The First Cut Is The Deepest

A guest post today from Rickaaaaay!

I’ve wanted to write another piece on ACLF for a while now but only so much can be said about performances, results and board room battles, all of which are more than covered by far better bloggers than myself. So I decided to wait for some inspiration and this week it arrived with the departure of our mercurial little Russian, Andrei Arshavin…who ironically on many occasions, gave the impression he was doing much the same.

Now if you’re expecting this to be either a staunch defence of, or indeed vitriolic epitaph for him, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. As this won’t be either, in fact it’s not actually about Arshavin at all.

Its about second chances and if we as football fans are really able to give a player one, once we’ve made our mind up…something we seem to want to do as quickly as possible nowadays, and all within 140 characters of course. Anyway, there’s obviously plenty of case studies I could pick from over the years but I’ve chosen a few recent ones in the hope that both younger and more recent followers of the club are able to relate.

I’ll start with Adebayor, a player who despite his natural offsideyness was at times absolutely outstanding. Adebayor (perhaps alongside Nasri) left under the darkest of clouds. My personal belief is that talk of dates with Beyonce were just that, talk as he tried to play the negotiation game (a la Vieira & Henry) and failed miserably. See, he had never won a trophy and a spell of average form leading up to a very poor show in a CL semi-final against Man United at Old Trafford, meant he was afforded very little patience despite scoring 46 goals in 86 games in his last two seasons.

Some seemingly couldn’t wait to see the back of him, a certain mock Michael Owen style brochure was even created whilst he was still on our books which despite being ‘spit your tea out’ funny, was simply damning and yet was in fact a fair reflection of the wider opinion of him as both a player and a man.

His for me is now something of an indefensible case following his appalling on-field antics during a 4-2 defeat at the Etihad, not to mention the fact that he currently wears a cock on his chest…but these are the crimes that stop me wanting him back and they have been committed since he left the club. So the question is, had we brought a few less burning torches to his door for wanting an evening with the bootylicious one and actually kept him, what might we have achieved? Theres been long periods in the last couple of seasons when I think we could’ve really pushed on with him in the squad.

Should we have given him another chance? In hindsight, I think its hard to argue anything other than a yes.

Then there’s Denilson, our shakey-headed crab like Brazilian. A player whose main attributes will always split opinion amongst English football fans, who tend to prefer quick, direct, powerful attacking play. He didn’t do anything to disrespect the club. Much like Adebayor and most others that have gone, he did have a watershed moment with the fans and the gavel seemed to hit the block even quicker for him after a home game against Everton at the end of January 2010.

Filling in at DM, in an incident similar to that of our big f-ing German at Sunderland a couple of weeks back, Denilson, under very little, if any pressure collapsed in a heap in the middle of the park, allowing Pienaar a clear path towards goal to give Everton the lead. The anger directed at him within the ground at the time and even online hours later was again widespread, very strong and for me, unjust.

Now I know he stayed for another year but he lived on the fringes of the first team last season. Admittedly the emergence of a certain Jack Wilshere didn’t do him any favours but he started an incredible twenty less league games than in each of the two previous seasons, so the writing was on the wall long before he eventually joined Sao Paulo on loan in the summer. Again, there’s been plenty of occasions this season when we could’ve done with his ability to read the play, position himself well and most importantly maintain possession and recycle the ball. He of course is only on loan, so the question here is ‘could’ we give him another chance?

The answer is obviously yes we could and I actually think the club might but would those that hounded him out truly offer a clean slate? Or would human nature dictate that they would simply wait for the first opportunity to satisfy their own ego with an ‘I told you so’ moment?

To my mind there’s only three players I can think of that have been afforded a second chance of sorts, namely Sol Campbell, Alex Song and Emmanuel Eboue but they are slightly different cases.

Campbell doesn’t really need justifying, he left suddenly during a game against West Ham at Highbury due to what I can only imagine were personal demons and only came back as a stop gap. None the less, his return certainly served as a reminder of what a truly world class centre back looked like and his will and desire in the games he played removed any ill feelings harboured in the Gooner ranks.

Throughout Alex Songs rise to what I believe is one of the best DM/CMs around, its become patently clear that in the lead up to and including that awful night at Craven Cottage, he didn’t lack ability or desire, he simply wasn’t ready. Whilst being massively melodramatic, I distinctly remember turning to my old man during the game and saying ‘he’s got to be the worst player I’ve seen an Arsenal shirt’. His name is now on the back of mine and many others, but how many of us would have batted an eyelid had he signed permanently for Charlton rather than going on loan? I know I wouldn’t.

As for Eboue, his second chance was in the guise of a cult hero amongst the fans following the shameful booing after he was substituted against Wigan. It was as if he were permanently wearing his tiger costume for the rest of his time here and sadly, it was only a collective sense of guilt that went someway to repairing the broken heart of a grown man. Once more, there’s been plenty of games this season when he would’ve come in more than useful but the club knew he was living on little more than a sympathy vote and he was moved on in the summer.

Now we return to Arshavin who following a barrage of criticism, has finally gone. He like Denilson has only on loan but unlike the Brazilian, I’d be absolutely amazed if he were ever to wear a our famous colours again. His departure seems to have been met with a mix of astonishment, anger, frustration, indifference and relief, with three of the five relating to the clubs precarious position in the league more than public opinion of him, so its a hard one to pull apart.

What has become clear, is that the majority of people who would’ve happily paid for a one way ticket to St Petersburg a little over a month ago, would in fact be more than willing to offer him a second chance now it suits them now because we were offered immediate hindsight of sorts due to the Russian transfer window closing sometime after our own.

On Twitter, countless fans timelines will read like this over the space of two months > he’s sh*t > he offers nothing > don’t take off that kid I complained about signing for this lazy so and so > sell him in January > good riddance > what, he’s leaving? > we’re doomed. Heh.

I for one am not the slightest bit surprised that he forced a move (which is the only logical explanation) and perhaps we are doomed but maybe it’s our own fault to a certain extent. There seems to be this insatiable appetite to be right all the time, we over analyse, we’re over critical and I believe in a lot of cases we’ve hounded out players that could’ve improved our fortunes in recent times…some efficient, some quietly effective, some magical and some, well simply un-playable.

It even extends to the manager. If Wenger were to win the league or a European trophy next season, would those that suggest his time is up change their minds? Id suggest its very unlikely.

So in closing, I think once fans are finished with a player, thats it. All we can do is urge the more impatient amongst us to be careful who they boo for because, well…we just might need them.

Right, I’m off to take another bubble bath with my pants on. If all the fighting stops, well, next time I’ll do it sooner.

Peace, Ricky

Follow me on Twitter @geezypeas

Over at Arsenal On This Day, a day Clive Allen will enjoy forever. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 29, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 376 Comments.

  1. I was expecting Adebayor to celebrate like its his birthday but he didn’t. I felt he was more mature than he scored in City’s color against us. Perhaps it was because his cut was fresher that day.

    Personally I wasn’t expecting Shava to head for Zenith. That small Russian could have saved us in tight games. Much like he did against Swansea.

  2. “Eboue” – Loved the guy. Heart was in the right place but not the application – or something like that. 🙂

    “Arshavin” – Devastated. But I’m sure he’ll come good. Class player’s always do.

    “Adebayor” – Who??

    “Dennilson” – Where??

  3. Question is, should the ‘fans’ get a second chance?

  4. The shame of the sound of booing stains our mighty club. The real sad thing is that those who could clearly see what Arsene was asking Denilson to do, and appreciated it were delighted to have his qualities in the team. Those who couldn’t understand the purpose of countless interceptions and retaining possession, well, instead of shrugging and saying to themselves I don’t really understand, but never mind, I’m only a supporter I don’t always need to, think they have the right to boo and swear and abuse.

  5. No Frank. No they shouldn’t. They are not ‘fans’ by any definition in any dictionary. But what can we do? Sadly we live in a liberal democracy with nominal protection of human rights. Stringing them up at half time would be good entertainment and great for moral but I just can’t see it happening.
    Ah well, come the glorious day and all that….

  6. Didn’t Almunia save that shot from Pienaar? Denilson is just a less experienced Arteta, but it’s interesting that most people can now see the value to the team of that type of player. Much as I would love to see him back, if he gets a chance to return to Brazil permanently I can’t see him wanting to given the treatment dished out to him here by the ‘fans’

  7. They have it easy these booers. If we boo the booers then all we do is add to the booing. Might work if the players all boo back though.

  8. Maybe have ‘Boooo’ on their undershirts, so when we score up go the shirts

  9. Interesting article Ricky.

    Any sympathy I may have had for Adebayor went right out of the window the minute he put on a cock on his chest. That’s just sacrilige and unacceptable. Same goes for big bad Willy Gallas.

    Speaking of Denilson, Mikel Arteta seems to be an older version of the ‘keep ball’ merchant that Denilson was. Arteta seems to have more wiggle room and sympathy from the fans than the young Brazilian was given in his time at Arsenal. But just the fact that Arteta has completed over 1500 successful passes in the EPL in one season makes you scratch your head to wonder how he’ll lose his place.

    What can you say about His Excellency President Emmanuel Eboue. A true lesson in redemption.

  10. Good morning everyone, I’m still hi as akite from this wknd. I hope the crew have been injected with some renewed belief in their abilities. A renewed sence of confidence, swagger. A sence of the mission ahead. Twelve games ,possibly hopefully more. Crunch. Time. We. Will end this season strong. it will not be one bit like the past. This crew will lay it on the line. ONE GAME. AT A TIME. I say and see a winning run. I really do. Nice write up RICKAAAAAY. ? 🙂
    I agree with a lot. I wouldn’t count Arshavin out completely. He will. Be back with us this summer. Once a Gunner always a gunner. Would take back Denny in a heart beat as I would with Eboue under. The right circumstances. Wouldn’t want Adeypaymore even if his gallery was being subsidized by another club. A true bad apple. And you know what they say about bad apples. One ruined a whole bunch. As such, neither him nor Nicklas would be back nor should day. And Ricky,?
    Taking. A bath with your pants on ??. HEH??
    have a great Wednesday all you leftist and fingers. Crossed that the BOYS come back all In good shape and we can avoid injures. Amen.
    UP. THE. GUNS!!!!!!!
    spank Liverpool. BENNYTHEGOON to get the winning goal..
    come on third.

  11. Just heard a Dutch journalist respond to a question about whether the conventional wisdom in Holland is that Van Persie will leave Arsenal at the end of the season.

    He laughed and said listen – Van Persie told Dutch journalists on Monday that he’s a Gooner and they really don’t understand what it means being a Gooner and having a chance to lead the Arsenal. He loves Arsenal to death and he has done nothing to show otherwise. At the end of the season, he will sit down with Wenger as he always does to discuss a new contract and Peter Hill-Wood is invited.

    And the journalist then concluded with a rhetorical question – Does that sound like someone going to leave Arsenal?

  12. Verey level headed, very sensible and a mature refelection on ‘fan power’.

    Unfortunately, those qualities are not fashionable and are not shared by a large percentage of modern football ‘supporters’. The me, me, me, now, now, now generation

    It willl be left to grown ups to nod their heads at what you write and say, yes, that’s how it was. A bloody shame.

    I write this, nor as a particular fan of those players, but as someone who despises the anger and rage that surfaces at the least opportunity amongst supporters of our great game and great club. Very sad and a terrible indictment of our society.

    Liberal democracy steww? There’s not much liberality around and precious little democracy just a bunch of political cynics who use the terms to cover the reality of a society that really just couldn’t give a monkey’s about fairness, justice and proper debate.

    Sorry, that last paragraph is a bit off topic.

  13. Darius

    Just to add, he said he will sit down with a nice cup of coffee.

  14. Consols – Politics? LOL

    As for misguided fan power, you do know what they say about never under-estimating the power of stupid people in large numbers.

    And as I hinted yesterday, I’ve already got a call from one of these impatient gooners demanding that Wenger needs to go because he’s refused to spend the £115 million in reserves to buy proper players. You can only shake your head in bemusement.

  15. Keysersoze and Frank.

    Another transcript of that interview suggested the three of them would all make the coffee together.

  16. Probably a precaution to make sure that none of them spike each others coffee

  17. So Denilson is not the best player Arsenal ever bought to the club ,passes sideways ( not qui
    te as bad as Ramsey,Wilshere ) and shouldn,t return anytime from his loanspell back home
    in Brazil,but Wenger should persist with woeful Walcott,even though he scored two goals vs
    Spurs loan out Arshavin who,s way passed his sell by date and still keep Yossi ben Ayoun on
    the subs. bench match after match when clearly his experience and maturity on the pitch are
    much needed ,no wonder the fickle Arsenal fans don,t know whether theyr,e coming or going?

  18. Good points regarding the fickle Basterds who dare call themselves fans. If they had their way ARSENAL would not be the club that it is today. Proud carriers of the flag. One of only a handful of clubs who have chosen the right way to run a club and can actually grow even in these tough times. BE PROUD TO BE A SUPPORTER OF THIS PROUD CLUB.
    I see only way to deal with the self entitled negative crowds at the EMIRATES. Drown them out. Their noise that is. Get the right type in the seats at large numbers and as soon as these idiots make their move raise your support and noise to a level not seen before. Drown out their hoopla. Put them to shame and shut them up. As they have attempted to do the the club in recent time. The club must become proactive and come up with strategies such as this to combat these morons who have been known to change their attitude towards a player from one minute to the other. On moment cursing a player out and the next ” I knew he would come through”.
    Fickle as hell. Fair weather fans of very low patience and character. ARSENAL IS TOO GOOD FIR YOU . clear out .

  19. Arsenal,s most potent attacking midfield is Arteta,Rosicky and ben Ayoun with Song the defe
    nsive player ,the return homeleg of the CL vs ACMilan coming up Tuesday next week plus Liv
    erpool away this weekend ,has Arsene seen the light since Sunday,s thrashing of Spuds and
    will he now continue with Yossi (ben Ayoun ) in midfield for the remainder of the season as so
    many of us fans who know the game have been calling for ,not rubbish Ramsey or wimpish Wilshere,we shall see ?

  20. Once a gooner always a gooner

    I’d take them all back if they were all committed but somehow I feel Adebayor’d prefer to be in Madrid.

    Eboue left with AW’s blessings for a bigger paycheck. His heart’s red & white.

    Denilson’s too young to write off.Frustration from injuries affected his confidence and his game suffered. I’d bring him right back for preseason, see where his head & game are at decide from there.

    AA’s spirit’s still in the team but as Russia’s soccer ambassador for the Euros, siiting on the bench expired as an option. After the tourney he should be back for his final year.

    Bendtner just needs to be sold. Doesn’t really get it but he’s got a big enough ego to handle life. He just wants to play & show he’s the best in the world..whats wrong with that?

    I really am most interested to see how Park & Chamakh turn out if they get to play before season’s end.

    There’ll be quite the clear-out in summer I feel.

    “12 games left, emptying all closets, things are too tight to be civilized!”

  21. You are right, goonerkam. The only way to deal with them is to drown them out. Shout or sing louder. We have certainly started to do that in the West Upper.

  22. And oh,
    LONG LIVE THE AWAY SUPPORT.
    die hard, forever. We salute you.

  23. Frank – I suppose there is the danger of getting young Mr. Grace a bit high to induce him to agreeing to a jackpot salary.

  24. Frank – I don’t know which is more annoying. The ones you can drown out, or the ones who sit behind you and talk about holiday’s to Prague. I kid you not, there was a bunch of guys on the Clockend sitting behind me one time talking about holiday packages to Prague and the game was going on.

    Needless to say, I did give them a piece of my mind about wasting sitting space for people who actually wanted to come and cheer their team. But as I was reminded, the Emirates does have a lot of tourists who come for the novelty.

  25. I think it is all arranged, Darius. Even to the point that RvP is in on any potential purchases in the Summer. Very exciting for us.

  26. Oh I get the same, Darius. The regulars behind me discuss fucking mortgages.

  27. I know it’s bee said for a few seasons now but, I truly believe that next season will be one to remember for us. The way team played against the media darling spuds is what we are all about and is the level that should be maintained through the rest of the season and into the next. Our manager is genius among normal people.

    Carl Jenks, will be vital for us in the run in and my god Ryo Ryo Ryo. What a superstar in the making. I love this player so much and can’t wait to see him in action for us.

    Wenger, I am so glad that you are our manager.

