Look To The Past In Hope For The Future

I’m on holiday for a few more days yet, here’s a missive to digest. By now, all of the transfer activity will have been completed, I’m sure. Hasn’t it…?

The situation it seems is as bad as it has ever been for Arsenal. The club is stuck in a cycle of finishing fourth or third, incapable of sustaining a challenge for the title. Silverware is elusive; the Carling Cup has been lost to a team that was relegated three months later.

But we have been here before. If Arsène seeks any solace from the situation, he need look no further than Arsenal in the mid-1980s.

Don Howe assembled a very promising squad following Terry Neill’s departure as manager but they flattered to deceive. Progress was made but not enough. Howe and assistant John Cartwright fell under the spell of Charles Hughes, Arsenal descended into a long-ball mire. It was a cycle repeated a decade later by George Graham. Howe resigned following the board approaching Terry Venables to take over as manager at the end of the 1985/6 season.

They turned to Graham instead. The statistics show an immediate impact with Arsenal breaking into the top four at the end of 1986/7. Defensively there was a marked improvement; the previous three seasons had seen an average of 53 goals conceded during the 42 games. Graham reduced that to 35 in his first full season in charge, delivering the Littlewoods Cup into the bargain.

1987/88 brought great expectations. Viv Anderson’s departure brought only temporary solutions with Michael Thomas and Nigel Winterburn filling in as an emergency right back until Lee Dixon joined.

There were still some players not living up to expectations. Rix was continuing his exit strategy of not being selected whilst Steve Williams and his manager were on a collision course, the midfielder’s abrasive character not sitting comfortably with the dictatorial approach of Graham.

The season was hugely disappointing. Arsenal were 19th as Portsmouth rolled into town on the August Bank Holiday weekend. A six goal rout signalled the start of a run of eleven wins in twelve games that took Arsenal to the summit.  December and January were horrible, the team failed to win for two months, dropping to 5th place.

It got worse. Three consecutive derby wins in February / March threatened a revival but Arsenal would win only three of their final eleven games and finished sixth.  The FA Cup promised silverware but Arsenal succumbed to Nottingham Forest, the second season a quarter-final was lost at home.

This left the Littlewoods Cup. Defending the trophy, Arsenal had a relatively straightforward route to the semi-finals. A tricky quarter-final was won thanks to a Nigel Winterburn goal at Hillsborough, Everton despatched comfortably with a 4-1 aggregate victory.

Luton took an early and deserved lead. They held it until the final twenty minutes when Martin Hayes and Alan Smith scored in quick succession. They won the cup when Winterburn missed a penalty, Danny Wilson equalising following Gus Caesar’s defensive error before a very late winner from Brian Stein. In the last minute.

It was a team apparently in decline, the steps forward during the season lost in a collapse at the end.

Fast forward twenty three seasons. Substitute different teams but the pattern was the same. So how did Graham change things? What made the difference? How did a team that looked shorn of confidence for three months turn sixth place into a title the following season?

Can history repeat itself? If you want to push this further, look at the double-winning side of 1971 (previous season finished 12th). On each occasion it was a tweak or two that moved the team to a different level. Crucially, it was a defensive improvement that sparked each title.

Graham tightened the defence. Like Wenger he had good full backs in place. Centrally he needed more cohesion, Adams and O’Leary was a good partnership; signing Steve Bould gave Arsenal an outstanding one.

Wenger has the opportunity to bring in a robust centre back, seems intent on doing so. Where the Scot had the advantage was in coaching them. Graham was an exceptional organiser; he had one on the pitch in Adams. The current defence lacks this quality and must do so. Perhaps it is time for the goalkeeper, be it Szczesny or Fabianski, to take on more responsibility for this?

It is this area which is the key to success. Arsenal have good attacking options; they need to ensure that the defensive frailties do not waste them.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on June 24, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 258 Comments.

  1. FILO!

  2. The one position that’s needs seriously looking at is our defence and has been the case for some time now. Hence the need for either Samba, Cahill or Phil Janks.

    I don’t want to look too much into the past for hope though because we have moved far too slowly in the transfer market over the years and after being linked with tom, dick and peter we ended up with nothing while everybody else around brought in new blood.

    Utd and the rest do not seem to be playing games in the market at the moment and I am just hoping that NO news is good news and that Wenger is working on it hard.

  3. Ha, I remember the Luton game well. I think it was my first real big disapointment as an Arsenal fan. The memory of Stein scoring the winner so late in the game is burnt into my brain for life.

  4. And nice post YW.

  5. Good post Yogi – defensive organisation by the goal keeper is where I think Szczesny is weak despite his other attributes. Arsene does not intend to bring in another goal keeper if his comments in the Arsenal magazine can be taken on face value. So the most important attribute of any CB he signs will probably be his ability to organise the defence at set plays on the pitch to deliver the coaching plan.

  6. Great post Yogi. I’m one of those who believe we have a good team and a tweek or two will make it great. Call it history repeating itself!

  7. fergie once expressed shock at arsene’s lack of defensive signings.

    apparently we need 2 central defenders- blackburn are asking for 12mil.
    while are asking for 17mil.

    thats approx 30mil to sort out the defence, but wenger thinks that too much to pay – thats where the problem lies.

  8. When you consider that up to eight players need to exit, that`s one hell of a `tweek`.

  9. Aussie Jack,

    “When you consider that up to eight players need to exit…”

    Is that including the three youngster who we’ve already let go or are you suggesting a futher eight and, if so, who and why?

  10. Aussie Jack, 8 players out is a little steep. Lol it’s only 7!

  11. seems to me that the title of the post is a direct reordering of the great idea behind geology. I mean the principle of uniformarianity anyhow they call it. Al it says is that ‘the present is the key to the past’ lol. On a more futbaling note wenger is disillusioned. I just pray he get sackd after next season. All he thnks about is making profits and not winning trophies. I love arsenal bt wenger is breaking my heart. Sobs

  12. “Fabianski, to take on more responsibility for this?” – Jokes!

  13. Hmmm, some pretty amazing comments there from boozy, aussiejack, gunflash and fobar. Good work, keep it up chaps, groundbreaking stuff there, and so eloquently put.

    I hope it is going to be a repeat of those turnaround seasons, bearing in mind that last season was far better than the 1970 and 87/88 seasons, the necessary tweaks will be easily do-able for someone of Wenger’s caliber. As I was saying to Jabba yesterday, Wenger is excellent at throwing the media off course and allowing them to believe their own speculation about potential signings, and I am pretty certain he’s close to signing a couple of players, albeit much more under the radar than some would like. Personally, I’m very confident he’ll make the right signings, and will be pushing the team’s defensive organisation during this pre-season. I think, Chezney will play a big part in our improvement at the back next season. He seems really keen to improve and make that shirt his own.

    We are going to be challenging again on all fronts next year, hopefully there have been lessons learnt and it will be a sustained challenge this time. Up the Arse!

  14. Aussie Jack – 8 players? Big problem there is that there’s too much delusion going on for Wenger or Gazidis to actually do what’s needed and then the bigger problem is that nobody actually wants to buy those players off us on their ridiculous wages. Despite their great mental strength, part of his best squad ever, blah blah blah, lie lie lie…

  15. What’s up with all the melodramatics this morning..? Calm down guys. It seems the delusions are coming mainly from sectors of our ‘support’ rather than management. Too much clicking on headlines telling them that the club is in crisis, and Wenger has lost the plot, we’re too foreign or whatever… Take a step back a decade or 3 (probably before most of the above were born i suppose), like the article suggests, and then you’ll see what a trophy drought is. The short-termism is getting worse and worse.

  16. Thanks for the article by the way YW, helps put things into perspective, as always.

  17. Geo, as a change of pace from arguing with doomers I’d be interested to know what areas you think Wenger will strengthen? Personally I can’t see us signing any more than one more player.

    I agree with your comments about Wenger letting the media believe their own bullshit and using it as a smoke screen. But for me the main reason he does this is to keep fans off his back. The fans like Aussie Jack above who are constantly calling for new signings read this bullshit and are pacified, at least for five minutes.

  18. Morning Markus,

    I think we’re going to be surprised by a CB signing, i.e. not Samba or Cahill (although I think either would be good). And as Passenal said earlier, it must be someone who has great organisational ability on the pitch. This would help with the set piece problem, and will appease some fans. I personally think we could go into the season as we are defensively, with maybe a better back up than Skilly. Kos will improve after his first season, as will Djourou and TV5, so as much as I’d like us to sign Vidic for example, I’d still be happy with just good quality cover.

    I would absolutely love us to sign Eto, as i think he’d be perfect for us, with RvP dictating things slightly further back, but in reality this will not happen.

    The main thing is, that there needs to be more organisation and communication at the back, and as i said earlier, i think Chezney will make a big step up this year and become the commanding GK that we’ve needed for so many years…

    Obviously the main concern re signings, is keeping Nasri and Cesc, something I am also confident about happening.

    What do you think needs to be done?

  19. Eloquent or not Geo it doesn’t make the point any less valid. AW has some major rebuilding work to do. The squad needs to be realigned by selling the dead wood, adding 3 or 4 players and promoting a few from the youth set up.

    However, his biggest challange is cultural. He has to replace the current climate of arrogence and complacency with one of hunger and desire. In short that good old winning mentality that deserted us several years ago

  20. Alex Ice Cream

    The game is so different now so its very difficult to make analogies like this. One difference was that GG worked out what was wrong and quickly put it right. He was also ruthless with players who were talented but not producing enough – Williams, Rix, Nicholas, Sansom, although none of these players were exactly young either.

    AW has spoken ouf our defensive frailties for years and seems powerless to correct this. He is only ruthless with players over 30 and overindulges the youngsters.

    Let’s see what happens in the transfer window – Jones and Young – 2 at least potential targets have already been bought by ManU. I would have liked Young at Arsenal but we wouldn’t pay 17m.

  21. I was referring to the 7 people to leave GF… Who would they be exactly and who would you get in to replace them?

    I do agree that there were some obvious mentality (or cultural) issues coming to the fore last season. I’m sure Wenger is doing all he can to fire them up, and maybe we’ll sign one of those scary, red faced, shouty spitty screamy-type players who will instill this in the more placid amongst our squad… who knows? Not that I’m advocating that of course, but some have been hankering after a player of that ilk for some time now… What do you reckon me old mucker?

  22. I also think we’ll hang on to Cesc, Nasri and Clichy.

    Abilty-wise Szczesny isn’t any better than our other keepers. It’s his attitude and confidence that puts him ahead, and I’d be happy for him to continue as number 1, despite the mistakes he will make, if he can just convert that attitude into a commanding presence at the back. All keepers will make mistakes but if we have a keeper who isn’t afraid to make the tough calls, right or wrong, and stand by them then most of us will be happy.

    In answer to your question “what needs done” I honestly have to answer not much. The team I watched for large parts of last season was good enough to have won big-time and the failings for me can’t be solved with signings. Only experience can strengthen this team, and we got plenty of that in the last campaign.

    I believe our current defence will be unchanged.

    If anything the only major change I’d like to see is a return to our policy of using the domestic cups to keep our squad players and youngsters fresh. The first team should be focused on the big two.

  23. markus.

    yeah i believe your smokescreen theory, apparently you are one of the few still decieved by it.

    like being heavily linked with benzema, but signing chamack.

    like being heavily linked with and we pick gems in koscielny and squilaci.

    dude serious clubs dont do smokescreenr- if want a player you go for him.

    but obviously you love your smokescreen, and the prospect of wenger unearthing an unknown gem.

  24. Very fair points Markus. I agree about the cup system, the experience gained from last season, and all you said about Chezzer too – although I don’t think it will be too long before he is the better keeper all round.

  25. Markus – can you email me your doctors address? He must hand out some great drugs.

  26. Nice article, YW. I really like how apparently minor adjustments have often turned nearly men into champions.

    As for this summer I still think we’ve been forced to bide our time, as the insane Henderson transfer appears to have set the tone – just looking around, the message appears to be “if Henderson is worth £20 million, then xxxx must be double”. I think Redknapp said something to that effect about Modric.

