The Bitterest Pill

This morning’s Jam from Consolsbob,

The decision by Van Persie to leave Arsenal for a ‘more ambitious’ club should finally wake up football fans of a certain age that the game of their youth is gone forever. Sold for the highest price to ridiculously rich men for their edification and bragging rights. We’ve all known this for a while now, but it was still just about possible to live in a world where hope could overcome truth, where dreams could live. Where I could sit, signed picture of Charlie on the wall, eyes half closed and be in a world where Geordie Armstrong was still tearing up and down his wing, striving to cross the ball onto the head of Big John to send a packed North Bank into tumult. And all for a wage that didn’t remove him completely from the lives and sympathies of the crowd. His crowd, who had paid a few shillings to watch their team. Can you imagine RvP running a pub? Radford did and he was responsible for as much of Arsenal’s history as Van Persie. And he scored more goals.

RvP was not the first to tread this path. Fabregas, Adebayor, Hleb, even Clichy, all left Arsenal in poor circumstances to pursue their ‘dreams’. All played a part in the failures of the teams of which they were a part to win’ trophies’. All hid behind Arsenal’s ‘lack of ambition’ to ignore their role in those failures and to move to clubs that showed ‘more ambition’. Yes, I mean Barca and Manchester City. The former hocked to the eyeballs and the later built on an oil states’ bottomless well of money. In other words, ambition equals willing to spend any amount to bring success. It does not mean spending hundreds of millions on a new stadium and state of the art training facilities. Shallow doesn’t begin to describe that definition of ambition, squalid doesn’t do justice to the behaviour of already outrageously rich young men pursuing dreams of avarice.

Nor do history and loyalty have any part to play. RvP, a bad boy, was picked up by Wenger, polished and nurtured, given responsibility and carried through the bad times when injury could, and would at many clubs, have seen him offloaded. Join the pantheon of Arsenal Heroes? A Legend in the making? Show some loyalty to the club that suffered your numerous absences and made you captain? Not interested. Show me the money.

Make no mistake, the excuse of a lack of ambition by Arsenal is a fig leaf to cover both naked greed and the pretence that titles are not being bought by men with more money than some national economies. They might as well put the Premiership title up for sale to the highest bidder every year. What ambition does it take to spend whatever you like, whenever you like, to sign any player you like when you have as much money as Croesus?

Some will argue that RvP first duty is to himself, his career is short. Rainy days may lie ahead. To them I suggest they work out what RvP will earn in the rest of his career on his current salary, never mind what he might get elsewhere, and compare it to what they might expect to earn between now and retirement. Some will swallow the ‘desire to win trophies’ and heap their opprobrium onto Arsenal. For a vision of the shallowness of such people, I point them at Piers Morgan’s recent diatribes and the unashamed opportunism of another ridiculously rich man, Usmanov. Anyway, does anyone really think that he will end up at Borussia Dortmund?

Haven’t Arsenal always done this as well? Taken players from ‘smaller’ clubs in pursuit of titles? Of course we have bought many players from clubs both willing and reluctant to sell. However, the vast majority of such deals have been made between willing parties, not the result of players deliberately setting out to harm the club that fed and nurtured them and being prepared to destroy their own credibility and standing in the process. Transfer deals have always been part and parcel of football. Most clubs survive by discovering and selling on talent. In what sense anyway are Arsenal a ‘small’ club? We don’t need Sheik Mansour’s money to survive.

Certainly, the pass was sold a long time ago. TV money changed the game forever, bringing about the Premiership and the ending of the previous system of income distribution throughout the Football League. The ‘ambition’ and greed of the ‘big clubs’ which curiously included Oldham, (turkeys? Christmas?) at the time of the vote of the First Division clubs, combined with a supine FA, the ‘Guardians of the Game’ meant the end of footballing innocence. We played our part. David Dein was a key mover in that process. We loved Highbury but we are proud of ‘The Emirates’.

Ever since, the story of top class football has been one of rich men, players, owners, Board members, agents and a few bureaucrats getting richer while we, the fans, pay huge ticket prices and satellite TV subscriptions. Have we been guilty of trying to ignore the elephant in the room? Almost certainly. Football is going nowhere you’d recognise as the sport of our youths. There will be no place for romance except that packaged up by the TV companies on the day of the third round of the FA cup. It’s going nowhere I want to be.

For a long time now, I have struggled to justify the cost of watching football on TV, never mind the price of going to a live match, even going to Argyle with a couple of Grandsons sets me back the best part of a £70. The whole tenet of the game is at odds with my lifestyle and beliefs. Can I sustain the dichotomy any more? Probably, for now, but I’m not happy about it and the day will surely arrive, unthinkable a few years ago, when I walk away from it.

No longer will I invest any emotional capital in players who wear the shirt. I will support them and wish them well as long as they are at Arsenal, but I shall expect nothing of them but that they give their all on the pitch and don’t piss in their own well. (Thanks Jonny). As for the whole bloated bureaucracy of the Premiership, FA, EUFA and FIFA, and the rich men who toy with our heritage, they can go hang.

I accept that this will not be the case for younger fans who have grown up with the Premiership as their only experience. For them the soap opera that is Sky and the wider media, with its drama, rumour making, posturing and subterfuge is part and parcel of the game. To be enjoyed and discussed as much as the game itself. They have missed a lot but it’s hardly their fault. It was our generation that witnessed the betrayal of the game.

At the end of it, there’s one man standing. Arsene Wenger. If there remains any justifiable reason to continue supporting the club that is Arsenal, that is not based on our history, then it is him. In him, loyalty, intelligence and decency remains in football. What did he do to deserve the likes of RvP?

Jumpers for goalposts, isn’t it‘? No, not any more. The love I gave hangs in sad coloured, mocking shadows.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on July 7, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 497 Comments.

  1. Morrissey's love child

    ‘That sums it it all up’. Great post. It’s how I feel. Seriously on the edge of falling out of love with the game.

  2. great write-up sir,so so on point.

  3. Hey, this is first time ever I am commenting on this site I guess. But I liked your article. And especially the end. Arsene Wenger is dump bag. Cesc left, dump it on him. We had poor start, dump it on him. We finished third, shame, we are mid table club, dump it on him. What I don’t get is how the man hasn’t had any heart attack yet..

    Btw, I am not as good a blogger or writer as you are. But a while back I had done a small piece on Arsene, hope you like it.

  4. Brilliant ending there. Arsene remain the only trust person in the club.

  5. Thank you for adding this note of calmness and sanity to the completely absurd world of supporting Arsenal.

  6. superb ! brilliant blog …

  7. Wow, that was almost poetic. Fantastic piece and I agree with every word. What depresses me as much now is the diatribe we are now seeing against the club and in support of Van Persie and Usmanov. In a world which is slipping into recession and there are so many people living in poverty it seems sick that there is such a universal clamour for a well run club to follow the pack and spend obscene amounts on players regardless of our means. It’s the only way they say… To them I would say look at the German league. Fan ownership and well run clubs with passionate fans, that’s what we should be aspiring to.

  8. Your assumptions are invalid. RVP gave 8 years to the club and has practically nothing to show for it. If it was greed and money as you suggest he would have gone long time ago. Your arguments are the same as those who cling to Wenger as some sort of god who cannot do any wrong and absolve both he and the board of all wrongdoing just to maintain the insane lunacy of how this club is both run and managed.

    The players always get the blame when people simply don’t want to face the truth.

  9. Just drop it now. I’m sick of hearing about it. RVP isn’t worth talking about. Let’s forget him now and concentrate on possible new signings and players who want to play for arsenal. FFS!

  10. The defection of RVP is only for starters. Failure in the forthcoming seaason will see more players jumping ship because of the perception the gunners are a feeder club. So don’t be surprised Wilshire,,Song,etc leaving for clubs with a greater chance of winning something.
    Fans come to see a winning team not one palying attractive soccer only to be mugged ie Wigan.Unless Wenger can produce a trophy winning team asap,fans will get pissed off.
    I can forsee the day when signicficants gaps appear on the terraces in the ES.

  11. Well written my friend, couldn’t agree more.
    Still, I’m sad to see it so articulately written.
    RIP the beautiful game.

  12. Wonderfully written and quite moving. Thank you!

  13. Excellently written.

  14. Lovely blog, CB.

  15. You spoke nicely of an idea that no longer exist. Like Socialism in its purest form – not workable. So is the Arsenal FC we fell in love with, which is still kicking against the tide and praying for another that Fair Play idea to come quickly! Which like every idea will blow in the win.

    We all, unlike the Old idealist on the Board saw it coming like the writing on the wall. You play professional sport simply for the fun of it. Being in the game but not ever hoping to win, sooner or later all your best talent will walk. You sell them on a dream you yourself do not believe in, after awhile everyone will see through just that. Cesc and now RvP realise Arsenal FC is playing for another ideal. Like Everton always around but for Arsenal always fighting for CL position.

    But for some of us, we can see each season all Arsenal was short by 4 quality players to make all the difference. Consider further Arsenal got rid of the best reserves players and kept hold of 10 squad players sitting on the bench paying £50k per week that shows these same Idealist are the worst possible wasters.

    The Arsenal Board has got it wrong, now they are seeking to tweak the system again after FANS pointed out the error. But what I have been saying and other started echoing the main problem with the Policy makers and Decision makers of Arsenal is that they lack Ambition. They have all made large profits out of Arsenal by selling their shares and retain control.Hello all.  As Euro 2012 hurries to a close, a new reason rapidly approaches.  In little over a week, Arsenal’s players will be back in training.  A fortnight today we have our first pre-season fixture: two 45-minute games against Southampton and Anderlecht at St. Mary’s Stadium.  It’s all tantalisingly close now.

