Platitudes From Stan As Arsène Prepares His Troops For Sunday

The NLD is firmly on the horizon, clearly in view and ready for action. It comes against a backdrop of Arsenal’s financial results, Stan Kroenke speaking for the first time about his ownership and speculation about the future of his captain this January and next summer. The latter will be the story that is remembered the longest, at least until a contract is signed although that means nothing if Manchester City come knocking. Every player has his price.

I am not sure what was expected of Kroenke’s first public utterances. Did he expect us to be like the Aliens in Toy Story and be in awe of his words? I doubt it. Did anyone expect him to be critical of the club’s start to the season, adopting a ‘doomer’ stance (which is similar to The Len Ganley Stance)? I doubt it. Did anyone expect anything that platitudes? I doubt it. It was predictably playing everything with a straight bat, as expected.

It was a shame that it took the publication of the financial results to break his silence, an all too easy link to make a criticism out of. And to be honest, nothing that was said could not have been said six months ago. Interestingly, Kroenke does not see the need to make public utterances which is entirely true. There is however, an expectation that a new owner will make some PR move and speak to supporters.

KSE want to ‘engage’ with Supporters Groups whilst they do not sell shares, seemingly the public death knell for Fanshare. For all of his publicity seeking on the subject, my suspicion is that Usmanov’s predatory shareholding is the reason for this. If KSE held 90+% of the holding, the quickest PR win is to make 4% of the overall holding available to Fanshare. Red and White’s involvement as shareholders probably ensure that a natural reticence in this area turns to absolute distrust.

It means that the supporters groups are going to need to ensure that the spectrum of views is represented, not just a narrow section; a tough job considering how entrenched opinions are.

Kroenke praised Wenger, support which was appreciated by the manager. Indeed it was enough to bring out some insecurities in Ivan Gazidis, his backing from the manager brought an irked response to the media but when Stan says nice things, smiles all the way. It’s OK Ivan; the ire of Wenger surfaced because it was Charlie Wyett asking the question.

The prospect of another 15 years from the Frenchman was not met with universal approval, belief surfacing that this season is his last. Kroenke made it clear that Wenger could choose when he goes, such is his standing and recognition of his services to Arsenal. That won’t be good enough for some but suggests that it would have to be an utterly disastrous season for Kroenke to act in that respect. And the word disastrous does not refer to not making the Champions League, more not staying in the Premier League. Even then a certain stoicism was evident from the owner so the ‘r’ word would not necessarily effect a change. You could feel blood pressures rising…

Attention turned to the match on Sunday with the biggest choice for the manager being who replaces Laurent Koscielny. Thomas Vermaelen is not due back until the end of the month whilst mercifully Squillaci is still short of match fitness. It leaves Ignasi Miquel or Alex Song. Much will depend on whether the manager thinks that the midfield will cope without Song.

Gervinho seems likely to be missing as well, opening the door for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to continue whilst Theo Walcott seems likely to be fit. The latter is key because his presence will temper some attacking instinct in the Tottenham full backs, requiring more attention than they might normally place on an opponent as they know he has the pace to exploit gaps left. They also know he has the inconsistency of delivery so they may escape unpunished although his visits to White Hart Lane last season showed otherwise.

Tottenham’s media cheerleaders were put in their place. A poor start by Arsenal’s standards has not been countered entirely by consecutive wins but suggests that the apex of the corner is definitely in sight. A win on Sunday and you would have to believe that the corner has been turned although the away form makes you suspect that being round the bend to believe it in the first place is a more appropriate analogy.

Although Tottenham are reportedly in the best form of this century, they are but two points ahead of Arsenal. As Wenger pointed out, the season ends in May. No, Arsenal have not crumbled and most media speak is rhubarb. The manager quick to point out which club has the more effective European record, a symbol of continued dominance of north London football. But such tokens can be easily shattered and Arsenal will have to work hard to achieve the win.

A sunny Saturday ahead of us before battle commences tomorrow. Make the most of the summer; for one side of the NLD, winter comes sooner than the forecasters predict.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on October 1, 2011, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 123 Comments.

  1. Where is Bigbrovar? Now to read the post.

  2. Morning.. Creditable 2nd again.. All the way from Phuket, Thailand… Prem coverage enormous ici.. good writing as per norm YW… On the way back to Europe.. RnR is over…

  3. We’ve got the better players overall but have our players got the self belief to win? If the Spuds take the field confident that they can win, it will lead to an open game from which we should profit unless they get an early goal. We want a game like the first half at home to the Spuds, last season. We tore them to pieces but then crumbled in the second half.

    I am looking forward to the game, slightly nervously. Up the arse.

  4. This is a tiresome time. Where is the fun in football now? All soap opera and despicable ethics. Who remembers the excitement of a game aginst spurs, say 30 years ago, even 20, win, lose or draw. The match was the thing.

