Globetrotting Can Be A Hazardous Pursuit

The transfer wheels are turning this morning or perhaps its just the cogs grinding out of the cold snap, ready to crank up as the season draws to its conclusion. Over the years we have had many players who were constantly linked with the club but never arrived; current squeeze is Eden Hazard.

He probably won’t join; Arsène spoke gushingly of him yesterday as sure a sign as any that the club has made contact and knows that wage demands preclude serious interest. Rather like someone window shopping at Harrods, it doesn’t stop him wanting to sign the player,

I like Eden Hazard a lot, and for many reasons. His creative ability, his talent for unbalancing opponents, his vision of the game, and his consummate skill in making the final pass all make him an in-demand player. Hazard has what it takes to play for a top-level club, and Arsenal are a top-level club.

There will be those who question the latter although they have been remarkably quiet following the weekend’s thrashing of Blackburn. The player though would be welcomed but he is not the be-all and end-all of transfer activity. Priorites noted now change as we hurtle toward the Summer.

Much will depend on Robin van Persie’s intentions; you hope in the worst case scenario that the manager – and others – learns from the Cesc and Nasri fiascos; identifying and quickly signing replacements is the optimum scenario. Thierry Henry, despite desires in some quarters, is no more than a short-term solution, one that may not even last beyond the forthcoming trip to the fringes of The Alps.

Nor should he be. The forward line looks like it might undergo serious reconstruction in the summer. From the outside, it seems implausible that Marouane Chamakh will be enchanted by more opportunities to sit on The Emirates benches, no matter how comfortable they might be. Even if van Persie left, I cannot envisage him being the lead striker in a 4-3-3 formation. As for Park, well, he too is likely to leave, consigned to the same status as Caballero, Wreh and Diawara.

With the club reportedly globetrotting to compensate financially for cancelling The Emirates shindig, decisive action before Euro2012 kicks off will be needed. Obviously as the article points out, logistics could be complicated by the League position that we end with; last night’s draw at Anfield benefitted the race for fourth, a small psychological boost comes in moving up the table one place and knowing that third is a touch closer. Whether there is any longer term benefit from that remains to be seen.

Money is crucial; Arsène noted in the Belgian Press that Arsenal require £15-£20m of profit each year. What profit is undefined; transfer, operating, net, EBITDA? Without the manager quantifying the benchmark, to comment is tough. The suspicion is that he is referring to transfer profits, which sort of makes sense if you remove the property profits from recent years financial results.

Which is where the Academy steps in to a certain extent. For someone like Park, the club will probably take a bit of a bath but any fee received will, for the most part, be profit. Add to that younger players who are sold and add-ons, £20m does not rely on a ‘star’ being sold.

As it is, that time is some way off. Sunderland is on the immediate horizon with the trip to The Stadium Of Light this weekend. It still feels odd not referring to Roker Park although I for one, don’t have particularly brilliant memories of the uncovered away terracing. It always seemed to rain when we were there.

Today’s Arsenal On This Day is League Cup Semi-Final heaven from the George Graham era.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 7, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 322 Comments.

  1. Hazard might just be the missing piece in the jigsaw that helps convince RvP to stay!

  2. I don’t think that RvP will need any convincing to stay

  3. Hazard seems the ideal fit for Arsenal, but then so did Silva and Mata.

    Its not the £25m which will be the big decision, I think its more the £120k p/w. Unless a new RVP deal smashes the transfer policy for those who really achieve…to which he certainly has.

    Interesting write up on the ‘profit’ piece. I can’t imagine Arsene needs to recoup that much every summer, I would imagine that’s more like the profits as a business. Otherwise he has failed over his reign, as I read he has spent £1m net per season on average (which is a totally amazing statistic which the media and pundits don’t give him enough credit for).

    It’s tough run, potentially Sunderland away twice, Milan twice, the spuds and the scousers! Testing times…

  4. Sad news on Frimpong. Hope he comes back a strong player, buts its a tough ask.

  5. There will be lots of speculation about what AW meant by the £15-20m profit. Why didn’t the bloody useless journalist follow that up?
    The Hazard reference couldn’t be linked to season ticket renewal time could it?

  6. Yogi, what I found strange was that Arsene said it was “imperative” that the club makes 15 – 20 million per year. He was very precise about that figure, why not 5 million, why not 30 million? Was he “telling” us that he is required by the board or owner to make this profit each year which of course is exactly the opposite of what they have been saying. And anyway why does Arsenal FC HAVE to make a profit. I’m not suggesting for a moment that we go down the “bankrupt” road of other clubs but many are surviving quite well without the need to show profit.

  7. I really don’t understand Arsenal’s finances yet, as Gazidis said, they are an open book.

    I’m still baffled.

  8. Frank – I thought that about Viera and Cesc …

    I could actually ‘see’ both Hazard and RvP being unveiled as marque signings/re-signings come the early summer; can’t see AW allowing a re-run of any kind of last year. Such signings make sense not just in terms of the team but also commercially (bums on seats).

    And if you were Hazard would you really fancy life anywhere in Manchester or down by the Fulham bus stop? None of them look particularly happy ships. At EH’s age, he may be more attracted to playing the best football rather than securing the best pay packet.

    The Cesc departure represented the end of one era for AW; one wonders whether new spending rules will now be applied that might permit such developments?

  9. My mrs is financial controller in a Canterbury college CB. I’ve asked her before but she doesn’t understand it either. Mind you I think she just couldn’t be arsed.

    If open books are written in a foreign language I still couldn’t understand them. Oh, unless it’s French.

  10. (MD Gunner/Consol – from last night’s posts – thanks for that Caravan link; a real trip down memory lane. I hesitate to mention my big brother (ArsenalPhilip) went to school with a couple of the guys out of Caravan – Simon Langton Grammar, in Canterbury, I think it was? Great album – btw!).

  11. I know, Andrew, but both players had been agitating for a move for a while before they left. We know the story of Cesc and of course PV4 leaving was not a surprise except, in the end, to him, apparently. I think that Robin is playing an active part in building and strengthening this squad. Very much in his character to take an interest in the club on and off the pitch. My guess is that we all be present at his testimonial and it will be up there with DB10s day out.

  12. Worth considering that potentially there will be a few bob made in the summer to, with possible sales of Denilson, Bendtner, Vela, Arsharvin, Chamakh, Landsbury, and maybe even Park. A big release of wages to.

    We just need to grab that top 4 finish to give Arsene every chance to have one more crack of the whip, and I don’t doubt we can re-kindle some glory with the likes of Hazard, VP signing, the return of Wilshire and Diaby, and maybe another player or two braking through.

    I feel (and fear) alot hinges on how we finish off come May?

  13. Top of the hill on the way to Sturry, Andrew?

    Lots of musicians lived in the area then. You could fall over them anywhere, one often did.

    Which college Billboy?

    I real;ly think one of us shopuld have some kind of handle on the club’s finances by now.

    I mean, are we all thick or are they really a ‘riddle wrapped in an enigma’ to use Winston’s words about our club. Or was it about something else?

  14. Hmm what’s AW playing at now? You can bet your ass on the fact he knew money remarks would create huuge waves. It always does. So the question is why now? Im guessing there are layers of communication we dont see here. Maybe a hidden message to the board? Or to Hazard? Or to someone els? AW would never comment on how much he has to earn unless he wanted someone to notice… Someone with power….

  15. JD, the thing is until you define which profit he is talking about, you can’t comment. I think it is transfer profit to augment revenue streams. That shows how poor the commercial deals are now; they were required at the time so were good. Now they are overtaken by one and all.

    I don’t think, at this moment, that he is referring to KSE targets.

  16. It’s a set back for Frimpong, a player I’m sure most hope to see make it at The Arsenal. He’ll probably have to complete his apprenticeship on loan next season. Whether he should’ve been playing in that game is another matter, but it’s just the way of things. A teenage footballer, he wouldn’t have stopped himself even if his physios had told him not to play.
    He’ll be alright.

  17. Is Bendtner injured or has the change of manager at Sunderland meant he’s fallen out of favour completely? Be interesting to see if he comes crawling back after all his “I’d never return to Arsenal” crap. I’ve not read anything on Denilson in the past few months either, I just know he got sent off a few times to begin with which seems bizarre given how he was always seemed to lack physical presence.

  18. if he is way to expensive, hope we move for someone rather than stay without signing

  19. I struggle to believe that the £20M+ profit Arsene referred to could mean from transfers. If that is the case:
    a. He has performed amazingly.
    b. Somthing has gone seriously seriously wrong at the club.

    Add to that, in the last 5 years our net profit from transfers has averaged at £6M per season we are still fallnig way short of the target. Which also means things won’t change anytime soon, and which also means that not making the CL next year may have a bigger impact than many of us had thought.

    All that said, I can’t believe that he was rferring to transfer profits. I don’t believe simply as I don’t think our club is managed that negligently.

  20. Vince,

    Bendtner has been out injured. Whether he can reclaim a starting berth up there remains to be seen.

  21. Yogi as Arseblog pointed out he used the term “season’s start” as opposed to “financial year” so it would appear to be transfer profit we are talking about, however as you point out at the moment we don’t really know for sure and won’t know unless he is quizzed further. I’ve a feeling this story isn’t going to go away.

  22. Frank – my gut feeling is you are likely to be absolutely right and there definitely are differences between RvP and the Cesc/PV cases. I always hope RvP uses Dennis B as his role model (none better, after all) and I can’t help but think he is aware of how long AW stood beside him during his injury hit years …

    Consol – yes, think it was Sturry way, although I wasn’t clever enough to go to a Grammar School myself; I went to a rufty tufty secondary modern in Thanet. Did me no harm – learnt how to spell words like rufty tufty, for starters. I might be imagining it but weren’t there far more musicians EVERYWHERE in those days?

    Sadly have to go out to do a spot of work now …

  23. We iz da ******* joke club. we haven’t go da hash to piss in. we’re supposed to be competin wiv barcelona but we’re f*ckin competin wiv norwich. wenga needs to go. e can’t evun accountant. it’s not dig nobody seun dis comin. if we had spent before thun thun da commerical dough iz gona be rollin in so, spend da ****in moolar wenga. brin in da main geeza who can teach defence, thun we wouldn’t be in dis ****in posishun. we iz gona be 30 points ahead in da table.

  24. Even if the figure does not refer to a £20M+ profit from transfers, Arsene has still performed amazingly.

  25. Why we getting hooked on Eden Hazz for when we The Ox, Gerv to come back and more importantly Ryo. Eden coming in won’t do anything good for our young ones mindset. Let chelsea or city have him. With some of the quotes I have read form him it sounds like he would be better suited there.

  26. Cbob

    The club’s finances are relatively straightforward but AW talking about them in the Belgian Press smacks more of them wanting to know how Arsenal could afford to buy him. Thus the £15-£20m comes into play. Reading around, I’m more convinced than earlier on that it is transfer profits he is referring to.

  27. At this moment in time I don’t see why Hazard would come to us. The other clubs which will no doubt bid for him will be more competative and will pay far higher wages. We may have missed our window with him I am afraid.

    Frank – I think you may be burying your head in the sand with RvP mate I am sure he loves the club, but so have plenty of other who have left. If we make the CL spots I reckon he will sign another contract, but if we don’t I honestly can see him leaving. And to be fair, at this stage in his career I would understand him doing so.

  28. bendtner. if there is one word to spoil your morning that is it.

  29. YW,

    how would that heklp convince the belgian press we can buy hazrad?

  30. Presents the image of a club with money if you consider last summer’s sales which all fall into the current financial year, korihikage.

  31. Goonerton
    Maybe Hazard would end up behind the CF, where Cese ended up and Nasri had a good spell. Though I’m a fan of Ramsey and look forward to seeing him get better and better, we need more options there, especially as sadly Diaby has failed to sustain a run in the team.

  32. Goonerton – “Why we getting hooked on Eden Hazz for when we The Ox, Gerv to come back and more importantly Ryo. Eden coming in won’t do anything good for our young ones mindset.

    Who cares if it would upset somebody like Ryo? Don’t get me wrong I want the lad to do well with us, but if we get the chance to improve the team we should do it. If that stunts his progress, so be it.

  33. YW

    thanks for clarifying.

    though i wonder if we are really getting the money. has real madrid actually paid up for anelka all those years ago?


    you know our injury history. so i say: the more the merrier.

    i think we suit hazard more than chelsea. the playing style, the players we have (so many french speakers, not really sure if he would get along with rvp and vermaelen since they are dutch-speaking)

    if he chooses chelsea, then it’s just about the money.

    of course there is a chance we might not have CL football. but if cabaye can forego that to join newcastle, if suarez can join liverpool, if vdv and co can join the spuds, i don’t see why he can’t do that.

    i think if players can think straight, hazard and goetze would come to us, with or without champs league football.

    but players either can’t, or their agents are cunts.

  34. korihikage
    “not really sure if he would get along with rvp and vermaelen since they are dutch-speaking”

    I heard that Hazard and Vermaelen are related – is this not true?

  35. I don’t think whether we are in the Champions League or not is just the driver on the prospected players side, it would also determin how much budget would be allowed on wages, considering much less TV revenue.

    I mean why would a board who won’t gamble on big signings now to secure top four and challenge for trophies, suddenly gamble on the same thing to get us back in the Champions League next season? I’d be even more suprised with big names signings if we come 5th or worse.

  36. Even if we miss out on the CL I think RVP will stay. People go on and on about winning trophies and his age and all that, but I just think he’s above all that. I have no evidence to back this up, but I really believe that RVP would rather go down a legend at Arsenal, trophyless, than move to Barcelona or Madrid, to clubs he has no connection to and have them win the glorified SPL title and/or the CL for him.

