preference.
    I agree with what you wrote, I’ve written of my fears for this squad. Geo wrote about letting the current squad grow. I agree with that too. But we do get excessive injuries (a subject I’ll avoid right now!). Other factors mentioned above like Hleb and Flamoney jumping after the surreal and odd end to the 07/08 season, mean that at times there have been no options, but to buy players (like Nasri), in order to have squad! I think that there is evidence that the model the club is following, seems to be flexible enough.
    There’s plenty of evidence that many more signings were attempted over the Summer. There was also no reason to doubt that the younger ‘keepers would be up to the standards of their peers in the squad. OK, Fabianski did not have the most glorious end to last season, but the excessive wailing across the blogosphere, sometimes finding specific faults when there were none, has been well documented.
    I thought we might see Wellington Silva in the first team this season, (he seems to have some Pace!). He moves like a cat, but he’s probably still a kitten at the moment.
    I also think that we have the players in the squad who could have made a difference in some of the games that have been lost. They didn’t always play, for various reasons.

    As usual I also agree with Paul N. Even when he disagrees with me.
    (Beginning of last season.
    Finsbury: “Shall we win the diddly cup?”
    Paul N: “Why are you talking about the diddly cup!”
    Injuries made that conversation redundant. Allegedly, there is no debate on ACLF).
    I think, this thread needs to be put on pause till after the Chel$ki game.

  86. Finsbury, I agree that the priority is to consider the Chelsea game ahead and that we need to see how we do in our first home game against our top rivals. Could be just the tonic we need–a resounding victory.

  87. I’m also tempted to agree with Frank, as usual!

    Is David Dein the signing the club needs? I have no knowledge of this subject. Could the Eduardo Embargo could have happened with Dein still at the club?
    I guess so, but he’d also have kicked up some fuss.
    Past form would indicate that.

  88. Also I dont see anything wrong with a new signing. I believe it will most probably much good for the team knowing how Arsene’s buys usually fit right in. A little anger and attitude couldnt hurt at all, as long as its tempered. I just dont believe one match should change how we were thinking in such a drastic way as it has been.

    Mr. Bob, I dont know what it is but we never seem to have all of our big guns healty at the same time, especially for big games. Though we have been here before, with hoping we will be healthy, we are yet to have the privilege of experiencing the best the group has to give collectively. I hope we can see it this season, afterall we have Barca to beat!

  89. Geo @ 4:17:

    There is no right or wrong answer to this question. You prefer to wait and hope that we will win and hope for rapid development of younger players and thats your choice as a fan. Myself I think that we might improve our chances by spending some of the money. For example, if the press clippings are true we could have had Van Der Vaart for around $8M. With Cesc’s injury issues and Arshavin’s form struggles I suspect we would have been a stronger club with VDV playing in the Cesc slot when injured, and rotating with Nasri and Arshavin in the attacking wing spots. I admit that will make it harder for Theo and Vela to break through and would have taken time from TR7 but I think VDV probably would have strengthened the club this year. A couple years ago we could supposedly have had Komponey for $8M. I realize that all this is in retrospect but clearly there are players we have passed on that could be making a difference in our squad today and there will be opportunities again this January and next summer. It depends on your philosophy. Myself I think that at some point we have to stop thinking about tomorrow and win start winning and get this monkey off our backs. If Theo and Vela are good enough they will break thru and get their chances at some point even with VDV in the squad. The youth that are really really good will break thru no matter what the barriers, Jack W is an example.

    Ole said yesterday that we need to hold the board to their promise of spending the Highbury development windfall on the squad. Thats all I think most reasonable fans would ask is that the money that we have available is spent on the squad. It would be different if we were winning trophies but so far we have not and I think we should do everything within reason to get that first 1.

  90. Finsbury, you are killin me!

    lol

    I agree with you, the Chelsea game is what we should be focusing on. I hope we dont have a bunch of Henristics at the emirates monday thinking home support is overrated.

    I dont have to worry about going to work Monday, I will be in Miami chillaxin and hopefully watching an Arsenal victory!

    As the young’ns say, “yu heard!”