    Today every game is seemingly ‘massive’ and I have come to dread the response to even a win. A drw or, heaven forbid, a defeat, brings armageddon, at least as far as the chattering classes of football are concerned.

    It’s always the next story, the next development that is the focus.

    Enjoy the now. Forget the rest.

    Spurs at the Lane. Stuff of legend.

  5. I agree with bob.

  6. YW once again whinging about PR.

  7. The vermalen situation is frustrating and this going to be a repeat of last season?is he our own ledley king?

  8. I’d take what Stan says with a pinch of salt. All he’s basically saying is that he doesn’t believe we’ll completely collapse under Wenger viz. he’ll never need to sack him because he believes we’ll be Premier League and profitable. I’d say he’s right, a risk assessment of the situation indicates that for the forseeable future our Premier League status is stable.

    The obvious choice against Tottenham is Song, experience is crucial in the North London derby. On the flipside that possibly means playing Frimpong in midfield unless Wenger is prepared to give Ramsey the DM role with Arteta and Benayoun helping out when needed.
    The’s a bit too risky I’d say with a weakened defence so I’d go for Ramsey and Frimpong with Arteta as playmaker.

  9. Respect Wenger

    Frimpon is a bit sloppy. I think playing Coquelin and Arteta may be better.


    Sagna Per Song Gibbs

    Coquelin Areteta

    Walcott Ramsey Gervinho

    Van P

  10. YW, I was greatly disappointed to read your totally un-necessary remark
    that Squillaci is “mercifully” short of match fitness. What sort of snide comment is that? This a player who has had good and bad games for Arsenal, has always tried his best and could be asked to play a part in tomorrow’s game at WHL.
    I know all about free speech etc, but an experienced commentator like yourself should at least be expected to encourage fellow Gooners to give 100% support for WHOEVER Arsene Wenger selects to wear the shirt.
    Shades of Denilson.

  11. Kroenke DOES NOT deserve a great club like Arsenal FC – just because he has $$$ to buy shares.

    Looking at his own past records, he is mediocre except that he knows Arsenal is profitable ESPECIALLY with Wenger’s stinginess. His ambitious is not reflected on the playiing ground.

  12. @ Bernard over here :p

    I would rather have song play in midfield. The defensive midfielder plays alot of role in shielding the defense and I am not convinced by frimpong’s performance defensively he was weak and always chasing the balls, his tackles were also mistimed or missed completely. Playing Miquel in central defense with song mid field would be a better choice IMHO.

  13. Nicky I agree with you 100%

  14. Morning y’all.

    Just seizing this opportunity to wish my beloved country Nigeria, a happy 51st independence anniversary.

    In the Gooner@/Gunner spirit
    ——-> forward

    gotta run along..catch y’all later.

  15. Wow!mike dean is tomorow’s ref. sent eboue off in 2009 at whl.i remember dat match for many reasons.dean didn’t know why he disallowed eboue’s goal.he just did it as a matter of principle.He carded eboue for asking why.Eboue was causing all sorts of grief to the tot’s defence,so dean felt compelled to give eboue a 2nd yellow card,sending him off of was the month arshavin came to arsenal. And the match ended goalless.we now have a perfectly good reason for not winning.

  16. @ tateezee,
    Happy anniversary and respectful memory of Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa
    Balewa, KBE.

  17. You Nigerian, nicky?

  18. Seriously, what other club has 4 centerbacks out injured?? verm, djourou, kos,squid……whenever would lady luck start smiling on us?.

  19. oh and a happy 51st birthday Nigeria, long live my country

  20. Indeed Jeff. 51 gbosas for Naija!

  21. Henristic,
    No, but a longterm admirer of your honest and courageous former Prime Minister.

  22. You Nigerian,Henristic?

    I did not care for the dig at poor Sebastian really .But I reed the blog for Yogi’s take on things.He is as entitled to express an opinion as the rest of us.In fact without his opinion there would be no ACLF.And he can get a bit touchy if you critisise him,so be careful( 🙂 is he laughing? )

    I would play young Miquel and put Song in the middle.
    Dont expect to see the OX ,I doubt he will make the bench let alone the team.

  23. Happy 51st anniversary to Nigeria for what its worth.

  24. H’mmm. There are a lot of Nigerians (and Kenyans) here. Thank heavens. You lot have more self-respect than many of your countrymen who, in their zeal to prove they are smarter than Wenger, have thrown their lot in with Geoff and Pedro. I could never understand it because Le Shite thrives on intolerance, hatred, prejudice and xenophobia.

  25. a midfield of song, Arteta and ramsey/rosicky would be excellent for this match. Arteta playing a deep lying playmaker role, ramsey playing box to box and Song a defencive mid but creating chances from the back and shielding the back 4.

    I am tempted to play Miguel in CB in other not to change the midfield 3, but Per needs a mobile CB to play with him so he can just sit back and swallow any other attack, can Miguel be the man?

