Stan Is No Longer Silent. Was It Worth It & More

Stan has been great. He’s been consistent in his approach, very supportive. He’s encouraged us to do what’s necessary to improve the team. And that really helped us get some things done.

The words of Billy Devaney, St Louis Rams VP of football might easily have been spoken by Arsène. As Arsenal look forward to this week’s visit to Borussia Dortmund, the owner of the club has spoken to the media. Yes, Silent will no longer be the moniker applied to Stan Kroenke since he has uttered a paragraph on his ownership of the club. Did I say a paragraph? More of a sentence.

Since taking over the club earlier this year, Kroenke has made no attempt to speak to the support directly. His recent comments about Arsenal were part of a media conference about the NFL season but it begs the question, why the reticence to talk?

As it is, his utterings were platitudes,

There’s a risk of going backwards if you overreact and start throwing money around in an attempt to solve your problems. Unfortunately we saw that with the Rams several years ago. Signing a bunch of free agents wasn’t the answer. It set things back, and it took us a while to dig out of it. Our track record is out there for people to see. If we think there’s good value, we’ll spend

Indeed, perhaps the real question should be, why would Kroenke speak out?

Despite saying all of the right things, Alisher Usmanov is no more popular at the club than he was before. Much of the support he has is based on his platitudes that he will spend the money to allow Arsenal to compete. It is easy to talk but Usmanov would find it difficult to spend as much as he has hinted at, simply because of the FFP rules which come into force in coming seasons. The Uzbek knows this and knows that many choose to ignore the impact that the regulations will have, essentially stopping massive investment in clubs to buy trophies. Or seeking to make that course of action more difficult.

Kroenke’s philosophy is more of the same, no dynamic changes, simply keeping the wheels turning at the club. This summer may have seen more activity in the transfer market but the club will still post a healthy profit on the sale of players. With his ‘rival’ failing to make any inroads into the popular psyche, there is no pressure on him to unveil his plans. Possibly, he assumes, we have already guessed them.

It is a stick with which he is sporadically beaten. Rumours persist of discontent among senior staff, equally unaware of Kroenke’s vision. If that is the case then Ivan Gazidis is not doing his job properly; he ought to be pursuing the vision, ensuring that the plan is being adhered to.

The summer activity did not go as planned. Gazidis and Wenger’s words were not untrue, the club was busy. Unfortunately when both spoke, the inference was that it would be working to bring new players in. They did come. Eventually. Those deals, reading between the lines of what has been spoken since, were straightforward. The others which failed, were not. Even the deals for Gervinho and Campbell were protracted or not easy.

Add into the mix, the poor start to the season and there was a combustible air around the the club. It reflects on the manager on the pitch but if executives are involved in transfers, it reflects on the owner. Hiring and firing at that level will involve him.

Part of Kroenke’s problem stems from poor PR. The club rarely fares well in media terms, some of it avoidable, some not. However, lessons need to be learned for future transfer windows. Anyone expecting swift resolution next summer needs to prepare themselves for more of the same with Euro2012 taking place.

So to Dortmund. Ahead of the clash, Arsène spoke of the useful ‘intelligence’ that can be given by Per Mertesacker. This is the sternest test in the group and let’s not kid ourselves, people are waiting for Arsnal to fail. The club in crisis talk has not gone away, it will not do so either with the current darlings of the media casting all challengers to the wind. Were it United grinding out single goal victories over promoted sides, it would be a case of Champions not firing on all cylinders. The only thing that we can do is wait and see the tangible results from improvements.

As Wenger said at the weekend, confidence has not yet returned. The win over Swansea will no doubt improve that process but a win tomorrow? That would be significant.

’til Tomorrow

Posted on September 12, 2011, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 334 Comments.

  1. First

  2. Financial Fair Play won’t have any major effect. Too much money for UEFA to see the big boys splashing out the oil dosh.

  3. Yogi,

    good post, the only thing is that AU might be able to pay off the stadium debt and be withing the FFP limits, given that the infrastructure expenditure is meant to be out of the equation…

    besides, there is already some talk about the punishment for breaching the FFP rules being mere point deductions and transfer bans…

    off 2 work, have a nice day!

  4. The key statement is the “lessons need to be learnt” I dont get a great feeling that an intense fundamental review is being undertaken. Many issues behind the scene need to be improved at Board, Director, Commerically and in the transfer market.

    Thanks for blog, and up the Gunners

  5. Very interesting well written topics.

    I am quite sure that AW and Gazidis were working hard behind the scene to try and make transfers happen.

    In a way your point about the poor PR coming out of the club was partly the cause of the growing dissatisfaction which built throughout the Summer because of the lack of incoming transfers.

    AW and Gazidis both made the comment that the club would be active [and early] in the (transfer) market.

    When deals failed to materialize – for any number of reasons – fans began to doubt the truth of the AW/Gazidis comments, and linked that to the delayed sales of Cesc and Nasri.

    Bad PR — again!

  6. Maybe the Fanancial Fair Play rules will have some indirect effect. To those with the money now is the time to buy at what ever price. Companies have used this philosophy for years it`s called `aquisition` and means you buy up products that you don`t need just so the competitors can`t get them. Then you put them on a shelf and forget about them until it`s time to do tax returns, This of course destroys the product as it will players who can`t find clubs able to afford their services. Kroenke may be gambling on there being a glut of world class players on the market in the next two years at half price. Meantime Arsenal just has to tick over and make a profit. “Who knows”?

  7. What exactly is there to stop Usmanov buying out the club and then sponsoring it with Usmanov Mining/Steel/Chemicals (Or whatever his companies are called) to the tune of several hundred million pounds? Why has that never been tried? Err, oh.

    Once UEFA didn’t jump all over City over their sponsorship deal it just confirmed what I thought all along, FFP will be great in theory and toothless in practice.

  8. Tired of hearing about bad PR. YW,get over this issue.its not as if good PR is the answer to our on-field results. Anytime bad PR is thrown around,i think ‘redknapp’ as an eg of good PR. Wenger can never be or behave like redknapp. Wenger has always being villified by the press. And when he is praised,it’s done grudgingly based on results on the pitch and never as a result of whatever hue of PR from arsenal

  9. There’s a gulf in opinion about the FFP regulations because the board at our club are treating it as gospel whereas Chelsea and Man City just ignore it. IF the regulations work it’d make sense to pay off as much of your debt as possible beforehand, debt repayments are an outgoing which counts against you. That could explain some of the stinginess but if so please explain to me why Man City have increased their wage bill to something around 110% of turnover this summer ? I can only guess it’s thanks to their stadium deal which cheats the system. Pretty easy cheat if it works and they’ll make clowns out of FIFA, not for the first time. They’ll also make clowns out of the Arsenal hierarchy though, for going to such lengths to adhere to such flawed regulations. That is why i am desperate to see FIFA slam the door shut on their proposed stadium sponsorship and force them to run themselves like a regular company. If that happens they will need to sell star players every year in order to avoid penalties. Their wage bill is 133m quid. They’ll need to drop that by about 20-30m to break even which is 3 players on 150k a week. Maybe they can get away with selling 2 with transfer fees but teams won’t spend much knowing that the team is so desperate to sell.

  10. Importantly not only will they need to sell players but they’ll lose the advantage of being able to offer higher wages. That’s why they’re buying everyone now, so they can sell them again in a year or two and replace them with players on normal wages. IF FFP works Man City won’t be a big team for long.

  11. Any one see Kenny moaning about the ref’s! can you imagine if Arsene had come out with a comment like that!!
    Funny though how he seems to have forgotten the offside goal vs us, yep that was a controversial decision that went against them.

  12. The most notable thing about FFP is how quiet Platini has been regarding it’s implementation. Clubs are for, the most, showing it scant regard and outright disrespect. Meanwhile Platini has become almost mute.

    I’d love to think FFP could become the Panacea the game clearly needs but it’s easy to imagine that, if the rules are too restrictive, the rich will circumvent or challenge ‘the rules’.

    The organisations are bound by European labour laws so almost everything that might do some good can be challenged legally. Platini has a fine line to tread.

    It’s probably not relevant, but his also a colossal twat.

  13. @jonny: Completely agree, City have pretty much just shown that the FFP rules can be circumvented with their 400 mill sponsorship deal. I don’t see it making too much difference in the grand scheme of things.
    Looking forward to getting a few more of our players back for tomorrow, Gerv has looked good in the few games he’s had and although I love frimpongs passion for the club not sure he’s ready yet, so will be good to have song back.
    Does anybody know what’s going on in the club to secure the future of our players with just under 2 years left on their contracts? i.e. RVP, Walcott & Verm.

  14. The dread I foresee is Kroenke making a astronomical profit by selling out to Usmanov. The Russian, impatient for success, starts to treat the Club like his compatriot treats Chelski. Money being no object, players will be bought at obscene prices, paid accordingly and there will be some silverware. Arsemanov FC will join the ranks of those Clubs who will write their own rules……until the “big Money” bubble bursts, sanity is restored and the football industry returns to normality.

  15. Who is going to bet against man city getting another massive injection of income via some spurious sponsorship in a couple of years?ffp is dead.

  16. @Upthearse (charming sobriquet BTW) – yes Gerv coming back is vital – how funny to realise what an important part of the team he is already. Frimpong tired dramatically but I thought had a decent game.

    @Ace – FFP is not dead but it’s looking bedraggled and impotent.

  17. BTW anyone who thinks we have a prayer of the title this season is thinking with their heart. Looking at Man Utd on the weekend was liking staring at the sun – blindingly good.

    Fucking bastards.

    I’d say the title rests in Manchester this season one way or t’other.

    Chelsea are takeable but we will have to have more luck with injuries than we are used to.

    Third is achievable, fourth likely.

    I still can’t see us finishing below Spurs or Pool.

  18. I know that the temptation remains to accept any donation that will presumably ‘gaurantee’ the health of the club. However, I’m not certain if fresh frozen plasma (FFP) is really the answer. It might be taking the call for new blood just a little too far!

  19. Whether Stan or any owner speaks out or not is probably irrelevant – Wenger is right: it’s results that decide the matter at the end of the day.

    Consider United for example – they still have the same owner leaching the funds, but where are the violent protest marches now? Win a few games, bag some trophies, and the miserable lot shut up pretty quickly. Or perhaps moaners will always be moaners?

  20. Jonny,

    If you look at our start to last season and spells in any season under Arsene, you will notice equal or greater illumination. These, as you are aware, have not always resulted in titles.

    Now, if fans have already packed up and gone home (home becoming the place where the defeated apparently reside), why in Christ’s sake should our players think any differently?

    Come on man, put away that pessimism and get on board!


  21. Johnny you’re almost certainly right. Platini hasn’t made any statement about an action by City that clearly bypasses their regulations or about the continuing escalation in player wages. His big plan is dead before it even begun and he knows it. It has to come to a head at some point. As much as we love to hate FIFA and UEFA one thing they don’t like is having their authority ignored. Alledgedly they’re not averse to turning a blind eye for the right price though. It is possible to regulate clubs in this way as is proved by the German Bundesliga which is the only profitable league in Europe. United have a larger income than any club in the world so they’ll still have an advantage but Ferguson has to retire soon.

  22. Jonny

    Many times in the past six years watching Arsenal has been like staring at the sun. Seems it doesn’t always win trophies.

  23. Yogi,

    I do think the most important point here is the role of Ivan. If a CEO cannot organised the public facing communications and internal staffing issues, he is inadequate to the task – IMO.