    Still, there are a fair few players around with just one year left to run, and a lot of clubs that need the money, but I think we’re going to have to wait for sellers to blink first.

    From what I can work out (stumbling through that SR article) – we have money available, but not extravagant amounts.

    Markus – not just saying this just because Gervinho looks most likely to arrive, but at the end of last season I was really hoping for a bit more pace in attack. So I’m pretty happy with that one. After that I don’t know – suppose it depends on who leaves.

  27. boozy, you totally misunderstood my comment. It’s like you say the word “smoke-screen” and filled in the rest yourself.

  28. “If anything the only major change I’d like to see is a return to our policy of using the domestic cups to keep our squad players and youngsters fresh. The first team should be focused on the big two.”

    Totally agree with that!

  29. Geo, we could quite easily do without Almunia, Squillaci, Eboue, Denilson, Diaby, Rosicky and Bendtner

    In defence I’d buy a keeper with some experince like Stekelenburg and a centre half like Cahill or Vertonghen

    In midfield I’d look the promote Lansbury, Fimpong and Henderson

    While up front I’d love us to splash out on Hazard and Eto’o

    We are a big club. Lets act like it!

  30. One thing Wenger has done over the years is sell first then buy. So far the players who’ve been making a lot of noise about wanting to leave the club have failed to attract any decent bids, that should tell them something about why Wenger does not start them every game. So it is a question of how much we are going get for some players before splashing out. If players are not sold then Wenger will only make 1 possibly 2 signing on the cheap (16 millions is cheap these days) and that is it.Kronke has made it clear he will not be putting his own money in, only the money made from the club will be spent. Samba Jageilka, Cahill , I can’t see what the fuss is all about. possibly Samba can offer some height and power at the back but others are really no better that Vermalaen and Djorou. If Wenger is forced to cough up then Samba would be worth the risk. Gervinho is actually the signing I really like and I’m surprised not many top clubs fighting to get him, great skill, speed, hard worker. everything you want in a player.

  31. GF – Eboue, Diaby and Rosicky definitely still have a part to play for me. I only don’t include Bendy & Denilson because it looks very likely that they’ll leave. I disagree that a keeper is needed, but agree a CB signing either for cover or top top quality as a starter would be good. I agree with the promotions from within too, but they would have to be used as Markus suggested earlier. Hazard and Eto would be great, but doubt it’ll happen.

    So many varied suggestions! Wenger knows what needs to be done I’m sure…

  32. whatever your point is.

    mine is – we dont hear united were chasing bale but ended up signing young, we dont hear liverpool were chasing messi but ended up signing suarez or that barcelona were chasing fabregas, while no one knew they were secretly after sanchez.

    dude i didnt misunderstand your point.

    And i dont like smokescreens – and there nothing wrong in a fan being excited when a decent player is linked to the club.

  33. If Wenger cared only about profit, we would have lost Cesc and Wilshire would be up for sale.

    Such a poorly thought out contention speaks volumes about the arguer

  34. Good to have you back Gadget!

  35. It looks like we’ve rejected a bid for Cesc, although we can’t be sure. But here’s a question, how much is Cesc worth?

  36. boozy, okay, smoke-screen is possibly not the word which suits my point. Distraction/diversion maybe.

    1 loose cannon, I agree in theory with the Samba as backup for his height and strength, I just think that in Djourou we have a similar option already. And if the plan is only to use him against teams who play long balls/throw-ins then the price would need to be right. And right now the market is clean bonkers. But if the price was right then why not. I can hear Hansen already: “I’ve been telling Wenger for years he needs a player like Samba”. Smug git. Changed my mind, don’t buy him!

  37. OOU – I don’t think we should sell for anything less than £50mil. I can see us accepting a bid of £45mil though, which would still give us plenty to play with for replacements. Hopefully we don’t buckle though.

  38. BEWARE OF MANSHITTY

    markus what price is right- this whole wenger philosophy has really gotten deep into your veins.

    could you just admit that he is screwing up – no one has called for his head yet.

    but could just agree that he is screwing up.

  39. Alex Ice Cream

    Geo,

    The only part Eboue and Rosicky have to play is to find the exit door and use it. Diaby has to find the last chance saloon and take any opportunity or find the exit door like the others.

  40. I like the fact that our manageable debt means we are never forced to sell a player. I think that Cesc is content to stay for a few more years now. Barca can’t afford him now anyway, I think he knows that ship has sailed for now. The new president is a bit more thrifty.

    Having said that for me he is worth 50 million at least!

  41. Yes Graham. The difference is that Graham was listening and prepared to change. Graham also used players who were already Arsenal fans.

    If you rely solely on foreigners, its not going to happen in the EPL. Chelsea under Ranieri tried but it didn’t work out and so far it hasn’t worked for us since 2006.

  42. Alex, yeah we stood by Rosicky for two years while was crocked, but now that he’s getting back to full fitness lets give him the boot. Brilliant call.

  43. AIC – the versatility and personality of Eboue is needed I think. Often slated, but is asked to do a bit-part role after the acquisition of Sagna, never quite getting into a run of games, leading to form, not an easy task at all. And Rosicky has class which will not easily be replaced on the cheap, his passing and ability to wriggle out of tricky situations are great attributes imo, and he puts in a lot of effort. So we’ll have to disagree on that.

  44. BEWARE OF MANSHITTY

    boozy a.k.a beware of manshitty

  45. markus what would you do if cesc was sold way cheaper than that?

    would you still believe in the sysytem?

  46. Alex Ice Cream

    Markus,

    Rosicky is finished as a top class player. I could not understand why he was given a new contract. He should have been given a free to get him off the wage bill and also so that he could get himself some good wages elsewhere.

    He has been at Arsenal for 5 years now and other than sit on the treatment table he has done very little. He was very good in 2008 until he got injured but he has had enough time to establish himself and has failed to do so. He is not going to become less injury-prone now and his time has passed. He was awful when he played last season, truly terrible.

    Its amazing how little you have to contribute at Arsenal to still be given a contract; its a joke. Other

    If you think that not much needs to be done to an team whose notable contribution to recent run-ins has been an annual implosion then you are even more deluded that I thought.

  47. Yeah Geo + Markus, I asked because I don’t know. I’m just wondering how high they’d have to go before we listen. If it’s £50 million then he’ll be staying for three more years at least.

    I’m not sure we can gauge his value against the Cronaldo transfer; I doubt we’ll see anyone move for anything approaching that amount for a long time – if ever again.

    As long as he remains quiet we’ll have the upper hand.

  48. Humour us, Boozy – to what “system” are you referring?

  49. Alex Ice Cream

    Geo,

    Eboue isn’t even good enough to be a squad player in my opinion but I am not overly bothered if he stays (or goes).

    Previously I would have agreed about Rosicky but its obvious that his serious injury has ruined him.

    By the way, why should we be looking to replace him on the cheap?

  50. Friday whinge-fest, or whingers love-in?

  51. “What would you do if cesc was sold way cheaper than that?”

    Say thanks for all the hard work and wish him all the best. Not gonna happen but. The only club he would consider can’t afford him and we don’t want to sell.

  52. Alex, getting rid of Eboue would send a very negative message to those players on the fringe who are content and give evrything when given the opportunity.

  53. Alex, giving injured players new contracts is important. Other players see it and realise that the club will stand by them even if they suffer career threatening injuries, in the line of duty so to speak. It means our players aren’t afraid to get hurt and in this league that is vital.

  54. my goodness.

    comments i’m reading today are really getting me worked up.

    “getting rid of eboue would be sending a negative message”

    wtf

  55. I’ll take that as a compliment boozy.

  56. Alex Ice Cream

    Markus,

    How about a different message: if you don’t contribute, you are out. maybe, just maybe the complacency that afflicts this squad can be overcome.

    Rewarding crocks and substandard players who barely contribute new contracts sends out the wrong message.

    This is football not the samaritans.

  57. Markus – Many things can be said of Eboue, that “he gives everthing” is really not one of them though. As it goes, I don’t mind him staying, he is a good back up to Sagna.

    On the subject of Cesc’s price, anything below £50M would be a steal for Barca. We hold all the aces here, and have no need to drop our price.

    I like Rosicky, but he has been robbed of his best years by injury. He could have been a very special player for us, such a shame. I have no idea what wages he is on, and for me that should be the deciding factor when it comes to him staying or not. He can still have a role to play in the squad, and has lots of experience. Given we a re short of “senior” players I would be a little wary of letting the ones we have go.

  58. Quite a few posts today amount to:

    MEDIA: OK, children, let’s see some hands, who wants to talk about what to do about this Arsenal crisis …

    1. I don’t have a fuckin clue Sir, but I wouldn’t mind a trophy anyway, so something must be done, NOW! Let’s sell lots of players and buy lots of other players, big ones.
    2. Me, me, me … I know, let’s all be like Manchester United, City, or Chelsea. They win things.

    Good intelligent answers lads, well done, full marks. Now fuck off and play while I write something serious about a real team like Liverpool or Tottenham, England’s great hopes for the future of football, as we know it.

  59. I agree with goonerandy.

  60. unlike most fans, i’m not asking for much.

    just keep hold of our important players.

    sign us two good center back.

    bring in an ex defender to sort the defense out.

    whatever else wenger does would be a bonus to me, because over the years i’ve learnt to lower my expectations.

    is that too much to ask?

  61. O brother.such killjoys.

  62. andy I think Eboue’s reactions to that fucking awful decision against Liverpool tell me all I need to know about his attitude and dedication. He was inconsolable. Literally, cos he shrugged off one of his team-mates hands when they tried to console him.

  63. Only a crazed, puny-minded, incoherent, criminally irresponsible idiot of a manager would get rid of Eboue, as a reserve right back, and Diaby as a regular in the first 15 or so. Rosicky is a little passed his glory days, but what a gem to have in your second string. I’d love to hear what players should replace these three, from where, at what cost, and with what role in the 25 squad?

  64. Markus & GA – Mentally, Eboue gives everything and absolutely loves the club, as you could see when he was booed off and the liverpool incident, as markus said. Sometimes his physical workrate on the pitch isn’t amazing, but only sometimes. I think he makes up for that with his dedication and adaptability, and by all accounts, what he brings to the dressing room.

  65. Alex Ice Cream

    Zim,

    What has Diaby done in 5 years to warrant a place in the top 15? He wouldn’t be that in any other top team in Europe; oh I forgot we are no longer a top team.

    What a gem Rosicky is: 5 years and multi-millions later we have a creative midfielder who can’t score goals or provide assists anymore.

    Are you saying that we are not able to get better players than these or that they are “not available?”

  66. Markus – That really does not tell you much. He was rightly upset as he had just given away a stupid pen and pretty much cost us three points. I was more thinking of the countless times I have seen him jogging back when he has been caught out of position and the other team are breaking on us. Don’t want to get into slagging him though, as I don’t mind him too much.

  67. I agree with Zimpaul.

  68. Geo – I would definalty agree about the dressing room bit. He seems a popular guy.

  69. zimpaul i think you are trapped in a tiny cubicle called arsenal- and you dont realize what’s going on else where.

    to hear you wax lyrically about players like eboue, diaby and rosicky is shocking, if not disappointing.

  70. Boozy, do you have anything original, constructive or intelligent to say, or any kind of logic to back up your criticism of our long serving players? Your opinions won’t be highly regarded, or even humored for long if you don’t/can’t explain any of them.

  71. Diaby I like, and think he really could be an excellent player. However, I think that this is make or break season for him (with us) to be honest. If he stays fit, he could well cement a place in the side. If he has another stop start season due to injury, he will fall too far down the pecking order and will end up being sold I think.

  72. Agreed andy. Too many other players coming through for him not to take his chance now.

  73. Geo how original can i get?

    and who needs to be speaking more logically here?

    and how could i be criticizing our players, when i said my first wish was to hold on to important players?

    please tell me.

  74. Shame really. When he is on his game he offers us penetration from midfield which none of our other players in that position can. He looks to be good in front of goal as well.

