Arsenal: Serial Over-achievers Or Par For The Course

Muppet’s On A Mission sounds like a Jim Henson film but no, our resident Muppet got a bee in his bonnet and this is the outcome…

I recently had a Twitter debate with Tim Payton, spokesman for the Arsenal Supporters Trust (AST). I pointed out that despite our barren period, in my view Wenger had over-achieved over the last few years. Tim disagreed, believing Wenger has achieved par on the basis of net transfer spend and wage costs. The latter in his view was as crucial as the former. He passed me a link which demonstrated Arsenal were 17th in a points per £ spend in the last year on Premier League results.

So what is the truth; serial over-achievers or par for the course?

The Metrics

In order to fully assess performance, we must factor in our Champions League and cup performances. The difficulty is in calculating the extent of the achievement compared with the Premier League.

Premier League performance is easy to measure. If Arsenal finish the league with 80 points and the combined salary & transfer spend comes to £100m, then it cost £1.25 million per point. If Manchester United finish with 80 points and their combined salary & transfer spend comes to £200m, their cost is £2.5 million per point. Arsenal are more efficient in this instance.

The problem comes with determining metrics for cups. Adopting a points-based system with a weighting which reflected the relative importance of the cup competitions seems most equitable. The Champions League is of equal importance to the Premier League whilst the Europa League and FA Cup rank as half as important. This leaves the League Cup, worth half the points again.

For the Champions League, in order to achieve parity with the Premier League in terms of an achievement, I decided to allocate 90 points to the winner, on the basis that this is an approximate total which the Premier League champions will achieve. Each round from the 2nd stage is worth 20 further points, starting from the 2nd stage base of 10, with no points for failing at the group phase.

The table below outlines the scoring for each competition:

Round Champions League Europa League / FA Cup League Cup
Winner 90 45 22.5
Runner-Up 70 35 11.25
Semi Finals 50 25 5.6
Quarter Finals 30 15
2nd Stage 10 5

The Competition and period.

The teams selected for comparison were Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Spurs. Apologies to fans of other Premier League clubs who are not included in this, particularly Everton who have done fantastically well on their budget. I had to limit the number of teams for comparison because of the sheer amount of number-crunching involved.

For two reasons the comparison period is the last six years. Firstly, it is the period during which Wenger has been heavily criticised for not winning a trophy. Secondly, it also fits quite nicely as I have 6 years worth of data.

The Sources

The wages data comes from a website called Football Intelligence. They say their data source is company accounts.

The Net Transfer spend is from a German website called TransferMarkt. I do not believe this data source is company accounts so it may include details of other related transfer spending, such as agents fees.

On the other hand, because the data simply comprises of the net transfer dealings carried out by each club year on year, it is an accurate barometer of performance vs net transfer spend. This is useful because clubs have differing accounting periods, and sometimes carry over transfer deals to the next accounting period, which would distort any comparison.

The Data


The year on year data is now summarised further as follows:

Club Total Spend (£m) Total Points Spend Per Point (£m) Expected Rank Per Spend Actual Rank
Man Utd 744.0 974.6 0.76 2 1
Arsenal 599.2 681.1 0.88 5 2
Chelsea 1,123.9 745.4 1.51 1 5
Man City 888.1 413.6 2.15 3 6
Spurs 513.0 483.4 1.06 6 4
Liverpool 668.7 668.0 1.00 4 3

Interpretation of above:

Manchester United come out on top, not only with the number of points but their actual rank. Arsenal finish 3rd in the points table, narrowly above Liverpool. But we are 2nd in terms of our spend efficiency. Each point costing £0.88 million.

Chelsea and Manchester City are the least efficient despite the former’s trophy haul and because of the latter’s spending to excess.


If data is deemed to be accurate then Arsenal are overachieving based on their net spend.

The other conclusion is that the weighting system is fair. One could argue that a more meritorious weighting system should be used, for example like that in Grand Prix scoring, which is 25 points for a win, 18 for 2nd, etc. Where the reward is greater for actually coming 1st. This weighting system is based on more absolute figures, and not trophies.

If one is to look at the performance vs number of trophy count, the picture is bleak for Arsenal fans, as there are no trophies in the period 2006-2011.

Club Net Spend 2006-11 (£m) No. of Trophies Spend per Trophy (£m)
Chelsea 1,123.9 6 187.3
Man Utd 744.0 8 93.0
Arsenal 599.2 0 N/A
Spurs 513.0 1 513.0
Liverpool 668.7 1 668.7
Man City 888.1 1 888.1

On this metric, we have been outperformed by all of our main rivals.

The general conclusions is that we have just have been unlucky not to win a trophy. We know this from our 3 finals and the close finish in 2007-2008 in the Premier League. We have spent more than Spurs, yet they have won a trophy. On the points metrics, we have outperformed everybody apart from Manchester United, yet they have all won trophies.

Chelsea and Manchester United Dominance

Over a 6 year period, Chelsea have spent approx £524 million than Arsenal, equating to an incredible £87 million more per season. United have spent £245 million more, £40.8 million more per season. These two clubs have won 13 out of the 18 domestic trophies over this period.

This data hints that there is a strong correlation between expenditure and trophies but that conclusion is spurious if one examines the figures for City. Their expenditure has been carried out by different managers with different priorities. It emphasises the lack of quality in their playing staff as a base point, other clubs such as Arsenal, United and Chelsea had stronger starting points.

Silver Lining The Cloud?

The data indicates that Arsenal would gain a higher return if they invested more heavily in the playing squad, which in turn would lead to silverware. However there is a contradictory theory, supported by Tottenham whose sole trophy came from spending the least. Equally, City prove thus far that spending heavily does not necessarily yield a comparable trophy return.

It is hard to pigeonhole City’s spend. If it leads to a trophy-winning period, their investment seems sound. Anything less and the folly of their owners will be exposed.

There is little argument that Arsenal should have won a trophy by now based. Like City, the data can seem anomalous. However it is clear that Wenger has over-achieved in keeping the club in the top four thus far as opposed to achieving that which is expected.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on July 26, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 288 Comments.

  1. Well, if you say so Yogi. I like all the colour graphs and especially the cheesy wedgy thing. Too much math for me!

    I’ve got my maths and figures sorted, already put 100€ on RVP to be top scorer in EPL at 12/1. And just seen that you can get 28/1 on Gervinho for top scorer, so will have another 50€ on him………….

  2. Lies, damned lies, and statistics. Weird.

  3. Vraiment Interessant…..

  4. Quite some effort you put in there Muppet. Should make for a lively debate on the thread today..

  5. Noone cares abhout the numbers. people are only interested in trophy number dude!!!!

  6. “However it is clear that Wenger has over-achieved in keeping the club in the top four thus far as opposed to achieving that which is expected.”

    Unfortunately the opposite is also just as apt, in that one could say Arsenal have consistently under-achieved for lack of spending power.

    There is a reason why companies pay huge money for statisticians or “numbers men” as they are sometimes known. The reason is that numbers can be made to mean absolutely anything. We have all seen the ads where they claim 70% of dentists recommend Crest more than any other toothpaste but what if you saw another ad that said 30% of dentists warn against using Crest. Confused? You shouldn’t be as all it means is 100% of dentists can be bought 🙂 None of this does not change the fact that we have not won a trophy in 6 years, but we do have a brand new stadium( which apparently AIC does not like and therefore no longer goes to games, that’s worth something surely?) and we have the most exciting team in the league. Plus we have a new right back who can score from 20 yards!!

    Either way Muppet, you where always a bit of a nutter, so don’t mind me and keep doing what you are doing mate. 🙂

  7. And another thing, Yogi when you write your articles it’s easy to see that you are a true Gooner and you get your facts right.
    On the Bleacher report today (or yesterday) there is a guy purporting to be an Arsenal fan, writing about the top six gunners gossip stories. In his introduction he says the Gunners will be jetting off to Argentina to play Boca Jrs and NYRB’s. Fuck sake, he thinks the Emirates cup is in Argentina next weekend. ha

  8. Seen as we are all about numbers today, I figured I would take the liberty and re-post this from last night.

    From The Official Barcelona Maths Workbook, which covers maths for all youths attending La Masia youth Academy.

    1. Pujol is 38 yards away from the referee at Camp Nou and Xavi is 55 yards away. If Xavi can run at 21mph and Pujol can run at 16mph, who will be sticking their vein-bulging forehead into the hapless whistler’s face first, assuming Pujol does not stop to stamp on an opponent on his way.

    2. If one minute of time is taken up in a game for substitutions and one minute for injuries, how much injury time will be added on by the referee if Barcelona are losing at home?

    3. Messi is from Argentina. Express, as a percentage, the number of internationals he has missed on a Wednesday evening compared to the miraculous recoveries he made for the following Saturday.

    4. You are the referee at Camp Nou. How near to a visiting defender does a tumbling and rolling Bisquetts have to be to earn a penalty if he goes down in the box? (Note: Round your answers down to the nearest 10 yards.)

    5. Probability: Express the statistical probability of visitors to Camp Nou being awarded a penalty. Compare this with the probability of opponents of Barcelona being awarded a penalty home or away, and then discuss if a penalty awarded to Barcelona would be awarded to their opponents in identical circumstances.

    6. Jose Rodriguez DeMaria Martinez Alvirez Dos Santos Caesar DeJesus Ramirez lives in Bilbao. How much does it cost for him and his two sons to travel to the Camp Nou every other weekend, including limited edition matchday programme, a few drinks and spicy sausage and some shrimp croquettes? How much could he save per week if he watched his local team instead?
    (Note: Round your answers down to the nearest thousand Euros).

    7. Sir Alex Ferguson, anticipating Barcelona would be a pushover in the CL Final, had a hotel booked in Monaco for the entire Manchester United team. How much money did he lose when canceling his reservation?

    8. Pedro is 6ft tall and very strong and fast. How much pressure need be applied to make him tumble over in the opponents penalty area? (Note: Answers must be in lbs per square inch. However, answers such as, ‘However much pressure is applied by UEFA to referees’ are accepted.)

    9. Hleb is a very lazy boy and often goes missing. Pep is very cross and wants to sell him. If Hleb cost £17m to buy, how much do you think Pep sold him for? How many pennies did Pep lose?

    10. If Barcelona earn 408m but spend 477m, then buy Alexis Sanchez with money that had been “put away in a box” for Cesc Fabregas, this means that Barcelona will go on to win La Liga and triumph in the Champions League. What am I talking about? Does this even make sense? Explain your anwswer in graph form.

  9. OK time for bed, later peeps. 🙂

    P.S. note to self, return ticket to Argentina in the morning in exchange for one to England.

  10. Great idea and good stats.

    However your formula is flawed. Whilst Arsenal might do well in finishing 3rd one season, making the final of the League Cup or a good performance in the CL you are giving points for failure.

    Arsenal have failed for the last 6 seasons. Every other team in that list has one at least one cup in that period.

    Wenger might have done well to compete, but what is clear is that we have won less that ALL of our rivals since moving to the Emirates and Project Youth

  11. First of all … You are one patient man to put all of that together. Secondly, very well written. You have put the data on the table and people can come to their own conclusions. Some would prefer us to spend just a little bit more becoz they think thats what would have taken us over the line in those nearly there finals and crunch end of season ties / run-ins. Others respect the fact that Wenger has kept us competitive by spending much less compared to our immediate rivals in the transfer market.
    There’s still another group who think we should go for broke and spend like crazy – I’ve no time or respect for them
    So kudos to you Muppet for your effort.

  12. irishgray, all you’re suggesting is that while Arsenal attempts to play like Barca, it is actually more like Udinese than a club built for winning trophies

  13. wow that was some interesting stuff…anyway as to spurs, they were always a mid table club, and if im not wrong have spent way more than they earn. they have made great progress, no doubt, but not exactly comparable to the top 5…

  14. i am, however, an advocate of speculate to accumulate. take a loss for a year, but add the quality that is needed. we can always make up the next year.

  15. Muppet,
    Hope you don’t mind a little critique of your incredible effort.

    I wonder how fair your cup scoring is, considering not all of the teams you compared have played in the CL for as long as us, Manure, or Chelsea.

    Wouldn’t a better metric for cup games be the same point system you used in the league? i.e. 3 points for a win, 0 for a loss, and 1 for a draw. Cup games are after all games like any other, so why for instance should manure earn 90 points for playing 6-8 games?

