Arsène And The Wages Of Sin

Ahead of the trip to Marseilles, Arsène was interviewed on French radio about the season and summer past. Most of his comments appear to have been grist to the mill but some will light the blue touch paper under those who are looking for any reason to criticise the Arsenal manager.

A regular critic of financial doping, Wenger is changing his angle of attack on the subject towards players. In doing so, he lays bare the dangers of the philosophy that Arsenal favour at present over wages. Amid the rancour, one fact is often overlooked; no-one believes that the policy of controlling wages as a reasonable percentage of turnover is wrong. The problem is the distribution of that cost line amongst the players.

Under Wenger, Arsenal has pursued an egalitarian pay structure with the manager believing that a harmonious dressing room is maintained if the earnings of star players and junior squad members is not vast. In a young squad where players have yet to forge their reputations the logic of that is unquestionable. The problem comes as the squad becomes established or as Arsenal have found this summer, vastly superior wages are on offer elsewhere.

Wenger observed,

It’s not that [players have to leave to win titles. The problem isn’t that. Frankly, if you compare what Manchester City have won in the past and what Arsenal have won, then you don’t go to Manchester City to win titles. Players go to Manchester City because they pay much better than Arsenal.

They are a force clearly, because they have exceptional financial clout, so it’s not surprising what they’ve done…There’s always a financial logic behind who ends up being successful in any league…When a player has the choice between two clubs who have the same ambitions, if he can earn three times as much at one club, he’ll go there. That’s logical.

In highlighting the logic behind the financial desires of the players, he highlights the folly of Arsenal’s wage structure. Surely in those circumstances, Arsenal should be using the wages as a motivator to the younger players? Play well, establish yourself in the squad and you will reap the rewards. A meritocracy which essentially football is.

However, there is a flipside of the coin; the demotivating effect. This is where Arsenal’s philosophy finds its strength. In searching for the young talents – scouting them when they are older is not the scouting system failing as is ludicrously insisted – offering a sizeable wage will play a part in enticing the youthful to the club. That cannot be overlooked although I suspect that it is now more of a draw to be at Arsenal knowing first team football on a regular basis is more of a reality than at other top clubs.

Both philosophies are fraught with a fundamental problem. Unless you are the richest of the rich, someone can always pay more than you if you so desire. Which leads to the prospect of one club amassing a plethora of quality players, giving themselves a better chance of silverware. The money becomes almost a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Yet there is a ‘but’ and it is quite a big one. Spaces at the top clubs are limited. Players are notoriously fickle and as we have seen at Arsenal, confidence is transient. Joining a club where there are top quality players is fraught with dangers, form lost means a place might not be regained and that to a footballer is not the utopian ideal they were sold. Play well and you are in the side doesn’t count if those appearances are limited by someone playing better. Yes, that should be motivating but we have all seen players who give up.

Bojan Krkic gave an example of that this summer when he left Barcelona for AS Roma, despite having won all manner of medals. Krkic did not feel a fraud for accepting them yet did not make as full a contribution as he would have liked hence the move to Serie A. Competition for places is one thing but when you are trying to oust Messi, Villa or Iniesta for a place in the side, unless you are exceptionally talented, it is not going to happen unless they suffer a misfortune.

That issue is perhaps not as commonplace as is perceived and with squad rotation, more chances to perform for the first team exist than to players of another generation who were not unused to playing 65 games a season.

Fundamentally, it comes down to a baser footballing philosophy. Can you win the title through organic growth or does it have to be bought? History suggests the latter but the future? Well, that’s unwritten…

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on October 18, 2011, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 179 Comments.

  1. No matter how you look at it a flat wage structure will always leave a club vulnerable to having its top players poached and cause a problem in moving on players that are not up to it. The flatter the structure the more acute these effects are likely to be.

  2. YW – Nice write up.

    There are plenty of good players around, and the likes of City and Chelsea can only have so many. There should be enough to go around, even if the top tier players are not an option for us. But we have never bought top tier players in the past, so there is no change there. Our problem lies with retaining our players as they develop. And unfortunately, the likes of City will alwsy be able to cherry pick our players simply due to the wages that they can offer them.

    In an ideal world we would like to be able to say that the likes of Wilshere would turn them down to remain with us, but we thought that about Cole at one time. Everybody has a price. What is imperative is that we remina competative, as if we fail to do so our status with top players will be even less.

  3. A couple of stats from 365:

    Arsenal
    * Arsenal have won their last five games at the Emirates in all competitions.
    * Robin van Persie has scored 23 of Arsenal’s 45 Premier League goals in 2011.
    * Theo Walcott has attempted 22 shots in his last six Arsenal games. Only six of those shots were on target and none produced goals

    If RvP gets injured we are screwed basically.

  4. This topic wounds me. It makes me think of Nasri and I succcumb to an unspellable rgae.

    We all regards players a kin to mercenaries, but in truth is the common man any different? We’d all seek the embrace of whomever provides the largest paycheck; for we are all whores pimped by the whims of our desires, but there are things which moderate the looseness of our limbs. Honour, relationships, loyalty, identification, all of which temper our inner-concubine, but it is the last of which which in my eyes is the most important. Identity. A man who identifies himself with his master shall not be tempted by the harlot’s bosom.

    The question perhaps is then how does the employer influence his worker so that the latter identifies himself with the former? Time? Effusive praise? Emotional blackmail? Subtle, insidious psychological abuse?

    If I knew the answer, my own brothel would pursue profit paying prostitutes peanuts perpetually

  5. Gadget – I don’t think there is an answer. As you quite rightly say, money talks. I like my job, but if somebody offered me twice the money to do the same job somewhere else I would not think twice. It is human nature I supose.

  6. That is true-the future is unpredictable.

    Yet, Arsenal had been a club sought by players. We used to sell players when they are a bit old or when the business matters very much. Now good players want to leave the Club. Good players do not want to join us. I think we need to be flexible. If City wins the league this year, they would be a force in few years like Chelsea. Liverpool is reviving.

    I think the fact that half of his players wanted to leave the club shows the sad state of affairs in the club. I do not think all of them wanted to join City or Chelsea. They could not. What it shows is doubt in the club’s ambition and trust in the manager.

    The playing field now is you have to pay competitive money to hold on the players. If not, they will be going to City, Chelsea, Liverpool and so on. So, the manager needs to be flexible. Reward the best players with good salary. Retain the best players for marketing purposes. Good players attract fans and enhance our global market.

    Two had left and one has remained in VP. Then, Wilshere may be a star in some years. Who else is there to attract the fans around the world? No one!

    So, the manager needs to open up his eyes and make some changes. Buy some three or four stars. Quality will get better. Competition will increase. Success would be relatively easier. We will revive the diminishing support in Asia and other parts of the world.

  7. Good piece Yogi and goonerandy is spot on. It doesn’t make for a very bright future to know your always going to be behind the current top three.
    To stay competitive until we can get rid of the debt is important but even then will we be able to compete with the Arabs ?
    It begs a question why we have the Yank as top shareholder when he is quite happy not to put in a penny instead of the Russian who appears to have been cold shouldered by the rest of the board who is chomping at the bit to put in a shed load of money.
    Strange, i suppose its something to do with the David Dein situation with Dennis Hill Wood saying of the Russian “we don’t want his sort here”.