    Germany’s elimination on Thursday night means Arsenal’s interest in the competition is officially over.  Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker will go on holiday now, and return in time to join Arsenal on their trip to the Far East at the end of the month.

    Whilst Mertesacker did not play a minute of competitive action during the tournament, ousted by Hummels and Badstuber, Podolski was recalled for the semi-final, only to hauled off at half-time, prompting criticism in both Germany and England.  I don’t think Arsenal fans need worry: the Podolski we saw at this tournament was shackled by a very disciplined system.  He played more as a left-midfielder than winger.  At Arsenal, the wide forwards are given more freedom to come inside and roam, and I think that will suit him down to the ground.  International football is known to be a more compressed game, with less space for attackers, and I think that is reflected in the relatively disappointing showings from some of the continent’s leading strikers – including our own Robin van Persie.

    I’m still looking forward to seeing him in action next season.  Arsenal are in the unfamiliar position of having completed their major incoming transfer business ahead of pre-season.  I’m sure I’ll get flak for saying this, but I don’t foresee many big names arriving – despite what you may read elsewhere about Yann M’vila.  When you look at the squad, I just can’t see many gaps that require filling.  There are two obvious exceptions: we probably need a goalkeeper, and would hypothetically need to further strengthen the attack if Robin van Persie departs.

    If the Dutchman were to go, it’d be too great a burden  to rely solely on our other new boy, Olivier Giroud.  On the subject of the Frenchman, my understanding is that the release clause we met to snare him is €13m rather than €15m – quite the bargain.  The player himself has admitted he rejected the advances of Chelsea, and can’t wait to get going in red and white:

    “It is incredible for me. To already be a champion in France [with Montpellier], then play for Les Bleus, and now Arsenal.

    I repeat myself, but this is a beautiful story. When I was little boy, I wanted to play in the Premier League. My heart has always looked for Arsenal.”

    Not long to wait now, Olivier.  And not long for us fans, either.

  16. You are a legend. You made facts fun to read. God bless and long live all the true gunners.

  17. that’s a brilliant piece of writing

  18. Great post and its the money nothing else. The Deins are at work again. Darren Dein sold Henry, Toure and Fabregas. He advised on Nasri and sold Clichy. I am informed he’s also been advising RvP’s agent.

    Dein is Song’s agent and Song has refused to extend his deal with two years remaining. Song is the next to leave.

    Dein is a qualified barrister but now specialising in selling Arsenal players. Never involved in any player that we’ve signed. He only sells and claims to be an Arsenal fan.

  19. Well said. Loyalty and gratefulness is fast becoming a rare commodity. Surely, these qualities do not exist with adebayor, ashley cole, clichy, fabregas, samir nasri, kolo toure, rvp(fly robin fly, so it is not a surprise), possibly walcott too. Traitors indeed. Wenger should dump rvp in the reserves and teach him a lesson so that other lads will learn a thing or two. One year of eight you (rvp) do well and suddenly the head seem to swell, very similar to nasri aint’t it. Simply un-grateful lot.

  20. Brilliant!

  21. it is always going to be about money…bigger players have come and gone but Arsenal will remain….

  22. Great piece and so true. Gutted re RVP but only because I actually dared to believe that he had class and genuinely would be different to the likes of Nasri , Clichy, Adebayor. Why is it that these players assume the right to titles yet forget that they were very much part of the teams that did not do well enough. RVP is a fantastic player, no doubt about that but after his one and only real good season he sees his stock rising and puts himself in the shop window. No doubt he will say he has been loyal for eight years but that’s crap. For eight years he has been well paid to play football and have a fantastic life with his family in our capital city. So don’t forget what the club have given him. Just at a time when things were starting to look bright again, he sticks two fingers up to the club. Off you go then. You will not be remembered like a Henry or a Bergkamp. It might just be that next season could be Wenger’s sweetest triumph yet!

  23. Such a brilliant piece, mirroring exactly what I feel (perhaps why I found it such a good article ?). I fell out of love with the game some what and some time ago for these very reasons. Part of me feels that football died some time ago and it’s bloated carcass is being picked and fed upon by mangy vultures, be they tv money men, claw-handed players and even fans for whom it’s more about the money than the sport itself. The flies buzzing overhead are the press.

    The simple and amazingly enthral long joy I used to get from watching Rocky from what seemed up so high mat high bury seems a million miles away and whilst I still love my club, I feel no love for the sport.

    Instead where once I would have been devastated by such a players statement and (possible) betrayal, now I just feel nothing – there is a cold lack of emotion, a resigned half-expectedness of it all. These men do not exist in the same reality as me, the fantasy wages they are paid are not enough for them (really?????) and do not ‘feel’ the game as a fan would (but it must be balanced by saying that when you work inside a particular machine, sometimes the reality inside is not as wondrous as the perception from the out…).

    There feels no fun in the game anymore, instead we are led to believe that the tension and drama should choke and throttle us (if skysports dramatic trailers are anything to go by). Maybe I changed at the same time as the game was evolving, but football hasn’t felt the same for some time. It’s like being in a relationship that died done some time ago.

  24. If only RVP was as classy as you, if only.
    In Arsenal we trust.

  25. Agree with most of your piece well written and nostalgic. at least fans like you and i have those memories. i was really looking forward to this season but because i am looking at it as my last as a truesupporter. after a few years of renting out my home ticket and attending the odd away i am intending to go out in a blaze of glory …..or more likely not. i intend to go EVERY match this season at home away and in europe. Its not going to be my last as a fan but as a supporter it probably will. back to your piece the only bit i cant agree with is regarding transfers. i cant help but think that the bosman ruling caused a lot of this. it handed over to players an opportunity to control their own destiny. rightfully or wrongly it has caused players to become more greedy and demanding. you say arsenal buy players from clubs willing to transfer. well i doubt bordeaux were happy to get nothing for their best player and leading goalscorer. i cant help thinking that we are getting a taste of our own medicine. whilst we get angry with rvp and nasri it didnt stop us trying to nab gary cahill for peanuts from bolton and taking players like chamakh for nothing. you cant have it both ways ie expect to be respected by other clubs and shown loyalty by players when you disrespect others and show no loyalty. look at what we done to robert pires. showed him no loyalty by saying we wouldnt give a 30 year old more than a years contract only to go out and do exactly that with silvestre. i dont care what rvp does where he goes what he wins in the future. he is simply a modern day footballer who wants to grab all the cash he can while he can. the way he was advised to release his statement was contrived to raise his profile and secure yet more in image rights. it will force his transfer fee down and his salary up. just like arsenal done with chamakh and tried to do with cahill.

  26. Very well said. too many people jump on wenger’s back thinking he is the root cause of our problems. Truth is we would be on a far worse sate if he wasn’t around to steady the ship, and i fear it wont be too long before all those plastic fans get there wish. farther time and peoples patience are running thin for the professor and i really hope his time with us isn’t tainted by all this. For almost 20 yrs he has been our most loyal servant and for that i tip my hat. I haven’t been wengers biggest fan, i think he is stubborn, too business minded and too blind to his teams flaws. The latter i think comes from one of his strengths. Loyalty! (you reading this RVP or you busy robin purse’s?????) not only is wenger loyal to the club who made him but to his players too. How many clubs would put up with players like diaby rosicky rvp walcott even cesc was fragile. losing RVP doesnt bother me. if we can cope with the loss of Henry and cesc we CAN cope with losing a dutch man who’s head if far to heavy for the glass body that carries it. the way he has gone about it gets to me more than the loss of the player himself……. 7 years Robin we have stood by and watched you break down time and time again. you are coming off the back of a good 18 months and suddenly we cant match your ambition. Well if you are reading this then i hope you know just what a waste of time you have been to us. the list of true legends we have at this club will NEVER have your name anywhere near it……..Go. Go and earn your monopoly money (hopefully in turin with walcott) so your name will never sully a club who’s worth to me is soooooo much more than money (and apparently ambition)

  27. @babakrdaemi

    Excellent article. Great points. It’s like my feelings towards the fa and premier league have been Illustrated much better than ever could (in the written word anyway).

    I agree that rather than being the problem Arsene is the solution.

    Wherever, forever Arsenal

  28. You write well, Cb. BUT you seem to have fallen into a typical tabloid trap. Where in RvPs statement does he say that Arsenal lacks ‘ambition’ and where in his statement does he say that he is moving to another club with more ‘ambition’. You have formed your opinion and you are now adjusting the facts to suit it. Which is fine, we all do that. BUT you fall upon an Arsenal player far too easily, my friend.

  29. Rumour, you’re an idiot. Van Persie couldn’t have gone “(a) long time ago” as you say because up until last year he was injured for a large part of every season. No-one would pay the big money to a perma-crocked player. One season injury free he jumps at the chance of the riches on offer elsewhere and shits on the club who stood by him all those years waiting for him to produce.

    That’s the truth my gullible little friend, don’t believe everything the so-called “experts” say.

    At least a player like Vermaelen admitted that he owed the club something after his injury lay-off when he signed his new contract. A part of me hopes Van Persie does go to another English club because he’ll deserve everything he gets when he turns up at ours. Just like Nasri, the money-grabbing little snake, let’s hope he plays as well as the Frenchman also.