  28. Morning FRANK.
    Another idea would be to let the away support into the EMIRATES at cut rate prices. More power to you and the supporters in your section. I die for a day to see the stadium all in one vice ,loud and clear to hear all the way to Manchester. Make it an intimidating place to go for the visiting clubs players. They need to sh•• themselves just by knowing they have to play at THE ARSENAL.
    Samuel? Are you jesting regarding Aaron and Jack or are seriously serious.?? I can’t wait for Jack to play again. And Aaron has done me proud many times. Wait till you see them in their full prime man. We have two of the best JEMS in those two. And they bleed RED/WHITE.

  29. I know I’ve been away for 2 months, but did I miss John Cross being appointed as the FA Vice Chair? If I’m not mistaken, I just heard him urge Bernstein to appoint Arry because Arry has been chosen by the public and the media.

  30. I have thought. About this and I want for AW to go all out against AC. give it the best we got. If we get past these cheating scum, the competition. Is relatively lighter than any other year. Good year to meet BARKA in the semis or the final even. Why not? We are in the comp. Lets give it our darndest and show them how to play football. A kick them out in the process. Get them on the ropes early and pound them all game like we did shitty last year. By the end of that game Mancini had soiled himself. As I recall.

  31. You are a star, goonerkam

  32. I can’t seen Denilson or Arshavin coming back. Didn’t Denilson come out and say he wanted to leave or am I imagining that? They are too far gone with a section of the support who will never be back on their side no matter what.

    I think the support turned on Adebayor first when he openly courted AC Milan the year before he left. Whether it was because he actually wanted to go or to get the better contract that he eventually got is debatable, but it was pretty public and left a bad taste. If you think Nasri is a mercenary then Adebayor is just as bad as shown with his subsequent departure to City who don’t require his services only a couple of seasons later.

    The flip side is also true, supporters big up players who have done precisely the square of fuck all in an Arsenal shirt too much on no evidence whatsoever. I prefer to make a proper judgement after at least a season playing at Premier League level, after their first 50 games you can generally judge whether a player will make it or not at Arsenal. And by make it, they don’t necessarily have to be a superstar, they might be a useful squad player instead.

  33. Ola John is on the Holland bench tonight. Brother of Collins John who was introduced to Fulham in 2004 by John Collins. John Collins talked Collins John into joining the club by taking him out for cocktails the night before. Collins John had a John Collins and John Collins had a Collins John which is the same as a John Collins but you put the bourbon in after the lemon.

  34. @Darius | February 29, 2012 at 9:11 am, the last time the public and media got their way we ended up wih Kevin Keegan and we all know how that panned out.

  35. AMAN, with all due respect a couple of points.
    It TWELVE GAME ,and possibly hopefully more counting. Don’t count the crew out from the CL just yet. And regarding ADEE AND NIKLAS. All brides back to the ARSENAL have been burnt. No way back for either which makes me sad at least when it comes to BENTdNER. . Both are one the road to nowhere presently. But they made that choice. Tough luck, tough love.

    RASERS!!!!

  36. @FRANK
    only a lovely lieutenant. In your army. 🙂

  37. Do I smell James?

    I agree with CB. Some of those players needed to be moved on for the club’s (if not their own) future. As for 2nd chances, I cannot see any returnees.

  38. Block4 – it’s the presumptive arrogance that comes with the supposed statement of fact that the public and media have made the choice of Arry and therefore it shall be done, come what may.

    Nobody put a coupon through my door asking me to vote for Arry as the next England manager – and I doubt you and millions others received that coupon. So how do they figure the public has chosen. The public couldn’t even decide who their Prime Minister should be and delivered a hung parliament – what are the chances of them agreeing on a tax dodger who can’t read and write and uses a bank account run by his dog?

  39. there is much Arshavin needs to accomplish at the ARSENAL and I don’t think. AW IS finished with him and will not let him go. Overwhelming. Number of the support. Still love AA and I hope AW. stands his ground. He isn’t going. Anywhere, IMHO.

  40. How anyone can think Denilson was up to the job is beyond me, he really isnt up to it and heres the reasons.
    1, Cant or wont head it watch him play and he positions himself so he does not have to challange.
    2. Too slow. Thats not his fault its just how things are, too many times people run past him and he cant keep up.
    3. He is Ray Wilkins in disguise everything is sideways or backwards there is no imagination with his play.
    4. And his biggest crime as far as im concerned for any C.M CANT TACKLE. you dont win matches unless you keep winning the ball in midfield.
    These are facts, you might say we have other players also like this but it does not mean he should come back.
    As for Ade i agree with you he could have proved useful if he had stayed.
    Eboue was just a joke in midfield but wasnt a bad full back.
    Asharvin in many ways the biggest disapointment as he has the talent to be brilliant if only i could put his brain into Theos body we would have a world beater.

  41. ENGLAND AND their. FA made a huge. Error. Regarding DON CAPPELO.
    Huge.
    And to replace him with the wheeler and dealer. Red Knapp. I’m having a laugh. He shouldn’t even be offered the job, as he has took much. Baggage. The best thing for us is for him to lead the TOTTedelers right in to a relagation battle. I’ll pay to see that show. 🙂

  42. I cannot see AA23 returning. He will be 31 in May and only has 1(?) season left on his contract. Unless he himself wants to return (which seems unlikely after the awful booing) I think he will be sold.

  43. LOL, DUPS, I don’t think. We have to worry about any SPUDNIK visits to this site for a long time. I would say. A least. 2. TO. 5. MONTHS..

  44. Steve

    You seem to know little about football. Gilberto was a master at interceptions not tackles and that was how Denilson played .

  45. goonerkam

    James will be here somewhere. Just not commenting.

  46. In a multitude of cuts,which one is fatal?adebayor has never replicated his arsenal form.wow!so denilson was that good.you described a midfield maestro.well,short story shorter,why give him a 2nd chance when we have a v2.0 in ramsey.arshavin? Please.he is over the hill.enough said.song? Thing is he was just a kid then learning.he got better.
    This piece is all about short term memories, the good old days, and the bizarre tendency of bad players looking world class by their absence especially if the current players are underachieving.

  47. goonerkam,

    I’m hoping we do Milan a 6-1, since it seems we have a penchant for penta-goal thrillers this season. First focus though is the PL…hence my focus on the DOZEN.

    Not all brides’ve been burnt u know, Sol, TH & Jens came back and contributed a little something. Another great thing about having AW as manager is that he rarely ever gives up on you if you show commitment and hard work. Your presence is really only meaningless if you diss the club upon exit.

    I doubt AW’d take Cesc back anytime soon though…ditto Samri, Hleb, Flamini, Reyes,…

    Can’t wait to see next season’s line-up either.
    Pre-season should be high octane with the sheer number of young guns staking a claim…..
    + Campbell, Ryo, Afobe…possibly Wellington….wow,

    and by 2014/15 AW’d have completely retooled the workshop!
    Long live Arsenal..long live Wenger!

    RASERS!

  48. Yah ,DENNY was a horrible free kick taker too. 🙂

  49. YW,
    Reading your post I was struck by the thread which was apparent throughout, namely the disgraceful lack of support by a minority of so-called Arsenal fans towards each of the players you named at various times during their employment at the Emirates.
    Those who will say that ticket holders have a right to express an opinion, have no idea of the adverse effect the constant abuse directed at individual players, has on the team as a whole.
    Even last Sunday the Manager was poised to sub Walcott due to booing and abuse, only for the youngster to score 2 welltaken goals and become a hero of the afternoon.
    If only those who are hypercritical in expressing their views, DURING A GAME, would realise that abuse of any kind can only hinder success in the longterm.
    Leave criticism at home until the season’s end.

  50. Nicky

    You need only look at Ace to see the lack of support for players.

  51. 12 months board stays as is….the transition between old owners and new owners gives ammunition to those who want to hurt arsenal…the people who have been convinced that usmanov and dein are the right people for the club will do anything they can. they will attack players, they will attack manager, they will lie, sensationalise and present a picture of failure.

  52. spot on NICKY. specially. When you are dealing with a young team. Fan support takes on paramount importance. Away and at home. Young players live and die on acceptance. Support them and they will surprise. You week in weekout. Unconditional love and support and respect. An ARSENAL player is a special ultra brave and committed. Player anyways. They should know that they are not alone in their undertaking.

  53. I see you got a shout out on arsenal.com, Yogi?

    http://www.arsenal.com/media-watch

    Maybe this happens frequently?

    But bravo anyway.

    🙂

  54. Good writing Rickaay and spot on comment from Consolsbob regarding the demented impatience that has infected a portion of this club’s fans. I used to laugh at Spuds and their poisonous so called support – no longer

    Just on one occasion I wish a player would turn round and tell the booboys where they could stick their so called ” right to express an opinion”

  55. Goonerkam,
    Yeah, it’s often forgotten that our heroes of the Emirates are barely out of teenage and can be easily scarred by unjust abuse.

  56. Right HUNTER 13.
    DIVIDE AND RULE the Basterds say. I’m having a laugh. Snakes in the grass amongst us. Win at any cost they say. Even at the expense. Of your soul and history.
    Its easily fixable though. Just move on down the road and support one of many other sugrrdaddy clubs. Hell, you are guaranteed. A false trophy or two every other year. Just do it.
    Oh look. Shiny. Pretty. who care what you had to di to get your hands on it.
    Give me TRUE GLORY. anytime. Even if I have to wait a bit longer for it. It is worth a hundred times more.

  57. YW is the man And. ACLF ROCKS.
    the media though ,would rather get their sense of the ARSENAL FANS pulse by talking to pedrito and. Gerkoff. CONTROVERSY. SELLS and these bozos will tell the outlets what they want to hear. Backstabbing morons.

  58. Indeed, Jonny. Frequently? Perhaps but sometimes is suitably understated.

  59. Denilson has been awarded 150+ games for the club and hasn’t really improved. All we need to do is look at the development Lucas has made under a cloud of abuse. He is now a regular for Brazil. Denilson is yet to be capped.

    Denilson’s percieved lack of effort (falling over against Everton, being overtaken by the ref against United) and never really taking on the difficulties of the English game mean he just not suited to the premiership. (never improved his physicality, hasnt improved his tackling)

    He said he wanted to leave, he took a swipe at the club saying he wanted to win things, and he has acted like a spolit child in Sao Paolo with his behaviour and attitude turning the home fans against him.

    He is not good enough for atier 1 European side, and will be moved on in the summer, assuming we can find someone to pay his wages.

    Decent Europa League / Tier 2 European club player. Can see him doing well in the slower/less physical Serie A, or at any of the big 3 in Portugal.

    He has had many a chance to prove himself in the Arsenal shirt and it seems this glove doesnt fit – not every signing can work.

    He won’t play under Wenger again – a loan move to his home town was supposed to build confidence, not bring out characterisical streaks which are alarming for squad harmony.

    Good luck and the all best, but not an Arsenal player.

  60. If the quotes attributed to Denilson are accurate he won’t be back. Dito Bendtner.

    Doesn’t Arshavin’s move make a mockery of the transfer window? Or would Zenit have needed special dispensation?

    What is to stop other teams signing a player on “loan” at any point during the season with a view to a permanent move in the winter/summer window?

  61. And oh,
    Big AL is also the man.
    Together ,the true gospel.

  62. Markus the Russian window is different – perfectly legitamate.

    As with last summer, I expect to see many departures this summer, as Wenger will look to rid the squad of those who have let him down in the face of unrelenting support.

    Bendtner + Denilson could fetch £12 million and 70k/week (VERY conservative) alone.

    Add Almunia, Squillaci, Chamakh, Park, Diaby and we have enough wage space and additional transfer funds to sign 1 player who can make a significant difference – Goetze/Hazard

  63. dupsffokuf,
    fans of you equate criticising players performance to lack of support.its fans like you who’d wear a suarez t-shirt.
    My loyalties to God, arsenal and wenger can’t be compromised by underperforming players.players come, players go….

  64. dupsffokuf,
    fans of your ilk equate criticising players performance to lack of support.its fans like you who’d wear a suarez t-shirt.
    My loyalties to God, arsenal and wenger can’t be compromised by underperforming players.players come, players go….

  65. @Luke
    I once ” fell over” on the pitch during a football match due to a horrible sliding tackle from behind. Blow out my knee ,if you must know.
    Took me two painful. Years to get back on the pitch and kick the ball again.
    Some say a back injury is even more debilitating.
    Just saying. He played for us ,even out of position, even after coming back from injury. A good servant. Respect.

  66. In the absence of Yogi, congratulations to the “locum” on pointing out the impatience (?) of a few self-styled supporters.

    Jack Wilshere has completed one full season in the EPL. Aaron Ramsay has still to complete a full season for The Arsenal in the EPL! The injury suffered by Ramsay, can be compared to what has happened to Eduardo and Diaby. Ramsay in my view is covered in teflon!

    For the information of Yogi, I have sent an e-mail to Kieron O’Connor, pointing out the difference between “player sales” and “player registrations”. Yogi will understand and for the curious others it is a question of standard accounting procedures shall I type!

  67. I would love either Hazard or Gotze ,as they would love to play for our. Club, judging. By their comments in the past. Trouble is ,its a pipe dream. Their price has. Become prohibitive for a club in our position. We will not spend in the neighborhood of 40 mil in just one player. Never have, never will.

  68. Hello everyone. I’m a gooner from India. I read many Arsenal blogs regularly..mainly.. ACLF, Arseblog and… Le-grove. ACLF and Arseblog are certainly the best out there. But.. Le-grove!? It absolutely horrible. The amount of dross being written out there is shocking. It seems like le-grove is the hq of all the moaners. How can they call themselves Arsenal fans?? Their only objective is to just “WENGER OUT”.
    I strongly suggest you to read their comments section for the pre-spurs game. They actualy wanted us to lose that game so AW will gets sacked. They were saying BS like ‘Sagna is overated’ ‘He has no passion’ ‘Rosicky is AW’s gay partner’ and of course ‘Walcott is shit’.
    You should read it!! Its hilarious. They’ve been given a massive helping of humble pie.
    But.. I was actualy shocked to see that an Arsenal fan can say this ‘BURN THE STADIUM HANG WENGER’.

  69. “fans of your ilk equate criticising players performance to lack of support.its fans like you who’d wear a suarez t-shirt.”

    Utter crap Ace. Wearing that t-shirt was an atrocious act of stupidity which was repeated on Sunday by the bindippers.

    You are a weak impatient fan. Your abuse towards Theo (among others) over the last few weeks proves that.

  70. Why should it be a pipe dream Goonerkam? Is the signing of such players not the purpose of the stadium move??

    Is every talented footballer in Europe going to sign for City / Real / Chelsea?

  71. Well it’s good to see them pushing the right blog(s) anyway.

    I heard people talking about it but couldn’t be bothered to look because it’s Ronaldo and I hate him but, fair enough, this goal is ridiculous…

  72. Is Hazard really that better than Walcott – really? As with last season, I’ll bet Walcott has more goals and assists than the much fated Hazard.

  73. dupsfokuff,
    your rant above is to put it mildly myopic.i ‘ll have you know there is a clear difference between abuse and criticism. You remind me of third world dictators. To them,criticism is abuse.

  74. Ricky, great piece (although I know you generally don’t read comment sections)
    I’m very much one who supports those who need it most. I nearly found myself in an argument with a fellow “supporter” at our CC game with Man City because he was sat down complaining about Chamakh and Park. Annoyed, I stood up in his view and started chanting Chamakh’s name and giving him some support. I think he felt quite embarrassed.

    Anyway, I’d love to have Denilson back and have always been a supporter of his. He’s not perfect, but he was great at controlling the tempo of a game, and as somebody else mentioned, very good at cutting down the angles and intercepting.

    Adebayor? Would have no doubt been a useful player to have, but when you look at the spirit in the camp now, you can’t help but think that a character like his would have been a disruption.

    Was really gutted when Arshavin left. He’s in the unfortunate position where his game is taking players on. When it doesn’t work, he looks shit. When it does, he’s a genius. It’s a fine line.

    As for your shoutout on Arsenal.com YW, that’s great! Just a shame their link is actually to your Boxing Day 2011 post. Might be worth winging them an e-mail?

  75. Luke, you’d be talking about transfer fees in excess of 30 million. For one player. One player to replace the 7 you’d sell, and probably take most of the wages you’d free up. That’s not a pipe dream, it’s fantasy football.