  8. so if the club want to review their wage structure to paying big players big, small players small, how would they go about it??
    would they start offering new contracts with lesser wages? i doubt any player would want a wage cut

  9. its simple, to keep our best players, we should either be winning trophies or paying larger wages.
    Half the team wanted to leave last summer? wow that questions the players commitment and believe in the team. the way the media have turned some fans heads, i think it also turned some players heads to, Wenger is a genius but that questions the belief the players still have for him

  10. GA @ 9:25

    So, if a player plays badly we should berate him and if a player plays well we are screwed without him.

    Is there any way a player can play which we can actually enjoy?!?

  11. @ Jeff

    Half the team wanted to leave. i doubt any was becos of belief in AW. Likely for some, the club wantted them to leave, although usually, AW would rather keep players, but as in the case of CESC and then nasri, u have to let go eventually.
    Eboue, Bendy, Denilson, Clichy and Big Al were likely not going to be guaranteed first team footy for the new season. plus cesc and Nasri is 7 so half of the first team is not as dramatic as it sounded. apart from big Al. most of these players are not at the club either temporarily or permanently. Cesc was always off to barca for the last few seasons, Nasri left for the Cash! hardly rocket science

  12. All this stuff is nothing new we have had to sell at times to remain financially solvent. The question is whether selling our best players in their prime will become something of our future.
    I for one hope this is not the case.

  13. Waiting for j-j and company to casually conclude that the owner needs to spend like the Arabs and the Russian and all will be well with Arsenal and the world.

  14. The Maths has been done and will not change unless we get a sugardaddy and I for one am not arguing for that, not morally nor philosophically. I want to win the Brian Clough way – whoever the opposition is you culture a team and mentality to beat them and nobody is bigger than the team.

    The youth policy is the way we have protected ourselves against the vagaries of the enormous costs involved in football and the development of players like Cesc is what the team was built around. Great years and a good return from him with a lot of nearly moments. Younger players come because of the enormous sums offered, but they have to want to stay because the team is great and they are better players for being there. That belief comes from being appreciated as a truly great team – see Cesc financing his own move to Barca.

    Arsenal do not have many players left that everybody wants and that is to our advantage at some point the hoovers at city and Chelsea have to be turned off. With his 40m bid for Goetze Wenger has also shown he will spend the money if he thinks that it is right and he has shown with Cesc that they will pay top players significantly more. We have a chance to stabilize the team and spend the money we have in the bank to get the player/s we need to make that team, that has to be the philosophy.

    I fear if we do not grasp this fully we will be stranded in nowhere land. Stuck between a Russian Blob and an American Dreamer.

    In addition we need some success and we need the arseholes in the press to get off our backs. This can only come from the one thing that talks – some good old fashioned silverware…. the mother of that is the Champions League.

    If Cesc had gone and Nasri had stayed we would be…..in exactly the same position.

  15. Merlot – Ahhm, I don’t really know what you are getting at. I was simply pointing out that if we lose a player who is scoring approximately half of our goals we would struggle. You don’t agree?

  16. livin in ireland

    A fix for the poaching would be a salary cap. But that would probably not happen and it has to happen everywhere. Jimmy Greaves has a lot to answer for.

  17. Gunner From Nigeria

    Its quite stunning to read that half the squad wanted to leave in the summer. The way i see it, i do not think that includes any player that stayed but, we would never know about that.
    However, i believe the players that wanted to leave are those that eventually left in Cesc, Nasri, Clichy, Eboue, Denilson, Bendtner, JET and Traore.
    Now that is a high number irrespective of the players involved.

  18. As long as we have Champions League football we will always attract players of the highest quality. Nasri left, so what, we got in a replacement who actually wants to play for us and as far as I’m concerned is a better team player.

  19. Nasri looked around the dressing room and saw players like Diaby and Denilson were on £10k a week less than him.And thats the problem at Arsenal the difference between the wages we were paying Cesc Nasri and RVP and our average players was small.

    At United Rooney earns 5 times as much as Fletcher.

    We reward average players like Bendtner on £52k a week.No player at club is on £100k a week.We offered Nasri £90k a week

    You cannot expect world class players like Cesc Nasri and RVP to stay and not pay them world class wages.Is anyone really doubting RVP isnt 5 times the player Bendtner is?But that isnt shown in their wages

    Arsenal should reward their top players and stop giving average players massive contracts

    Thats why we couldnt get the likes of Denilson Almunia Bendtner and Vela out of the club in the summer because no one could afford their wages.Almunia is where he belongs in the championship but we are paying his £40k a week wages.

  20. Andy,

    Your desire to reduce us to a one man team is ludicrous. What the statistics don’t say are equally important.

    For example, how many assists has Theo had in comparison to RvP? How important is it for the rest of the team to become more prolific? What happens if we move down your road to depending on a player who might get injured or even leave at some point? How much does Robin contribute to retrieving the ball from which he does so much to finish with?

    The reading of the game that you have is pessimistic to my mind and the likes of Gervinho, Theo, Ox, Ryo, Arshavin, Park, Chamakh, Arteta, etc will all need to find their confidence and begin to add of our scoring figures.

    As Tomas recetly noted, the season is long and there is much ground for major change.

  21. GA @ 9:31 am

    ‘money talks. I like my job, but if somebody offered me twice the money to do the same job somewhere else I would not think twice.’

    Imagine you are being paid 90k per week to do your job, and you do it for one of the best companies in the business and some ‘upstart outfit’ comes along that has no business model other than being financed by gangsters or oil rich numpties and offers you double that to go ‘work’ for them, not everyone will go. Which is why the best players often will stay in the best clubs for much less money.

    Alternatively you can join Spuddybayor…….because you’re worth it!

  22. “This summer was the most agitated I’ve ever known. I had half the players in the dressing room who wanted to leave.

    “You prepare a season, we go to Asia, we don’t know who’s coming, the players who are still there are asking themselves what is happening and if an earthquake is hitting the club. It’s extraordinarily difficult.

    “I think that what saved us is that we are a club which is extremely solid and united. There are many other clubs who would have exploded.”

    Tired
    “This summer was the most agitated I’ve ever known. I had half the players in the dressing room who wanted to leave. ”

    Arsene Wenger

    Quotes of the week

    Wenger claims to be ‘happy’ with the transfer business he was able to carry out, but concedes that an exhausting summer, both physically and mentally, left him feeling drained at times.

    He said: “I have periods where I am tired, yes. It’s true that the close season makes people think you’re resting but it’s during that that you work the most.

    “I got in the habit of working all the time. I think I must have been lazy in a previous life and was punished to come back in a very tiring and stressing job.

    “I’d like to go to Tahiti for a month but I can’t. From time to time I would like to because I’m running out of time. Everyone gets older.”

    He added: “The season is long. I am positive but you will say it’s my job to be positive. I feel there is potential in the team and good mentality.

    “We will be judged on the level of our game throughout the season. We are on the way up – we will tell if we get there in May.”

    Faith
    “I’m in a job where results count and they decide your future.”

    Arsene Wenger

    Quotes of the week

    Arsenal’s slow start to the 2011/12 campaign is likely to have caused Wenger a few more sleepless nights and he acknowledges that in a results-driven business he must always strive to take the club to new heights, or face the consequences.

    He said: “I’m in a job where results count and they decide your future.

    “(Owner) Stan Kroenke’s words are a beautiful sign of faith but I’m also a realist.

    “When you lose 8-2 to Manchester United you can’t say ‘I’m the best in the world’.

    “It’s not that I feel in danger, it’s simply I’d like people who love this club to be happy and you have the taste of failing in our mission when an avalanche like that falls on our head.

    “Big disappointments are part of our job. The team is insecure every time we concede a goal.”