    But i am almost certain Wenger would play Song in CB

  26. Shotta,
    i think LeGrove is more appreciated because of the insult, rudeness and simple language of the blog.

  27. YW – You are entitled to ur opinion but I always thought you were above making sly digs at players who wear the shirt. Despite the naysayers, Squillaci was not responsible for our implosion at the end of last season. As George said yesterday, making Squill the fall guy for our defensive troubles is simply catering to the average fan.
    Yet I agree with you, I would prefer Song beside the Meat Sacker.

  28. Jeff – Yes the simplicity of catering to ignorance, intolerance, hatred, prejudice and xenophobia.

  29. If Squilli is fit he should play with Song in front of two recognised and experienced cbs. I know Alex is good enough to do a job there but his contribution from midfield is unbeatable.
    BTW everyone should read Untold’s ref review on this one.

  30. I am Nigerian, George.

    Then you have to be really old, and/or a colonial history buff, to know about Sir Tafa Balewa. I agree the man was a legend, and nothing like the power hungry politicos we see these days.

    re yogis posts; We all should be able to take digs at player and at each other. I don’t think support means being 100% serious all the time. Outright abuse and insults on the hand is a no no.

  31. “Today every game is seemingly ‘massive’ and I have come to dread the response to even a win. A drw or, heaven forbid, a defeat, brings armageddon, at least as far as the chattering classes of football are concerned.”

    Most sense I’ve read today – the hype is overwhelming.

    Nicky I agree with you as well. Very disappointing.

  32. Ace

    Re-read the post, then repeat after me,

    “YW, sorry I realise now having read the post properly, that you were having a dig at the PR Dept of Arsenal simply that you were having a pop at the comments yesterday that were moaning about the lack of depth in Stan’s utterances”


  33. zicovski

    “Kroenke DOES NOT deserve a great club like Arsenal FC”

    And your criteria for judging who deserves Arsenal FC is?


  34. I disagree Henristic – sly digs at players undermines support for them and ultimately the team. It’s one thing to criticize a performance but to demonize one individual in a team game is unfair.

  35. shotta / nicky

    It is rare for me to criticise but I do not rate Squillaci at all. Others do, fine but I’m happiest when he wasn’t / isn’t in the side.

    As for Denilson, personally I thought he got a raw deal and lost a lot of confidence through not playing regularly. I also think, like Squillaci, his game is better suited to other tempos and both would thrive in a slower pace.


  36. I think of Nigeria as an unlucky country – so much frustration amid so much potential. But they are my second national football team – after Kenya but before Brazil. And supporting them is often frustrating! Happy 51st anyway.

  37. YW – I understand your feelings re Squill and I know he occasionally has a brain freeze or is leaden footed but he was meant to be our 3rd or 4th choice defender. He plays like one 🙂
    But like Passenal said much of this negativity is like a closed loop.
    I am happy to say there are no right answers to this question.

  38. Passenal,
    Would you call yogi’s dig, sly?
    The word sly makes it all sound sinister.

    Anyway, I disagree in general that digs at certain players undermines support for the team. we’ve had this argument before though, no need to rehash it again.

  39. Henristic
    I believe you to be a sly and underhand person who would happily disrespect a person despite him doing his very best.

    (We all should be able to take digs at player and at each other)

    🙂 just kidding.But my point is………………………….what is good for the Goose is ………..

  40. George,
    I don’t mind digs (sly or not), or even insults on an online forum. Water off a ducks back….

    Go ahead, give it your best shot, your last attempt was feeble.

  41. The real issue today should be Mike Dean and the corrupt entity that is the EPL. The analysis done by Untold Arsenal of dear Mr Riley, Sunday’s referee of the North London derby, should be required reading for all gooners.

  42. Miquel is injured as well, I believe.

    I just don’t get this issue you have with SK at all, I’m afraid, YW.
    For one thing, Stan is not “the” owner, he is the majority shareholder. The difference is not just a technical one. The vision and plans for the club have been laid out by the board (through IG) and the manager, which is as it should be. SK has a big influence but it’s not SK’s club in the way that Chelsea belongs to Abramovich. And he doesn’t want it that way, either. “We didn’t invest to come in and control the club,” Kroenke says. He bought DF’s and NBS’s holdings because the old board wanted their shares in safe hands. “There were a lot of shareholders who loved Arsenal for half a century or more, who wanted us to step up and spend hundreds of millions of dollars to keep this thing stable and protected. We did that and we did that honestly.”