  16. I may be going over ground well trodden here but when someone says Spurs have done better than us for winning a Carling Cup in the same period. But how much is that worth financially compared to CL football every season. Now if we are only talking about how sport is about winning and nobody enters a competition to finish 2nd 3rd or whatever then it becomes qualitative (the feeling of being champions – regardless of the stature of the competition) and very hard to quantify.

  17. Sorry, there are way more than 6-8 games in the CL, but the point remains…

  18. Good effort! Should net debt be taken into into the picture?

  19. Come on people we have been competitive in this six year period ,we have been to a few finals and fell at the last hurdle. We have also made it past group phase of champions league and with most seasons making it into quarters at least. Not a bad record yes still no trophy I hear you shout!!!! But think out of those clubs mentioned above which ones are the ones with an operating profit. Actually there is two I know of and thats us and the Spurs Utd City and Chelsea all have made losses in the past seasons though Utds are down to glazers debt the only one im not totally sure on is liverpool. So we could operate at a loss and spend more but eventually something gives look at Portsmouth. I think given our financial clout or lack of it Wenger does a good job Remember the trophy’s he won came with an inherited team but he turned them into winners. The problem for everyone now is that Abromovich and now the Arab owner at City have inflated the transfer market so prices for players are ridiculous. neither Cahill or Jagielka are worth 17 million plus but prices are inflated because Abromovich and other mega money owners can throw money away. Let me say both are good players but their value has inflated beyond sensible unfortunately if we want to be competitive and win things we are going to have to pay silly money out on fees then money on wages. Our biggest problem is we have payed dead weight like bedntner or Cygan and Squillaci over the odds in wages instead of paying players like this especially Bedntner 52k a week we should have increased our top stars earning potential what star would come to us knowing a 110k a week is near enough the top amount we can afford to pay when chelsea Utd City will pay in the region of 160k plus for their services. On a brighter note Gervinho looks a good investment and Myachi has impressed on showings so far Jenkinson looks as he will grow into a solid performer

  20. I have an idea for the setup of coefficient. Why don’t we put the monetary gain (qualification bonus+TV revenue) through league/cup finish as the coefficient?

  21. I just checked and the mancs played 13 games in the last CL, they won 9 drew 3 and lost 1 (the final), which means they earned 30 points. This obviously would make their spend/point stat worse than what you’ve got, but it would be fairer in my opinion.

  22. nice work muppet….

  23. I think the most interesting line in this whole article is “the data indicates that Arsenal would gain a higher return if they invested more heavily in the playing squad”..

    During this same period Arsenal have by my estimation (2011 accounts due out late Sept) grown their net asset base by 200m pounds, have paid more tax on our earnings than all of those rivals put together and sit on a cash hoard approaching 150m pounds..

    There can be no doubt we have over achieved as far as the balance sheet is concerned but perhaps this opportunity cost could be somehow translated into the debate as it would clearly show that in reality we have failed miserably in providing what a football club is actually in the business of..

  24. that took a lot of effort… confirms my feelings on the subject. if you had data for the past 12 years the picture will be even more enhanced…

    18 ,,,, 18 days to season opener..


  25. Anyone know if there is any truth to stories of Eboué leaving for Galatasaray?

  26. @Henristic

    It’s not on the official website yet………. so no, no truth in it whatsover!

  27. hope it isn’t true.. good squad member to have.. and brings much to the team..

  28. AW did motion that eboue was one player that might move..

  29. Bloody impressive work Muppet.

    Very good to see some intelligence, and work, being used on here in the silly season.

    This is a difficult task and Your effort seems as fiar and reasonable as anybody else’s.

    So. When are we going to sign Cahill and Mata?

  30. Fantastic muppet. A really interesting read.

    Good work mate. Well worked out. I’m impressed with that.

    Only thing I can’t quite understand is how the hell have the spuds spent less than us?

  31. I really enjoyed that Yogi. 🙂

    You have made clear what your assumptions are in compiling the tables, and your reasons for doing so, and altho’ others might suggest other parameters, these are not likely to be any more valid. In any event, I suspect the likely outcome/trend using alternative co-efficient of variations would not materially alter the results.

    These models are interesting in themselves but are mainly useful as a fans debating point regarding the interpretation of historical data, which inevitably leads to discussions of the ‘what ifs’ or ‘if only’ sort.

    However, another use could be as a learning tool to show the effect on greater or lesser investment in future years, when taking the specific costs and funding requirements of building the Emirates out of the equation.

    Respects to you Yogi for this work, but I suspect it is food for thought for those of a mathematical bent, and a glazed look of incomprehension for those who aren’t! 🙂

  32. Just popping in to thank Muppet for his efforts on this morning’s post and to make clear, I didn’t write it, Muppet did.


  33. Thanks for kind comments everybody. I cannot respond in detail as I am on holiday. Henristic .. I take on board your comments about metric system used. I have already received comments about this on twitter. I will try to get a consensus of any changes to make it fairer. Some people are saying it needs to be slanted more towards trophy warning, others are saying more towards premiership performance. So it will be difficult.

  34. Mohamed Zubairu

    This is a very good analysis. To make the picture more complete, let us add the fact that we got a new stadium and better training facilities during this period. Also, we should not forget the aesthetic football that Wenger has established at Arsenal. There are quite a number of people who are arsenal fans because of the beauty of their game.
    Another admirable aspect of Wenger is the vision he has for the game. All these astronomical fees and salaries that footballers earn is just a fluke. It is not sustainable. The bubble will burst very soon. When the economic situation of the world demands that football clubs cough out the monies they owe, then the bubble will burst. Many clubs would go into extinction. This scenario might be arrested if the Financial Fair Play law is observed very strictly. Minus that, many teams will end up in a mess.
    The model of stringent management of clubs within the limits of its income is the only way forward for the future of football. It is unfortunate that only few people can see that. To his credit, Wenger is in that number.

  35. YW

    from your numbers it appears that the Man U model is by far the most successful. A model which aims to maintain a core squad of players, often on long contracts, who generally want to stay at the club to which the manager adds up to 4 players each season. The new additions brought in usually being a mixture of promising youngsters who are starting to find their feet and experienced players who should be able to fit into the team fairly quickly. To this is added a small group of players promoted from the youth ranks who get the opportunity to stretch their legs and gradually build up experience.
    The numbers don’t look at the financial viability of the clubs overall, but they would suggest the tweaks which would be needed to bring back success whilst maintaining financial stability require us to be a bit more active in the recycling of our squad, a bit more regular in the transfer market (the footballing equivalent of All Bran). If we are able to keep the core team members in place whilst actively moving players in and out around the larger squad we should be more successful. Unfortunately, we appear to have a struggle to keep core players season after season (which probably goes right back to Vieira) whilst only looking to bring in promising youngsters to replace the core players lost.
    It is admirable that this policy has managed to keep us there or thereabouts whilst we moved from Highbury to the Emirates, but the move was to some degree meant to allow us to compete finanancially with the big spenders. The goal posts have moved (great to able to use a football analogy in a football discussion) in prices now paid in the transfer markets and we are now not even able to get involved in the market for promising youngsters let alone established players. When do start to reap the benefits of our move by being able to compete in the transfer markets?

  36. This data confirms what I would have expected: that Arsene does over-achieve with the resources he is given and for that he should be given credit.
    However, have we been “unluckly” in not winning anything or have we put our eggs in the wrong basket sometimes? We have tended to prioritize the league and champions league over the last few seasons when we have had realistically not much chance of winning them, as demonstrated by our 3 or 4th place finishes.
    Perhaps we should have taken the domestic cups a bit more seriously (as we did this season) and therefore alleviated some of the pressure and media criticism that we have had to endure. I’m not sure we have played this right.

  37. I would suggest the you also need to take into account interest expense into total costs as most player acquisition are financed by short-term debt? This would push Mancs (and AFCs) spend per point up significantly due to their higher levels of debt.

  38. Top Gunning, Muppet. Didn’t know you were a maths type. Someone has to be I suppose…

    I think you could just as easily pop Portsmouth or Birmingham in there instead of Spurs – but I liked how you chopped the head off their chicken in the pie chart.

    Arsene has obviously done fantastically well to keep us competitive and set us up with a production line of homegrown talent, and treat us to the best pure football in the league all the while. We will reap the rewards for years to come. Three Cheers for Arsene! Three Cheers for Muppet!

    The cricket was good, Cb. Strange things going on with your Green Army though aren’t there?

  39. FFS – all those saying “but what about the trophies” are missing the point entirely. Muppet acknowledges that we haven’t won trophies, he is just saying that the figures show we are, over six seasons, overacheiving. That’s a good thing, surely.

    All these trophy or nothing merchants presumably would be happier as Portsmouth or Birmingham fans – they have won trophies in the last six years, but wait – they’ve also been relegated!

    Keep competing and the trophies WILL come. If you’re not competing on a regular basis, you may fluke a cup, but that won’t do for a club like Arsenal.

  40. By the way, the figures for Man City are distorted because the vast majority of their spending has been in the last two years of the six-year period. They have made the investment, but haven’t yet reaped the rewards. Do this calculation again in a couple of years’ time and their “points efficiency” will be much healthier.

    Not saying they are going to win the PL or CL, but they will definitely be competing for them.

  41. Jabba's delights

    Great effort Muppet really well done post.

    Obvioulsy statistics can be bent and moulded into different arguments as someone mentioned earlier but i think even the way you have put it it backs up what has been called a doomer argument on here completely.

    Yes we have done well to remain competative in the early stages of the emirates move but in the last 3 years when we have had significantly more resources availibale to us in the transfer market and failed to use them. Its these last 3 years that upset alot of gooners. If we had gone out and spent more on transfers using our managers and scouting networks great eye for talent in all probabaility we would have done better and mybe won a trophie.

    When last summer transfer business was highlighted as a clear sign of the club and manager not showing enough ambition people get labelled a horrible doomer. Lets be clear Chamack (free), Squilaci (4m) kosciellny (8m) wasnt good enough.

    All alot of us ”doomers” want it for the club to do all it can in its self sustaining way to win trophies. That hasnt been done over the last 3 years and thats where the disappointment comes from. We need to be more ambitious in the transfer market with the resources we have.

    Once again great effort

  42. Irisgray @ 7:53 am,

    Sheer genius!

  43. Jabba's delights

    Also the numbers prove beyond any doubt what i’ve been saying about utd for quite some time on this blog. I shouldnt have to make apologies or be called a cunt for writing the truth its the ‘hardcore akb’s’ who have wallow their pride at times.

  44. well done for the effort put in. If your right and we have overachieved while winning nothing then the world is more messed up than i thought

  45. Muppet,

    Many thanks for a great blog. Maybe, for once, I do agree with Henristic that the cup weighting method awards too many points to the Mancs and could be addressed to more accurately represent spend-to-achievement ratios!?

  46. JD,

    No, you are called a cunt because you use terms like “akb’s”. As Xavi might put it, proof of cuntishness in the DNA of the user!


  48. Jabba's delights


    ha its amazing how hypocritical you can be. Calling someone and AKB is exactly the same as you labelling someone a doomer…… thats the issue. You paint me the same as you would paint geoff from le grove. I will paint you as wavey, frank or george……………thats the futility of the the argument as made by the hardcore on this site and le grove.

  49. Muppet,
    Take your time with the changes. Its no doubt a difficult thing to please everyone, but top marks for the patience and effort in doing the write-up in the first place.

    I can’t understand those who want it slanted toward more trophies, as it means majority of teams would be like Arsenal i.e. having N/A next to their names. Does it mean all the money those teams spent is for nothing?

    Anyways, enjoy your holidays!

  50. Respect for the effort Muppet.

    Fabsri @ 7:49am “Noone cares about the numbers. people are only interested in trophy number dude!!!!”

    That kinda comment really makes me hate the new generation of fans. Fickle little fuckers running around in their Chelsea and Real Madrid tops thinking they support a team.

    Northbank1969, the only thing stopping me from having my punt on Theo being top scorer is Gervinho’s arrival!

    So now I will restrict my betting as to whether Jabba can go a day without mentioning United. Odds are 10,000 to 1, so worth a punt. No winners today tho.