    Extremely un-wenger like quotes. I am sure will soon be denied.

  23. aha… i didnt even add traore and JET to my count… that’s 9… definitely nearing half the dressing room, but not on the note of crises that it initially appears. Apart from Eboue, i think the others leaving was not too strange

  24. Nice write up Yogi. Brain dead comments for the most part.

  25. DGob – I am not reducing us to a “on man team”. Don’t be so meladramatic. What I am saynig is not rocket science, and I can’t believe we are even discussing it to be honest. RvP has scored half of our goal this year. It is pure common sense that if he were injured or missing for a period we would not score as many without him at the moment. Nobody else really looks likes scoring a lot of goals.

    Hopefully that will change as the season progresses.

  26. MJ

    It would be the radio splice job to beat all others, if that is the case!

    YW

  27. Steww – Even more so now that you have added your normal pearls of wisdom.

  28. With Gervinho making those runs to the byline I’d bet Chamakh would thrive if he had to replace Van Persie for a game or two.

    Lineup tomorrow night will be interesting. I’m thinking (hoping) Rosicky coming off on Sunday was because we had one eye on Marseille. I think we’re unlikely to see an unchanged team starting. Away to Marseille three days after a PL match is tough going. Interesting to see who comes in. Arshavin and maybe one of Frimpong or Coquelin would be my guess, as well as Santos for Gibbs. But we still may need Theo to provide cover for Jenks down the right again.

    Apparently Marseille play a very defensive game, so the trickery of both Arshavin and Gervinho would be good to have, but I don’t think they’ll both start. Sub appearance for one of them.

  29. Gunner from Nigeria

    The key thing about the quotes is not to take all of it at face value. For example, half the squad wanted to leave is a colloquialism that means ‘a lot’ not literally half. An experienced translator would pick up on that whilst one employed by a newspaper does have a duty to sensationalise. That’s why I stayed away from that aspect of the quotes this morning; they are a nothingness.

    YW

  30. If you an Eden Hazard and City and Arsenal both put a £25m bid for you.And his agent and him sit down with City and Arsenal officials.We offer him £100k a week City offer £200k.Now where do you think he will go? Ad that goes for every top player.We end up with whats left over.Would City buy Arteta or Gervinho.Be honest?

    Unless Kroenke invites Usmanov on the board we will continue to be also rans.And the 7 years without a title will be 27 years

    Usmanov has the money to blow the Glaziers and Abramovich out of the water.

    Sadly while the fans still dream about being the top team in the country again thats what it is a dream.The board dont share that dream.For them its all about that elusive 4th place.As a journalist said on Sky the other day for Arsenal to finish 4th is like finishing 1st

  31. SA @1043 – Oh, maybe Arsene and PHW are wrong then. They seem to think that players will leave for the money. I tend to agree with them.

  32. We pay our top players significantly more and vP will get a much improved offer especially if he can play for more than half of this season.

    Most of the players in Nigeria’s list were not getting games and wanted to go because they were surplus. It is disingenuous therefore to characterise that as an exodus and say that half the team wanted to leave – most fans wanted them to go.

    The only difficult player to replace who actually left was Cesc. That was a big loss and will take time, although Cesc thinks Wilshere is that man and he came because we pay the youth more.

    We may be in a holding position following the departure of Cesc, but the squad is definitely improved and Cesc’s replacement (if Wilshere is not he) is being sought.

  33. That’s it Jack – live the dream mate – ask Ridsdale

  34. @ Jack the cat,
    and since his name is more popular, it follows that eden hazard is better than gervinho?

    Arsenal have always made their own brand of stars… or taken those not satisfied with their situations and bringing out the best in them – see DB10, TH14, VIERA, CESC AND EVEN KANU

  35. GA

    They will leave for mullah and good riddance to them…. that is how it should be.

  36. TS

    Hazard is a much better player than Gervinho if you dont know that you should give up watching football.Gervinho to be honest has been a disappointment so far.

  37. As far as the players that left:

    * Cesc is obvisouly the most difficult to replace. He is world class.
    * Nasri is a quality footballer, and those now making out he isn’t sound like a spurned teenager who girlfreind has gone of with an older boy with a car (didn’t like her anyway….sniff). If he is so average why did City pay all that cash for a player with one year left on his contract when they could have pretty much bought anybody? Gervihno ending up as his replacmeent just meant that the squad remained status quo. If we had kept Nasri (not that we should have with the offer that we got) and added Gervihno the squad would have been improved.
    * I had long thought we could upgrade of Clichy, and was disapointed that when he was sold we seemed to be relying on Gibbs as his replacement. Sanoss coming in may mean we have upgraded there now though. Too early to say.
    * Denlison is no loss with the likes of Frimpong and Le Coq coming through.
    * I was happy to see Bendnter leave as I think he is lazy. He did have a decent goals record though. Disapointed to not see him adequatly replaced though.

  38. Jack the Cat

    You may be right. But you do not know how bleak the picture you paint be and I don’t just mean about winning.

    Imagine he does not have the money you think he may.

    Imagine Wenger is gotten rid of and as with $hiite-y the replacements do not bring the glory that your oversimplification demands.

    Imagine what you have given away to say: We too are a bunch of overpaid prostitutes

  39. “Imagine what you have given away to say: We too are a bunch of overpaid prostitutes”

    But check out our fantastic tits 😉

  40. No, Jack the Cat is not right. 100,000 a week for Eden Hazard, who is a better player than Gervinho? Fuck me.

  41. Leaving for money is definitely true of some players, but you must admit, that Citeh are currently more likely to win silverware. I hate to say that.

    I would much rather have the type of player here that has been attracted to the club by our ethos, and footballing style. One who respects Wenger and what he’s done, and sees the potential in this team. Not the ones who want that bit more money even though they’re getting paid ridiculous amounts for doing what they love, even when playing for a bottom of the table club. The greediness of these players makes me sick. Where are the Le Tisser’s of this world now? He had endless opportunities to earn that big wage, but stayed for the love of the club, even stifling his chance of getting regular games for his country. It’s a shame it’s gone this way now, but hopefully Wenger will find some top quality players who come for the love of the game, the ethical approach that Arsenal takes… Here’s hoping.

  42. RvP could be one of those players, as he loves Arsenal so much. I just hope he doesn’t feel the pressure of being our new Cesc/Henry… Maybe he will thrive on that. As other have said though, we must ensure that this team is not overly Robin-reliant. I expect one signing at least in January, either up front or in attacking midfield. Hopefully one that will help share out the goals from whichever position.

    I am wondering when Park will be unleashed. He looks very direct and has an all round attacking game, with poachers instincts as well as possessing good link up play. He’s not too shabby in the air either… I would like to see him get some games sooner rather than later as he’s in a rich vein of form for his country (albeit against some poor opposition).

    And GA – I think Chamakh and Park are definitely good enough to replace NB52. Let’s give them some footie, and take some of the strain off RvP.

  43. Geo – Le Tissier was a quality player eh? So many goal of the months on a regular basis. Funny, although I am sure he did love Southampton, I always suspected that he didn’t move to a bigger club simply because he could not be arsed to. He liked being a big fish in a small pond, and if he had gone somewhere like Manure he would have not been able play in the lazy fashion that he did.

  44. He was top quality imo, massively underrated, mainly because of the club he was at. I think his languid style would have been fine at the big clubs back then, not in today’s more frantic pace. And i don’t think he stayed because he couldn’t be arsed! That would be laziness of the highest variety..! He was a good example of the lack of greed though i think. Maybe DB10 would have been a better example… He could have played, and been the star man, for any team at his peak.