  91. Limestone.

    I don’t feel the need for a tonic, but I guess no one would like lose against Evra! Enjoy your festivities ACLF, the days are getting longer.

    A cheesy dirge, but it’s still good:

  92. I think I got that Finsbury, ’nuff said.

    Paul, I feel it, oh yes, I feel it. It’s heart and mind stuff really.

    Finsbury summed up where we are I think, “I think, this thread needs to be put on pause till after the Chel$ki game.”

    We’ll have a better idea about this squad after that test. Aargh! I’ll get me coat.

  93. its not beyond the realms of imagination that ryo is more talented than Silva
    then again as someone suggested, a great talent in japan is likely to be more noticed that a great talent among so many in Brasil, hence Ronaldinho @ Silva’s age could not get work permit to join us

  94. “Gunner4ever, what exactly does the high price of an Arsenal share say?”

    Where do I begin? Unless you value the club by trophies won only in the last 5 years, then there is no need to explain anything at all.

  95. Queen of suburbia

    Consolbob at 5:22. What an excellent post. I agree 100%.

  96. Is that right? Has Benitez been sacked by Inter Milan???

  97. Bradys right foot

    I’m all for improving the team, but some of the names bandied about scare the s*it out of me. The much maligned defense seems to take centre stage. Personally two premiership rookies and a guy whos been out for basically two years have done pretty well and imho will improve through the season. Anyway lets take Cahill one of the posterboy defenders we should apparently buy. His valuation is around 15-20 million, anyone who thinks at the moment that he is an improvement on what we have is stretching, He looks decent but for that money its simply ridiculous. Remeber Liverpool spent 18 million on a right back who can’t cut it. Its not easy to be a centre half at Arsenal, with a rotating midfield with one player notionally playing the holding role at anyone time it leaves the back four and especiallty the two centre halves exposed more than any other team. It is the tradeoff for our attacking approach and as long as we play keepball it mitigates the exposure the centre halves suffer. Would Cahill thrive in that environment, would he be an improvement, for me no.

    At set pieces were doing pretty well this year and have the 4th best defense at the moment despite not having a goalkeeper apparently and the Verminator. Take Vidic out of Utd for 10 games and get back to me on how good Utd are at the back. We currently have shipped 19 goals to their 16 in the league lets see how that stat compares at the end of the campaign.

  98. I’m actually a big fan of Hermann Stumpf-Ucker, and I don’t understand why people who suggest signing him should be dismissed as twats. We know that Wenger tried to sign him in the summer, but Werder Bremen wouldn’t sell. I think many people here would have prefered Strohmann, especially as he was available at a knock-down price.

  99. @Brady i think you misunderstand brady, its not about becoming better its about getting “fresh blood” so the fans can atlest feel that something is been done to adress the situation. If it works or not is not important, by splashing large money the fans feel that they are being listened to and that the club adress the issues they feel are important.

    For many fans footy is not a money issue, its a passion issue and when the club put money and sensible buisness before passion they get angry, they dont see the long term planning. Fans dont plan for 15 years ahead like AW does. Fans only see this seasons trophies, or this weeks match. They dont want to think about what happends to Arsenal in 2020. They dont want to have to plan for the situation where we may even slump out of CL. They dont want to think about where the players salarys comes from or how we pay for our facilities. Thats boring economics and its not what real fans should have to think about. ANd that is exactly what they are made to think about at Arsenal. they have to think about prices for the players they want, they have to think and live with the fact Arsenal is not rich enough to buy 1 or 2 20M flops or even 17M flops. Other clubs can, we cant. Other fans for say Barca can say “we want Villa” and the club goes to buy him. United fans can say “we want Berba” and they go get him, success or not does not matter cos they can always buy another 30M striker next year. (well not anymore though). They can live the dream, buy unproven stars for 19M a pice, while Arsenal fans have to live with the harsh reality of economics.
    Thats why fans are angry. They want their dreamworld back.