    The board might have an impact on major fiscal decisions but some of the management related issues that you raise are clearly Gazidis’ responsibility. I do acknowledge that the dynamics between board and CEO can be difficult and produce some lethargy (say in buying or contract negotiations) but his executive and managerial responsibilities need not be affected by those aspects.

  24. And for the media watching ManU is always like staring at the sun – as long as they watch from behind.

  25. Dgob – passion and realism are not mutually exclusive!

    I’m not, to my mind, being pessimistic – I cheer, if anything, even harder and my support of the team is vocal and unwavering. If I was more ‘on board’ I would be it would be overboard.

    Nonetheless I have always approached life hoping for the best and preparing for the worst – the highs are more keenly felt and the lows more deftly swatted away.

    Because I watch football ‘for the love of the game’ I can be sanguine about victory – I certainly don’t see it as the be all and end all – especially if the game itself is what it costs (Barcelona and Real I’m looking at you).

    So I can say hand on heart that the realist in me knows that we have vanishingly small chance of winning the Prem but it didn’t stop me betting £50 that we would. Regardless the only effect on my support for the team is to make me shout louder and cheer harder.

    Worry not.

  26. Dgob, simply because Jonny says we won’t finish above either Manchester teams this season (which I agree with) doesn’t mean we will stop supporting our team any less. He is being realistic in regard to our title hopes, nothing more.

  27. I think it is too early for people to write off ffp. uefa have said they will investigate the Man city sponsorship deal, lets wait until we hear results.
    Adding sanctions like transfer bans make it more likely the rules will be applied than if there was only the “nuclear” option of a European ban.
    And most clubs will want them implemented, so there will be a push from the majority that isolates the like of City.

  28. Merlot. Lol.


  29. Thanks JD – succinctly put (unlike me!).

  30. stan should just stay silent..we know what hes here for ive got zero time for him or any other members of the clubs hierarchy..if you can can them that..

    and fifa cannot control the fair play thingy properly without a rigid system..somthing like a wages to gate receipts ratio..
    at the minute theres too many simply stating that you can only ‘spend what you earn’ its too lose and it allows team like city and chelsea just to sponser themselves or buy a million shirts on your platinum card, and roberts your mothers brother..youve just invested in your club with your own money and nobody can bat an eye..

    theres going to have to be a salary cap and its got to be related to something thats fixed, and not so variable, like gate reciepts..

    otherwise we are clutching at straws with this rule..its worthless and the only clubs it will punish are the clubs like will basically make the devide between the rich clubs and the poor clubs even bigger

  31. Yogi,

    Just one more point on our CEO and the issue of transfers/contract negotiations. Those who cite the role carried out by Dein (regarding those issues) as proof that Gazidis is poor are not being fair. Dein had the advantage of being on the board and a shareholder and therefore his role in contract negotiations (prior to the fall-out) would seem easier.

    As I said before, if the manager did have a request for a restructuring of our wage framework turned down by the Board, the problems on this front are significant.

  32. I agree with Ace @ 8:33:

    “Wenger has always being villified by the press. And when he is praised, it’s done grudgingly based on results on the pitch and never as a result of whatever hue of PR from Arsenal”

    Hey, in less than a year we’ll know the gospel truth about FFP enforcement.

    Can’t argue too much with the methods Kroenke’s been using to “run” the Arse so far.
    Improve PR somewhat?
    Yes but, just as AW’s AW.
    The British press & FA remain stewed with their own imperfections
    Time will tell
    All we can do is concentrate on winning & improving with the squad we’ve got
    We have the numbers now
    And most definitely enough talent

    I just cannot wait to see a fully fit Diaby AND Jack back in action!

    Next up: Borussia Dortmund (P5 W2 D1 L2, 11th)
    Last game: 1-2 loss to newly promoted Hertha Berlin ended 18-match home-winning streak.

    Coincidentally we are 11th too.
    Should be an entertaining game.


  33. JD,

    You should simply re-read my relevant post m(to avoid me the sin of repetition!). That you share Jonny’s pessimism does not alter one word of this: neither does your ignorance of the wider issues pointed.

  34. So,apparently FFP is dead and buried next to project youth.We shall see?
    I believe if football is to have a chance of not becoming a European super league it has to work.They have told us loopholes will not be tolerated and will be closed.
    My concern is that money corrupts and we see from FIFA how a corrupt power can soldier on despite the world and its Mum knowing of said corruption.And we also know that gangster and sovereign states historically use bribery and intimidation as regulation tools.

    As far as the league ,United is playing at an unsustainable level ,and most likely will fall away.But my fear is that City still have not reached their Zenith and will further improve when they actually gel properly. Scary thought.But if I am right and they do, I wont be looking to blame anyone at Arsenal because the financial realities of the world have applied themselves to football

  35. Jonny @ 10:31 am,

    I have not questioned your loyalty (something that I am not averse to doing if I believe that case needs to be made). But I question the value of public statements of pessimism.

    There’s an old maxim (which, like all cliches, has an element of truth to it):

    “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it… If you can dream it, you can become it.”

    Something to think about and, regarding being on board, another quote might be “the longest journey begins with one small step” – communist overtones irrelevant!


  36. @ Merlot 10.25 – agreed. I’m a staunch believer that we have been cruelly treated in terms of fortune in this respect (though it is not the sole reason). There is plenty to play for this season and there will be beauty (as always under Wenger) in our play.

    Still the embarrassing injection of quality into MC has made the Premiership title harder still.

    There is still plenty to play for and I’m itching to see our young charges take on The Shrews – it’ll be a fascinating line up. Anyone care to guess what we might go with?

    Jenkinson Djourou Miquel Santos
    Ozakayup Coquelin Oxlade
    Park Chamahk Ryo

    Don’t know if Ryo is fit..?

  37. As Shiite-y have so far proven, money is not necessarily the answer and does not buy happiness (Tevez, Adebayor etc) or success. Regardless of what most fans think we need in order to compete with their and Chelsea’s signings, I think most of us do not trust the Red Blob Investments. As Chelsea have found out, once a Russian Oligarch owns your club not even the best manager in the world is good enough.

    The reason why Mr Blobbymanov says all the right things is because fan pressure is all he has. Use it wisely – we do not want anyone from the Kremlin school of shady deals urinating on our pitch.

  38. Regular reports from the medical office on the progress of our injured players is more important to me than any PR campaign.i just want to watch football.i just want to watch our good players.
    @Aman,yeah can’t wait to see diaby again.amazing player.have you any idea when he’s coming back

  39. Aussie Jack,great point about players being available in the coming years,cut price.
    If memory serves me well When Rugby League formed the Super League,they introduced restrictions on wages which instantly stopped Wigan winning everything at a canter as they had been doing previously.
    That system should be looked at in football.
    However as a Wigan Rugby fan I was appalled.What a hypocrite I am. 🙂

  40. Dgob I never said – or thought – you had questioned my loyalty.

    You seem to confuse pessimism and realism – sure I hope we’ll win the title but it makes sense to be realistic about our chances. Am I never to mention this because it’s utterance lacks value? And how can one assess value without realism anyway?

    Short journeys also begin with a single footstep!

    Do actually think are going to win the premiership? And if not, why do you object so much to me uttering what you think in private?!


  41. @Ace,
    according to, AD2’s supposed to be back anytime from this week to month’s end.

    vs BORUSSIA DORTMUND (A) 13/09/11
    01 Szczesny
    02 Sagna
    03 Gibbs
    04 Koscielny
    05 Mertesacker
    06 Song
    07 Gervinho
    08 Rosicky
    09 RvP
    10 Arteta
    11 Arshavin

    SUBS: Fabianski, Santos, Djourou, Ramsey, Walcott, Benayoun, Chamakh, Park.

  42. george mate money does corrupt and it talks

    take two points of view
    everton were told by the banks they were in trouble cos they had their wages at 65% of their total revenue..

    i bet chelsea and city are around that level..

    both these teams should get hammered by the authorities under the rules but the ones with the money can inject elsewhere, either by self sponsering or writing a black cheque, and get themselves out of it where as everton have fuck all so they will have to start selling players like atreta who are costing them too much to keep so their punishment begins already..

    the men with the money make their own rules so if fifa are serious they need to implement these laws to the letter and clamp down on everything..

    id have brackets everywhere in the game..
    wages, sponserships etc..
    different critea, different ceilings..and if any club gets in any negative figure in any critea thats clased as a non profit and points are docked..

    and if a breakaway league does happen and we join it under their rules we’ll never win anything again cos it might as well be run by the mafia..

  43. JJ i think City are already at about 120% for wages,

  44. I suspect JY Park’s going to do some great things as a gunner.

    2 years to go till military service?
    2 years to show the world what he’s got?
    2 years to have the Earth drooling at your feet?.. suggest to his country’s leaders that football needs him?
    …that he is indeed a national treasure..
    …best employed as a tool of soft diplomacy via the football pitch?
    an ambassador of peace & beauty for all Koreans, north & south?

    (don’t wake me, i’m dreaming)

  45. its so wrong

  46. To be honest Park is the player I am most interested in out of all our signings. With everyone else we do know what they bring to the table, but Park is a bit of an unknown quantity so I am truly excited to see what he brings to the table. After all, the French champions were interested in getting him so he can’t be half bad and becoming captain of your country ahead of the Manc’s Park is an achievement in itself. I really can’t wait to see if he can do some major damage in the red and white shirt. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him score a couple of vital goals and maybe even one or two direct free kick’s. He can probably show Robin a couple of tricks when it comes to dead ball situations so the latter can regain the mojo that made him at some point one of the deadliest free kick takers in the league.

  47. I am wondering if the arm band has done Robin any good?
    Or is it too early to judge?

  48. My team for Dortmund
    Sagna Merty Miquel Santos
    Arteta Cocquelin Rosicky
    Oxlade Benayoun
    Subs: Fabs , djourou, frimps, gibbs, jenks, park,ramsay

  49. Jonny,

    Do I actually think we are going to win the Premiership?

    Hell yes!

  50. Jonny @ 10:51 am,

    I like the look of that team: assuming on injuries and availability. This is the way I hope we return to using the lesser cup competitions: blooding youngsters and allow for real first team competition if they perform well in these.

    You’ll be a believer yet;~)

  51. Pedant.

    The armband does not seem to have done too much harm, but it is not the best choice and we therefore miss the benefits of having a good one. v. P is a forward and is the type that needs to just concentrate on his game.

    TV would be mine. The Central Defense position needs to be strengthened as a driving force in the squad. TV also looks like the leader we need. -except being injured the whole time. R. v. P I would keep as Vice.

  52. Aw. That’s actually kind of sweet.

  53. ‘I want to believe’.

  54. To be honest as a die-hard Arsenal fan no matter how bad our situation looks I can always imagine a ridiculous unlikely scenario that will see us clinch the title. Realistically we are 8 points behind the leaders, but the season is still young. Form is temporary and who knows if either one or both of the Manc teams might start to struggle in a couple of week. However I don’t see us falling out of the top 4. For all the spending L’Pool have done they look rather ordinary and probably have a more dodgy defensive set up than we do and Chelsea were lucky to win at Sunderland. More down to Bendtner deciding that he is too good to score easy goals than Chelsea being convincing.