    When he first came along, I was initially very suspicious, given the predatory actions of the Glazers and Hicks & Gillett at the time. But my distrust of SK has waned over the years and I was satisfied with what I read in the interview, and felt there was a lot of new information in there – not platitudes. From what he says, you can see that he is at one with Arsene, Ivan and PHW about the values of the club, the self-sustaining business model and the organisational model (ie AW in charge of football matters) and he’s happy with the squad. You asked a while ago if he shared the same vision as IG, this interview tells us that he does. So no worries about damaging splits and instability. He’s also a genuine sports fan, and a long-time admirer of the club and the manager. He confirms he’s in for the long term and regards the club as a good long-term investment. He has even told us how he financed the purchase of DF’s and NBS’s shares, and has previously guaranteed that he will not try for a leveraged buy-out. What else do you want from him? He’s not going to subsidise the club, never implied that he would, and why should he, anyway? That was not what he signed up for.

    And I agree with nicky as well. We all have our less-than-favourite players but no need to have a dig at the guy, surely? In any case, AW said Squillaci will not play tomorrow because he is short of match fitness.

  43. I read that shotta. Shocking if true. I’ll be watching closely tomorrow.

  44. Shotta

    Shouldn’t we be exhorting Mr Dean to play fair rather than undermining his authority? After all, if we don’t respect him, how can we expect the players to? 😉


  45. Passenal

    Sly dig? I resent that – I thought I was quite open about it…


  46. Henristic ,I was kidding.My feeble attempts were just that because I did not mean them.I thought I had made that clear.I was just pointing out the danger of accepting unfair abuse .

  47. Good to know there are brilliant Nigerian gunners on the blog. Thanks or your nice comments y’all.

    Kenyan gunner says:
    October 1, 2011 at 11:41 am

    “I think of Nigeria as an unlucky
    country – so much frustration amid so
    much potential. But they are my
    second national football team – after
    Kenya but before Brazil. And
    supporting them is often frustrating!
    Happy 51st anyway.”

    Well, the performance of the Nigerian national team (The Super Eagles) was is in its lowest ebb in the last AFCON. The team is currently in the middle of a rebuilding process. Hopefully, it bears fruits sooner than later if it isn’t politicized like all other things.

    Re Miguel: I for one would go with Miguel if match fit. I have no reservations concerning that kid, he will be a great centre half. Moreover, how many times have we seen teenagers make their debuts against us and play absolute blinders (a certain Danny Rose comes to mind). We seriously need Song to influence matters higher up the pitch and with his good reading of the game , he can provide adequate cover for both fullbacks and centre halves. I just think the pace of the game may be to much for Frimpong.

  48. I’d like to know something from those of you who find any kind of dig at our players so offensive. Do you live your lives without taking the mickey out of anyone, ever? It just sounds unreal that anything slightly negative about any staff of AFC is seen as some kind of sacrilege. I’m not talking about the kind of abuse Denilson got on tweeter for instance. Just your normal everyday ribbing that most normal people I know dish out to friends, family, colleagues etc.

    Why should players/coaches be treated so deferentially? The only people I can think of that some close to that kind of treatment you seem to want for our players are religious icons, and only by their adherents. Yogi’s remark, wasn’t detestable, insidous or personal. Why so many people think its bad is baffling.He just doesn’t rate the guy that much as a player for the arsenal. Its the same thing with arseblogger (although his humour is more caustic than Yogi’s). Too many people here are on his case for a few jabs to players.

  49. YW, Dean is too old to change his ways.he is gonna do us in.

  50. FG

    I don’t have an issue with SK otherwise I would have been on his case a long time ago. I don’t see he has changed anything which is not necessarily bad but equally, not changing is not necessarily good. Change when needed or ahead of time, is best.

    We differ on one key point: KSE own Arsenal. They may technically be a majority shareholder but try and stop them doing anything; it’s a very short list as to what R&W can do. Don’t be fooled by the power of the board. They own no shares and they report to KSE.

    Let’s put it another way

    1. Can SK load debt onto Arsenal without the board’s permission? Yes
    2. Can the board load debt onto Arsenal without SKs permission? No
    3. Can Usmanov stop SK doing so? No.
    4. Can the board sack Wenger without SKs approval? No
    5. Can SK sack Wenger without the board’s approval? Yes

    Big differences in power, I’m sure you will agree and big enough to be more than a technicality.

    You know I don’t agree with Sugar Daddy’s, Abramovich and Sheikhs are different in that they are prepared to wipe out debts, converting their investments to shares which is beneficial to the club. But when they are gone, there is a sorely limited market for buyers and that is not in the best interests of the club. We’ll see about the future when it happens, until such times – and this isn’t limited to SK – everything is platitudes. And yes, I know the club is an investment for them to make money. Football’s a utopian ideal in its purest form, the clubs are there for supporters and no more is a pipedream. It’s not even a nostalgic moment since there have always been profit makers at clubs.

    Do I think SK should reintroduce plurality of ownership? Yes, in an ideal world and as I said in the post, if Usmanov wasn’t around I think SK would be more amenable to such an outlet. But it isn’t going to happen.