    If RVP was to win the CL or the PL with Arsenal it would mean 100 times more than winning anything with anyone else.

  37. no idea, but that part was just a joke, playing on the rivalry between wallonia and flanders

    it can get quite serious, apparently. i was with a belgian girl from flanders once in paris. and the shopkeeper was all polite, but you can’t deny that he was looking at her as though she was the enemy. you know, like looking at her with distrust cos shes the enemy of his cousins over in belgium.

  38. No. I’m not having it. Our injury record is unbelievable but, it will stop at some stage. We will come to a point where we will have quality players like Ramsey sitting on the bench unhappy. His form before the assault was on the up and he was running games.

    For me, Eden has been exposed to top class football longer than Ryo. Our kid has the same qualities but, nowhere near the same exposure which hopefully he will get.

    I was all for giving up on Diarby but, let’s just see how he gets on when he makes yet another come back. If it goes wrong again then I think we should call it a day.

  39. We will certainly learn a lot about Hazard as a person and what motivates him in the summer.

    If he want’s to join a club with an amazing set up, infrastructure, stadium and young, improving team with a long term view, then he will join us – regardless of whether we are in the CL.

    If he is motivated by the here and the now, and money, then he will probably go elsewhere.

    The profit comment by AW is strange, it would be very interesting to see what exactly he means by profit, I can’t believe for one minute that we can only run if we generate a transfer profit of £20M every season.

    If that is the case, then the move to the Emirates has been a disaster, and will continue to be until the loans are paid off.

  40. Ref RVP.
    We none of us know his mind so it isn’t facts we’re debating it’s a choice we can all make. We can choose to picture his testimonial in seven or eight years time like Frank or we we can choose to imagine him leaving us very soon as some others prefer.
    I know which I prefer. The question is why would anybody prefer to choose the other option?

  41. korihikage

    Madrid did pay up. One thing the football world does is look after its own and clubs have to pay or they are in transfer trouble with Fifa and Uefa. Sometimes, they offset fees from sales and purchases but if there is an amount due, it is paid. I was going to say “and on time” as well but according to the Arsenal accounts at the time, Madrid were late paying one installment of the fee. Anelka paid for the refurbishment of London Colney.

  42. Gunner Guru

    Not as far as I am aware but Vermaelen is Belgian so I should imagine he and Hazard would have no problem talking. Particularly since EH created TV5s only international goal.

  43. steww,

    you know those benches with the legends names outside the armoury? one of them is almost rvp’s.

    one of them was someone’s, until he chose to walk away from it.

    let’s hope rvp makes the right choice.

    unlike some people who say they won’t begrudge rvp if rvp chooses to go, i will. simply because the club and wenger has stood by him all these years.

  44. YW,

    ‘One thing the football world does is look after its own and clubs have to pay or they are in transfer trouble with Fifa and Uefa.’

    almost had to laugh when i saw fifa and uefa. they don’t have the highest standing in my eyes.

  45. Bobbins – “Even if we miss out on the CL I think RVP will stay. People go on and on about winning trophies and his age and all that, but I just think he’s above all that. I have no evidence to back this up, but I really believe that RVP would rather go down a legend at Arsenal, trophyless, than move to Barcelona or Madrid, to clubs he has no connection to and have them win the glorified SPL title and/or the CL for him.

    Do you honestly believe that? Or do you just want to believe that?

  46. Jabba's Delights

    Personally i think its very very simple as to whether RVP stays.

    If we make cl and promise him genuine improvements to make us challengers i think he stays as he loves the club.

    Failure to do do either of the other 2 and he leaves.

    Making top 4 wont be good enough for him, he wants to be a winner and he needs to see the club making steps in the right direction unlike last summer.

    Massive game this weekend and wonderful chance to see where we are at

  47. YW, I would personally wait for a report from the Belgian referee who apparently is in temporary charge of another site!

    The last Arsenal Holdings Financial Report was as clear as can be, The Emirates ticket sales do not cover the wage bill. Checking the UEFA Annual Financial Reports for the last few years, The Arsenal average annual income from the Champions League was about €30 millions. The Europa League in comparison is at best €10 millions per annum. It would seem to me that Mr Wenger was referring to the difference between 4th and 5th places in the EPL, on the finances??

  48. I agree with Matt – If Hazard chooses football, he will surely want to play under Arsene. If its money he is after, then he will have better offers. City could easily double the transfer fee and wages we offer, which is perhaps why Arsene has laid his cards firmly on the table already.

    From recent comments, it looks as though we are expecting the global recession to hit football harder. Is the recent lack of transfer activity a sign that the bubble is finally bursting?

    On Christopher Wreh. He scored some important goals for us, so I expect Park to pop up with a couple to win us a cup! Okay – I’m dreaming a little…

  49. Jabba – I think that is about right (in relation to RvP).

  50. Where did Wreh finish up? Wasn’t he George Weah’s cousin?

  51. Normally if the media says Wenger is interested that means he isn’t. With the team we got I don’t think Eden is what we need. We have to be most unluckiest team in Europe to suffer from injuries the way we have over the last forever but, we must be due a season or two without mass long term injuries and when those players come back they will playing their heart out to prove their worth.

  52. Nobody thinks it is bit arrogant saying that if Hazard chooses football he will choose us over every other team? We should not fool ourselves; the likes of Madrid/Barca/Manure are genrally a bigger draw that we are. M City and Chelsea are both competative but offer huge wages. They are still competative though.

    Choosing any of the above does not simply mean they have “chased after the money”. Some might like to make themselves feel better by sticking to that mantra, but it certainly is not true.

  53. Goonerton – “With the team we got I don’t think Eden is what we need.

    But if he is an improvement on any of our attacking players, he would hterefore improve the team. So he would be what we need. As it goes, I think we need another striker more, but he would be more than a welcome addition to the team. There is a very good reason all the top sides are looking at him; because he is an excellent player. To say we don’t need a player of his calibre is very short sighted. All teams that aspire to win things need players of that ilk.

  54. Jabba's Delights

    ”I agree with Matt – If Hazard chooses football, he will surely want to play under Arsene.”

    I think you overestimate it. Arsene ability to bring out the best in unprven youngsters is pretty much unrivaled. Hazard isnt an unproven youngster.

    He will want go somewhere where he feels he has the best chance to grow as a player whilst also competing in the top tourns. Dont take this as a guarntee, look at Nasri it was only in his final year did he start to show himself consistently.

    So much rests with us maintaining cl football if we want players like this whilst offering them nowhere near as much as the citys of this world

  55. Goonerton

    I think differently, I think Hazard is exactly what we need.

    And yes I agree that our injuries have been bad season on season, but they are not exclusive to us. United have had injuries as bad as us this term, and to key players also.

  56. goonerandy

    just to clarify: by football, i meant attacking football with flair.

    yes, barca are the experts on that, no doubt about it. i think you ask most players if they would want to go there, they would. but that’s a different story.

    can you really say man utd and chelsea play great football? real madrid, i don’t know. i don’t watch their games. but ‘mourinho’ says it all. true they have great attacking players, but all the big teams have, you know? yes, they win more than us in recent years. they are competitive. but competitive and playing nice beautiful football are different things.

    so what i was trying to say is that if hazard wants to play football he enjoys, then we are the right choice for him.

    can you not say that our philosophy is to pass the ball, play the game?

    i think we can. in fact, it’s just about the only thing we ahve left.

    but to say man utd and chelsea play football as good as ours, is..quite an insult i feel. they just play differently, that’s all.

  57. i think we have worked very hard for the past 10 years or so to make arsenal synonymous with good attacking football, alongside a select few. actually only barcelona.

    it hasnt been productive in terms of trophy, but it is still an achievement. don’t take it away from ourselves by elevating utd, chelsea’s brand of football, which is not as beautiful, but undeniably has produced the goods for them. but that’s a different story.

  58. Hazard has said before, he thinks England would suit his playing style. We don’t really know where he wants to go or why – we can only speculate. My speculation is that Arsenal are the best club for him. Having said that, I don’t expect us to sign him.

    “Bring out the Ox!”

  59. “You have to know that at every season’s start, Arsenal must imperatively make a profit of between £15m and £20m. I’d add to that that one of the missions of a coach is to always buy at a price he judges to be right”

    Those words by Arsene make little sense to me, when you consider past statements from the board member and Arsene himself. He says season start so i can see why Yogi and Asreblog think he’s referring to transfer profits, but what would we need such profits for after completing summer transfers? is that funds for January window or something?

    Or maybe he’s referring to overall profits required to pay off debts? But surely our debt repayments are deducted from income before profits are declared?

    Hopefully we’ll find some clarity to it all in the coming weeks. I can imagine journalists and other interested analysts will be pursuing the matter further.

  60. Not saying they play football as atractive as ours, but they still play decent stuff. And more importantly ( to a player), winning stuff. Top players want to win things.

  61. Jabba's Delights


    Your notion of pure attacking football is a warped one.

    City and Utd hardly play kick and rush type football, they also score allot more goals than we do.

    Real play great attacking football against everyone bar barca. We need to get away from this theory that we play the best football bar barca as for the last year we quite clearly dont.

    We need to start selling ourselves on the fact that our football will be effective, that matters much much more

  62. “Ref RVP.
    We none of us know his mind so it isn’t facts we’re debating it’s a choice we can all make. We can choose to picture his testimonial in seven or eight years time like Frank or we we can choose to imagine him leaving us very soon as some others prefer.
    I know which I prefer. The question is why would anybody prefer to choose the other option?”

    Steww, I do understand the latter mindset, whatever we hope for, we must accept the possibility of him leaving is a very real one. Given how irreplaceable he is, it could have a big knock on effect for the club. Now I don’t sit here grizzling and moaning about it (which is I believe the larger problem) – in fact I have scarcely said a word about RVP leaving – but privately, I prefer to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. A form of personal damage limitation if you will!

    It will be a difficult choice for Robin – whilst I have no doubt Wenger will gladly make him the highest ever paid player at the club and break the wage ceiling I doubt he would offer more than 130K a week. Obviously that’s just my personal guess but if we assume I am not too far out and we think of what he could earn elsewhere then that could amount to as much as £30Million.

    To an extent, we must hope he realises happiness is more important than money.

    There is something else though too – I imagine RVP is conscientious enough to realise that his leaving could have disastrous implications for Wenger and how heavily that might weigh on his mind? He must know it would further splinter the fanbase and that the media would try to further crucify the club as a two-bit selling club.

    Wenger stood by him, maybe this will come to count for something larger…

    *crosses everything*

  63. Chris Wreh was indeed the cousin of George Weah. According to Wiki, he finished playing football at the not so glamorous Bishops Stortford and finally, the ever so slightly glamorous Buckingham Town. He then played for Indonesian club Perseman Manokwari, which is what my brother often shouts out when Robin scores with his chocolate leg.

  64. And re Hazard, it is clear that Arsene rates the player. This is the 2nd or 3rd time he’s talking about the boy in such glowing terms. I don’t see it as any indication on his part that he plans to sign him though. I remember him having fond words for Benzema one time, yet was surprised when Real Madrid bought him from Lyon, which obviously means he hadn’t been following the striker’s career closely.

  65. I cannot accept this £15-20M is about transfers. That would mean a spectacular amount of lying has been going on to the fans. I expect a little cloak and dagger, as best suits the clubs needs, protecting players, the manager and the club but this would be very strange way to reveal what is essentially a gobsmacking piece of news.
    Nah – that can’t be right – if it is, why admit that now? Why so casually and without explanation?
    Does not add up.

  66. As wonderful as it is to dream, Hazard will not be wearing an Arsenal shirt. We are not on the same playing field as some other clubs in Europe and make no mistake about this, it’ll come down to money for Lille. If Arsenal were to offer 20 million, then have no doubt Man City would offer 25, we just cannot compete for the same players anymore. It is times like these where I hope to see more of the old Arsene magic of finding gems during the summer transfer period.

  67. “Bring out the Ox”

  68. For Dupsffokcuf (when he turns up!)
    Many thanks for the smiley formula for my comments 😆
    Now how do I introduce it into my emails?

  69. Those comments are quite surprising and I do not really know what to make of them. As Arseblog pointed out, that the journalist didn’t follow up on them is quite baffling. I really hope we hear more about it in the coming days. At present we can all just speculate so what exactly could the 15 – 20 m be good fore? So we can boost our cash on hand (i.e. the money used to pay the day by day running of the club?). Maybe there are big bonus payments due at the start of the season and so we need that money at that point?

    It however certainly shows, what I mentioned a couple of days ago, that even with the new stadium and our high ticket prices, that the time where we can compete properly in the transfer market is still far away. Until we can get the Nike/Emirates deal renegotiated, we will always lack in financial power and will have to due with the gems Arsene and the Arsenal scouting network can unearth. I really hope we can strike a deal as good as Liverpool have in 2014..

  70. Eden Hazard and Thomas Vermaelen are indeed related and I’m related to Alex Song, we originated from the Rift Valley… f***ing what!

  71. highbury lament

    Whether we need Hazard or not the priority is to finish in the top four.
    If we don’t the recruitment of top players is going to be very difficult as the top players want to play in the CL.
    The main reason Arteta came was the chance to play in that competition

  72. Those comments look like Wenger is speaking to the player himself, saying yeah you could earn more elsewhere, but I appreciate your talents and we could actually use you. I also agree that if the player doesn’t want to come to us then we’re better off without him anyway. I’d rather offer our best players improved contracts, then see how much we have for transfers.