  30. I agree with The Bear Man

  31. highbury lament

    My congratulations to you Bob what a fantastic ‘piece’ and a joy to read, you have already brightened up my day.
    If you have never been a writer in your working career you jolly well should have been !
    I am one of those supporters of a certain age who remembers Charlie and Geordie and a good few players before them, a bygone age i’m afraid where the game was for the working class where a corporate day out were seldom seen.
    I like yourself am slowly falling out of love with the game as i just can’t relate to this fantasy world where player power is king, the last week has been shameful but illustrates exactly where the game is at the present time.
    I have been a season ticket holder for many years and will be going next year to support my beloved club but i see a time in the very near future where i might be spending my time doing something else, as i can’t see the situation changing with these multi millionaires wanting new toys to play with.
    Thanks again Bob for making my day, i suppose we could always put Fever Pitch on the DVD to remind us of what used to be !

  32. Yes it is very well written. And Arsene Wenger is a decent man indeed. But unfortunately it is more Arsene than the Directors who have been overtaken by the reality of world club football. the Directors planned and built an amazing stadium at huge cost. They do not control team tactics (ie. non tactics), defensive discipline, choice of transfers. Arsene controls far too much and will accept no advice – including from his own coaching staff. Most of the our departing players have given up on the Wenger dream as unachievable. This of course includes the lunatic egalitarian wage structure which kept happy only the struggling squad players. The best players pushed off.

  33. In your honour Bob I put my Jam collection on random play. I know, I know it should have been on vinyl if I’d really grasped the post, and as I read Funeral Pyre came on and I wondered if it might have been even more apposite.

    And as I was standing by the edge
    I could see the faces of those led pissing themselves laughing
    (And the flames grew)
    Their mad eyes bulged their flushed faces said
    The weak get crushed as the strong grow stronger
    We feast on flesh and drink on blood
    Live by fear and despise love in a crises
    (What with today’s high prices)

    First post on a football blog to bring tears to my eyes.

  34. Neh. Baaaah. Yang people today don’t know anyfink. Spoilt rotten. Footballs with laces that crack your skull when you head em. Wooden studs. Muddy pitches. Mullets. Shorts up your bum. Tot of whiskey before going onto the pitch. Football with laces….oh I said that. All gone. Its all gone. Oood a known it……. Neh. Baaaaah

  35. Paulie Walnuts

    Nice piece Consols,

    No longer the peoples game. More like the banker`s game

  36. It was always the bankers game

  37. well, women’s football is our last hope.

  38. Frank ref your comment to Bob about ‘ambition’
    Whether he used those words or not the case is so similar to the many who have used them as to make no odds. Semantics are a tattered veil to draw across modesty in this case.
    As ever I hold you high as an example of how to support, you have long been a beacon in a stygian world, and I sincerely hope you are correct in still supporting RVP.
    I of course support him as he is an Arsenal player however once he leaves it will be as if he never was.

  39. Great post. The press along with Van Persie is saying Arsenal has no ambition. If ambition means spending more money than you have, I am glad ARSENAL does not have any. Spain,Greece and a few other countries had a lot of this ambition, right? They are now threathening to take down the entire world’s economy with their reckless spending habits. Germany and other responsible countries and now being forced to clean up this mess. Football is heading in that direction.

    Teams which spend 200 million to win a championship while making only 50 million in the process are irresponsible at best. No one who earned his money will behave this way. Check out the individuals now who are spending all this cash. They are dictators or from Russia. Hardly countries with responsible spending habits.

    i don’t blame the players for leaving, they have a finite playing career and most of them are poorly educated to begin with so they will need that extra money. I have a problem with them not manning up and admitting it is the money they are after.

    I will finally end by looking at the sports leagues of North America. The teams are owned by billionaires who earn profits. This keeps the various leagues going and allows them to be strong. It is not possible to run a league and expect a team to spend far more than it earns. Something will eventually come to a head and this league will fold. Man City, Chelsea, PSG, Malloca, have owners who have access cash to burn and they will end up killing their various leagues if the other teams adopt their irresponsible spending habits. I for one am happy Arsenal is not going down this path.

  40. korihikage, you are at it too. The Daily Heil article contains the following statement…

    “The Dutchman, crowned Footballer of the Year after delivering for one season out of an injury-plagued eight, has announced Arsenal ‘do not match my ambition’……”

    Note the inner quotation marks.

    No RvP has not announced that Arsenal ‘do not match my ambition…’ at all. Never said it or even intimated it. But you would like to think he has wouldn’t you?

    We talk about loyalty to players but it is only a veneer. Lord, most of posters on here didn’t even like the guy and wanted him sold before last season.

  41. Frank

    my point of posting the article is the parts about Wenger.

  42. Fantastic post. Sadly i see Arsenal going the same way as city over the next 5 years. it becomes harder and harder to support the team. and it will be harder still when Arsene leaves.

  43. men’s football is a circus. we will see what happens next.

    but for now, i am just buzzing that we have got Kelly Smith.

  44. Whilst RvP is an Arsenal player I will support him, Steww. And he is an Arsenal player. And I support him. My initial reaction was one of horror and I dropped my guard briefly but I realised that I was wrong. You know, I don’t fucking care if I am the only supporter singing his name in the stadium next season and it won’t be the first time. But sing I fucking well will.

  45. Frank

    I think you’re confusing us with another site. Most of the posters here have defended van Persie before his ill-conceived and poorly worded statement.

  46. I have been reading ACLF since long time, though have never posted here.
    This write up is brilliant, exactly says how I’ve been feeling since past 3 days.
    For Wenger, its like you build a castle after years of hard work, and when you are about to throw the house warming party, someone destroys the castle.
    I’d call him Howard Roark of football, if there is one who ever existed.
    Finally, to sum it up, it feels like we end up playing 10 against 12 every year. But being a gooner, i’d always want to fight with 10 men rather than win with 12.
    Best thing about football is that its a team game and no matter what, team always goes on.

  47. mattgoonerknight

    I agree with Frank on this one; when and where has he said he wants to leave?

    For me, ZimPaul’s post yesterday sums up the situation really well:

    ZimPaul | July 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    “In my opinion, Arsenal and its management is on very strong ground and they know it. Let us focus an instant on v. Persie (since the Fabregas and Nasri matters are out in the open, why they left is not open to question). Pluses: a player at the top of his game, evidently a good captain, but he has only ever proven himself emphatically under Wenger. Minuses: he’s been tapped up and his head turned with glorious offers; he had a poor Euro tournament after a not-great WC; he turns 30 in a year; he has missed about a season and a half through injury; he has had just one season of superlative form; he is not risk-free by any means. Wenger is wise head; he’s seen it all before. He is not averse to very high salaries but refuses to place the club in risk. He values things correctly. He makes clear offers that he considers fair and in keeping with policy, including “we will retain you on our books anyway”. He doesn’t play games. It is up to a player to consider these options, not Wenger. In doing so, yes or no, the measure of respect he shows his employer says a lot about why is taking the decision.”


    Also, I would questions placing Clichy in with the mercenaries. He was getting a ridiculous amount of stick from some “fans” and quarters of the media, which when added to his status as automatic first choice coming under threat from Gibbs, makes his switch regardless of how disappointing, difficult to rebuke.

    At risk of sounding like a broken record, I feel you have to look no further than the Rooney saga to get to the bottom of this one.

  48. We had some spats on here about RvP at times, YW. Most posters were at most luke warm until we upped his profile. As to the status of his statement, I disagree with you. But we will see won’t we…..though it is clear that for even the more benign of us baying for blood is the natural position. The one we prefer. Facts can wait until later.

  49. Wonderful post CBob.
    I am a part of the younger generation, but I am no fan of the path football is following these days. It stinks. As you say Radford ran a bar, it’s unthinkable these days. I imagine those would have been wonderful days to be a football fan. Fans could actually connect with the players. Oh how I wish to have been around those days.
    Sadly I would never get to experience that. In my opinion it’s not sustainable, the path football is taking. It’s madness. The amount of money flowing, the debts of top flight football clubs is downright obscene.

  50. True it’s a dream mixed with nostalgia
    But it’s a dream that I’ll always hang on to
    That I’ll always run to
    Won’t you join me by the riverbank

  51. By far the Most considered and saddest response the the RVP situation. So true it is the writer’s comment on Arsene Wenger and the question left hanging; what did he do to deserve RVP.

    It’s the end of a dream we as Arsenal fans shared with Arsene Wenger. But it’s over. As to the future? Who knows and really, who cares.

  52. This is indeed an excellent blog. Great work and many thanks for so lucidly putting forward many “average” person’s views. For now myself and the family continue to go to the games and invest time, money and emotional stress in the team we love. We will always support Arsenal but, in times of ever increasing dominance by “money” will we still fork out our £3,000 quid or so a year to follow in person? For about 8 years in the mid ’70’s to early ’80’s, with football under the influence of quite a violent sub culture, I stopped going to live games. I do worry that in the current climate of ever increasing costs and a culture of greed and avarice, things are forcing ourselves to look at the investment we make each year.

    And for now, we hope and pray for an unlikely season and a miracle from Arsene – as you say, the last man standing.

  53. Actually they weren’t all that wonderful, Sahil. Lets not get too glassy eyed about this. The football violence on the terraces in the seventies and eighties was diabolical and that is but one example. I spent most of the matches in my younger days wondering who the hell had scored…..and I mean which team.

  54. As for John Radford running a pub. Great player but so fucking what?

  55. His pub probably had to close at 10.30 every night except Fridays and Saturdays, wasn’t allowed to open in the afternoons, and forced you to welly down four pints in an hour on Sunday lunchtimes.