  51. Paulie Walnuts

    Mike Dean appears to favour the underdog. Therefore we`ll be fine on Sunday !

    Henristic – count me in for any sort of p&ss taking or banter. It`s what makes the world go around.

  52. Why would you get upset about people getting upset about someone upsetting them because they are upset about how upsetting a players bad play is?
    I am upset about it all !!

  53. PG

    I’m upset you should be upset about the upset.


  54. real football is dead..
    its now run by corrupt businessmen and politicians all across the board and unfortunately for our beloved club we are no exception..
    my love for the professional domestic game is dying, mcuh like my love for the international game died about 10 years ago…my love for us will forever be engraved in my heart with our cannon firmly engraved forever on it but i no longer take the enjoyment and the thrills i used afraid all the spin, lies and overall cloak and dagger methods, overpaid mercenaries and bastards has deflated my passion..i cant follow something that goes against all my principles…its the same reason i dont bother to vote…
    the modern game and the way its run is a million miles away from what football used to be and should be..
    i now get my enjoyment from watching the under 10’s down on the local parks on a money, no bullshit, no media, just a bunch of lads running about kicking a ball and getting muddy and doing their best because of their love for the game and not what they might get paid at the end of the week or what club their agent might be able to get them a super deal at..thats real football..
    fuck platini, fuck blatter, fuck uefa, fuck fifa, fuck the FA, fuck tevez, nasri, adebayor and all the other tossers who have used football for everything it shouldnt be about.fuck the agents, fuck Roman, fuck the shieks and fuck silent stan and the rest of the board….
    i hope we do well tomorrow for the sake of the club but to be honest i couldnt care less what happens..maybe its my age..i dunno..but id rather take my young un to the park..

    oh, and good post yogi..

  55. Hahaha George,
    You say upset, I say befuddled. 🙂

  56. Never a red card for Rodwell. Suarez plays the ref too easily.
    How many times have we seen, say, Walcott hit like that, only for it not to be called a foul.

    Replay replay wherefore art thou video replay.

  57. Try this:
    Why would you get befuddled about people getting befuddled about someone befuddling them because they are befuddled about how befuddling a players bad play is?
    I am befuddled about it all !!

  58. Paulie Walnuts

    I know where you`re coming from Jon Jon

    Before it used to MEAN everything, Now we`re told it means everything.

    Bring back youth culture, picture discs, black & white telly, the Highbury marching band & white dog sh&t.

  59. Well Henristic, perhaps if you had the aid of a video replay, you wouldn’t get so confused.

    A crazy suggestion, I know. Worthy of your acerbic ridicule.

  60. finsbury | October 1, 2011 at 1:21 pm
    “Well Henristic, perhaps if you had the aid of a video replay, you wouldn’t get so confused.”

    what are you on about??

  61. The uncredible suggestion that football fans have no taste for player criticism.
    Just another lame attempt at a wind up.

    Move along now, nothing to see here.

  62. Suarez pelanty save!

    Unfortunatley for the paying punters, as a contest this game is ruined.
    But can the Toffees hold out for a draw?

  63. @ YW

    You keep saying that you don’t know what his vision is, or what his plans for the club are – that’s what I mean by “your issue” with him. You’ve used the word “platitudes” in relation to his remarks before now, and there is a strong sense of exasperation which comes through every time you talk about him.

    In practice, he probably could force through or prevent most changes, but for example there will be no leveraged buyout because there will be no buyout at all because Red & White will not sell. But the only guarantee about what SK will do is SK’s word in any case, and he has given it. This is why I don’t understand what it is that you want to hear in addition. Can you give me an example from another club? Or explain what is the scenario that you are worried about?

    SK does have the most power and influence but the fact that he is not *the* owner makes it appropriate for him to fall in with the statements made by IG on behalf of the board. Any suspicion on your part that he might not share their vision has been allayed, I would have thought. AFC doesn’t belong to him, it belongs to all the shareholders, even those who only own fractions of one share. He’s not evading his responsibility, he doesn’t have the responsibility which you are placing on him.

    I know you support plurality of ownership, and so do I. There is still plurality of ownership, just less than there was before. SK says he bought the DF and NBS shareholdings to keep them safe, so perhaps in time he will pass some of them on to another trusted owner who also respects the values and business model of the club.

  64. From the heart jonjon. I can’t disagree too much with what you said. Except…I care about beating spurs!

    What’s going on Yogi? All ‘my back pages’ day?

  65. finsbury | October 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm
    “The uncredible suggestion that football fans have no taste for player criticism.
    Just another lame attempt at a wind up.
    Move along now, nothing to see here.”


  66. What a lame cunt you are finsbury .

  67. Finsbury you sad cunt

  68. looks like Kennys meeting helped..certainly got decisions in their favour today..

  69. I feel you JJ!

    This is why our manager should be commended above many if not all, I am sure he could be making more money elsewhere but he stayed committed to the team.