  73. I agree Hazard is exactly what we need – he covers several positions is fast, balanced, tricky and creative. Could certainly score a little more but I imagine goals will come with age.
    It looks likely Arshavin will leave in the summer and so we may be able to offset some of what would be a club record signing.
    When a 21 year old is bought for money this big do they get top-end wages right away? If not then maybe we have a slim chance of competing…he must know he’d get more football with us.

  74. Jabba's Delights

    Jonny | February 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    You see Jonny i think you actually just glossed over the single biggest reasons as to why he would stay or go. I knwo this as not once has RVP ever spoken about money as being important, he speaks about winning trophies and being competative.

    We need to make top 4 and we need to show RVP that finishing 4th isnt good enough and that we will push on in a ”self sustaining” way this summer. Thats whats important and thats what needs to be debated.

    Lets destroy this notion now that its good to sign players later in the window its complete shite that our manager disporved this summer.

    The manager needs to show early this umemr that we can match rvp ambition. If we do that we keep him.

  75. jabba, andy


  76. Notoverthehill / Jonny

    The £15-20m makes sense as AW primarily ought to be thinking of the playing side, not the commercial side. There isn’t an amount of lying going on; player trading profits are part of the P&L and thus part of the whole when it comes to the self-sustaining model.

    To put this into context, finance costs in the 2010-11 accounts were £14.2m. NOTH, there is no link between wages and gate receipts. UEFA makes no link and neither do the FFP regulations. Gate receipts are about 41% of revenue. Yes, there would be a drop in revenues if ECL football disappears and it would hurt but by the same token, he would not be thinking out loud about it now.

  77. Wenger said he’d love to have Neymar. So imagine BOTH Neymar and Hazard! And the many others if you believe everything from the fourth estate.

  78. But if Arsene needs to be making £20M+ on transfer per season, and in the last 5 years our average net income has been £6M, we are way off. Which means things are not going to change anytime soon, and also means that realistically we are going to have to sell our top players on a regular basis.

  79. It still remains a startling admission that we need 15-20M profit on transfers each season no? It certainly seems to me that most people are very surprised that this could be the case.

    If Wenger knew in advance, that this was the deal, it only fills me with more respect for his achievements but it still seems distinctly at odds with past messages from Wenger and the club as a whole. Maybe it was better we didn’t know but I reiterate, why release the info now – why admit it at all??

  80. Having dropped my crystal ball this past week (when celebrating Henry’s goal), I feel incapable to contribute to today’s discussions about the future of RvP, Hazard, current players’ futures at Arsenal, or interpreting Arsene’s remarks on the clubs’ finances.

    Heartbroken, I’ll have to join the ‘wait and see’ queue. 🙂

  81. i think the comments need to be clarified.

  82. lol Jonny, I’ve seen you drooling over Hazard.

    I wrote about this a few days before the rumour mill went into overdrive: the Flemish exiles I am good friends with have spoken of Eden’s desire to play for a team, and I quote, “that isn’t a shit club with no history”. How they know this, I have no idea. I did suggest to them that it might be because everyone in Flanders is everyone else’s cousin, but in conclusion I believe the real reason is that they’d like to reinforce the old Arsenal-Belgium connection. Nothing to do with them being Arsenal fans. Nope!

  83. I’ll step in line with mattyboy! “Bring out the Ox”

  84. GA – Net transfer income (NTI) isn’t the same as transfer profits (NTP). NTI is a rough and ready of fees received – fees paid. NTP takes into account the amortisation of the transfer fee.

    Player Registrations are held in the Balance Sheet and written off over the course of the player’s contract (amortisation). Essentially the closer to the end of a players contract he is, the more profit there is to be made (potentially) as more of the cost of the transfer will have been written off.

    For example, if you sell £30m of players and buy £25m, you have an NTI of £5m. The profits however would be £20m, assuming the player cost £30m for a three year contract, 1 year remaining.

    Fee 30
    Net value (10)
    Profit 20

    Net value is the original £30m less amortisation of £20m, i.e. purchase price written off to P&L over 3 years (£10m pa), 2 years written off). If there were 2 years remaining, NTP would be £10m. If he were sold for £15m as above, NTP is £5m.

    That’s a really basic example but underlines the difference between NTI & NTP.

  85. fins

    so he could be wanting to play for a shit club with history, a non-shit club with no history, a non-shit club with history,

    at the moment, we are probably seen as a shit club with history, alongside liverpool. 😀

    of course what a player wants is one thing, what his agent wants is another.

  86. Arsenal are 20th in the transfer league table, with a net profit.
    Take out Cesc F-Word’s transfer, and the Arsenal break even, and climb to as high as about seventeenth in the transfer league table. Wow! Seventeenth! That was the interesting observation to make off that table. Factor in wages, and you might get a nosebleed as Arsenal rise to about sixth. So, what is surprising about any possible references to this £15-£20M figure?

    If I had spent time setting up the AST, I wouldn’t be trying to tell Kronke how to spend his Wonga. But I would be trying my hardest to get standing back in the ground, more variable price ranges, better returns policy…anything, everything, to change the majority of the demographic back away from a majority of middle aged, grumpy men.

  87. Jonny

    Not really surprising. The club bang on about big profits made in the past but they have all been underpinned by Property in recent times but before that, transfer fees. It’s not that Arsenal are a selling club, it’s just that we know how to sell for huge fees. It’s always been that way as well.

    As I say, sell a few of the youngsters who aren’t going to make and with sell-on fees, you are part way there. Look at Bentley for example, substantial sell-on fees for doing nothing.

  88. I didn’t gloss over it Jabbs – I just take it finishing 4th or higher is an imperative. If we don’t I don’t see him staying whatever we offer.

    Unless we win the CL.

  89. Jonny | February 7, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    lol jonny what lying ?

    the club invested 450 million to upgrade its facilities and its stadium.

    it goes without saying and its pretty self-explanatory that for a minimum of 10 to 15 years arsenal is going to buy low and sell high, use youngsters to develop them for sales. amongst other plans too.

    lying to the fans ? lol …..come on man this is business not a sport anymore…football clubs are companies like any other and rely on CUSTOMERS…….the older customers are loyal for theyve seen stuff…..the newer customers aint got a clue.

    if the board, wenger the CLUB itself had come out in 2006 saying forget titles and world class players…we have a 450 million investmnet to pay back and thats where we are focusing” …who would buy a ticket ? lol

    arsene knew and knows , thats why he compensated for them trophyless years with spectacular football…entertainment..fill up the stadium… 😉

    it is shocking that people are shocked with what wenger has just said ..i cant be the only intelligent person to have grasped that ages ago ….

  90. cheers yogi…i am free again ! 🙂

  91. I’d imagine Wenger is referring to net profit. And it’s probably to pay off the debt, which at the moment I believe is very manageable.

  92. Yogi.

    Interesting post. The issue of how much profit we need to make is a strange one. Phw arsene and Ivan have always said there is money available for player acquisition. The whole thing gets more and more mysterious as time goes on. Its hard not to become a bit cynical and wonder what is really going on behind closed doors. I understand that the club does not want to reveal all its cards. However, this is just another thing to get the fans more confused. Our PR machine is certainly plotting a strange course. If that statement is true then I guess we as fans really do need to adjust our expectations. I think it’s probably time to give up on hoping we can bring in players like hazard. If we are lucky perhaps world football will implode sometime in this decade and we will be the only club left standing

  93. Poodle | February 7, 2012 at 11:01 am

    i think it s a bit more simple ..

    ” Dont bust my balls you unknlowedgable cretins ( black bin arsenal fans), lets see you try keeping a team of 18yearolds with no experience right up there with the very best of 28-30yearolds football has to offer while having to save 20m per year in order to repay the banks quicker. world class players? lol youre ‘aving a laugh, we should be glad we aint finishing the seasons 9th or worse”

  94. Fins – yup, guilty as charged. 😉

    I saw him play against Liverpool 2 years ago and couldn’t believe how composed he looked. He just looks like an Arsenal player.

    I have a horrible feeling RM will step in for him however.

    Time will out.

  95. Very good Hunter I guess I am more naive and trusting than you, my follow up statement still stands though – If Wenger knew in advance, that this was the deal, it only fills me with more respect for his achievements but it still seems distinctly at odds with past messages from Wenger and the club as a whole. Maybe it was better we didn’t know but I reiterate, why release the info now – why admit it at all??

  96. bill there is nothing mysterious buddy

    the fans who are confused are a bit weak if you dont mind me saying…..

    the expectations should have been adjusted 6 years ago when we all saw wenger fielding a team of kids who couldnt even shave yet…….

    but unfortunately the fans prefered to listen to the media comparing us with teams who were fielding the best players money can buy …..

    and then the children in the stands got mad …and turned against their father and screamed : ” wheres my playstation!” ,,”wheres my ferrari ?”…”wheres my trip to the bahamas”…” WHERE IS MY TROPHY?????” …..

    ” shut up you ungrateful little sh*t…when you grow up and realise what it means to survive in the modern world you might learn how tough it is to build luxury houses and buy furniture from harrods, now play with your gameboy and shut up and be thankful you aint playing in the pavement with somebody else’s legos”

    i do not for one second put you in the category of those “children” i just described …im just trying to show you how some myopic fans of arsenal can be ridiculous illogical and ungrateful.

  97. Jonny | February 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm


    he could have turned and say

    ” Listen gentlemen, im Arsene Wenger, and i will not allow my name or reputation be tarnished because you want to fight the goliaths ( 200m + budgets per year) with them peanuts you give me. You wanted a new stadium, not me. If you want to fool the public do it without me. My dignity will stay intact. Au revoir and good luck”

    like in most walk of lives…you pay what you get ….when chelsea pays nearly 40 million for essien obviously theyre going for the title. when you spend 450k on fabregas obviously youre going for the looooooooooooooong run.

    details like these which are so simple and obvious to spot have been missed by them booing cretins and their black bin bags…

    but luckily this man is no mourinho and stayed while ignoring offers from elsewhere to guide arsenal through it cause obviously the people above wenger aint got a clue how to judge potential and value as good as he does. and that is the advanatge that has allowed arsenal to have a remaining debt of only 135 million on the stadium. something which was planned for 15 and 20 years has been sliced in nearly half. it is wenger;s financial logic that has allowed the board;s plans to work so succesfully.

  98. that connection between money and passion taht footy is sometims can be vey hard to understand, accept and live with..

    Its crazy to think about how our players are weight and sold or keept depending on how much money they can generate for the club. Can they help us reach a bigger market(by helping the club win and thus make sure more people like us and buy or merchandice?).
    Are they gateopeners to a new market?

    it all comes down to how sellabe an asset they are…
    Put a bit blunt the players are only comodities that are there to make us spend money on the brand Arsenal.
    The fact we feel different just plays lovley into the hands of the owners. Every new fan is a promise of more money.

    I must say i feel alot more happy when i dont think about the bigger picture, when i dont think about how i am getting conned. When i dont think about how the FA lays down strategies dependent on what they will make the most money on. If that is United then United will be granted special treatment to keep the money flowin.

    Money really is the name of the game, footy is only a nother vessel to gain it.

  99. * you get what you pay for * …oops

  100. Hunter:

    Thank heavens you are here to explain this to us feeble minded dolts. Don’t know what we would do without you!!!

    Why don’t give us a synopsis of how this is all going to play out over the rest of this decade. We are all dying to know what’s going to happen in th

  101. I saw the Hazard’s interview on TV and what he said is that he will move in the summer and most probably in England as it is the league that suits him the most. Then when the interviewer tried to get him to say which club he said that he wanted a top-club but where he will be sure of having playing time and that suited his style of football.

    with my red tinted glasses this is a description of Arsenal and when canal+ (where he made the comment) analysed it in another show, concentrating on the playing-time condition, said it most likely meant Arsenal or Chelsea and possibly the Spud if Bale moved to Barca or RM.

    They thought Man City was a no go as in his position the shitty had more than enough, while they diod not really mentionned Utd for some reason.

    Canal+ reporters have strong connection with both players and clubs in the French league and are often in the know. Regular journalist on this show includes Gilles Grimandi, Chelsea’s GK coach, Pape Diouf (ex Marseille chairman) and Charles Villneuve (ex PSG Chairman). So I definitely think Hazard joing us in the summer is a real possibility especially if you consider Grimandi’s comment on this show (the specialist) earlier in the season who said that cesc and nasri replacement was identified but the club did not want to sell this season.

  102. Hunter

    My bad accidentally hit send. Not used to typing on my iPad.

    We are all interested to know how this will all play out and when it’s safe to start hoping for some trophies.

  103. @Bill
    You can hope for trophies any season, even now we are still in with a good shout in two competitions.

    What you are talking about is when you can hope that you will see us make record signings year in, year out and just spend the bucks. And for that, while I still doubt that it will play out in the way you hope, it’ll happen in the 2014/2015 season at the earliest, because at that point we will have been able to secure new sponsorship deals because our old ones are running out. But I’ve told you that several times, it’s just you always refused to listen. Maybe now you will. 😉

  104. Jonny,
    Twas an impressive performance against what was probably a better Liverpool team then the current one.

    korihikage @ 1:44 pm
    Twas a reference to a song sung by some away fans last autumn (or at the previous away fixture) at the Bus Stop in Fulham.

  105. bill i did not insult you …i only described how some “children” who call themselves fans miss the point…..sorry if you took it the wrong way.