  75. Miami Arsenal

    Why is it that dissenting voices are always labelled whingers? I appreciate that we are not all going to agree but we don’t live in a totalitarian state where everyone is required to tow the party line.

    I personally can see Arsene bring in more than 1 signing and there will be departures because rose tinted glasses or not we have members of the squad that have failed to provide the covered required. I would like to see Arsene more ruthless in his exchanging of the squad members before games, where players have been consistently under performing.

    I don’t think the squad need a 7 person shake up, but a 3 person maybe a nice tonic. The figure of 12 million is always quoted for Samba, but with Blackburn cash rich following the P Jones transfer we maybe fortunate to get him at that price. That Blackburn don’t need to sell the player, shows great similarity to Cesc and Barca.

    On that latter note, Cesc should not be sold this season. The argument for why he wants to go to Barca is obvious, but so is the fact he is under contract for 4 more years. That Barca have consistently provoked Cesc’s reaction to try and engage him efforts to want to quit thus making Arsenal uncomfortably caught in the mild is a farce. But, such transfer issues are not new, nor shall stop when authorities fail to use or change rules to support teams being the attention of the persistent verbose of management and players from the other teams. Is Cesc worth 50 million plus to us, Yes. But, Cesc is not worth 50 million to Barca where they have a squad rich in technical skill and talented players. The latetr, is the sole reason there won’t be a Cesc sale, Barca believe their rights to a player are above repoach and Arsenal are just be childish, but bullies usually believe there own diatribes.

    In Arsene I trust, I know not all agree this maxim. There is a bright future ahead of Arsenal but lets not be churlish, some changes are needed.

  76. Miami – I agree with all of that.

    As it goes I think we will see 3 arrive, and the same amount leave.

  77. Miami Arsenal

    Damn, I need some coffee

  78. I rate diaby very highly. i find only myself sometimes, on other blogs supporting him.

    however what i can’t take, is someone saying wenger would be crazy to sell diaby.

    what exactly has he done to warrant this support.

    he has gotten more out of arsenal, than we have gotten out of him.

    he is an extremely frustrating player, with abundance of talents that flatters to deceive.

    if diaby leaves today, what memories does he leave behind, what legacy has he left behind?

    i have two- that beautiful headed own goal he scored against manchester united

    and being 4- 0 up against newcastle- he conspired to get sent off- the rest you know is history.

    so before we make statements like wenger would be crazy to sell diaby, let’s think over it.

  79. Miami Arsenal

    Thanks Gooner, I should have proof read it before sending but I am just up and tired

  80. Miami Arsenal

    I always feel that Diaby has the size and strength of a holding midfielder but his natural game always propels him more forward. I agree he has flatter to decieve at times, but he still has the talent to contribute. That said, I’m one of those people that would still like to see Inler at Arsenal 🙂

  81. Miami Arsenal

    *flattered

  82. Heh, I must admit I never proof read my posts. And as I am doing them fairly quickly (at work) they are littered with spelling errors.

  83. Miami Arsenal | June 24, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    “Why is it that dissenting voices are always labelled whingers? I appreciate that we are not all going to agree but we don’t live in a totalitarian state where everyone is required to tow the party line. ”

    Welcome to the ACLF comments section. Like I said yesterday, the totalitarian aspect has been mellowed down a great deal from what it once was, so enjoy it while it lasts.

    Re: Cesc, I am 100% sure we won’t sell him. Agree that a 3person turn over would be dandy, and is hardly an unreasonable expectation, especially given our dealings in past summers. What may change maybe the fact that we will look for to the PL for signings than in previous seasons.

  84. YW

    Excellent post. The last paragraph says it all and I could not agree more. the defense clearly needs change. I agree with with markus and geo that our players are decent as individuals but as a unit they have clearly not been good enough. They had a short run of good form that fooled me but in the end there is no way to get around the fact that we conceded far to many goals again. For 3 years now we have said “next yr will be different and each year it’s the same. The players are begging for some changes and some new faces.

    The squad has a strange mix of complacency and self doubt. The 2 should be mutually exclusive. I think the former was evident in several games while the latter reared it’s ugly head in games such as the cc final and the FA cup loss and the whole Last 1/3 of the season. I think the self doubt is related to the cumulative trauma of the last several years. Last season only served to heighten that self doubt. The complacency is even more frustrating.

    Either of these mental issues are enough to derail a team no matter how technically talented the individual players may be The squad needs a shake up or we are at serious risk of going down in history as another example of unfulfilled potential. Hopefully moving out several squad players will convince the rest that complacent play will no longer be tolerated and adding several good new players will give them a reason to feel confident that this year will finally be different.

  85. Miami Arsenal

    Hen, I tend to agree. I’m thinking that Prem ready players would be a great change in Arsenal’s approach to the transfer window this year. That said, it’ll be pricey.

  86. Beware the opinion’s portrayed as fact.

    Mainly because they really annoy me.

  87. Gadget – Agree with that.

  88. Whingers is the right word, dissenters are something else, they back their critical arguments with something approximating forethought and balance.

    Anyone reading most of these comments would think Arsenal is a club on the very verge of disaster, demotion surely, or some kind of implosion, forgetting the actual history of the club, or it’s fine achievements and contribution to football, including those of the last 6 seasons. We have an outstanding team already, we forget. A lot of you talk like 14 consecutive seasons in CL is nothing to be proud of. 12 seasons in the top 3 in EPL (5 or 6 as winners or runners up) and two in the top 4 is ‘nothing really’. Building a new stadium. Pah! What’s that. 49 game unbeaten run, who cares? Really where is people’s pride in their club?

    Nurturing players from a young or very young age like Cesc, Song, Wilshere, Diaby, Theo, RvP, Gibbs, Djourou, Vela, Bendtner, Denilson, Frimpong, Ramsey, Chewie, Fabianski, Nasri, to actually be able to take on the might of Chelsea, Manu, Liverpool and Man City’s buying power as well as the best of Europe (not to mention the emerging players too numerous to mention) you think this is nothing to be proud of.

    It’s the spoilt brat element of Arsenal that makes fans of other lower clubs think Arsenal is just a bunch of crap.

    If you don’t like the look of the last 14 seasons, get out your Arsenal compendiums and compare the results of the previous 14.

    Honestly, it’s pitiful.

  89. Almost as annoying is fact portrayed as opinion.

  90. Geo – Also very true.

  91. Again, agree with ZimPaul. Well said.

  92. The players from the firs team who could move out include bendtner denilson almunia rosicky squillaci eboue possibly diaby. There are a huge number of academy players who are unlikely to ever make a significant contribution such as watt sunu eastmond etc etc etc who should be given a chance to make a career. You can’t add players to the squad without subtraction. I think we need 1 cb at least possibly 2 if tv is moved to LB. Inler or feleiani to compete with and rotate with song and cover during acn and hopefully 2 attacking players who are a legitimate threat to the current first 11.

  93. Great post, ZP. Sums it up I think.

  94. Bill – I think that’s too much change there, huge instability in the dressing room and less clickage on the pitch. The less disruption the better… Also, see the above comments re Rosicky, Diaby and Eboue, they should definitely stay (imo of course..!)

  95. Bill: “I agree with with markus and geo that our players are decent as individuals but as a unit they have clearly not been good enough.”

    Goddammit, Bill don’t agree with me on something I didn’t even say.

  96. Bill – Yeah me too…!

  97. I think that may go for the players too. I’ll get on twitter and ask Jack

  98. Miami Arsenal

    ZP, I agree with much of what you say. There have been a number of achievements for this great club in recent years, not least of which was the unbeaten season which will robably never be repeated. That said, are we all consensus then that the Arsenal are fine and progressing as anticipated? I am not at the level where I think the sky is falling, but at what point do you think that button could be pushed? If this season Arsenal finish outside the the top 4 and no CL is available, are the dissenters then entitled to ask the questions they moot on the investment in the club? I am playing the devils advocate here, because there is no one right argument. I don’t think it is unreasonable for people to ask questions, especially given the lack of recent successes in any competition. We can quote the last 14 years and as stated above there have been great achievement but in the last 6 there is an arugment (strong or weak) that Arsenal have not pushed on to consistently push for the title. It is hard to argue that all is great when Arsene has been quoted as sayin that maybe his philosopy needs tweaking?

    Anyway, just a thought and far from being a whinger!

  99. Agreed Bill. There are alot of very average players earning big money (which is why they love the club) who should be moved on. The problem being their wages

  100. Thanks for the post, YW.
    Another way around the organisation issue is to change our GK. I feel that Fabianski is still number 1, and Fabianski is a better organiser than Chesney.
    The three top defenders that we have are better than almost anyone else in the PL, so if we can’t get who we want as a defender, that might be a different way to achieve our objective.

    @ Markus
    Regarding our priorities re CC and FA Cup. There was some rotation and it was unpopular in some quarters. AW was going to use the “second team” for the domestic cups, responding to fan pressure from previous years. But because the second team was struggling, he put out even stronger teams. So in practice what we ended up doing was playing too many of the first-choice players in the cups. We stayed in all four competitions but the cost was the number of games we had to play and fatigue/injury to the in-form first-choice players. So, much as I love the CC, I agree with you – I would rather play the kids and the fringe players in the CC and just see how we get on.

    @ Miami Arsenal
    People who whinge are labelled whingers.
    Selling/letting go of a few and buying a few is what we do every year. Why is this seen as a huge change of direction?

    @ AIC
    What is intrinsically wrong with buying a player cheaply? Would ManUre have been wrong to buy Nasri for £8 million if they could have got him? Woudl AA have been a better player if we’d paid more than £15 million for him? Is David Villa better than AA (a player that you wanted us to sell RvP to make room for?) because he cost £27 million? We have to work to a budget, that is a fact that will not change. We cannot afford a transfer fee of £30 million PLUS the concomitant wages. The players whose price tags are £20-30 million are not better than the players who we buy for £10-15 million. There is a tiny number of players who really are worth £30 million or more in terms of the difference they could make to a top team, and we cannot afford to buy them ready-made – so we try to buy them before they mature and we have developed two of them in our squad. There could be others – Wilshere, for example.
    Please list the players who we could have bought as first choice players in the last three years, who fulfil these criteria:
    – they would have cost the same as we spent on other players
    – they were available – ie were bought by other teams or were definitely for sale
    – they wanted to come to Arsenal
    – they would have fit into our system
    – they are better than the player you wanted them to replace
    And why you think they would have made a crucial difference.

    Why so sceptical about players not being available? Cesc is not for sale. RvP is not for sale. Chelsea wanted to buy Gomez in January but he was not for sale – and we can be sure that the Chavs would have plonked a lot of money on the table. It happens to everyone, not just us.
    The players that everyone loves are Wenger acqusitions just as much as the players some people don’t like. Remember that. And remember that you do not have any experience of football transfers before you pronouce on what is and is not possible.

    @ ZimPaul
    Agree with that. Spoilt brats covers it.

  101. @ Miami Arsenal
    Can you describe what you would call investment in the team?

  102. Miami Arsenal, are you thick or what? Obviously you can’t see or hear a whinger because you are so smug in your tolerance for bull-shit. Man-up and call a spade a spade. The utter negativity and stupidity of AIC’s gloom-mongering adds the sum total of zero to any debate on this board. Geo and Markhus at least tried to ignore the trolls and have a constructive dialogue. Obviously this was too much for our resident scholar in stupidity and negativity. Fark me, Miami Arsenal. Is this an Arsenal blog or another of those sensationalist, media inspired sites who are continually muck-raking in their craving for hits? If not, then the rank stupidity of AIC and his ilk must be exposed and ridiculed for what it is.
    I wondered about your motivations after reading your feeble-minded crap earlier this week, when you deputized for YW. But your giving credence to the likes of AIC simply left me in no doubt.

  103. great post YW. My Arsenal history can be rather lacking (yes, laugh at the silly American), so I was quite on the edge of the seat anticipating the similarities between our collapse this year and the apparently tragic failures of 87/88. Thanks for taking the time out of your holidays.