  76. And whats so unique about stating the obvious about theo, ramsey and arshavin?

  77. We won’t be a blithe on the body of sport we all love, like the rest of the teams around us in the table. And we won’t play the same game as REAL, AC,PSG AND THE OTHER NEW WANE BEES. Their house of cards will come tumbling down one way or another.
    The purpose for the construction of the new stadium as with other facilities. Was and is to insure the clubs survival for the next few decades.
    We are two or three years yet away from solidifying the step we have taken amongst. The true. Elite clubs fraternity. Done the right way. Not by mortgageing ourselves to the hilt, not by depending on pimpdaddies, and not by having a government underwrite everyone of our moves.
    Something to be proud of, imo.
    Even after the debit is gone, I still don’t think we will play the highroller market as its not our philosophy and not along our principles. We will be better able to compete but I should hope we never become. As corrupting as an influence on the body of the greatest sport in the world. That said, a great talent on the upward climb with the right CHARACTER is always welcome to the club if the move is mutually. Beneficial. And the said player is willing to put in the sweet, blood and the years to help us achive our goals. That at least is what I believe.

  78. And what’s so unique about stating the obvious about Ace.

  79. Scott Parker is England captain. hahahaha what plonker you are Pearce

  80. Don’t take it personally duppsfokuf.have a great day.

  81. Markus

    Players who are not currently at the club – Alumina, Diaby, Denilson, Bendtner – could EASILY free up signifcant wages for a serious signing – why do you think Goetze will demand 200k/week?

    We can double his reported wages and he will still be on 70k!!

    Why cant we spend 35 million on a player? Why is it beyond the realms of possibility to actively remove high earning players who have no impact on first team performances for a player who could come in and make a huge impact?

    Its not fantasy football mate. the fact we bid for him last summer doesnt suggest so.

  82. who would you have as capt dups? do you even care?

  83. I’m grateful for the instruction received here. I now understand Denilson and his shortcomings. Whereas I used to marvel at his almost telepathic reading of the play and his ability to intercept and breakdown our opponents possession, his gift for drawing fouls and thus winning us possession and his phenomenal aptitude for keeping and recycling the ball now I see that we simply needed him to hoof it upfield, presumably straight to the opposition.

  84. Luke – we can’t spend £35 million on a player because we can’t afford it. Besides, £35 million is still more expensive than the combined transfer fees for Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen. Just because something has a big price tag doesn’t mean it’ll work.

  85. @DARIUS
    EDEN is a special special talent. No doubt. Unfortunately, with his next move to a rich club ,he will be spending a disproportionate amount of time one the bench as is usually. The case, these clubs have at least two or three options in every position if not more. And that my friend. Is the safest part of the whole affair. Just ask Helb, flamoney, na$ri and Adee.

  86. Steww

    The fact Wenger will pull his classic move of shifting players out the side door on Denilson this summer would suggest his ability to breakdown play and retain possession wasnt as superhuman as you thought.

    he was a tidy footballer at best. with wilshere, ramsey, rosicky, arteta, song, coq there is zero future for him at the club

  87. Steww, that’s exactly right. Consider yourself educated!

  88. goonerkam

    but every drop of rhetoric from hazard and his camp has clearly stated he doesnt want to sit on the bench at real etc.

  89. Yogi – I’m being moderated?

    ** Throws hands up in frustration ** LOL.

  90. Luke, I was thinking more of Hazard, but both those guys will have inflated transfer costs and wages. Just think there are far better deals out there to be done.

  91. correction
    That would be the saddest part of the whole affair. Not safest.

  92. Lol, DARIUS in moderation. Did I miss something. ?

  93. And Theo, a 22 yr-old, 10 goals and 10 assists this season and Arsenal fans still boo him! Bale, the world beater, who’s lauded by both media and other fellow professionals has a cool 8 goals and 1 assist this season. What is it with Arsenal fans? I will be very sorry if Theo leaves, for, whatever you say about him not having a footballing brain, he can only get better.

  94. I would think that we won’t spend £35 million (not even wages factored in) on a single player because we can’t afford it, period.

    Besides, we seem to have done well with netting Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen – all of who hit the ground sprinting – with a combined transfer fee of less than £35 million. Just because someone has a huge shiny price tag doesn’t mean they’ll deliver.

  95. Luke

    You are correct. I don’t really care about Pearce or Parker.

  96. AW on monitoring the Ox:

    “We know now that a large percentage of players who play a lot of games between the ages of 18 and 21 have bony stress responses. I never expected the number to be so high.

    “[It happens] because your skeleton is not completely finished and the bones are not completely developed to absorb the kinds of shocks you get in the Premier League.

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/-oxlade-chamberlain-not-fazed-by-big-games-

    Please educate yourselves..please!

    “12 games left, emptying all closets, things are too tight to be civilized!”

  97. goonerkam – I gather it’s because I chose to login with my twitter account to respond to comments – and since its the first time, Yogi’s bitch slap got me.

  98. yah STEWW, and no more excuses from you. LOL.
    It was a pleasure watching the game and reading your comments last Sunday.
    @ Luke
    It comes as part of the package unfortunately. You think. Helb or na$ri or any other talented player wants. To be a bench warmer. I Think not.

  99. I agree with dupsffokcuf’s agreement with JohnW.

  100. @Darius depends on what you’re talking about; goals and assists don’t tell the full story – at least not this one.

    As far as pure outrageous, footballing skill goes, Hazard is on a completely different planet to Walcott. Also he’s creative and has a decent eye for a pass. He’s only 19 too, a relative fledgling to old man Theo.

    I’m a big Theo supporter – never had any doubts about his value and I agree in terms of end product, with RVP alongside him, Walcott is flourishing. If that sounds as a slight, it isn’t meant as one – but I think Hazard’s figures would be vastly improved had he been playing the last 3 seasons with RVP and co.

    Sure it’s an improbable signing because it represents so much of our transfer budget but we are also led to believe we made a very significant bid for him already from credible sources and we know Wenger rates the player very highly indeed. I’m an unapologetic Hazard fan so my opinion can be coloured as such but whilst I agree we’d be best not to get our hopes up – I think we should all be allowed to dream a little of new signings – surely that’s part of the childlike magic of being a fan..?

    Finally I don’t taking that much of the budget is a huge risk for one player – I think we could afford Podolski (or another) as well and shopping-wise, with youngsters coming through and players coming back and Joel Campbell to join, that would do me nicely for the summer. I have no doubt another 3-4 teenagers will be bought but unless I am being really dim – always a distinct possibility – I don’t see that we are too short in any other areas..?

    Anyone have opposing view as to what we need? I’d be glad to hear your points…

  101. markus, of course with these two specific players (some of the most highly coveted players in european football), we will be paying market premium. but is there never an instance when it is worth it? is there never an instance when paying 10% more becomes a calculated risk? especially when the resources are available?

    adding podolski + goetze and retaining our first team players this summer makes us a very very talented squad moving into next season.

    imagine the buzz around the club if we go land one of the most coveted attacking midfielders in europe? imagine the delight of seeing goetze, wilshere, rvp, podolski, arteta, ramsey, oxo, gervinho play in multiple combinations of creative and attacking brilliance

    its ambitious, for sure. it would smash every record we have paid previously (we did try last year), but surely now is the time to roll the die? we have tried prudence and development for the last few years, and have come up short – why not try this? goetze sell on value will be huge, not likely to lose money on any move. I know you cant answer these questions and neither can I, its just the moves i hope we make. we would probably recruit the 10% premium paid on the fee through shirt sales alone!

  102. goonerkam | February 29, 2012 at 10:16 am

    YEP …well whatever they say they are still clueless and their motivation is obvious to all.
    the solution is one and its always been one….single them out..even by force if necessary.

    the next time some cretin boos it is the duty of those around him to humilate him and then slap him and then spit on him and then kick him out. democracy is not for football ( sir alex ferguson- the only thing i can agree with him )

  103. goonerkam @11:29 – that kind of speculation has as much supposition as those who say that we will sign him! 😉

    Hazard has said he wants to be sure of getting playing time – it’s been made evident this is a factor in his decision. This is why, if we can find the funds, we might have more of a chance – he does not want to go to RM and warm their bench.

    Truth is, we won’t find out until the summer…

  104. Jonny,

    If we keep everyone from the 1st team, add Podolski and an attacking midfielder (my preference is clear!) then the only area that worrys me through fitness history alone is LB.

    Coq however is starting to prove himself as a very versatile footballer, and will be surely starting some games as we look to rest song at moments next year?

    quality and options off the bench have cost us significantly this year – with arshavin gone, bennayoun returning to chelsea and seemingly chamakh and perhaps park leaving I can see Podolski + Campbell + Goetze being the perfect summer.

  105. hunter13

    finally we agree on something – i went mental at some lads who were boo’ing at HT at the san siro.

  106. – why do you think Goetze will demand 200k/week?

    lol and who is gotze to demand a 200k per week contract ? fuck him ..arsenal should never play that game..never…its not what arsenal is about, and i dont care that the rest around us choose to play that game ..they cant do it forever.

  107. no problem luke….. next time someone boos in close proximity from you please punch him for me … 🙂

  108. I agree with DARIUS AGREEMENT OF DUPSES APPROVAL. OF JOHNW . 🙂
    Fact is they are both very talented and special players. Both a joy to watch. Each with their own niches. There are things THEO CAN DO THAT EDEN CANT.
    but oh, there are things EDEN CAN DO THAT THEO CANT. HE is defiantly. An artistic type with the ball.

  109. Parker, new England captain. Guess who I’m supporting tonite?

  110. I thought of another difference between Arteta and Denilson, the kid from Brazil has actually managed to get a free kick up and over the wall for us! I’ll be surprised if Arteta is a regular in the starting 11 after the Summer.

  111. Jonny, I supposed the open question is to those who trumpet Hazard as an alternative to walcott, or to illustrate that we’re missing the trick. Also consider that we might have Hazards’s jiggery pokery already from other members of the squad.

    I’m sure he’s a decent player, but he’s not Maradona’s and Do Nascimento’s love child.

    Also, for the ‘results nazis’ who won’t listen to anything else but gols and us winning, Theo’s goal and assist numbers are not to be scoffed at.

  112. darius – i dont understand the criticism towards walcott, he was in the top 3 wingers in the epl last year in terms of minutes per goal/assist and thats not taking into consideration nani’s freak year

    hunter13 – i would hope arsenal never did something so ridiculous and its safe to say we wont, but just because top clubs are after him, doesnt automatically mean he thinks he will become one of the highest earners in world football.

  113. as for denilson….him lucas and anderson have been playing in europe from a very young age…i wouldnt be surprised if brasil wins a world cup with all them three in their midifled one day…denilson has learned next to gilberto, lucas next to alonso and gerrard , anderson next to scholes and giggs etc etc…. no denislon is no pirlo , we know that…but barcelona wanted him for his qualities that someone has already mentioned ..pop around and provide passing option for midfielders and spread it and relocate. his passing completion rate was not bad, and how old is he again 22? 23? …still a baby.

  114. So another club Port Vale goes bust. they can’t even pay wages for February.

  115. probably because they dont have the highest season tickets in world football darius 🙂

  116. If Psycho has appointed ‘Beam me up’ Scottie as captain, then for sure, my wager for Li’l Jack Willy to be England skipper within 2 years is bang on the money.

    And what’s with this “he’s an honest hardworking player” they keep talking about? – as opposed to what?

  117. Luke | February 29, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    do you think that wilshere could reach goetze;s level in two-three years ? because if he can , i dont think we need goetze… i could be wrong of course as i havent seen goetze play much…is goetze really the new xavi as they make him out to be ?

  118. I hope the situation NEVER deteriorate to the point of fisticuffs between the spectators on the ground, such as it did last year against. Liverpool in the home leg. The best thing to do is show class and drown them out by proper support. Embarrass them yes by all means. and if necessary ,have a talk with them outside. 🙂
    @ Jonny
    Past experience has shown that we have a snowballs chance in hell trying to compete with moneybags teams in a an open bidding war over a player, even if we spotted, followed, made the first move on said player. It is what it is. how. Is pops?

  119. hunter

    he plays further forward than xavi.

    could also play on either of our wings. i would envisage him playing at the top of the midfield 3 with wilshere / song at the base

    choosing 6 from:

    song / coq / wilshere / arteta / ramsey / rosicky / goetze / podolski / oxo / gervinho / walcott / van persie

    with input from miyachi / campbell

    makes our attacking strength pretty much unrivalled.

  120. Four interesting examples, and each different, so that comparisons are odious (my mom used to say). I actually discount Campbell as special case. Adebayor, undoubtedly a potentially supreme talent, supremely immature and unworthy of Arsenal. He’s found his level now and never would have made it at Arsenal. Eboue’s contribution throughout was versatility, and what a true gentleman. A real credit to Arsenal. His number was up with Jenks discovered and one feels it was a friendly and respectful parting with Le Boss. Wish him well, always. I never forget Song and Denilson’s midfield in that tough Feb-May 3 seasons ago, both playing far beyond their years and holding the middle together. It was only his back-injury that held the young man from achieving his goals, a superb, thinking footballer. Denilson has a future, we cannot be sure at Arsenal but I hope so. Arshavin’s is a case of homesickness, surely. Not all players “travel”. A unique, classy player who needs whatever it may be that big Russia pumps through that little frame. It’s not unexpected. There are good Russian players, but few leave.

  121. I cannot see Arsenal spending £30-35 million on 1 player. What happens if said player gets shawcrossed?

    Maybe in a few years with the new sponsor deals but not now.

  122. As for Scitty Perker as england captain, the only comparison I think of offhand was the (brief) appointment of Mugs McBiffin as england cricket captain during the great hiatus outbreak after the Windies re-invented the game.

  123. More Scitty Porker really.

  124. as pointed out by others, I’m confident of the team and the depth on the bench. Except for backup. To the prince Robin. Even there I’m sure chamak can do the job for us given games. Also PARK is still a unknown commodity to us all except AW. maybe, just maybe he is a weapon that will be reveled at the right time as seen fit with the manager. I don’t think either are leaving this summer. in short i see a possible sale of two or three and maybe a purchase of one. we are set in every other position . Imo.

  125. @Darius – it’s funny how (not aimed at you) some fans jump at people when they point at someone like Gervinho’s shooting and final ball, pointing out (for the most part quite rightly) what else he brings to the table. And yet, try to do this for Hazard and it gets rather short thrift! people cling to stats when it suits them and disregard them when they want to paint a different point.
    Regardless I was not overlooking or undervaluing Theo’s goals and assists – far from it.
    I don’t see Hazard as Theo’s replacement – fact is he could play either side and play a deeper role too even in the middle. He is versatile and has a great eye for a through ball. I just think he would be a good addition.
    Hazard may not be the greatest thing ever but, again, that’s not what I said, for me he is the most skillful young player I have seen in a while. It’s not for nothing that many of football’s biggest managers are drawing comparisons to Messi & Ronaldo – he is already ahead of where Ronaldo was at the same age. With my limited ability to judge, I think that, for once, the hype has credence.

    Wish I had seen more of Goetze to judge him too, but I’d be lying to say I have. @GoonerAndy – what’s your take?

    @Luke – I think Coquelin is a decent versatile cover. I also think Gibbs will be fins once Santos is ding the bulk of the work. Gibb’s injuries have been unusual and unfortunate. Those who think he is ‘injury prone’ have either not looked at them closely enough or don’t know enough about medicine IMO.

    @goonerkam – I already explained, playing football is really rather important to him. It gives us a chance. Plus we don’t know that any of the big clubs are really after him yet.

    @dups – yes that’s the risk that I think makes it most unlikely. But, if we believe old Sandro, we made a bid of about that amount already.

    Let’s move on… 😉

  126. I’m not certain Arsene Wenger indentifies and pursues potential player purchases as we do. Staggering how Wenger insists on finding players not even on our radar. Does Wenger even watch youtube or is it more pin the tail on the donkey?

  127. Appointment. Of Parker as ENGLAND captain is very short sided and will cause some friction in the camp as there are other players ahead of him in terms. Of international arena or even in the CL. stage..experience. He will be a fish out of water. Even Cashly is a better option. I think. The FA will do well if they can find a replacement for Cappello and quickly. TERRY , truly has become a major distraction and super toxic in regards the national team. I think his days at chelski are at an end soon.