  55. The big difference with Sir Alex was even if Utd didnt have a good season they always ticked over by winning an FA cup and league cup.Thats what Wenger has failed to do.In 15 years Wenger has won trophies in 5 of those years.So there were 10 barren years.The lack of respect Wenger showed for the domestic cups really came back to hurt us.A a cup win would keep the fans on side.Unlike comments that a 4th place finish is a trophy

  56. Even in the run up to Xmas games, 3 months hence, 8 points is not that big a deal. EPL positions are broadly decided mostly in the dank gloom of Feb through March.

    Our leaden second half on Saturday, after a brighter first period, was entirely predictable with barely a practice session under the team’s combined belt, Gibbs not 100% up to speed, and 2 important (uninjured) players out of it. Ramsey does look a bit tired, and has worked trendously hard. Frimpong was subdued, the pendulum swinging the other way after his red; he’ll find the balance. I thought we performed (rather than scored) rather better than many appear to judge, and happy with chances created and the enticing bits, and none better than Arteta’s exciting rapport with vP.

    Don’t forget players to come back. Wilshere, Song, Rosicky, TV, Diaby,
    3Gs, not counting the players yet to make an appearance.

  57. I think Chezzer alone is reason enough to be confident of top 4.

    It’s fair to guess that as a squad/team we are a little weaker offensively but I’m certain that we are stronger defensively.

  58. @Jonny
    To be honest the only thing we miss offensively is Cesc’s passing. I am confident that Gervinho is going to better for us than Nasri was, both in scoring and creating goals so I believe that we are stronger in that regard while I just hope that Arteta + Wilsh + Ramsey will somehow be able to combine in a way that we can make up for the departure of Cesc. After all Wilshere was already creating tons of chances last season, with him a year older he will hopefully be able to add quality to the quantity of shooting opportunities he creates so that in turn he will assist more and we will therefore score more.

  59. My team for Dortmund
    Sagna Merty Miquel Santos
    Arteta Cocquelin Rosicky
    Oxlade Benayoun
    Subs: Fabs , djourou, frimps, gibbs, jenks, park,ramsay


    Cuttingedge, why do you want us to get hammered? We must play our strongest 11. A) because Dortmund are a ruddy good side, B) because they have spent all of a handful of days with each other, C) we need a morale boosting win.

    No room for bleeding youngsters in now, the coming months must be about harmoninising (is that even a word?) our first team.

  60. Chezzer is the best keeper in the league. He has a Schmicheal esque aura about him. To think – he was about to leave the club.

    Lady lucky was shinning on us when Alumina & Fabianski got crocked.

  61. Dortmund are no push-overs. They are by far the most dangerous team we will face in our group and in all honesty we need to go into the game with the same mindeset if, say, Milan or Valencia were the opponents. Strongest squad available on the day should play, especially as we are playing in Dortmund where you can witness one of the most intense crowds in all of football.

  62. To be honest the only thing we miss offensively is Cesc’s passing.


    You mean the player who created more chances than any other footballer in Europe for the last 5 years???

    Lets not nonchantly dismiss the void that we have to fill. Its not impossible, of course, but it is a big ask for Ramsey / Wilshere. I’m delighted that we have signed Arteta and to some extent Yossi, as it means we are not dependent on two teenagers to carry the mantle.

    Personally, I feel the little-used-to-be-fat Russian is going to be our boy this year. Judging from Saturday, he has AW’s faith, and the keys to our attacking threat. Think we will see his best again.

  63. we are playing in Dortmund where you can witness one of the most intense crowds in all of football.


    So true – gutted that I’m not going. Had to pass up a ticket for a qualification I am doing in London. I won’t even get to watch the frigging game!!!!

  64. Stan has been great. He’s been consistent in his approach, very supportive. He’s encouraged us to do what’s necessary to improve the team. And that really helped us get some things done.

    It’s because of sentences like this that stan and wenger think that they done enough at the Transfer window. Also I was watching this episode on Espn Press that meantioned serious things like fans in different sections had angry words to each other. This possibly a way for wenger and stan to avoid those concering voices then some of the voices in here.

  65. @Luke
    Too bad, I’ve been to the Westfalenstadium before and it’s really one of the stadiums every football fan should visit at least once in their life. Will make sure to scream my lungs out tomorrow to make up for all the fans that can’t go.

  66. @Luke I’d love to think you were right about Arshavin but it would be a surprise.

    I don’t think we have ever seen the best of Arshavin – he’s a frustrating player – perhaps the competition for a starting berth with Gerv and Ryo will see him dig deeper and bring out his best.

  67. JohnN | September 12, 2011 at 10:31 am

    “I think it is too early for people to write off ffp. uefa have said they will investigate the Man city sponsorship deal, lets wait until we hear results.”

    george | September 12, 2011 at 10:49 am
    “So,apparently FFP is dead and buried next to project youth.We shall see?
    I believe if football is to have a chance of not becoming a European super league it has to work.They have told us loopholes will not be tolerated and will be closed.”

    JonJon | September 12, 2011 at 11:12 am
    “the men with the money make their own rules so if fifa are serious they need to implement these laws to the letter and clamp down on everything………and if a breakaway league does happen and we join it under their rules we’ll never win anything again cos it might as well be run by the mafia.”

    From my observations about football, the organizations in charge (FA, UEFA, FIFA, etc) – make their own rules and adjudicate the laws themselves. Are they accountable to anyone?

    How many times have we seen an obvious wrong decision be supported by these organizations and their is no recourse for the (innocent) guilty party?

    Is it possible that FFP will be a new revenue source for UEFA/FIFA, especially from clubs whose owners think they make the rules?

    At the moment, everything is speculation.

    As far as trophies are concerned:
    I for one, believe its too early to give either manchester team the league trophy. Sh*t happens to everyone.

    Next up is Dortmund and our next stepping stone in restoring team confidence.


  68. Very jealous Evil!

    Have a great time – would be HUGE if the boys win there. Perfect tonic for some disappointing early season results.

  69. @ YW
    Thanks for this.

    Out of interest, is there anything right now which is stopping Red & White injecting money into the club – eg could Usmanov have bought a tranche of the flats at asking price without falling foul of any regulations?

    That paragraph you quoted from SK reads as an unequivocal endorsement of AW’s policies and the principles underpinning them. But will we now have to call him Six Sentence Stan?

    I agree, it is frustrating not to hear a bit more from SK in public, but clearly he leaves that up to the CEOs of all his sports clubs. He has at least said that he intends to maintain the self-sustaining business model so there is some certainty there. IG has attempted to communicate his vision of the direction for the club to the fans, but a lot of them simply ignore or discount anything official or corporate-sounding which comes out of the club.

    @ Savage | September 12, 2011 at 10:16 am

    @ John N
    Very good points – let’s give them a chance to rule first, and I agree, the less draconian the sanctions for breaching the FFP rules are, the more likely they are to be enforced.

    Looking forward to Dortmund. They have an excellent record of clean sheets at home, so let’s see if we can ruin that for them.

  70. perhaps the competition for a starting berth with Gerv and Ryo will see him dig deeper and bring out his best.


    Jonny – I think the above is the absolute major advantage we have over our squad 12 months ago. Losing Cesc / Nasri will never be easy to stomach in playing terms, but we have very genuine compeitition for places – which, from the rhetoric coming from club, the players are very much relishing.

    Yossi / Theo / Gervinho / Arshavin as established EPL wingers / wide forwards being pushed by the younger, fearless Myiachi / Oxlade.

    I don’t think we will see the latter two start many Cat A games by choice (no insult on them), but thier hunger in training will hopefully kick start a few of the regulars….

  71. @Jonny & Luke
    I don’t really think that we will ever see the “best” of Arshavin, primarily because aspects of his game are inherently flawed and I feel he is too old to change that. He will never become the hard working outfield player in the mold of a Park Ji-Sung, his defensive unawareness at times and his body language that so often enrages the support are not going to change with him being on the wrong side of the 30 now. I haven’t seen him play for Russia so I do not know if he plays and behaves differently in the Russian national colours but maybe a position with less defensive responsibilities might be the only way for him to approach anything close to his “best”, but even when he is not reaching those heights I still think he is a far more useful player than what he has been given credit for. Despite his “laziness” and everything the numbers speak for themselves and I really think we should try to keep him around. He is one of the players that can be match winners, simply because he can be so unpredictable.

  72. @ Evil | September 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Brilliant post. Again.

  73. Agreed Evil, his numbers are good but, for reasons you have outlined, he is also something of a luxury player. This would be more forgiveable was he of a similar quality to say Ginola or Le Tissier (both of whom were quite fairly maligned for their lack of effort) but, by his own admission, he has failed so far to fulfil his abundant promise.

    I quite like the idea of using him an impact player and starting Gervinho.

  74. Luke & CuttingEdge,
    U both seem to forget Song & Gerv are eligible to play tomorrow.
    Or do u just have a Le Coq fixation?

  75. @ ZimPaul
    8 points with 34 matches remaining…….plenty of time to make up the ground. Don’t most of you agree that titles are determined by a team’s performances from Feb – early May.

    I thought Gibbs gave a solid performance against Swansea; for me he was confident in his play, bull doggish in his tackles, made some excellent crosses and was a viable option for our attack down the left.

    Frimpong’s play was heavily influenced by his red card……but with time he will develop a balance.

    Ramsey, this was the first game since his injury that I was impressed with his work rate and involvement.

    Arshavin…….for one hour I thought someone else had possessed his body. He was everywhere with effort, leadership talks to youngsters, contributing to the build ups…..great through ball to Theo. Only Arshavin could have scored his goal. Left footed from the left side!!!! with no angle. Impossible shot.
    If Jack or RvP had made that play – the entire blogosphere and media would have gone berserk.

    Szez – other than his blunder in extra time……he was magnificent. If we do win anything this season – he will be integral. His play off the line and distribution are vastly improved.

    Position wise we have much more experienced depth and this alone WILL turn our trophy fortunes around.

    As much as the team needs a series of wins to regain their mojo…… works the same for our manager. Victories will take the fan and media pressure off him and allow him to focus on the tasks at hand.

  76. Classic!

    Evil / Jonny – Yup, I can only agree. His stats don’t lie, for a “poor” season last year, his impact was incredible.

    Turning the game at WHL in the CC was a thing of beauty. I see Arshavin as very much a confidence player, and when his natural attacking instincts are on song, he is more inclined to put the yards and get in the game more.

    He is a match winner ,and a huge asset. Starting him away at OT / Stamford Bridge, doesnt cut it perhaps – but at home against hoofball merchants, he is just the ticket. Options, lads, options. Its great for the squad.

  77. Ramsey is injured and not travelling to Dortmund.


    I’m starting to wonder if Wenger made some deal with the footballing Gods in order to get an unbeaten season and now we are paying the price!

  78. Re: the 8 point game. It certainly isnt insurmountable – thats for sure. But we must pay recognition to being out of the title race by Christmas (just ask the Scousers!) – if the gap hits 12/13 points by Jan (not saying it will), then it will be a monumental task.

    What could possibly turn the tide and close such a gap??? Aaaah, an Overmars goal at OT……

  79. ARRRGH! Ramsey now??? FFS

    Is Rosicky available?

  80. My team for Dortmund:

    Sagna Kozz Merts Gibbs
    Song Frimpong
    Walcott Gervinho

    BTW one of the big positives on Saturday was Gibbs – couple of delicious crosses of the kind we never saw from Clichy. Now we just need Chamakh to remember he is a footballer and stick them in the back of the net.

  81. A bit saddened to hear that Rosicky won’t make it. On one hand he was probably the most in-form of our midfielders this season so far, but also it would’ve been nice for him to get a well deserved round of applause from the Dortmund fans who certainly would’ve welcomed seeing him again.