  100. isn’t that man city article just completely ludicrous? last season city were 6th. this season they are 5 points ahead of the 6th place team. if they don’t get in the champions league i’ll be absolutely amazed. mark hughes wouldn’t have captured david silva or mario balotelli in a million years

  101. Gunner4ever, share price is a financial index. What do you think it says about Arsenal? There are many indices to use to measure different things about the complex organization that is a football club engaged in the amazing complex activity of attempting to win football games. Not to explain what you think is important about the share price increase is just being unserious about having a discussion about our club. Frankly it does need to be explained further since the object of a football club is not to increase its share price but to play well and thereby win games.

    If you want to say that our club is run fairly well financially, just say that. But don’t say it says it all because there is quite a lot more at stake than that in this enterprise.

  102. Bill, VDV is playing without a meniscus in one of his knees. He’s also out at the moment and will be out again before the season is over as he’s more fragile than even Van Persie or Robben. Wenger has one of the best scout networks in the world. That’s why he’s able to buy the likes of Nasri and Vermaelen before they are worth upwards of 15 million pounds.

  103. Poodle @ 11.35pm – I think you’ve nailed it. No more needs to be said.

  104. Well Passenal, poodle has indeed nailed the a large swathe of ‘fans’ who want it all now.

    There are shades of opinion though. Suggesting an infusion of new blood is not calling for a mega signing nor abandoning Arsenal’s long term strategy. It’s just positing a way, one way, that our inconsistency might be addressed.

    There also seems to be a suggestion that this means a new defender. I don’t know why particularly.

  105. Gainsbourgh,

    VDV is also playing without any toe’s, he’s so good, he doesn’t need them.

  106. off topic..but what is the average ticket price at the emirates (any comparison of ticket price between top clubs)

  107. Graham from London

    Wenger is a canny manager. Lets take the fact that every other club, bar Citeh (and even they may not spend again this season), have also imposed budgets to a greater or lesser degree. No one is really striking out to buy a marquee name as most feel their squads are good enough to win a currently poor quality EPL. Also you need to factor in the 6+5 rule which in the coming years will handicap Citeh & any other club that wish to buy the title. This rule is desigined to stop this trend. So with these 2 points likely to dominate club strategies in future seasons, you could argue the AW is ahead of the game in winning things within the parameters of new & upcoming rules. He is looking to the future where he feels we will dominate, which I agree with, but when does that become the present?

  108. ‘Were walking in the air……..’

    I love The Snowman

  109. ‘Were training in our Snoods……..’

  110. Bill – what i was saying yesterday, before i was rudely interrupted by work… I wasn’t saying we should definitely not buy someone. I was saying that i feel it is unnecessary at this stage, and was talking about the dangers of buying the players in the £15mil + rung – whose wages and egos may be too big for parity to remain amongst our young team. If we were to buy someone of the Man City greed (Kompany was one you mentioned), he’d be on far disproportionate wages compared to Djourou, Song, etc etc… And i was saying that, just because we’ve got money ‘available’, why should we just spend it for the hell of it? Any money left over each year is only making the club more powerful in the long run. Then maybe, if we lose RvP or Cesc or both for whatever reason, we could go and buy a replacement of top quality. The money we have will also be used to upgrade players contracts so that they don’t all jump ship like some have eluded to.

    If we were to buy someone in January, i’d much prefer it to be a Sagna type signing, than a £20mil overrated dickhead like Milner or £30mil twat like Balotelli.

  111. Paul N | December 21, 2010 at 8:04 pm |

    LOL Paul. You can hope all you want but the home support is what it is. I’d wager that the vast majority of people in that stadium have been going for years and their behaviour isn’t going to change no matter how much anyone whines about it.

    The team’s performance on the other hand WILL decide the outcome of the game. Here’s to hoping for a brilliant game and result from the boys, eh?

  112. Bradys right foot | December 21, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
    I’m all for improving the team, but some of the names bandied about scare the s*it out of me.

    Why is that? You think Arsene will buy a certain player because some blogs are demanding it? C’mon now..

    If Arsene does buy Cahill (for some strange reason), you’d support him wouldn’t you? Just like you would for any other player he buys. I mean we had to support Silvestre for crying out loud, even if he wasn’t very popular…

  113. Morning – regarding new signings – apparently we have signed a pre contract agreement to sign this chap – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwE4A7QrG3s

  114. “I mean we had to support Silvestre for crying out loud, even if he wasn’t very popular…”

    lol Henristic.