  104. Miami Arsenal

    Shotta, I feel sorry for you, I do. I don’t care whether your preceive me as smug or a cunt or whatever you wish to justify your diatribe. You complain about other people yet profess to know so much as to assume everyone you disagree with is wrong. That infallibility must be a wonderful padded cell.

  105. Miami Arsenal

    Shotta, did you ever ask why Yogi didn’t ask you to guest post anything?

  106. Miami Arsenal

    Fun, I describe investment as investment. Arsenal’s policy has been the import of youth players they determine have the promise to be stars of the future. Arsenal, are not a team that spends with abandon, but likewise Arsenal shy away from big money signings. Arsenal has produced some wonderful players, they have also produced some less than quality players. I stand by my view that looking to strengthen with EPL ready/experiences players would be a departure from the status quo.

  107. Geesh, Shotta calm down FFS!

  108. ZIMPAUL

    There is nothing as annoying as someone claiming to be more of a fan than another- just because the other is wise enough to realize that something isn’t quite right.

    your quote-

    “Nurturing players from a young or very young age like Cesc, Song, Wilshere, Diaby, Theo, RvP, Gibbs, Djourou, Vela, Bendtner, Denilson, Frimpong, Ramsey, Chewie, Fabianski, Nasri, to actually be able to take on the might of Chelsea, Manu, Liverpool and Man City’s buying power as well as the best of Europe (not to mention the emerging players too numerous to mention) you think this is nothing to be proud of”

    and what is this trophy called- when has the ability for grooming players substituted winning.

    like i said you live in a cubicle.

    Are we the only club to nurture players- should i begin to list them?

    i dont just get where you ” very intelligent” lot are coming from- what point are you guys actually making- I’ve made mine clear.

    These ability to compete to clubs with bigger spending power, most of you sing about all the time- is becoming very a broken record. Are these constraints self imposed or a result of lack of funds.

    I think being in the champions league every year, is a remarkable feat – but the constraints that make this feat look remarkable – are self imposed.

    finally it boils down to what most of you consider as success.

    apparently guys like geo and zin are ok with the status qou- and even go as far blame other fans for thinking otherwise.

  109. . “Building a new stadium. Pah! What’s that. 49 game unbeaten run, who cares? Really where is people’s pride in their club?”

    obviously most people care – and you are not one of em.

    united just won the league- and fergie’s going about the transfer market like they almost got relegated last season- and here you are quoiting the unbeaten run.

    where is your ambition?

  110. Miami Arsenal

    Boozy, I believe in context, his comments were more for the fact that it shouldn’t all be preceived as doom and gloom.

  111. Markus geo.

    That sentence did not come out the way it should have. I agree that with you that as individual players our defeners are good players. The rest was my opinion. Sorry need to proof read better.
    Zimpaul. What in the world is wrong with having high expectations. You and fungunner and many others have been saying for 3 years that we have the best squad in the league and the best manager in history. Why not expect them to play like that and why be happy with 4th place. We are not a mid table team and to ask us to have the same expectations as the teams below us in the league is totally disingenuous.

  112. BOOZY, to certain extent the constraints on the club are self-imposed, but all the same I wouldn’t back a change in approach which would see us spending the kind of suicidal transfer fees we’ve seen in the last few years. The market has been well and truly warped by Real Madrid, Man City and Barca.

    Maybe it’s because they want to spend as much as possible while the rules still permit it, I don’t know. All I know is that we’re probably better off being in a position were we don’t HAVE to dabble in that madness.

  113. george rodger

    goonerandy,
    why, when you are clearly able to think for yourself,and forward reasonable arguments ,as you have today,do you allow yourself to be seen as allied to dumb shit like Jabba ?
    You consistently have reasoned opinions(most of which i disagree with )and can justify your stance.
    I am sure you dont give a fuck about what I think of you ,but I like your contributions and despair at you not setting yourself apart from such dross.
    Your post @ 12:52 was excellent

  114. Alex Ice Cream

    Shotta,

    The problem with my stupidity is that I have been right so often.

  115. i agree with the comment about fergy buying. when they got beat, sorry battered by barca fergy said the bar had been raised and now they had to improve. My personal opinion re the players we have been mentioned with is that most are not good enough for the first team, i speak about samba, jag, leaighton bains is another, these are good decent honest players but for Arsenal or the Arsenal i want us to become, The Arsenal that wenger told us we would become and i quote, the dominant force in world football, show me a team with the players we have been linked with and think of world dominance, it dont fit. As stupid as this will now sound because we have lowered our expectations, i would like us to bid for xavi or innesta, f it why not messi, ok we cant afford him but we can one of the others but no lets bring through coquolan or frinmppong or …… we are the efin Arsenal not everton or the like, no disrespect to others opinions intended but i want the best for my club not the adiquate

  116. Good afternoon everyone,

    Another sensible debate, posted by Yogi but once again, the usual arguement between the doomers and the more sensible supporters.

    I had a day off from all blogs yesterday, nursing a hangover but back today.

    Just a small note to Ateeb and Finsbury:

    Ateeb, I felt very insulted yesterday when you commented that someone who has supported Arsenal since 2006 was more of a supporter than someone who has supported the team since the 1960’s. I believe that all supporters have to start somewhere, if that is 1960 or 2006, I don4t give a shit, they are supporters who will carry on the tradition, you and others who have just started supporting the team will still be supporting the team in 2046, long after I am brown bread!

    Finsbury, my comments about Otley House were meant as a joke, my mum lived there from 1971 until she died in 2008.

    As to Yogis post and looking to the past, I would agree, Wenger needs to examine how George Graham came into the team and created a defensive system that was practically inpenetrable, Wenger knows his football but in defence he is perhaps slightly lacking.

    The Gunners just need a tweak in defence, perhaps another striker and they will be championship material.

    My only gripe at the moment is the backroom staff, I still believe that Pat Rice is not the No 2 thatr is best for Wenger. The other dat Ateeb tried to crucify me for suggesting that Pat Rice leaves now, I haven’t changed my opinion.

  117. Alex Ice Cream

    Fun,

    There is nothing wrong with buying players cheaply. I wondered why this was mentioned as a requirement that’s all. The inference being that we won’t spend the money necessary to get a replacement of the requisite quality. As for the “not available” reason it can be used as a smokescreen or could be translated as not available for the price that was being offered. Sometimes you have to pay more to get what you want.

    Oh and I didn’t want RvP sold to accommodate Arshavin. I wanted him moved so that AA could play the number 10 role that he has played all his life. VP could have been played upfront on on the wings to accommodate AA.

    Well remembered though!

  118. miami i dont see doom- i believe even if we dont sign a single player, but are able to keep our important players, we would still qualify for the champions league- and we would manage to stay competitive.

    markus – i’m not saying we should put in a bid for tevez or messi.

    every time forbes or delloite releases their rich club list- we are always up there- but when we get into the transfer season- we start behaving like stoke city- its not fair on some of you fans in engand that pay ticket fees.

    hell, if i was a season ticket holder in england, my mood would be way worse than this.

  119. George – Cheers for fair view, tis appriciated.

    To be honest, I don’t ally or distance myself from anybody on here. If somebody makes a particular post I agree or disagree with I will so so, despite who the poster is. I know AIC (for example) is not everybodies cup of tea and many believe he is a troll. Personally I could not say, or care. But because he has this reputation anythng he does say gets jumped on. I have actually seen him make some very valid points, but because of who he is gets ignored.

    I am not into board politics and cliques. If I agree with a point, I agree with it. The posters identity does not matter on jot. Bill is another who gets plenty of grief on here, but more often than not justifies his opinion very well. I may be right, it may not. It is only his opinion. Ironically, the ones who are the quickets to jump on other people’s posts very rarely post anything of substance anyway.

  120. Northbank – I did not see your posts about Pat Rice the other day, so cannot really comment. But to be fair, none of us on here actually knows what goes on behind closed doors so can’t really comment on Pat Rice’s role and relationship with the manager.

  121. Goonerwife you said it well. A whole lot of killjoys. Who do you d**mers suggest we get to replace Eboue, Rosicky and Diaby? Mind you this was the same Eboue who rampaged up and down the right flank on that memorable night against cuntalona.

  122. Just a post for you Northbank:

    ‘Respect, And How It Is Earned’
    http://goonerholic.com/?p=3718

    “I’m just a little tired of people who don’t know the first thing about what goes on at the club taking cheap shots at a dignified man who won’t fire back.
    His record stands up to any scrutiny.”

    In case that was not clear: Pat Rice’s record stands up to any scrunity.

  123. William – All three are replaceable as they are hardly integral squad members. We should always be looking to upgrade in every position. I like Eboue, but one season aside he has had more cock ups and bad games than we would like. Hence why he is the reserve right back.

  124. @ Miami Arsenal

    Arsenal’s policy is dictated by our finances (the cost of building a new stadium) and our business model. We have nowhere to go if we fall into unsustainable debt. Our policy is NOT the import of youth players. It is the import of youth players, PLUS the use of the best of the academy players PLUS the purchase of ready-made mostly from abroad who are either experienced or just coming into their peak. Last summer I dont think we even bought any youth players for the first team. But we promoted Wilshere and Frimpong (academy), bought Koscielny (ready made and approaching peak) and Squillaci (ready-made and experienced).

    We do shy away from big-money signings, mostly because we cannot afford them, or we can get the same quality for less money. That’s why we tend not to buy PL players – they are over-priced. However, Wenger will go for them if we are desperate or it’s a good deal – eg William Gallas as part of the A Hole transfer. Or his bid for Samba last January. (Samba was persuaded to stay at Blackburn, I am told.) I would also remind you that of the best players we have, most are players we bought as kids or young players and developed (eg Cesc, RvP, Wilshere, Ramsey) or good-value signings (eg TV, Nasri).

    When you buy young players or kids, you take the risk that some will not fulfil their potential. This is the disadvantage. However, we can keep those that do come good and sell or release those that do not. And now that our financial constraints have eased somewhat, we are not forced to use them. It’s win-win. If we bet the farm on big-money signings, we would not get any better value and we would risk our financial status. So why do it? Are big-money signings the only signings worth making? Why does the cost of a player matter to you anyway? Isn’t his ability the important thing?

  125. Hello George, Chris. How are yall feeling today? I am going to try my best to withstand from arguing with the doom crew today.

  126. Goonerandy you say that Diaby, Rosicky and Eboue are replacable. By whom may I ask? Do we look internally or bust out the checkbook?

  127. This whole “big money” signing argument is a bit of a paradox. Thos ethat say we should not just aimlessy spend large sums of cash are of course 100% correct. Quality and the ability to merge into our set up are the things that matter when buynig players. It just so happens that 90% of the players that fit into this category are fairly pricy.

  128. george rodger

    For anyone who does not know if you click on poster “northbank”you will be shown some really cool art work.
    Hope you dont mind me giving you a plug mate ,but you should be seen.

  129. Andy@ 3:49

    Spot on

    George. We are debating our opinions about football not attempting attempting to form cliques or win popularity contests I have always thought the name calling just takes away from reasonable discussion about football.

  130. William – Well that is the key question isn’t it? Do we replace them with other squad players (maybe promote from within), or do we use the vacated space to bring somebody in to challenge another member of the 1st 11 for their place?

    Are we ambitious and want to improve, or, do we think that our 1st 11 is good enough and get in more squad players. We are a big club, in fact a huge club. To challenge for the lge I think we need better quality in some area’s. Personally if we let either of Rosicky or Diaby (who I don’t think will be leaving) I would like us to get in a player to challenge Song for his starting berth. At the moment he does not have competition for his role, and could easily play in his comfort zone.

  131. george rodger

    Bill,I know, but thanks for the heads up.
    As I said Andy,and you ,debate,others just do something entirely different.
    Are you being obtuse?The name calling seems to be reserved for those without any “reasonable discussion”in their armory.

  132. Hmm Bill try considering this as a reasonable discussion, a post from our very own BOOZY.

    “if diaby leaves today, what memories does he leave behind, what legacy has he left behind?

    i have two- that beautiful headed own goal he scored against manchester united

    and being 4- 0 up against newcastle- he conspired to get sent off- the rest you know is history.”