  82. No both definitely out..

  83. Sczc

    Bak Per Kol Gibbs

    Song Frimp

    Theo Arteta Gerv


  84. That’s a mighty fine team you have picked Jonny!

  85. Also as we are already talking about Dortmund, I believe we should have bought Nuri Sahin. Due to a clause in his contract he was available for 10 million € and he would’ve been a great replacement for Cesc.

  86. I have been to the ground before, and can cofirm that indeed it is an excellent place to visit. Tomorrow will be my 2nd visit. Hopefully more sucessful than the last game I saw there where I think we lost 2-1 (maybe 3-1). Henry scored a free kick right in front of where I was stood as well.

  87. Dortmund just lost to newly promoted Hertha Berlin at home, FG. I expect Per will be well up for this one.

  88. I just wondered what people actually think Stan is looking to get out of the club? Arsenal do not pay out any real dividends, so I assume the only way he will generate returns will be from share price performance. Surely that will only be achieved if the club continues to grow its profits, which means the club must strive to be successful on the pitch to not just generate prize money, but also to continue to generate income from merchandising and sponsorship.

    There are many of us who buy the new strip when it comes out regardless of what position we finished at in the league, but the club has to look to grow its global commercial appeal. The introduction of players from Asia like Park and Ryo and the pre-season trips all help in broadening the clubs global appeal, but that support will wane if the club is not winning trophies. The same is true of sponsorship, the most lucrative deals go to the clubs that win (unless you are Man City and you can create a fake sponsorship deal to get around FFP).

    With that in mind, will Stan take a more active approach in the future if we don’t win trophies this season? Or will it be next? Stan has made a big investment to acquire a majority take in the club, but he hasn’t actually invested any money in the club itself yet.

    I’m not having a rant about Stan, I’m just interested in what his goals are and on what time horizon.

  89. @GA
    Yes, we lost mostly thanks to this Rosicky fella. Not sure if you heard of him but he scored twice in that game against us.

  90. @ Loomer
    You’d certainly think so! But both teams will be really up for it so it will be tough. I think a draw will be a good result for us.

    Have you forgotten Benayoun in your line-ups? He could play in the middle instead of Frimpong – based on what I saw on Saturday, he plays very similarly to Rosicky and would give us creativity and keep the ball better than Frimpers can.

  91. @ Wavey
    I think that was basically what YW was saying – all that is just what we do not know!

  92. Jonny,
    We’ll be fine without Ramsey. The boy needed a rest anyway.
    Rosicky though?.. hurts…but we’ve got Benayoun, LeCoq & AA’s on fire.

    Squad changes to:

    vs BORUSSIA DORTMUND (A) 13/09/11
    01 Szczesny
    02 Sagna
    03 Gibbs
    04 Koscielny
    05 Mertesacker
    06 Song
    07 Walcott
    08 Arteta
    09 RvP
    10 Arshavin
    11 Gervinho

    SUBS: Fabianski, Santos, Djourou, Benayoun, Chamakh, Park, Coquelin, Frimpong.

  93. Evil – Plenty of Detmolder Landbier ensured that I didn’t remember too much about the game to be honest. I do remember a police dog trying to bite me outside the ground though.

  94. Great minds – I think the Song-Pong axis could be a good option away from home.

    Defensive steel.

  95. You gotta love Suga3’s Usmanov plug. What a cunt. That fat Manc can fuck right off.

  96. And if going for 2 DMs, don’t forget Coquelin. Smoother style than Frimpers, might suit this game better.
    Funny thing is that when they played together in the Youth team, it was Le Coq who was more adventurous, but it seems that the opposite is the case now. Or perhaps Coquelin is not yet as confident as Frimpong. It will be very interestign to see where they both are come January.

  97. Or fools rarely differ!

    It certainly added some strength at Udinese.

    Which has got me thinking, that the additional away CL fixture could actually work in our favour.

    We have bedded those nerves, granted, its a different beast – but going to an inhospitable ground, with huge pressure to get a result, is no longer alien to this squad.

  98. Aman, what is your formation? Where are you playing Arshavin? In the center ahead of Song and Arteta? That might have some real promise. A bit risky but Arteta is fairly strong defensively. I like it because it gives Arshavin more responsibility. I think he showed some genuine leadership and veteran savvy this weekend.

    That’s the team I would go for, though it is a bit risky. Benayoun holds onto the ball but I don’t think the understanding with the other players is there yet, whereas Arteta can sit back deeper and still be effective and does defend better that Benayoun I think. On the other hand, Benayoun has a very strong record in Europe. Perhaps he should start ahead of Walcott, but I don’t seem him playing in the center of midfield just yet. The Walcott/RvP understanding hasn’t shown itself too much yet but that is a wonderful combination that could do serious damage.

    We are really in the dark since we have hardly seen these players and they can’t have had much time on the practice field together. Very interesting to see what Wenger does. Take a gamble or play with a bit of caution? I say go for it as there is no shame losing away to the German champions but a great deal of glory and confidence to be achieved with a good draw or a fantastic win.

  99. I don’t like Song and Frimpong in the same team.In fact I don’t like Frimpong in the first team at all,yet.
    But I am a miserable old git

  100. AFC website hasn’t updated team news to show Rosicky and Ramsey are out. The funniest thing about that page is that the free injury news video at the top of the page is from May.

  101. I would be quite happy with the Song/Frim or Coq defensive 2, as well in a big game away. Maybe it is the wiser course, but a major European tie brings out the football romantic in me.

  102. George, how do you think we should line up then? You are a big booster of Arshavin’s–what about Aman’s lineup?

  103. Dont want to see Coq yet. Hasnt played in CL, away Dortmund, after the OT game wouldnt be the best scenario for him to make his ‘debut’….

    Think we should start with SONG/PONG, then like Udine, if we need to change the focus/tempo of the game, then we have options, move Arteta deeper, play Arshavin through the middle, bring Yossi on…etc

    No shame in shutting Dortmund out for 45 minutes, no shame at all.

  104. Wavey

    KSE decides whether or not a dividend is paid from now on so that may change.

    I remember reading somewhere a while back that KSE’s MO as far as making money out of their investments was more through ‘added value’ services such as tickets, which they process instead of, say, Ticketmaster, and take the fees which is a tidy little sum. I am sure there will be some ‘cross charging’ between group companies as well which will bring cash into the most tax effective regime. Lots of little tricks before they have to consider pleasing Usmanov with a dividend.


  105. From our experiences last season we know how important it is to be topping your group. To that end we should be looking to get something out of the game tomorrow. If that means a more cautious approach with two defensive midfielders we certainly have the pace upfront in players like Walcott and Gervinho to catch Dortmund on the break.

  106. Thats how I would go LG
    Arshavin should be revealed of any defensive duties and given a free role in front of Song &Arteta
    And when Jack is back he can alternate with them both I think Jack and Arteta sitting are solid yet really creative when called upon.
    So with Andrei combined with(two of) Jack/Song/Arteta between them Cesc @ loss of Creativity with be more than covered .Plus a little more steel.
    When Andrie needs a rest ,in comes Diaby.
    Benny can replace Andrie in the wider positions when Theo and Gervinho(and the surprise packages might be Ox and Ryo

  107. I suspect we will see Benayoun play ahead of Song and Arteta.

  108. FIFA and UEFA are a joke, plain and simple. I am sick to death of seeing them turn a blind eye on all the big clubs cheating and lying.

  109. @ Limestonegunner
    That is a perfectly valid point, but I always think that quality understands quality. Arteta and RvP, Gervinho and RvP, both partnerships worked instantly because they are all quality, intelligent players so they sort of read each other’s minds. I still favour Benayoun rather than Frimpong/Le Coq because we will be more creative and have more of the ball, while not sacrificing much in the way of defensive solidity. I hope, anyway! And Benny Yoon (as he is being called) has more experience.

    @ Wavey | September 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm
    “From our experiences last season we know how important it is to be topping your group. To that end we should be looking to get something out of the game tomorrow.”

    I agree, but that led me to think that we should go a bit more attacking than Song+Frimp/LeCoq.

  110. And here is the squad:

    Andrey Arshavin
    Mikel Arteta
    Yossi Benayoun
    Marouane Chamakh
    Johan Djourou
    Kieran Gibbs
    Lukasz Fabianski
    Emmanuel Frimpong
    Laurent Koscielny
    Per Mertesacker
    Ju Young Park
    Andre Santos
    Bacary Sagna
    Alex Song
    Wojciech Szczesny
    Robin van Persie
    Theo Walcott

  111. Nice post yogi.

    Stan said exactly what you would expect him to say, business as usual.

    Expecting us to play better tomorrow. Our style of play seems to work better in Europe. Much as I love defense I don’t like the Idea of Song and frimpong together. Gervinho Walcott RVP up front with yossi song and arshavin in mid field. I would love to see us move away from our dependence on a single creative mid fielder in the “cesc” mode. Red mancs and the chavs have been outscoring us for several years without having a single person as their creative hub. They score by being fast efficient and direct rather then waiting around for someone to make the killer pass. Form the last 2 -3 years we have complained about being wasteful in front of goal. I refuse to believe that our guys are all poor finishers. I think that the type of football we play leads to more difficult chances. The chavs scored 103 goals 2 years ago with a lot less technical talent then we had. The red mancs have outscored us 6 years on the trot and many of those years they were starting players like Fletcher and Park and carrick in mid field. They scored 5 on Saturday against Bolton and almost every one was a virtual tap in and they have been doing that for years now. If there is any bright side to losing cesc hopefully we will adapt our style of play and become more efficient.

  112. @FG

    can’t disagree with you, just as long as we are not too gung-ho in our approach. Would sacrifice a little attacking flair to shut out Dortmund on their on turf. The away games in the CL are vital and last season we did so well at home and were so disappointing away.

  113. Does anybody know the source for injury news now? AFC website has the squad for tomorrow night, but no detail on those missing. Are Ramsey and Rosicky just out for tomorrow night, or are we a couple of men short in the squad for the weekend as well?

  114. Wavey,the good thing is that even if both are out we have plenty of quality replacements now.
    Dont you think?

  115. FG, are you thinking of playing Song with Arteta behind Benayoun in the centre? I suppose that’s possible. Is Arshavin a starter for you? Or are you going Walcott, RvP and Gervinho?

    Even with the injuries there are a lot of combinations. Not knowing Gervinho, Arteta, Benayoun well makes it challenging to think through the possible lineups.

  116. @ Wavey
    The website usually update the injury news from what AW says in the presser or from the interview – there’s been nothing in the i/view so maybe a question will be posed about injuries in the press conference.

  117. George,

    we certainly do, which is why I’m not having kittens about their absence from the team for tomorrow night. It just still seems to be daft that the club persists with this system of using the press conference to disclose injuries. They have announced the squad for tomorrow, but haven’t any detail as to why the missing players aren’t available.

  118. Bill, that is an interesting point but not sure why you would play Benayoun ahead of Arteta when the latter is better deeper and perhaps as a defender and quite quick at picking out a long pass forward for someone like Theo to run onto, which is more the style you are calling for, I think. Benayoun is more tricky in and around the box, like Arshavin but better at defending from the front and along the left side–which is why he came on when Swansea were starting to exploit Arshavin in the second half, I think.

  119. 4-3-3 Limestone.
    Keeping Dortmund on their toes defensively should blunten their attacking tendencies.

    They’d be scared shitless of AA, Walcott & Gerv counterattacking.