    I couldnt care less about Arsenal PR, what I want to see is the ticket prices come down where people can go to the games. I want to see players realize that getting 60k a week is a lot of money even after taxes. What is need is a reality check in the whole thing. JJ is correct, It is hard to support something that is more about money than the sport.

    With that said, ARSENAL!!!

  70. I agree with Paul-N@2:41

  71. NIGERIA we hail thee @ 51.
    Hope u get your act together asap ’cause you’ve seriously underperformed for half a century.

  72. Paul-N
    Could he really be making much more elsewhere? I’m not so sure. I’ve heard he is one of the best paid manager around.
    He could certainly get more money to spend elsewhere, though.

  73. Great post yogi. Worry about the RVP situation. In the past, waiting until the end of the season has always meant bad things. Hope its different this time.

    The things SK said are exactly what I would have expected. I have no doubt that AW will be with us as long as he wants. I suspect he will sign a contract extension long before this one runs out. Why would you give up the best job in the world. Jobs with great pay, total job security and complete control of nearly every aspect of the organization don’t come around very often.

  74. FG

    Can I ask you a question. Who has final approval of the constitution of the board? Don’t believe for one minute that the shareholders own the club, it is Kroenke who does so. If you believe that people owning shares have any say in the running of the club, so be it. I disagree very strongly and as such, having the ability to control the day-to-day ownership of the business makes him the owner. To try to call it by another name is simply semantics.

    IG works for SK. The board are appointed by SK. They fall into line with his views, not the other way around.

    And yes, he does have a responsibility. He knows it, he accepts it otherwise he would not have bought out the shareholdings. He is not a reluctant owner, he would not have bought the other shares had he not been inclined to do so.


  75. Bill | October 1, 2011 at 3:35 pm
    “Why would you give up the best job in the world. Jobs with great pay, total job security and complete control of nearly every aspect of the organization don’t come around very often.”

    Oh Bill. You are drooling in sincerity. Better than Henristic’s:
    “Could he really be making much more elsewhere? I’m not so sure. I’ve heard he is one of the best paid manager around.”

    I am sure Arsene can count on both your support.

  76. Cbob

    Pre-match nerves!


  77. this another one if those must win babies. Tottenham is a dangerous foe. Spurs have staretd out slow but now they are finding their way. We need to score and play better “D”. We can’t afford to drop points.

  78. When I thnk of CBob [in his rustic cottage or caravan] I picture, Pop Larkin, the Darling Buds of May, The Famous Five, jumpers for goal posts……

  79. MDGunner – I picture the Last of the Summer Wine myself 🙂

  80. Irish – No, LOTSW is too much “Up North” – this is more rural, idylic southern England, hard boiled eggs and lashings of strawberry jam for tea.

  81. Tateezee, not sure if you were old enough to have seen Nigeria in the ’90s ? Nigeria was expected to be a top 10 footballing country within a decade. Your FA really know how to screw up. As you said its the politics.

  82. MDGunner – Good point about the “Up Norf'” thing, apologies Consolsbob 🙂

    I see Cesc is out for 3 weeks with a torn hammie. Guess it was not just at Arsenal that he got injured.

    Pity Norwich could not have held on for a draw, ah well wadayado?

  83. Kenyan gunner – I remember it was Nigeria and Cameroon who were the two African nations who were being tipped by everyone to crack the world’s top ten but alas it was not meant to be. Was it Everton who had a number of Nigerians in particular playing for them in the 90’s? Not sure but I seem to remember that.

  84. Irish, it was Amokachi at Everton. But he flopped. Okocha at Bolton was the Nigeria who adapted to the epl.

  85. Brilliant interview this with a true Arsenal legend and some twat I vaguely remember seeing play years ago for some second rate team. Anyways some of it you will not agree with(mostly the shite the twat says) and other things should have you LOLing(is that a word?)

  86. Kenyan gunner – Nice one!! I could not remember his name, Amokachi. You would think with a name like that he would be destined for greatness but then he went to Everton, ah well. I thought they also had one or two others but I might be mistaken.

  87. There was Kanu at Arsenal and Babayaro at Chelsea. Love the joke about going to Everton!

  88. Lol Kenyan gunner, it was more a statement of fact than a joke to be honest! Well I am off for the day and I hear the Siren call of a nice cold beer, a call I dare not refuse 🙂


  89. That questions doesnt deserve an answer. It seems you just have to cut against the grain and then you say the discussion is senseless when your arguement is shown up.

    Get real bro!