  106. and if you want my synopsis….arsenal fans made unnecessary noise and created unnecessary pressure to a young team that was a work in progress….. they were all made to feel losers for not winning titles off more expensive and exepreinced teams…our rivals and the anti-wemnger media hit bullseye by playing with our fickle fans minds

    the team wenger was preparing should have been judged after the cesc clichys etc hit 25-26 onwards ….

    i hope they dont do it to the next generation too…

  107. Hunter 13,

    Love your stuff. Fantastic read on Saturday, when you wiped the floor with Muga. Beautiful.

    The problem with your comments just now is not that I personally disagree with them, but there are a number of arsenal fans who may, from what I have seen of other blogs and Twitter. Not all of them are necessarily the johnny come latelys (Jonny – not you), nor the doomer brigade.

    From 1997 to 2004 we finished 8 seasons 1st or 2nd. Our positions since then have alternated between 3rd or 4th.

    The success during the period 1997 to 2003, and the 2005 FA Cup set expectations.

    We were told that in order to compete we would need to move to a new stadium. In actual fact, if I recall, it was so we could move to the next level.

    Instead, arguably, we have regressed in light of those expectations.

    Of course, most arsenal fans, particularly on here, don’t give a sh*t about those expectations. They freezed their balls off watching Arsenal bore out a draw V Sunderland in 1994 or in 1973. These fans have the genome “Herbert Chapman” – like yours.

    Unfortunately – there are a number who live for 2003-2004 and complain about expectations not being met. They don’t see that we should have regressed and cannot understand why the money is not available, or if it is available, why it is not being spent.

    To me, and this was discussed with Jonny and Consols on Saturday – the fault lies in the PR.

    This is not to apportion heavy blame on anyone. Certainly not Wenger, nor even the media department. But with some better PR, the fans expectations could have been better managed.

  108. @MUppet
    But I think that Hunter correctly pointed out that if our PR had gone out saying basically “We won’t be able to buy top class players for the next 10 years, save the odd gem that flies under everyone’s radar (I.e. TV; Kos just as an example)” I am not sure if we would’ve still been able to fill the new stadium.

  109. Evil – I agree. There are reasons why certain admissions couldn’t be made. I think private disclosures to certain fan groups like the A.S.T could have been made though. Or perhaps they were made and we don’t know about them.

  110. Fair enough Evil/Hunter but, for the third time of asking, why reveal it now or indeed at all?

  111. However in the end I think if this revelation turns out to be true (and I don’t really see why Wenger should speak false truths about that) it just goes on to make Wenger’s achievements even more incredible. Having lucrative jobs just waiting for him at Madrid and recently PSG, where he could’ve done as he pleases and probably even won the CL that has eluded him for so long, he still decided to stay here, despite those constraints, despite knowing that he will have pennies in his pockets when others will be throwing around the big money bills like it’s confetti. Makes me appreciate Wenger even more as a manager, and of course as a man. That he decided not to take the easy way out, but stay and fight this fight.

  112. @JOnny
    I honestly don’t know. I am still not sure what to make of it. It could still be a mistranslation or somesuch. I guess we will have to wait until the Friday presser to get a clearer picture.
    Maybe it has been revealed because of the protests. Considering the toxic atmosphere at times when we need unity in those tough times.

  113. Evil @2:25.

    Perhaps what u have been telling me is closer to the truth then I wanted to believe.

    There is still a lot that does not make sense but I agree that “big money signings” are probably not coming any time soon. No idea why the boss would say this now when we have never heard anything like this in the past. Perhaps, he anticipates RVP leaving in the summer and this first volley in a PR campaign to explain to fans why it has to happen. Who knows.

    Bottom line is the weather forecast for the next few years is unchanged from the current conditions. Steady drizzle with occasional thunderstorms but the hope for clearing in the distant future. 2015 is not that far away. 🙂

  114. @BIll
    I agree. I expect us to be fully competitive when we get new sponsorship deals. Just a couple of years of making CL qualification and — with hopefully FFP properly kicking in — we will be one of the big boys again.

  115. Jabba's Delights

    hunter13 | February 7, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    ”ike in most walk of lives…you pay what you get ….when chelsea pays nearly 40 million for essien obviously theyre going for the title. ”

    hunter13 | February 7, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    ”and if you want my synopsis….arsenal fans made unnecessary noise and created unnecessary pressure to a young team that was a work in progress….. ”

    You see the problem with your 2 quotes is this one. ”you pay what you get”, only as an arsenal season ticket holder you dont pay what you get do you. You pay the highest football ticket prices in the world and are then treated to much much much cheaper prices. If the fans had been told we would be crippled for 15 years i dont think you would have found many who said it was a good move. 15 years is a long time in football.

    I think the fans quite reasonably expect us to do better with the money which we create and since 2008 thats been very poorly allocated.

    Our debt is maniagable and secured there are no 2 ways around it. the club has had 2 big injections of money that HAD to be spent on the playing staff and not repaying debt over the last 3 years and fucked up on both occasions. Toure ade money went on contract renewals this was a disasterous move. moeny from cesc and nasri has still not been spent…………………this was even more disasterous

  116. I see you have Arsenal board members commenting again.

  117. Jabba's Delights

    Evil | February 7, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Our manager has come out and said the opposite to be true of this at times so why is this statement any more likely to be true than the other ones where he states we have cash and that he’s looking for ‘super players’. . In fact its fair to say our manager contradicts himself quite allot. Whether this is on purpose or not who knows.

  118. They way Hunter/Cesc paints events it is not how I remember things. It was no secret that the stadium move would impact on our ability to afford top signings. Heck, Dein didn’t want the move for precisely that reason.

    The push for more signings by a certain section of fans came with the declaration of large profits by the club. It was hard to keep convincing fans we were skint if the club kept showing off how much profit we make (note that profit figures declared has already taken account of expenses such as debt repayments).

  119. @Jabba
    Having cash and having to make a profit is not contradictory in itself. I think Yogi already explained some of the intricacies of the system, just look at his post at 1:43 pm.

    While him saying that he is looking for super players; I don’t see how you can even doubt that. He has brought top class players over the last several years to the club, or do I have to remind you of one Mr. Laurent Koscielny, nowadays considered to be among the best in his position in the EPL? It’s just that Wenger’s super players are not those, that are being traded for 30, 40 million. It’s people like Oxo (lots of potential but still not quite there yet) or Kos (simply flew under everyone’s radar) and if Wenger can find one of those, he will pay their price. I don’t think you would label either anything else but “super” (though you can also try other similar adjectives like amazing, awesome, incredible if you wish)

  120. So many assumptions going on here today

  121. Evil.

    The notion that we are skint goes against everything we have been told and against what most independent evidence would lead us to believe. Now winter urn and then the boss suddenly start to imply that we really are skint. The whole ownership issue and trying to block the fat Russian may somehow factor into what appears to be a change of course. Kronke may be getting ready to sell. Perhaps they feel the way they have handled PR has not worked and this is the start of a different plan of attack from that standpoint. . The least palatable option is that no one is on the same page. Who knows. Just more intrigue I guess.

    I hope you are right about what’s going to happen in the next few years. Hard to imagine us staying one of the big boys if we stick firmly to the self sufficient model But time will tell. Either way i agree that we will see no real change in the way things are done at least for few years No matter what happens we all go on supporting the club in our own unique way.

  122. Tell me about it Jeff!

    Evil, top players = big money signings.

  123. RE: RVP staying.

    If RVP needs a competitive team for him to stay, then where is he going?

    Can you imagine this team next season with all of our injured players back, fit and ready to go? with the youngsters that have come through having one more year experience? And what about our new signings having one year under their belts playing the Arsenal stylee?

    For some reason, I believe that RVP can see beyond what some on here are seeing. For example, Walcott has been derided by many, but RVP say’s that he will score 20 goal’s per season.

    “And he will score. Trust me, he will score. He will get 20 goals at least every season. You will see. Have faith in him.”

  124. Paul-N,
    Not to mention that Messi and the rest of the Barca team thinks he’s a good player.

  125. Jabba's Delights


    Im just pointing out that his latest statement is at odds with everything he and the board have said in the past.

    We’ve known about having to pay 16m in fixed rate interest for years. We’ve know about wanting to pay down debt quickly for years.

    You can see the years where we were struggling the most financially 2004-8 where our wages remained stagnent and our spending non existant.

    We have seen our wage bill increase rapidly since 2008 at the same time as announcing huge profits and our board saying we’ve had more money to spend on players than ever before…………is all of this not true?

    With regards to Kosciellny your right he is great but the fact remains he was a poor signing for what we were trying to do last year. Our manager said he would take more adapting than usual due to his inexperience and slight build…..boy was he right. Our manager that summer said we needed to improve our defence in order to challenge, well his one defensive buy took a year to get sorted and our defence got worse becuase of it so lets not go overboard.

    Chaberlain fee could rise to over 15m we diddnt have much cash in the summer and yet our manager decided to spend it on ox……………..he absolutely 100% muct deliver there are no 2 ways about it.

  126. Jabba's Delights

    paul n

    ”Can you imagine this team next season with all of our injured players back, fit and ready to go? with the youngsters that have come through having one more year experience? And what about our new signings having one year under their belts playing the Arsenal stylee?”

    how many fooking times is it next year?? Can you imagine this side can you imagine that side, its all bollocks. Its not just rvp its walcott and song. you cant keep selling promise and thats a fooking fact. The club paid a massive gamble in not strengthening in Jan as if we dont make top 4 rvp and the rest will leave. We arent goign to get anyone to sign on by promising them a rosy future

  127. My gut feelings are:
    1.We are no where being skint. We can afford the odd big signings if we wanted to (in fact, going by some reports we’ve bid more than 20M a couple of times or so). It just so happens that Wenger is extremely reluctant to spend, so the chances that future bids of such amounts will be made are slim, especially if our performances continue to improve

    2.We don’t NEED to make a 20M profit every season. That makes no sense, so either there’s something lost in translation, or Wenger is doing his mind tricks thingy again.

  128. YW at 13.43

    Very good example if I may say so of the basic transfer profitability. BUT in the simple £30 – £25 millions scenario you have correctly sketched out, in the UK the Sales Value added Tax less Purchase Value Added Tax, would reduce the Net Profit by £1.00, if the VAT rate is 20%. VAT is also due across the EU. Using Fabregas as an example and as the arbiter, for The Arsenal the fee was (is ?) £29.990 millions and the VAT thereon would be rounded to £6 millions. The Cesc reduction in salary from €7 millions to €6 miliions per annum for 4 years, as per El Mundo Deportivo, is payable when ??? Ignore the Cesc salary at The Arsenal reputed to be £5.76 millions per annum + bonuses that are contained in his contract, a copy of which I have not been able to filch from the EPL. The net to The Arsenal is roughly £24 millions (a further £4k is deducted for the EPL on ALL transfers).

    I will not deduct the Arteta purchase and the savings on the employers’ NHI contributions etc., etc.

    It should be pointed out that the EPL by right of participation by the clubs in the EPL, have details of ALL the players contracts, salaries, bonuses etc

  129. Agreed Henristic!

    This team is already excellent, we will be even better next year. We have gotten rid of the players who wanted out and those who stopped giving their all. Now we have a team that to me, seems as if they love Arsenal and want to right the ship.

    I also think that the youth coming through will be the core of the best Arsenal team ever.

    I am looking forward to many years of success.

  130. Jabba's Delights

    Paul N

    ”This team is already excellent, we will be even better next year.”

    This team is currently a little better than Sunderland so where you get ”excellent ” from i dont know.

    ”We have gotten rid of the players who wanted out and those who stopped giving their all.”

    No we havent most of those players are still with us as nobody can afford the quite ridiculus wages we pay them. only cesc, nasri and clichy are gone of the ones who wanted out. Theo, Song and RVP all have contracts that need sorting. We are in the same position as last season on this front only that our players out on loan havent done very well so we may well get less for them.

    ”I also think that the youth coming through will be the core of the best Arsenal team ever.”

    I mean you really are nuts. What do you knwo of Arsenal youth? The major things that come across on this board is complete love for arsene and zero understanding of our youth set up. Have you seen how the youth teams have done in the last 2 years? How many of these players stay with the club if we dont make cl consistently…..wilshere (not a fooking chance).

  131. Excellent!

    don’t waste your time responding to my post’s.

  132. Excellent team that is. Talking about Arsenal.

    The best team we have had in year’s.

  133. Henristic.

    I hope we are not skint!! However, the bottom line is that for whatever reason those of us who have been asking for “big name reinforcements” will continue to be disappointed I suspect. I don’t believe winterburn and the boss both saying this at this point are coincidence. Telling the world that we have lots of money and then not spending it has not been a top notch PR move IMO. The fall out from last summer was miserable. No one has any idea what will happen with RVP and other players this summer so perhaps a proactive change in course from PR dept.

  134. Ok ,Time for another vote .
    Jabba to never again visit this blog say “AYE”


  135. Cesc era/hunter ,Evil and Paul

    Different class .You are.Different and class as it happens.

    “Evil | February 7, 2012 at 2:43 pm
    However in the end I think if this revelation turns out to be true (and I don’t really see why Wenger should speak false truths about that) it just goes on to make Wenger’s achievements even more incredible. Having lucrative jobs just waiting for him at Madrid and recently PSG, where he could’ve done as he pleases and probably even won the CL that has eluded him for so long, he still decided to stay here, despite those constraints, despite knowing that he will have pennies in his pockets when others will be throwing around the big money bills like it’s confetti. Makes me appreciate Wenger even more as a manager, and of course as a man. That he decided not to take the easy way out, but stay and fight this fight.”

    Post of the year as yet.

  136. Notoverthehill

    VAT is indeed charged on transfers but with several provisos. Firstly on transfers between clubs in different countries, there is no VAT. So the Cesc example you use is irrelevant.