    To me that seems less likes a discussion and more like some random internet guy pointing out two mistakes Diaby has made in his entire career. Here is my response to you Mr. Boozy and selective Diaby memory.

  133. george rodger

    Hello William.

  134. Nice post as always Yogi 🙂 but if the difference is simply a tweak at CB then surely that tweak will be a fit again Thomas Vermaelen. Djourou and Koschelny for the most part played very well last season, whilst I admit Squillachi was not quite up to scratch. Personally I think it is more of a goal-keeping question than a CB one but I can understand questions being asked about the CB’s. You mention we are well covered at the Right and Left back position but that is where I really disagree. Yes we have Gibbs and Eboue but the former seems to be more fragile than RVP’s ankles at the best of times, whilst the latter has the annoying habit of either falling over whenever someone looks at him too hard or simply forgetting he is a defender at times and being caught way out of position. I know that sounds harsh and in fact I do like Eboue but any time I see his name on the team sheet I am always forced to admit that he is our weakest link. I think our season would have been better if Fabianski had stayed healthy as he was really playing well but we will never know. Either way I would have Samba over Cahill any day, if only for the sheer size of the man 🙂

  135. George – And quite the ironic thing is this; I have no doubt that many on here put me firmly in the “doomer” camp. The truth is that I am anything but this. I am optomistic as any Arsenal fan you will meet, and genrally see the world through Arsenal coloured specs. Where I do draw the line though is ignoring what is right in front of my eyes, even if it is a negative aspect of the team/club.

    Self insight and assesment is the way to improvement. Looking to constantly blame others and shouldering no responsibility is a sure fire way to failure. I am not saying the team do this by the way, but this seems to be the mindset of some posters on here (and elswhere I would imagine). The Newcastle result to almost the perfect example of this.

    AIC quoted the other day “winners overcome adversity, losers wallow in it” is so, so, true. Obvisouly nobody commented on this, as it was AIC who had posted it.

  136. @Andy 4:06.

    I don’t think Diaby or Rosicky will be leaving either, and will be happy if they stay. The holding midfield situation is a little bit tricky. I don’t believe Song was suffering from a lack of competition, that man is a rock in the midfield. We all know that the Frimpster is waiting in the ranks to join up with the squad, but with that we have another unproven youngster who could pull a LJW and kick major arse, or make a few un-impressive appearances and get sent out on loan.

  137. whether anyone believes it or not- arsenal can spend 50 mil comfortably every other summer and not go into liquidation like most would want us to believe.

    barcelona’s debts is estimated at 400 mil
    united’s debt are estimated at 600 mil

    yet they have not lost sight of what a football club is all about.

    barca just won almost everything winnable yet they are making bids for luxury players like sanchez, rossi and fabregas.

    we haven’nt won anything in a while, and we are diddling over signing defenders we really need.

    next thing i’ll hear is that manchester united and barca would soon be wound up, because they dont run a sustainable model.

    why are we buying into all this crap.

  138. george rodger

    We should sell Diaby and buy a player who can add something a bit different to our midfield.Perhaps a player who is tall and powerful,can run with the ball and keep possession in tight spaces,an eye for a pass and a genuine goal threat.A player who will add balance to the team.
    Someone like that Diaby fellow ,maybe?

  139. William – Yup, and I suppose that is exactly my point. If Song for a prolonged period were to get injured, who would step in? Sure we have players who could “do a job”, but should Arsenal Football Club having players to “do a job”. We are a top club, and should have top players.

    Frimpong played well in a couple of pre-season friendlies. That is it, and as good as he might turn out to be, we really should not be looking to him as the answer (at this stage).

  140. BOOZY in any other place in the world, running a brand or company or football club (take your pick) at a loss of 400 millions means you file for bankruptcy. In the football world all your need is a metal cup and the 400 million units you owe get washed away.

  141. william i’m not even going to argue about diaby.

    you can post a million you tube posts- but i’ve not missed many arsenal games in a very long time- and i know what i see week in week out.

    justifying diaby i laughable really.

    however i hope he comes good and fulfills his potential.

  142. George – If Diaby could stay fit, he would be ideal. But he can’t. We can only carry him for so long. I said eariler, that I think this is make or break season for him at Arsenal. Hopefully he will get a good injury free run in the side.

  143. george rodger

    But William ,What does it matter if Arsenal are £500 million in debt?
    Its not our money is it?
    As long as we can laugh at other fans who have not won a tin cup .Thats what matters,
    Six years since we won a tin cup!!!!! 6 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    No other club in history has ever gone this long,Its a scandal.

  144. @ AIC
    Oh and I didn’t want RvP sold to accommodate Arshavin. I wanted him moved so that AA could play the number 10 role that he has played all his life. VP could have been played upfront on on the wings to accommodate AA.

    You said that AA and Robin could not play in the same team and that Robin should go because AA was better and Robin was injury prone and would never fulfil his promise.. I am not the only one who remembers this.

    There is nothing wrong with buying players cheaply. I wondered why this was mentioned as a requirement that’s all.
    It’s not a requirement to buy them cheaply. It’s a requirement to buy them for what we can afford, given that wages and transfer fees come out of the same pot. If we can get them for a snip, even better, as it give us more room for maneouvre when we are (for example) trying to reward the performance or extend the contract of another player.

    The inference being that we won’t spend the money necessary to get a replacement of the requisite quality. As for the “not available” reason it can be used as a smokescreen or could be translated as not available for the price that was being offered. Sometimes you have to pay more to get what you want.
    We only won’t spend the money if we don’t have it or we can’t get who we want. Can you give me an example of us replacing a good player with a worse one because he is cheaper? And to all intents and purposes, “not available for the price we want” is the same as “not available”. Do you not live in a £5 million flat like Cesc does because you don’t “want” the price? No, it’s because you haven’t got the money. Underlying your anger is the stubborn but mistaken assumption that price is directly correlated with value and that it is not possible to get a good player unless you pay more than we usually pay. Do you not think Nasri and TV are good players?
    Unless you go to players at Messi’s or Xavi’s level, you’re not going to get anyone who is significantly better than our first-choice players, even if they cost twice as much. It is not worth running a deficit or going into debt or even compromisng our ability to satisfy the demands of our other players, or passing up on a fantastic youth prospect, to get someone who isn’t significantly better than what we have.

  145. george rodger

    “you can post a million you tube posts- but i’ve not missed many arsenal games in a very long time- and i know what i see week in week out.”

    Bullshit.If he could play “week in week out” he would be superb.The problem is he does not.And your are therefore taking utter crap.

  146. @ Bill and goonerandy
    Do you believe it is impossible for us to buy quality without paying top prices?
    And what is your definition of “pricey” – can you give me a price range, broken down by position – GK, DF, MF, F?
    Thanks.

    @ george rodger
    You put your finger on something there!

  147. Okay Boozy we don’t need to argue about Diaby anymore.

    George. 6 years is too long to go without a trophy!! Look at Liverpool, they have won plenty of silverware…in the past 30 years… But hey they like to spend excessive money on English players so good for them, eh?

  148. Fun – Of course it is possible to get good players and cheaper prices, but it is difficult obvisouly. It really is not as simple as what you ask though is it?. And as I have already said, nobody is asking for stupid money to be spent.

    I think our main issue with the squad, is that we have good players, of that there is no doubt. But we don’t have a good mix of players. We have lots of players who are very similar. That is why it is not as black and white as (for example) letting Rosicky go, and then getting a better play. The squad would maybe be improved if we got a differnt type of player to him. Just using him as an example you understand.

    We quite often oprtate in the £8M to £15 bracket. That is fine, and also sensible by todays markets standards. That said, if we have identified a player who Arsene thinks would significantly improve the side, there sometimes we should go that extra mile. We bid for Xabi alonso a few years ago, but the deal fell throuhg over an amount close to £2M (apprently). If that is true, then that is a good exaple of maybe where we should have just bit the bullet and paid that little bit extra.

  149. @finsbury at 3.45pm

    you said “just a psot for Northbank”

    Yes it was a good post about Pat Rice and his history with Arsenal, I never ever said I disrepected the man, he is dignified and Arsenal through and through, I have never said anything otherwise.I watched him during the late sixties and early seventies.

    However, I don’t believe he is the No 2 for Arsenal and Arsene.
    Show me loads of videos when he played for the team great, super defender and attacking defender,
    Finsbury, Show me one video of him in the dugout giving guidence to the team when they are dropping there heads and losing motivation and at the same time Wenger has his head in his hands? Show me that video and I may change my opinion.

    @georgerodger at 4.03pm today

    Thanks for that george, and I hope it proves I am not a troll, because it has my details and my artwork.
    *
    @william

    was that chrisgooner or chrisnoprthbank??????

  150. Anyway, I am off. Going to watch bob Dylan in Hamburg this weekend so better get packing.

    Laters.

  151. Alex Ice Cream

    Fun,

    If I did say that about RVp, I was wrong!

    I don’t believe you need to go to Messi levels to improve what we have. Phil Jones at 5m is better than Squillacci, Tiote at 3m is better than Denilson (and Diaby apart from the 2 games a season when he’s good), Chicharito at 6m is better than Bendtner (and Chamakh), most keepers are better than Almunia, Friedel, Schwarzer at a couple of mil are better and those are just off the top of my head.

    We replaced Ade(!) with Chamakh who was cheaper and so far, worse (but I think he’ll improve). We tried to replace Gilberto and Vieira with Diaby and Denilson but this was not the point I was making.

    Why don’t we have the money? Let’s not mention the cr@p commercial deals, the punt in the property market that yielded far less profit than expected, the 111m a year wage bill which includes the wages of so many average players, the lack of an overseas marketing strategy that has left us behind our rivals, and the lack of trophies in the last 6 years.

    On the contrary I don’t think that higher price equals value but we do not spend enough to be winners. With the way things are going it seems unlikely that the self-sustaining model will ever generate enough cash for us to challenge the others. Dein knew this which is why he was opposed to the Emirates.

  152. That was for you, Chris/northbank. Has your body recovered from that long night of drinking?

  153. i think one wenger greastest qualities is his patience.

    but its also one of his biggest weakness.
    united has some of its own diabys like obertan and bebe- bags of talent but failure to apply- we hardly see them close to the first team.

    diaby isn’t half the player nani and berbatov are, yet the highest goal scorer in the lg, is not sure of being in the club next season- despite having one of the best stat in the lg, nani was relegated to the bench at the close of the season.
    if he doesnt improve he
    http://OfflinePage

  154. @Irishgray
    Yay! Nice to see you back. Totally agree with the first half of your post.

  155. our boss likes to keep his cards close to his vest…..and that is how you should run your business. I hope he continues to send the media up blind alleys……and surprises all of us.

    Everyone is entitled to their own evaluation of players, but no one can convince me that Clichy,Bendtner, Diaby, Rosicky, or Eboue need to be sold because of ‘lack of contribution’ to the club.

    If you are going to crucify Eboue for the clumsy and stupid penalty foul in the Liverpool match……then lets keep harping on Cesc’s backheel in the Barca match. Other than this lapse in concentration, Eboue contributed nicely as a role player this past season.

    re: Bendtner
    I continually hear the parroting of ‘I don’t like his arrogance’ & the infamous ‘he has a lousy first touch’. I prefer being around people that are confident and positive.

    When Bendtner is playing – you see him defending in our defensive third and on the wing doing his best to contribute to the attack. (one of Arsenal’s best passer’s and crossers)

    This kid just turned 23 and when he was sent on to play, gave credible performances. I hope our manager can persuade Bendtner and Clichy to show some patience with the club. (I talked about Clichy’s value in recent posts).

    re: Tomas
    30 years old and can still beat opponents with the ball – as good a passer / crosser of the ball as anyone (ANYONE) on our club and vital we keep his leadership and experience.

    some keep parroting he’s past his prime. check out his attacking stats for 2010-11……for a player that played approximated 1/3 the minutes as Jack Wilshere (in league play)….he scored the same # of goals and had more assists.

    http://mr-renoog-videos.blogspot.com/2010/09/arsenal-attacking-statistics-20102011.html

    Diaby,
    yes – he’s had far too many injuries and this past season we saw him lose his cool in the Newcastle match……but at 24 he is coming into his prime and now is not the time to give up on this talent.