  128. Sorry to point to someone else’s blog but just in case memories of the weekend are fading….

    http://straightalkingooners.com/video-van-persie-shows-off-his-skills-with-roulette-past-scott-parker/9108/?

  129. I’m not certain Arsene Wenger indentifies and pursues potential player purchases as we do.

    🙂

  130. I think teams will be lining up to sign EDEN this summer . Its a given. And I remember our. Bid for him being only 20 mil this past summer. If tabloid. Runners are to be relied on . Gotze is a good player . Maybe not as skillfull as Hazerd but more of a physical. Presence. Unfortunately, Podulski hasn’t impressed me in the few games I have seen him play. Granted that the majority have been for the German national team. And another concern with him is that he has changed three clubs already. Can’t seem to settle. Anywhere.

  131. Hahaha, great video FRANK. I counted five spudniks running around trying to take the ball off of him. I hope he doesn’t play for the national. Team today. He might. Be a markedman already.

  132. Biggest concern with Podolski is that he couldn’t reproduce his form when he had his biog move and then it took him a year to find his mojo when he was returned to the selling club. I like what I have seen but will he choke again – especially in an unfamiliar league?
    But if Wenger signs the player that’s good enough for me.
    @Zimp – as I have said before, it’s practically a given Wenger will go for someone that catches everyone else leftfield – who correctly predicted any of last summer’s signings FFS?! Gerv we knew about for ages but even that was leftfield at the start!

  133. Don’t like booing unless it is against the other side. Horrible if it is against our team or players.

    Arsenal demands that some players are used for different functions depending on the weaknesses of the team at a given time and many of the players mentioned have played outside of their natural positions. This and the added pressure of needing to perform when sporadically asked puts a lot of pressure on often young shoulders.

    That having been said, the frustration of watching certain players under perform is great. For many who are frustrated by the lack of silverware it is easy to find simple reasons why we are not where they feel we should be.

    If you look at Jenks or the Ox they stand in contrast to some of the players mentioned, whether because they have a winning way or they are just excellent players, who knows, it is the subject of a doctorate I am sure. Jenks and the Ox have taken their chances and they have endeared themselves to the fans. Either way, there is no dispute about some – the question is: is it just luck.

  134. Thought-provoking post, Rickaaaaay.

    I can see three trends (probably there are many more) that may encourage the dynamic you describe in the post:

    In the age of the internet, people are less comfortable with “not knowing”. With a seemingly infinite amount of information available, it seems odd to have to say, “I don’t know” or “I haven’t made up my mind yet”. There is pressure to have an opinion. As such, many people latch on to whatever the current label is, eg players are “lazy”, “slow”, “injury prone”, “lack a football brain”, etc.

    Over the past several years, the media has become increasingly sensationalist, with things pushed to one extreme or the other, either zero or hero, with little room for shades of grey. Managers of clubs that lose a couple of matches are “in crisis”, players who score a few goals are quickly tipped for big-money moves, etc. We have lost our appreciation for the middle ground: reliable contributors, the supporting cast who give the stars the platform to perform.

    With the Premier League being hyped as the greatest thing ever, we gradually come to believe it matters more, so any deficiency in a player is seen to have more significant consequences.

    Would like to add more, but have to get back to work!

  135. I’m amazed at how many Podolski and Arsenal tactical experts have emerged out of the woodwork to prostitute themselves to the radio shows…. They can even predict where Wenger will play Podolski and wait for this – Chamakh will be proposed as part of the deal.

    The irony of course being that these are typically ‘in-between jobs’ pundits and hacks who have clearly exhausted all their opportunities to work as football managers. You really can’t make this shit up.

  136. goonerkam,

    Podolski bangs ’em in more naturally than most. I suspect he’ll be the experienced-player replacement for AA if he pushes on.

    If u had to choose between Goetze and Hazard who would u pick?
    Who do u think AW’d go for and why?

    Summer OUTs: Almunia, Squillaci, Bendtner, Vela, Lansbury…

    Possible OUTs: AA, Chamakh, Denilson…

    RETURNEEs: Campbell, Ryo, Frimpong..

    INs:
    I’d be good with: Podolski, Verntoghen, Hazard

    DAMN….here we are a day before March talking about the summer??
    is this what twackng the Spuds does to one’s focus?

    F*CKIT…no more transfer talk!

    We’ve got
    “12 games left, emptying all closets, things are too tight to be civilized!”

  137. “You really can’t make this shit up.” Yuck – don’t say that makes me think Jibber is back! 😉

  138. “We have lost our appreciation for the middle ground: reliable contributors, the supporting cast who give the stars the platform to perform”.

    hear hear Billy’s Boots.
    All in line with the instant gratification generation powered by modern technology.

    Too much info too soon kills the suspense, the mystery, the romance, the amore, fantasy, intangibles, etc.. whether in football, film, porn, boy & girl interraction,..but hey, its given us …ACLF!!!!!!

    yay, where else would one meet such a wonderful variety of gooners?

  139. Interesting post. Thanks.

    I doubt any of Arshavin, Denilson, Bendtner, Vela etc will be back. Denilson is an interesting case. I am not sure which came first but the doomers hated him because the anti doomers liked him. When the anti doomers saw how much the doomers hated him they decided he would be the perfect player to make their case regarding what terrible fans the doomers are and came to Denilson’s defense. The truth is probably that he is not nearly as bad as the doomers say but no where near as good as the anti doomers say. We certainly have better options then Denilson with Le Coq, Frimpong, Arteta, Ramsey Song and Wilshere all looking for places in the central mid field. Strange world around Arsenal these days. The fan civil wars that have raged aroung Arsenal for the last 3 -4 years are would make a great case study for someones graduate thesis.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Eboue come back but its not going to happen, Jenkinson looks like a good prospect and much less expensive.

    I can’t see Arshavin comimg back. He was one of our highest paid players and from a business standpoint we need to shed some of our wage load so we can afford RVP. I will never understand what happened to Arshavin’s form. He was a player with a huge reputation and extreme talent and confidence after his international performances. His first season was brilliant. He was a huge fan and a media favorite but despite all that he slowly slipped into a doldrum that he never could really recover from. Hope he does well in Russia.

    Of all the players you mentioned I wish Ade would have worked out better but it was not to be.

  140. LOL Jonny, my bad.

    Speaking of this window shopping for summer transfers, I dread that this summer will be painful with one of the most traumatic silly seasons. Hopefully, the Euro’s and the Olympics will keep folks busy.

    Is it true that Arsenal play Brazil in China on the opening day of the Olympics? Caught the tail end of something like that but haven’t been able to get the story anywhere about pre-season fixtures in China.

  141. Rickaaaay – your post, a wonderful change of pace.

    As a manager you have no ‘control’ over fan expectation…..but you are at the control center for evaluating players, their character, on field efforts, playing evolution, and locker room atmosphere.

    Arsene is a patient man, and it would take a series of poor decisions by a player to be moved out BY HIM. I have to trust that he has weighed every option and done what was best for Arsenal or the player.

    I like Denilson and felt he had the skills and IQ to wear the colors.

    Totally believe Deni was asked to perform in a position that was not suited to his character and physical abilities (at his age). Arteta honed his game in the SPL and continued to develop at Everton. At 28, he is able to give Arsenal the extra muscle and match maturity.

    On your point that we missed Ade over the past few seasons…..I disagree. I saw him as disruptive source; For me, he’s still a little boy in that talented body – prone to making wrong decisions on and off the pitch. Actually, some might argue that his staying or returning with Arsenal would only polarize the team (or himself).

    Eboue:
    great heart – no questioning his love for Arsenal and talent. The Liverpool match (last season at the Emirates) sealed his fate. Experienced player whose decision lost consistency. I am more than satisfied by the addition of Jenkinson in our defense….
    Vermaelen, Kos, Sagna, Jenkinson – hard nosed- blue collar defenders.

  142. should read:

    “Experienced player whose decision making lost consistency.”

  143. Darius, we’re playing City on that day. Worth about £1m to us.

  144. goonerkam | February 29, 2012 at 9:12 am

    That is the spirit and attitude that needs to be contagious among all Arsenal fans ……..no holding back!

    Send our our best XI, and play them off the park.

  145. Bill – do you get together with any Arsenal fans in the Fortworth area or around Tx? If so, are your debates about Arsenal’s fortunes usually as polarizing?

    I met some fans in my travels recently who had no clue about some of the underlying issues e.g. football financing, det situation, etc – and they just went with what was peddled in the media and thought the EPL was a constant flow of money and that those who didn’t spend it like Arsenal were stingy clubs who deserved what they got. Certainly, they were shocked to find out that the only clubs that have won the Premier league since Arsenal last won it, as well as Man City in the last 3 years have spent more than the GDP of at least 47 of the least developed countries to get to where they are. That seemed to change their perspective about Arsenal.

  146. @Mark – where the hell did I get Brazil from? Maybe there’s people out there who already think City is Brazil.

  147. Who knows Darius? Maybe Brazil happen to be playing in the Olympics on that day too? Anyway, it was on the official site this morning. To be played at the ‘Bird Nest’ stadium.

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/arsenal-to-play-manchester-city-in-beijing

  148. It turns out they’re not. There isn’t any Olympic football on the 27th. Who knows where you got that from?

  149. Not going to be much of a first team though, is it? Most of the players at Euro2012 for example will just be back in training so not taken on the trip whilst anyone at the Olympics is not going to be there.

  150. The only explanation I have is that of mistaking the Bird Nest stadium with Brazil. Otherwise, I’m still baffled.

  151. Agreed YW. But then, from a commercial point of view, we’ll want our best players there and will want to beat City. But then, they’ll be in a similar situation, so…

  152. The fan civil wars that have raged aroung Arsenal for the last 3 -4 years are would make a great case study for someones graduate thesis.

    hehe you give too much improtance to the cretins who cant see the forrest behind the tree.

    any other club;s fans would have silenced the booers already..sadly arsenal aint got hardcore fans ..no firms ..no 3,000 army who will put the booers to shame …. hurt them as well…. 😉

    but then again…go to prison because of a few idiots ? thats not right either

  153. Life without Andrei is just not the same for me.
    I have had no inclination to post this last two days.
    Plus the presence of Luke nauseates me .
    Nice post today though.

  154. with all the sophistication in crowd monitoring in english stadiums ….cant the club hire 50 people to check all cameras all fans every row stand seat and whoever boos..mark him and not renew his ticket ?

  155. very sad pg …..i also think he was necessary ..some of our fans are a real fkn disgrace

  156. Come now George – we’re here and we’ll all help you through the dark patch.

    You’ll live, believe me.

  157. Darius:

    “Bill – do you get together with any Arsenal fans in the Fortworth area or around Tx? If so, are your debates about Arsenal’s fortunes usually as polarizing?”

    Short answer is its not polarizing because very few people care enough about European football to have strong views. I do go to a few MLS games and I wear my old favorite current colored O2 arsenal jersey with Pires on the back. Occasionally people will come up to me and briefly chat about European football and if I see someone else in an Arsenal shirt we will spend some time talking, Unfortunately, most people here are American football crazy with the Dallas Cowboys so there is relatively little interest in “soccer” for such a big community.

    Most of the limited media coverage of Arsenal and English football here is not overly negative and has none of the vitriol that you guys talk about everyday, but the over whelming theme in American sports culture is “what have you done for me lately” so most of the stuff that is written is mildly negative. If I tell them the clubs like Man City and Chelsea are like the New York Yankees and spend themselves to titles that resonates with them but they don’t understand all the issues well enough to really make a difference.

  158. from a work colleague:

    I can see why there may be a plausible financial plan that involves spending little on a net basis until the new sponsorship deals come in two seasons. If Liverpool can get a £25mn kit deal, there’s no reason why Arsenal shouldn’t be able to get on in the £20mn region at the very least, for example (we’re getting £8mn from Nike?)

    What needs serious evaluation is whether the policy of overpaying young, promising players (eg Denilson) on long-term contracts is working. The wage bill is £124mn. If you had a starting 11 of £100k/week players, that’s £5.2mn x 11 = £57.2mn. Add to that a bench of 11 £50k/week players and now you’re up to £85.8mn. Now you’ve still got £38.2mn to play with after fielding a star first 11 with outstanding cover (this amount could, for example, allow you to pay a further seven £100k/week players). As it stands Arsenal have about 70+ players in the full squad. Money ain’t the issue, it’s the contract structure. And as far as transfers go, the accounting basically works like this: you could buy a player for £25mn, stick him on a 5-year contract at £100k/week, and that’s about £5mn in annual amortization plus £5mn in wage costs, not a bank breaker by any means in the perspective of the current wage bill. They don’t want to take the risk of buying expensive players, but have failed to see that the aggregate cost of taking many relatively small individual risks on young players can be too high as well. A balance has to be struck, not least because having some star power in your squad can only help on the commercial side.

  159. Arshavin, was badly treated but, I think also a case of wrong place wrong time. Djouru, squillachi, chams, or that watse bendtner would of got the same treatment if not worse if any of the fore mentioned if they were in his place on that sad day for the club.

    Thank the lord that Theo, handled it a better way by bagging a brace to destroy the scum. Can’t see anyway back for Arshavin, now but, hope I’m wrong.

    To see him gone while we still have wasters and let downs still on the books hurts the heart. It looked normal at first glance but, that cross he put in for Henry v makems was world class quality.

  160. before anyone questions his credentials, he has a first in economics from yale, and a distinction in economic history from lse, is cfa and caia certified

  161. its not a full proof plan, just illustrative of how skewed our wages are.

    in his 11 v 11 scenario, there is still enough in the tank to pay 40 people a milliion per annum.

    quite astonishing when you think about it.

  162. “If the quotes attributed to Denilson are accurate he won’t be back.”

    Except they weren’t. Turns out he was right about Cesc though.

  163. Come now PG, surely you can transfer your affections to RvP or how about a younger buck such as Oxlade-Chamberlain?

  164. pg only likes supporting wounded animals. it reality, its an endearing attribute. it football, its weak and tedious! 😉

  165. PG, did you really, really have to mention – Andrey Arshavin and Alexander Kerzhakov – Magic duo!!!

    I was searching the Russian sites for any gossip on Arshavin and on a site called bobsoccer.ru, uploaded by ZenitFan1991 on February 26th, 2012 was a clip of the Magic Duo playing for Zenit St. Petersburg! To contrast the former there was another clip of the ArsenalArshavin.

    Arshavin and Kerzhakov were like ham and eggs or more to the point Alex James and Cliff Bastin, or Jimmy Logie and Ronnie Rooke or Liam Brady and ???

    “а пока предлагаю вспомнить и, следуя поговорке “один раз увидь”, освежить в памяти, что такое “Связка Аршавин – Кержаков”.

    Once in a lifetime!

  166. Shizen

    I’ll get canned if I continue to use that level of spelling

  167. Not Arsenal related, but if true, it’s nice to see a footballer talking sense for a change in this mad world!

    http://www.espn.co.uk/football/sport/story/138702.html?CMP=OTC-RSS

  168. Luke.

    Do you factor in NI costs and the wages of the rest of Arsenal employees plus pensions, benefits, etc. Or is the assumption that players are the only employees on the payroll.

  169. Darius

    NI costs, pensions, benefits are part of the base salary as with any other paycheck no? As I said, it was just a swift assessment from a different angle to show how much we must be paying some of our players

    Now, I know Arsenal Truth is hated, but the assessment of the wage bill and breaking down everyones base must be a fairly reasonable gestimate no??

  170. also Darius, how would explain the £50 million in other costs?

    Our wage bill is about 15 mill less than Uniteds – who also include staff.

    We had more 100k earners at highbury.

  171. They don’t want to take the risk of buying expensive players, but have failed to see that the aggregate cost of taking many relatively small individual risks on young players can be too high as well.

    i cant agree here…. the small risks taken with the youth are taken with the idea that the repayment in faith will come when the youngsters mature …sadly at arsenal this was never allowed to happen.

    i can not blame the wage policy or the youngsters for the impatient nature of the fans and their narrowminded perceptions, neither can i blame the manager for having his players nearly amputated and violently treated by the rest of neanderthal clubs here.

    lets face it ..there was/is nothing wrong with arsenal just because they couldnt win titles off teams spending a lot more than us, neither were/are we in a position to start risking 30 for tevez 40 for ibra etc etc …

  172. + win bonus + CL bonus etc etc

  173. Hunter @ 3:02:

    “hehe you give too much improtance to the cretins who cant see the forrest behind the tree.

    any other club;s fans would have silenced the booers already..sadly arsenal aint got hardcore fans ..no firms ..no 3,000 army who will put the booers to shame …. hurt them as well….”