  56. Ashby Gooner John

    Excellent comment. Football is now a business before it is a sport. I agree with what you say. Like you, I am just about hanging on in there, looking forward to the next match. However, it becomes progressively more difficult. For now: “C’mon u Gunners”

  57. well writtten, but your living in the past, and im old enough to go back over 40 years, football has never been better, coverage has never been better, and the reason is money, it makes the world go round, and stop slagging off the likes of fabby and the others that gave their all, do you really expect a player to come here as a kid and stay forever when the club havnt won anything in years, im sorry for you if you do, your romantic view is the stuff of mills and boon, arsenal need to sort things out, however if the board dont want to spend the clubs money and compete then thats it isnt it ! blaming other clubs because they have money for the lack of our sucsess is pathetic, if it takes money to win things then duh, spend money or get used to players doing one and the club winning nothing, you are supporting a losing mentality because you believe its moraly correct. i want the rusky in, the yank out, and a determination to win things, the manager is great in my eyes and i dont blame him for others leaving but his hands are tied when it comes to buying the best cause of the model, get it

  58. Jam session still going steww?

  59. Wow! Intelligently written, poignant, relevant and charged with emotive angst. I have supported Arsenal for 42 years and vividly remember my first and last trips to Highbury, when football was for the common man. I too have been hammered by the sky high prices and sadly have never been able to afford to be a regular Emirates visitor. You are so right about loyalty – a word which has no credibility with those who hide behind the media hype of a ‘failing’ club to line their pockets elsewhere. It is a disgrace and so predictable. I hope that we can once again be great and win trophies – and for those who left for ‘greener grass’ – I pray every day for a drought.

  60. Terribly written and you’re living in a PR man’s dream.

  61. Brilliant piece, thank you. As someone who started supporting arsenal in the eighties I can relate to a lot of what you say. Football has changed and so have fans.

  62. mattgoonerknight

    korihikage | July 7, 2012 at 8:24 am–Des-Kelly.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    hard truth.

    I agree with much of this also.

    I believe his reproachable conduct has been borne out of frustration and misguided illusions of grandeur: as ZimPaul posted so well, as amazing as he is, our structure and his “ambition” do not correlate and therefore we have shown our “ambition” in his position (Giroud and Podolski), rather than in his contract. Should he not accept OUR terms, or should we not receive a transfer offer that WE find acceptable, he will be expected to see out his contract professionally and both parties can reassess the situation either in January or at the end of the season.

    Neither party are the victim here.

    A massive offer from elsewhere should mean he is gone and we can re-invest (this surely is an indisputable must). Otherwise, paltry 8million offers will conclude that he is still an Arsenal player, and I for one would love that regardless of his petulance.

  63. Somehow I think that Butterfly Collector seems appropriate.

  64. I’m 30 so not sure if I fit into the younger generation you mention but I certainly do not want the game or this club to be solely ruled by money. That’s why its do important for arsenal to succeed with our self sustaining model. To me its an ideological issue and it sickens me so many arsenal fans would so quickly sell us to a man with such questionable morals.

  65. Take heart Yogi, for every Van Persie there is a Frimpong! Weve seen greater, better players leave The Arsenal, but we still fought back and still grow stronger!

  66. Very, very good post and one that I agree with absolutely.

  67. Excellent post. Sound analysis shining light on the cant and hypocrisy of the modern game.

  68. Bob – Great write up mate.

  69. There was an awful lot wrong with the Seventies Frank. That wasn’t the point of the post as you well know.

    Frankly, I don’t give a stuff about ‘nostalgia’, it is my personal view that football today just isn’t as interesting to me as it was before. Part of that is me, I’ve changed. I’ve walked away from the age as far as I can in most areas of my life but kept hold of football.

    My grip on that is loosening with every act by players, rich men and crooked men that chips away at my scruples. The game is driven my the aspirations, such as they are, of rich and ambitious men. Wealth and power are their only goals.

    People are quick to disparage Hill-Wood but his family have been at Arsenal for decades. Not a lot of money was made by them, it was ‘dead money’ as the current Chairman put it, until he sold his last shares to Kroenke. Most of Hill-Woods shares were actually sold previously to Dein before they rose in value. It was he who sold them on to Usmanov with the rest of his holding.

    It’s boring to many and probably sounds pompous, but I try and live a dignified life, one where I can feel happy in my own skin and with a settled conscience. Football today fits ill with this

  70. Which particular lyric can you mean Yogi?

  71. @Rumour: “RVP gave 8 years to the club and has nothing to show for it.” this season was his first injury free season. So far from calling the assumption ‘invalid’, I don’t see why one brilliant season suddenly means he deserves better. RVP has played, on average, around 15 league games a year since his arrival, before last season. So you believe that he deserves better? I think you’re blinded by last season. I don’t begrudge him wanting to leave, players can be replaced. I am furious, however, at the statement that leaves the club in a position where we will have to accept a measly bid as everyone now knows he wants to leave.

    “if it was greed or money he would have gone a long time ago” – to who? Which money-laden club was clamouring for the signature of an injury ravaged striker? No one.

  72. Firstly what a brilliant article and one that once again highlights ACLF as the finest Blog out there.

    Secondly, the division in the club is worrying me and has been for some time. Not just at board level. Asmanov’s statement that they would “never do anything to cause conflict in the club” whilst releasing a statement that is designed to do nothing else, but also amongst the clubs supporters.

    It seems we are split into two very distinct categories, those who have grown up under other eras of the footballing world and those who have known nothing but the Sky generation. Those of us that can remember standing on the North Bank on days when we had players like John Jenson, a player widely derided for only scoring a single goal in an Arsenal shirt yet idolised by Gooners for he wore the red and white and did it with passion. We are the ones who still believe in the romance of playing for the Gunners. I can think of perhaps three members of the current first team squad who perhaps share our passion for the team. Jenko is an obvious choice, a lad that was still coming to Arsenal the season prior to signing to watch the team he loves. Jack, again an Arsenal fan that has grown up in the club and one we hope shares our feelings for it. And of course Frimpong, possibly the first time a player yet to become a regular starter can be labelled as a legend, he truly feels what we feel.

    Personally I would rather have 25 players of lesser quality who fight for the shirt and feel our pain and (I really mean this) don’t challenge for the league for years to come, than go down the route of the mercenary footballer.

    I would rather see a player trying his heart out to give all he is for Arsenal than occasionally see a flash of brilliance that costs the club £150,000 a week.

  73. Re the article, I like the fact that you touched on something I was beginning to feel CB, that the incidents like RVP’s choice have the potential to sour the game, reducing TV revenue and reducing the appeal of the league for the very billionaires that currently throw it around like a toy truck.

    There have been certain pivotal moments in sporting institutions that have given them a serious body blow. The day Barrichello was forced to concede his victory to Schumacher. The day the match fixing blows errupted in Serie A, the Hansie Cronje scandal, the collapse of Glasgow Rangers, the player strike in baseball, the Qatar world cup selection.

    RVP’s departure touches on all these. The premier league stands on the edge now, and the magic could be lost very quickly. The only saviours of the game will be a handful of star players who decide to be loyal. RVP could have been one of those.

  74. pedantic george

    “Pick the bones out of that” as they say around here.Staggeringly good article Bob.
    Matt.If he is doing a “Rooney” and I don’t believe he is.Then what you are saying is he is holding a gun to the clubs head.Basically saying “I am the top me or else”.Well Rooney is a low life piece of crap,which would mean……………Mmm.

  75. Furthermore I don’t buy into the whole “Anyone would move jobs for double their wages.” argument. If I doubled my wages it would be in the region of around £35,000 a year. That makes a massive to mine and my families quality of life. I do not earn £150,000 a week. To put that into perspective, I would need to work for the best part of five years on my new wages to earn what a decently paid footballer earns in a week. In real terms a player who signs a 3 year contract on £150,000 a week will earn roughly £23,400,000 over the course of that contract. But their career is short so you know they need all the money they can get because £23m doesn’t go very far when you retire.

  76. Excellent article. Sums the situation very well. I wrote to David Dein when the PL deal was first announced and told him it will kill football as we know it. Unfortunately I was right. That doesn’t mean I am against progress, because I am certainly not, but it does mean that money comes before everything.

  77. Consols if everybody believed in that beautiful wenger paragraph this would be a truly magnificent army of red and white. A force to be reckond with. passed to the pitch i’d like to think everything would be A-ok.

    But alas I think the rest of the piece is correct. Loyalty is gone. I hope I never see another player kiss the badge it, will only end in tears.

  78. I disagree Frank.
    Most here have shown nothing but love for Robin thru the years. The only lament was about his injury record never about his talent, drive & dedication to the cause.

    TH14 was always his most vocal cheerleader among the players & most of us naturally tuned in.
    Yes, on this blog you have kept his flag flying but though he validated our faith last season he has untied most of that great work by allowing himself be used as a tool in a bigger war.

    For not taking the purer responsibility option or maybe not having the intelligence to he has shown himself to be way weaker than we ever thought.
    Quite rightly, he is now viewed as the latest enemy.

    Fuck RvP!
    Unless he proves us all wrong.
    I expect in a few weeks, you will let go too Frank.
    We’ll be here for you.

    Fuck the Deins!
    Fuck Usmanov!

  79. corr: “For not taking the purer responsibility option, or maybe not having the intelligence to grasp the the bigger picture, he has shown himself to be way weaker than we ever thought.