    YW – thanks for another fine appropriate post.

  156. Miami Arsenal

    Fun, youth development has been the forefront of our ambitions for future success with affordable quality from foreign shores. It had been a success for a few years, reaping rewards with titles and trophies. I do think it has not been that successful in the last handful of years.

    Arsenal’s acquisiton of the new site for the stadium and the costs associated with it were always going to have a material impact on the team. I think we all as supporters had an understanding of that point. It was, as you stated a self imposed financial structure to accomodate the balance of debt against ambition. I personally think the board did a great job what with the financial meltdown that occurred, after the move. In fact Arsenal’s conservative approach put them in a strong position financially when compared to United. We will benefit from increased revenue on renewed stadium contracts and shirt deals.

    Correct me if I have this wrong, but Arsenal’s pre tax profits last term were approximately 52 million pounds. I believe that Arsenal have also reduced there net debt last year by around 132 million to 218 million which is only against the stadium, having until 2031 to settle that debt at an interest payment of 18 million per annum. I stated in earlier posts that Arsenal are a model for the footballing world when it comes to balancing finance and ambition. I personally think that given those low interests payments we should be a little less circumspect in paying monies for targets. I am not advocating wholesale Man City or Chelsea numbers. What I am saying is that if Arsene does engage in transfers from within the EPL they are not going to come as cheaply as we would like.

  157. YW ~~ thanks for the post while your on holiday it is much appreciated.

    Could you look into a way of only opening comments you want to read (keeping the dross closed). I think that would save me wasting half my day reading rubbish.

  158. Don’t know if this is true – but this would be our 2nd signing. Goal.com article, so I’m a bit
    suspicious.

    Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has claimed that Ricardo Alvarez has signed for Arsenal.

  159. Miami Arsenal

    Arsesession, I think you make valid points for all those players. I also think that Bendter’s seeming entitlement to start and constant press releases will spell his doom. His Mr 20% (Dad) doesn’t help and probably only exacerbates the situation.

  160. William @4.53pm

    Body just about recovered, but at my age it does take longer.
    Although in my head I am still 18 yrs old, my body tells me differently. LOL

    This was the arguement I was having with Ateeb the other day, I may be an ageing old cunt, but in my head, I’m a fucking pisstaking, wind up, fighting, die hard, long term, northbank hooligan……………. have never changed.

    The internet has changed the discussion element of being a football supporter, but when I was young and going to Highbury, the only supporters I knew were at the game or in the pub. I wasn,t aware of the worldwide fanbase of the Arsenal at the time, it,s only recently that I have realised that fans exist in the states, Singapore, China, Australia, South Africa and in India, like Ateeb! and anywhere else in the world before someone jumps on me for forgetting somewhere………….. Carib for example.

    I,m a Arsenal fan, 100%, no different to Pat Rice.

    I would like to see some of these posters work for a top class team like the Arsenal and win trophies……………….. lets see if they can wait, as supporters, 15 years to win a trophy?

  161. Alex, very critical of a Striker who strolled into the Premier League and carried us to league-topping form in the first few months as if he’d been playing with us for years.

    Chamakh is a huge talent.

  162. @Markus

    I agree totally, Chamakh has great potential and I hope he stays;

  163. “Although in my head I am still 18 yrs old, my body tells me differently. LOL” That is how it should be Chris!

    Chamakh is a joy to watch. Some call for him to be more aggressive, and I agree that he should strap up his shooting boots and have a go every once in a while. On the other hand, if our supporting players are willing to make runs up the pitch, you best believe the Chamakh will lay the ball nicely at their feet.

  164. silver gunner

    Chamakh is excellent however neither clichy or sagna as attacking fullbacks consistently provide the kind of crosses that he thrives on and the way we play it is often these guys and not our “wingers that provide width” so unless we improve our crossing from wide I doubt we will see the best from him.

    I have to say this post was quality YW loved it remember when we were know as boring boring arsenal but didn’t care….. Good times man….

    I am hearing a rumour that we have signed Ricardo Alvarez if so any one know anything about him?

  165. silver gunner

    Arsesession I too agree that Bendtner could add some value to the team the problem is at the moment he can only at best hope for sqaud team place not the 1st team birth he probably thinks he deserves because he is not a right winger and will only ever get a chance upfront if RVP is injured or as a sub perhaps if we move back to a 4-4-2 he might get more action but i can see either although I would like to see 4-4-2 adopted at home we could have been much closer had our home form been better last term anyhow I love this blog both the

    Wenger lovers and and the wenger haters and those in-between have much to contribute for some amusing and sometimes insightful reading.

  166. @ Miami Arsenal
    Thanks for the reminder about Mr. 20%. Agents are an issue for some players.

    I’m not so sure Bendtner feels entitled to start.

    After watching Arsenal matches in January thru April……and seeing the shallow performances of Theo and Nasri……can’t blame Bendtner for being upset at not seeing more playing time.

    How many matches did we witness the team struggle to move the ball effectively down the middle (during the first half)? ……then in the second half instead of utilizing Chamakh and Bendtner to vary our attack……those two sat on the bench (until May).

  167. Miami Arsenal

    Arsesession, I agree he must feel frustrated at his lack of opportunities but being vocal in the media isn’t about to help his cause. I know that Arsene has a record/habit of having players play outside of their preferred role, but with the system in place last year I just cannot see opportunities for Bendter coming on playing wide left or right. Now, I know he was played there at times but really did he make the impact required? Not, that I blame him at all, the tactics are Arsene’s to devise.

  168. @ Arsesession
    That could be true. Young Guns, which though not 100%, is the most reliable blog source for transfer activity, reported that we had made a bid.

  169. @ goonerandy
    Fun – Of course it is possible to get good players and cheaper prices, but it is difficult obvisouly. It really is not as simple as what you ask though is it?. And as I have already said, nobody is asking for stupid money to be spent.
    If it’s possible to buy good players more cheaply, then surely, as a club which operates to a budget, we should buy good players as cheaply as possible. I wasn’t trying to simplify anything, in my experence it’s the people like you and Bill who oversimplify this issue. I didn’t claim anyone was asking for stupid money to be spent – perhaps you didn’t see my response to AIC, but the price bracket I assume you and he and Bill are thinking about is £20-30 million. What is your concept of pricey?

    I think our main issue with the squad, is that we have good players, of that there is no doubt. But we don’t have a good mix of players. We have lots of players who are very similar. That is why it is not as black and white as (for example) letting Rosicky go, and then getting a better play. The squad would maybe be improved if we got a differnt type of player to him. Just using him as an example you understand.
    I think the homogeneity of our squad has been a problem in the past, but much less so now. Our style dictates that the players have to be very skilful, and that * tends * to mean slighter players. But we are not shorter than average in the league. Within those parameters, we have quite a lot of variation. Our defenders represent a spectrum of styles – Squillaci, Djourou, Kos and Vermaelen as well as heights. Song is different to Jack, Cesc, and Nasri. Walcott stands out as different, as do Bendtner and Chamakh. Diaby and Ramsey are another type, Denilson is yet another. Robin is a one-off. Rosicky is an archetypal Arsenal player, definitely. Finding players who can give us different attributes, and are good enough AND fulfil all the other criteria we demand are few and far between.

    I don’t see the impact on price, though – why might we have to pay more for a player just because he’s a bit different?

    We quite often oprtate in the £8M to £15 bracket. That is fine, and also sensible by todays markets standards. That said, if we have identified a player who Arsene thinks would significantly improve the side, there sometimes we should go that extra mile. We bid for Xabi alonso a few years ago, but the deal fell throuhg over an amount close to £2M (apprently). If that is true, then that is a good exaple of maybe where we should have just bit the bullet and paid that little bit extra.
    That would not be a good example, because that £2 million shortfall story was invented by ANR (he admitted it).
    A better example would be Schwarzer from last summer. But I question whether it would have been worth paying the price Hughes wanted for a position that turned out not to be a problem (in terms of quality available to call on – not the injuries, which could not have been foreseen), when you consider what the downside might have been – losing Chesney or Fabianski.
    We do adjust our offers – we wanted to pay £12 million for AA, but ended up paying closer to £15 million by adjusting upfront amounts and the amount that went to the player.

  170. Thanks FG for the reference from Young Guns (for me they are more reliable than any of the media)……we’ll have to wait.

    @ Miami Arsenal

    There were many matches down the stretch, where Theo, Nasri, and Arshavin were stale and our manager chose
    not to insert either Chamakh or Bendtner…….hoping Arshavin, Theo, or Nasri would produce a late winner or gain us a point.
    Bendtner & Chamakh could have added to our attack.

    Both wing positions have an open license to roam inside…….

    This is where (in my opinion) Bendtner is born of frustration…..those months of not seeing any action while the team struggled.

  171. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Well, holiday is on hold until tmrw now so I thought I’d stop in for a pop.

    Nice stuff, ZP. Good to have you back, shotta. Good stuff from Boomer and all the other usual suspects, too. Goonerandy championing himself as an optimist was quite funny, too.

    I’m with Markus for the most part. I see one or two attacking players coming in with a promotion or two from the academy. What I find fascinating is this idea that we can’t improve our defending from set pieces without buying Cahill or Samba. There seems to be this theory that we cant sort this out in house which I find disrespectful and lazy. Not only to Tommy Vermaelen, but also to Arsene Wenger.

    For me our issues are going to get resolved on the training pitch. We defend well in open play, and I thought it was easy to see Wenger addressed our defending coming into the last campaign. We were better defensively than the year before. I don’t have any stats just general observations. We defended mightily against Barca and were undone by a cheeky back heel from our own captain. Watch the last Man U game and tell me we didn’t defend well. It seems we ran out of ideas in attack towards the business end which interestingly enough coincided with Nasri’s drop in form.

    Overall, we are sitting pretty as they say. I feel sorry for those who are unable to witness our slow and steady rise to the top. We all knew Wenger’s plan wasnt going to pay dividends over night. He got us into the stadium while keeping us at the very top level of European football and all you ever hear on the net is bitching and moaning. The sense of entitlement is alarming. I love talking football with my girl’s uncle and hearing about the old less famous Arsenal. A good chunk of our supporters on the web lack discipline. Too many are unable to see greatness and go looking for instant gratification trying to take the easy way out, IMO. Glory hunters are a dime a dozen nowadays.

    I find it fascinating how we are this stagnant club (some cunts even saying we havent improved! Makes my blood boil!) in crisis when we were in the best position to win the league in a few years, yet you never hear nothing but good things about lesser inferior clubs like Man City, Chelsea, and even Liverpool. Who aren’t even in the fucking Europa league for fucks sake. The powers that be hate Wenger for his success largely because he uses to many foreigners on a shoestring budget. It seems its all gotten too political and proving Wenger wrong and cramming the distasteful English game down his throat has almost become a national pastime in England. I find it disgusting. It’s about time the English embraced the beautiful game and stopped acting like a bunch of Neanderthals. I know many proud English who feel the same way. It’s gotten England nowhere up til now internationally and they’ve become a laughing stock. There are too many feeble minded lemmings amongst our support ready to parrot the same tired newspaper cliches, IMO. Unfortunately, some are just simply unable to view the big picture and put things into perspective it seems. Rant over.

    Up the Gunners.

  172. According to one of the hacks, Newcastle have yet to receive any interest in Barton being available. I hope he rots in some Geordie cesspit.

  173. george rodger

    Barca offer 27 mill for Cesc.WTF cheeky cunts

  174. Fungunner @ 4:35

    I realize that everyone will start screaming fantasy manager but Just for the sake of discussion let’s say samba worth 12, Cahill worth 17. Felaini worth 20 gervinho worth 15. Clearly there are some players who that will be lost and some money coming in we could certainly afford that type of money output with no long term risk to the club based on the best info we have

  175. @ NJN
    Agree with you as well.
    Plus, whatever system we play, whoever we have at CB, we still have to be organised and defend as a team. That’s what’s lacking – organisation.