    If not I’d sacrifice Theo for Chamakh or Park and play RvP as #10. Chamakh’s defensive qualities are way better than Theo’s

  120. Quite a thoughtful and well-researched piece on Chamakh’s value last year by Jeff on 7amkickoff. I hope we will see more of what Chamakh was offering now that we play twice a week and will probably see some rotation in the centre forward position.–-chamakh-attack-flak-arteta-and-jack/#respond

    Also, quite interested in both Park and Santos, whom we haven’t seen yet and who played in leagues I don’t follow closely. With the schedule becoming busy–I suppose we won’t have long to wait.

  121. Limestone

    Completely forgot about arteta. My bad. He goes ahead of yossi in my lineup.

  122. Aman, I think it is unlikely we’ll see Chamakh and RvP playing together. As the piece on Chamakh, posted above, shows, it didn’t happen last year and can we afford not to play RvP as centre forward unless both Chamakh and Park do well there? With Arteta, Benayoun, Arshavin and JW when he is back capable of playing that forward position behind the centre forward in 443 or 442, it seems that we would need RvP up top as much as possible. If we had bought a Benzema, Higuain type striker, then I could see it.

  123. Bill, with all these new players and with so many injuries it has been hard to keep track of the squad! Apparently we have had the highest number of players in our 4 league games with the departures, injuries and new players in. Massive turnover while the season has started. Hope we can settle down now.

  124. Realistically I doubt we will put arshavin in the midfield. I hope we see a midfield of yossi, arteta and song. That leaves gervinho, Theo and arshavin for the 2 wide spots. Not sure who should be left out among those 3. Theo had a stinker last Saturday but he has been effective in European games in the past and has been scoring this year. I think gervinho is a definite but I also can’t see arshavin left out. Tough one.

  125. @ Limestonegunner | September 12, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    “FG, are you thinking of playing Song with Arteta behind Benayoun in the centre? I suppose that’s possible. Is Arshavin a starter for you? Or are you going Walcott, RvP and Gervinho?”

    I was imagining
    Benayoun Arteta
    Walcott/Gerv RvP Gervinho/AA

    I was thinking we’d link up and keep possession better and be more fluid. Arteta deeper than Benayoun theoretically but all three rotating. Also Benayoun would be a lot more likely to get into their box than Frimpong. And he would track back and defend when necessary, giving us more versatility and quicker transitions. Song, Arteta and Benayoun, we have the nearest to the combined attributes of Song+Wilshere+Cesc.
    Make sense?

    “Even with the injuries there are a lot of combinations. Not knowing Gervinho, Arteta, Benayoun well makes it challenging to think through the possible lineups.”
    Yup. And I don’t know much about Dortmund either, which makes it even harder!

  126. Should Rosicky and Ramsey both be unavailable, I suspect we may see Yossi running his heart out, just a little forward of those two, not unlike Diaby in certain respects, pressing, dribbling, hassling.

    Or perhaps Arshavin, but that’s not ideal.

    I’m unsure of Yossi’s overall fitness. But Coq, Frim would come on at some point after 65 mins or so.

  127. Zimpaul afraid the news is that neither of them are travelling to Germany.

    It’s been interesting seeing Coquelin utilised in the last 2 matches. Suddenly we have three trusted DMs – four if you count Bartley! It’s great to see Wenger’s trust in the player and encouraging that he has very quietly just slotted in.

    Still project youth has clearly failed eh?

  128. If he’s fit, Theo is a definate starter in Europe. He has also played very well in internationals, and knows the ropes by now.

    AW has tried Song and Frimpong at some point, can’t recall exactly we’ve had so many out it may have been forced, but it didn’t really work as well as it might theoretically. No this match decidedly needs Arteta and Song at the base, and an attacking midfielder ahead.

    Benayoun was always a lively spark, but I thought I noticed a hunger about him, like “get me on the field, I really want this”. It’s vital we don’t concede of course, but defending on a higher line suggests Benayoun rather than Arshavin. I have no doubt 3Gs will play. On current form, you can’t leave the lad out. He scares teams shitless.

  129. Limestone,
    I meant substituting Theo for Chamakh or Park later in the game.
    RvP can then see the game out as #10

  130. FG and ZP, you might have a point playing Benayoun there. It seems neither of you want Arshavin in the centre, and I think I understand why. If you want lots of midfield rotation for a fluid or dynamic relationship between who comes forward or stays back. And you wouldn’t expect Arshavin to be rotating back from that position. That makes a lot of sense.

    The other option Aman, George and I were thinking about makes for a lot of rotation across the front built on Song and Arteta coming forward more rarely, but we haven’t seen Arshavin playing there. Although, we haven’t seen Benayoun playing there either for us!

    I suppose we’ll see tomorrow.

  131. Wenger was wearing away colours in the interview today. I hope we aren’t having to play in those shirts. Dortmund at home have yellow shirts with black shorts/socks. Why wouldn’t we be able to play in our red and white home kit?

  132. Jonny, I don’t know if we can yet use “trusted” to describe Frimps and Coquelin–that is a bit premature. They are promising, but many on here are against starting either now that Song is available.

  133. I’ve liked all of Arsenal’s sides during the “barren spell”, pure bias of course, but more than that, interesting players and personalities. I like this one very much already, and personally I do prefer the sense of spirit about it. It was so interesting how quickly Arteta made announced himself, and a lot of his early passing and movement was really superb. As for big Per, he strikes me straight away as confident and intelligent player, rather than “hired muscle” of much of the EPL, although I doubt he or AW will have been satisfied with Saturday and I think we saw a bit of poor showing by his overall standards. But he seemed to know his job and where to be, and Kos looked confident having him around. Song will add tremedously to the such confidence, we always miss him and look more fragile when he’s not on the park.

  134. Aman, ok, understand what you are saying.

    Bill, you have stepped back from your previous post that put Arsh in midfield. I thought there was a good reason for doing so–you were de-emphasizing possession and patient buildup for a more direct, quick attack, which I think Arsh brings. Now your lineup seems to fit closely with a more possession oriented approach, perhaps.

  135. Song – Arteta – Arshavin would certainly be a very adventourous midfield three, and ensure the game would be played an electric pace, especially with Dortmund playing thier part.

    However, with a CB partnership only 90 mins strong, I would like to see Song / Frimpong deployed in the first half. Granted we may not create as much, but it would be sound defensively, and offer us a platform to improve and change our tempo in the second half, if needed.

    Lets protect the back 4, and use the vision of Arteta/RVP and pace of Walcott/Gervinho to pin back thier full backs, and catch on the break.

    We do not need to force the issue from the start tomorrow. I’d love to see a discplined, defensively sound 1-0 win.

  136. Well, I make it 3 wins (2 home, 1 away), 2 losses (home and away), and a draw (away) in the season so far. All results fair and credit to Man United for their massive win, EXCEPT that Liverpool were very fortunate to get the breakthrough and win it. But what comes around goes around.

  137. “It’s been interesting seeing Coquelin utilised in the last 2 matches. Suddenly we have three trusted DMs – four if you count Bartley!”

    Bartley’s a centre-back, currently on loan at Rangers. For those reasons he is out.

    I’d say we have one trusted holding midfielder and 2 promising squad members. Hopefully the experienced players we’ve drafted in in will be able ti contribute to Coquelin and Frimpong’s development,

  138. ZP, we missed Song with Cesc and Nasri in the team, thats how good he is. The team just runs smoothly when he plays.

    I would like to see Arshavin behind the front 3 actually. I believe we would see the best of Arshavin in space. He gets a lot of stick but since the end of last season he has been playing with a lot of effort.

  139. Dortmund will be all out to win, and not concede. They know european sides have a poor record at Emirates, and getting something out of the return affair will not be easy. Still, a long way to go.

  140. @ LG
    I think that tomorrow, with all we have been through, it’s important for us to make a confident statement about our style of play and that means we base it on possession and controlling the game. It will be like an affirmation to ourselves, to Dortmund and to the world at large that we have faith in ourselves and we have no fear. By using the experience, superior passing and link-up play of Song+Arteta+Benayoun, we make it easier to be “us”.

    *and then watches as AW does something completely different*

    I think it’s great that Coquelin is staying around – the competition will be good for both him and Frimpong, and it gives us different styles to pick from as backup. Song is still clearly numero uno, though.

  141. @ ZimPaul | September 12, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    “Dortmund will be all out to win, and not concede.”

    I agree. And AW just said in his i’view that the best way to stop them is to attack – so that gives a pretty big clue as to how conservative he is going to be.

  142. Thankfully football management at Arsenal is not my job, otherwise you lot would get this team starting tomorrow:
    Sag Per Kos Gibbsy
    Song Arteta
    Arsh RvP 3Gs

  143. Forgot to add to my 4:28pm post that there is the advantage of familiarity – most people will be doing what they always do.

  144. We don’t need to win this game, so starting with all our first team attacking threat on the pitch is suicide IMO.

    Leaves us with little option other than European debutants and a striker who is very very much out of form to come off the bench.

  145. Limestone – I meant trusted to play a part in proceedings for the senior team as opposed to being the trusted first choice. Obviously (and quite rightly) Frimpong and Coquelin are back-up options rather than first choice ahead of Song but the fact they are both getting first team playing time is an important shift in and of itself.

    JamesM I am well aware he is a CB and that he is on loan – I never suggested he was available merely pointing out that have a wealth of options for the DM position in the club . For the record Bartley was frequently used as a DM by Rangers last season and performed very well in the role. Get your facts straight before correcting others.

  146. Jonny @ 2:04 I have often wondered the same thing, the price for the unbeaten season is 10 years no trophy or some shit like that.

  147. Predicted lineup will be:

    Szczesny; Sagna, Meresacker, Koscielny, André Santos; Song, Benayoun, Arteta; Gervinho, RvP, Park

    Fabianski, Gibbs, Djourou, Frimpong, Arshavin, Walcott, Chamakh

  148. —————————Szczesny—————-
    ——–Sagna,Mertesacker, Koscielny, André Santos——-

    Fabianski, Gibbs, Djourou, Frimpong, Arshavin, Walcott, Chamakh

  149. Borges, dont you think it would be dangerous to play such an unfamiliar team?

  150. One forgets…isn’t AW suspended for this game?

  151. Marvin Martin has signed a one year extension to his contract at Sochaux, tying him to the club until 2015.

    Nice move to protect their assets.

  152. Yes, and the next one in the CL, Aman.

  153. Jonny, a move to raise the fee for Arsenal’s January raid? Who signs a one year extension with that many already remaining? Looks to me like they are positioning him for sale in January or the summer.

  154. ————chezza
    sagna metersacker kos gibbs
    ———-song arteta

    with no nasri cesc its baffled me as to why we play the perfect number 10 out wide say with wildfire and raised out this team would cause havoc to most out there

  155. We are being extremely naive in thinking FPP is going to stop the excesses by certain clubs spending over and above their club means. Yogi, it has been stated more than once that the rules are open to abuse on a number of levels, including the dodges associated with academy spending and infrastructure support. This is for the most part why Manchester City have recieved their new sponsorship deal from cousin dearest of the owner. I have read articles where the “fair market value” term has been used in the reviewing of the Man City deal but the truth is what is it and how do you apply it. Man City have already stated that the 400 million quoted is more than the deal is really worth but still persist in not releasing the terms of the deal. It is without doubt the first test for UEFA in execution of their FFP vision.