  45. YW

    United may have bought the title a fair few times but initially youth development gave them the platform to do so.

    Many seem to ignore the number of quality young players and options we keep bringing through. We have a core base of high quality british players developing, some nearer than others in the form of Wilshire, Walcott, Ramsey, Chamberlain, Frimpong – if you can class him british?

    The future is bright and any potential success that could come our way will be built on this strong basis of young talent.

    We may be perceived as flops right now, or indeed over the last 6 years or so.. but we have managed to remain competitive at the highest level despite the financial restraints a new stadium has brought our way, and the competition has brought our way. Even though we didn’t make that final step to silverware on a few occasions, you can only applaud the management and efforts our club has made.

  46. @ notatheodoomer | October 18, 2011 at 9:36 am

    “It begs a question why we have the Yank as top shareholder when he is quite happy not to put in a penny instead of the Russian who appears to have been cold shouldered by the rest of the board who is chomping at the bit to put in a shed load of money.”

    More like chumping @ the bit to take money out

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7cce6a7c-7205-11dc-8960-0000779fd2ac.html#axzz1b839L1W6

    I read some where that he has since changed his position but his original intensions were clear.

    Usmanov and david dein have a mythical heroic status and hailed in some corners – but people forget dein sold out first to Usmanov who then wanted to take money out of the club straight away.

  47. Geo – Maybe Park will be, I hope so. He certainly seems to be a decent finisher.

  48. I think part of success can be fuelled through the creation of heroes, when things are going good the gooner fraternity more than put players on a pedastal, creating icons for both the squad and prospective players.

    Look at some of the quality we have, we should be going ballistic chanting the name of RVP, Song etc, empowering them as our saviors, the spearhead of a rallying cry that will focus the squad and fans to turn this around. We clamour for leaders, for ‘world class’ but part of that is what you create, if we’re in the trenches then let’s get behind the playes we can be ruddy proud to both have as well as their commitment to the cause.

    Sometimes a players quality is not necessarily the deciding factor, it’s the hype around that player. Cahill is an average defender, not world class otherwise every CL team must have something wrong with their scouting system….the fact he’s touted as our savoir is born out of the hype and the negativity we view our current crop with. Every season we get linked with a player noone has seen play and then they’re are suddenly the holy grail… M’vila, Jadson, Ricky whatever his name was…

    If we just get behind our top players and make heroes out of them instead of looking for all the things that are wrong you might find it raises everyones game, creates focus and also icons that future signings can idolise….

    We’re the only club with fans who’d rather watch a game picking holes than wake up and realise how lucky we are to have some of what we have. Agree let’s not become deluded, we have problems but we also have a role to play in creating the confidence, even arrogance that winning team’s have….instead of bitching we have squillaci, let’s rejoice behind the warriors who can lead us to glory, forget what we think about the summer or manager but RVP, Song etc are damn good and if we didn’t have them we’d be watching youtube touting them as our saviour.

  49. Why haven’t we played him yet Andy????????

  50. @ JACK THE CAT.

    You do not not KNOW that Hazard is a better player than Gervinho! he was player of the season last season for a reason. Am not about to start defending him or otherwise for his perceived disappointments… Just that you know not KNOW as much as you think you do.

  51. JD – I honestly have no idea. There has been games where we have needed a goal, and he has been our only striking option on the bench, but he has still not being used. He may still be settling in, but if that is the case make sure we have Chamakh on the bench as well.

    I must admit I really don’t know what to make of his signing. Is it another Arsne gem? When I first heard we had signed a Korean from a team which had just been relegated in Franch I was not exactly jumping for joy, especially this the day after Arsene had been going on about “super super quality”. The clips I have seen of him look encouraging though.

  52. @ waz, well said! For many, a player is only always “better than an arsenal player” as long as he has not joined

  53. Vermaelen has signed a new contract..that is good news

  54. Park no play do me a favour, if he was so good he would have been on by now.
    And another thing name me one great Japanese player?

  55. Goonerandy/JD, We did play Park…..in the Carling, but few of the few of us attending the match realised he was playing until he was taken off – hoping for more on his next appearance

  56. GA – good points earlier about our impotence in goal scoring (without RvP).

    Yesterday, being too lazy to research the source of our goals since the start of 2011, it kept occurring to me how dependent this roster has become on Robin.

    Just constructing a line up without RvP and my stomach starts churning.

    I’m sure the coaching staff is aware and concerned.

    I made some comments Sunday about Theo’s game and Paul-N, Passenal, and others were rightly quick to defend the youngster. But my point was not so much this player, but that (at this moment in the season {and last spring}) we need attackers that can impact a game.

    If a player has been a passenger for the 1st 45 minutes, then yank him and allow someone else a chance to make a statement.

    Its about the club – not individuals.

    Andrei has not been in form and the manager is adjusting his playing time. The same should be for others that aren’t making an impact in attack. I’ve been impressed with Ox, would love to see more of him, but trust the manager to monitor his development.

  57. I’m talking about Miyaichi who is he?

  58. @Team Spirit

    I don’t get it personally, yes we have some rubbish but you don’t get Man U fans focussing on how average Jonny Evans, Fletcher or Carrick are or Chelsea on how average Hilario, Paulo Ferrera, Mikel, Alex are… the mentality pof their club is personified by the heroes they back like JT, Lampard or Rooney…that’s what the team get behind, it sets a standard, an arrougance, a demeanour…if we choose to berate Squillaci instead of rally behind RVP, Verm etc then we’ll get a mentality and quality akin to that of Squillaci.

    I’m being extreme to make a point but I think there is some substance to it.

  59. Spy, if he is so shit, why did we buy him? He looks very good to me, but there must be something that is holding him back, maybe he doesn’t perform too well in training? Or maybe Wenger’s just being cautious in gradually bringing him into the team, allowing him time to settle… and by the way he’s not Japanese. Ryo is Japanese and has great potential. And the Park for United is a quality player from Korea (where our Park is from).

    And Spy, i was also wondering where you’ve got this opinion from of him? Where did you read that he wasn’t good enough? Have you watched him play? If you’ve watched any of the recent internationals you wouldn’t be slating him.

  60. Geo – How many games have you seen him play (youtube clips aside)?

    Arsesession – RvP has scored 23 of our 45 goals this year.

  61. Geo if he is good let us be the judges of that,
    I know he is Korean unfortunately their best player is employed by Manure
    I was referring to Miyaichi(I was not clear)
    After the park comment

  62. Regarding YW’s excellent post today.

    Our manager and club are quite aware of the financial inequities that ManC, Chelsea, and others are wreaking on the sport.

    FFP is not likely to impact their behavior.

    The obvious imbalance in our wage structure, club and manager are addressing the revenue opportunities by expanding our global marketing/licensing.

    This will take time, just as paying off the stadium debt.

    To build on our global image and pick up a necessary extra $xx,xxx,xxx.xx m / year……the club needs to market an attractive product…..which translates into a style of play that produces silverware and marquis players.

  63. GA – I read your early post with the details…..thanks. Agree with your observation.

  64. Goonerandy. I’ve seen highlights of all his recent internationals, and have been impressed every time. He isn’t the kind of player to take a game by the scruff of it’s neck, but what he does contribute, is very direct and clinical. I’m basing my opinion of him after watching 3 matches (and admittedly they were all against poor defences, bar an average Polish team), not from youtube clips or what i’ve read in the papers.