  80. Great article, great blog. The Arsenal abides.

  81. Absolutely written, my friend u said it all, the beautifully game is about to be burried, gunners for life….

  82. One of the best articles I have read. Puts the Le Grove mob to shame.Go Go RVP and sit on City’s bench until you step forward to pick up a medal, or maybe you will send your servant to do so.And …..please don’t insult us by saying it is nothing to do with the money.

  83. thats it for me on RvP…my respect for u Frank is the reason i’m back on it.
    we’ll see how it goes…AW will deal with it.

    ..oh btw, nice one Cbob….

    “It’s boring to many and probably sounds pompous, but I try and live a dignified life, one where I can feel happy in my own skin and with a settled conscience. Football today fits ill with this.

    we’ve got to fight the crap with everything we’ve got, even if its just words.
    the kids REALLY need guidance.
    take no prisoners!

    what else you got YW?
    still no word on G69 & Hunter13?

  84. Stop blaming ‘The Deins’ – Darren Dein is just doing his job. Getting the best financial deals for his clients. If Arsenal won’t match what others will pay that is Darren Dein’s fault?
    Don’t think I should have to remind anyone here what David Dein did for AFC. Most notably he was the sole reason we got your Lord & Master, Arsene Wenger.

    What has Sir Chips & Lord Peckham done for AFC (when they are not whoring for the Tory party?) What has Gazidis done to say he’s a better chief exec that Dein? (man had never even run a football club in his life and then is given the top job at a club like AFC because he’s Oxbridge stock & knew Kronke from his MLS role) As for Dino-Hill-Wood, please, I ain’t even going to bother.

    Yet the problems at AFC seem to be potrayed as Usmanov, ‘greedy’ RVP / ‘disloyal’ Cesc etc etc. Are they fuck!!!!

  85. pedantic george

    A great Flyweight can beat a good Bantamweight.But even a very poor Heavyweight will punch him right out of the ring.
    Sometimes the gap is just too big to compete.

  86. RGG,
    let me rephrase…

    F-U-C-K David & Darren Dein!!!!!!!!!!!!

  87. RGG, “Darren Dein is just doing his job” So were the SS doesn’t mean they weren’t despicable bastards.

  88. My dad would have agreed with you george.

    He always said, he boxed for the Royal Marines, “Remember, Bert, A good big ‘un will always beat a good little ‘un”

  89. Oh and getting the best money for you client ergo yourself isn’t always working in the best interest of your client.

  90. if i have to explain that its what they represent that I detest, we’ll be at it till 2020…
    so, while we’re summarizing…lest I forget “rephrasing”,

    F-U-C-K Usmanov!
    Fuck Sheik Mansoor!
    Fuck Abramovich!

  91. That’s the issue they miss, drew. I’m not actually blaming the Deins. If that’s the world then that’s how it is.

    I just want no part of it. I wouldn’t touch their lives with a barge pole.

  92. Slight tangent: Stewart Robson. Oh boy, where to begin.

    The comments and posts on the two sites Arsenal Truth and everyone’s favourite, the Online Gooner were surely satire? Woah, I say woah, I said woah there, I don’t mean to slur a former Arsenal Legend like Stewart Robson. I just note that, you know, the former Reserve & Youth team coaches are now working with the first team. I think MGK must have upset the great man. Let’s not mention that two out of eleven of Englnd’s current starting eleven (not including injuries) came straight from the Gunners cradle. That would be cruel, would it not?

  93. & if Kroenke flips the script on us….he’ll be next in line.

    …so Robson’s been fired, eh?
    seems a long time ago since a petition actually worked..kudos to all.

  94. Oh so Stewart Robson’s gone. Great work MGK.

  95. About 4 seasons ago, perhaps around about the time of signing a new contract, after on and off seasons over the course of a previous contract, a young man had some things to say about the philosophy of a nouveau riche club and how his own club does it.

  96. I have to say, I can’t believe Robson was allowed to continue in the clubs employment for so long whilst openly criticising everything Wenger was doing. He was a cancer inside the club and I am glad he has gone, he can now take up his residence with all the other worms at talk shite.

  97. oh and i read somewheres that Robson jumped before he was pushed – but hes got plenty of work to do over at eurosport

  98. They are all loyal when they are injured Deise.

  99. Excellent article and coud not agree more.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

  100. Thanks Deise, I’ve been trying *ahem* to find a copy of those comments for ages. So there it is. Thing is, he didn’t just say it the once.

    If he goes to $iteh, RVP will have earnt all the rotten tomatoes thrown his way. If.

  101. Awesome post! I am too sick of the whole chirade that is Premier League football. Will always love Arsenal but if we sell RVP to City then I won’t be renewing membership, season tickets etc

  102. Dick Swiveller

    I can’t comment on the formation of the Premiership as I’m a little too young to remember much about it but football was knocking along pretty well (aside from the obvious favouritism towards a certain Manchester club but I have a feeling that the biggest signing Citeh will make this season will be Mike Riley…) until Abramovich came along; not sure I completely believed it when I said he’d ruin football but by God, l I believe it now.

    Kudos to Frank on this blog as well, I though the art of winding up a mulititude of fans had died along with independent thought.

  103. Deise,
    And he jumped with some style!

    “The reserve team coaches are ignored..” He bleats into the mike.
    “Great copy, Steww, great copy,” said the talkshite producer. “Now blubber into this napkin. There you go. There there. You’re not making any sense, but it’s great copy. The Master will be proud. Now excuse me, I have some children to go sacrifice.”

  104. Whoops! Wrong spelling of Stew there. I’m not known for prose as elegant as today’s author. That’s my excuse. I

  105. where can we read that robsons gone? thank god!

  106. What do I know, Bob? I know that you deliberately misquoted RvP in order to dis the player and make your point. I still insist that he is an Arsenal player and we do not know, no matter how many attempts are made to reinvent his comments, to what he was referring.

    Maintaining the order of things. That is the bag of Young Mr Grace and his friend Chips. Sadly the order has changed and left them behind. Stan bought into their vision whatever that might be and don’t say ‘sustainability’ because that comes as a given and comes in many different flavours….

    Oh I don’t want to ramble so I will cut this short. Young Mr Grace is almost always wrong he does catch on eventually but it takes time. Too much time. He has put his weight behind Stan Kroenke because it is a way of maintaining the status quo and that means he stays as Chairman of the Board. But do we want the status quo?

    One more thing. This is the busiest time of the year for a football club in terms of contracts, building for the new season etc. I know Ivan Gazidis probably has his leave card signed by the Chairman, but why is the CEO of a top football club on holiday now?

  107. I don’t believe it could have been said any better!

    Thanks, Mr. Bob!

    We can bury our heads in the sand if we like but the truth is what it is…football is sick.

  108. pedantic george

    Unfortunately people have different values in life.
    For me the single most important thing in life is love.To love and be loved .To be a friend and have friends is the key to happiness.
    Of course you need other things, like a roof over your head and food in your belly.But you can only be in one room at a time and only eat so much.
    Robin as sacrificed the love and adoration of perhaps millions of fans ,for what?
    Who is likely to be the happiest,Matthew Le Tissier.Loved,no worshiped by most Southampton fans or some nomadic gun for hire,loathed by the fans of every club he left for a “more ambitious” destination.
    Robin could have been like Dennis,instead he chose to be like Ashley Cole.

  109. what is it with Sol Campbell?!

  110. Good riddance, Stewart Robson. How the club have tolerated his negativity over the last few years is beyond me. More evidence of an out of touch Board I fear.

  111. Ashley Cole went to Chavski. Which club has RvP gone to then, george? Have I missed something?

  112. ‘but why is the CEO of a top football club on holiday now?’ – hasnt this falsehood already been set to right by a statement from arsenal press officer?

  113. I don’t know. Where is the Arsenal press officers comment. I apologise for not having seen it. What does it say?

  114. oh le tissier. loved him as a player. i am sure he isnt respected just by southampton fans.

    where are the one-club men nowadays?

  115. pedantic george

    Frank,you seem to have missed a lot.Like the fact that the CEO is not on holiday.Of course if Robin says so ,it must be true .Eh?

  116. I think it has Deise.

    Do you think they are lieing, Frank?

  117. Sol’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, Paul-N

    I’m beginning to believe most footballers aren’t.
    Too much oxygen in the blood, maybe?

  118. almost feel like I don’t know you anymore Frank

  119. Frank – do you think RVP will stay after his statement? Do you think it will sit well with fans and fellow players that their captain has no faith in what is being done at the club? If he doesnt believe, thats fine, but dont make a statement about it while you are the captain, leave that for after you have left

  120. Long time, no chat Paul.

    How’s things? Trying times.

  121. You don’t know me at all, Aman. But why is that important?

  122. i’d like the detached sarcastic Frank back asap!
    you are way too “coldplay” right now….

  123. I don’t know, Deisegunner. That is the point. I don’t know to what he was referring. Rather than inventing it I am waiting to find out. At the risk of repeating myself, he is a fantastic Arsenal player at the moment, and I have chosen to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  124. pedantic george

    I had thought the Cesc Fabregas episode was the worst act of betrayal imaginable.How wrong could I be?

  125. I have not accused anyone of lying, ConsolsBob. I apologised for not seeing the press office statement. Could anyone please point me to it and I will see what I make of it.

  126. ‘because you are one of the “wise elders” here, Frank

    &….a broken heart mendeth.