    @ AIC
    For the sake of argument, I am going to accept your prices where we don’t know what the actual price was.
    I don’t believe you need to go to Messi levels to improve what we have. Phil Jones at 5m is better than Squillacci,
    We bid for Phil Jones and our bid was accepted. The player himself chose ManU.

    Tiote at 3m is better than Denilson (and Diaby apart from the 2 games a season when he’s good),
    Was he available at the same time that we bought them?
    Did he want to come?
    Plus remember that money was about to be extra-tight when they came along. I cannot agree with you about him being better than Diaby, or about Denilson in his annus mirabilis. Injuries have been his bane, but the french wanted to build their team around him, fgs!

    A Chicharito at 6m is better than Bendtner (and Chamakh),
    Chicarito is a different type of player to Bendtner and Chamakh. It’s not a like for like comparison – Vela is more like it.

    Most keepers are better than Almunia
    We’ll have to agree to disagree about that. Bob Wilson thinks he is a very good keeper. Stewart Robson said (when Al was our no 1) he is better than all but the very best. So most keepers are not better than Almunia.

    Friedel, Schwarzer at a couple of mil are better and those are just off the top of my head.
    I think there was a time when we might have got Friedel, but Almunia was on good form and I don’t think a bid was made. Two Januaries ago, Wenger made a bid for Reina – a shedload of money, according to Bob Wilson, but Liverpool turned it down – unsurprisingly, since he was the second or third best keeper in the PL at the time.
    We did bid for Schwarzer last year in case Fabianski didn’t work out and to gee up Almunia, but not shelling out more than he was worth has turned out not to be a bad call, since both Chesney and Fab have stepped up. And it wasn’t “a couple of mil” for Scwarzer, it was £4 million.

    We replaced Ade(!) with Chamakh who was cheaper and so far, worse (but I think he’ll improve).
    Chamakh is harder working and no less prolific than Adebayor.

    We tried to replace Gilberto and Vieira with Diaby and Denilson but this was not the point I was making.
    Because we had to reduce our wage bill.

    Why don’t we have the money? Let’s not mention the cr@p commercial deals, the punt in the property market that yielded far less profit than expected, the 111m a year wage bill which includes the wages of so many average players, the lack of an overseas marketing strategy that has left us behind our rivals, and the lack of trophies in the last 6 years.
    We were in a weak bargaining position when those deals were struck.
    The property development was a high-risk, high-reward venture from which profit was salvaged despite a massive slump.
    We have a lower-than average wage bill. The average for the PL is 68% of turnover and ours is around 60%. Wage inflation has spiralled so we have done well to keep it at that level, even though it creeps up as a percentage each year.
    Every squad has players who are not as good as others. Our squad as a whole has been improving year-on-year. Who do we have in the first team who is the equivalent of Justin Hoyte?
    The opening up of markets for merchandise and the brand is already under way. Were you unaware of this? Gazidis has been very active in this area.
    The lack of trophies is being worked on, but there are no magic bullets.

    On the contrary I don’t think that higher price equals value but we do not spend enough to be winners. With the way things are going it seems unlikely that the self-sustaining model will ever generate enough cash for us to challenge the others. Dein knew this which is why he was opposed to the Emirates.
    If you want to buy the title, you have to spend hundreds of millions. We cannot do that. So I assume you do not mean for us to try to do that.
    We have to spend what we have and take our chances. Our model will generate more and more cash as we pay down our debt and increase our sources of income (eg expansion into the Far East market), but we will NEVER have as much money as Man City or Chelsea or Barcelona currently have access to. (And please note I said “have access to” as opposed to “have”, since it is not their money, it’s their owner’s.) If the FFP rules have some bite, it could level the playign field, but only in that case. We *could* overtake ManU with our business model because we could theoretically attain their global profile and yet we would not be burdened by their debts. We are trying to increase turnover to have more money available.
    However tough or lenient, the FFP rules are coming in, so unsustainable debt is not the way to go in the current climate. I can’t see how we would have been better off staying at Highbury at 1/3 of the matchday income or renting the new Wembley at no-doubt extortionate rates. Where would the extra money have come from to buy and pay players?

  176. @ MDGunner | June 24, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Amen to that!

  177. @ AIC
    “I don’t believe you need to go to Messi levels to improve what we have. Phil Jones at 5m is better than Squillacci”

    Our bid was £16 million. Just shows how you are underestimating the cost of PL players – especially English ones, and overestimating Wenger’s frugality.

    From Young Guns:

    Blackburn Rovers accepted Arsenal’s bid for defender Phil Jones last night, but the 19-year-old opted to join Manchester United instead.

    The news comes as Jones puts the finishing touches to his switch to Old Trafford, despite Arsène Wenger trying to thrash out a deal last night. This was confirmed by the Lancashire Telegraph, who report that Blackburn did give Wenger permission to discuss a deal, after a fee in excess of £16 million was agreed.

    However, despite reports suggesting the Frenchman was ready to offer more in wages, Jones had already decided he wanted to stay in the North, and move to United. The England Under 21 international is the second centre back to reject Arsenal for United, following on from Chris Smalling in January of 2010.

  178. Are there honestly no other players in Uk that are currently as good as Samba and Cahill in their respective places that we could buy?? I mean Samba?? Would he even give us the ” homegrown” advantage??

  179. too many words

  180. Well if jones and Smalling is the real deal anyone going there for the next 5 years in that position is just dumb and longing for money with no pitch time. Next CB is ours. Whitt exception of manU we should the most attractive club for youngsters. Everyone knows SAF and AW are the best developers in the game. Besides United are still pissed off over Ramsey.

  181. Poodle, Arsene is most likely actively searching for the player you want. There is no reason to pay 15 millions for a Chris Samba when there are players who can do the same job as him at half the price.

  182. its funny some folks seem to always have answers and excuses for every issue raised.

    ok i agree arsenal is the best club in the world, and its runned by the best guys in the world, we have the best manager in the world – he so perfect we dont deserve him – what about our players – top top class.

    fans who express their discontentment are all stupid, and they should go and support other clubs.

  183. george rodger

    If we do buy Samba some of us are going to have eggy faces.
    I dont want an eggy face,I dont want Samba either .Its a conundrum.

  184. Boozy@ 7:29 Well said MATE!

  185. george rodger

    yeh.Boozy has seen the light.
    What?
    Oh!
    He is being funny? 😦

  186. george rodger

    William.I thought I was your mate?

  187. George as far as I know we’ve been mates since day 1. What made you think otherwise?

  188. Fungunner and Nasir

    I agree completely that the most important thing to improve with our defending is organization but we have been saying the same thing for 3 years now and nothing has changed. What is going to change that next year? I think samba and/or Cahill would ads a different type of defender to our cb that would help add the thing we have lacked during these years. Do u really believe we would be worse off with samba instead of suillaci

  189. @funGunner at7.08pm

    WOW, you can really talk mate, perhaps we can get rid of Wenger and you could take his place, in fact, I’m willing to offer 6.5m a year to you to take over…………. what do you think, could you do it, get us a CL title, EPL title and perhaps the FA Cup and just for good measure, the Carling beer Cup………….. send in your CV, and Ivan will consider it!

  190. A Chicharito at 6m is better than Bendtner (and Chamakh),
    Chicarito is a different type of player to Bendtner and Chamakh. It’s not a like for like comparison – Vela is more like it.

    Hernandez is soooooo much better than Vela it’s untrue. Probably on the same wages as well – ask Bolton!!

  191. What does Bolton know about the little pea or Vela’s wages?

  192. I wondered that William

  193. ehh probably just a type error. Dupsffokcuf how are you feeling today?

  194. How is the F5 key doing for our paranoid section of fans?

    I bet there will be a lot of computer keyboard sales

  195. @ george rodger
    Samba as back-up versus Samba as first choice, is the argument.

    ***
    @ Miami Arsenal

    Fun, youth development has been the forefront of our ambitions for future success with affordable quality from foreign shores. It had been a success for a few years, reaping rewards with titles and trophies. I do think it has not been that successful in the last handful of years.
    The youth development strategy is in place to provide quality players. In that, it has succeeded gloriously. Unless you don’t rate Cesc and Robin and Jack and Song and Djourou and Walcott? Winning titles and trophies is a more complex problem.

    Regarding the rest of your post, you accept that we have financial constraints – but I would say they are only “self-imposed” in the sense that NOT driving at 100 miles an hour down the motorway without a seatbelt is a self-imposed constraint.
    We spend as much as we can make available to spend, assuming we can find the right personnel. After the property deal money covered its costs, the club restructured the debt to ensure that more profit goes to the football club.
    When you are trying to work out how much we can spend, remember 1) transfers and wages come out of the same fund, 2) you don’t know how much of our wage bill actually is racked up by players’ wages (we can assume most of it, but not the exact amount 3) you don’t know the details of wage deals. As an example, the club might have to hold back a certain amount each year in the expectation that 50% of the squad will meet or exceed performance targets. So I’m afraid you can’t calculate that x million minus y million = z million to spend, since you don’t know what the values for x, y, or z are.

    As for having to spend more in the PL, I think we can assume Wenger knows that and bids accordingly.. He bid £16 million for Phil Jones and was accepted by the club (though the player chose ManUre). He would never have bid that much for a young defender from a foreign league. He offered £12 million for Theo at 16 and was accepted. He knows.

  196. I am fine that’s William, hope you are as well.

  197. george rodger

    Bolton would not meet his wage demands.Is what he is getting at,I think.
    It staggers me that people say that player X is a bargain and better than our player Y.Always afterwards,never before,How stupid is that?
    Well here is one to show how fuking brilliant Arsene is.
    RVP £2 &1/2 million or Torres £50 million.
    Or Cesc £zero or Hargreaves £17 million?
    Its really easy afterwards.Even for an idiot like me.

  198. Good to hear Mr. Dups. George, many people choose to ignore the brilliance that this Arsenal side has shown. Instead they look at the lack of trophies and such. I mean, you know the drill and i’m pretty sure we share similar opinions about the current squad. We can try to convince the doom crew to have a little positive in their outlook, but alas, that probably won’t happen.
    You know, we haven’t heard anything from Jabba today, and Luke has been gone for a couple of days now.

  199. george rodger

    I hope they have gone for good 🙂

  200. Same here George.

    Duke there definitely seems to be a large contingent of 1’s and 4’s on ere. I wonder if it is just a coincidence that 1 and 4 are polar opposites as well. The usual struggle between two opposing forces, vying for that perfect balance.

  201. Are those 1s & 4s getting in a 2 & 8?

  202. Sorry for getting back so late. But someone please tell Miami Arsenal not to farking patronize me. Some of us on this board know the difference between reasoned debate and those who knowingly allow the doom-mongering and whingeing to go unchallenged. AIC and his ilk have long declared their opposition to Wenger’s project youth, preferring instead a reliance of established, high priced players from the transfer markets. AIC and his ilk have declared that it is cowardice and weakness for Wenger and the Board for being afraid to jump into the transfer market and burn Other Peoples Money as is done willy nilly by ManCity and Chelsea and to a lesser degree by Man United. Hence the prince of doom and his ilk always come on board with their extreme negativity. In their posts one is led to believe nothing positive has come out of the past five years, to the contrary we are on the brink of implosion and relegation. Sorry, I will have no truck with this kind of nonsense and stupidity as well as with those who like Miami Arsenal want to open the door wider to this extremism.

  203. I agree Shotta. If those doomers are allowed to have an opinion shouldn’t we be able to tell them that their opinion sucks?

  204. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    If you honestly think nothing changed between last season and the season before then I can’t help you, Bill. Set pieces and penalties killed us this year, IMO. If I remember right we conceded a lot of goals from counters the year before and were a bit more gung ho. I noticed we were a bit more direct this year and not as tippy tappy as the year before. Maybe I know fuck all. Which is probably true but thats just my two cents.