    Spy – ah apologies about Ryo thing… But yes, let’s be the judge of Park, once he’s played some football for Arsenal. He looks good for his country, why can’t we wait to see how he does for us before saying he’s not good enough?

  65. Geo – Then you have seen more of him than most I would wager. Lets hope he starts to see some action then. If he plays in the 1st 11 and not with the CC reserve side he may have more of an impact eh? I have seen nothing of him aprt from a few clips. A good finish is a good finish though, and he seems to be good in that respect.

  66. Hello all you good people of ACLF Towers.

    It’s been a while in the wilderness – and good to come back to wel – same old same old.

    And to think people are still demanding that Usmanov, like Abramovich did should just light up a bonfire with his money, just because he has the money. Incredulous.

    How did we get to the stage where the expectation is that the rich people should just fork out their money to compete with the sovereign wealth fund that owns Man City. Even Abramovich can’t compete and he knows it, and Manure have sold the family silver just to stay afloat – and all some can crave for is a sugar daddy to compete with a country’s wealth. Not even an individual mind, an entire bloody country’s sovereign wealth fund. Madness I tell you.

    A great and magnificent club like Everton FC which has so much history can’t even buy toilet paper on match day without checking with Barclays whether they can use the company overdraft – and people think its normal for this obsenity of financial doping in football.

    Mind you, I don’t care if Arsenal pays its top players over £250K a week if we can afford it from organic revenues. But I doubt that will solve this one.

    Great post as always Yogi.

  67. Stan was welcomed to Arsenal as the lesser of two evils, that said he was very much in the mould of the board when it came to seeing the club as self sustaining. Arsenal are not like the other foreign owned clubs because our majority shareholder has no intention of dropping any cash in to the club. It is what it is, Arsenal are going sink or swim on the model in place and if that means we are not as competitive as we fans may like, it is just tough titty.

  68. Arguing that RVP has scored 23 out of our 45 goals this year and it is a bad thing that we depend on him is like arguing that Tech 9 has made 91% of the saves that Arsenal has made to stop goal scoring chances.

    Or like arguing that Koscielny has made more tackles in a game than any other striker, or that the All Blacks scrum half has scored most of their points since Dan Carter got injured.

    It’s Robin Van Persie’s job to score goals and its a moot point arguing that he actually does his job. I’d be disappointed if he didn’t score the goals he is expected to.

  69. “For me being professional means that right up until the last day you are at a club you give 100% to that club,” added Wenger. “Today, two days before we play at Marseille, I’m not asking myself whether Van Persie is going to extend his contract in 18 months’ time. For me what is important is that he plays well for us on Wednesday. After that the next match. That’s how I think. He’s scored 28 goals in 34games, so they’re exceptional statistics. He’s got a contract for another 18 months and he’s a man who is attached to our club. I’m not especially thinking about losing him.”

    Ehn? Wenger better just be pulling the media’s legs with that statement, otherwise you have to worry about his sanity. As it stands, next summer will be even more traumatic than this last one, if VP still hasn’t renewed.

  70. GA – to be clear, they were all highlights, not the full matches, but still. He does look very good in the box, somewhere between Chamakh and Eduardo (not as composed or clinical as Edu, not as towering as Chamakh) but that’s the kind of player he looks like to me, a very good all rounder. He may be absolute shite in the prem, who knows, but he might well be a good partner or back up for RvP if needed. The fact that he hasn’t been ‘sussed’ by Prem defenders yet as they haven’t played him, will give him that little advantage – maybe that’s why Chamakh had a great start, and now people know what to expect from him a bit more?

  71. Darius – Nice to have you back 🙂

    I agree with your first post, but not your second. The comparisons are not realistic though are they? Tech9 is he only one that can make saves, and i doubt that Kos has made half the team tackles in nearly a year.

    The point is not that RvP is doing his job. In fact, the point does not concern him at all. The point is that we are not really sharing the goals around enough. Ergo, if he is not there where do the goals come from on a consistant basis? He is the one player we can realy on to score regularly. We could do with a few more; who else is a goal threat?

    AA – Inconsistant, and not in the team.
    Theo – Inconsistant. He has had 20 odd shots this season (in the PL), 6 on target, with no goals.
    Gervihno – Maybe. But not as yet.
    Our midfielders – They will chip in with a few over the season.
    Chamakh – Looks light years away from last years purple patch. Can’t even get on the bench.

  72. Geo – Fair comments.

    This particular transfer is the source of many fans frustrations I feel. We have money in the bank, have let one of our reserve strikers leave, but rather than use the opportunity to improve the squad, we have taken a gamble on a player who may or may not adjust to the PL. I know every transfer is a gamble, but one like this even more so.

  73. spy, i heard this Park has a good aim and shot but is a bit trigger happy. He is good in the heat of the battle though and will never leave a man stranded.

  74. I quite like the gambles, makes it interesting not knowing what you’re going to get..! And all the more satisfying when it works. I must admit, i would have preferred someone who is known to be prolific, and I think we may even go in for a striker like that in Jan or the summer. My frustrations (if you could call them that) are more because he isn’t getting playing time, even though he is showing crazy goal scoring threat for his country. Don’t get me wrong, i’m not overly upset about this, but the more he plays, the more ready he will be if we need someone to step in for RvP.

  75. Fuck me Duke he is made for National service

  76. I’d start Chamack tonight. Give Robin a well deserved rest.

  77. Hi Goonerandy.

    Hope you’ve been keeping well and that the fence hasn’t been to hard on your arse. I’ve been away doing some good work with local authorities getting some grave digging contracts. Some even provide the shovels for you.

    I think the issue here is not that we’re dependent on RVP to score goals. For me – the issue is that you don’t have a sunny disposition and see the worst in everything as a default. They call it defensive pessimism. Look it up – it’s your photo right next to the term in the dictionary.

    Try enjoying RVP’s goals and we’ll cross the “he’s not here for now” bridge when we get there. With your sort of pessimism, I wouldn’t want you anywhere near an operating theatre.

    You’ll probably be pressing the family of the patient of the fact that there are very high chances of him dying on the operating theatre; as opposed to say – they’ve got a great surgeon with a great team.

    What’s the “injury prone” equivalent of the operating theatre? RVP would probably be there if you had a say, or as the Daily Heil puts it, Arsenal’s injury prone Belgiam. The miserable phuckers can’t even spell.

  78. Geo – Yeah I agree with that. I was sort of hoping that he will turn out to be a goal machine, and we could even play RvP just behind him for double the goal threat. I am greedy like that though 😉

  79. Tomorrow even…

  80. Wasn’t it Chamakh’s goals that knocked Marseilles out of the Champions League a couple of years ago? Just his kind of game, no?

  81. Darius – Ha, very good. I bet you could not resist tea-leafing one of the shovels though. Old habits and all that.

    Strangely enough I am not a pessimistic type. I am definately in the glass is half full camp most of the time (it drives my wife mad). You say we are not too dependant on RvP to score goals, but after examining the facts (he scores slightly over half of our goals), I don’t see how you can really come to that conclusion. Too much soil in your eyes perhaps? 😉

  82. I think the key player for us this side of the season is going to be Tomás Rosicky.

    Our weak link is in midfield and not necessarily the defence. The midfield has a dual role of ball retention and also supporting attack and defence.

    My take is that Song, Rosicky, Arteta is a more solid and balanced midfield than Song, Ramsey and Arteta.