  90. Henristic that is.

  91. I go into sunday’s game fearful. the win over bolton and olympiacos ofter the blackburn farce are hopefully beginning a run of spurs must still be scenting blood after our recent away display and they will take the delight of killing off our hopes of more here

  92. oh there we go again, Fabregas tore a hamstsring and will be out for altleat 3 weeks, if he is going to have a injury plauged season this year, maybe it was for the better he is at Barca and not at ours.

    hes a truly great player but the only thing worse than building you game around one player is building your game around one player that is injured.

    oh and kenyan_gooner 2. lol @ you. Tottenham would not manage to smeel the scent of blood if they were covered in it. If you really think inside your little head that ARsenal are the underdogs, you are deluded and know nothing about football and should not have your own blog. as people will just take the poss out of you.

  93. lol the piss ofc.. people would just take the piss out of you, or piss all over you or whatever you and the rest that think Tottenham are the new big thing in football prefare…

  94. Have we turned into Tottenumb?Where the season revolves around beating them.While Citeh and Utd piss the league and our main rivals for 4th place Liverpool win a tough away game.Have we really slipped that far

    We concede 4 at Blackburn Citeh score 4 without reply.The gap between us and the top two is as massive as Kolo’s arse

  95. Thanks for the vote of cofindence Don, you really are a breath of fresh air with your rays of positivity. Go have a pity party somewhere else…

  96. Limestonegunner

    What a legend, Keown; made Redknapp look like the fool he is. Still, he only predicts a draw…

    I don’t understand why Tottenham are thought to be so good–just because they defeated an over-rated 9 man Liverpool 4-0. They were manhandled by ManCity at WHL. I hope Ramsey has a big game. If he does and we have Song and Arteta beside him, I don’t think their midfield of Modric, Parker, Sandro will be such a problem. I would start Miquel if fit. If not I suggest:

    Ramsey, Arteta, Frimpong
    Walcott, RvP, Benayoun/Arshavin

  97. @Poodle

    its doesnt mean it will be a shock if Arsenal wins.because we are actualy the better team. but it wont feel awesome unless Arsenal play like it.they have to go out and play like they know they’re good enough and not just a derby but a derby against our primary rivals in the table.

  98. dannyclaptonforever

    The enigma that is Theo, the debate goes on whether this guy is good enough to play for Arsenal.
    Its difficult to defend the player from the never ending doomers who seem hell bent on having him sent to Coventry, not literally i might add although some of his performances lately could well warrant him playing there in the not too distant future.
    On other blogs the chat is about hoping he is not fit for the Spuds and that Chamberlain retains his place in the side. Difficult for the lad who is definitely under pressure from all quarters to start repaying the faith the club had when signing him.
    Time will tell but a gut feel tells me with his limited ability he is going to continue to struggle and that when the Ox gets his foot in the door we might well be saying goodbye to Master Walcott.

  99. Cesc out with a hamstring problem – well, would you believe it!
    Have to say it brought a smile to my face, despite the fact we have almost a whole team full of injured players at present.

  100. wow Puma has been buissy latley. First they sign Aguero then they sign Falcao and now they have signed Fabregas!

    They are meaning serious buisness here!

    Do you not read anything wenger says you? Or do you think that the page is just lying??
    Cos if you read that page you will see that Wenger and most people that knows anything about football says and has always said that
    Chamberlain and Waclott are COMPLETLEY DIFFERENT PLAYERS! They are good in different ways! They have different strenghts and weaknesses. Atm Theo scores alot of important goals and helps with important assists in crucial times of the match. You cannot compare the two, they have different styles. Its like comparing Drogba and Van Persie. Both are good but they are different.
    AW says Chamberlain is more of a midfield/winger while Theo is more of a Winger/ striker. THey have completley different strengths and weaknesses. Can you not enjoy that we got two completley different weapons that both score goals and have assists? Theo has scored 3 and has 3 assists this year. Only RvP has contributed more this year. But i guess you did not notice that neither.

    Compare Theos achievements this year and last to Bale and you will quickly realise who is most beneficial for their club. Theo has so many more goals and assists pr game its insane!

    Trust me mate, it will be along time before Chamberlain makes any spot in the first 11 his own. Hes a good player but theo just contributes with way to many goals and pins back way to many defences for us to drop him. But hes a great understudy to theo and he may even be on the wing when aw moves theo up front. Or in games where pace and pinning back defence is not of great importance. He is however not as fast as Theo, and he is more a central midfielder than a winger. and that is where he will end up. in the middle…

  101. then again if theo is out for a longer period, chamberlain would be the obvious man to replace him. But when both are fit, theo will get the nod im sure. Also its not good to put to much preassure on an 18 year old. He shoudl be allowed to grow into the team like Rooney and Smalling did. He should be allowed to seamlessly become a part of Arsenal, almost so you dont really notice it. LIke smalling that just keeps starting match after match or Rafale. Thats how you ease in kids. Playing them into the read like we did Wilshere benefited nobbody. But it was something we had to do cos we had nobody els. Lets hope Chamberlain gets some more time to ease in. We all know he is a great talent and will be a great player.