  127. Your just a stirrer, george. You weedle like a doomer. Occasionally in a vaguely entertaining way.

  128. Frank, the communications director confirmed via twitter that Ivan is not on holiday.

  129. You are disappointed because I support RvP as an Arsenal player, Aman? Becuase I am not baying for his blood? As for wisdom…well what exactly is that?

  130. The sad side of the game nowdays, is thats its moving away from being the working mans game. My dad took me to my first game at highbury back in the late 60s, and his dad took him to his first game at highbury, in the 40s. They where both just ordanary working class men, who spent a part of there hard erned earnings like thousands of other working class men following the working class game we all loved. As i got older and had a family, i dreamed of being able to take my son to the Arsenal in the same way as my dad, and his dad before that. But by the late 90s, money was taking over the game. I took him but it cost me so much that i couldent afford to take him again for quite a while, no child prices unless you was a member of the juniour gunners, which for the odd game is an expensive membership. It became so expensive that i couldent afford to go myself, now the best i can hope for is to watch them on the tv and my son follows other sports. In my view Arsenal have lost myself a “gooner till i die” and my son who never went enough to get hooked on the football let alone the Arsenal. i cant be the only one in this position the game seems to be pushing the very people it was ment to be for, away. I cant afford to go to a game nowdays and i oftern wonder if the people in the boxes and with the corperate seats will be there if we continue to have lean times. If the unthinkable was to happen and we got religated would those same people still be there. …and its the same for all the big clubs there losing the grass root supporters, not because they dont want to follow there team any more, but because the game has sold out to money men. Its no longer a working class game for working class people, its a rich mans sport for rich people. Ill follow the Arsenal till the day i die, no matter where they are but it will be from the armchair now and im affraid my son and the hundreds of others who havent been able to grow up watching there team will at the best just watch it on tv or like my son get involved with more affordable sports.I dont like the way the games heading but for me im already so hooked on football and Arsenal that i dont have a choice, but the kids of today …tomorrows supporters do, And i think that unless there lucky enough to have a dad who can afford the expensive seats on a regular basis then the sport is doomed as we know it now .
    From a sad Gooner

  131. Frank,
    you are an important part of why I enjoy ACLF as I enjoy the Arsenal…

  132. ..and that he has not recently been on holiday and he returned on…? All of that was in his message was it, Henristic?

  133. Clearly that has changed, Aman. Can’t help you I am afraid.

  134. i believe it was done through twitter Frank and not posted on the .com,maybe its on the twitter feed on though

  135. pedantic george

    That is not why I am disappointed with you Frank.

  136. there was a picture of gazidis with a AFC youth coach who was one of the olympic torch bearers at the Emirates Stadium one day or so after the statement was released.

    of course it could be doctored. of course it could be a case of perfect timing- his 2 weeks holiday ending on the day van persie released his statement (van persie didnt say when gazidis would be back) or of course, he could have rushed back to london straight away and decided, why not take a photo with the youth coach?

    and mark gonella, the press officer tweeted that CEOs don’t take 2 week holidays. seen that for myself as well.

    anyway, i am not out on a witchhunt against van persie. when i read that statement, i was absolutely livid. i still am, actually. but i have calmed down.

    what did he really mean? what was his intention? maybe we will one day know, maybe we won’t.

    the timing and wording disappointed me. doesn’t sound like van persie, but then i don’t know him after all.

    whether he stays or not, is out of my control. and doesn’t really matter to me. if not for Arsenal, i probably would have given up on men’s football altogether.

  137. I’m good Mr. Bob, yourself?

    Yes, it really is a sad state of affairs. Like you, I am getting fed up with this.

  138. Looks like Frank’s gone from drinking whiskey toi mainlining Crystal meth! You are seriously on one Frank man! Provocative as fuck.

    I am extremely disapointed in thetiming and the content of RvP’s ill advised missive, but he isn’t gone yet and that is something we shouldn’t forget. As I said last night, I see similarities with the Rooney shite.

    What I don’t understand is, although I guess I should, is how suddenly the club is a shambles and mismanaged with dysfunctional board when a week ago, it was ‘heading in the right direction, with mistakes learnt, yadda yadda…’

  139. Frank

  140. George @10.57, behave!
    If RVP is leaving he did not allow his Captaincy to dissolve upon the pitch before the season had ended. A slight difference. And if he’s leaving he wants to go play with his Cescy baby. And maybe not this season. Is it not obvious? If I wanted to spend some farking money in the betting shop, that’s where I’d throw my roubles. (Crap, I’ve done it now. Mustn’t forget the sorry & useless hacks that read YWs blog).

  141. Good point Dex.

    Was it only a few days ago that people were waxing lyrical about how Arsenal had got their act together this year and Gazidis was doing a fine job?


  142. RvP should not have released that statement. It was damaging to the club and I can’t believe he was too stupid to see that.

    But I’m with those that say we should stop short of insulting him because he is still our player and might still be wearing our colours next year.

    Consol didn’t insult him in his beautiful piece today, neither have most of the other posters I respect. We should keep it that way, because we’re not classless doomers. This thing hasn’t quite played out yet. We don’t even know Arsenes take in all of this.

  143. far from being disappointed, more pained by what feels like over-compensation.
    RvP just diluted his commitment as an Arsenal player…

    but I’d personally be more hurt if u left us because of Robin…
    though I don’t “know” you nor do i know RvP

    c’est la vie
    to each his own..
    i’ll leave you to it

  144. Actually, I can honestly say that I’ve never been better, Paul, thank you.

    Weather is shocking here in the UK so our expected bumper harvest with polytunnel et al, is looking a little less bumper!

  145. pedantic george

    Cesc flashed his Stiletto to show he meant business,Robin slipped it between Arsene’s ribs on his way towards the door.

  146. CBob; Thanks for a great piece today mate. I know from conversing with you (and Jonny too) your feelings on the matter and in truth, they echo mine a hell of a lot man. Thanks again.

    I am not sure where football is headed, long term, no not 5 years, but seriously longer term?

  147. That sounds good, Mr. Bob.

    How are the grandchildren?

  148. Some nice points today (and yesterday) George, well done.

    But I wouldn’t be so vitriolic to van Purse Strings just yet. I will give you the signal when you can go unleash the dogs though. 🙂

  149. pedantic george

    Yes Henristic,You are right .He may yet turn out to be Rooney ,rather than Ashley.Wont that be spiffing.?

  150. Lol Dex,
    Franks a bit of a yoyo as I’ve shown many times in the past (Cbob you believe me now?).

    Its hardly the first time he overreacts like this, its all part of his charm really. He’s still obviously a very loyal supporter of the club and definitely the most interesting poster on this site, bar none!

  151. That Des Kelly piece is the most coherent and intelligent one I have read so far. Blimey this whole bollocks has thrown up some surprising anomolies aint it.

  152. George,
    But he’d be our Rooney, and that makes all the difference in the world.

    Its not like any reasonable person should believe ALL of our players are Angels?

  153. George;

    It could well be postering by him and his people. As I posited last night in my drug addled haze; They might have felt the need to try and reclaim all the cards after RvP’s family waxed lyrical on life in London as well as him oweing the club for sticking by him for all those years?

    I don’t think he wants to move, he just wants a fucking lorry load of cash! 🙂

  154. In other news David Silva is being offered a new five year deal worth 200,000 a week. That amounts to 52M over five years and 10.4M per year. That 10.4M is equal to 8.3% of Arsenal’s wage bill( 124.4M as of September 2011).
    That is what we are up against as PG rightly said, a bantamweight against a heavyweight and a very good heavyweight I might add.

  155. George;

    This is where football is going; your best player (could well be Wilshere in 5 years) knows what he could get at a club up the road, thanks to his helpful advisers, so feels he can hold his club to ransom, that it’s perfectly reasonbable to do so;

    “blimey when I heard they were only gonna offer me £300,000 a week, I almost crashed me fuckin Lear jet innit…”

    There are far too many people earning too good a wage from football and footballers.

  156. Wonderful piece, Bob. My only gripe would be to lump in SK and Gazidis with AU and DD.
    I understand those who just feel like walking away, but I want to fight for my club.

    For the content of his statement, the manner of releasing it and the timing of it, RvP deserves all the criticism he is getting, regardless of whether he remains an Arsenal player or not. For me, the club comes before any player.

    By the way, criticism is not the same as insults.

    The common denominator in this is the Dein family, father and son. David Dein foisted both Usmanov and SK on us – up until that point, all the board members were fans first and foremost. Darren Dein has appeared to target all our top players in the last few years for his “advice” which always results in them leaving. I am now having doubts that the supposed split between Dein and Usmanov is a real one. Perhaps it was just that they realised that Fat & Orange together was too toxic for Orange’s image. He has been trying to destablise the club since he was ousted after his attempted coup using SK failed. This is his revenge.

    @ korihikage – totally agree about Arsenal Ladies!

  157. pedantic george

    There are people around my way who I don’t like.They are bullies and pseudo hard men.IN30 years ,when subjected to their company,I have never acknowledged them or spoken a word to them .
    People say to me “why do you treat them so disrespectfully,they are always nice to you ?
    To which I reply “How they are with me is irrelevant,that is just a facade”
    A man of poor character wearing the Arsenal kit is still a man of poor character. And so will we be if we accept his behaviour because he might score a few goals.

  158. an example of where the moneybags have led football to:'more-realistic'-over-hulk?cc=3888

    a player worth no more than 15m MAX !

    wonder what Sol Campbell thinks Hulk is worth?

  159. “A man of poor character wearing the Arsenal kit is still a man of poor character. And so will we be if we accept his behaviour because he might score a few goals”.