  83. But my dear Andy. The fact that Van Persie is the sharp end of our spear and a striker extrordinre by trade dictates that he will be seing the business end of our attacks more often than any other player. That explains the weighting of his goals. This isn’t complicated. It’s his job to score goals.

    I think it was once described of Claude makelele that his job wasn’t glamourous at all. There was no point of him trying to be glamourous and the analogy used was that his job was to carry the piano and not to play the damn thing. There were others in the team whose jobs were to play the piano Makelele was carrying around – simply because that was their job and they were better at it.

    RVP is the hsarp end of our spear and he will naturally get most of the opportunities. It’s his job – stop making this complicated.

  84. Gibbs out of tomorrow’s match. Pity he’s so injury prone. In any case it will be interesting to see how Santos gets on.

  85. Darius, I agree completely. Rosicky has shown his excellence again recently, and he is the most Cesc shaped player we have at the mo. His slide tackling and tracking back is great, but his ability to twist his way out of tight spaces and into attack is also superb. His passing can be up there with the best in the world and we saw glimpses of that t’other day. What I was surprised by was his turn of pace, something I thought he’d lost… He’s a class act, and if he’s on form, the midfield will create, as you say.

  86. Go back to grave digging Darius,, we all know you go very quite and refuse to answer any one when you get proven wrong. Andy has a very valid point, instead of a personal attack you should actually add some thing meaning full or unmeaning full, O hang on you just did. I am also worried about where the goals are gonna come from if Robin gets injured, or when Robin gets injured. If this is not a valid point then and we are not allowed to talk about it then some thing is very wrong. You are trying to usher us down the road of blind faith and no questioning. A much wiser man than you, Albert Einstein once said Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. Why are you so opposed to questioning Darius, or is it just who is asking the questions.

  87. Watching Song, Rosicky, Arteta midfield on Sunday you could see they were all taking turns covering and getting forward. Maybe just that extra bit of experience but they seemed to have a great undertsanding.

  88. Darius – I get that. If Chamakh was playing instead of RVP, do you think his scoring record would be similar?

    I don’t, and that is where the issue is. We do not have enough players scoring on a regular basis to compensate should RvP face a spell on the sidelines.

  89. Pity Arteta is not in Rosickys class

  90. Markus, that combo is so well balanced. With Song now showing he is quite adept at going forward, and Rosicky showing his defensive determination, and with a midfielder in Arteta who is also very good at doing both, communication would be the only thing holding them back. But it seemed like they were all singing from the same hymn sheet on Sunday. It worked very well. all of them able to do all the midfield jobs, with Rosicky slightly better attacking, Song slightly better at defending, and Arteta in between the 2 of them. Very nice. Let’s hope Rosicky and Arteta are feeling a little less brittle these days..!

  91. Also the problems of goals coming from elswhere in the side is not only relevant if RvP gets injured. It is relevant now; if more players were scoring were would be doing much much better.

  92. If Chamack had seen action recently I’d have no hestiation starting him (last game for us was Olympiacos 3 weeks ago). Still hope he gets a run out. His part in Ox’s goal never got mentioned but he should have had an assist for his off-the-ball work.

  93. Nice to have you back Darius. For a moment I thought you’d been kidnapped by Al Shabaab. One Of Us took the Friday slot while you were away. Not sure if you deserve to get it back!

  94. Great post Yogi:

    I don’t think even the most positive person could defend the flat wage structure at this point. The flame out of the last golden generation shows how much of a crap shoot placing your hopes and a huge portion of your financial resources on unproven players can be. I understand part of the original motivation of the flat wage, to make us attractive to young players and allow us to stockpile. I suspect the boss did not anticipate the wage inflation for the top players and he probably believed that the players would remain loyal to him despite wage inequities at the top. However, it had to be obvious when Cashley left that the wage structure was going to cause big problems. We should have learned a lesson back then.

    Its great that TV5 signed an extension and it shows that the club is trying to tie up its better players. I suspect they would like to do the same with RVP and hearing from his camp that he does not want to think about it now is is not a positive sign. Hopefully he will stay if the club is willing to put his wage somewhere within the same “postal zip code” of the other top strikers in the world but the club will have to swallow hard and make a significant change to its policy to do that.

  95. http://www.london24.com/sport/arsenal/video_arsenal_boss_wants_to_keep_van_persie_after_increasing_goal_tally_1_1098773

    Lovely compilation. So many great goals. His first touch and clinical finishing over the years has been a joy to behold.

  96. @Kenyan.

    Big Al is very worthy of the Friday slot – very enjoyable and insightful.

    I gather Obaks is playing war games with Al shabaab. I hope they snuff out that spokesperson and his herd before they cause grief in the streets of Nairobi.

    I doubt if my missus will be able to pay any ransom of the punks kidnap me – they’re better off cattle rustling.

  97. Darius, according to wikileaks it’s the Chinese and not the Americans footing the bill.

  98. Geo. My best Van Persie goal was the one against Charlton in the 2006-07 season. Eboue’s cross was sweet, but the flying volley was just breath taking.

    Sly Sports are screening an ATVO press conference with Richard Clarke interviewing Arséne. Have they run out of crew members to hound us? Or is Arsenal just shutting them out and they have to subscribe to Arsenal Player like the rest of us?

  99. @Kenyan – not surprised.

    Black Hawk Down didn’t do good for the American psyche and understand of the jungle that is Somali. Besides, the Chinese want to make friends and they don’t ask awkward questions about human rights and have misguided self righteousness about their destiny to save the world.

  100. Just to lighten the mood, it could happen!

    “Thomas Vermaelen signs new contract. Out for 6 weeks with sore hand.”

  101. Dammit Darius, I was about to post that. I recall my exact thoughts at the time (around 34 seconds into this clip).

    “What are you at crossing it, you muppet!? There isn’t even anyone in the bo… F**K ME, WHAT A GOAL!!!”

  102. Best goal of his career without doubt. Almost scored the 2nd best on Sunday…

  103. Love that celebration too!

  104. We have scored 22 goals this season and RVP has scored 8. That leaves 23 Arsenal goals in which he scored 14 at the end of last season when the “don dadda’s” were in the squad.

  105. also one of the best crosses you will ever see.

  106. It was a great goal. I also like the one against Blackburn when he shot from virtually on the touchline.

  107. Jammiest cross…

  108. yeh GA, that was a brilliant goal.

  109. As far as emotions go, the goal against Barca was something else, it was also an exceptional strike.

  110. Squad for the game tomorrow. Park has not travelled, nor has AOC. It also seems that Le Coq is now ahead of Frimpong in the pecking order.

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-names-18-man-squad-for-marseille-trip?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arsenal-news+%28News+Feed%29

  111. Le Coq will be more valuable if used in Marseilles than if Frimpong was the option because he has experience of the French league and knows his way around.

    I like Santos and the intrigue he brings. He looks a fairly solid character with some potency in attack. He’ll provide good competition for Jethro.

  112. @ Yogi’s Warrior | October 18, 2011 at 10:58 am
    Exactly. Also, do you find it interesting that AW is much more candid when being interviewed by French media?

    ***
    RvP has scored most of our goals recently. That is partly due to how we are set up and partly due to him being ON FIRE. Walcott, Gervinho, Arshavin and Chamakh all have 10 goals a season in them. Plus Song, Arteta, TV, Diaby, AOC, Ramsey, Santos and Gibbs are all going to score.

    Regarding who has been taken to Marseille and some people’s complaints about players not being involved on Sunday, let’s remember that the squad is very big and AW is trying to rotate. I think that Le Coq for Frimpong is horses for courses (even though I personally prefer Coquelin) because Le Coq is more cultured in style and he has just spent a year playing in Ligue 1.