    Secondly, no-one knows if the fees quoted in the press include or exclude VAT. So we could presume it does and then find it doesn’t. Or vice versa, so the easiest thing in the world to do is ignore it for our fag packet calculations.

    Cesc’s salary is irrelevant since it doesn’t feature in any calculation on transfer profit.

  137. Jeff

    Are you assuming that or do you know for certain…

  138. Jabba's Delights


    What i find interesting about you is that when people talk tactics with you like we were on sunday it all just goes completely over your head to the point where you struggle to offer anything. Thats when we are praising the side. You then offer nothing when talking about the state of the club. Your positive comments just like paul have zero context or knowledge of the club. Just what do you know about the club apart from you hating a significant amount of their support.

    You then say i should comment as i question a bloke who talks about this excellent team and us having our greatest team waiting in the wings. Is that worng to question the sanity of a man who quite clearly has been hit on the head to many times.

    Its just completely delluded. The conversation on here today has been of allot higher standard today as it hasnt had moronic gooners such as yourself questioning anybody who questions the club.

    See you in Milan i guess……………ooops no i wont you one of those gooners who doesnt like spending money on his team.

  139. Cheers George and Likewise!

    I agree about Evil’s post. Quite sad that so many overlook these facts because we have no won anything lately.

  140. YW
    You forgot to say aye

  141. Couldn’t agree more Bill, our PR dept has been disastrous over the past while and even today! The internet is full of what Arsene said to a foreign journo. As long as the Club don’t clarify what he meant, then the speculation that is rife (not least on this site) will continue. Unfortunately you can’t help but think this will be Arsene himself in Friday’s press conference when he should be talking about the Sunderland game.

  142. Talking of fans, I recommend reading the editorial in the new When Saturday Comes which concerns itself with Arsenal supporters. I really do recommend it to everyone. Well, to all but Jabba. You won’t like it…

  143. One more thing, it is noted world wide that Arsenal play the best football in England. To suggest that we have been hoodwinked into believing that is to suggest that most people in football have somehow been hoodwinked also. If I had a dollar for everytime some one said that Arsenal are the best team to watch in the PL, I would be a rich man.

  144. YW .where can I find it?
    I am not too good with computermybobs

  145. Goodness me. My beautiful football has the stain of VAT on it.

  146. I will respond to you Jabba, since you say I lack context.

    For me, I don’t care about PR or finances. I don’t care that money is in the bank that seems to worry you and many others all the time. I don’t care about what players get paid and who is injured and “milking” the club. I care that the team is ran correctly and that I can enjoy some football. For me, both are being done.(If you think you can do a better job than those currently doing it, then go ahead. Prove yourself to be able to get it done and not just run your mouth about it all the time.)

    That is not say that other should not care but it does not interest me in the least. So, discuss it by all mean’s but I have nothing to contribute towards that end. I simply believe in the team, against all odds. If we come up short this season, I look forward to next season (and so on) trusting that Wenger will get it right.

    Its very simple for me!

    Anyway, you obvioulsy know everything, so there is nothing to even discuss.

  147. Paul
    I don’t understand why people cant see the joy of this team,this season and even the predicament we now find ourselves in.
    Why do people choose to be miserable rather than happy?
    I don’t get it.
    Be down after a poor result.But get back up and enjoy life and Arsenal

  148. “Be down after a poor result.But get back up and enjoy life and Arsenal”

    As simple as that George.

    The sad thing is that they want to drag you into the mire with them and if you don’t go you are deluded.

    They behave as if we cannot see where we are in the table, what the early season was and how we had a dip in form recently. I see all of that but surely you can see that we have a team that has much more potential than 6th or 7th place! The squad is full of talent.

  149. Muppet | February 7, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    You the smae one with them rap posts right? hehe top humour , respect..!
    and yes the muga3S of this world are either dumb or doing it on purpose ( ie some sinister agenda going on). in any case they aint logical. as for your comment here :

    “We were told that in order to compete we would need to move to a new stadium. In actual fact, if I recall, it was so we could move to the next level.”

    Yep i remember that too and thats the general idea, the next level, but for a club that wants to do it on its own resources that next level will take a few years. Because this time Arsenal aint just going for a short spell of dominance (wenger first 6 years) or ala chelski and then have an ageing squad with massive wage bills to juggle with. Its not about short term where you want to get up the top rival;s face and get trophies. Now we are going for an empire that will last because the foundations will be players from within the club itself, the “soul”, the booers want.

    Even if wenger had won the title with the mix of 2nd rate mercenaries, crippled nobodies and young foreigners it would not be sustainable. It would have been a firework, an illogical triumph, a one-season wonder. Now that the first crop got burnt, the second crop will be more determined, plus the majority of them are english/brittish and have grown together (barca). the sad fact the first crop didnt reach the source is perfectly expectable when you consider the outside pressure – totally unacceptable on behalf of our own fans.

    People keep saying ” why is x on y amount of pounds per week ?!”. Because most of the times he is worth it. Its his income for the service he gives to the club. Diabby doesnt know if he is going to play again, because it was considered ok for opposition to get stuck in the soft arsenal youngsters. We are dealing with an environment that considers it ok to make brutal assaults to our players, and a refereeing system that treated us with contempt and mocked our right to equal and fair competition. We all know controversy sells. We all know media portray a picture of “1st = everything / 2nd = nothing”. If someone wants to take revenge for something there are plenty he can exploit. If someone wants to cause harm to arsenal there is plenty to choose from. The public , most of times is a herd of sheep. If you play the right notes they will follow. Now whether its rivals, whether its patriotic bias against the foreign invaders, whether its dein with usmanov, or whether tis plain old stupidity i dont know…….

    What i do know is that according to the prinicples i consider correct in the game and in the morals of football, in wenger i have the perfect representative. I want my team to play football his way, and i want my team to be modest and focused on perfection, and i want my club;s manager to ooze class and intelligence and not be some peasant or urangotang. i want to see the conveyor belt keep bring up production lines one after the other. I want health, security and stability for my arsenal and most of all not have a circus club where managers/players come and go like rockstars or an owner who will risk the clubs past and future just to get a trophy or two. and monsiur wenger offers all that and a hell of a lot more (the small matter of 3 epl titles 4 f.a cups ch.l/uefa finals, a state of the art stadium etc etc) the last 15 years. and all that for a mere 4,7m per year whatever it is pre vat? lol….what he has done for us is priceless fullstop. only a madman would have complaints.

    We will win trophies again. Thats a fact. The work and preparation weve done will pay dividents. Whether arsene will be here to witness it , i cant know. But when arsenal starts winning and their young players manage to defeat the demons inside them and take that step, arsenal will remain in that next level for many many years and the records of the traditional liverpools and manchesters (the pride of english football history) will see the red and white tsunami of that “arsene who?” geeky looking fella threatening to wash all of them away. would the oldschool lords drinking tea behind the scenes of football want that?

    fuck them all arsene …with my blessings ! for arsenal! for all the sh*t our players have had to deal with. for all the disrespect the media and rivals show you, for all them chants you hear in them civilised stadiums you visit up norht them cold winter afternoons. for diabby, for eduardo, for ramsey ! for all our away fans who through rain and cold are there to at least form shield of protection and support. And the next time the home crowd boos, you take the team and walk off the field. If they cant respect what they see around them and how we got it….. fuckem they aint worth it.

    but you see he is too correct an individual to do that ….:)

  150. jabba you are boring…arsenal can not win titles with eboue walcott and fabregas when the opposition fields essien lampard and drgba or giggs scholes and van de have to understand it mate.

    maybe in a few years when im done with the stadium repayment ill be able to buy vieiras again and give you trophies in abundance but until then i have to play with walcott….i doubt ill be able to win trophies for you till walcott matures…in the meantime at least ill offer you flair football so that you dont feel your money is wasted on watching something boring…little theo here needs your backing not you spitting at him…please have some common sense. here to support? or cry?

    if you want to cry, heres your money back and go cry somewhere else, my players need support. not moaners. can you not understand it?

    sorry for doing it in a’ personal but how else can you get it ?

  151. hey george 😉 im preparing remix of reservoir dogs ost hit “little black bag”

    guess who its for 🙂 hehe..

  152. jabba …in the end of the day write a letter of complaints to arsenal offices like disatisfied customers do in kfc and get done with it.

    print your penis on the page where they ask for season ticket renewal and send it back to them with the words..not a dime out of me you scumbags…. if thats how you feel

    and you know what…booing th eplayers to let them know they were below par i can accept in some occasions ..but disrespecting the manager ? this manager? nah man never….how can you do that? only shallow people would do that …..

  153. Another falsehood from Jabba.

    We have the most expensive Season Ticket in the world.

    A common statement from the Doomer’s – and completely untrue.

    I have factually argued against this point before on numerous blogs – one in particular, until I was binned – suprise suprise.

    But why let facts get in the way of the Doomers agenda.

  154. Hello everyone. I for one am against bringing in a player or two at 30 or 40 mil each. Even though Hazard and Goetz and Shakire and the likes of them are fantastic players. I would rather have THE ARSENAL strengthen by promotion from within and/or. Bringing in a good squad players that can come in a do a job for us. A good team based on squad players with good rotation to give it a go on four fronts. just my two cents…
    hope the gelling continues and starts cementing.

    UP THE GUNS!!!!!!!!!

  155. By the way – How do you improve on going the whole season unbeaten??

    Is it not difficult to understand that was a once in a lifetime experience, and we were there (well some of us) to see it!

    I bet certain people still moaned all through that season….

  156. Muppet | February 7, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Really agree with all of this – it’s not a new debate but it is a recurring one as over and over we find ourselves discussing what is really meant by this or that announcement from AW or whoever from the club.

    It’s not a criticism of the manager or the club, per se, but it is an area where, in my opinion they could score an easy win with the club’s own fans as well as enable the club to go onto the front foot in the media ‘war’ when things don’t go our way on the field following outrageous fortune or, more likely, poor refereeing.

    Again, as you say, ‘proper’ fans who can recall darker or more difficult days, don’t require this of the club, but the waverers, the not-too-sures, those that are all to easily led by the media message of any given day – and anyone who thinks they are in any way qualified to question the actions of the club and its manager would probably be quite well served by an aggressive PR machine.

    The club will never be 100% transparent in it’s work – and neither should it be – but engaging with the fan base and even our enemies in the media may reap rewards that could help the club get through a surprising number of setbacks that would otherwise cause difficulties.

    It doesn’t matter all that much to me personally, but the fact we have on this blog spent time today discussing the finer points of international VAT rates and speculating as to the ‘true’ nature of AW’s £20 mill profits is pretty telling in this regard.

  157. And another thing – Wilshere is the best young player I have seen since a young Paul Gascoine, and Chamberlain is not far behind, so in those 2 we have the future of this club, and they are going nowhere soon, with or without CL.

    Hopefully Robin can see that, and also remembers the loyalty we have shown him through all of his injury problems over the last 7 years.

    My gut feel is it is 50-50 with Robin, although every time I hear him speak I am impressed with how he has matured, so would love for him to do the right thing (!!) and stay.

  158. For the record, I think Hazard will come to Arsenal. Don’t know why, but I feel so.

  159. RvP will stay because he is now not only part of the project but one of those responsible for it. At Arsenal he finds himself in a unique position. Besides he wants to play forever and only one regime will help him to extend his playing life.

    This, my friends, is the default position. It would take something monumental to happen to shake him from his resolve. Mark my words.

  160. Frank @ 6:17:

    History argues against but I hope you are right.

    Paul @ 5:56:

    History argues against that but it would be truly awesome. Hope you are right.

    Hunter@ 5:11:


  161. History? What has history got to do with it? This is about the here and now and if anything the future, regarding one particular player.

  162. I agree with Frank.

  163. Why would one of the top strikers in European football stay at a club where won’t be playing CL football? He might, but it is doubtful Even more at the current stage in his career. If players like Henry left, why would RvP not?

  164. YW’
    Please could you give me a link of the recent editorial about Arsenal on When Saturday comes?

  165. To clarify; if we miss out on the CL places.

  166. You reckon that if TH14 ate dogshit, RvP would do the same?

  167. Anyway on to proper footballing issues, i believe that if Rosicky can continue playing the way he has in the last 3 matches, then our season is going to take turn for good. Not that Aaron isnt good, but the pace and link up play he does with the wingers is truly a joy to watch.

    Here’s to hoping he has a run i the team with no more injuries this season

  168. Well I’m just going to hope Frank and Paul are on the money – I have no gut feelings on that but I do still fancy us for at least 4th. As has been well noted by some we were playing much better than points merited until the last game and there are players coming back (Diaby by the end of the month I’m reliably informed!).

  169. Diaby Diaby Diaby………… to my ears

  170. I doubt whether one season of non European Champions League football will dent his resolve to continue the work he is doing at Arsenal.

  171. Frank

    Believe whatever you like. I don’t necessarily agree with you but I hope you are right. Guessing what will happen based on what has happened in the past is imperfect, but it is the best predictor we have.

  172. “Be down after a poor result.But get back up and enjoy life and Arsenal”

    exactly PG.

    Its such a shame that so many Arsenal fans are just so bitter, saying more negative things about the club than what a rival fan would say.

  173. Frank:

    Do you honestly think RVP (or anyone) would turn down an extra 20 – 30 million to continue his work at arsenal as opposed to real Madrid or somewhere else with similar long term goals as ours? If so you have a lot of faith. I wish you could somehow influence the outcome.

  174. YW – didn’t read the last posts, but surely you must wonder if anybody appreciates your punning headlines.. Hazardous was pure brilliance; some of us prefer to think, and then hover..[yet more unnoticed humour]. Evenin’ all!