    Your unusually dogmatic rants against everyone who disagree’s with any segment of your ideas is a part of the reason there are fan civil wars. Much as it would make you happy the club can’t just write off a significant segment of the fan base. IMO constantly throwing gasoline on a fire only causes the fans to spread even further to the far extremes of the opinion bell curve which can’t be good for anyone.

  174. Rate arshavin, rate eboue, rate adebayor, rate Campbell, don’t and never will rate denilson but that’s the beauty of being a foot fan we all have our views.

  175. …sadly at arsenal this was never allowed to happen

    how so? apart from consistent game time, never being dropped, never in fear of being sold, never concerned about replacements being bought

    we took a risk on growing a young team:

    denilson, diaby, bendtner, fabregas, flamini, nasri, clichy, adebayor, rvp etc etc

    how much of that has paid off?

    of course we will struggle against city – but then, if we fail to improve on a certain strategy, do you not think that extending our resources in a different way to try a new strategy would be worth exploring?

  176. Fairly easy to see why Bill carries the opinions he does. A great part about growing up in the greater Los Angeles area is experiencing the vast mix of different cultures and ideas. It really is a beautiful thing. One of the reasons I enjoyed London so much, too.

  177. On another subject looking raised to injury might be a blessing in disguise as he has not looked at his best for a while now. hopefully he’ll come back strong in a few games time.

  178. This is the sort of rubbish arsenaltruth write

    “Vermaelen (5.5)
    Poor; doesn’t turn up for the big games. Why does he go up for corners all the time? He hardly ever scores and it leaves Arsenal vulnerable to counter-attacks. Another of Wenger’s brainless tactics.”

    I would give him little value in wage calculation

  179. Passenal – interesting article.

    I’m always bemused by the culture of “linking” a player or a player being designated as a target for another club and the media summarily come up with a figure plucked from the ether to settle the transfer fee.

    I would really love to know how this linking works. Short of a hack sitting at the Bricklayer’s Arms with a pint and meat pie and concocting a fantasy football transfer league and then publishing it.

    I remember last summer when Darren Lewis didn’t have copy for his column in the Marrior and decided that he would fabricate a story about Arsenal making enquiries for Jermaine Defoe because they needed a striker. The story had no basis whatsoever and it was a blatent lie to fill column inches, yet it got traction for a couple of weeks with all media outlets saying that Defoe has been “linked” with Arsenal.

  180. dups

    £50 million – additional costs??? no explanation?

    uniteds bonus will be much higher than ours by the constant out performance, yet not a big difference in total wage bill

    i dont get yours and darious angle – disagreeing with me because its your natural reaction, or do you actually believe that our wage structure is fine and no ammendments need to be made?

  181. so nothing to counter the wage post then dups?

    just dismissing it completely based on a fully unrelated post

    i think there is sufficient evidence out there to ask why are:

    diaby, bendtner, denilson, alumina, chamakh, squillaci on the 50-70k bracket??

    what you believe the above earn – care to gestimate how much the above cost over a three year period?

  182. RE Parker: And what’s with this “he’s an honest hardworking player” they keep talking about? – as opposed to what?

    Consider the alternatives…

  183. “diaby, bendtner, denilson, alumina, chamakh, squillaci on the 50-70k bracket??”

    At the time they were given the contracts there was every reason for them to be in that bracket.

  184. Luke

    I am not interested in anything arsenaltruth make up.

    If you want an answer to the problem you need to eradicate the cause. That is stop Man City & their ilk over paying average players.

    We have to be competitive in wages to some degree

  185. ok, even assuming that offering players who achieved nothing significant contracts considering how skint we have been was a valid reason of said contract, now that they have achieved nothing again, can you see why some people are getting excited about the prospect of having such a burden removed from the club? and excited about the resources being used better elsewhere

  186. dups

    how do you explain us paying 100k contracts at highbury? surely we started the trend which city have just acted on?

    you can not blame the huge wasteage seen from our transfer budget every year on contracts we award on another club not involved.

  187. Luke

    Some people live in a dream world. They would sell half the squad expecting to buy 2 or 3 £20-30 million players. It is just pure stupidity.

  188. We have a new stadium with fanstastic turnover and huge match day revenue, yet if Yogi’s statement yesterday was correct with all the money we have coming in, we only made a profit last year because of player sales. The money has to be going somewhere and the only realistic explanation is to wages. Our commercial contracts are poor but the additional revenue when we renegotiate is not going to suddenly make us rich and by 2014 if wage inflation continues it will probably take up whatever additional revenue that comes from new shirt deals etc. If we plan to keep RVP and Theo and Song our wage bill is only going to increase significantly. If we want to continue to make a profit next year we will probably have to make some very significant player sales. We are certainly not going to get a windfall from Almunia, Denilson, Bendtner etc. Vela and Arshavin will probably bring in some cash but nothing like we got for Cesc or Nasri. Potentially another interesting summer ahead. Bottom line is we probably need to be much more careful about how we allocate our wages in the future if we ever want to get out of the cycle of having to sell players regularly.

  189. Luke

    We had little or no debt at Highbury.

  190. i know whats happening now. its a partisan stance.

    dups, if you were out with some friends discussing football, and arsenals wage bill popped up, im sure you would say there were issues that needed sorting.

  191. no bt our wage bill was significantly lower, as was our turnover

    we managed to have a pretty solid harmony of players when we were at highbury

    i dont know why everything has to be defended to the hilt. our management have clearly decided that a flat wage structure would benefit the club and the squad. it hasnt. why cant that be declared and changes made??

    is that what business/life is about? recognising when you have made mistakes and responding accordingly?

  192. re the dream world dups:

    there are 5 high earners who dont even wear the red&white anymore – what is wrong in suggesting we remove them for good and use the resources to strengthen the squad on one/two players?

    as my colleague said, 25mill player on 100k/week for 5 years is 5 mill ammortisation and 5 mill wages

    its not breaking the bank is it?

  193. Bill

    The interims were for 6 months to 30th November 2011. In common with most English clubs, Arsenal have a financial year end of 31st May. As an estimate, excluding profits on sale of players, I would expect Arsenal to have a full year profit of £2m – £5m. That is what self-sufficiency means at the moment. It highlights how poor the current raft of commercial deals are.

  194. dups

    this isnt some form of entrapment/cat & mouse

    we debate, you say, “ok, the wage structure is flawed”

    then i go off on some wild celebration because you caved!

    im happy to cede when i genuinely believe i have it wrong, and have done on here on many occasion.

    thats why i get so wound up sometimes, even if the little fundementalist fights are subdued, some people are adamant to take a pointless stance against other posters – all this does is result in an abuse match, and the bullshit akb/doomer divide grows.

  195. Luke

    Players will be leaving at the end of the season. Others will come in. Those we bring in (if top players) will want top wages so the wage bill will not get significantly lower.

    I would like to know who at our club is listed in the wage bill & whether other clubs list the staff as well as the players.

  196. Where does the money go? I was under the impression we had a stadium mortgage to pay.

    Luke – your scenario doesn’t specify whether your working with net or gross costs and that’s why I asked. The £50 million could be anything from agent fees to Arsenalisation costs. I don’t think it would help anyone if we speculate.

    Besides, you seem to put a lot of weight to the fact that your friend who came up with that assessment has an economics degree and is no mug and knows what he’s talking about.

    I would suggest that we also need to give credit to the fact that Arsene Wenger has a masters degree in economics and AFC has a few smart folks at Highbury House, not least Ken Fryer who is an expert in the numbers.

  197. What does Luke know?
    Really .
    I fucking ask you!

  198. Squad players are vital which is why we should have kept Arshavin and Denilson

  199. dups – fair enough, I’d like to know that too. you can make educated guesses though cant you…

    darius – the reason why i listed that credential re the originator is that i knew someone would use wengers degree from a tier 2 uni 40 years ago as some justification for our clubs accounting (should it even be in his job spec?)

    i’d be interested to know how many, if any, cfa qualified analysts currently work at arsenal.

  200. Luke’s friend may have a very good financial brain! On the facts, as presented by Luke, I can well believe that the Arsenal Holdings salary bill, was presented as for the playing staff only.

    Ivan Gazidis, we know what his salary was in 2010/101. The average monthly number of employees is over 400 at Arsenal Holdings plc. In short, Luke obviously gave the wrong information to the “expert”.

    PG, I wondered why you disliked Luke, now it is so, so obvious.

  201. there isnt even 100,000 globally as published by the CFA institute annual report

  202. abuse, ass lick, abuse, ass lick, abuse, ass lick

    never gets tiresome does it……………………

  203. Honestly Luke? You really think a global corporation valued at circa £1 billion, recognized by Forbes as the 3rd most financially valuable football club in the world and the 7th most valuable sporting entity in the world is run by a bunch of A-level qualified punks from Holloway Community College?

  204. Yogi:

    2 – 5 million in profit for a whole year with all the player sales is really a big concern. With the upcoming round of wage negotiations for arguably 3 of our most important players it looks like Ivan will be very busy trying to find buyers for some of the players for the next several seasons. We will have to be much more careful with our expenses especially player wages I would think.

    Clearly we could have much better commercial deals. I suspect that those deals will expire over a several year period and its probably not going to be a sudden windfall. There will most likely be wage inflation between now and whenever we start to see more revenue. Who knows what the world will be like in 2014/15. Hopefully companies will still be willing to spend big money on shirt deals and stadium naming rights. I guess,our best hope is that the rest of the world football goes into meltdown and the whole wage and transfer market bottoms out and we are one of the few left standing. Will be an interesting next few years.

  205. of course I don’t Darius – lets not start another piece of proganda.

    im concerned about the activities of those who decide and award the contracts. the available resources have been brilliantly allocated and automatically make us very very competitive.

    i am concerned with the use of the resources, not the academic and professional background of the men running the club.

    but you have diverted the conversation nicely.

    i need to get fiumicio – i will have plenty of time to ponder the counter arguments of the arsenal wage bill:

    – we pay 400 people
    – the average players deserved the astronomical wages and renewals at times of genuine paucity

    best buy a book………………………………

  206. Bill and YW – I suppose what doesn’t help is that the club doesn’t go out of its way to explain the implications of the figures to the wider public, creating an unintentional environment of misinformation.

    for example, most of the media houses are now making it gospel that Arsenal has made £49.5 million in profit and that they have reserves of £115.2. The story behind those figures are mostly left to the interpretation of woefully prepared hacks and pundits who are bankrupt in every sense when it comes to understanding what the figures mean.

    The danger of this is that these hacks and pundits have the power of mass media behind them and their misinformaition easily becomes gospel.

    We needed the front loading of the sponsorship money to build the stadium, and there’s not much we can do about those deals until they expire. What’s more important is that we can manage ourselves responsibly until those deals expire and with time, when we fully pay for the stadium.

  207. Luke

    The fundamental flaws in your friends hypothesis:

      1. Bonuses – not just win bonuses but contractual signing on fees. A free transfer will cost more in signing on fees over the course of his contract than a normal transfer; the Bosman Ruling was a Godsend in that respect for the players. Extend your contract? Yes Sir and we’ll give you some more loyalty bonus as well.

      2. Cashflow – whilst the P&L impact of transfers is considered, the cash outlay is equally as important. Paying for the footballing HP agreement is as fundamental to the club as the P&L. Whilst the wages might be serviceable, the actual outlay in cash terms on a transfer financially is as important; they have to be able to service the debt.

      3. Forget commercial benefits. When you are in the realms of your Ronaldo’s or Messi’s, you have the commerical payback over the course of the deal. Very, very, very few other players can bring that sort of additional revenues in.

      4. Ancillary costs – Social Security costs are roughly 12% in the UK for employees. Pensions for footballers? Likely to be around 35%. So £50m other costs? I just got to £47m without even trying.

    Until you know the ins and outs, arguing a hypothesis is a little pointless. You can’t go down to that detail. If you are saying that your £100k includes the extra costs, well your £100k player isn’t anywhere near the league to bring in #3’s commercial benefits. If he is, your £100k per week player’s costs are likely to be in the region:

      100 Wages
      10 Signing On Fee
      15 NIC
      35 Pension
      160 TOTAL

    Which makes a mess of the assumptions really.

  208. Bill | February 29, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    “I guess,our best hope is that the rest of the world football goes into meltdown and the whole wage and transfer market bottoms out” – Wishful thinking. 🙂

    “We are one of the few left standing” – On that, Oh we will be!!

  209. No Bill

    The £2m – £5m EXCLUDES profits on player sales.

  210. Luke. Stop blowing smoke up our arses.

    You brought up a pre-emptive arguement of your friends financial and academic credentials to counter what you call a 40 year old second rated economics degree held by Wenger. You also questioned how many CPA qualified professionals (Ken Fryer would laugh at this one) are on Arsenal Holdings PLC payroll.

    But as for your arguement, its simplistic for you to divie up Arsenal’s payroll and assume that the hundreds of non-playing Arsenal FC staff from secretaries to stewards, from lawyers to communication staff, from catering staff to the landladies who host our new and young players are paid with Marks and Spencer vouchers.

    All we’ve learnt about your arguements are that none of us know the full picture and supposition just leads us up the same garden path the incompetent media lead many Arsenal fans to.

  211. Your unusually dogmatic rants against everyone who disagree’s with any segment of your ideas is a part of the reason there are fan civil wars. Much as it would make you happy the club can’t just write off a significant segment of the fan base. IMO constantly throwing gasoline on a fire only causes the fans to spread even further to the far extremes of the opinion bell curve which can’t be good for anyone.

    why cant the club write off the cretins who dont know what theyre booing ? i dont get it ..why give value to such scum? or their complaints? they are destroying the psychology of our players. making wenger feel as if hes done some crimes …fuck em !!

    sorry but what is this dogmatic shit youre throwing at me ? … the booers and doomers are wrong 100 % ..why should i not humiliate them and their way of thinking? dont want them anywhere near the club.

    what far extremes ? yogi threw that too the other day …what is extreme in showing respect for wenger ? please enlighten me.

    mate the only reason there is civil war as you say is because these cretins werent silenced sooner.

    so the media and the rivals taunting has turned the arsenal fans heads and messed with them bigtime and out of their confusion to explain what is happening they react againt the team ? and youre telling me i should go soft on such people? hahaha no chance ..they are traitors and thats how they will be treated …from me at least.

  212. Yogi:

    My bad, I just reread your post and you made that clear. I need to take a little more time to read.

    So we made a 2 – 5 million profit and that includes wages and all other expenses and the profit from player sales is seperate? If so then what has happened to all the money we have made on player sales in the last few years and how about all the money that we made from the sale of the Highbury Flats etc? This years profit was actually lower then some of the previous season I thought. If thats the case then there should be tons of money sitting around somewhere. It is remarkably confusing.

  213. …sadly at arsenal this was never allowed to happen

    how so? apart from consistent game time, never being dropped, never in fear of being sold, never concerned about replacements being bought. how so? ok lets see you trying to establish yourself as a professional in football let alone a player for arsenal in the epl and having the media calling you useless, evra mocking you , taylor smashing our legs, shawcross smashing our legs the refs fucking us and then having a bunch of wankers booing at you …lol…..lets see what a pro you become under such conditions and how much youd love to play for that great crowd ….

    we took a risk on growing a young team: certainly we did ..and this risk was to start paying dividents once the core was 26 and above. we started slaughtering them as soon as they were 20-21 ..

    denilson, diaby, bendtner, fabregas, flamini, nasri, clichy, adebayor, rvp etc etc

    how much of that has paid off? go check the positions we got with them and how they helped repay the investment of the stadium with their champions league qualifications and away victories

    of course we will struggle against city – but then, if we fail to improve on a certain strategy, do you not think that extending our resources in a different way to try a new strategy would be worth exploring?

    what strategy ,,our strategy has been the same ever since we set our foot in the emirates and it aint gonna change till the stadium is paid for. arsenal aint interested in competing like chelsea and city ….if thats the way to compete theyd rather build and wait….fans dont get that do they? they cant wait. they want trophies. well fuck them ..trophies will come when the club as a whole is ready to challenge for them.