  102. @ YW

    All the shareholders own the club, that is the legal reality. I have not argued that SK does not have more power and influence than minor shareholders, most of whom are not even on the board. The point is that he does not in fact own all the shares and therefore it is not “his” club in the way that Chelsea belongs to Abramovich. You say that is a technicality and in some respects it is, but not in this one.

    IG works for SK. The board are appointed by SK. They fall into line with his views, not the other way around.
    The vision for the club and the way it is run predate SK’s involvement with Arsenal. Since soon after he became a shareholder, Stan declared he is in line with the rest of the board’s vision. He reiterated that in the recent interview. Given that we still have plural ownership, the board, via the CEO or the Chairman, is the appropriate organ for articulating the broad picture about our direction. SK attends board meetings and engages with the rest of the board and Arsene. He leaves the club to be run by the CEO and other executives, which seems perfectly reasonable to me.

    SK said explicitly that he did not get involved in Arsenal to control it – it was an investment and he thought a link-up might benefit his football team in America. He also says explicitly that he only bought DF’s and NBS’s shares to keep them in safe hands and maintain stability, all at the behest of people who have loved the club for decades. So I think that does show that he does not want to own the club in the sense you mean. As the major shareholder, rather than the outright owner, I don’t think he needs to make statements about the direction of the club separately from the board beyond making it clear that there is agreement at board level and with the manager.

    But to get back to the main point, my question to you was, what specific information do you feel is lacking from his statements about Arsenal? Can you give me an example of the sort of statement which you would consider to be adequate? What are the questions which you would ask him if you were in the same room and what answers would satisfy you? That is what I am asking. It seems to me that he didn’t get involved with Arsenal in order to change it, and since he agrees with Ivan and Arsene and PHW, what else can he say other than that he agrees? Do you want him to get more heavily involved, is that it? Is that why you feel he is shirking responsibility in some way?

  103. wow that is indeed a massive blow for Nike. They have had the best players for a while now. Aguero and Cec to Puma is huge….
    New club, new personal sponsor, new hamstring tear….

  104. We will win tomorrow, there is no way past it. Away fans are going to ensure Adebayor feels right at home at Shite Heart Lane and Ox is going to show that he has all the qualities of a future Arsenal legend — by scoring against them. Can’t wait for the kick off!

  105. According to the guardian we are travelling as “Underdogs”. Aparantly nobody expects Arsenal to beat Tottenham….

  106. Bradys right foot

    I’m quietly confident about the game, infact i’m actually more concerned about Mike Dean than the Spuds. I hope that he has little impact on the result tommorrow regardless if we win or loose however given our history with him he may well turn outr tommorrow in a white top.

  107. Very sad and tragic this. All football fans should at the very least click the link and read the article, personally I will make a point of reading the book.

  108. FG

    Last point otherwise today’s post will never get written. Kroenke owns the club; we’re not even arguing a technicality, it’s the definition of a word but I will point this out, none of the other shareholders can order the board to do something without SKs agreement. Now if being able to do what you want with the club is not being an owner, then I do not know what is.

    SK decides the club’s policy, its overall commercial aim, not the board. Please don’t mention them in the same breath as the owner(s) as none of the board has any shares. They are not owners of the club any longer, they all sold out to SK. All of them. Not one of the old board has a share to their name. They are no more owners of the club than any other Arsenal fan.

    He might not have bought into Arsenal to buy the club initially but he has. So my point was this:

    (1) I didn’t have an issue with what he said, I had an issue with how others responded which I made clear in the post.
    (2) I question why he took so long to say that essentially it is business as usual. It’s a small thing but it is one less negative air around the club.
    (3) The only one of the three you mentioned that he has to agree with is AW. PHW / IG are largely irrelevant.
    (4) I do think he needs to engage more with the fans but not listen so much to small groups who believe they have a right to tell the club about playing squad matters. Have the opinion, air it to the world. But tell the club as if they should listen? No, they employ AW to manage the team, his head is on the block for failure not some braggard’s.


  109. YW – Not to drag this out but why does he have to engage more with the fans? He has stated himself that Arsene makes the decisions with regards to the squad. As for the “business” side of the club, I am sure IG has things pretty much in order, not to say he does not run any and all new plans by SK but the day-to-day running of the business is, I would like to think, left in IG’s most capable hands. AW is the man who makes the decisions with regards to players, therefore he is the one who deals with the media and such. SK has several high profile business ventures and rarely, if ever, sits down in public and discusses the pro’s and con’s of any of them. Nor I think should he.

    Now hurry up with todays post mate!!

  110. Irish

    >Not to drag this out but why does he have to engage more with the fans?

    “More” helps understanding on both sides, gets rid of unwanted other large shareholders who are quick to create more negative air around the club. “More” means meaningful conversations that are not distracted by on the pitch but working on ensuring that supporters are not subsidising poor commercial deals with increased ticket prices.


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