  175. Steww @6.44 – I’m guessing we can take that as a given. 😉

    Jeff @6.54 – agreed. I’d love Mini-Mozart to have a run in the side – don’t know if his body is up to it but, presently, he adds more than young Ramsey

  176. Bill,I believe RVP will be financially better off staying with Arsenal.
    Because after he is no longer the focal striker he can drop deeper as our play-maker ,as DB10 did.He could play another 8 years with Arsenal.
    He will also get sponsorship’s as the main man which would perhaps go to another player at a different club.
    When Dennis retired he was second in the fortune stakes only to Beckham.
    It is not all about wages.

  177. Hunter13/ArsenalAndrew,

    Thanks for feedback on comments. Yes, agree on both responses – 100%.

  178. Muppet’s post hits the nail.

    I admire greatly Hunter’s exposition of where we are going. I think he may be right but the issue is, does the new Board have the same agenda as that when the ‘project started?

    Maybe but we don’t know.

    I also don’t understand if the ‘profit’ goes towards paying down the debt prior to our bid for world domination. If so, did we not expewct to pay off our debt in the usual way, ie, within term, or was the intention always to pay it off ASAP.

    I don’t understand.

  179. Expewct you will be haunted by QWERTY & the Cider mix, consols.. Frankly, does anyone truly understand what is going on? It’s mixed-messages time..

  180. George.

    I had not thought of that. However there is probably just as much or more endorsement money elsewhere (dont know for sure). In Dennis’ day i think we were much more competitive financially. Certainly we were a lot closer with regards to what we were willing to spend in the transfer market in the first part of the arsene years so I assume (without knowing for sure) that we were more competitive wage wise. The problem now is the wage differentials are much larger both in real and percentage terms and the players agents seem to have more influence. That’s not the clubs fault or wengers fault but it seems to be the reality now.

  181. Bob.
    Perhaps the change of board also changed the long term goals?
    Perhaps the paying down of debt was to make the club a more attractive proposition for possible bidders.?

  182. How bad do we have to get before we are rid of Jib/Sug etc.
    Perhaps outside of the precious top four,
    Might be a price well worth paying

  183. I don’t think RVP is going anywhere either. Regardless of us making the Champions league or not. We have some excellent young players, perhaps more loyal this time. And I think RVP would like to lead them and also pay back Arsene for persisting with him all these years despite his injuries. RVP is an artist not a football player, or at least that is my impression of him. And I doubt he would leave this club at any stage.

  184. Perhaps george. Is that a good thing for us, or for the owners only?

    I don’t know. Again.

    Ponyboy. Bwollocks!

    “I know where you came from…”

    Everyone else has forgotten. Post more often my friend. You talk more sense than most.

  185. Ah, now Ateeb’s here, another astute poster who doesn’t post enough.

    There was a milkshake bar next to the pub on Saturday. I looked for you.

  186. Well if a chap is skint, on his uppers so to speak, then I am sure that he would bite the hand off of anyone who offered £30m over five years. Bite their hand right off, without a shadow of doubt, and thats a plain fact.

    However, if this same chap happens already to be earning £3-4m per year, and is about to get a ‘raise’, then the fellow might be more inclined to pay heed to other aspects of his life other than the financial ones.

    You see my old gramps used to say ‘Integrity, Fraynkie, integrity. Theres sam as as it, aind sam as don’t’. Pay no attention to them as asnt as we’ll pay them later. Them as as it will ave reward enaff from their consciences see and won’t need payin, or not as mach anyways. Them as ain’t got it never stop wantin to be paid and in the end they ends ap as losers’. I can still here him now.

  187. ..and I can hear him too

  188. I didn’t know about it. I found out (deciphered) during the match, due to the lack of posters and latter comments. Don’t worry, I will come to Devon if need be, to meet you before going back home.

  189. CBob (yesterday)
    “Still I’m impressed that MD actually went to University, although wasn’t Leicester actually a ‘Polytechnic’. You know where those not bright enough for University used to go?”
    “Often did cooking courses, that sort of thing.”

    You cheeky Devon bugger! I went to the proper Leicester Uni (the poly became De Montfort Uni after I finished). We had two very nice cleaning ladies who used to wake us up at about 11.00 am with tea and toast in the communal kitchen (just so they could get in to clean the bedrooms).
    Used to watch Leicester City sometimes – Len Glover, the winger, was the team’s hero. I heard he much later did some time for laundering cannabis money. Met Peter Hain on the Stop the Springboks Tour, saw Jethro Tull, The Nice and Savoy Blues Band on the same bill, drank M&B mild all the time, jumpers for goalposts…..

  190. yes but Leicester??….jeeez

  191. Ateeb/ like ur style and like me I think RVP’s love for Theo and all of the up and coming players might swing the day

  192. Actually I quite like Leicester. My niece lives there and my mothers family are from Leicestershire. The family owned the Dog and Hedgehog in Dadlington for several generations until my great grandad drank the profits. Still a picture of my Grandad on the wall in his football team, or so I believe.

  193. @arsenalandrew

    Went to see Caravan at The Rainbow in 1970something, thought I was going to a Bowie concert for some reason. Therefore, was dressed inappropriately, got some funny looks. Great gig though. The dog, the dog, he’s at it again.

  194. I have it on good authority that one of the young ladies in our family played rumpty pumpy with Henry Tudor when he popped in for swifty on his way to Bosworth Field. So you may well be chewing the fat with royalty here.

  195. George @ 7:45.

    I suspect you are right and if true doesn’t that burn your buns a little bit. Altering the debt repayment plan and putting the club thru some really tough years to keep share price high. The worst part of that scenario is the ticket price increases, was that also to pay off debt sooner? All those things are the boards decision and I understand why they would do that but its not necessarily fan friendly. New ownership and it’s lack of communication raises concern for another change in plan in the future. When will they start to reinvest in the club? When the stadium is paid off completely? Who knows? Agree with ponyboy @7:43.

  196. Yes, Frank, it wasn’t all bad. When I was there it still had industries based on potatoes and shoes and Fox’s biscuits (one of the Hall’s annexes was a former home of the Fox family where a daughter had drowned herself in the pool).
    Lots of nice country pubs that used to be open all day, before 24-hour opening.

  197. Richard III was robbed at Bosworth Field. One of Howard Webb’s ancestors was officiating that day.

  198. Fabulous pubs and a very old landscape. Some of the hedgerows go back 1000 years or more..

    I am given to understand that Simon de Montfort was a right fucker though. Got chopped up for his trouble. Not surprising though, his dad was the psychopath who did for the Cathars.

  199. Tut tut MD, a bit touchy for a pasty knobbler.

    Anytime Ateeb.

  200. They reckoned that they could’nt hear the refs whistle in all the clatter

  201. Is there a more miserable bastard then Kenny Dalgliesh, not only does he condone racist behaviour, I cannot understand the cunt’

  202. Historically, CBob, Essex Men have had previous with Men of Kent.

    Frank – didn’t that Simon create Parliament? Another reason not to invite him round for dinner.

  203. Bill I don’t concern myself with the whys and wherefores of what the board do.
    I know almost nothing about it and less about what they should do.
    Unlike Jabba and his ilk I do not think I am better qualified to run a huge business than they are.

  204. Spy,In his home country he would be called “crabette”

  205. hunter 13 @ 5:11 ,
    brilliant post, this should be copied and pasted every time we have a setback and the boo boys are crowing, made into a massive banner hung outside the emms with the title for all those who enter here and finished with less we forget

  206. yes ponyboy i do….

    the owners are not sharks enough or dodgy enough or street-wise enough to take on manchester united, chelsea, city and the rest in the game of “spend spend spend” and control of the decission centres.

    having wenger as a manager, a strict technocrat, they opted for the moral approach, the ajax approach. Academies, scouting, production lines……and if it clicks we win titles…if not we keep going for the next production line. Thats what Ajax does and they have won 4 big ones and have created generations which have changed european football. However Ajax does that for a while, rises, and then disappears. We cant say that ajax has been competing with the barcas inters manunited can we? So Arsenal opts to combine the two by making their own players and integrating them with what they can afford. what they can afford is limited, therefore they will built a stadium to sell more tickets and increase their income, they will develop the club;s brand name and milk it from here to japan. At some point, and when the stadium cost does nto burden the club, the manager will be given more funds to achieve the target the owner wants.

    do the owners really want to take on manchester united and liverpool madrid barca and the rest? do they really? maybe they do maybe they dont. what i see is that wenger can deal with them all on the pitch. but is the ownership prepared to get dirty? is the onwership prepared to get inside f.a, uefa media and bully them all? to protect arsenal;s interest against anyone? if you wanna be big you have to act big. if you want to enter the arena of all them sharks and bite them you must become a shark yourself. and be prepared for counters…..will the owner or owners they have the guts for it? wenger does..he shows it every week….the owners? hidding behind it all and not coming out to support their man from media and fans backlash? i think you have the intelligence to understand what i mean. you either do it like moratti, perez, silvio, roman, sheikh monsour, or you do it like ajax porto barcelona arsenal… the first case i mentioned the second the clubs.

  207. “By the way – How do you improve on going the whole season unbeaten??

    Is it not difficult to understand that was a once in a lifetime experience, and we were there (well some of us) to see it!

    I bet certain people still moaned all through that season….”

    They did Matt, they thought there were too many draws!

  208. George:

    Fair enough. You raised the question In reality none of us really understand what’s going on which is a big part of the problem, I think. The sweet spot between revealing too much and not revealing enough is hard to hit.

  209. George/ I have a few Scots friends and none of them are like Dalgliesh, perhaps he has an inferiority complex( pertaining to the English) ha!

  210. Bill I feel better qualified to ask questions than give answers.
    That goes for most things in my life.

  211. Bill, is this need to know a part of american sports also? just trying to figure it out.

  212. Unlike Jabba and his ilk I do not think I am better qualified to run a huge business than they are.


    bill, Bill | February 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm
    When will they start to reinvest in the club? When the stadium is paid off completely?

    you got it !

  213. Spy (8.38 pm) – you’re right, “King” Kenny is really not doing himself – or his club – any favours, is he?

    Suspect Suarez will have his cards marked by the refs now – not so much for his racism charge but for his assault on Parker last night amongst other incidents; Dalgleish is simply drawing more and more attention upon his own ignorance and the shortcomings of his supposedly star player …

    MD Gunner – not sure what’s impressing me more at this point; the fact you went to see Caravan in the ’70’s – or that you remember thinking you were going to see David Bowie!!!

    I once went to White Hart Lane with a Spurs supporting pal expecting to see a football match but we all make mistakes.

  214. I love this place.
    So many good people.

  215. My thoughts for next season (but what do I know)




    A SONG
    M VORM




  216. VERTONGEN before Kosser?
    You are right when you say
    what do I know!
    Baines before Santos?

    Dear me ,to coin a Frankism

  217. Paul.

    Same questions would be asked by fans in American sports. Tom hicks owned the Texas rangers for many years. . He left and we have been in 2 world series, certainly no coincidence. You want to see the club do as well as possible given its resources. Not comparing Tom hicks and the rangers to arsenal but the point is that fans like to know this sort of stuff. I don’t think that’s a bad thing.


    Ok. I guess you must know silent Stan. Tell him hello from me.

  218. You want to see the club do as well as possible given its resources.

    I think we do.

  219. Love this place/ ur the best of em George

  220. Gotze before Ramsey?

  221. Haha Vertongen ahead of Koscielny. You are on a wind-up, aren’t you?

  222. Hunter 13,

    I think, with respect to your comments about the Ajax model, that you have reminded us of our own academy, and the work at Hale End and London Colney. As you probably know, and as OneOfUs has informed us, the name of the Ajax academy is De Toekoms, meaning “To The Future”, where I would imagine, grown men stood and spoke in whispers when the genius of Dennis Bergkamp began to unravel before their eyes.

    We have that same set up. As you say, a production line, with a view of churning out generations of players to achieve not just success in spurts, but domination. The doomers have made us believe, to such an extent, that this is just a failed Wenger youth experiment, with the likes of Denilson, Vela, Bendtner – all vilified.

    But this is a negative view. Look at the established latest crop – Szczesny, Coquelin, Gibbs, Wilshere – all players now with assured futures. Players on the cusp – Myiachi, Henderson, Miquel, Afobe, Bartley, Frimpong, Yennaris. Players waiting in the wings – Wellington, Aneke, Ozyakup, Ebecillo, Ansah.

    I don’t know too much about the calibre of the last set of players, but I have total faith that a programme that was put into operation around 10 years ago is already yielding results, and will produce results of incremental quality, as time goes on. All players coming through will be schooled in technical excellence. All will have the Arsenal DNA.

    And as you say, the likes of Barcelona supplement their youth by heavy spending on transfers. We can’t afford that, but we also supplement our youth with youth signings – look at Ramsey, Jenkinson and Chamberlain. I don’t know of any 20 year old midfield premiership player who plays with the verve and command of Ramsey, nor have I seen an 18 year old produce the performance of Chamberlain at Blackburn.

    It is as you say, up to us to be patient now. If this project is seen through and not, by folly, broken up for short term gain (a la chavs), then the prospect in my view is frightening. We will have players who want to die for the shirt, with massive sell on fees which will in turn create a financial dominance as well.

  223. Hunter /Cesc has an appreciation and acceptance of Arsene that I can not fault.
    If I knew the opposite of “a feeling of entitlement” I would call him that.