  214. Fair enough, but even if that’s £35 million (£6 million for Wenger, plus £1mn for each of Pat Rice and Boro Primorac, plus £1mn for Gazidis, plus £1.5mn for the directors, £15mn for everyone else (£50k avg salaries for 300 additional employees) you’ve still got £3-5 million after the all-star squad example below, which is obviously along the most expensive lines you could go down (you wouldn’t have two £100k keepers for example…in fact I don’t think there’s anybody getting paid 100k-plus right now at all). And if the club is paying significantly more than £35 million on non-playing staff, then I would add it to the list of serious wage bill problems. I could add in NI as well which would cut into the wage bill available to players I suppose…but perhaps the question should be phrased differently: how do you get to £95-100mn from the currently assembled playing staff? That’s the extraordinary thing.
     

  215. Apparently, Theo doesn’t make the starting line-up tonight for Ingerland.

  216. Luke can i ask you something?

    why do you talk with such disrepect about our youngsters and their achievements? do you think that getting 4th in the premiership is easy? does the achievement of reaching the positions of the champions league against teams with more expensive and expereinced players than ours mean anything to you.

    i hate to say it again but this club before wenger was ending 5th 7th and 12th , with players in the roster who had won titles …;)

    hehe …

  217. He’s better off out of it Darius. I will be very happy if none of our players get picked for their national teams!

  218. Darius Stone (@DStoneArsenal) | February 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    nice one !

  219. another quality post on ACLF, truly enjoyed reading it.

    Podolski by all accounts seems to want to play at Arsenal and would be a welcomed addition, I can’t really see any downside to it. Has excelled at Cologne, excelled at the international stage, struggled at Bayern partly due to the system that they were playing. Do i think he will struggle at Arsenal, no due to our style of play and the fact that he would be able to play on his preferred left or through the middle either giving our Captain a rest of playing slightly behind him or visa versa. I have watched him play for Germany on every chance I do get and he is an absolute world class talent that has a great goal record, deft touch strong and pacy(sounds like our type of player).

    On Hazard, I love this kid and have stated many times that a midfield of Song, Jack, Hazard would be hands down the most talented midfield in the EPL bar none. While he could also play outwide as a winger/wide striker his talents are unquestioned and he would be another welcomed addition to Arsenal football club.

    On 2nd chances, honestly i was sad to see Eboue leave and was actually a fan of Denilison. would be glad to have had them playing for us in a jam this year but as it goes neither will probably ever don our great shirt again. arshavin unfortunately probably wont either and while sad to see him go along with his genius, I do believe that he just fell out of Arsene’s plans for the future.

  220. @ Jonny | February 29, 2012 at 1:33 pm
    Another part of the reason that he couldn’t break into the starting XI at Bayern was due to Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose being the starting strikers and both of them were playing at their world class best at that time adn he was basically 3rd striker. On top of that he was still just 19-20 at the time, so it was basically like Theo taking the World Cup by storm at teh age of 19 and then sitting behind RVP, Henry, Nasri

  221. Details, details. Cut the crap. The basic thesis Luke is presenting are:
    a) player wages are not justifiable because too many players are not good enough
    b) better players should be bought because we have the money and these types of players offer higher value for their money also

    Example: Liverpool. Other example: United

    Am I far off, or close?

    Whichever way you look at it, the biggest load of nonsense spewed out, relative to the turgid content in posts + amount of speculative numbers and facts presented, since sprectum coined that ditty “In Arsene we rust”, and essentially the same argument, and level, as Spreccie. He wins because his was shorter.

    Luke, insult someone’s else’s intelligence. Your “point” can be disproven in one minute, in several respects; but since the saying goes “never argue with a fool, people might not notice the difference”, I’ll leave it at that.

  222. ‘The University of Strasbourg in Strasbourg, Alsace, France, is the largest university in France, with about 43,000 students and over 4,000 researchers.

    The present-day French university traces its history to the earlier German language Universität Straßburg, which was founded in 1631, and was divided in the 1970s into three separate institutions: Louis Pasteur University, Marc Bloch University, and Robert Schuman University. On 1 January 2009, the fusion of these three universities recreated a united University of Strasbourg, which is now amongst Europe’s best in the League of European Research Universities.’

    …I only mention it because it is the university which awarded AW his degree. Interestingly students only get in on merit, unlike most American Ivy league universities where most students gain entrance because their parents pay large sums of money.

  223. …and your friend did not factor in VAT

  224. I sometimes wonder if it ever occurs to people studying Arsenal accounts (and without the actual facts at their disposal) that, aside from shortcomings in the execution of strategy and there are likely several, some people may have thought it out and decided to do it this way and have reasons for that, that is a plan, and its not a random series of freak accidents and outrageous errors in basic business. I exclude YW because he notices facts and asks the right questions.

  225. Oh dear Oh dear frank.

    How dare you suggest Strasbourg isn’t a second rate boiler plate university with postgraduate masters degrees in economics that are so useless that they warrant filing in between shit and syphilis.

    According to Luke, it was even more useless 40 years ago. Just as useless as Ken Fryers A-level in book-keeping from Holloway Community College.

  226. Yogi:

    I don’t know if you are still on but I am honestly confused now. If the club made 3 million last season after paying wages and mortgage on the stadium debt and all other expenses then we should really be in great shape. The profit from player sales is a seperate pot altogether?

    We have made profits every year for the last several years and I thought we had a bigger profits in some of the prior 2 – 3 years especially with the sale of the Highbury properties. All of that profit from operations is supposed to go towards improving the squad since we don’t have to pay shareholders etc. Then you add to that all the money we have made from players sales and we should in theory have a really fat war chest by now. I know its not Man City type money but it could have made a significant difference in our chances to win especially last couple of years when it looked like we were so close.

    I understand saving for the future and being prudent but the real financial situation is not going to improve for several years until after we start renegotiating the commercial deals and even that is in no way a certainty. Rather then things getting better, 2 – 3 more oil billionaires could come into the league and things could get a lot worse. I certainly don’t advocate spending ourselves into oblivion but haven’t we gone overboard overboard with the frugality and delayed gratification. I am honestly surprised that any sports fans would be OK with that type of strategy.

  227. Underrated player that Vat, often pops up when least expected to whip the ball off your feet and slips in and out of play like a ghost. I’ve heard he takes one helluva free-kick. Spend the money and buy him.

  228. Come off it Frank. And Darius. Am I mistaken or is Strabourg in France, evidently tossed to one side by Germany? Is France in England? Is France even in USA? If neither is France then, by any chance, foreign? I think you get my drift. We don’t need to s-p-e-l-l it out, do we? I am sure we will all accept your grovelling apologies.

  229. ZimPaul – that damned VAT player has an agent that demands 20% of your income every quarter. I don’t give a damn what he brings to the table, LOL – he’s out.

  230. Bill, you didn’t need to elaborate. “Yogi:I don’t know if you are still on but I am honestly confused now”, was in itself a succinct summary.

    Sorry Bill. Couldn’t resist.

  231. I was right about Luke all along,was I not?

  232. Zimpaul:

    🙂 You got me.

  233. RvP’s statement in the program, his post-match interview after the NLD, and his remarks in the interview with the Dutch football magazine are great signs. It doesn’t mean that he won’t take a good think about the situation at the end of the season, try to leverage his position to achieve what he wants in remaining seasons with the club, or have his interests to consider.

    But I doubt money is the critical question. Of course he will demand a pay rise and he more than anyone deserves it. I think he cares about the club, feels he could be a true legend at Arsenal–especially if he were to lead us to trophies and titles, and takes his responsibility as captain very very seriously. In other words, he isn’t looking to dash off to go somewhere to win but wants Arsenal under his leadership to win. He may have some hard questions about whether we are poised to do it and what sort of business we will do in the summer, with current players nearing the end of contracts, the manager’s plans for the future, and the need for some reinforcements.

    RvP is just too intelligent to worry about some extra money here or there. He isn’t a dumb footballer whose chance to earn money end as soon as he can’t kick the ball for a club. He is very articulate, handsome, intelligent, charismatic, thoughtful, mature. The guy has everything going for him. He would be a tremendous commentator, coach/manager, football executive. He isn’t desperate. And you cannot buy becoming a true legend. No amount of money can get you the status Dennis Bergkamp has in Dutch football and at Arsenal, for example. The only thing he would be desperate to do is to have a chance to lead a winning team with Arsenal. He has been contemptuous more than once of the Chelseas/ManCity’s and even the Spanish clubs.

    It is not a given he stays, but the way some talk about the temptation to leave just strikes me as superficial. I won’t say I don’t sometimes worry about it. But what I am worried about is dropping out of the CL and the club then having to forgo plans to reshape and enhance the squad as a result of the shortfall in funds and the lack of top level European football to offer.

    I hope he scores a quick hattrick and gets the second half off without incident!

  234. Some guy on Channel 4 news claims he’s found the casket Jesus Christ was buried in before he resurrected.

  235. Frank, the dirty secret about the Ivy Leagues and other elite private colleges is that a very high proportion of students (40-60%) are admitted not on strictly academic assessments of merit but through athletics and “legacies”, that is the status of having close members of the family as alumni. The idea is that this keeps alumni loyal and continuing to make large donations and bequests (not just that they pay huge amounts of money annually in tuition fees, rather it is the continuing relationship after graduation that the university is after). The Ivy League is famous for not granting athletic scholarships but in fact it does offer preferential treatment in admissions for those who can serve in its basketball, American football, swimming, water polo, lacrosse, tennis, badminton, gymnastics, track and field, cross-country running, skiing, “soccer” and other sports teams. It really adds up when an entering class is 2000 or less students.

  236. Darius, that is old news. Several of those were discovered during the Crusades nearly a thousand years ago!

  237. You folks actually read what that idiot writes? Blimey.

  238. Limestone. I remember an interview Bergkamp did after a game we won during his final season. Dont’ recall the Sky interviewer, but the question was designed to speculate about Bergkamp’s pending retirement.

    And so he asked Dennis whether he was satisfied with the lowly £30,000 a week he was being paid at Arsenal. Dennis’s response was class (paraphrasing of course) – “At my age, I’m one of the luckiest guys to be paid that sort of salary in football. I’ll sit on the bench for as long as I’m needed and if the boss wants I’ll put on the shirt and play my heart out”.

    Pure class from a true servant.

  239. @ Darius Stone (@DStoneArsenal) | February 29, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Dennis Bergkamp pure class

  240. Joel Campbell has already scored for Costa Rica against Wales.

    When is he coming back home?

  241. Despite the re-merging of the University of Strasbourg, I hope there is still some sort of commemorative honouring of Marc Bloch, the great medieval historian, co-founder of the Annales school and journal for interdisciplinary socio-economic history, and French Jewish resistance fighter killed by the Nazis.

  242. Passenal – how about the Ox passing to opposition just so they could improve the angle for him then helping himself to the ball again!
    Really hope Lansbury comes back he looks very good.

  243. Steww. I don’t think they noticed how hungry and greedy an Ox can be. Shame on them.

    If the youngsters are being this prolific, Van Persie will also score, no?

    Thanks Passenal for the link.

  244. mattgoonerknight

    Jonny | February 29, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Jonny

    Remember this?

    Ridiculous!

  245. Gerrard is off – strange. Looks injured as he’s gone straight through to the dressing room. He might not make it for Saturday lunch time.

  246. Is Robin playing Darius?

  247. Passenal – yes he is. He’s leading the Dutch line with Kuyt and Robben flanking him.

  248. Steww:

    Where would Lansbury play? With JW and Frimpong coming back next season things are really crowded in central midfield. Song and Frimpong as DM. Arteta and Ramsey and Le Coq as box to box MF. Fingers crossed may be even Diaby. JW and possibly a new signing as an attacking mid. The good thing is he does not count against the 25 man roster so we can keep him around for as long as we like. Perhaps he could go on loan to a PL side and we could see how good he really is. Does not seem like much chance of first team football for him in the next couple of years unless we have a rash of long term injuries. The number of players in the academy level mean a lot of decisions for players like him in the coming years.

  249. Van Persie needs to come off at half time. They can send Huntelaar to play rope-a-dope with Ingerland.

    And a trivia question posed for all you half time folks: Why is Stewart Pearce wearing a dark suit with tanned shoes?

  250. @bill

    While our midfield maybe crowded it is definetly a good thing with our history of injuries to be crowded rather than be the opposite like our LB/RB was this year.

  251. mattgoonerknight

    On the theme of returnees / second chances (interesting write up Ricky!)

    I’d personally love for Cesc to return in his late twenties / early thirties. I can hear the cries of “it’ll never happen” but we have got first refusal on any potential future transfer away from Camp Nou. Once he’s got a few La Liga titles and the odd Champions League winners medal tucked under his belt he can come back to his 2nd home without the nagging doubts of what might have been and attempt to address some previously unfinished business.

    Van Persie would still be club captain (now in the Bergkamp role, behind a pacier, younger centre forward) but mostly appearing only every other game or so; Jack will be wearing the armband on most match days and Cesc will just be pleased to be back a part of a team he loved.

    O.K, I agree it’s the stuff of fantasy, but I’d love it!!!!

  252. Very good article Rickaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

    Very good Rickaaaaaaaaaaay.

    On Twitter, countless fans timelines will read like this over the space of two months > he’s sh*t > he offers nothing > don’t take off that kid I complained about signing for this lazy so and so > sell him in January > good riddance > what, he’s leaving? > we’re doomed. Heh.

    funny

    But I think AA is more likely to return than Denilson, in the short term anyway. Especially if PG ties a yellow ribbon or two on the oak trees in the Blackburn area. Denilson is doing well at Sao Paulo, he may find that the experience of the English League gives him an advantage in Brazil.
    Arshavin scored for Russia, btw.

    @ Darius | February 29, 2012 at 8:16 am
    Just what we want to hear!

    @ ZimPaul | February 29, 2012 at 12:50 pm
    ha ha!

    @ Billy’s Boots | February 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm
    *clap clap*
    With all the supposed sources of information available we are no better informed than medieval peasants.

    ***
    I cannot believe RvP is playing. WHY?! It’s a friendly, fgs!

  253. matt – exactly what sprang to my mind too!

  254. I hope he’s not getting knocked around too much Darius!

  255. Please take off RVP and put on Huntelaar, either way yall will beat Ingerland

  256. @ mgk
    I think AW would have Cesc back in a heartbeat – even had a buy-back clause inserted in his contract – but I doubt that it will ever happen. Thank goodness.

  257. Bill,
    You never know with our injury problems, TR7 approaching his twilight years. Who would’ve predicted Flamini being so important a part in that great midfield – or even having a place in it at all?
    I’m just greedy and want all our players here all getting first team football and succeeding and i know it doesn’t work like that.

  258. “Arshavin scored for Russia, btw.”

    That’s 4 Arsenal players who have scored so far FG!

  259. Passenal – it’s Holland, they don’t pass to him.

  260. PG, Arshavin scored for Russia in their 2 – 0 win over Denmark!

  261. mattgoonerknight

    Steww

    Henry’s back hill or the return of Cesc?

    FG

    Why thank goodness?

  262. I will get some yellow ribbons tomorrow

  263. mattgoonerknight

    heel lol

  264. Steven “Play me some Phil Collins or else…” Gerrard has a tight hammy and came off as a precaution. Still no word whether he’ll play against us on Saturday.

    I hope the Dutch take Van Persie off.

  265. “While our midfield maybe crowded it is definetly a good thing with our history of injuries to be crowded rather than be the opposite like our LB/RB was this year.”

    We can still only have 25 players over 21 in the PL squad.

  266. matt my browser wasn’t refreshing for ages sorry that was in response the TH back-heel.

  267. “it’s Holland, they don’t pass to him.”

    I was thinking the same thing steww! At Arsenal, the team play for him, so the ‘one man team’ thing is a load of rubbish as he is not half as effective in a team that never looks to play to his strengths!

  268. @ mgk
    Because if we took him back we’d be like those women on the Jeremy Kyle show who take back their cheating thieving love rat boyfriend because they think they won’t get anyone else. If he comes crawling back (highly unlikely) we should sing the lyrics of “I Will Survive” in his face and tell him to get lost. Because we’re worth it.

    @ PG
    May I recommend John Lewis for all your haberdashery needs?

  269. Does anyone know who’s scored the France goal against Germany? Sagna? Koscielny? LOL

  270. Huntelaar is on for Van Persie…Yipee!

  271. @ Passenal | February 29, 2012 at 8:55 pm
    We can still only have 25 players over 21 in the PL squad.