    I have read that other penalties are being considered beside a competition ban but really the idea of a transfer ban or point deduction is laughable. The truth is you either have the teeth to follow through on your vision or you close the book on it and accept that the game is not balanced and fair for all comers. Now the latter “all comers” is an interesting point because Arsenal are actually considered a “has a lot team” as opposed to many other clubs trying to compete in Europe. Financial doping is here to stay, it isn’t new and Arsenal are not only to be the beneficary of it under Stan.

    Being self sufficient is fine, until you are so far behind that you lose revenue streams you once considered the norm. The issue for Arsenal is how to stay competitive in the now with less resources avilable to the club than many may have wished. Lets not quote amounts in the transfer kitty because in truth we have no idea what is or is not available, rather we are left to guess on the basis of transfers in and out. Arsenal have made a net profit from transfers in this summer, the accounts will show it in the months to come and all the shareholders will be satified with the business done… until Arsenal fail to qualify for the CL. That is not to say we are not only to qualify but rather when or if it happens in the years to come. Arsenal are a business not a toy, the shareholders want value for their money before anything. Arsenal happen to be a great football business model in an environment where business fundamentals are not adhered to.

    I don’t know what you al think with regards to ownership and I am not saying that the current model is wrong or flawed but I am saying that Arsenal are not going to inundated with owner cash injections with Stan in charge.

  156. should read wilshire and ramsey not wildfire and raised bloody predictive text

  157. I think Erupoe would be the perfect time to unleash Arsh in the AM role if ever Wenger was going to do it. I would opt for a midfield 3 of Song, Frimpong, Arshavin if he does play there.

  158. Song and Frimpong should be able to handle all defensive duties and leave Arshavin completely free to pick them apart…in theory it could work!

  159. If I could select the team my line up would be:

    Santos——-Van P——–Gerv

  160. Is Ramsey’s injury due to that stamp to his ankle he took at about the 80th minute last saturday?

  161. I think it is Gains, it’s certainly an ankle injury.

  162. Silver gunner,That is my team mate ,pick your own 🙂
    Arshavin should be given a free role.

  163. Jabba"s delights

    I think we will see Song and Frimpong in midfield.

    it didnt work against Udin because they were trying to hit us on the counter constantly so us having 2 dm was negated and we looked quite toothless in posession in the first half.

    in all probability dortmund will prob have more possession than us as that what they do well especially at home. this is where having 2 destroyers works.

    The best way to beat this Dortmund side away from home is hitting them on the counter. They push there fullbacks really far forward and maintain a high line. if you can win the ball off them then gervinho and walcott could have an absolute field day with the space.

    By trying to attack them head on we will be reducing our chances of winning. not saying its impossible but we will have to be utterly outstanding to win that way over there. Not the case if you employ an effective counter attack against them.

    think the way we played against Barca away last year but better in an attacking sense.

  164. From OptaJoe on twitter

    “0 – No side has ever won the Premier League after scoring more than 11 goals in their opening four matches (nine have done this). Deceptive”

    So it seems all is not lost.

  165. “@ Wavey
    I think that was basically what YW was saying – all that is just what we do not know!”

    Which is why I don’t see the point of today’s post. Stan is hardly going to announce his business plan to us and thereby the rest of the world. People need to get real and accept that there are things that we are just not going to know. As for PR it’s just a fancy word for bullshit and people are so cynical these days that they are not going to fall for it as we all know when we are being ‘spun’.

  166. Passenal.
    What a very good post.

  167. Just loved Arshavins finish at the weekend..he just finished it with such nonchalance with his wrong foot from a tight angle…thats why he is my favourite at arsenal..

    Amazingly gifted sportsmen, not just footballers suffer from radiating a sense of “dont care”, but in reality the game comes so easy to them, that they can appear to be casual

    Inzamam, Mark Waugh and Carl hooper are prime examples of cricketers who felt the force of fans and pundits calling them “lazy”…

  168. Just to continue, agree wholeheartedly with some earlier posts, Artetas maturity and natural defensive awareness could just just allow arshavin to play behind RVP, mouthwatering thought…

  169. Well we should be glad it was Arsh that was the recipient of that loose ball and not some youngser. His experience made him slot it in 🙂

  170. Some stuff coming out of the AST meeting with IG.

    Seems RVP will not commit to a new deal.

    SK was not involved in anything to do with transfers. It was just AW & IG and a team bought in solely for the transfer window.

    £50 mil still in transfer fund.

  171. Arteta did NOT take a pay cut he was given an extra year on his contract. It will cost AFC £25 mil in total for Arteta due to not being able sell on.

  172. Darren Dein now RVP & Song’s agent. Very worrying.

  173. If Arsene Wenger does not pick the team I want and play the formation I have advised he has to go.
    Its as simple as that.
    I have had enough of him ignoring my expertise,and the board as well.They can go if they don’t do as I desire.I am not going to tolerate a day longer.

  174. @ dups
    Are you a member?

  175. FG

    No, it’s on twitter.

  176. You tell them george!

    I’m disappointed in RVP if true given how Arsenal stood by him through the injury ravaged years. But from his perspective given his age I guess he is approaching his last meaningful contract. That is the reality of the modern game so there seems to be little point getting attached to players as they always have their eyes open for the next opportunity. We have to remind ourselves it is just a job to them. Even JW and all his big talk will walk at some point.

  177. @ dups

  178. dupsffokcuf, the player always has the final word regardless of what superagent he employs…. Darren Dein or Pini whateverhisname!

    I like your analysis Jabba. Counter attacks will be crucial tomorrow.
    Lets hope Gerv’s pissed off about sitting out so many games

  179. @ Aman
    Agents have a lot of influence over their players, though. They give “career advice”. The fact that the pair have moved agents suggest that they think he can do something for them that their previous agent was not doing.

    Still, no point in worrying about things we can’t control and eventualities which may never transpire.

  180. I don’t think they’ve moved agents recently – he has been their agent for a while.

  181. Doesnt seem like Arsene agrees with JD

    ““He(Mario Gotze)links well with his strikers and is the player we have to keep quiet. The best way to keep him quiet is for us to attack.”

  182. Headline in the sun today

    “Top Premier footie ace is ‘on cocaine’
    TV show will name him tonight”

    That TOP Premier player, Gary O’Connor – Who? I hear you ask. The same player who was arrested weeks ago.

  183. Jabba's Delights


    No I agree its not usually in arsene makeup to change the system to exploit a certain teams weakneses or negate there strengths or even both. Although he did try and do it against barca last year.

    We have a better chance of winning tomorrow if we play with a deeper line and hit them on the break I think most would be in agreement on that, whether we do that or not is down to the manager. Our record away from home in europe is very poor recently. Our system works if we dominate the ball as we aren’t very good without it. Now that we have lost cesc and nasri its harder for us to keep the ball for long periods. We should change our tactics accordingly

  184. For those who were questioning the injury news earlier

    “On team news…
    We have lost Ramsey from Saturday because he has an ankle problem but we have Gervinho and Song back in the squad. Rosicky (knee) is still out, Jenkinson is back from suspension but he is not in the squad.”

    I think the club have made a mistake caving in to fan pressure by revealing the £50m transfer kitty. It just encourages the selling clubs to hike their prices and raises expectations amongst the spend, spend, spend brigade.

  185. dupsffokcuf, I expect the programme to be a damp squib as these things usually are. The only players to be outted will probably be lower division players not the big names who are always protected by the media. All the journo’s knew about Giggs for years and kept quiet about it until the time was right.

  186. @ passenal

    Maybe just maybe its good to put a cap on things..upto 50 mill if really required, which is not exactly enormous (unbelievable really) in todays footballing environment

    the spend spend brigade asks us to buy players if we total up would cost 150 mill, least now we have a ceiling

    and as far as selling clubs go..again the same, better for them to know we have a limit and not very very deep pockets as is the perception now..

  187. I think your points are very reasonable JD. I guess a problem could be though, that if we change our style too much, the current players will not learn how to play the Arsenal way. The players are good enough to hold the ball but you can clearly see that we are not a cohesive unit as yet and worse of all, lacking the necessary confidence.

  188. Saw this in the twitterverse as well:

    I’ve decided to ignore all talk of transfers and contracts. It’s too much. FFS TDD has passed. For now. Any news on Hazard?:

  189. @ Passenal | September 12, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    “I don’t think they’ve moved agents recently – he has been their agent for a while.”
    That’s better, if that’s the case. Dups said DD was “now” their agent.

    But I am still very depressed about RvP stalling. City aspiring to play attractive football is our worst nightmare.

    I agree it was a mistake to tell people about the transfer kitty, but more because of the effect on fans. The abortive Juan Mata transfer is already being portrayed as a senseless refusal to spend £50 million.
    But I think selling clubs could have worked the amount out for themselves and in any case everbody knows how we roll in the transfer market, and that it’s not based on value, not whether we are flush or not.

    @ dupsffokcuf | September 12, 2011 at 8:39 pm
    ha ha
    Journalists sensationalising something? surely not!

    And yeah, journos are cynical enough to time their “scoops” for maximum effect and profit.

  190. @ finsbury
    That’s a lovely video. Still hope we stuff them, though!

  191. Jabba's Delights


    Arsenal should have a couple of ways! Under wenger we will always be an attacking team but sometimes a paeticular opposition or a particular venue or both should mean we should alter our plan to give us the best possible chance to win. That should still be what its about winning. Our game plan works if people are on the same wave length. It would be easier to tell the team to defend deeper and remain compact and rely on our 4 attacking players win in 4 on 5 or 4 on 4 situations that they will be presented if we execute a good counter attacking game plan. I think by attacking a class side away from home with a very fragile team gives us the lowest percentage chance to come home with a good result

  192. I feel that people are starting to overestimate Dortmund. The only reason why we are not clear favourites for the tie is because this is an away match against one of the strongest home teams in Europe. People however seem to forget that Dortmund’s record in Europe in recent times has been abysmal — and that goes for both home and away form. They didn’t even get past the group stages in the Europa League, failing to win at home against Sevilla and only drawing against PSG.
    Furthermore, they are in as much crisis as we are. They lost Sahin and despite the quality of Götze they have not been able to replace him fully which was evident in their recent results. Their main striker, Barrios has been injured and won’t be able to play against us so they are weakened in that area of the pitch as well.
    Dortmund is an opponent that should be taken seriously, but they are not Barcelona. There is no reason to change our gameplan against them, unless we, for some reason, end up losing important personell. But with Gerv and Song making their comebacks we should be certain to win.

  193. In the NFL you build from the draft and free agents. In Futebol a side builds from players on recruits from all over the world and then trains them in their academies- sorta like minior league baseball teams- MLB does this. Yankees not included at this point. Look- the problem is still Wenger. he lost the locker room. A win will do wonders now he has to gain the confidence of the players. This is a step in the right direction now lets see what happens in Champions League play this week.

  194. Jabba,
    Having been quick to attack you for your negative and repetitive posts in the past ,I feel I should be just as quick to tell you that of late your posts on here have been rather interesting.
    There seems to be original thought and clear thinking,
    I don’t agree with views on the team set up or proposed tactics,but I can see your thinking.This is what debate should be and I congratulate you on your recent efforts.And your move away from negative posting.

  195. @i vote for evils post. cheered me up it did.

  196. So you are in the locker room?

    I hear you JD, I dont want us parking the bus though thats for sure. What I want to see us do is attack with pace. If we can get that down we will do major damage.

  197. “lets see what happens in Champions League play this week”

    The Champions League play? Is it some sort of TV show?