    ***
    @ Geo | October 18, 2011 at 11:35 am
    My sentiments exactly. I am hoping that all the gooners in the squad will stay a long time.
    Love your comments today!

    @ geeGunner | October 18, 2011 at 11:50 am
    Indeed. People should remember that…

    @ Waz
    “Sometimes a players quality is not necessarily the deciding factor, it’s the hype around that player. Cahill is an average defender, not world class otherwise every CL team must have something wrong with their scouting system….the fact he’s touted as our savoir is born out of the hype and the negativity we view our current crop with. Every season we get linked with a player noone has seen play and then they’re are suddenly the holy grail… M’vila, Jadson, Ricky whatever his name was…”

    Spot on!

    @ Miami Arsenal | October 18, 2011 at 1:34 pm
    Very realistic.

  113. Santos does look a very good player. It is ncie to have a left back who will actually win his fair share of headers as well. It makes sense that Le Coq is ahead of Frimpong to be fair, he has a whole season of 1st team football under his belt.

  114. Samir left for Manchester City, a club with a deep, talented squad that pays better and are undeniably serious title contenders.

    Why would Rosicky want to stay when he constantly gets criticised for nothing at all, yet still giving his all and being better then most players in the team and seeing himself be behind the pecking order to players like Diaby and Ramsey. It’s logical if a player like him wants to leave.

    Cesc took a pay cut and added his Arsenal bonus in the transfer fee. How is this leaving for money? Looks more like he’s paying to leave. You will never face the problem unless you admit you have one first.

    Hope Wenger invests in serious players, so RVP will not leave.. He did not think Cesc/Samir would leave, and both did.. Now is the time to pave the way for a solid Arsenal comeback in the near future.. Not just to sit around and wait to see what the tide will bring.

  115. “@ Geo | October 18, 2011 at 11:35 am
    My sentiments exactly. I am hoping that all the gooners in the squad will stay a long time.
    Love your comments today!”

    Thanks FG! I agree about Coq. He is much more subtle in his play, and probably more suited to the champions league than Frimp. He will be able to give us a few pointers on how Marseille set up too. Can’t wait for the match…

    Well, have a good one all. Peace

  116. Cuervo, firstly Samir asked for a sum from Arsenal they were unwilling to match then he began his courtship with Man City. You may think that attempting to twist your facts is making your argument in this case but you are seriously wrong. I am not saying that in the end Samir is not happier where he is surrounded by a deeper talent pool of expensive players, but he asked Arsenal for more money and Arsenal attempted to negotiate his want down. That, is called economics.

    Cesc, wanted to go home. Wow, see how simple that fact is? Did you think Arsenal wanted him to leave? Do you think Arsenal were happy to have him leave for a sum they considered way under his value? How do you think Arsenal or indeed Cesc should feel, when Barca come out and publicly state how great the deal is for Cesc because they got him on the cheap? The fact that Cesc wanted to go and took action to cement that deal is of course his decision to make, if I had taken less money and paid part of the deal just to have my employer annouce with such glee that they got me cheap… I would be inwardly venting.

    I see that TV5 has signed a new deal with Arsenal, great news now we just need to keep him on the pitch 🙂

  117. Anyone going to Marseille? If so, any bar recommendations?

  118. Andy,

    I’m not certain what could be gained from suggesting we’re an “on man team” or an “off man team” for that matter. Reference to “melodrama” seems equally puzzling in this context.

    Perspective

  119. Miami Arsenal @ 4:28 pm

    Here, here.

    Cuervo, you don’t sound in touch with your inner self.

    ‘Samir left for Manchester City, a club with a deep, talented squad……

    Deep bloody pockets more like!

    ………..that pays better and are undeniably serious title contenders

    I deny it. Sorry the money even makes ‘Mancini. The Great Turd Polisher’ himself have to kiss the ass of a man he has banished.

    The season is long and they have much choking (on cash) to do before the end. What a fucking joke they are.

  120. Just tried to post on Le Grove, but it looks like I am permanently moderated. I feel honoured.

  121. Lrt us get something straight here.Cesc did not take a cut in wages.
    The only figure that matters is your take home pay.When you take into account the improved tax position and image rights his net pay is considerably more than it was at Arsenal.
    So those who say he was so desperate to leave that he paid are talking pure shit.
    But it suits their agenda so shit will continue to be spouted despite the facts.

    Darius,Dont listen to these people I was the only one who noticed your absence. 🙂

  122. SA stop reading the shit and you will feel much better.

  123. Great article including details of immortal Arsenal legend, Ted Drake.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2011/oct/18/forgotten-story-football-league-record

  124. I do love your face George and I do feel better.

  125. i dont Samir would have even been close to stay unless we had offered him 150k a week. And to stay and get 90k versus 150k at City.
    Well unless you really love the club or feel in debt to the club you would be stupid to stay.
    There are not so many players left like vermaalen, who sais he feels he owns the club to stay.
    Most players are to selfish for that, and its understandable.
    You cannot blame Nasri for taking 180k a week at City.

    Besides trophys does not matter if one really wants to move. Look at Ronaldo. United player, probably the best player on the best team in the league. he still left. he still did not want to stay at United and win more. He wanted to go to Real. and has he won anything with them yet?? Its not always about trophies

  126. and Udinese slaps 17M on keeper as arsenal and spurs are circeling??> now that must be the most stupid rumour today. Why oh why would we need a new keeper?

  127. Monsieur Rosicky is probably the most creative midfield player that Arsenal possess at the moment. However, he is getting older and he is a bit prone to injury. I like the conservation methodology, ‘don’t push him til he breaks’ used with Rosicky. He absolutely shines with this method that Arsene has adopted. Van Persie is likely made of relatively the same porcelain as Rosicky. Easy, easy, with these lads and use the back-ups frequently. Keep the stress down on these boys and lots of rest until the key games.

  128. And i think Cuervo is scared of City. if they ever meet barcelona its a huge huge huge chance they will finish them off. Barca may produce stars, but CIty buys them. They could buy the entire Barca team if they wanted…
    You will see they soon try to poach Messie! 5bn you say? well City can afford that, its pocketmoney for them..

  129. just got in, read the post and then heard that tv has signed a new one. That cheered me up, it gave me as much a pos feeling as when naz went because i think it gives a pos message about tv vision for the club, plus i think he one of the best central defenders in the world and he is certainly one of our players that any of the other top clubs in europe would love to have. Im watching one of the games tonight, not sure which. Ile be supporting the other team obviously, i know some people dont watch other teams and thats fair enough, but i found that when the other team gets a result, its not quite the same as us scoring but its still nice COYR

  130. Two Owls.the problem is that every game is key at present and for the foreseeable.

  131. Yes Poodle ,what if City offer £300 million and £500k per week?
    And they could and not skip a heartbeat.

  132. Let us see if TV signing gets as much coverage as Robin not yet signing.One is an actual story and the other is nothing ,as of yet.
    This is a very positive development.Best news we have had is a Donkeys age

  133. Even when Man City are really fucking up their Champions League campaign, the commentators have to find a way of referring negatively to Arsenal.

    Did anyone notice that Man City are a goal down to the Yellow Submarine.

  134. I missed that Darius .what did they say?
    Why are you not tweeting?

  135. George – I’m just doing some work in my study while listening to the game. I might tweet later.

    The commentators were bitching about Arsenal fans being late to the Emirates – why? I have no frigging clue. The comment came after City conceded the goal.