  51. Jabba,

    Please show me where I have called someone a “doomer”!

  52. Jabba's delights


    Dont need to mention Utd for the rest of the summer. Muppet proved my arguments to be correct like i said earlier i shouldnt be ashamed of writing something down correctly it says more about the abuser that they cant handle the truth.

    Anyway what are your thoughts on muppet great blog. Maybe a little bit more ambition with the resources availbale to us in the last 3 years might have had better results……maybe just maybe?

  53. Jabba's delights


    Im sure you have called somone a doomer on here before but the post wasnt necassarily refering to you. Many decent bloggers on here fall into the trap of calling people doomers and akb’s when in reality there is ahuge spectrum of thought about different topics but its much easier to label someone one of the 2. Apologies if i hurt you feelings but you must relaise everytime you see someone write doomer it means exactly the same as someone using akb

  54. @Kamran & Henristic – I will be gutted if Eboue leaves. One mistake (if it was at all) & he’s being sold? I am not sure. Plus, I believ he’d be a good cover for Keiran.

    @Limpar – Cricket, eh? Your real test begins on Friday 😀

  55. “Fickle little fuckers running around in their Chelsea and Real Madrid tops thinking they support a team.”

    Couldn’t agree more; the tops change every season..

  56. Excellent work Muppet. I am sure it took a lot of effort; more than most of us would expend.

    It won’t stop the “realists” for trashing your efforts especially those who have greater financial insights than the management of the club and of the Professor himself. On that note I want so much to reach through my computer and strangle anyone who glibly repeats one of the mantras of the chief blog whore , i.e. we must speculate to accumulate. As someone, like millions of American working people, whose 401K and IRA has been decimated by the speculation brought on by the financial bubble and subsequent Great Recession, this cavalier attitude to financial assets leaves me very angry.

  57. Excellent Test Limpar. Best I’ve watched in a while. Outplayed the Indians all round. What will be different about the next one mj?

    Fuck knows what is going on at Argyle. As soon as Ridsdale got involved I feared the worst.

  58. Well for starters, Bob, we’d have afully fit team..

  59. But then,well played to you guys. I am sure we’ll wake up from our slumber; that’s how its been recetly.

  60. Jabba's delights


    There is a difference between spending money you dont have and spending money you do have but choose to leave in a bank or pay off your ”very manigable” debt at record pace. Just so that we are clear I dont agree spending money we dont have but do vermently agree with spending more of the money that our very good business model has generated for us.

  61. Jabba, my thoughts are that a lot of effort went into the article and the scoring is fair. Very interesting read. But having watched the entire season and the previous five with a passion I know that no amount of stats will ever tell me the story. Something a lot of our arguments are based on here.

    Also I’d be interested to see the likes of Everton and Wigan included. Two teams who constantly over-achieve based on their spend.

    Incidentally amoung all the bullshit and rumour I’ve read today there was one rumour that caught my eye. We’ve apparently made enquiries about Wigan’s James McCarthy. I would be all for that. Cover in central midfield, where we actually might need it. The lad is young but he has some great experience.

  62. Yogi, this is a wonderful article and I thank Muppet for writing the piece. I thank you for having the insight to allow others to post on this site. It all adds up to a high quality experience in reading about football.

    May I add support to the comment made from Mohamed Zubairu @ 9:45. This is, in the final analysis, all about a business plan that is survivable into the future. Considering the rationality of a business plan that adheres to the functioning of a Franchise according to the money that is available, Arsenal are one of the few that make sense in terms of the rational economic man. Unfortunately, at the moment we have a terrible distortion in our system in the Premier League that allows

  63. Jabba's delights


    Wenger has come out before and stated he likes him, not sure how much truth is in it. Ramsey, Frimpong, Colquin, Lansburry all currently at the club and need game time either with us or on loan.

    All i believe have talent to command a place in the squad. Loved Frimpong dispossessing one of their players on sat and setting up Arshavin, he is a beast.

    I can only see us signing another midfielder if nasri or cesc leave and then i think it will either be Mata if Cesc goes or Oxlade Chamberlain if Nasri goes as we have good cover on the wing currently.

  64. To my mind, in terms of actual central midfielders, we have Diaby, Song, Wilshere and Frimpong. Other players can play there at a push, but it’s maybe not their most effective position (Nasri, Rosicky, Cesc, Ramsey, even Lansbury if the boss wants to give him a go this year). Since we generally play 2 central mids and allowing for injuries, departures (Deni) and the ACN (which Song and maybe Frimpong will be going to), we could stand to have more cover in that area at the right price.

  65. Wow, a very ‘Swiss Ramble’ type of post, which I now understand was written by Muppet. Good effort.
    Some observations:
    It is best to keep City out of the analysis as their spend over the last 2 seasons should be considered over their performance in the next two or three years to really judge their efficiency. At the moment, they have graduated from mid table to a Championship spot – which might be a good achievement from their point of view
    Second, in life, as in business, it is all about winning. Get a reputation for losing, and your ‘stars’ desert you and it is harder to attract quality players. This cannot be factored in to a numerical exercise.

  66. Well well, le Prof muppet. Nice stats….no points for ze beautiful game no?

  67. Jabba's delights

    Two Owls

    I know of not one regular poster on here bar maybe AIC who advocates anythign other than spending what we generate ourselves on new players. Our Chief executive has stated on countless occasions that our debt is very very manigable and its over 25 years its been our choice to pay that down at a record level rather than invest a little bit of it in the playing squad and it s been our choice to not spend the Toure and Adebayor money. Its also been our choice to have a squad high in numbers with alot of middle ground players on high wages in the hope that it would breed loyalty.

  68. Yogi, this is a wonderful article and I thank Muppet for writing the piece. I thank you for having the insight to allow others to post on this site. It all adds up to a high quality experience in reading about football.

    May I add support to the comment made from Mohamed Zubairu @ 9:45. This is, in the final analysis, is all about a business plan that is survivable into the future. Considering the rationality of a business plan that adheres to the functioning of a Franchise according to the money that is available, Arsenal are one of the few that make sense in terms of the rational economic man. Unfortunately, at the moment we have a terrible distortion in our system in the Premier League that allows teams to spend according to a dictum that really does not apply to any business model taught in any school of economics.

    The authorities in the Premier League are completely off the mark in allowing this nonsense to persist. As Mohamed has suggested, it is not sustainable. If anyone doubts the veracity of Mohamed Zubairu’s comments one need only review the many professional leagues in North America and you will immediately be confronted by the obvious and that is the fans have a limited amount of capital to spend at games. This has dictated a salary cap in the NFL and NHL. This will appear in the Premier League!

    Arsenal and Arsene Wenger are light years ahead of most in the Premier
    League. Not only do we have the most exciting recruiting policy in the league in our Youth Policy, but we also play the most pleasing football which is beyond statistics.

  69. Incidentally Muppet, your link to Football Intelligence – the site is dormant and the domain seems to be for sale?

  70. Thanks Muppet – obviously a lot of thought has gone into this, fair play to you. Next year, that ‘N/A’ will be replaced I’m sure.

    I think we’re still going to see a couple more signings. It looks like a few fringe players may be off soon, and if they are replaced by more apt first team challengers, then our squad will be looking like a nice improvement from last year. If JET, Lansbury, possibly Coqu, and Eboue go, we’ve got Myiachi (if WP sorted), Gervinho, Jenk already there to become challengers for a first team spot, so imo we’ve already improved our squad. I am confident that we’ll sign one or 2 more players as well.

    I read an article earlier, can’t remember the source, but it was headlined something along the lines of ‘Arsenal’s Crisis Escalates as Mass Exodus Continues’. Absolutely ridiculous. I think we’re already stronger than last year, and if we keep one of Cesc/Nasri, then I’ll be happy going into the season as we are. The only place that I think some cover would be good, is at LB. Traore hasn’t impressed enough to be relied upon if Gibbs gets injured imo, but maybe given more playing time, will change that perception…


  71. Very intersting, thanks Muppet.
    I see some gr*tty experts are using an ingenious method to attempt to exploit your generoisity towrds the Mancs.

    I thought it was a great test.
    The Indian Test team always start off slowly, but their selectors obviously haven’t done their teams chances of retaining that top spot any favours. Does Zaheer’s twinged hammy have anything to do with the damp spell we had for the first half of the test, that two weeks ago Zaheer was playing in a test match in the Caribbean?
    Clearly the answer in such circumstances is to spend some fucking money, as obviously what with the IPL and everyfink, there is a shortage of ca$h flow and scandal in the BCCI, innit. Hang on have I got that confused? Half a warm up game & no rest before a great series so someone can make a healthy wad of ca$h. Right? Spend some farking Moooooooooooooolah!

    These tests could get better and better. Favourable conditions but still surprised to see both Sharma and Broad bowling well. Someone must have sat Broad down and explained to him that he is not a reincarnation of Joel Garner. As a fan of the bowling side of the game, Zaheer’s loss could be too much for the tourists.

  72. this whole debate is flawed as wenger said he had money to spend but was happy with the squad.just like he haas money for a lb bûtt is happy with what we got.

  73. Jabba ,Your beloved United have gone almost a billion pounds in debt in the 6 year period in question,
    You think that would be a good model for us to follow.?

    Factor that

  74. Actually I have decided that Duke and Jabba do actually know.Not Wenger

  75. @finsbury – agree with almost your entire post; but Zak did not tour the Caribbean..

  76. I will shed a tear if Eboue leaves but rationally its probably for the best. He’s just never improved his attack-play like i hoped he would but boy, what a loyal team mate!

    Lansbury: Arsene knows….
    JET: Arsene must know….
    Coquelin: kind of doubt he’ll be sold

    It could be a case of
    END OF PHASE ONE: stadium built, debt easily manageable, team still in top 4, exit fringers
    START PHASE TWO: UEFA FFA rule**, improve squad*….tbc

    *Cesc, Nasri throwing spanner into plan..we will survive
    **in 2years agents will be begging AFC to buy their players

  77. Jabba's delights


    I mean gainsbourg had to have this explained to him but am happy to do you as well as you clearly dont get it my old friend.

    Utd are in debt due to their owners leveraged buyout. There underlying business model is a cash cow. They can pay off this debt due to this. There club is the highest valued sporting franchise in the world by a distance. There are numerous bidders who want to buy Utd for £1- 1.5 billion pounds double that of what we are valued at. The Glaziers who are shorter term investors than Stan want closer to 2 billion. If that were to happen Utd debt would be zero releasing a further 70-80m a year currenlty spent on interest on increased wages or transfer money. The only problem with leveraged buyouts is if the value of your purchase drops (not going to happen with utd) or you cant pay the interest payments like Liverpool due to dropping out of cl. Utd are a different kettle of fish to Liverpool. We should fear the day that the glaziers sell utd and they are free from there interest burden as it will move them up into another stratosphere.

    The Glaziers bought Utd for like 700m if they were to sell for 1 billion they would pay off their debt and have made 300m for themselves whilst utd fantastic turnover enabled them to spend next to nothing on the interest payments which were all paid via Utd.

    Even with this they have been tremndously succesful as the grapth points out. There net spend is very small considering the success they achieve. They are a club who we are trying to emulate and for good reason

  78. Yes, it’s a big shame Kahn is out for the good of the contest. Do we know who will replace him?

    I love watching the Indians bat. Even when they’re being kept quiet they look good trying.

  79. I will shed a tear if Eboue leaves but rationally its probably for the best. He’s just never improved his attack-play like i hoped he would but boy, what a loyal team mate!

    Lansbury: Arsene knows….(hope there’s a buy-back clause [bbc])
    JET: Arsene must know….(bbc?)
    Coquelin: kind of doubt he’ll be sold

    It could be a case of
    END OF PHASE ONE: stadium built, debt easily manageable, team still in top 4, exit fringers
    START PHASE TWO: UEFA FFA rule**, improve squad*, bring in specialists…(tbc)

    *Cesc, Nasri throwing spanner into plan..we will survive
    **in 2years agents will be begging AFC to buy their players

    AW’s “fight” to keep Cesc might REALLY mean >€35m + Thiago Alacantra. Very complicated negotiations….we wait & we wonder

  80. Jabba I know if they sell it for 3 billion its even better.,No?
    But people used to think the property market was a sure thing.
    United are the biggest brand in the world of sport .Get real with your desires Jabba.