  198. dups,
    Is the info coming out of the AST meeting based on the Ivan’s words, or on AST views?
    I could be wrong but would Ivan would actually announce how much we got left in the kitty? Very unArsenal-like.

  199. Thegeeman

    “the problem is still Wenger. he lost the locker room”

    And you know this because?
    Let me answer that for you .
    You don’t,In fact you know nothing, as you continually show with you rubbish posts..

  200. @paul n is it not obvious though? geeman can see it on their faces when he strems the matches on a bad stream link. he can see that RvP and the others just hate AW and really want Murihno as manager.

  201. also he reads the backpages pluss have contacs within the club that has told him that most players just aint happy with AW. They want more “haridryer” treatment. they say so. JCross even said so.

  202. Henristic.If we start to accept Twitter as evidence of anything we are in it deep

  203. i think thegeeman is what J. Wilshere refered to as “the moaners”.

  204. What would bother me is if we started pinging the ball around their box. I want to see us charging down the wings, would love to see some Frimponhg like charges from the middle of the park and stuff like that, players looking to make something happen and not just passing for the sake of it (especially back to the goalie! like Satuday). We have the players who can move with pace and we need to do that as much as possible.

  205. Poodle,when did John Cross say that?

  206. its weird for any team to say exactly what they have to spend on transferes. Why would you do that?

  207. anyone reckon Liverpool will pay for critisising the refs like Arsenal did last year? they basically gone public and told everyone how shit they are…

  208. Paul N, and who passed it back to the goalie?

  209. @george he never did, but i think he was the one that wrote the article of how the players expected a “hairdryer” after the 8-2 loss and AW just said nothing in the dressingroom after.
    maybe that is the article that thegman is refering to when he sais AW has lost the dressing room. The article stated that several players were very “bemused” by AWs behaviour.
    Its the closest backpage article i have seen latley that even suggests he has “lost” the dressingroom anyway.

  210. I think john was suggesting that Arsene is not a hot head and does not react like a Glaswegian,even in moments of extreme stress.
    I am 100% sure he was not suggesting Arsene has lost the dressing room

  211. Henristic

    It was from different guys at the shareholders meeting. They tweeted the same info about the £50 mil so I think it was I.G.’s words.

  212. well George, any normal humanbeing would draw your conclusion from that article ofc 🙂

  213. Passenal, I Dont remember who but it was passed back from close to the halfway line. Wenger mentioned it in his post match interview.

    “It was vital for us to win the game. I think we started quite well but slowly the nerves took over. We played with the handbrake on and were restrictive in the second half. It is not often that we pass the ball back to our goalkeeper when we are at halfway.”

  214. “he can see that RvP and the others just hate AW and really want Murihno as manager.”

    i’ve been noticing the same thing for the past 6 (trowfie-less) years!

  215. Oh and thanks for clearing thegeeman’s comment up for me pooodle.

  216. Oh. I think that backpass came from our tall boy Mertesacker. I don’t get what is so terrible about keeping possession like that!!

  217. There was also a mention that CFC enquired about TW14 in the transfer window.

  218. “I didn’t do anything wrong,” he went on. “I just did what I was told I could do. I asked before the game what I could do. If I wanted to do something forbidden, I would not have shown it openly. I still don’t understand why I am suspended but [then] I didn’t understand why I was suspended the first time.”-Wenger

    Not an ideal game to miss but hopefully we will win,less than 24hrs to go

  219. Chill

    It was Arteta who passed the ball back (from the halfway line) to the GK

  220. CFC as in chelsea? owh imagin him going there and becoming a star player “with no brain”! or does one suddenly develop a “pundit approved brain” ones one leave arsenal?

  221. Diaby paid more than Modric according to stuff coming out of the AST meeting. Really, really hope that’s not true.

  222. No it was Arteta and Szczesny was nowhere near his goal – we all gasped at the ground as it looked like it could be an own goal! For all the criticism he gets I’ve never seen Denilson do that.

    If Ivan has really shared some of the information posted on Twitter, he should just pick up his P45 on his way out the door. He has given out way too much information and weakened the club’s position just to satisfy inquisitive ‘fans’ with an entitlement complex. I am very disappointed.

  223. JamesM

    Of course he will be paid more than Modric, he is at a bigger club.

  224. Diaby is better than Modrico
    What they passing around wage slips at an AST meeting?And some of them Tottenham wage slips.
    JamesM, fuck off will you?

  225. Barton paied more than RvP according to the papers. Really really hope that is not true…..

  226. woops my bad.

    Wasn’t it Arsene who just recently said “we don’t conduct our business in public.”

    Now the whole world knows there is 50millions burning a hole!

  227. Didn’t Barcelona come out at the beginning of the summer and say they had 45MM to spend on transfers and that they wanted to spend it on two players (and essentially say that the players were Sanchez and Fabregas) and then proceed to do exactly that? I don’t follow what’s wrong with saying what our transfer budget is.

  228. some of you seem to forget that Arsenal is still a Plc, hence it does not take a genius to figure this out…

  229. Exactly Chill, Gazidis has gone too far if he is telling people how much we pay in wages. £60k is not a lot in the current environment and perhaps Modric’s wages have something to do with why he is angling to move to chelski.

  230. I’d love Diaby to be a better player than Modric or more reliable or in any way deserving of a higher salary but he’s not.

    Therefore, while internet fans spout their opinions while I’m putting my money into the club I think I’ll reserve the right to be pissed off when our CEO admits we’re pissing money down the drain.

    Think this demonstrates why we couldn’t permanently offload Denilson, Bendtner or Almunia. Paid miles more than they’re worth.

  231. Nobody at Spurs earns more than £65k per week.

  232. james we are a top 4 club you retard. we pay top 4 salarys. we pay more than all underneath us in the table! thats how it is. City and United pay the exact same players the excact same wages. Gibson was on 50k a week. thats how it is at the top.
    Modric is not in a top club. he will never get top money unless hes moving upwards in the world.
    Tottenhams top money is arsenal, united and chelsea mid lever salary.

  233. Correct Passenal and dups. Chill, we are not just trying to keep possession for the hell of it. We are an attacking team, that pass showed a bit of fear.

    Not sure if anyone is watching the US Open but Djokavic is no djoke!

  234. I know thats corny but I couldnt resist.

  235. The club should not even send anyone to an AST meeting.Moaning twats that they are

  236. to even attract players like Bendtner we have to pay altest 50k a week. thats what players expect from top clubs.. sick huh?

  237. “Nobody at Spurs earns more than £65k per week.”

    Prove that.

    Seems like massive hypocrisy given your stance whenever anyone mentions an Arsenal player’s wages.

  238. oh dear the shit is gunner hit the fan.

  239. but why oh why put fuel on the fire for already angry fans? that is just stupid…….
    Look at JamesM! hes a disilusioned angry fan that well i dunno what he wants, buy more players, stop paying high wages to non wordclass players etc etc.

    JamesM is the fans the club should try to win back, but instead they just alianate them even more… that cant be good…

  240. The have stated that £65 k is their wage ceiling.Its a matter of public record.It is used by them frequently to explain why a deal could not be made.

  241. JamesM, you don’t believe that, but you are quick to believe anything that puts Arsenal into a negative light.

  242. Can someone provide a short explanation of why Peter Hill-Wood is still the Chairman of Arsenal’s board? From afar, he seems utterly useless, routinely says stupid things in the press, and he owns only a very small portion of the club’s stock. I understand that he has a longstanding familial connection to the club but don’t see why the two billionaires who now effectively control the club would allow the guy to stick around and think that it would make a lot of sense to bring in a knowledgeable football person who would play a meaningful role in the club’s transfer business and payroll strategy and essentially serve as a “general manager” in tandem with AW.

  243. Poodle ,the club might want to win them back but they can fuck off for me

  244. Paul, there is some tumble weed rollin behind you!

  245. No GoonerinLA, why don’t you write to Ivan since he seems to be in the mood to unburden himself.

  246. @ poodle
    I can’t believe what I’m reading. IG really shouldn’t be officially revealing information like that. Alarming, if true.
    A bit of the Silent Stan approach would have been better. IG has made a rod for his own back. However much information the fans are given, it will never be enough, so any appeasement is temporary. Also it will give fans a false sense that they run the club. Madness.

  247. well they are customers like everybody els right?City are doing a great job in getting more customers. we should too….

  248. GoonerinLA.
    1) continuity
    2) tradition.

  249. AST are now reveling in their own sense of self importance.
    I don’t know why the should be humoured.

  250. FG, totally agree. Ivan has scored a massive own goal there by pandering to the mouthy minority. They hob nob with low life hacks on Twitter and think they are more important than the club.

  251. Totally agree FG – why Ivan is pandering to the mouthy minority is beyond me. They hob nob with scum sucking hacks on Twitter and think they are bigger than the club. Too much information is not always a good thing as they more you give them, the more they want. I cannot see how that is good for the club because now the whole world knows it too.

  252. how much is left of AWs contract? will it end shortly after RvPs? There will be alot of changes when AW leavs. I think alot of the big players that came with AW will depart with him too…

  253. @ FG
    It seems so unlike him, as well – he usually stands up to them, albeit in a smooth corporate way. And he struck me as very bright, as well.

  254. @ Passenal, I meant! ha ha ha !

  255. Sorry for the double post, I thought the first one had disappeared.

  256. And he really ought to know AST are not representative of the millions of gooners around the globe.

  257. @ Passenal, is it uncommon to know players’ wages in the EPL? One could easily find nearly every player’s salary in basketball, baseball and American football (and Major League Soccer, which has a very hard salary cap, publishes a list of all players’ salaries), so it’s surprising (for me at least) to see that Gazidis’s discussions of the subject are considered (by some at least) to be unusual.

  258. well alot of weir stuff has happend behind closed doors this summer Fun. No one knows exactly what but everyone knows it has been damaging to the club…

  259. @ Passenal
    Seems like we had simultaneous blonde moments there!

  260. Really baffled that Ivan would do something like that. Usually you expect ineptness of this kind from PHW but for Gazidis, who struck me as quite competent, to just pass confidential information on like that is truly shocking. Surely having that number out in the open is not going to make any transfer business we want to conduct easier when the window reopens in January. Stupid move to weaken our hand just to appease a vocal minority. If Ivan really felt that he had to share that number with the AST, he should’ve made them all sign NDAs beforehand.or something.

  261. Maybe Ivan is looking for a pay out on his contract! Sounds like career suicide to me. If he thinks it’s going to win over the haters, he really does not understand the nature of the beast. And to do it the night before a big CL match is even worse.

  262. it will just make the minority even more angry those quotes from Gazidies. Did he really think they would be less noisy after they were told we have 50M of unspent cash in the bank letting players like Mata slip between our fingers?

    Hope he has a bigger plan with this, he must have, if not it just looks like the work of a madman.

  263. @ goonerinla
    I did wonder if it was a cultural thing, but you’d have thought, knowing that we don’t have a central system and with the secrecy around our wage bill, IG should still know better.
    How is Diaby going to feel about this?

  264. agree pass

  265. GoonerinLA, it is highly unusual. There is a lot of talk in the papers, but the actual figures are never divulged, especially not by AFC.

  266. Here’s a link to inept Barcelona’s June 9 announcement of their 45MM summer transfer budget: Obviously shot themselves in the foot, didn’t they?

  267. @ Evil
    I’m just hoping these are all fake Twitter accounts!