  205. Nasir – “Goonerandy championing himself as an optimist was quite funny, too. ”

    Cheers mate. With your little snide remark, you have pretty proved a few of my earlier posts (about attitudes towards certain posters). I pretty much suspected one of the not so bright posters on here would do to be honest, and you came up trumps.

  206. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    As for Squilacci, he is a quality player. He’s probably the best 4th choice defender in the league. I don’t get why he gets such a bad rap. Probably because we bought him late in the window he’s French and he’s not 6 foot 8 would be my guess though. He’s experienced and is more than capable of doing the job. I’ll take Squilacci at 7 or 8 million over Samba for 15 all day. 15 million for a 3rd or 4th choice CB doesn’t strike me as a very shrewd move.

  207. I also don’t think Squilacci is as bad as people make out. He wasn’t outstanding by any means, but I don’t recall him ever really having a bad game.

  208. Nasir – I would imagine if we payed that amount of money for Samba/Cahill they will be starters alongside TV5.

  209. I keep trying to reason out why Squillaci is given so much grief NJ-N. I dont get it and I just dont agree that he was crap this season. Yes he did have some terrible moments but who didnt?

  210. george rodger

    To be fair Andy is no more than slightly gloomy at times.
    Nasir,very unforgiving yet wonderful in his optimism.
    Shotta is right,we should not tolerate mindless stupidity and accept it as a difference in opinion.

  211. @ Bill
    I was devastated about our season because I felt we were the best team and we had not shown it. Losing out on two realistic trophy chances made it doubly painful. I coudl have borne it better if we had performed to our potential. So that is why I was upset. You have agreed before now that they under-performed. If coming fourth is underperforming, they must be pretty damn good. If they are not that great, you should be delighted with our season.

    Your list of how much players are “worth” is hardly a definitive guide, is it? But, IF Wenger, the player and the club are genuinely interested, and a price can be agreed, we MAY get one or more of them. (We offered the highest bid for Phil Jones, and we did not secure his services.) Let Wenger do his job. Had you even heard of this Alvares bloke before this week? I hadn’t, but apparently we have made a bid.

    The reason I don’t think we HAVE to buy a new defender purely to get organised is that a) the GK can organise the defence, b) we were more organised than we have been for years during certain stretches of last season. We even went on a long run of keeping clean sheets. You admittted it at the time yourself. So it’s a question of consistent execution by the players of what they are coached to do; and c) what if our super-organiser is injured? What do we do then? Everybody has to know what to do and do it. Oh and d), a more clinical attack will take pressure off our defence.
    Our team defending is a stubborn problem, I admit. More organisation would help, or a different sort of defender for certain games MIGHT help. But there is no magic bullet.

    Remember it’s not up to us to find the answers – whether they can solve the problems or not, there’s nothing we can do. We had bad wear-and-tear injury issues for a few seasons, the club brought in the GPS tracking and hey presto, huge amelioration of our injury problems. Did you think of that? No – the coaching staff came up with that idea all by themselves. And there isn’t just ONE answer, either. They will be thinking about a range of solutions. Let them get on with it.

  212. My slight gloom is usually born out of frustration that a number of times this team has been very close to being a silverware winning side. We just need to supplement the team a little more strongly than we usually do, and I am sure we will take the final step.

    We really are a case of so close, but yet so far.

  213. @ NJN and william and Shotta
    Agree.

  214. Fun – Good point about the GK organizing the back 4, and very true too. A good GK can play an integral part of this. I am not sure of of our keepers have that in their locker though. Almunia didn’t, the defense look jumpy with Fabianski behind them, and Szchezny may have it, but we don’t really know. Hopefully he has, as I think he will start next season as our No1.

  215. @ Paul N | June 24, 2011 at 9:07 pm
    And it was his first season in the PL. You’d think he was Silvestre, the way some people talk about him.

  216. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Guilty conscience, goonerandy? Don’t take yourself so seriously. If me calling you a fibber makes me dumber than you so be it. I couldn’t care less. It was a light hearted remark. You talk sense sometimes don’t get me wrong. But we’re not that stupid. You’ve been known to doom out from time to time, Andy, don’t make me hit the archives.

  217. george rodger

    Andy.Do you not remember Fabianski pushing Cesc into position for a corner?
    He was becoming more dominant,for sure.

  218. Nasir – Fill your boots mate, you won’t find much. If I think we have played shit, I will say so. If I don’t rate a player, I will say so (although not resort to calling them names and abusing them). That is not “dooming”, just saying what I see. You won’t find much more than that. No reason to have a guilty conscience for posting my views .

  219. George – I do remember that, and it was good to see. Maybe if he had not go injured he would have restored many people’s faith in him. He was well on the way to doing so. Up to the start of the season I was a frequent critic of his, as some his fucks ups were terrible. But he was well on the way to changing my opinion of him until he got injured.

  220. Nasir – If you do find any evidence of my dooming, please post them on Monday as I won’t be around over the weekend (off to a gig) so won’t be around to defend myself from the masses 😉

  221. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    That’s where we differ, goonerandy. I would have left it at we are oh so close. I wanna call you a cunt really bad but im almost on holiday and I’m in too good a mood right now so we’ll just agree to disagree.

  222. How to lose respect:

    A selection of ‘fans’ were stating this time last year(excuse the paraphrasing):

    ‘Lennon is a much better whinger then Walcott. Walcott should obviously be dropped from the England squad’.

    This years gr*t includes the classic,
    ‘Pat Rice, he does nothing.’

  223. You are right, we will. Call me what you like though, I am pretty much impossible to offend. It only succeeds in making you look a bit silly when you have to resort to that, as your tunnel vision will not allow you to see others people’s opinions are just as valid as your own.

    And we are so close, but we do keep finishing off the pace. Hence the “but so far away”.

  224. Hope you have a nice holiday though. Anywhere nice?

  225. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I’m on holiday, goonerandy. No chance I’m going to go sift through that rubbish and open up old wounds. But I’m glad you’ve lightened up a bit. I do realize I get carried away at times but I fucking love Arsenal and my rose tinted specs rarely come off. I’m sure you’ll understand. Have fun tonight man.

  226. Nasir – All good mate. Enjoy your time off.

  227. @ goonerandy
    I replied at length to your post. Any response from you?

  228. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I’m not opposed to opposite views that are put together in a coherent fashion by any means. I’ve just yet to see it! We just have slightly differing views as to the reasons we finished off the pace and let’s just leave it at that.

    We’re going on a road trip up the West Coast to do a bit of camping. Nothing too spectacular, but it should be a blast nonetheless. .

  229. GA, can be reasoned with, I just dont want to read any comments supporting Barcelona on this Arsenal blog. There are places for that, Barcelona blogs!

  230. Fun – I started, but to be honest I think you will just refute any point I make. You seem to think that everything is 100% OK at the club, and it is pure mystery why we have not won anything. I am not having a dig at you, just saying that you don’t really seem flexible enough to see any issues (when I believe that there are some).

    What I would say though is that you seem to think I am hung up on prices. I really am not, and don’t want us throwing silly money around. Us paying £15M or so for players is fine by me as long as they have the quality.

    Anyway, to be continued next week 😉 Have a good weekend all.

  231. Enjoy Nasir and be safe!

  232. Nasir – The west coast is nice. Can’t beat a bit of camping, I hope the weather holds out for you. We are off to Hamburg in our camper van to watch Bob Dylan. Then the following week to Belgium for a music festival.

  233. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I agree, Paul N.

    Hope you’re well, shotta. We’ve missed your no nonsense take no prisoners attitude. Good to see you back, pal.

  234. The difference is that FunGun believes that the problem can be fixed in house and that we dont necessarily have to buy.

    We have issues with our defending but a pertinent question is how long have the defenders were have now played together and played in the PL for that matter.

    I agree that most of what needs to be done is in the practice field. I am not against buying but we still need our current defenders and our goalies to sharpen up as far as set plays.

  235. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Thanks, Paul N.

    Sounds like a good time, goonerandy. Safe travels.

  236. im not opposed to opposite views put together in a coherent fashion. im just yet to see it. do you know how pompous you sound.

  237. duke, how is everything?

  238. Paul, im good. yourself?

  239. Glad you are well duke.

    Everything is ok with me, thanks!

    Here waiting for 5:00, not much going on at work.

  240. Where are you again paul?

  241. NJN – Thanks for your kind words. I am recovering quite well from my injury. With the help of my physical therapist (I just returned from a session) I am making slow but sure progress but I am still mostly one handed.

  242. Houston, TX Duke.

    Shotta, glad you are doing well mi bredrin. I pray the Lord strengthen you daily!

    I was in Jamaica for a few days. Last week Thurday to this monday. Had a great time!

  243. Respect Paul N. You have been a star especially in these difficult days. We all hurt badly as our club fell-away so badly from such a promising position in March. Since then while the poisonous vipers tried to so hard to destroy everything positive that was achieved, you were one of the few defiant posters. To paraphrase a great line:
    “Is this an Arsenal blog or not?”

  244. @ goonerandy

    Fun – I started, but to be honest I think you will just refute any point I make.

    Well, I certainly thought so, I’m surprised and delighted that you agree. If you don’t want your arguments or views refuted, or even replied to, which is what I suspect is closer to what you meant to say, why post them on a public forum? Write a diary instead.

    You seem to think that everything is 100% OK at the club, and it is pure mystery why we have not won anything. I am not having a dig at you, just saying that you don’t really seem flexible enough to see any issues (when I believe that there are some).
    I don’t think it’s a total mystery why we haven’t won anything, I just think the answer is a lot more complicated than saying “We’re not good enough” or “We lack mental strength.” What do those phrases even mean? I think there are many answers, including immaturity, fatigue, injury, defensive disorganisation at times. But what does that have to do with the specific points you raised and which I answered? Are you sure you read and understood what I wrote?

    Incidentally, the financial constraints are not just going to go away because we haven’t won anything for six years. We still have to work within them.

    What I would say though is that you seem to think I am hung up on prices. I really am not, and don’t want us throwing silly money around. Us paying £15M or so for players is fine by me as long as they have the quality.
    If this statement represents what you really think, what is your problem with Wenger’s transfer policy?

  245. Shotta, great posts consistently insipid

  246. Texas a Paul. nice.

    Fun, do we??? do we really have these financial restraints??? can we not affored to pay £20 m for a player, is it really beyond us to pay Nasri £120g a week. are we really under such a budget or are we led to believe this? honest question.

  247. Duke,

    The attached are the full year Arsenal Reports for last term 2010 not 2011.

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/arsenal-holdings-plc-financial-results

  248. Haha, reading this whole thread from top to bottom is like following a trail of destruction. One of you whingers pushed FG too far – and she went to work like a blog Popeye, only more clinical.

  249. Miami,

    I’m too pissed to read that, ill av to av a peep tommorow at them er….stats, info….but i guess it says we av some pat cash available.

  250. It basically says we are the only ‘Big Club’ atm whom could have FFP introduced tomorrow and not fall foul.

  251. Glad to see you back Shotta, I didn’t know you had an injury.

  252. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    FunGunner definitely put in a shift today didn’t she, OOU. Loved every word of it. I laughed out loud when she told goonerandy to get a diary. Funny stuff.

  253. Big AL ~~ “a blog popeye” Good stuff..

    Fun ~~ I applaud your patience.

    I am afraid that some of the new visitors to this blog are dragging it down from it’s lofty heights. YW’s post have ensured a 1st class blog but some of the stuff being posted as comments on here defy logic. The spend, spend fools must really have poor sense when it comes to managing on a budget.like most normal people & businesses do.

  254. george rodger

    Dups, Budget,they don’t comprehend the word.
    When people come on ACLF and advise the reading of Le Grove,well,how can you debate with the likes of them.
    I think winning is important,But more important is the way you try to win.
    People don’t understand that some would rather lose than win by abandoning their principals.Not many though it seems.Sadly.

  255. Amen to that George.Victory through harmony.

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