  81. apologies for the double post….oh,
    Q: how good a player is Benik Afobe?

  82. If the football bubble bursts United are fucked

  83. mj_gunner @ 12:54 pm

    Hah! My bad.

    Agree with your thoughts on Eboue. The two or three times he’s been asked to play at LB, he’s been fine.
    Not sure what’s happening in Turkish football at the moment, but the N.London Fenerbache fans I know are in still in shock that the Fenerbache president has been kept in the slammer. Politics and football. According to our resident *coughs* realists, the two do not mix.

  84. as mentioned before, i applude the work and the effort in this post(muppets) and the consistently well thought out and relevant post on this site day in day out. two points.
    1) this study would do well to be time sensitive. as mentioned by two others, CHITTY have done the majority of their over the top spending in the past two years . manure, liverpool ,and on a larger scale ,chelski have done the majority of their overspending in the earlier and middle part of the last decade. to realize the true extent of how these three have done compared to others in the study one has to take the data for the past ten years or so to get a clearer picture. a clearer picture of how the clubs around us have stunk up the football scene with their doing.

    2) gives one a sense of pride that even though we could have participated in this shit game others have dived into, head first, we haven’t. not because like many other clubs, we couldn’t play this game, but that at least in the last two years, we could have and we didn’t. this speculative games others have engaged in , much to my dislike, has killed any chance of a level playing field for many worthy clubs. so much so that we see the same usual suspects in latter parts of many competitions. many ordinary and worthy clubs have paid the price in this speculative game that manures and liverpool started and have attracted the newly johny come latlies of chelski, man CHITTY and the TOTs. as in real life, the games that some play end up hurting and in some cases devastating the ordinary man and woman tring to do their best, but end ul getting shafted by the greedy games some play.. proud to be on the side of an organisation that refrain from getting into this racket and adding fuel to this fire.. don’t be envious of the likes of manure. hate them for what they have done to the game…..

  85. These results prove for once and for all that what I have been saying was 100% right all along.I have been vindicated ,Arsene Wenger is the greatest manager in the history of the world and we should never question him.
    Its a fact .Muppet has proven it.
    Well that how I am interpreting it anyway.Proof positive of my own genius

  86. hear hear george r

  87. For every Luis Suarez there is a Jovanovic and an Aqualani and a Joe Cole and a Meireles and a Voronin and a Dossena and a Riera and a Christian Poulsen.

    And for every Mark Randall and Justin Hoyte there’s a Jack Wilshere.

    ‘Ambition’ in the transfer market is overrated. Finding quality players that will actually fit into a system of play you’ve been cultivating top-down throughout a club is much harder. And much more worthwhile than a ‘statement of intent’.

    Koscielny, Gervinho – these are excellent players bought in tailor-made for the modern Arsenal. I expect there to be one or two more signings like that on the back of Ivan’s comments – but even if that doesn’t materialise I can’t see us not challenging once again. We have a brilliantly exciting squad looking in fantastic shape to me. Keeping Samir and Cesc is huge. Really, really important storm to weather.

    Can’t wait for it all to kick-off now. Reckon we’re gonna come out the traps a year wiser and a year stronger with some scores to settle and a big point to prove.

  88. Jabba's delights


    If the football bubble bursts then alot of people are f^cked. If we dont make cl consistently we are f^cked which is more likely to happen right now? I woudld suggest that our very own owner doesnt see it bursting at this time. Utd are very well placed to do well in furture as are we but they are just 10 or so years ahead with marketing themselves as a brand. Our stadium move puts us light years ahead of Liverpool and Spurs long term as they will have to go throught the same growing pains that we went through 2005-2008.


    Really talented kid grew up alot last year. Quick, strong, works hard, keeps possesion well, makes intelligent runs and when his confidence is up is a lethal finisher. Over the next 10 years i would wage a bet that you will here the Aneke Afobe combination setting up and scoring an untold number of goals. Its been a pleasure following them from Hale end up.

  89. I agree with Limpar.

    I thought Frimpong was good t’other day. First time I’ve really seen him in full flow, and paid him much attention. I think he’s going to become an excellent player. His robust style is great to watch, just needs to tidy up his passing, but that will come with training with the first team – no doubt. I think he’ll get limited playing time this year, domestic cups hopefully, and we should start to see what he’s made of by the end of the season.

    I also think Jenkinson’s going to be another great signing. Apart from his massive error, i thought he looked fast, determined, committed, ‘no-nonsense’ and quite good on the ball. I remember him chasing back on a counter attack, ended up fouling, but the ground he made up to get the challenge in was awesome.

    Gervinho looks exciting too! Very happy with our squad at the moment. But as you say Limpar – keeping cesc & nasri will be huge. Keeping one would be ok I think (preferrably Cesc obviously), losing both would require a very special replacement…

  90. “Really talented kid grew up alot last year. Quick, strong, works hard, keeps possesion well, makes intelligent runs and when his confidence is up is a lethal finisher. Over the next 10 years i would wage a bet that you will here the Aneke Afobe combination setting up and scoring an untold number of goals. Its been a pleasure following them from Hale end up.”

    Thanks JD. I haven’t seen much of him either, just reports and what people have said about him on here… Didn’t he have a ridiculous youth scoring record – at internation and club level? Or am I getting him confused..?

    I really need to start following the youth & reserves more…!!

  91. @ Muppet

    kudos for your effort; not something I could find the patience to tackle. Others may find flaws but in the big picture it’s well developed and organized.

  92. Excellent post Muppet. Love that math exam Irishgrey!

  93. I agree with Limpar.(don’t start that again)

  94. @ Muppet
    Kudos to you for all the hard work. *claps and looks impressed* Your conclusion confirms my gut feeling.

    I am no statistician, but regarding the calls for your study to be time-sensitive, I feel that any time period chosen will be somewhat arbitrary.

    @ Geo | July 26, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Agree with that post. I was pleasantly surprised to see Frimpong rampaging up the pitch as well! When I last saw him he tended to stick to the shield territory just in front of the back four. Great to see him adding other facets to his game. A utility defender to replace Eboue, if he goes, would be nice, but we look pretty much good to go to me.

  95. United could have Nasri for Berbatov and 10 mill.

  96. @ Geo
    Remember a few seasons ago when Wenger talked about two amazing kids (they were 14 or 15 at the time) who were technically outstanding? One was Wilshere and the other was Benik Afobe.

  97. “Really talented kid grew up alot last year. Quick, strong, works hard, keeps possesion well, makes intelligent runs and when his confidence is up is a lethal finisher. Over the next 10 years i would wage a bet that you will here the Aneke Afobe combination setting up and scoring an untold number of goals. Its been a pleasure following them from Hale end up”.

    Thanks JD, Afobe seems to clearly illustrate the point Limpar just made:

    “‘Ambition’ in the transfer market is overrated. Finding quality players that will actually fit into a system of play you’ve been cultivating top-down throughout a club is much harder. And much more worthwhile than a ‘statement of intent’”.

    AW’s fine-tuning his next great squad I tell u. If only Cesc (like Reyes) bought into it fully.
    It must be the cold weather, the rainy depressing English weather.

    “djU want to f**k the Arse, Barça, the Arse must f**k u back Barça!”
    “30 million + Thiago Alcántara do Nascimento or NO DEAL!!!
    (in Scarface voice)

  98. didn’t know the kid is Brazilian, Thiago I meanântara

  99. I am beginning to resemble Jabba saying the same thing every day but here goes.
    Cesc is irreplaceable in today’s market

  100. JD,
    u reckon Chuks Aneke’s another gem in the making eh?

    thanks FunGunner,
    “Remember a few seasons ago when Wenger talked about two amazing kids (they were 14 or 15 at the time) who were technically outstanding? One was Wilshere and the other was Benik Afobe.”

  101. Imagine if we got Thiago & Eden Hazard to replace Cesc???

    What say you ACLFers?

  102. “The general conclusions is that we have just have been unlucky not to win a trophy.”


    Your data show that Arsene has overachieved in keeping us in the top four – yes. On that you are correct. AND THAT’S ALL IT SHOWS.

    You cannot get from there to the conclusion that it’s “only luck” that we haven’t won a trophy. You have not explained how you get from your objective data to something called “luck” to explain why we haven’t won a trophy. That’s a huge leap that you make totally unsupported by your data.

    That conclusion comes from your own personal desire to avoid placing any fault whatsoever on our manager and players. Your explanation: it’s just something mystical, undefinable called “luck” – thus avoiding any examination whatsoever of the active agency of our manager, coaching staff, and our players. According to you, they must be totally immune from any critical examination whatsoever – it’s just “luck.”

    I find it ironic & hypocritical that you love to use objective data to reach a positive conclusion about our performance (a conclusion you want to reach, meant to protect Wenger & our players from criticism or evaluation) yet then step over into totally subjective, undefined, mystical abracadabra bullshit called “luck” – a lazy catch-all, convenient label we use to explain something we either can’t or don’t want to explain. Because it’s too inconvenient to consider something else.

    In fact, your data shows the exact opposite of your conclusion.

    It begs the question WHY WE HAVEN’T WON A TROPHY GIVEN HOW CLOSE WE’VE GOTTEN. Yet the other clubs who’ve not been as close have succeeded in winning trophies.

    Why have they managed it while we haven’t? You pathetic, meaningless subjective answer: “luck.

    What you do by resorting to this “luck” mumbo-jumbo is rob Wenger and our players of their agency, their ability to influence results by what they do or do not do. You reduce them to completely passive bystanders – as if they have absolutely no role whatsoever in our results & in not winning a trophy. You are so obsessed with defending them that you make them into totally insignificant, meaningless actors when looking at our results.

    Except of course when those results buttress your accurate conclusion that we have overachieved in staying in the top 4. On that you insist on evaluating their actions & decisions-because the conclusion fits what you want it to be. Again, hypocrisy.

    It’s a totally ludicrous position to take. Football involves people – not just numbers on a page. It involves people who act or don’t act. And their actions and decisions are subject to examination, evaluation & critical judgment – both negative and positive. The fact that we’ve overachieved merits recognition – as does our consistent yearly collapses, our totally predictable consistent failings in specific areas. But those are things you don’t want to look at.

    Stop talking as if Wenger, our coaching staff & our players are just helpless, anonymous bystanders and victims who have absolutely no influence on our failures. Of course you do insist on recognizing the influence of their actions & decisions on our successes.

    But it works both ways, you see. Once you realize that, your position and conclusions would merit respect. At the moment, this is just an obvious exercise in using objective data to reach a pre-ordained conclusion.

  103. Aman | July 26, 2011 at 2:14 pm
    Imagine if we got Thiago & Eden Hazard to replace Cesc???

    What say you ACLFers?

    george rodger | July 26, 2011 at 2:09 pm
    I am beginning to resemble Jabba saying the same thing every day but here goes.
    Cesc is irreplaceable in today’s market

  104. @ FG – yeah I was surprised to see Frimpong getting forward like that too..! But great to see his charging runs, let’s hope that the midfield communicate effectively and rotate their attacks (but i suppose this is something done already with Song/jack etc). Hopefully he wont be seen as the ‘next Pat V’ or whoever they want to call him, not everyone can hanle the pressure as much as people like Jack & Cesc.

    Re Benik – I do remember Wenger saying that now you mention it. Again, hopefully he’ll be integrated slowly, and without people getting all histerical about the youngster.

    This is what makes ‘project youth’ so damned exciting! Big players can leave, but that opens up the doorway for these hugely talented youngsters to have a pop. If that means a bit more of a struggle for trophies, that’s fine by me. It feels like winning to me, every time we unearth one of these gems. Jack is the latest to make me feel so priviliged to support the wonderful Arsenal FC.

  105. jaelle,come again?
    Are you saying that luck plays no part in sport?

  106. not too shabby eh?