    Good point. That, combined with an age and numbers limit on loaned out players, could have a much greater effect in levelling the financial playing field that FFP.

    Thank God RvP is off. Now I can relax. I’ve really only been watching to make sure that no-one injures him.

  272. Jeremy Kyle?? @FG. Do people actually watch his show?

  273. @ Darius
    Um….no (looks away sheepishly)

  274. Steww. Now that you’ve mentioned it, its so tru that Schneider and Robben in particular didn’t go out of their way to engage Van Persie. Their loss.

  275. Steww:

    I completely forgot about TR7. I really hope he is with us next season.

    I have a lot of egg on my face for advocating we send Ox on loan but I still think a loan would be best Lansbury as long as he plays for a PL team and not a championship side. Perhaps a renewable 6 month loan and bring him back if we have that much of an injury bug. Both he and the team need to find out how well he can play in the top level.

  276. This match is extremely boring. Really dull to watch. And I don’t know why, but I just can’t stand Robben and Sneijder.

  277. @FG – it’s OK my dear.

    I confess I used to take a peak at an equally more seedy Jerry Springer show in a previous life – I swear I had an excuse.

  278. MGK – Yeah! Nice ‘heelsmanship’ all round. 🙂

    That’s one of my dream’s too. I’d welcome the lad with open arms. Sure, it’s unlikely but who know’s what might happen to Spain economically in the near future..

    Ach! If ye cannae dream then, for me, it simply isn’t football. 😉

    There’s quite a few bitter voices on the Cesc front – ‘jilted bride syndrome’, I guess.

    I bear him no ill – how could one really? He let us down a little but he still LOVES The Arsenal genuinely – we always knew he would have to go home. The actuality was rough but he’s a good man and who knows..?

    The future is a strange beast…

  279. Fabulous solo goal from Robben.

  280. Kuyt getting nice and tired.

  281. Bill – Rosicky is now our elderly statesman and we have to keep him at Arsenal. Li’l Jack Willy, Ramsey and Diaby have a lot to learn from Li’l Mozart on and off the pitch. I think Rosicky is very minded to want to stay and repay Arsenal for keeping faith with him during his nearly 2 years out with injury. He is undoubtedly a valuable asset.

    So – Robin goes off and Smalling decides a kamikaze attack is best. Good thing Van Persie is having a hot bath.

  282. RVP off Thank you Dutch!!!

  283. Yay, Robin is off! Liverpool players can stay on for the whole 90 minutes.

  284. mattgoonerknight

    FG

    Totally see it differently. We had eight years of a wonderful player who I truly believe would have only ever of left and eventually did leave for one and one club only. Yes, the fact that Barcelona were dominating both domestically and in Europe clearly made the decision easier for him but such is life (and we only have one after all).

    How did you feel about Henry’s exit and eventual return? Not the same granted (it was Henry’s time, the team he was a part of had all but disbanded) but not entirely different and the destination was certainly the same.

    I for one welcomed Henry’s return, would welcome Cesc’s return and wouldn’t have minded Paddy Viera playing Carling Cup games and now being part of our coaching / scouting set up, despite the fact he thought Turin was where he needed to be rather than N5.

    What are your (or anyone else’s) thoughts?

  285. Jonny. The only problem I have with Cesc is that he bottled it when it mattered.

    Vermaelen summed it up when he signed an extension to his contract. His view was that when times are tough, you don’t bail out and seek greener pastures. You knuckle down and make it right.

    Frank of course put it more eloquently yesterday. The difference between Cesc and Robin is that Cesc had to go running to his mama and papa back home. Robin has a wife and kids and a family of his own and doesn’t need to go running anywhere.

  286. Aw we went through this the other day MGK,

    PG’s thoughts on the subject are not suitable for print…

    😉

  287. Sturridge has learned quite a bit from Torres.

  288. Please note:

    receipts from sale of players will be CASH at 30th November 2011 was £50, 698,000.

    BUT

    the following does not appear in the Notes to the Cash Flow Statement!

    Profit on disposal of player registrations as at 30th November was £63,010,000.

  289. Yeah but he’s still not much more than a kid Darius – he didn’t CHOOSE to bottle things surely? Plus there are plenty of players who have bottled it when it mattered, including Henry.

    We took him back…

    What about when Fab played on with a broken leg – not good enough for y’all?

    I could take it if it was someone who seemed indifferent but with Fab that was never the case he just was not mentally ready and (IMHO) part of his problem was Wenger’s ‘coddling’ management – he should never have been made captain to start with. It always sat heavily on his shoulders.

  290. Oh DdearOh dear Scott. You can’t keep tumbling down like that if you want to save face and maintain that skipper arm band.

  291. Having watched Parker now play in two games, I am really happy we did not get him. I just do not see him offering much for us. He might do a job for other teams, but I think he would be a square peg in a round hole in our system.

  292. mattgoonerknight

    Jonny

    As very nearly always, I’m reading off of the same page mate.

    Yeah, Cesc let us down somewhat but there are plenty of other players who have left (who we didn’t necessarily want to leave) us whom I wouldn’t have any qualms with returning (if they were good enough). Equally, there are several players who have left who would never be welcome back, regardless of price, quality, positional requirements etc.

    Cesc was, is and almost certainly will be a world class player for years to come; he’s our ex-captain, an Arsenal player for eight years before moving back to his first club, his home town team which is the best club team in the world. Yeah, the way in which he pushed for and courted the move sucked but other than that, can you blame him?

    In my opinion, he’s welcome back any time he fucking likes!

  293. @Jonny

    I agree with you that Wenger did coddle Cesc and like i have stated before Cesc was Wenger’s baby and when Cesc left Wenger wept but RVP gave him a shoulder to weep on and RVP said give me the armband and I will lead your team the with the same passion and joy for everything Arsenal that a man named Viera did and Wenger said Captain my Captain please lead my people and teach them that there is life after Cesc, there will be tough times but RVP i know you have what it takes to lead us back to great things. And now RVP leads us and will lead us to great things.

  294. Jonny.

    He was paid enough for the trouble of being overburdened and to take care of the home sickness.

    Why the fuck is Psycho bringing on Theo with a few minutes to go.

  295. And now we have seen why AVB bought Cahill. Because it sure as hell isn’t for his defensive ability. But he has a lot of composure up front and must surely be a better option than Torres?

  296. So – if England beat the world champions at Wembly, and then drew with the 2nd best team in the world – does that mean they’re the best team ever in the world?

  297. See that rubbish Walcott’s got another assist.

  298. Evil.

    If I were Torres, I’d be ashamed of even sitting on the bench. £50 million in transfer fees, I don’t know how much in wages and how many goals has he scored for Chelsea again? It’s not even embarrasing any more, its humiliating.

  299. Robben is one footed. He will always try to put the ball on his left foot because he can do sh*t with his right. And when he is in that inside right channel, he will ALWAYS go for the shot. Why is it that hardly any defender seems to realise that?

  300. LOL Arsenal Andrew, I bet you the tabloids will say it was a Scott Parker assist.

  301. mattgoonerknight

    Jones assist for the 2nd goal. Good play from Walcott, not an assist though.

  302. That Walcott is shit he should go play for Arsenal and be teh inconsistent twat that he is. Could you ever imagine him being world class, all he does is create and give assits for goals.

  303. Darius:

    Agree completely about TR7. He is a very valuable asset to the team and I really hope he stays. I will not begrudge whatever he decides to do this summer even if he leaves. Hopefully that loyalty you describe will trump getting more money or a longer contract somewhere in Germany.

  304. Interesting discussion today on the wages.

    Our struggling with offloading players like Bendtner, Denilson and Almunia suggests that the theory of the squad players being overpaid at Arsenal is more that just a speculation. And the reasons for that have less to do with the wages inflation and more to do with the intentional managerial decisions:

    1. Arsene’s view that smaller differences between players’ earnings would contribute to more harmony in the dressing room. One may argue that the other side of the coin was more complacency on the squad players’ side.
    2. Arsene’s expectation that the 2009-2011 squad was ready to win a major trophy. In the light of it, big extended contracts were handed out to prevent possible targeting of the emerging stars team from the richer clubs. As it happened, the expected team’s triumph did not materialise, and the new contracts did not prevent the high quality players from leaving while reducing the clubs flexibility in refreshing the squad.

    I think Arsene realises that he got the wage structure wrong. The correcting measures have already started with the attempts to offload some players, but they will take time. So patience is required from the club’s management as well as from the fans.

  305. Cheers MGK, backatcha sir.

    Darius why bring wages into it? I honestly don’t see the relevance. Did you think the tears over/with Wenger were crocodile tears? Did you ever get the feeling the decision was not awfully hard for him?

    Everyone is different – Cesc is a very sensitive soul and should be managed, understood and judged and forgiven as the type of individual he is. He loves the club and that should never be forgotten – I bet he feels sad about how it turned out too but Wenger could have managed it differently also.

    TBH, I could no sooner be furious with a snowflake.

    Amazingly there are many who would sooner defend/see Bendtner back than Cesc. I’d rather remove my skin and swim in ‘Salt and Lineker’ crisps than see that cunt in an Arsenal again! 😉

    That football game went mental. Bad defending from Baines at the end…

  306. mattgoonerknight

    Completely unrelated (well, was talking about Cesc and he’s Spanish) but I’ve just stumbled across this:

    Real Betis’ club motto is “Viva er Betis manque pierda!” which translates as “Long live Betis even when they lose!”

    Don’t ask me why or how I’ve come across this but isn’t it a great motto!!

    Viva er Arsenal manque pierda!!

  307. SV – “I think Arsene realises that he got the wage structure wrong. The correcting measures have already started with the attempts to offload some players, but they will take time. So patience is required from the club’s management as well as from the fans.”

    Yes – that’s about my feeling too.

  308. @Jonny
    Cesc can be forgiven for leaving us. He can’t be forgiven for how he agitated for the move in the background and how he behaved in his last season with us. That Sp*rs handball and the Barca backheel, that’s something that can’t be forgiven. Those weren’t genuine mistakes, it was pure stupidity.

  309. mattgoonerknight

    ITV Interviewer to Pearce:

    “So, do you think you’ve proved something to the F.A today?”

    Pearce

    “Errm, I don’t think I’m here to prove anything….”

    What’s the interviewer on about? England have just lost, what’s been prooven? What a stupid question!!!

  310. The Barca back heel was both stupidity and a genuine mistake – the two are not mutually exclusive.

    Guess I’m just more forgiving than you…

    but then you ARE called ‘Evil’. 😉

  311. @ mgk

    Totally see it differently. We had eight years of a wonderful player who I truly believe would have only ever of left and eventually did leave for one and one club only. Yes, the fact that Barcelona were dominating both domestically and in Europe clearly made the decision easier for him but such is life (and we only have one after all).

    He was here for eight years, is a very gifted player, but in no other way does he compare with Henry. Henry stood up when it counted. We built and rebuilt a team around Cesc. We let good players go because they did not complement his style and compensate for his weaknesses. All that was wasted because he would not see the project through to the end. He took the money, the adulation and most importantly the armband and tossed it all aside when a more attractive offer came along. He didn’t have to love us best – he just had to be a man and show some commitment. His last year was just going through the motions or worse. If Robin leaves (God forbid!) no-one will be able to say that he did not give his utmost for every minute he was on the pitch. Cesc didn’t show us enough respect – he could easily have told his mates at Barca to stop talking so offensively about us. All the speculation undermined us. And his refusal to even pretend like he was prepared to go somewhere else meant that we didn’t get full value for him just as he came into his prime. did he suddenly start loving Barca so much after the first few years? did he not love them when he signed a long contract and then extended it a couple of years later?

    How did you feel about Henry’s exit and eventual return? Not the same granted (it was Henry’s time, the team he was a part of had all but disbanded) but not entirely different and the destination was certainly the same.
    It was entirely different. While Henry wasn’t the greatest captain either and was beign a bit of a prima donna at times just before he left, he had given us eight years of himself at his peak. As Frank said the other day, we gave CF as much as he gave us. He was a Barca reject and we turned him into a world superstar. It rankles with me that he never took responsibility for the fact that a team that was built to his strengths ad style underachieved, he just scarpered. Henry left for new challenges, having magnificently met those of the Premier League. The only sore point for me was that there was no chance to say goodbye but that wound was healed by his magical return visit.

  312. What was the score of the friendlies

  313. I’m glad Walcott got on – I think it was good for him to have some game time after coming back into form.

  314. Well said, FG. Agree 100%.

  315. @fungunner

    yea absolutely

  316. Very well said, FG.

  317. Der Spiegel reports to the Podolski to Arsenal story:

    http://www.spiegel.de/video/video-1181714.html

    Warning: incomprehensible German dialects !!! (Sounds like Koelsch).

    Briefly: the FC Koeln manager seems to accept that they lose Podolski in the summer. The fans say that Mertesacker already at Arsenal makes the deal easier.

    Looks like a done deal to me. The question will be how much we underpay.

    Good signing for me.

  318. Getting chilly. Just going to change

  319. @SV

    brillant signing ecspecially since we already have Mert who will help to ease the transition which wont take long. I think it is a done deal i ahve complete faith that he will be wearing the greatest shirt ever that red and white!!!!

  320. “As Frank said the other day, we gave CF as much as he gave us.”

    I think he said that Arsenal gave him more than he gave Arsenal and I think so too. Arsene sacrificed a lot of points in his early years to give him time on the pitch to learn and grow. His development into the player he is was greatly helped by the opportunity afforded to him to play regularly at the highest level.

  321. Well it is true. Cesc would be nothing without Arsenal. The way he pissed us about over the last couple of years and was frankly embarassing in his enthusiasm for being around when Barcelona Borough were on the scene was utterly disrespectful. We made him into a super player and he made himself into a total wanker.

  322. I almost cried with joy when I saw Huntelaar appear for Holland.

  323. @ Passenal
    True. And for a while he seemed to appreciate that, but then he started to take it for granted. I also find it pretty offensive that just because the club he left for was Barca, we are supposed to excuse him. We aren’t some piddling little club. We are The Arsenal.

  324. @ Frank | February 29, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    I almost cried with joy when I saw Huntelaar appear for Holland.

    ha ha
    And when he banged his head all I thought (to my shame) was “Thank God that wasn’t RvP”. Because it could well have been if he hadn’t been substituted.

  325. I agree with Evil. Robben and Sneijder are great individual players but t really unlikeable. RvP has no chance when those greedy little bastards are in town.

  326. Haha, Solbakken just sounds foreign, but those older punters have got some thick accent going on. Didn’t get a word. One of the dudes sounds a bit fed up with him or the whole situation in general.

  327. The fact that Sneijder and Robben don’t pass to RvP has been evident, at least to me, since the World Cup. Several of us were posting on here that it was absolutely criminal the way they hogged the ball and took pot shots from distance when RvP was open in and around the box. RvP was constantly making brilliant runs that were never rewarded, and he only go the ball when VdV came on from the bench or from the fullbacks. Robben and Sneijder only ever passed to him when they were in trouble and never when he was in a good attacking position.

    It was disgusting. They could have won the WC if they had played as a team. Sneijder is clearly a very jealous person who harbors a grudge with RvP from their youth days and Robben is just terribly selfish and self-indulgent.

  328. Blimey Bill

    Where to begin.

    OK cash is not profit; it’s entirely separate. Mortgage repayments are not profit related – only the interest charged on the debt is.

    Player profits are calculated:

    Sale Proceeds less Cost of Player (Net of Amortisation)

    As for the rest, it’s supposition, smoke and mirrors. Ultimately, Arsenal are proving to be self-sufficient, that’s all that matters. They could be making more money if they had better commercial deals but that is a couple of years away at this moment in time.

  329. Fungunner (10.16)

    Exactly right, from start to finish, perfectly summed up.

    To me it was inconceivable that CF could possibly leave after all AW did for him.

    I also thought he was more ambitious than that; where’s the challenge in joining a club already at the top, what credit can he possibly get for simply continuing the tedious dominance of an over-bloated club in one of the dullest leagues in Europe?

    ***

    I think I must have hallucinated Walcott’s assist!! – Truth is, the tv was on, obviously, being ITV, the sound was on mute and I just happened to look up at a bit of positive England play and assumed it must have been young Theo … Soz.

  330. No Luke at 5.08pm, 70 professionals and 400 other staff is the reason for £124m bill. It’s really, really, really, really easy to see why the wage bill is £124m.