  136. well it would indeed be hillarious if City went out of the CL tonite(or had no chance of getting to the next stage).
    However i assume that is to much to ask 😛

  137. Both Manc teams are level at 1/2 time. City in huge trouble if they don’t win. Red manc’s would have huge egg on face and could be in trouble if they don’t win. Fingers crossed it stays this way.

  138. It would definitely be nice to see both of the Manc teams get bounced in the group stages…would be quite hilarious actually.

  139. ManU scored a penalty and leads 1 – 0 but Vidic just got a red card. Go Atelul.

  140. Dear me. What on earth was Vidic thinking? If he played for Arsenal with that “red card” tally, the press would skin us alive.

    With a straight red, he misses all of the rest of the match days of the group stages.

  141. good post

    ‘one fact is often overlooked; no-one believes that the policy of controlling wages as a reasonable percentage of turnover is wrong. The problem is the distribution of that cost line amongst the players.’

    top comment..

    it is a problem..the best players can double their money elsewhere so its a struggle to keep them therefore making it harder to be a successful team as we are always rebuilding.. and at the same time its a struggle to offlaod average players when they dont make it cos nobody else wants to match their wages

    lets take cesc as an example..he was on around 100k per week..yet at highbury the highest earners were all on about the same, possibly more and that was almost a decade ago..now we moved from highbury to double our income, keep our star men happy attract more star men and stay competitive..so why havent the wages risen with income..?? very strange..

    now i can understand the arguement that wages are spread as evenly as possible to keep the squad harmonious..but the fact that our best players are sold every year to rival clubs and the fact that ‘half our dressing room wanted to leave’ last summer, rubbishes this theory and blows it out of the water..what harmony??

  142. Rossi is really having a good game. MOTM for me.

  143. Lille are struggling, remind me of Arsenal in the second half… controlling possession, attempts and corners yet are unable to convert 😦 Hazard has looked underwhelming tonight, I like the physicality of Sow though.

  144. If the Lille result stands, I would say they are odds on not to qualify out of the group stages with 2 points from 3 games and Inter away next… though Inter have not looked scary either.

  145. fukin el, cuervo, you an arff got a passion for things Arsenal related.

  146. our wage structure basically pisses off our best players in an attempt to keep the weaker players happy..wierd..it also has a side affect of giving our weaker players massive egos and constant demand for playing time, even though theres 3-4 players of better quality in that position..so they want to leave as well..

    more of a self defeating strategy than one that benefits us i reckon..

  147. Darius:

    If I didn’t know better I would think that you don’t really like the football establishment, especially the pundits.

    Red Manc’s going to slide past the Romanian minnows on a couple of PK. Aguero to the rescue for the Blue Manc’s.

    Bummer.

  148. JJ:

    Arsene must be a fan of Karl Marx.

  149. maybe so bill..

    anyway..good news about tomas..rvp next hopefully..

  150. Who are the pissed off players again?

  151. Well the wage structure cant be that bad ,TV saw fit to take a deal.

  152. Paul,which ever the media say !!
    But not Thomas it would seem

  153. paul
    the players who are no longer here..
    over the years..i make that quite a few..

  154. Yeh George, the good ol’ media is it?

  155. TV5 is great news. Lets hope its a sign of better things to come with our best players in the next couple of years.

  156. and credit to tomas, george..

  157. So Henry left because he was pissed off about money, is it?

  158. yeah bill
    hopefully..

  159. Why credit JJ?
    He has not done it out of the goodness of his heart.
    Where ,other than the monopoly money clubs would he be paid better?

  160. henrys going back a tad too far..changing the goalposts a little..im talking more about whats been happening recently..
    but he left cos he had acheived all he could and wasnt giong to acheive much else playing with a bunch of kids in a new team..and we did actually need him off the wage bill in truth…well we didnt…but the board did..
    so he left..and kept achieving stuff..

  161. So Cesc was upset about money?

    You made an absolute statement, back it up with concrete proof.

  162. dont really get your point george??

    maybe the fact he hasnt played regular for over a year would mean he wouldnt warrent a new contract at the monopoly money clubs..???

    cant really see those clubs offering 150k a week to a player whos been crocked for 14months…i dunno..

    and credit must go to him..hes put pen to paper..dont care what hes paid hes staying and thats whats important..and when he gets fit hes important..

  163. How we should have tied RVP up on a longer deal when he was out injured for a long time.

  164. Duke, we tied up Cesc.

  165. You see JJ ,I think he is lucky to be playing for us and lucky to get a new deal being injured so much.So credit Arsenal not Tommy.
    Good as he is ,we must not feel like we need players to deem fit to stay with us.

  166. How we should have tied RVP up on a longer deal when he was out injured for a long time.

    What when the realists and doomers were saying he was a waste of a wage ?

  167. all the more reason we should have tied him in george. any one with a brain new he is class and worth it but at that time like you say even some of our own dim witted section of fans wanted him out and certainly no other top teams wanted him then. but hindsight and all that.

  168. but hindsight and all that.

    Thing is Duke we all are genius with hindsight.
    We know that, but a lot of fans think they would have made the right decisions without it
    I am sick of hearing about the bargain buys we should have made.Easy as fuck when they are a success,But I don’t here anyone saying we should have signed some of the flops that we passed on.

  169. credit to everyone involved then george
    i’ll meet you at a mutual ground on this one..

    but you make it sound like we dont need him..when the reality is we do..and hes renewed..which is the important thing isnt it..

  170. JJ, dont get me wrong.I am over the moon and it is a big boost .
    So ok, half way it is 🙂
    (I am shaking your hand in my head )

  171. cyber shake..

  172. I would have been very surprised if Tommy had not signed. No details yet other than it is a long term deal.

    Messi will never go to $hiite-y at any cost. He gets plenty of money to play for the best.

    $hiite-y will only pick up the disenfranchised, mercenaries, wannabees, prostitutes and has beens and at huge cost.

    Until a beautiful tree grows and bares fruit (that has to include CL silver) it will only be the nitrogen rich potential of a pile of turd.

  173. SA Gooner | October 19, 2011 at 6:56 am
    “$hiite-y will only pick up the disenfranchised, mercenaries, wannabees, prostitutes and has beens and at huge cost. Until a beautiful tree grows and bares fruit (that has to include CL silver) it will only be the nitrogen rich potential of a pile of turd.”

    Indeed!

  174. SA – “$hiite-y will only pick up the disenfranchised, mercenaries, wannabees, prostitutes and has beens and at huge cost.

    Until a beautiful tree grows and bares fruit (that has to include CL silver) it will only be the nitrogen rich potential of a pile of turd.”

    As much as we would like that to be true, it really isn’t. Sure players will go there for the cash, but they will also go there as with the club gathering some of the best players in Europe they are bound to start winning things sooner rather than later.

    Nasri, Augero, Kompany, Ballotelli, Dzeko, etc. All some of Europe most sought after players. I would be suprised if they don’t win something this year. It is almost identical to the Chelsea takeover. They were fairly average at the time, and plenty said “you can’t buy sucess”. But you can. It does not sit well I agree, but that is the truth of it.

  175. And just to clarify, that is not a route I want to see us go dowhn either. To a point their wins will alwys be tained and not goained on a level playing field. It is easier for us to take the moral high ground on this, and we have tasted success in recent times. I bet City fans could not care less though. From a struggling PL side to Europe’s elite inside of a few years. In that position, who would not be pleased I supose?

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