    ARSENAL 2011/12

    Szseszny Fabianski Mannone
    Sagna Jenkinson
    Enrique* Gibbs Traore
    Koscielny Jagielka* Squillaci
    Vermaelen Djourou Miquel
    Song Diaby Frimpong
    Hazard* Walcott Vela
    Wilshere Ramsey Thiago*
    Van Persie Chamakh Afobe
    Arshavin Rosicky
    Gervinho Miyaichi Oxlade*

  107. Muppet strong work. Thanks.

    No one doubts the fact that Wenger has done an amazing job of keeping us competitive thru the move. I doubt any other manager in the world would have been able to do it. His financial management has allowed us to build a substantial resource base. That said I do understand the frustration of fans and the media. The club promised to use the revenue generated from the stadium to strengthen and despite having a wealth of resources available at least to this point they have not kept that promise. No one wants us to spend ourselves into oblivion but it is very difficult to understand having a profit in the transfer market over the last 3 years when we need to improve our table position. Your data clearly shows there is benefit to spending money and the club has chosen to add a stiff headwind to fight against by not utilizing our resources. Perhaps that will make it all taste sweeter if we finally achieve our goals

  108. If we went out and spent £200 million in the window and won the quadruple I would not be impressed.We would be no better than City and Chelsea.
    Winning is not everything.Not unless it is in a fight for your life.Then it is.

  109. jaell – calm down! If you know Muppet and his style, you would know that this statement involved at least some part of his tongue being well placed inside his cheek.

  110. george – of course not everyone believes luck even exists, jaell obviously one of them. I am certain we were unlucky, others will find blame wherever possible to back up their standpoint.

  111. Bill.

    “The club promised to use the revenue generated from the stadium to strengthen and despite having a wealth of resources available at least to this point they have not kept that promise.”
    Tosh and rubbish.
    The club has never promised to compete with City and Chelsea as they did not exist in their current carnation when the move was proposed.
    The goalposts have been changed.So stop regurgitating that drivel .

  112. George @ 2.29 – 100% agree with that.

  113. Jabba's delights

    Aman/ fungunner

    Aneke was the guy who wenger was talking about a few years ago when he said we have 14 year old who are ”technically perfect”. Wilshere was 2 years above aneke. He has eveythign bar pace. Very similar to JET but works harder and is genuinly 2 footed. If one ever has the time to blog with the hardcore section on youngguns they rant and rave about him more than any other. Started pre seaon exeptionally well.

    I would send Afobe out on loan again but this time for whole year in the championship. He will come back next year ready to compete with Carlos.

  114. Great work, Muppet! Really good read.

    And you know a post is good if it coaxes a rant from NYMarcus.

  115. Is nobody having this?

    “george rodger | July 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm
    United could have Nasri for Berbatov and 10 mill.”

    Am I in Coventry again?

  116. Theretical-wishful-thinking-to-the-fullest:

    Clichy 7m
    Eboue 4m*
    JET 1m*
    Bendtner 10m*
    Almunia 3m*
    Cesc 30m**
    Nasri 20m*
    TOTAL 75m*

    Jenkinson 1m
    Gervinho 10.5m
    Enrique 7.5m*
    Jagielka/ Samba 13m*
    Thiago 0**
    Hazard 19m*
    Oxlade 9m*
    TOTAL 60m*

    PROFIT 15m

    SUMMARY: terribly exciting squad that would pacify many fans, titilate present players & scare ANY opposition.

    C’mon ACLFers, WHAT SAY YE????????

    PS: pls feel free to correct fee prices..etc

    Forgive me RASERS & YW, I’m so tired of others speculating so I wishfully thought I’d make up speculation of my own.

  117. Jabba's delights


    Nobody said compete with Chels and Citeeh, people ask us to spend what we generate on improving the squad. Declaring 50m profits 2 years on the trot and selling 40m worth of players and then not spending any of it isnt doing all you can.

    Thats the frustration we are quite close to having a wonderful team backed up by some great youth but we dont compliment that with enough ready made talent even though we have the funds to do it. Lets hope this changes in the next month.

  118. Exactly, GR @ 2:35 Plans were announced for the new stadium in ’99, four years before Abramovich showed up, and nine years before City took spending to insane new dimensions, dragging everyone else along behind them.

    Just taking a quick glance, but PL wage bills at the top have doubled in the last seven years. The goalposts have most definitely been moved.

  119. Jabba's delights


    Would prefer him to go to city as i think add his personality to the blue half of manchester dressing room at you could have chaos, far to may arrogant players. If he goes to Utd i think he will integrate better and make them much stronger.

    What about

    Nasri for 10m and Johnson
    nasri for Balotelli (wenger could be the guy to settle him)

  120. to george rodger | July 26, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    “I am beginning to resemble Jabba saying the same thing every day but here goes.
    Cesc is irreplaceable in today’s market”

    If it happens we have to move on…as best we can.
    what about it george, how best to move on?

    thanks for the info on Aneke JD, u paedo** u…lol (just kidding)

    AW could turn this doom & gloom summer into SUN SHINY DAYS….”.i can see clearly now that Cesc has gone..”

  121. jaelle (Joe?), you’ve taken the word ‘unlucky’ from Muppet’s conclusion and run away screaming with it round the block. Kindly return it to it’s rightful place within the context of the paragraph from whence it came. Yes we were incredibly unlucky in Paris, Cardiff and at Wembley this year. Most of all in Cardiff I thought.

    Everything else you’ve said is bollocks in light of your misunderstanding the above.


  122. Who is NYMarcus? Rings a bell…

  123. I remain POSITIVE….my new mantra

  124. @ Limpar Assist
    NYmarcus is jaelle.

    @ Geo/Aman
    Yes, JD could be right, Chuks Aneke – sorry!

  125. Jabba's delights


    I think if Cesc goes there is no point trying to replace him with a like for like as there are no better playmakers in the world bar potentially the one at Barca.

    I think we should look into signing someone more forward orientated or a world class winger and allow ramsey and Wilshere to supply a devasting 3 pronged attack. Arshavin would be much more useful if played centrally he does a good job on the left but if given the keys to the car he could be unplayable

  126. I love how some people refuse to believe in luck as though a player/team can ever have complete mastery/dominion over events. They cannot. Decisions that fall out of their hands/the rub of the green/the roll of the dice have massive effects.

    This is not to excuse 6 years without a trophy – merely to counter against the idea that luck is COMPLETELY irrelevant.

    Football is a game that is often won by a solitary goal which can lead to some extremely unfair results and this can be especially visible in knockout competitions – of which we have a few.

    When we went out of the CL against Liverpool in 2008, we were denied a clear cut penalty by poor officiating. This was then compounded in the second leg when Liverpool were awarded an extremely specious penalty for a foul against Toure. We bossed Liverpool over 2 legs and yet two poor referee decisions saw us undone. You could also argue we were unlucky when Bendtner blocked a goal bound shot right on the line (the tit) and when the brilliant Flamini was forced off with an injury.

    In the subsequent match Chelsea were out-played by Liverpool over 2 legs but triumphed.

    Chelsea then lost in the final even though they were arguably better than Man Utd on the night.

    How does one pick the bones out of all that?

    Luck certainly exists and often plays a much larger part than most admit – sportspeople like to play down it’s importance because it is their nature to strive for control and dominion.

    I could go on to point out the misfortune we suffered against Chelsea in the final of the League Cup years ago or just some of the shocking decisions we suffered over the course of the last season (and NO they do NOT even themselves out over the course of a season) or I could refer to the disgusting injuries we have suffered to players like Diaby, Eduardo and Ramsey. But I won’t.

    Here’s hoping the lady smiles upon us next season, whilst pissing more frequently on everyone else’s cornflakes.

  127. Yeah, what FG said, LA.

    Agree again with Jonny! Luck is huge. Actually, there’s a good passage in the book I was reading (thieving from) –

  128. Oh, OK. I thought jaellebait was Joe. Seemed verbose enough. What did Poliziano used to call him? A lone yak farting unheard on a mountainside. …that was it I think.

    I miss Pz. (although sometimes I think JD is an elaborate Poliziano plaything. Wouldn’t put it passed him.)

  129. See the Club have just confirmed that JET is moving to Ipswich. Good luck to him.

  130. ONeOfUs – thanks there is also a great chapter touching on it in ‘What Sport tells Us About Life’

    called ‘Does luck matter?’. It’s a hit and miss book but there some illuminating moments on what can shape and define a player/team/season. It’s conclusion is that luck is far mre important than players/managers/fans ever wish to admit.
    Another interesting insight was that bad experiences (losing) when young can be particularly important in shaping great players – the desire not to lose can be a greater incentive than winning. One of the reasons I remain positive about the future of our young players! ;0)

  131. I remain POSITIVE…

    .“Jack Wilshere inspires not just me but all the youth players because he has shown it can be done. Hopefully there will be more players following in his footsteps.”-Benik Afobe

    INTENTION: To build & maintain a fiercely potent 25-man squad to entertain, dominate & win trophies for the glory of all Gunners worldwide.

    THIS SEASON 2011/12:
    Sell Cesc, get Thiago as part of deal
    Buy Hazard but loan to Lille for the season (the knowledge should improve Ramsey & Jack)
    Keep Nasri & let go for free next year (if he chooses to leave)
    Buy Jagielka or Samba +/- Traore (or on loan)
    Sell or loan out Lansbury, JET, Eastmond, etc
    Buy Enrique, Oxlade

    Jagielka increases CB competition,improves Djourou, rotate both to reduce chance of injury
    Enrique solidifies LB position, lessens pressure on Gibbs
    Thiago & Oxlade additions immediately affects Walcott & Vela…improve or else! (+Miyaichi)
    Chamakh “free” to prove value, with only Afobe as CF competition for the season
    Frimpong deputize for Song in Jan-Feb or play Verm or Kos as DM
    Send Bartley, Watt, Sunu, etc out on loan
    Rotate keepers fairly, rotate squad, add plays, improve all-round defence

    EVERYBODY’S EXCITED especially our Robin!

    NEXT SEASON 2012/13
    Squillaci leaves, Bartley rejoins team
    Rosicky & Arshavin leave or are on single year contracts from 2012
    Coquelin returns to fight Frimpong & Song @ DM
    Hazard joins team, really affects Ramsey & Jack
    Review ALL including last season loanees (sell fringers, keep the worthy)

    Very potent & deep squad with motivated players who want to claim Euro 2012 places on national teams…smashing season expected
    Keep the FIRE,
    keep WINNING!

  132. We need a great 1st half of the season because we lose Song, Chamakh & Gervinho to the ACN in Jan-Feb 2012.

    Walcott, Vela & Afobe really need to step up!!!
    (& JET if he remains)

  133. @ JD Gooner | July 26, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    “See the Club have just confirmed that JET is moving to Ipswich. Good luck to him.”

    Very sad for him, but ultimately it was in his own hands. I am a huge fan and who knows, in a few years, if he turns it around, there might be a way back. Big sell-on clause in his contract, I am guessing!

  134. We need a great 1st half of the season because we lose Song, Chamakh & Gervinho to the ACN in Jan-Feb 2012.

    Walcott, Vela & Afobe really need to step up!!!
    (& JET if he remains)

    …i remain POSITIVE

  135. (sigh)
    alas, goodbye Jay Emmanuel-Thomas..have a great career. will be rooting for ya.

    pls f’give double- & over-posting…its my caffeine day …..

    …i remain POSITIVE

  136. yea good luck to jet, he was never going to make it here imo, hes like johan not athletic or controled but should do well at ipswich which is probably his level wenger knows this so no need to rude but he wasnt good enough for the team. Looking forward to the wekend where cesc will play a part and also travel to benfica, its on after i so cant wait cause this year all the doughters and i include anyone who has said or even contemplated cesc and naz move will make their excuses like the press said ha cant wait you fickle lot, not including those of us with common sence of course

  137. @GR

    Berbetop + 10 mil for Nasri? No thanks. He makes Adebeyor look like a hard worker.

  138. George @ 2:35:

    The goal posts have been moved and no one says we can compete with Citeh. The brilliance of Wenger is that he has put us this close on a budget. However, if we really are as close as you believe then logically it would not have taken that much extra to put us over the top. I still believe if this squad could have gotten a couple of trophies under its belt and put the whole mental weakness issue behind us there is no telling how much more it could have done. Just a couple of moves could have made the difference. This team still could do amazing things but there have been a lot of opportunities to get that break thru already missed. Thats water under the bridge at this point but the frustrating thing is that at least so far this summer we seemed to have missed the chance to learn our lesson.

  139. Maybe it’s just me……… is this in code? ^^

  140. Dups,He is not that lazy.It is his style ,
    You are making the mistake of believing Andy Gray 🙂
    He would be wonderfully creative for us.