  268. Passenal,perhaps its to keep some of our players happy in the knowledge that big names are liable to be arriving?
    He might be using the AST as a tool.And tool’s they are. 🙂

  269. @GoonerInLA
    The difference is probably that there are no reliable sources for player wages. The data is just not published anywhere and most figures you read in the media are either supplied by agents (who, for various reasons, would want to make their clients seem more expensive/or cheaper) or just made up by checking what players of similar standing are earned.
    To be honest, unless there is a leak like there was with the West Ham wage bill a year ago, there is no sure way of knowing how much any given player is earning.

  270. liverpool player John Arne Riises payslip was ones discovered in a trash bin and plastered all over the backpages of the tabloids. It was very big news and we all saw he was paied.
    think its the closest you get to ever actually knowing what a player really earns….

  271. GoonerinLA Are you holding Barca up as a shining example of how to conduct business?

  272. “How is Diaby going to feel about this?”

    Exactly. It’s hardly his fault that he has nearly had his career destroyed whilst in the employ of AFC and to be singled out in that way is just wrong on so many levels.

  273. Arsene will be livid as well.

  274. @Evil and Passenal, the combination of salary caps and collective bargaining agreements in American sports leagues, neither of which is present in the EPL, probably makes the fulsome disclosure of salary information relatively common here. Thanks for clarifying.

  275. Let us wait until we actually know what was said.

  276. that payslip makes you sick though. He earned 82k before tax! and this is ages ago!

  277. Before we really start bashing Ivan, do we know he really gave those details? Also, like someone has just said, telling how much we have in the pot isn’t necessarily an ‘own goal’, even though its rather un-arsenal.
    But heh, Wenger himself said recently this last window was not very arsenal-like.

    All quite weird, really.

  278. GoonerinLA, it took BBB a while to get Sanchez while Udinese extracted maximum value, they only got the other player because he refused to go anywhere else and would not play for his existing team who probably decided to cut their losses rather than have him poisoning the atmosphere around the place any longer. Apart from the fact that BBB win everything due to the rigged Spanish league and the help of dodgy referees aided an abetted by UEFA, so of course they are an attractive proposition for a player who wants trophies the easy way.

  279. it was said that AW felt that he was done shopping in June…

    either way, it does not bode very well: we are facing one of the two situations:

    – the manager is no longer able to assess the situation


    – the board is at loggerheads with him, hence these little snippets

  280. it was said that AW felt that he was done shopping in June…

    Said by who?
    Or interpreted by you?

  281. The only good news tonight is that Djokovic is crushing Nadal. I hope he can finish the job.


    This is a link to a draft report, and no mention of Diaby’s salary there, so perhaps that part is not true, in which case I take that part back, Ivan.

  283. @poodle
    I think however that that’s a monthly payslip … so he would be on 30k a week.

  284. @ Passenal
    Yay! I hate Nadal as well. ha ha ha!

  285. @Pedantic, yes, I would hold up getting Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez for a combined 45MM (maybe even a bit less) as a shining example of how to conduct transfer business. I’d say the same for getting the combination of Mertesacker, Santos, Park, Banayoun, Arteta, Chamberlain, Jenkinson and Gervinho for a combined outlay of not much more than that while retaining a 50MM transfer kitty to get a star midfielder or two in January, and that selling Nasri for 25MM was amazing business. Barcelona’s debt situations suggests they have some problems managing the business side of their club, although their Qatar (also good business) deal will go a ways towards addressing that.

  286. @Passenal
    Yeah, I agree. I don’t know why but for some reason I just can’t stand Nadal. Never liked the guy.

  287. See, I just knew you and I would be sympatico about more than AFC, FG!

  288. How much was Sanchez?
    How much was Cesc?
    I am not maths genius, but I bet it comes to more than 45

  289. You too Evil!

  290. tennis without RF is like football without Arsenal.I don’t care who wins

  291. “I would hold up getting Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez for a combined 45MM (maybe even a bit less) as a shining example of how to conduct transfer business”.

    Except they didn’t GoonerinLA

  292. george,

    it was tweeted by more than one attendee…

    I guess all we need to do is to wait until tomorrow, eh?

  293. Perhaps in June Arsene thought Cesc and Samri were staying.And if we believe what we are told he had already shopped for Mert’s.

  294. SUGA3 ,why do you want to see the negative in everything?
    What satisfaction is there in being disgruntled?

  295. @ Evil
    He is just irritating. Everything from the macho posturing, the faux “street” gear, the way he picks his pants out of his crack every other point, (get some pants that fit, fgs) and the fact that he is so bloody durable.

    @ pedantic george
    Roger Federer. Who remains the most stylish player ever in the men’s game – the perfect combination of dynamism and grace. Fabulous outfits as well. I do like Novak though. Incredible player.

  296. FunGunner | September 12, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    If you read the comments below, the Diaby/Modric wage issue is mentioned there, but it was not Gazidis who said it – it is claimed to be ‘a source’.

  297. george,

    mate, I am just making an observation and from what I can see, it appears like there is a bit of a storm brewing up there…

    Gazidis coming out with these quotes is akin to a coup d’etat, it’s rather disturbingly interesting to see what is goig to transpire out of this…

  298. I dont see any problem in the club letting it be known we have a surplus of transfer funds available.

    The real issue is why we still have it! 😀

    Oh and its looking likle we will be going through the same Nasri scenario with Robin, Theo and Andrei next summer too.


  299. “the way he picks his pants out of his crack every other point, (get some pants that fit, fgs)”

    sing it sister! And that miserable face that looks like he’s about to burst into tears any minute!

  300. Too bad that Federer seems to have lost something. He starts out so well, goes 2-0 ahead and then things go downhill for him. A bit like Arsenal, isn’t it? Maybe if he finds back to form, so will we … or vice versa.

  301. Well that’s something that Ivan wasn’t mad enough to say it.

  302. @Pedantic, Sanchez was 26MM Euros up front, Fabregas 29MM Euros up front = 55MM Euros spent this summer. Barcelona sold a couple of players (Caceres, Dos Santos) to make their net spend very close to their announced 45MM. I was wrong in suggesting the amount was less than 45MM, but I’d still say it was very good business on their part.

  303. Its really interesting how tweets are given such creedence and importance when basically they are the equivalent of a throwaway comment down the pub, most of the time.

  304. Ah, changing the goalposts there Lalaland Gooner!

  305. yep, especially when they are coming from different people who happen to attend a meeting and are sent for the sole purpose of reporting the issues discussed…

  306. @ Passenal
    Yep, the face like a slapped arse is another one!

    @ Dexter
    we know why we have surplus funds – clubs wouldn’t sell us the big player we were after. Confirmation today as well from Fiorentina -of a bid for Jovetic that was rejected. And they knocked back Chelsea as well, before you assume it was a price issue.

  307. George

    The Sanchez & Cesc money were close to that figure as part of the payments come later.

  308. Arsene is still the man

    “when I arrive at the stadium, I cannot go to the dressing room. I don’t know if I will have somebody with me. I don’t think I will be man-marked. But if you want to respect the rule strictly, you should be marked by two men – one on the right and one on the left. Because if one is sitting to my right, I can talk to the guy on my left!
    ‘No, I will send my vibes and hope they will not be detected by UEFA. I give my team-talk at the hotel before we go to the game.
    ‘We will go through all the situations before the game. Pat (Rice) will make the right decisions. For once I will have somebody else to blame if it goes wrong!’

  309. ha ha! Good old Arsene.

    And on a more sombre note, sodding Nadal is making a sodding comeback.

  310. Suga

    You are so fucking touchy and defensive! I meant in general man. I find it funny as fuck how tweets are jumped on, it happened during the transfer deadline day. Players were being bought and sold all over the place, according to some twat tweetin!

    And tonight everyone’s going bananas over some tweets that are apparantly from people at a meeting.

    I am sceptical when I see a news report on TV, so I am going to be a tad sceptical when I read a tweet from some bloke who may or may not be where he/she says they are.

  311. FunGunner | September 12, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Damn, I hope I didn’t speak too soon FG. I was counting on that good news tonight.

  312. Fungunner

    No, it would have been a wage issue! 😀

    I think it was obvious we had a surplus anyway. We had money to spend, and then we sold players as well. Doesnt take a mathematician to work out we didnt spend it all.

    I think we tried for a few players, didnt get them and now, we will have cash to spend in january. WE should be fine till then no probs.

    WE will win every game till Xmas anyways!

  313. Dexter,

    these were coming from people who were certainly there…

    why would I lie?

  314. My team for tonight;

    Sagna – Kos – Curly PerM – Gibbs
    Song – Arteta
    Theo – Arshavin – Gervinho

  315. Suga

    Fuck me, should I add thick and blind to touchy and defensive mate? 😀

    Read it again man, dont think you got what I was saying.

    Didnt say you were a big fibber!

  316. And on that cheery note, I am offski


  317. Bradys right foot

    If the Gazidis comments are true he’s a dead man walking he’s compromised our negotiations with RVP putting the player in an absolutely horrendous position and gave the market full disclosure of our transfer budget. That means if we go back in for Mvilla or Hazard in January everyone knows how much we have to spend.

    One of the chief executives main responsibilities is to protect the club and its interests. For a chief executive to disclose the state of play regarding RVPs negotiations to the AST is incredible. The club does not benefit with these issues in the public domain. As an employee and a wonderful servant to the club RVP deserves a degree of respect. Gazidis has had one almighty brain fart I’m stunned he has absolutely no option but to resign.

  318. @ Dexter
    Wages issue with Chelsea as well?
    Anyway, let’s see how we go with integrating the new boys into the set-up.

    Djokovic stopped the rot – that’s my boy.

  319. No Dexter ,I think you will find that is my team 🙂

  320. Curly PerM.

    Funny. I like that.

  321. Sorry i’ve been outta the loop all day
    What has Gazides done now?

  322. I actually think IG knew exactly what he was doing, some people seem to forget how slick he is…

    like I said, Arsenal is a Plc, it’s not particularly hard to calculate how much money we have, is it?

  323. Well from the response it’s obvious that Gazides hasn’t said anything to get too upset about.
    So i won’t…
    Thanks for your input and goodnight.

  324. Djoke is a preening, soulless brute. Nadal is a bit of a punk but has some character. None of these two hold a candle to the elegant, courtly champion RF. How I wish he had managed to win when two sets up. What a tragedy that was.

    Hilarious comment, though, FG about Nadal’s pants. Hadn’t noticed it but now cannot ignore it and it is getting really annoying!

  325. Arsenal should hire Djokovic’s masseuse — the guy looked dead on his feet and about to retire due to injury and had just gotten killed in the 4th set tiebreaker, and now after taking a medical time-out and getting a massage is completely unstoppable.

  326. Will be in Baltimore tomorrow watching the game in an Irish bar called “Slainte”. It really is weird that no matter where in the world you are, you can almost always find an Irish bar that will be showing the game!! I suppose we had to be good at something 🙂

  327. Good Post Yogi!
    Need a Win!

  328. finsbury | September 12, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Great video. Thanks for sharing.

  329. @Irishgray

    Does “Slainte” mean cheers in Irish? I recall one of my Irish friends saying this when we raised glass of vodkas.

  330. Miyaichi wil be playing for the reserves tonight against Bolton, if he comes through that we may see him on the bench ( doubt he will start ) against Blackburn. Cannot wait to see what this kid can do but no pressure you understand, just hope he is fucking amazing!!!!

  331. @ MG – Yes it does my friend! Slainte! 🙂

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