  115. Who iss it Deise? Can’t watch it at work… not right now anyway!

  116. a defensive midfielder called Etienne Capoue – currently playing for Toulouse in France – 6ft 2 – puts himself about – looks strong if gangly and looks to have a pass or two in him

  117. The idea that fans can decide who clubs buy is laughable. I know many people were crying out for Arshavin before we bought him, especially after his performance at the Euros and the Europa Cup. Heck, fans of most clubs were calling for him. Does that mean he was bought to placate supporters? Its an insult to Arsene imo.

    Fans always want their clubs to sign whichever player happens to be on form. I remember Frank being adamant Villa was gonna sign for us last season or so …lol

  118. Morning Consolsbob, and a very merry Christmas to Consols all. Apologies – I seem to have kick-started a thread only to run off down the pub and miss all the action. Looks like it was a good one too…

    We all know how this team can play and as you rightly say it’s not clicking consistently enough. I’m not denying the possibility of squad improvement but somehow I have more faith in any weaknesses, whether mental, tactical – whatever – to be sorted out in house and in squad, in the dressing room and on the training fields – than by any outside player I can think of.

    I understand the potential of new blood to help stir things up (I’m thinking David Platt, Stefan Schwarz… that sort of signing… a dead-serious professional who doesn’t really get on with anyone – just sits in the corner chanting ‘win, win, win, win’) – if in no other way than providing competition in a few positions – long-term. I’d welcome a signing like I welcome any new signing – like a giddy schoolgirl – but I’m not fully sold on whether that same impetus can’t be manufactured in house and in squad. I think there are enough strong, intelligent people with us to do that.

    I also think this break has given us all too much time to think about one game. We’ve had some bad results this season but many came about by way of hugely different performances: overconfident one game, too shy the next; gung-ho on Saturday, handbrake on midweek. It’s a fine balance to strike. The way I see it we’re a tweak or two tactically, a big player or two in form, and a few choice words from AW away from finding that key to consistency. Why not?

    So I’m going to reserve judgement on areas of improvement. I’m buoyed by the fact that we’re well poised on all fronts despite the team playing within themselves. The pool of players we have to select from, and to compete for places, and to rally each other – it looks to be verging on the strongest it’s been all season. As the grip of winter loosens (with Arsenal players pushing out through their snoods like crocuses) – I can only see our form getting better, and better and better. We have big games, and lots of games – an opportunity to build momentum and build a run.

  119. Cheers Deise – never heard of him – much more like Arsene’s style!

    And i agree 100% about that being an insult to Wenger, Henristic. Surely fans don’t believe that do they?

  120. we should have signed Villa though Henristic – he is a perfect fit for The Arsenal – as was David Silva before he got squillions to join City – but it seems both players either wanted to stay in Spain or get vast monies for the inconvenience of playing in another league – not to mention their transfer fees

  121. Silly season has started. You can look forward to a zillion YouTube videos like that Geo, from now until end of January.

    Deise, any links for the Capoue news?

  122. Well… it was morning when I started out…

    In short, Cb, I think it’s a good idea, I just think there are other ways of getting the same effect.

  123. My my Limpar, who knew you could be so sensible 🙂
    For the first time I find myself agreeing with every single word you said. You’ve expressed my entire sentiments on the signing issue most elegantly…

  124. What winds me up (and this is a million miles from what you’re suggesting, Cb – and sorry if you thought I was tarring you with the same brush yesterday – I never was at all) is people doing sums on their calculator at their desk (£Ade + £Toure – £Koscielny = ££££) and then chatting a lot of shit about a transfer kitty they just made up and demanding it get spent to entertain them at the first opportunity. Like bawling kids outside a fucking sweetshop (Hi, Bill). It’s just such a departure from the reality of the football club I support… and from reality at all… it leaves me very cold… as I’m sure it does you.

  125. Great post Limpar – I agree completely.

  126. New post up…

  127. Limpar

    What people seem to forget in their fag packet calculations is that transfer signings and contract renewals come from the same pot. Wenger doesn’t spend all of it for that reason in part, at least.

    YW

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