  141. Sorry George, to me he is a lazy, wanky ex spud. Just my opinion though. 🙂

  142. LA ~~ I cannot say because I never read it.

  143. What about Hleb on a free?
    Ade and Johnson for Nasri?

  144. Hleb on a free is good.

  145. Agh the ex spud thing.
    And Sol? Did you manage to put it behind you then?
    But fair enough if you don’t fancy it.
    I would take that deal in a heartbeat

  146. Wow dups.

    Now that’s what I call gr*t:
    Slapping a teammate with both arse cheeks on the follow through. Cunningly taking out most of the force and momentum from the kick aimed at an opponent.

  147. THis place is getting very depressing I must say.

    The transfer market, despite Sky Sports constant hyping up, is pretty stagnant all round. There are a few deals going down, but nothing like the red faced, over enthusiastic hacks at SSN would have us believe.

    There are still quite a few transfers to go through, but the hand wringing and whining won’t make them happen any quicker!

    Here’s one for Bill, might send him,over the edge (here’s hoping!) 😉

    We have signed gervinho and Jenks and made make more than that with the sales of Clichy, Eboue and JET!

    We are in profit! Woo Hoo!

    The Accountants Cup is ours again, I can feel it.

  148. Perhaps he was aiming for the player in red and missed.

  149. George

    No!!!! Not berbatoff! No never, dont even go there!

    Nasri aint going anywhere this summer.

  150. Ade and Johnson???? Oh deary lordy me GR!!

    Kompany, De Jong and £10m sounds like a good deal to me.

  151. Dexter.I have spoken.
    I though it was understood that you and JJ would defer to my superior knowledge in future?

  152. The figures are interesting and illustrate what many know, that Arsenal is an efficient club with a sustainable, consistent model. There are many other factors, including relative debt-equity and debt-revenue ratios, new stadium and higher revenues, global branding and value, development (rather than outright purchase) of a new team, the worth of that team as it matures, and the fact that we will achieve all the gongs people so admire in coming years because of the investment made.

    What am I saying? We are already country miles ahead. But we do need to win a gong or two.

  153. Jabba's delights


    Why would we need a centre back and defensive midfielder??????

  154. Has Eboue gone?Or does Sky understand it?
    Dexter for sure De Jong Kompany and £10 m. .But get real.

  155. I agree with ZimPaul.

  156. GR;

    You started it with the silly deals man!

    Berbatov? I ask you! Pah!


    I spose we could go for Bellamy and SWP instead then? 😀

  157. George

    Eboue is as good as gone man.

  158. Jabba .We don’t but Dexter is a bit of a Gloomer( a Gloomer is a positive fan who occasionally suffers from bouts of depression)

  159. Dex @ 5:04:

    chuckle chuckle. Probably not worth a real laugh.

    Not really sure what to think about you. Good guy with a bit of a grumpy streak I guess. My dad was like that.

  160. Dexter ,you said that about Cesc on Sunday.
    Cut it out or I will expose you as a “creepy hotpant’s wearer”

  161. Berbatov? I ask you!

    Well if you did I would say yes please.

  162. I have got to say that I am really sad to see JET leave. I really hoped he would break into the 1st team this season. Him and Lansbury are 2 of the ones I have followed for years, before Jack burst onto the scene.

    It really guts me to see them go. I know that the chances of the youths coming through are very very remote, especially now as we as fans are not so prepared to allow our kids to make mistakes and fuck up and I am sure the manager wouldnt be too chuffed either! Yogi even referred to Gibbs mistake vs ManU as some kind of stick with which Gooners have beat him with. I have to say, I have never thought that mistake was something to keep in the locker to bash Gibbs with, its all part of the learning process, yeteven Gibbs seems to have little grace with our fans.

    But anyway, I hope JET has a great career, his footballing education should stand him in good stead.

    I hope I am not posting a similar one for Lansbury.

  163. Jabba's delights

    Why on earth would we keep Eboue now. We have just bought a young right back and eboue counts as one of the 25. Traore and Eboue both 3rd choice left and right backs counting towards our squad of 25 would be the craziest decision in wenger’s reign

  164. George

    I do think Cesc is gone too man. I am not saying I want that to happen mind!


    I just thought you might like the fact we are in the black this transfer window. Dont see what else you could take from my post before? Truly I dont!

  165. W hat are you on Jabba
    How is Eboue behind Jenks?

  166. Geroge, I am not ashamed about the hot pants shenanigans dude.

  167. He has got your number Mr. Grumpy Hotpants

  168. What can I say? Muppets piece today just confused the fuck out of me! Graphs and pie charts leave me cold man.

    Being called grumpy by Bill is like being called ugly by George! 😀

  169. Jabba's delights


    I to had high hopes for JET and still do for Lansburry but the manager obvioulsy see’s differently. Hopefully JET will do a Bentley and get us a massive sell on.

    What we cant handle anymore is lots of youngsters learning their trade in our 1st team squad. They need to go out on loan play full seasons under a pressure and then come back an play. It stunts their potential otherwise.

    Bartley, Myachi, Colquin, Frimpong, Afobe, Miquel, Lansburry would all gain more benefit playing a full season out on loan. I have high hopes for all of these guys. I would love the arsenal squad to look like this in a couple of years






    Obvioulsy never going to happen as one doesnt have time these days but a team with that many arsenal educated players is how Arsene would love to do it then supplement that with quality additions in positions of need like Barca

  170. Dexter:

    We are in the black for the summer. Nothing I can do but whine and complain and pack my bags for a trip over the edge.

    My comment was not just related to that post. Certainly no offense meant, I enjoy your posts.

  171. I see some new kit number from those recent Germany training photos.

    Gervinho has pinched Clichy’s 22, Jenkinson is wearing 25, Szesny 13 (!) and Ryo 32. Maybe they still could switch if any numbers become… available.

    I see no one has taken Denilson’s 15…

  172. Yeah, that would be great, Coquelin is my tip to make it big style. But I said the same about Henderson on Saturday an hour before he got injured! Has there been any news on the extent of that injury?

    I think you can add Henderson to that list as well, and possible Ozycap too.

  173. Dexter you are a cheeky bastard.(deffo. no smiley thing)

  174. Bill

    Ha! No offecne taken man. I only put your name on that Accountants Cup post, becaiuse I just saw you made a mention of our spending (or lack of)

    I just happened to realise we have conveniently made back, almost exactly what we have spent this summer, SO FAR!

    I expect that figure to be fairly heavily (for us) in the red by Sept 1st.

  175. That picture with Gibbs and a medicide ball confused the hell outta me for a moment. It say 8, then KG below it. For a minute I though Keiran had his own medicine ball… and had taken Nasri’s number!

  176. George: “If the football bubble bursts United are fucked.”

    Jibber: “The only problem with leveraged buyouts is if the value of your purchase drops (not going to happen with utd) or you cant pay the interest payments like Liverpool due to dropping out of cl. Utd are a different kettle of fish to Liverpool. We should fear the day that the glaziers sell utd and they are free from there interest burden as it will move them up into another stratosphere.”

    George, this can’t possibly happen to United. The financial fiasco the Serie A suffered in the nineties was thought to be an impossibility. They were the top league, had the top players but teams went crazy borrowing and the league still hasn’t recovered even half of its former glory. How about Liverpool? Most successful team in England until last season and perennial underachievers for the past two decades. That can’t possibly happen to United, can it? Nevermind that Manure have built a fanbase almost entirely made up of glory hunters. Football is series of peaks and vallies. Saying that United will forever be the top sports team in the world is dellusional. Who says that United can get two billion for their team when these oil rich billionaires seem to prefer mid to upper table teams like City and Chelsea to invest their money in?

  177. I really enjoyed this post, thanks.

    I have two or three points and maybe a statistician could comment on them. Apologies if others have commented or some of these have been covered.

    1) Given that the time scale for the study was advised to be during the period “Wenger has been heavily criticised for not winning a trophy.” If that is the time scale it will tell you the same result whether the study was since yesterday or twenty years and there is therefore absolutely nothing to be read from the comparative statistics about trophy success. This is easy to see if we included a couple of years back from that point and we would blow all but Chelsea and ManU into oblivion. Small consolation, but mathematical, I believe.

    2) I was surprised that ManU scored so high as they do seem to spend a lot more money. That must be my illusion to some degree, but also demonstrates that they score highly in that period on your points system.

    3) The analysis seems to show two methods for getting to the top of the premier league and contesting for titles – nobody can claim arsenal do not do that. Either you buy wisely or buy big. Neither one will guarantee titles.

    The best part about this post is that it helps show that their are two competing philosophies to success and helps to sort out which one of these you support and wish to see Arsenal following. This may help some to understand whether they want an Usminov sugardaddy where success is counted in trophies and disregards expenditure, but where one loses a connection with the decisions of the club (and arguably sanity) or whether we look for a respectable, sustainable, developmental philosophy.

    The indications are that it is the latter that are more successful clubs, the former option assumes that all clubs have that option – which they dont. The ManU model poses the best questions. Do we need to be a little less frugal? Have they got longer term problems relating to finances and an ageing squad?

    Thanks again for the post and thoughts.

  178. Berbatove for Nasri and £10m? Red Nose would tear Wenger’s hand off and slither happily into his hole. You do know Berbatov is not even a starter anymore, right George? He’s also on huge wages. Like Dex said, no thanks.

  179. Gainsbourg69 |

    OK 😦

  180. George: “If the football bubble bursts United are fucked.”

    United are already fucked. At least the Chelsea and City money is real. What owner will want to pay off their debt when they can buy a debt-free club and take them to victory. And don’t talk to me about global brand recognition. City were unknown 2 years ago. Nottingham Forest are unknown now.

  181. Dont pout George, its not a good look for you.

    Not with your jowls anyways.

    Hahahahaha! Only joking dude! 😀

  182. Berbatov, are you f*cking kidding me? He has been virtually useless. Had one good season @ManU, that’s it. Bendtner was better the other two seasons so why would we want a git like Berbatov?

  183. Well call Berbatov what you want but I see him as a good player.
    He does not suit the Fergie mold ,but there was a reason he payed so much for him.
    I cant see how anyone could not think he is a good player.You might not want him at Arsenal.But dont tell me he is a bad player.I am not having it.

  184. Geroge

    You really dont like people educating you do you?! 😀

    Berbatov is very technical and a gifted individual, but he isnt a team player and should be a level above where he is. He had a decent season, before that ManU fans have slated his lacklustre performances.

    Do you really think we need a player like that? Especially given the amount of lacklustre performances our players put in last season.

  185. As someone said earlier, AW is coming close to creating his model now. He has a core of players who have been playing his way and his football culture for some time, many of them through the youth ranks, or at least from a young age. I do think Theo, Ramsey, Jackie, Gibbs, Song, Diaby, Vela, Chewie, Nasri, Kos, Djourou, Frim and a few others are going to emerge quickly now (into the limelight as widely ‘rated’, and some as big stars). He has good new recruits and some older players to supplement these. He has a more methodical system than we think. He is a loyal manager (to his players), but not as sentimental as some like to believe. Whether that is enough to dislodge ManU and stave off Man City’s anticipated lunge at a trophy remains the advenuture to come. Chelsea and Liverpool might do something but I’m not convinced. I would be surprised if it was not enough. I’m really interested to see what late..ish signings appear, because they’ll tell us a lot about where Wenger’s head is. I doubt Cesc or Nasri are leaving and quite honestly don’t care all that much. They love this club anyway, otherwise, they would have gone already, without fuss and fanfare. You can’t keep a player who does not want to play for you, and publicly declares so.

  186. Berbatov is such a typical tottenham type player. Always was. A flash here, a flash there. Bla bla.

  187. Don’t see why would we we would even consider Berbatov when we have RvP and Arshavin who can do pretty much everything he does

  188. interesting post.alot of hard work gone into that..nice one..
    my question would be why are our figures so low??
    sure, when we first moved to emirates..but weve been earning 50-60 mil per year for the last 2 why are we still acting like bolton and teams of a similar stature???
    all this post shows is that if we spent more money we would improve our chances..
    but instead we choose to stick it in the bank and rake in the interest…maybe the board take their dividends that way???
    i dunno..but the money needs to start going back into the team..

    agree with george on berbatov..he fits our style with the lone striker..and hes not useless..he was pl top scorer last year..