    I agree with pg

  160. “A man of poor character wearing the Arsenal kit is still a man of poor character. And so will we be if we accept his behaviour because he might score a few goals.”

    Well said, George.

  161. anyone read le grove this mornin? a post regarding our transfer ‘warchest’ amount publicly & privately………of course its speculation – dont know what to make of it

  162. OK, fair enough. I get the message.

    Just for the record and for what its worth…….

    I support AW, always have

    I support the players whilst they are Arsenal players, always have. I made a mistake with Robin at first and read more into the situation than was there to be read, and for that I apologise, to him mainly. At this point I am more than happy to give him the benefit of the doubt as I did Cesc and Samir Nasri when they were still Arsenal players. I intend always to do that.

    As for the rest.

    I loathe the Board always have.

    I loathe the Arsenal Communications Department always have

    I loathe Doomers always have

    Aside from that I think that the ‘owners’ of the club should stop relying on the fans to pay for everything and sort out their commercial deals.

    Oh…and I love football just as much now as I did then and I still know nothing about it.

    Thats enough from me I think.

    Robin van Persie…clickclickclick

  163. …whereas,
    ” a man of poor character wearing the Spurs kit would be right at home”…

  164. No matter what Robin does, his legacy as an Arsenal player will be tarnished forever. As george rightly points out, he can turn from someworse than Ashley to someone as worse as Rooney, but he will never be able to become our Robin again.

  165. George,

    I suppose it all depends on where u draw the line with poor character.

    I won’t condone racists or bigots, but I won’t insult our players who may just be greedy (Henry, RvP, Adebayor, etc), live ‘rough’ lives, (Tony Adams, JET, NB52, etc) or are divers/cheats (Ebuoe, Pires, etc). I will critize them for their behaviour, like I always do, but I won’t resort to insults.

    I would, on the other hand, have had a big problem with JT or Suarez for instance.

  166. Sahil;

    That is probably a cheap deal for City. Sign him up now, instead of in 2 years when they’d have to offer him twice that!

  167. I’m with FunG @ 11:30…

  168. I think that’s your best ever comment george @11.31.

  169. Diese; To me it’s utter bollocks. Sensational headlines is what they are good at. We know our hands are tied when it comes to transfer spending, they are telling nothing new.
    If anything that post in a nutshell again tells us the great work AW has done, ironic isn’t it?

  170. Actually Fun, they were included in my para, “As for the whole bloated bureaucracy of the Premiership, FA, EUFA and FIFA, and the rich men who toy with our heritage, they can go hang.”

    How could I miss them out? Wouldn’t be fair?

  171. A Joey Barton character is type I would gladly insult whether he was our player or not.

  172. Limestonegunner

    Cbob, an elegant dirge for football and my sentiments align with you on the main conclusion: AW has been the rock when all else has crumbled. I’m interested to see what he does.

    Such great news to sharpen my anticipation for the new season: no more Robson poisoning Arsenal Player!! My experience of following the club will be immeasurably enhanced.

    I am so glad I wrote that letter and posted it here. Extraordinary thanks MGK for creating the petition with it and making this happen. Team goal celebration!!!

  173. “blimey when I heard they were only gonna offer me £300,000 a week, I almost crashed me fuckin Lear jet innit…”

    Bloody funny, Dex.

  174. I am glad you mention Suarez, because he is a vile racist scumbag, but because he is seen as a quality player, Liverpool chose to stand by him, making themselves look like complete twats in the process.

    Of course,if he wasn’t very good, they would still have printed the tee shirts etc, wouldn’t they?

  175. All good, thank Paul. I can see yours are thriving.

    A bit concerned about the 12 year old going on 21, though.

  176. *is another type

  177. pedantic george

    I would just like to make it know that I am a modest and humble man ,who listens and accepts other people’s points of view.
    But if you don’t agree with me you are thick cunts and can fuck off.

    How about that for some personal PR?

  178. WE have signed 2 quality players, got Robson booted out and RvP wants us to give him more cash.

    All in all we are still in the black man. 🙂

  179. @george
    Maybe you should release it as a statement on your website?

    Forgot to give you the due praise for this beautifully written piece that, I feel, echoes the thoughts of many Arsenal supporters these days. Where has the beautiful game gone and why has it been replaced with this?

  180. Frank;

    I agree with most of that. Never been a fan of the board, appreciated what they did and continue to do. I do think things could have been done differently in terms of the fallout between DD and the rest. That seems to have sullied things big style.

    And again, I don’t see DD as some knight in shining armour as others do either. It’s just that for the good of the club, burying the hatchet would have seemed to be the best thing for all concerned, including us mug punters!

  181. Dex,
    I’m on record as having criticized a few other posters on here for excusing away hunter13’s bigotry just because he’s on the ‘right side’. To me that’s very similar to what Liverpool did with Suarez.

    I don’t expect people to be perfect, or blame them for every character flaw, but I draw the line at bigotry, xenophobia, and racism.

  182. I hate the way that perspectives seem to get easily lost at times like this.

    For me, what is disgusting is that our club (and others) are being forced to stump up incresingly obscene wages for players, or be deemed as lacking ambition. We are talking about paying players over £200k a week FFS!

    That isnt progress, it’s fecking madness!

  183. …and of course criminal activity.

  184. Henristic;

    I never saw many of hunter’s posts TBH. A few rambling rants, that didn’t contain any racism, although I have seen others mention it.

    However, not sure it’s quite relevant to my point; that clubs are prepared to put up with and even defend, players of dubious character; Adams (yep, we done it before too!), Terry, Suarez, Rooney.

    It wouldn’t be too far a leap for AFC to do the same with RvP; bite the bullet, pay him what he crazes and move on.

    Sure, it will be yet another nail in the coffin of football (just my opinion) but hey! It will show our ambition won’t it! 🙂

  185. @ Dexter
    So true. Poor bastards being expected to make ends meet on £80,000 A WEEK. There are Kenyan peasants and Brazilian favela dwellers laughing at them right now.

  186. I was gutted when the statement was released earlier this week, but now? Meh, It doesn’t feel half as bad as the media and some would make out. last summer, i was gutted big style. This time, no where near as much.

    That eother means I am just growing thicker skin and immune to this shenanigans now, or that I feel we are in much much better shape than we were this time last year.

  187. I thought we aren’t supposed to care how much players earned on here? Isn’t that like, doomer talk?

  188. 12 going on 21? that seems to be a common theme nowadays, Mr. Bob.

    Yeh, mine are doing fine. I am having the time of my life.

  189. Limestonegunner

    Good sense fins and henristic. Let’s see how this plays out. Demanding the club sell just removes maneuvering room for the club. Let AW have a free hand here is what I say.

  190. pedantic george

    Bob @11.47
    Thamks,but I not so hard with such a low bar to clear.

  191. Dex,
    Just to be clear, I didn’t say hunter was racist.

  192. Love every word CB – from the heart and much of it exactly where I am

    My one hope perhaps the circus will move on and a wiser, smaller, less obscene football will be left

  193. FG;

    I know, I would love someone, a big name player to make a stand, or just say how ridiculous the wag demands are. I dont know? Some small gesture?

    Didn’t a player in italy play a full season for nothing because he had missed 2 seasons with injury?

    RvP take fucking note of that sunshine!!! 🙂

  194. Henristic | July 7, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    I thought we aren’t supposed to care how much players earned on here? Isn’t that like, doomer talk?

    Typically odd post henristic. Where have you been posting for the last few years? It most certainly hasnt been on here. Strange comment of the day goes to you.

  195. RVPs statement may have damaged our chances of a top transfer fee for him but then again last season was such an amazing one for him that he would be THE marquee signing for any club (not man city) so maybe we might get somewhere near the going rate and not a piss poor fee

  196. @ Henristic
    Their paypacket doesn’t prevent them getting injured or make their injuries heal faster, is what was said.

  197. pedantic george

    He is talking about the wages for the Deadwood eleven Dexter.
    That used to include RVP and Rosicky ,least we forget.

  198. Clerkenwell Gooner

    A very beautiful piece, consolsbob, and your comments add to it.

    In the end, it is all about dignity, is it not? And there is something very undignified about how divided our society has become. This is the battle of the 99% vs the 1%, only this time waged over a football pitch.

    The economic context of football has changed hugely, of course, but it’s clear that much dynamism left the board with Dein Snr and Danny Fiszman, and the incumbent-by-virtue-of-heredity PHW is conservative with a very large “c”.

    As is only natural for a man of his class, he now runs the board as an Osborne-style “mate-ocracy”. And the club ticks along like sturdy Silver Shadow, still the top 4, still solvent in a game drowning in debt, with one of the few financially literate managers in the world at the helm, who has made them personally a shed-load of £££ in the past 15 years:

    The board got richer than they already were by selling out AFC to KSE – in that sense, the club is run by a bunch of Samir Nasris, because in PHW’s words, “You wouldn’t say no to a few million pounds” – but the one in the frame to vampire up the mega-$$$ of AW’s successes is Wal-Mart Stan:

    75% profit, anyone? To be stashed in a tax haven in Delaware? KSE no doubt thanks all of us for our blind, devoted generosity, and we stick with it, trying not to look too closely at what’s behind the curtain, because we love the game – but sometimes it’snecessary in life to admit that love can make us fools.

    (I left my last job when the company, with the majority of its workforce in London, decided to go offshore. But it still expected to employ UK staff who were mostly state-educated, kept healthy by state medicine via the NHS, and who arrived to work using state-built roads. AFC is a conduit to a tax haven now, nothing more. Build your own fucking roads to the stadium, Stan, why don’t you?)