  224. Interesting discussions re Arsene’s alleged comments, which as usual have been partially and selectively reported in the English media. I’m with Paul on this, that I neither know nor care about this stuff, but for those of you that do I found this on twitter via @czarsenal

  225. Vertongen is as important to Ajax as Vermalen is to us. I have watched him alot in the eredivisie.
    Kossa is immense but still growing as a player and the more i watch him play from block 30 the more i see of vermalen in his play. Movement anticipation the angles in which he challenges. His timing is getting better and actually he is really very quick. I saw him out pace holliet on saturday. But right now Vertongen is the more complete player. This is not to say i would be unhappy with Vermalen and Kossa which i think is our strongest center back partnership. The sooner we get a full strength back line in front of Wojciech the better. Hes had so many different back line combinations in front of him..

  226. @jeff yes if rambo cant become more clinical in front of goal..

  227. muppet i agree with the way you look at it. same for me. what the doomers dont get is that when one of your generations hits it big time ..the ones in the production lines further back will want to emulate or even better it. that keeps the success or the thirst for success continuous.

    its what fergie does at manchester only he does not wait for the youngsters to go through mature phase. Not only does he have purchase power and access to buy creame de la creame of young talent but also the wages to keep the rios giggs vandsars vidic etc to keep a cool head when the stakes are high. Wenger was denied opportunity to keep his legends because they wanted to make the most of them while they could to get on with their stadium plans.

  228. Bill, there is pressure in sports and people complain no matter where you are but I don’t remember this need to know so much.

    Not sure what good knowing is if people expect the club to do what they think is right.

    I mean, you have already spent this $50 mil, how many times over?


  229. “From 1997 to 2004 we finished 8 seasons 1st or 2nd. Our positions since then have alternated between 3rd or 4th.

    The success during the period 1997 to 2003, and the 2005 FA Cup set expectations.

    We were told that in order to compete we would need to move to a new stadium. In actual fact, if I recall, it was so we could move to the next level.

    Instead, arguably, we have regressed in light of those expectations.”

    But the landscape changed from when we embarked on the stadium building project. Roman Abramovich and all that has followed has not just moved the goal posts, it’s ripped them out and moved them to a new pitch. The wage inflation and player power that has ensued has made it impossible for Arsenal to compete with the nouveau rich on its own self-generated resources when a significant chunk also has to go out to pay off the debt. The club and manager has told the fans in every single way possible that this is the case, but the people who need to hear it are just running around with their fingers in their ears saying ‘la, la, la, I’m not listening, we were lied to blah, blah, blah’! No amount of PR is going to change the message or make people hear what they don’t want to hear. I’ve seen it on here many times whereby people would rather believe agenda driven media BS, than the official website aka ‘Pravda’. How is PR going to change that?

  230. and muppet the other day i was checking photos in arsenal web and i found wilshere and frimpong ..they must be 9 or ten years old…lol…..these guys are growing together..hating tottenham and manchester, chelsea and all of them together!

    it made me so proud of what wenger has done…you know why ? cause if it works not only will it be good for arsenal but wenger will be able to raise his middle finger to the english f.a and media and say ” here are the english players you were complaining about, now they can play football properly…plus they have much better characters than pennant, bentley and are a lot less scumbags than cole terry and rooney “

  231. “hunter13 | February 7, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    and if you want my synopsis….arsenal fans made unnecessary noise and created unnecessary pressure to a young team that was a work in progress….. they were all made to feel losers for not winning titles off more expensive and exepreinced teams…our rivals and the anti-wemnger media hit bullseye by playing with our fickle fans minds

    the team wenger was preparing should have been judged after the cesc clichys etc hit 25-26 onwards ….

    i hope they dont do it to the next generation too…”

    Post of the day and I think it’s why that generation did not work out. They lost their nerve in the face of the onslaught from fans and media. Last summer must have been really hard for Arsene when even he could no longer sustain their belief and had to let them go. I’m still optimistic that a more mature RVP is exactly the on field second in command that Arsene needs to lead this next generation to success.

  232. Last summer must have been really hard for Arsene when even he could no longer sustain their belief and had to let them go.

    like a dagger in the heart …and then another dagger in the nuts…and then another in the back…

  233. Paul @ 9:59:

    “I mean, you have already spent this $50 mil, how many times over?


    Touche’ good one 😆

  234. Passenal,

    I don’t think it’s a case of questioning the club and making them use PR to cover up any failings. I think our successes are not highlighted enough and that PR should be used to protect the club from coming under attack by the moron fraternity.

    Would you believe in the last 6 years, we have had the best results in european history ? 1 final, 1 semi final and 2 quarter finals. Yet we are portrayed as being a failure. It is an unbelievable slant.

    Sure, Wenger has coined “Financial Doping” – and he has gone on the attack. Gazidis too, has gone on the offensive. But before that, there were mixed messages. The late Fizman claimed Arsene had money to spend (30m). I don’t recall anything from Edelman.

    Now, there are weekly Twitter messages from Tim Payton, complaining about supposed funds in our transfer budget not being used. I am not complaining about this. I am observing others complaining. I make the jump that PR is a problem because I see a lack of communication. Sure, a percentage never want to listen, but there may be waverers that can be reached. My attitude ultimately, is to say – fuck em. But I just try and make an observation about some contributing factors to the perceptions and attitudes that a minority hold.

  235. right passenal..imagine being 17 and 18 and 19 …and stepping in front of thousands and being viewed by millions and expected to beat drogba and giggs……..

    wenger had to keep them in cotton wool..depressurise the dressing room..,he was throwing lambs to the slaughter knowingly but he did it for a good reason ( the strong will survive).

    all this needed support and shield of protection at least from the arsenal fans

    sadly some of them viewed it very egoistically …as if its the fans feelings that are important and not the health of the squad.

    ” i pay therefore i have demands” ………although i can get where they come from when they say that , i cant agree with them. a customer thinks that way ..not a fan.

    the fan is there win lose or draw. nothing else. the more you hurt me the more i want you kind of relationship

  236. Looks as though Djourou has signed a new contract – great stuff, a very useful squad member.

  237. My first comment on ACLF, and not much to say that hasn’t already been said..Wenger wants/needs to make profits every year, we know. Hazard signing is nothing more than a far-fetched dream but its the hope that keeps us going as fans. Hope of that big signing,hope of the team turning things around, hope of AW realising some of his mistakes.. We just have to keep hoping, monday-friday and when Saturday rolls around support OUR boys..cuz at the end of the day that’s what they are. OUR boys, OUR club.

  238. Muppet, for me that is the best comment as far as PR that I have read. Very fair.

  239. Would you believe in the last 6 years, we have had the best results in european history ? 1 final, 1 semi final and 2 quarter finals. Yet we are portrayed as being a failure. It is an unbelievable slant.


    between 96-06 wenger won 3 epl titles 4 f.a cups 4 com shields, a final in uefa, a final in ch.league, a record in champiosn league defence, an unbeaten season and a new stadium

    in the last decade between 02-12 we have won 2 epl titles 3 fa cups 2 com shields, a chmp league final, semis , and quarters and has gone 6 years trophyless while placing arsenal among the 5 richest clubs in football in the middle of a massive stadium transition.

    hahaha …what a failure ….

  240. Don’t tell Luke that Jonny. He has him sold and has put some of our best players on the bench to make room for some players who are not as good.

  241. Muppet:

    I agree with Passenal and I think we would already have been well over the hump with “the project” if Abramovich had not come into the picture, but unfortunately he did, and Man City and PSG and Real and Barca etc etc are ruining what could have been.

    Ultimately its clear that in order for the world domination you predict to occur we will have to be financially dominant also. Its seems clear we will not keep our best players without being able to pay top wages. I just don’t know if our current financial model can support that even after we pay off the stadium. All we can ask is that our ownership uses all the available resources to give us the best chance of success. Time will tell how it all plays out. .

  242. bravo johan !

  243. Passsenal – I guess I’m just weary of daily reading in the papers or hearing on the radio/tv the monotonous mountain of half-truths and lazy journalistic pieces that cumulatively represent a combined attack on the club I love.

    I find it particularly galling when it’s supposedly Arsenal fans being interviewed repeating this same nonsense that’s being pedaled around and presented as FACT when the reality is far closer to fiction.

    I think there are plenty of waverers who, in the absence of a challenging argument, simply go along with the myths.

    It also troubles me more than I’d care to admit that at times, and at the height of the fighting, all too often it is only AW that comes out and says something and it feels as though he is taking on the whole world.

    So anything that offsets or challenges that would be an improvement for me.

  244. On reflection Passenal is right to point out that a lot of the doomer fraternity have already accused Wenger, and probably the club of “spin”. It’s something I have noticed regularly and I’m sure others have too. Palmer calls Wenger a spin merchant. So on the evidence of this, the PR offensive has probably been going on for a while.

    Bill – Yes, I understand the point about resources. I think these kind of observations have been going on for a long time, even 4 or 5 years ago. The problem is now amplified,as you say, with PSG and City in the frame. My feeling is that we need to wait and see if anyone has got the balls to enforce the FFP regulations, which may have an effect. Although we can already see City scamming their way around this with lucrative sponsorship deals disguised as benevolent community projects. The whole thing stinks, and I do hope Platini and/or some courageous UEFA officials wield the axe when the time comes.

  245. and I do hope Platini and/or some courageous UEFA officials wield the axe when the time comes.

    i dont know who ..but certainly not michele platina….people were dying and he was celebrating scoring a penalty for a foul that happened outside the penalty area….lol… wenger has nothing in common with such scum..wenger offers rematch when one of the parties feels cheated.

  246. Muppet:

    Whats frustrating is that thanks to Wengers brilliance we had so many good players and were really close and had we not been sooooooo conservative we could have well had more success and may be even saved the last generation. No one advocated giving up the long term plan just recognizing the importance of some short term goals. We gave up a bird in the hand which we might have saved without endangering the long term plan.

    We have been told so many different things at different times and there are so many things that are difficult to explain even taking into account the long range plan. Its an interesting discussion and we we have had it many times before and we will not solve the worlds problems tonight.

  247. I think that even if FFP won’t lead to clubs like Man City being expelled from the CL, I still believe that it will at least somewhat curb their spending. They will still have an edge over us, because their owner can just absorb some of their losses, but at present they can outspend us by 100 – 200 million without even flinching (transfer fees + player wages). In a couple of years they’ll still be able to outspend us, but rather by 30, 40 million which will make it a much more level playing field. Secondly I hope that with FFP back in the mix we will see wages go down to a somewhat “normal” level. I am still half-shocked that City go out and offer anyone who looks half good 150 – 200k p/w.

  248. B 🙂 🙂 B S !!! 😀

  249. Bill – I think injuries didn’t help – particularly 2007/2008, but in other seasons as well. I understand point about short term v long term, but you either have a long term policy and a vision or you don’t. We chose the former, for better or for worse. Obviously this has been, as you say, the subject of a lot of discussion. One of my brothers (unfortunately a slight doomer) was lamenting to me the other day that millions should have been made available to keep the invincibles together, by changing the policy on over 30s to keep the likes of Pires/Parlour etc, and providing massive incentives to keep the likes of Vieira and Henry. Of course, I don’t agree with his view, but it is certainly true that the club could have tried to follow a difference course.

    Evil – Yes. Hope that it does put the brakes on these scumbags, which will hopefully be enough to entice our most sought after players not to move, and other players to come to us. That should tip the balance.

  250. sorry – follow a different course

  251. Goetze and Hazard are becoming boring subjects. Neither of them are as good as Jack or Ramsey, so I don’t see why some people drool over them the way they do. The only young player I’d like to see at Arsenal is Shaqiri. He reminds me of the Ox in the way that he gets past his defender and plays with utter confidence despite being so young. With those two on either wing and Theo playing through the middle we’d be unstoppable. On top of that we’ve got Ryo and Joel Campbell waiting to come in to the team. I’ve seen plenty of both these players and they’re some of the best young talents in the world.

    Johan Djourou on a new contract is awesome news. Now we need to tie up Song, Theo, Koscielny and Sagna long term and we’re set. This team has got it all.

  252. Bradys right foot

    Ryo, Campbell, The Ox, Wilshire and old man Rambo, our future is blinding.

  253. Muppet, I understand what you are saying about messages from the club, but the problem is that PR in the age of the cynic just means ‘spin’, hence why is referred to as ‘Pravda’ in doomer land. I think the club is tying to manage it’s message, but the relentlessness of the 24 hour media and proliferation of anti-Arsenal, Arsenal blogs and now twitter feeds, is very difficult to resist. They have set the agenda and the vast majority who are looking for easy answers cannot be bothered to look beyond the lazy headlines of ill-informed or malicious hacks and bloggers.

    Tim Payton is one of the worst examples of the enemy within. His position in AST gives him direct access to the club, but instead of concerning himself with providing that communication channel between the club and fans he has let his own personal agenda get in the way.

  254. Arsenalandrew “or that you remember thinking you were going to see David Bowie!!! ”
    Sort of a bad memory. Imagine going to see a psychedelic/jazz group dressed as Ziggy Stardust.

  255. Gainsbourg69 | February 7, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    People just don’t appreciate what they’ve already got and are too busy looking over the neighbours fence and envying what they’ve got!

  256. Muppet

    In this case I think we had an opportunity to pursue some more aggressive short term goals without sacrificing our long term future. It did not have to be as black and white as we made it. That’s certainly a lot easier to say in retrospect but in the last 2-3 years those things have been evident prospectively in many cases


    You may be right about FFP. Hope so. I wonder if we will have the stomach to take advantage of our position if we ever get to that point. Once your owners get used to not spending it becomes hard to reopen the spigot

  257. Shaqiri has just been signed by Bayern Gainsboroug69.

  258. Passenal,

    I suspect you are right. When you have a moron like Palmer likening Chamberlain to Jermaine Jenas (with respect to him), you are fighting a losing battle.