  189. Much as I hate to admit it, I don’t think United are in any real danger of a financial collapse. Previous failure of other formerly big clubs (Forrest, Leeds, etc) happened primarily because of bad management. Manure on the other hand are rather well managed, leveraged buyout or not. Besides the Glaziers have been paying down their debt haven’t they?
    The club itself (not the holding company) is turning out hefty profits every year. This is very different to the situation with previous failed ‘giants’.

    Even when things turned sour on the pitch, they are pretty much guaranteed to find a rich buyer, like what happened with Liverpool.

    Clubs like Manure and Real Madrid are literally too big to fail.

  190. FFS. See how I shouted that?
    I don’t particularly want Berbatov.
    I just thought that as Nasri wants to go then Berbatov and £10 m,would be better than fuck all at the end of the year .Plus he is a very good player.And he would have a point to prove ,and he is technically good enough for us.And a good back up, not first choice.
    So you can all just fuck right off having a go at me 🙂

    But anyone saying he is not a good player ,is doing so for non footballing reasons,And not on skill,

  191. i love Berbatov’s skills but I’d rather Nasri goes to City than Utd.
    I’d take the 20m or if they insist 10m+De Jong (but we probably can’t pay what they pay him).
    Nah, the 20m will do…lets see them make history with that bunch.

  192. Have we paid off the debt JJ? Must’ve missed that man.

    There is £30m available at present apparantly, according to the figures from the AST meetings.

  193. arshavin and berbatov are nothing like eachother..

    hes more like robin..

  194. dexter..
    those figures are after tax and other outgoings..its a profit mate..
    outgoings including the loan repayments..

  195. WE have £30m for fees and contracts, you are chatting bubbles mate.

  196. “arshavin and berbatov are nothing like each other”

    Yes JJ ,and that came from someone cheeky enough to lecture a mega brain like me…

  197. Unlike you, I am using the figures that the AST were privvy too. You have just picked your numbers from thin air dude.

  198. JJ i am guessing you are not an accountant

  199. Dude? very 90’s USA

  200. Oh, I forgot to add Joel Campbell to my IN list @ 2:46


    Clichy 7m
    Eboue 4m*
    JET 1m*
    Bendtner 10m*
    Almunia 3m*
    Cesc 30m**
    Nasri 20m*
    TOTAL 75m*

    Jenkinson 1m
    Gervinho 10.5m
    Enrique 7.5m*
    Jagielka/ Samba 13m*
    Thiago 0**
    Hazard 19m*
    Oxlade 9m*
    Campbell 2m
    TOTAL 62m*

    PROFIT 13m

    SUMMARY: terribly exciting squad that would pacify many fans, titilate present players & scare all opposition & win SHINY THINGS.

    C’mon ACLFers, WHAT SAY YE????????

  201. JJ

    I would like us to spend some serious money this summer. I think it could be arranged with a short term renegotiating of re-payments etc. Its not like we aint good for it!

    But suggesting there is millions available and we aint spending it, is just not the case.

    If it were, I would be very surprised and very fucking pissed off! 😀

  202. @George
    At present Berbatov is marginally better than Bendtner and the only reason why that is, is because Berbatov has had way more time to prove himself.

  203. What does the asterisk stand for after some of the prices?

  204. go look at the arsenal accounts..especailly last year..

    weve had 100 +mil sitting in a bank doing fuck all although we cant touch around 35 of it for loan repayents and future devopments..

    ppl say its for wages but then where does the season ticket or gate reciept money go??the sponsers and the tv money??that bank gets drained and topped back up again with extra every season and its over the 100mil mark and rising and ppl still think weve got fuck all??

    please..thats bollox..

  205. George

    Are you upset because you got schooled?

    You only just noticed my use of the term dude, dude? Me and my homeys been using that one for ages spar.

  206. Fuck sake JJ, YOU are the one who brought it up. It has been shown by those who thought similar to you (AST members) and at a recent meeting, the actual figures were shown to prove that we have £30m available for fees and contracts.

    It was brought up on here last week (or the one before that?) YOU think otherwise, so you go and do the donkey work.

    Have a look on that Swissramble site. They’re top at that shite.

    Go and have a look, get your facts and shit together.


  207. and before anyone tells me the accounts are doctered thats bollox too cos thats illegal..arsenal are a plc it cant publicate doctered accounts..

    it sits in a bank and the baord rake in the interest…
    we are in the top 5 richest teams in the world we were 7th the other day in some sort of richest thing contest they had going on..

    dont try tell me we are so skint we cant outspend sunderland or the temas that we are around in the non spenders league..

    weve got the money..financially crippled clubs arent worth the 3/4 of a billion the new owners having to fork out to pay for it..

  208. Remi,
    *asterisk = possibility, not done, maybe, approximately
    ** = same as *, same deal

  209. Whats up folks?

    Aman, what does this mean Cesc 30m**?

  210. im not debating the 30mil dexter..wind your neck in mate..
    if 30 mil is available in the form of transfer funds then fair enough..

    so lets spend it..
    so far weve sold aload of players for about 20mil and weve bought two for about 13..

    i think you expect to see the rest being spent?? yes??

  211. and why have we sold JET?

  212. Remi,
    see my 3:50 post for more info. The thinking behind my wish list.

    “I’m really interested to see what late..ish signings appear, because they’ll tell us a lot about where Wenger’s head is”

    I am too…and hoping for the best.

    …i remain POSITIVE.

  213. Dexter ,Dude ,Man,stop being such a grouch.
    Poor JJ,
    He was hoping for a £100 m, plus kitty and you are pulling his rug away.

  214. JJ because he is a lazy git and will not get into the first team

  215. Paul N,
    Cesc 30m**

    Cesc for 30 million + Thiago Alcántara do Nascimento or NO DEAL!

  216. Yogi ,is it zero tolerance ?

  217. You sound like a child now JJ, on a rant because someone took their toy off em.

    You are too lazy to go and get your facts and figures together. You even missed the bit where I said Id like us to spend big (for us) this summer.

    You cant spout off and then expect me to ignore it man.

    Wind my neck in? I’ll fucking knock your block off and use George’s man boobs to do it too! 🙂


  218. JJ

    The accounts are not doctored, they are manipulated. Understand this, they form the basis of any decision re lending so the club needs to present itself in as positive a light as possible when the financial year ends. Therefore, in a business that is cash reliant, they will ensure cash balances are higher than normal. Within a month of the accounts, the bank balances will be diminished so to tell us that the money is sitting doing nothing is just absolute – I’ll be polite: ill-informed.

    Season ticket money is not Arsenal’s in totality until the last home game of the season is played. If the club went under halfway through the season for example, all of the Season Ticket holders would be due half of their money back. That’s why the money is wasted in one go.

    Transfer spend is not cash – it is made on credit. When Arsenal are said to have £30m to spend, that is the amount that they can safely afford to repay each year. It’s like you borrowing money to buy a car – you say your budget is for example £10k because that’s what you know you can borrow and repay.


  219. Limestonegunner

    Muppet, many thanks to you for the effort, research and thought you’ve put into this post. I also commend you on the fine visual presentation of the statistical evidence.

    Overall, it seems true that Arsenal under Wenger in the last six years has performed a fair bit better among the top several clubs than our pure expenditure would warrant because our efficiency has been excellent. Unfortunately, ManU’s efficiency has been even greater and with more resources to boot. That was actually surprising. I would have thought that Arsenal would have the most efficient status of all the clubs. This is why, despite being dramatically outspent by Chelsea, ManU has nevertheless won more. Chelsea, according to this data, was comparably efficient to Arsenal in three of the last six years but very inefficient at points where they went on a big transfer/wage spending spree. Perhaps ManU would be less efficient with fewer resources, but that’s pure speculation.

    Swiss Ramble estimated the available funds for Arsenal as around 50million at the beginning of the summer, I think. It is just an estimate based on some assumptions and the publicly available data, but it is probably the best idea. This is before any sales of players, too.

  220. Wow….great post Muppet…Way to go mate.

  221. FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  222. fair enough yogi..
    il tone it down apologies all round..

    george my point is not to go spending i said a chunk of that is held back for loans and such and we dont have to go blow 70-80mil in one pop but to pick up on dexters ast figures 30mil still a lot of transfer kitty and i expect to see it spent..the money is there.

    focusing on arsenes greatness that he spends little is just taking the emphasis away from the fact that there is money to spend..30-40-50mil it dont matter its there..

    see theres always two sides to this..we can look at the figures and admire how little weve spent..or we can look at them and think it takes the piss that those figures look like that to begin with..

    im in the second camp and im probably on my own in present company but thats how i feel about it..

  223. …i remain POSITIVE.

  224. “im in the second camp and im probably on my own in present company but thats how i feel about it.”

    I doubt you are JJ.
    It is just that you are making certain assumptions which are at best a stretch.
    When you don’t know all of the facts, it is impossible to draw reliable conclusions,

  225. JJ ,No need to apologise .Just a passionate debate.All good

  226. thats fighting talk where i come from dex

    but your lucky..ive moved areas now.. 🙂

    yogi thats a good case u make but i dont get how we would need to borrow in the first place..

    i thought when you are a self sustained club you pay for everything yourself..thats what the cash reserves for to pay everything off and then we top it back up through the year when all the revenue rakes in..our incomings are greater than our outgoings so we are making that reserve bigger every season..

    other clubs need to borrow cos thats how they roll but why would we need to borrow when the money is already there?? everybody waxes lyrical about how great our finances are..why would you take out a 10k loan to buy a car when youve got a million sitting in your account??

    and isnt manipulating the same as doctering..its still false..

  227. thanks for that limestone..
    i was going to say the last time i read the ramble he had it at about 52 mil but i wasnt sure and i couldnt find the article..

  228. Jabba's Delights


    I see no reason in why we would buy Jenkinson, if he wasnt to be given proper game time to learn and develope. In 60 odd games you want to play the best right back in the league in say at least 40-45 of them. Thats leaves 15 games. Whats the point in having one of your 25 man slots on a guy who at most will play 15 games and thats not giving Jenkinson any game time.

    Would Eboue be happy with this situation?

    Jenkinson has been bought to be second choice left back and the mins he is getting on the piych are completely disproportonate for a 3rd choice rb.

    With regards to utd, football is a completely different kettle of fish these days and Utd are way ahead of the curve. There fanbase is hugely diverse and ever growing, its lamost impossile for them to suffer the same drop off as forest, leeds and liverpool, thats not to say they will go on dominating as they have city, chels and hopefully arsenal will definetly have something to say about that.

    The glaziers have already been offered 1 billion for them and turned it down. They are in charge of the biggest cash cow in world sport why sell now when there is still close to maybe 1.5-2 biliion still to maybe get out of them in the long term outlook. Why do you think stan has bought us. Its becuase his analysts have told him that his 600 million could be made into atleast 1.8 billion if he opens up new fanbases in the us and asia plus negotiates exclusive tv rights.

  229. im just comfortable around some of you guys 🙂 🙂
    i like the banter maybe i go too far sometimes..but theres no lack of respect in any case..

  230. JJ

    Look mate, that difference of opinion was only about the assumption you made about our available cash mate.

    I have stated, enough times, I would like us to make some significant signings this summer and be as active in the market as both Wenger and gazidis have stated we would be. That doesnt mean we have to splash £100m+, but to use all the funds we do have and not wonder at the end of the season, what if we’d signed player X, etc.

    You aint on your own there man.

  231. i can see a reason why we bought jenkinson..

  232. JJ Haha! 😀

  233. Fergie and Jabba sitting in a tree,

  234. Jabba's Delights


    I just have a healthy respect for their club as they are the opposite of city and chels. They are run in a self sustaining way and achieve great success and put a huge emthasis on their youth system. We want all this and are getting there slowly but surely. I much prefer them doing well than the two just mentioned as it shows what can be achieved through hard work, talent and patience.

    Gill has just come out and said they are looking for one more world class player this summer, bet he is a creative midfielder. Whoever finishes above them next year will prob win the league.

    i think a figure of 30-40m is about correct for what we have on fees and just as importantly wages not including money and wage space created by sales. If bendtner eboue and say nasri leave we will have a war chest approaching 70-80 million. With that and wenger’s eye the potential is unreal. Striker defender and winger please

  235. Jabba Jenks has been bought that is all we know for sure
    He is no way better than Eboue.That is my opinion though,Are you saying you think he is better now?