  331. @ arsenalandrew
    I think we can call it a “key pass” for Theo.

  332. Nice one, FG. Not much to add to that for me.

    Fab4 dropped quite a bit in my book with the way he handled the peer pressure from his compatriots (both Barca and non Barca players). They shouldn’t have had to disrespect the Arsenal in the manner they did if everyone knew Cesc was leaving at some point as Jonny pointed out. They should have thanked Wenger, but they chose to disrespect one of the classiest managers and clubs around. I don’t think Cesc was torn at all, either, as Jonny opined. I think he knew Nasri was going, and didn’t have the guts to try to see another rebuilding year through and win something.

  333. I said what FunGunner said about Cesc the other day ,Well perhaps their was some more colourful language.

    A fucking weasel he turned out to be . he had us all fooled for a time though,Quite the little politician that boy.

  334. The Cesc discussion has brought out some very legitimate points and I have felt that he let us, AW, and the club down. However, the attitude is quite exaggerated in the bitterness shown. Henry really was a similar case in lots of ways, however he won loads of trophies and was forgiven as he was older when he left. Cesc, however, played the same length of time practically. AW developed him earlier but both Henry and Cesc benefited enormously from AW’s management and development at Arsenal. Henry, despite being a recognized talent, was languishing on the bench as a winger at Juve until AW rescued him and transformed him into the world’s greatest striker. Cesc wasn’t a Barca castoff, exactly. He was a very gifted 16 year old with two sets of world class players in his position. He would ultimately have developed but much more slowly. Only now would he be breaking into the side regularly but he would have been part of their squad the last three years or so. He wanted to play and at that time Arsenal came calling at the very height of the club’s success with the promise of playing alongside the best players in the world. Henry played the best part of his career with those other great players: Vieira, Bergkamp, Campbell, Pires. Cesc is a follower, not a leader. But all those players were gone so quickly and Cesc became our best player at 19.

    I wish he had shown greater determination, resilience, commitment, responsibility and patience too. He does have something serious to answer for here. But, if Arsenal had won nothing between 2000-2006 and those great players weren’t in the side to play with, would Henry have stayed as long as he did? He stayed one year after we were still at the very top–in a CL final. And it wasn’t a great year at all–Cesc’s last year was actually somewhat better.

    Anyway, he’s gone. If he came back, I’d be glad because we can see the difference in quality this year because JW has been injured and Ramsey is just growing into the side. Rosicky hasn’t been fit and Arteta just doesn’t have that level of talent, as great as he has been. Talents like Cesc’s are rare as is the chance to play in a quality side like Arsenal’s at such a young age. Arsenal did as much for Cesc as he did for Arsenal. The tragedy is that RvP was not fit enough, other players abandoned Arsenal much earlier, and we did not have the financial wherewithal to replace them much less the legends they had already replaced. But the difference is Cesc would not be coming back as a legend; he didn’t live in the golden age of Arsenal heroes but in the silver era of the sugar daddies/the stadium/ and the youth development. Alone he was not up to the task, and few would have been, which hardly salves the wounds of the genuine disappointment he was, morally speaking.

  335. Amongst many others, Joel Campbell gets a mention, The Ox does too. AA gets a mention, Hector Bellerin, Ryo Miaichi and Ozyacup get mentions. But despite two good goals for the U-21s, no mention of Henri Lansbury on International round-up on Arsenal.com. Looks like he’s the forgotten man. I’d like to see him get some first team action next season, but hey, what do I know? I thought Barazite was destined for greatness.
    Who goes to England internationals? (Friendlies or otherwise?) Just wondering cos Theo got a great Wembley Welcome when he came on at the end!

  336. Cesc went before the WC.

    Give me Nasri any day.He never pretended to be other than an employee.

  337. mattgoonerknight

    FG

    All very good points which most I don’t necessarily disagree with but I can’t see how Cesc can be blamed or held responsible for Arsene building teams around him or letting players go (not sure who?) in order to accommodate his style or weaknesses (surely this is the case for most star players – strengths out way weaknesses?).

    The project was not wasted as we’ve come close to big things on many occasions (could have realistically won the league twice in the last 5 years) and it’s success or failure should not be levelled at one player. I for one would not blame Arsene for “wasting” these last 6 years or for getting the project wrong per se and I’m not going to blame Cesc Fabregas for not seeing Arsene’s plan through to the end. He wasn’t the first and he wont be the last.

    Cesc is from Catalonia and as much as we develop players, mould players and give to players, the boy, regardless of their rejection (not making the grade at 15 can happen anywhere – not really rejection) is Barcelona through and through.

    With Jack, Frimpong, Jenkinson etc we now potentially have a group of players for 15-20years – these are the type of players that such long term projects will now be built around, players whose biggest honours are to someday captain and win things with Arsenal.

    When we let players go / sell players who don’t particularly want to go, do they have a right to hate us or should they be thankful for the time they have had with us? Can we only except a player’s exit if it is 100% on our terms? I’m not sure I agree with this way of thinking.

  338. mingus, that is interesting if Henri didn’t get a mention! I would have liked to see him get a chance, but if he can’t get into west ham’s team on a regular basis, there is little chance of making it at Arsenal especially when places are limited.

  339. Btw, out of curiosity, who were the good players the club sold off because the couldn’t play with Cesc or weren’t suitable for 433?

  340. Thanks Passenal .Now him I will misss

  341. mattgoonerknight

    Weasel or Meerkat?

    Don’t have to go to compare the market to work out which one I’d rather have back.

  342. LG – I started writing some of what you said and gave up. Very sensible – especially the point about exaggerated bitterness – it’s out of all proportion.
    Was there not a protracted saga about Henry leaving the summer before he actually did – he did naff all to quell speculation.
    Didn’t he also accept a massive signing on fee (£5Mill?) for a 4 year contract and then leave a year later?
    I just think Fab deserves more leniency for the differeing circumstances and relative youth – much of which LG has explained far better than I could.

  343. Excellent again MGK (11.15) – a well thought through, rational response.

  344. Passenal. True. there’s not much room for him. He did well at Norwich the previous season, But as you say, not first pick for the Hammers so what chance does he have with us. Campbell’s getting some good praise tonight. v Wales.

  345. Great post, FunGunner (10:16pm); agree with that 100%.

    What is it with all this “bride burning” today. Is this some kind of pagan ritual only performed on 29 February?

    goonerkam at 9:20 am

    All brides back to the ARSENAL have been burnt.

    Aman | February 29, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Not all brides’ve been burnt u know…

    So, which is it – have all the brides been burnt or not?

  346. The camp nou leg of our first CL game against them pg. I remember seeing him watching the game in the barca end with his catalan mate when he should have been sitting behind his team. We had half the team missing through injury and the youngsters had actually held their own until the referee obliged by dishing out some strategic yellow cards thanks to the usual barca play acting. Our players could hardly tackle thanks to the risk of a second yellow and the rest is history. I also thought at the time that his ‘heroics’ in the first leg had more to do with his own profile and trying to impress barca as he had been yellow carded and would not be able to play in the nou camp. By the time of the return to the nou camp last season he was a barca player at heart and should have never been playing as he was not fit and was actually a hindrance to Arsenal.

  347. mattgoonerknight

    Well put Limestone.

    Cheers Jonny – I think we’re a minority on this one but I just don’t have any ill feeling towards him and would love it if he one day returned.

  348. Tbh, I do have some ill feelings. His behavior in the tunnel with the Barca players was inexcusable and nauseating. I was seriously upset when I saw that.

  349. @mgk
    I can’t see how Cesc can be blamed or held responsible for Arsene building teams around him or letting players go (not sure who?) in order to accommodate his style or weaknesses (surely this is the case for most star players – strengths out way weaknesses?).

    He knew very well that we were building the squad around him. If I knew it, he must have done. They would have talked about all that when negotiating such a long contract. Who else has ever signed for 8 years?

    The project was not wasted as we’ve come close to big things on many occasions (could have realistically won the league twice in the last 5 years) and it’s success or failure should not be levelled at one player. I for one would not blame Arsene for “wasting” these last 6 years or for getting the project wrong per se and I’m not going to blame Cesc Fabregas for not seeing Arsene’s plan through to the end. He wasn’t the first and he wont be the last.

    I am not blaming AW – I think you are well aware that I am blaming Cesc. The sacrifices AW made were wasted because the core of the squad left at 24 – so we have had to rebuild and alter our style. Cesc was the lynchpin and the heart of the team and he was found wanting.

    Cesc is from Catalonia and as much as we develop players, mould players and give to players, the boy, regardless of their rejection (not making the grade at 15 can happen anywhere – not really rejection) is Barcelona through and through.

    So what? Walcott comes from a family of Liverpool fans. Arsenal was Cesc’s job and he made a commitment which he reneged on.

    When we let players go / sell players who don’t particularly want to go, do they have a right to hate us or should they be thankful for the time they have had with us? Can we only except a player’s exit if it is 100% on our terms? I’m not sure I agree with this way of thinking.
    IWe’re not angry because he left, we’re angry because of why, when and how he left.

    Anyway, I don’t hate Cesc. I despise him. He gave us countless wonderful footballing moments, but ultimately soured his own legacy and the implication that because he was a brilliant footballer we should just be grateful and not question his conduct is distasteful to me. I like to think I have a little more pride than that.

    ****
    @ Limestonegunner
    Vieira was let go to allow Cesc to flourish, Gilberto sidelined and let go because flamini’s defensive grafting helped Cesc.

    ***
    Anyway, off to bed now. Good night all. Or (you never know) gute Nacht.

  350. LG – agreed, I have some ill feelings too, but I prefer to keep a sense of perspective and forgiveness. Hate, despise, (big difference!) cunt, betrayal, wanker are just a few of the words used on here recently it all just seems disproportionate.

    I’m sad it ended the way it did and yes I agree that we should and can question his conduct but Wenger got things wrong as well, but seems to be completely blameless and beyond question.

    As ever we don’t know what was said behind closed doors – what was promised & what the full personal story was.

    Ah well me an’ MGK can welcome him back as a party of two… 🙂

  351. mattgoonerknight

    FG

    1) “He knew very well that we were building the squad around him. If I knew it, he must have done”

    Still the boss’s choice – when did a player become so important in shaping the whole club decision – not the players responsibility.

    2) “I am not blaming AW – I think you are well aware that I am blaming Cesc”

    But the decisions were all Arsene’s – my point is if I’m not blaming Arsene for building the team around one player then why should you blame Cesc – why is it anyone’s fault? I’m a AKB at heart but if there is blame to be attached then AW’s insistence in pursuing with project Cesc must surely be in put into question before blaming Cesc himself.

    3) “So what? Walcott comes from a family of Liverpool fans. Arsenal was Cesc’s job and he made a commitment which he reneged on”

    Not remotely the same and if it was, would any player ever be a one club player? Why do we love it when we find out players are genuine gooners? Also, if it was a question of just being a job then what is the fuss about – surely the let down is because we hoped it was more than a job to Cesc. If it was just about being his job, then who in their right mind wouldn’t go for the promotion that was Barcelona? Confused point at best.

    4) “Anyway, I don’t hate Cesc. I despise him. He gave us countless wonderful footballing moments, but ultimately soured his own legacy… I like to think I have a little more pride than that”

    O.K. you’re a lot more invested in this than I am.

    5) As Johnny as highlighted previously, Arsene sold Cesc, at the beginning of an eight year contract and on the fucking cheap. Luca Modric is still at sp*rs, fucking Tevez is still at Citeh and they can afford to give him away – but they played hard-ball and told them both that they are staying put. WE SOLD CESC.

    Like I said, I can hear some of what you’re saying but you clearly feel stronger about this than I do, so we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    I miss Cesc, I’d have him back in an instant and hope that he comes back in a few years when his Spanish adventure has come to an end and we have built a team around Jack ; )

    COYG

  352. If Cesc were to ever come back, be it visiting us in the CL with his Barca buddies or as a player, I don’t think he would deserve the heroes’ welcome we reserve for players like Henry. He wouldn’t deserve the booing that Ade etc. get, either, because he has been a fantastic servant to the club for 8 years and it was really only in his last year that things started to get sour. And for him to be ever forgiven, he would obviously have to resign for us and work hard to re-earn what he lost this summer.

  353. A pox on Cesc. A devious poli-trickster.

  354. This had me cracking up 😀

  355. Lansbury, Campbell and Chamberlain all score on yesterday’s international duty

    COYG

  356. Just Another Luke

    Cesc, a good player (not a great playe, mind you), but haven’t done enough for us to deserve any special reverence for. Certainly no Cesc bronze statue is merited.

    Just like any other good player, he has moved on after being seduced back to where he felt he belongs. He is undeserving of any special treatment of a prodigal son should he returns for a match against us, or to play for us. Enough said of Cesc. It bores.

  357. Oh yes, and Ryo has been voted Bloton’s ‘Player of the Month’,

    Not so shabby for a manager who is reputed as having lost his transfer mojo!

  358. Fun’s take on Cesc should be rolled out every time this ‘debate’ comes up. Spot on.

    Plus the poster, ZP? who called him quite the little politician. Also spot on.

  359. 1. Proper LOL Irish – that’s the way for me to start my day! I’m SUCH a sucker for slapstick. If there is anything funnier than someone falling over I’ve yet to see it.

    2. Rickaaay – I must have been blurry eyed when I read your piece yesterday morning – I completely missed the Prince line from ‘Dorothy Parker’ at the end – great line, great song about a great woman off one of the greatest album’s ever written.

    3. MGK – yup totally agree.

    4. Evil – correct no ‘heroes welcome’ but I hope that people wouldn’t boo him either. Judging by some of the vitriol here though, it seems as though I am in the minority. That would be a real shame for me – hopefully we won’t meet Barca again for 5 years and by then ya’ll will be feeling more magnanimous and forgiving.

  360. Jonny

    Someone watching a good looking gal across the road and then walking into a lamppost is one of my favourites.

  361. That was me Bob,
    Strange eh?

  362. Simple fact is, if Cesc was ever to wear the Arsenal shirt again most would support him anyway. They may not like it but they would support him.

  363. From a guy on twitter

    “Davey Jones of the Monkees is dead. The missus just told me. I thought she was joking. Then I saw her face. Now I’m a believer ☺”

  364. It would just be nice if the same level of support was given to our current players.

  365. I agree with that comment Passenal.

  366. Eh Passenal – same level of support as who? (Genuine question)

    Dups – yes, always classic.

    Can’t believe the Farrelly brothers have made a movie of this –

  367. @cbob
    why, thank you, sir.

    @ dups, Passenal, Evil
    Quite right. I support every player who is currently wearing the shirt. And if Cesc came back (highly unlikely) I would swallow my resentment and start with a clean slate. It doesn’t change what he did, but it would be forgotten, if not forgiven, for the sake of the team.

  368. Sincere apologies that I’m not able to get involved in any sustained dialogue due to the demands of work and 2 young children. I really enjoy the site and most of your discussions, so thanks for reading & commenting.

    Anyway, phones ringing…Jonny, whoevers calling, cant be as cute as you 😉

  369. Denilson was actually kinda disrespectful, he made constant digs at the team when he stated his desire to leave, as for his playing ability, the guy is poor. His link-up play was apparently his strong point, all he ever really did was make short sideways passes, he only got about 40% of them right. You could maybe argue he was pushed into a regular first team spot quite prematurely at his age, but he seemed to feel he was ready for it. The only fond memory I have of him is that freekick against Hull City, other than that, he was way below par.

    Eboue shouldn’t have been sold, he was a very good versatile back-up player, we missed him this season with injury problems on the rise. Arshavin’s spark went out rather quickly and was probably at the end of the peak of his career at the Euro’s.

    I’m sure Bendtner’s name has come up in the comments but I’m not going to read them all, but he is the guy that needs another chance. I don’t really see what wrong he has done at the club, his positives are hugely outweighed by his negatives by 90% of people. There is no doubt he has ability, people who disagree with that either haven’t watched him play that often or are slightly deluded, you can’t judge the guy’s ability on the press he gets which in turn is extremely unfair and often taken out of context. He used to revive out title hopes all the time when he had a regular run in the side, he also scored the winner in the North London derby all them years back (remember that?!) oh and he scored at the Nou Camp. Needless to say, I would love to see him back here. Please don’t tell me Chamakh is doing a better job.

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