  259. I’d completely forgotton about Joel Campbell, Brady’s right foot !

    The german player Eisfeld may turn out to be a gem as well.

  260. Bradys right foot

    Campbell looks a great prospect seen his goal against Nancy “Henryesque” totally relaxed composed and just passed into the corner. A long way to go but i’ll not be surprised if he makes an impact next year.

  261. FFS! Why do some of you STILL reply to posts by the manc twat? Sort your fucking selves out! Aye! 🙂

    Don’t get all the fuss over AW’s comments about having to make a fw quid every season. That shit was ‘reported’ in the NotW a few seasons back, but because it was a tabloid, no one gave it any creedence. Looks like they had it about right, which is effin surprising to say the least, given their track record.

    As for Hazard, he is simply responding to a hack’s questions as per usual. Those getting their knickers in a twist (did anyone see that shite bag blog Arsenal A*tion btw???) needs to chill the fuck out.

  262. Muppet, if Cambell and Eisfeld turn out good players for Arsenal then that is great. The question is how long will Wenger persist with them if it is not the case. Wenger is pretty stubborn, and if a player has a few impressive games, Wenger keeps giving the players chances as long as it takes.

  263. Shaqiri going to Bayern is dissapointing, That kid’s going to be a giant.

    Brady, Campbell is the real deal. Don’t forget Le Coq, Ignasi Miquel, Jenkinson and Frimpong. The future is bright. The future is red and white.

  264. @gainsberg
    My boy many. Is out of commission due to injury by you know who. My heart is full of pain. And no one cares or has started a discussion on this. I usually. Am not the kind of man to see a player get hurt in the middle of a game but in the case of this SOB ,I hope someone takes him out. Someone green light this butcher.
    Great discussion. Today, by the way. Lots o great posts. A civilised too, I might add. I may also add that in my honest opinion, there won’t be an earth shaking in the way we do business and strengthening the team, even not after renewing. The sponsorship deal in three years time. Just not the Wenger way. Not the ARSENAL way. One can hope that some elite players will come to us by making the right decision. It won’t be for money, since we can’t compete for the best with the likes of oilcity. It won’t be due to the fact they might be assured of winning trophies constantly. Not for a few years more at least. It will be due to wanting to be part of this project. The youth project. If they have faith and belief, they will come. Otherwise we will only be able to strengthen. From within. And by also hitting the jackpot once in while with players like Bacary, Vermalen,Kosher,Wojo, THE OX, Theo ,AA. AND THE LIKES. I hope your not to disappointed. EVIL.
    And yes , it looks like Bayer munike got Shakire. Signed up. 😦
    Hope today’s discussion. Turned some lights on the heads of a few of the posters.
    We believe.

  265. Das Icefield could be a great player. Like The Ox Laddy, you will be able to see soon what is what, but he could make it in the team, although Arteta has already made a difference and all the matches are big, so I think it will be the bench for him this season.

  266. We could have had Essy in a few months for free but we chose to pay and bring him in now. Therefore he is needed and I think we will see him play this year. SA. . Also I think we will be pleasantly surprised. By his abilities. AW and the scouts have probably seen and follows him for a while and felt like he could contribute.
    Can’t wait for the Sunderland game this week and then AC. GOOD TIMES. much nerves and anticipation.

  267. Excellent debate yesterday. All good, sensible posts and usually insightful. Questioning too. Was there a doomer in the house? Can’t remember one.

    Liked some of the wit too. Still chuckling at MD going to a Caravan concert at the Rainbow dressed as David Bowie.

    I bet he had a clear 10 feet of space all around him.

  268. I think people need to calm down a bit over our new German signing. He was a reserve player at Dortmund; is it realistic to think he is all of a sudden ready to play in the PL? Of course not. He did even make the bench at Dortmund. Even next year I would imagine we may see a couple of appearances in the CC, but not much more.

    Already he is the victim of Arsenal fans overhyping him. How anybody think that he might turn out to be “great” is beyond me. Nobody has even seen him play. Of course he may do, but so might all of our reserve team (they may turn out to be crap just as easily). Few do progress to that level. though. A bit of perspective is needed I think.

  269. Any news on VAT in football?

  270. There’s a whole discussion waiting to be had there, Frank.

  271. I fear you may be right, Cb

  272. Nice pictures of Robert Pires with TH14 (12) and AW at the training ground in the snow the other day, on the Arsenal website.

  273. He trained with us in January, didn’t realise he was still here

  274. Sorry I would post it but my link play is poor

  275. If you force pasta and antipasta together can you create a black hole?

  276. Few do progress to that level. though.

    very true ..its not just the talent…determination and hard work are. i was reading an article in f365 about united;s morrison. morisson represents 95% of cases.

    its like the navy selas ..100 apply and 2 make it

  277. navy selas? Something dark blue, I suppose. But what? Thinkthinkthink

  278. Andy @8.42, totally agree – we had it all before with so many players now. It would be better for people to realise they are not oracles – especially as the experts get it wrong so often – too many variables other than skill. Bendtner, Vela, JET, Lansbury, too name but a few, were all at various times tipped for the very top (by coaches) but for me the jury is still out on all of them – there is absolutely no way yet to know how things will go for Campbell, even less so for Eisfield.
    It’s nice to dream but making bold declarations is a mug’s game – you’ll end up looking silly.

  279. It has reached my attention that several seats near me which are occasionally empty are touted. They often don’t sell or sell late when the game is not considered to be a big match.

  280. I also think we might see The Eis Man this season. There must be a reason why we paid for him now when we could get him for free in a few months. He would have to impress the coaches first during his stint in the reserves though.

    I think the Hazard thing was started by Arsene himself. He rarely speaks about Shaqiri but can’t seem stop talking about Hazard.

  281. Henristic, perhaps it was just easier to pay a nominal fee than get in a bidding war over wages with other interested parties as he would have been available for nothing.

    So far I have read is that he is “behind schedule as a player through injuries”, “talented but raw”, and words to that effect. He sounds pretty far from the first team to me.

    Furthermore, thus far he has played a promising 46 mins for the reserves and was then taken off with a knee injury.

    Finally Wenger’s words were upon signing were “we look forward to his contribution in the coming seasons”.

    I cannot imagine why he would be any more likely to feature than the overlooked Ryo – who has apparently just had a blistering MOTM match performance for Bolton reserves.

  282. I’ve since read a conflicting report suggesting that substitution was planned… ah lost amidst the disinformation of the internet.

    Let’s hope he isn’t injured already. 🙂

  283. You’re could be right, Johnny. But considering we are sort of light in the CM area, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him feature, IF he can impress enough for the reserves.

    Hope his injury days are behind him though. Last thing him or the club needs is an injury laden career.

  284. Mikel Arteta: Has made 1500 passes in 19 PL games since joining Arsenal, compared to 1474 in 29 PL games for Everton last season

  285. A ruptured cruciate at such an early age is devastating. To come back from that and still be considered to be an excellent prospect tells us a great deal about his character and ability.

  286. We are light in CM Henristic, especially as cover for Song. But seeing his recent performances I’d bet Coquelin could do a job there, especially with Arteta beside him. At a push we should have an extra centre-back in coming weeks. Vermaelen or Koscielny would be lethal in that position.

  287. I have always thought Tommy v. Had the qualities and ability to do a great job as defensive mid. I think the same now for kosher. That said, why in hells name did with send Manu. To the( of all places) Wolves. At the time we did this Le coq was filling in at left back. He was the only cover for Song. NOW, nine to ten months out of commission. I can’t make sense of this.

  288. Markus,
    Hear, hear! I’ve always believed that either Kos or VM would do well as DMs, especially in particular high profile games.

    No doubt Coq will do well in that position. In fact, I think he might turn out to be a better (whisper it) DM than Song.

  289. Neither of those players have played the DM role – they do look a good skill fit (especially TV) but now is not the time to be tinkering with players out of position. Furthermore our defence is statistically at its best when they play together at CB. A big no from me.
    Gibbs back soon and then Coq will be full time cover for Song. Frimp’s injury was just damn unfortunate – he needed playing time and Wenger took a calculated punt. Injury aside, I think it worked out okay.

  290. I’m not proposing a permanent move for either to dm. I was just saying ,in a jam, they will do fine there. No one wants to breakup the back four.
    As far as Manu. We could have sent him to better clubs. Some team that we actually like and respect. To help that. Team up. I could give a f••• if the wolves went down. I wish it . And their jerk gaffer.

  291. I miss Santos. *sigh*

  292. I hope the game tonight goes to extra time and Middleboro prevails. Don’t want to play Sunderland twice in less than ten days.

  293. Tactical flexibility is part and parcel of professional football. I’ve never understood this need not to ‘tinker’. All successful teams tinker, either by choice (tactical) or compulsion (due to injuries). In fact, I dare say that the best teams tend to be those with players best able to switch roles when circumstances demand it. We have more than a few of such players.

    Gibbs has been out for a while, I would honestly rather play Sagna, Coq or TV as LB in the remaining games we have, particularly the highprofile/must-win games. Its not like Gibbs had made that position his own in the way Sagna had. He was still developing into the role and his injuries have affected that development a bit. I also recall Wenger talking about how emotionally fragile he’s been. He should be eased back gently with an eye for next season, instead of been thrust straight back into what would be mainly high pressure games from now on.

  294. I didn’t say you were suggesting it as permanent solution – I just don’t think it should be visited at all. Coquelin is available, Diaby is close to a return (yes honestly!) and Song is fit and first choice. We have a 1.5 week break coming up too.

    Also, I don’t like or respect Bolton but they were good for JW and so, it seemed, were Wolves for Frimpong. He looked like he was fitting in very well there.

  295. Sorry scratch that ‘break’ nonsense my calendar is not showing the FA cup tie…grrr.

  296. Jonny, not sure Diaby could play the Song role. Definitely nowhere near as defensively inclined.

    Dito goonerkam. I’ll take Mowbry over O’Neill in the FA Cup any day. And with Milan around the corner we could do with resting some first team players. Boss will be more inclined to do that if we play Middlesborough.

  297. In a jam means ,we have no other options……
    Also Gibbsy has paid his dues and been patient. I think we should trust him to do his job. And Manu. Could possibly. Have gone to a team less combative. Such as wigen, Swansea, Cardiff or blackpool . Any number of teams. Why not send our players to teams we want to help indirectly. Not the stokes,wolves, Leeds, or Bolton. I say to h••• with them. Let them sinks. Does this make sense.

  298. Yah Markus, it would also be nice to play them for memories sake. It must be 7 or 8 years since we faced them. We can only hope Sunderland don’t show up.

  299. So Arry is innocent of all charges.

  300. Our ‘arry gets off!!!

  301. I wonder if YW had his interview. With me. Dixon. Can’t wait to hear his answers. 🙂

  302. Rover75 seems a good name for an offshore account. Onest guv I aint cheatin the tax-man

  303. And you are right about Abu. He is more of an attacking mid. Than a DM.

  304. greetings

  305. Hahaha, too bad for BABA. He was waiting for old reddnap. Hay , even the magistrates are bent .just like the Refs.

  306. Frimpong to Wolves made sense. When we needed Song to learn some of the dark arts he went to Birmingham.

  307. Markus – I do know what you mean about Diaby but given the option Wenger has played him there before.

    It’s remarkable when you think about it, how many teams can boast 3 decent DM’s (Song, Coq, Frim)? At a push I’d fancy Arteta could fill the role too.

    Regardless Wenger will look to cover from the midfield sooner than from his defence – even in a jam.

  308. Wait, no he didn’t, that was Bendtner, my mistake. Song went to Charlton.

  309. It’s reassuring to know that the next England manager is not a tax evader, can’t spell or even right out a team sheet. Still he is a triffic fella and has a very wealthy dog.

  310. Rosicky can play there too I guess. His tackling maybe is a little less… clean, but he has the positional sense and intelligence.

  311. How could I forget Birmingham. May they rot in the lower division just like Leeds. I would like ,however, to see Southampton and Cardiff promoted. Good for EPL. AS BLACKPOOL and wigwn have been.

  312. Now taxpayers get to foot the bill for the giant waste of time that was ‘Arry’s “trial”.

  313. Wenger sometimes touts players, as in “yes, he would fit in at Arsenal, he’s a good player” or “I almost bid for him myself”, but his choice of words on Eden was so emphatic. Opening shot, or has he already quietly had tea with somebody’s Mum, somebody’s agent, more likely somebody’s current club manager; and wants to reinforce a couple of things. Knowing that Wenger never talks up his target purchases, and if he does, (Arshavin, maybe Ramsey), it’s in motion, advanced and he needs to keep predators at bay. We have an advantage when Wenger really wants a player (and this one he really really wants) – Wenger’s record in nurturing youngish stars ready to make their mark is credible, and no better example now than RvP, yesterday Cesc, the week before Henry and a dozen more then and since.

    I wanted to comment on his profit comment. I suspect he was in fact being straight forward and more simple than we imagine, no clever tricks. He was trying to make a point. At Arsenal we need 15-20m (net) on overall annual trading accounts to balance sheet to meet our commitments (debts, dividends, bonuses?) and planned investments. What he was saying might be in response to UEFA’s recently announced estimates on the losses incurred by “top flight teams” in Europe amounting to what was it? Over a billion euros last year? And here is Arsenal, he meant (I think); a business model that doesn’t subsist on losses, debts and capital inflows.

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