    United are a bag of shit.I don’t care how much you like them
    They are the biggest winners because they are the richest over the course and distance.No other reason.

  236. Jabba's Delights


    Know i dont think he is better than eboue but i also dont think wenger really enjoyed having to give game time to eboue this year when it meant taking out the best right back in the league. He had to keep eboue happy by doing that he had to weaken the team. Much better to have an understudy who you can pick and choose them games much more freely especially so if he is young patient and has good talent.

    Utd are only the richest because of theway they are run as a club from top to bottom. as Muppet blog shows they spend less to win than any other club in the league

  237. But you said Eboue was 3rd choice .Did you not? So you were wrong if you are now saying he is better than Jenks.

    United are the biggest because of a multitude of reasons but over the last 30 years that has been the basis of success .They have had more money .End of.

  238. And if you take out the Ronaldo 1 off windfall then things would not look so good on Muppets figures.

  239. Jenkinson is completely untried and untested, but if Eboue goes as expected, then he will be understudy to Sagna. What he will offer us, is height, speed and if his early pre-season forays are anything to go by, heart and determination. I like those qualities.

    The only other player who could play there is Coquelin. But I am not going to big up our kids any more as they either get injured or sold when I do!


    I really do not want to discuss anything about united man, they induce instant vomit in my mouth, thanks!

  240. Jabba's Delights

    I think Eboue is being sold George as if one looks at it you cant afford to have a third choice right back who eats up into your 25 man quota. Ive given my reasoning i think eboue is better than jenkinson but i dont hink wenger wants to play eboue all that often so it makes much more sense to have a young impressionale, patient and talented undesrtudy.

    I think their manager has an enormous amout to do with it. There 2 decade dynasty started with Blackburn, newcastle and liverpool being around in the 90s and then chels and now city in the 2000s. anyway lets move on

  241. Obviously that goes double for the twin chavs of chitty and chelski

  242. Jabba's Delights


    Ronaldo sale was genius. It was a one buyer market and they got a world record fee for him 2 weeks after a world record precedent was set by the same club.

    Do we discount our profit if we take away property or our big sales…

  243. Jabba's Delights


    If we are signing one more defender which Arsene says we are is he a lb or cb and who do you think they might be

  244. to be fair to fergie its not his fualt they are in debt..

    fergies spent pretty much the moneys hes made..utd were crap when he took over but he had a successful youth team that came thru the ranks and they cleared up at the top level and they earned a fortune..then he started buying the 30 mil players..he started to spend big because he was earning big..

    in fergies time theyve increased their stadium capacity and theyve taken advantage of the manu brand with all the trophies theyve won and become very rich because of it.

    they are in debt because of the glaziers..not fergies spending..hes been there ages hes built that club up..wengers done the same thing in a way only hes getting reluctant to spend big to get the players whereas fergie wasnt when the money became available..

    its so frustrating cos everyone can see that we aint far away and once we get there we will have a success period like utds cos our foundation is built and we are set for life but its just getting there..and we wont do that if we keep looking for the best 17 year olds and accpeting 4th place as a success… its time we released the hoping we release them..last year showed we need to..

  245. A+ for effort Muppet. I’m very impressed at your hard work to compile that post and I agree with your conclusions. I’m even more impressed that you managed to drag Jaelle out of the woodwork, when I thought NYMarcus had bitten the dust!

    To consistently challenge given the resources at our disposal is worth commendation. We should really have won something last season and only have ourselves to blame, but hopefully the humiliation of that experience will be sufficient to give the players that extra bit of determination they need to take that final step.

    @ irishgray | July 26, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Great post – certainly raised a smile for a change!

    Dexter, whether he goes is dependent upon BBB finding enough pennies down the side of the sofa, but he certainly wants to go. His Twitter pic is a big clue to where his thoughts are.

    “Clubs like Manure and Real Madrid are literally too big to fail.”

    I bet people said the same about Lehman bros.

    Who the fuck are Man Uniited!
    Who the FUCK are Man United!


  247. No .he did not have a team that came through the ranks.Stop changing history.That team came latter,His first team was built from every other teams best players .Bought because they paid more ,were more glamorous and had a bigger transfer budget than everyone else.
    It is not an achievement that they started winning its more a disgrace that it took the biggest club in the world 265 years to start doing it.
    Its was only gross mismanagement that made them stupidly under achieve for so long.
    I am sick of people banging on about them like they should not be the default winners.

  248. His Twitter pic is a big clue to where his thoughts are.

    What is it

  249. Oop, sorry, Passenal. Didn’t know ladies present… forget you saw that please. I’ll wash my keyboard out.

  250. Jabba's Delights


    If money means everything in success maybe we should spend some of ours. Personally i think the presuption that money alone has got them success is a weak one. Lets move on your entrenched with your hatred of them

  251. I would sign a CB and my choice keeps changing day by day! In January i was hoping we’d sign Samba, I felt he would offer us something different and his technique is surprisingly good for a big lump, while his pace is deceptive, especially over 5 yards.

    I rate Jagielka highly, but feel Cahill would be a better option. So, to conclude, erm, Cahill it is!

    I know there are injury doubts over Gibbs and some footballing ones over Traore, but I think they will do really well this season.

  252. Jabba .You are having a laugh right?
    Weak ,fucking weak? how the fuck is it weak to say that the biggest club in the world should win the most?
    I remember when Liverpool were winning everything United fans still said they were the bigger club ,Its money that has bought them success,Nothing else ,Nothing,

  253. I’d be fucking disapointed if I was a Manc on a ManU blog and someone was waxing lyrical about Liverpool, saying how great they were, especially when Liverpool were the dominant force.

    It is churlish and quite amazing you are having difficulty understanding Gooners’ reticence in joining you in forming a good old mutual masterbation society in honour of all things mancy mate!

    You are crackers, or a manc.

    But like you say, best to move on.

  254. Dexter ,who are you talking to mate?

  255. According to PHW’s mouth piece, the Daily Star, Nasri is staying. Might have some substance to it, might not. Same old same old really. If it was news of a new deal he’s signed, that would be something to talk about and be happy about too.

    I would hope, even if he is determined to leave next summer, he could sign a new deal. Even insert a release clause or something.

  256. You need to ask George?

  257. “Oop, sorry, Passenal. Didn’t know ladies present… forget you saw that please. I’ll wash my keyboard out.”

    It’s okay LA since it’s one of the few posts I can fully get behind today! “Who the fuck are man utd?” Last time I checked this was an Arsenal blog!

  258. George am i back in your bad books….but lets not forget Wenger said he had money to burn but said the squad was good enough…if so how has he overacheived???? just asking the question.

  259. Jabba @ 11:13 am,

    Your “certainty” about my comments only matches your certanties about AFC, AW and MU: in my humble opinion.

  260. Duke,We are pals now,Pals don’t fall out,
    You will have to be more specific with your question if you want a serious answer.
    1) please give me a link so I can see where he had” money to burn”
    2) which squad?
    3)which time period do you want me to explain when he “overachieved”

  261. Lol reading the comments section here is quite an emotional rollercoaster. You people give me a good laugh.

  262. Who the fuck are you calling “people”?

    Oh,sorry Bill, didn’t see it was you 🙂
    How are you ?

  263. George

    Has your industrial strength speed worn off yet dude, man, spar, geezer?

    You do know I was referring to Jabba in my post ear;ier right?

  264. FIFA has aided and abeted Barca in their tapping up again. I am sure they did the same thing last summer? I say that because I am sure I emailed the corrupt basterds then as well! 😀

  265. Dexter ,Of course I knew ,I was sort of suggesting you should not bother
    I hate speed.Nasty dirty drug

  266. What,and they ignored your E Mail?

  267. Jibber: “Know i dont think he is better than eboue but i also dont think wenger really enjoyed having to give game time to eboue this year when it meant taking out the best right back in the league. He had to keep eboue happy by doing that he had to weaken the team. Much better to have an understudy who you can pick and choose them games much more freely especially so if he is young patient and has good talent.”

    Dude, please shut the fuck up. Arsene didn’t give Eboue game time to keep him happy. He played him when the need arose and he did a very good job. Eboue played as left back, right back and as a winger this season. I think Wenger would be very worried if he lost a player that could play so many positions and do so with aptitude.

  268. Jibber: ” With regards to utd, football is a completely different kettle of fish these days and Utd are way ahead of the curve. There fanbase is hugely diverse and ever growing, its lamost impossile for them to suffer the same drop off as forest, leeds and liverpool, thats not to say they will go on dominating as they have city, chels and hopefully arsenal will definetly have something to say about that.”

    I’ll tell you what. If they start performing like Liverpool have for the last couple of decades you will not see too many Japanese or Chinese tourists at Old Trashford.

  269. Oh right georgey, got you.

    And I am expecting a personal email from Blatter, with a link to a secret bank account to shut me up!

    Anyway, watching a great Italian mafia film called Gamorra, its so gritty and depressing, it could play for Stoke city!

  270. Hi George. I’m doing just fine. I got this final examination tomorrow so I am feeling a little anxious. I’m glad to see that all is well here on ACLF. Jabba is still respecting Manure. Who the fuck are they again????

    Re: Eboue. Who was at the RB spot when we beat Barfa? Whenever the king Eboue is on the pitch at RB, his silky touch allows the squad to play tippy tap near the right touchline. On the bad side, Eboue’s tendancy to make a power run down the pitch often leaves us exposed.
    In the case of Sagna vs Eboue, there are pros and cons for each player. For me, Eboue gets the edge because of this>>>>

    Do the frog, son!

  271. At one point Eboue looks back as if to say to someone on the bench, “Told ya I could do 3 frog jumps without Arsene seeing!”

  272. Aman, Thiago Alcantara? I prefer young Jack Wilshere and young Aaron Ramsey. Let Alcantara sit in Barca’s bench until he gets sold off to Roma or Fiorentina with a clause that gives the Catalans first dibs if he improves in a few seasons time. How Roma agreed to that type of deal with Bojan is truly incredible. And the player gets no say so eventhough his parent club treated him like a step son. Sad all around.

  273. the ARSENAL went to italy to see the pope.
    the ARSENAL went to italyto see the pope..
    the ARSENAL went to italy to see the pope.
    and this is what he said.

    who the FUCK is man united
    who the FUCK is man united

    who the FUCK is man united.

    let’s go ARSENAL…..


  274. Limestonegunner

    I will be sad if Eboue leaves the club. He is a versatile player and I don’t think there is a backup right back as good as he is in the league. He even played effectively at left back in a game for us last season. If anything happens to Sagna–remember our match at home against Barcelona?–we will have a very young fellow who last season was a Charlton player. I hope Jenkinson succeeds but I am concerned that we currently have a back line with Gibbs/Traore and no established partnership among four CB’s who each have essentially one season playing for Arsenal in the PL. I’d like to keep an experienced and effective player like Eboue at Arsenal if at all possible, and I really think the idea that his fate has been sealed by the Liverpool draw a bit hard to credit. That would be scapegoating for collective failures. I am not saying it was the best play but it doesn’t wipe away the good contributions he has made. We all wish he wouldn’t simulate, as that has always been embarrassing to Arsenal supporters. But I won’t be celebrating his departure, because I think it weakens us defensively in terms of experience even though he is known more for his attacking than his defending.

  275. Eboue is the old-fashioned gentlemen player type who seems to play for enjoyment, and has been loyal, disciplined, hard-working and happy. Maybe not our best, and I expected a little more from his early promise, but never ever did he let the name of Arsenal down. His return after the booing incident has been one of the highlights of Arsenal character in recent years. For this reason alone he should be applauded wherever he goes, or whether he stays. He’s earned it.

  276. What if Arsenal spent more and achieved less? this whole investigation shows the limitations in statistics, good effort but not worth the time.

  277. Dexter @9:23pm – You plagiarizing bastard!!!!! Get your own quotes or name your source!!(me:) h

  278. Dex – That “h” is a freebie, enjoy 🙂

  279. Hi, Nice data to keep conversation goings since we don’t have nothing else to talk about really. i wonder if wenger already have this in his pocket somewhere incase the boards call him up.

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