  199. pedantic george

    “Evil | July 7, 2012 at 11:56 am
    Maybe you should release it as a statement on your website?”

    At least someone got it!

  200. He wants to force a sale, which is why the statement was issued, but I really don’t think he’s going. AW has been saying for a while that he’s confident RvP will be in the red and white next season. The only doubt was whether it would be a new contract or not. The club statement says he’s staying. Unless they come out with something else, I think we have to assume he won’t be sold.

  201. Dex,
    I think I should be asking where you have been. It was common on here to criticize people for bringing up how much the favourites (or doomer targets) earn. E.g. Denilson, NB52, and at one time believe it or not, Adebayor.
    But now its ok to question the not so favourites on the same subject.

    Yeah, I like to point out hypocrisy once in a while, even among non-doomers. I know some here detest me for it but there.

  202. FunGunner – Wenger said the same about Nasri last season and we know how that turned out.

  203. Limestonegunner

    Agree with, FG. Unless the doomers and their newly outraged RvP haters don’t keep feeding a media firestorm and counter coup attempt that help force him out while depressing his transfer value. But AW is strong, so if the bean counters at the club don’t overrule the football judgement, RvP could be in the new kit. And we win’t have to listen to Robson commenting on his goals during the highlight packages! Hyrray!

  204. Wake up and smell the coffee. The aroma mght not be as enticing as usual because it has been sitting there,right before your very own eyes for several years!

  205. CB

    as always thanks for your insight, a wonderful write up.

    Refreshing to hear from those that normally don’t post. Most have something of substance to share. Thanks.

  206. Robin has posted the club statement about his statement on his website which might mean that he will be here next season. Then it might not…

    Robin Van Persie…clickclickclick

  207. Harry Flowers

    Beautifully written post Bob. For a moment I was worried you were actually going to veer into “Jumpers for goalposts” territory, but you skilfully steered the ship away from the rocks of sentimentality. Well done sir.

    Money will ruin everything. I fear it’s already happened to football. Were it not for my undying love for Arsenal and utmost respect and admiration for the few guiding lights of integrity and vision such as AW, I may have given up on it altogether. Nah, not really, I’ll be there when the season kicks off. Can’t help it.

    I truly hope your right about RVP Frank. God do I ever. Can’t see it myself. As always..time will tell.


  208. pedantic george

    LG ,It is Robin who is looking to depress is transfer value .
    These “outraged RVP haters”you speak of,who are they.Are they like the hoards of zombies in 28 Days Later? Marauding the streets of London and the Inter-web?Am I classed as one of them ? Because they sound an unhinged bunch.
    Can you point them out to me?

  209. @ Henristic
    While defending the Deadwood IX we have always said that footballer wages are ridiculous. That is what Dexter was talking about. It’s not hypocrisy, it’s a different question. Whether the player was getting £80,000 a week or £800 a week, he still can’t help being injured. You and others would question why such a player was being paid.

    @ Deisegooner
    I kniw, but it’s not quite the same, I feel. He said he would fight to keep him. He did also say that he was prepared to keep him for the last year, but that was at a different stage and under different circumstances. According to John Cross, even on pre-season, they were confident that Nasri would eventually sign, that he was just holding out for the most possible money. It ties in with my belief that RvP has been told categorically that he is going to be an ARsenal player in the coming season come what may.

  210. While I agree with the overall message of the blog I cant help but feel RVP and the reaction is damaging to us.

    Think about it, you are a player who is interested in joining yet you see a ownership struggle, best players leaving, leaving players roundly abused.

    Cant see why anyone who has options would join us?

    Its easy to write off RVP’s reasons as greedy (easy and lazy), should we not analyse what he is saying here? Something many fans have been saying for a few years.

    I fear for the season ahead. Only 2 days ago I was optimistic.

  211. And there was me thinking “fuck me we are now are selling club”. But this has cleared it all up. Our board is the best there is.

  212. @ LimestoneGunner
    I’m glad you agree with me, but I can only repeat that after that statement, RvP deserves all the criticism coming his way. If he gets selected to play he’ll just have to face the fans like a man. The cynic in me says that as soon as he scores a goal or two, 99% of the fans will forget, if not forgive.

  213. pedantic george

    Yes Goonerton,
    Because the board want to sell they wanted to sell Cesc and Nasri.
    What an absolute idiot you are.

  214. Excellent post today. The best thing I can say, is that I felt a real connection with it. Lot’s to reflect on.

  215. You know, I don’t think that it is a bad idea for football players, particularly the captain of a side discussing strategy or important decisions. I hope that RvP continues to keep us informed.

    I think that he has been very brave indeed and that does not surprise me.

    I know I know ..hhhhooooowwwwwwwwllllllllll…..hhhhoooowwwwwllllllll…hang the fucker

    I am going to turn the tables now…..

    Some of you have really disappointed me over the last day or two. I have lost respect for you. Not sure you are going to find it easy to build back up when the season starts.

  216. pedantic george

    FG and then 99% of fans will be as shallow as him.

  217. Almost brought a tear to my eye. And if it dosen’t cause offence I feel a quote from a ex-manager of Totterinham is close to becoming relevant for us “There used to be a football club over there”

  218. You may be right on RVP FunGunner but to my mind i cant see how it would work out to our benefit. If he just said im not signing and will be leaving when my contract runs out, then fine. But he didnt say that, he went on to say he disagreed with how Arsenal were doing things. That is what makes the difference here. The club says he stays even if he doesnt sign a new contract and RVP makes a statement to test that resolve. The club would have to sell a player not on board with their plans, that he is currently captain just makes it all that much worse

  219. pedantic george

    Frank ,It doesn’t matter what we have said.If we “reconsider our positions” and “learn” you will forgive us .Surely? I mean you are not a hypocrite are you?
    If you can do it ,it must be ok for the rest of us .Eh?

  220. Frankly, Frank, I don’t care whether you have lost respect for me. You sound as far up your own arse as RvP.

    @ DeiseGooner | July 7, 2012 at 12:54 pm
    Yeah – it is a nightmare scenario any way you look at it. But at least we have choice of nightmares – keep him for a year with the potential for disruption or sell him now to the club of his choice, which I assume is Man City, and strengthen a rival while weakening ourselves. (Arseblogger is dreaming if he thinks we can sell RvP anywhere he doesn’t want to go). I have a feeling that AW has chosen the second scenario.

  221. Henrsitic;

    Again, I fail to see what your point is? Huge fat salaries are part of football, have been for years. Squad players earn shit loads, it’s disgusting but true.

    The fact you think it’s a vaild point isn’t my fault. Hypocrisy? In your head only. The wages Bendtner, etc are on is abhorent to me, but that’s been the case for years.

    Players earn vast sums, that IS part of the game we all love (to a certain degree), it;s unpalatable to me, but fair do’s I guess. Traditionally players were treated like serfs and the chairmen lorded it over them and paid them peanuts, meaning they’d have to get ‘normal’ jobs when their football career ended and they’d hung up their boots.

    However, this is not the case any more, so much so, that players in the championship are multi-millionaires and any 1st team squad player in the PL will probably never have to work ever again thanks to the enormity of their lucrative contracts.

    Yet, the PFA still act like these players are on the breadline. We still hear them bleating about the shortness of their playing careers, like John Terry’s going to have to resort to shoplifting or selling drugs to get by (what?) and they should try and get as much as they can etc etc. Alongside this, we have their agents, constantly telling them how much they deserve, how much they coud get elsewhere and thanks to the Bosman ruling (which again looked like a beneficial thing at the time for poor put upon players, now looks to have put all the power in the hands of the players), players hold all the cards. There needs to be more of a balance I think. Not sure how thet will be achieved, without some sort of ruling from above (so fat chance of that happening then).

    If the dramatic to say the least, increase in players’ wages is not checked, then a club will go bust and there just might not be a helpful billionaire around to save them.

  222. red kangaroo

    I agree with FunGunner. I’ve been a bit surprised reading the Arsenal blogs that so many people are taking the RvP statement at face value. Of course it’s a problem for us that he wants to leave, but it’s also clear that he’s not so smart off the field as he is on it. AW has made so many statements on this matter that the money men cannot really ignore him without putting a lot of egg on his face and then maybe he’ll be the next one to go!

  223. I think we have no choice but to take the risk. The sp*ds took a risk on Modric and look at the results. I am sure if we keep bitchy RVP and results start going our way, his allegiance will change faster than the wind. And if we are in a really good position come January, I don’t think he will play the last 6 months of his contract with the handbrake on. If there is a realistic chance for a trophy, he will give his all.

  224. @ Dexter
    Spot on. One issue is how much footballers get paid compared to people in the real world; the other issue is whether injured players should be paid. Totally different points.

  225. Sensational Arsenal

    your last paragraph brought a lump to my throat Consolsbob. You put what i and many others feel into such good words. I wish i could speak as well as you write.

    I didnt have internet for around 4 days, so i couldnt say this earlier: Fuck you RvP.

    Huge respect to Wenger for doing this day in day out. For doing it without expecting praise. For doing it despite the wrongful criticism. For going on despite being stabbed by ones you fostered and developed and claimed to be behind you. For doing the best for a club whose supporters want you gone. Maybe atleast history will be kinder to him, but this is a fucked up world, so i am not holding my breath. I really hope it helps Wenger to know that there are quite a few who understand the situation and appreciate and respect the work he has being doing.

    The sad part is we dont even get a fair shot at doing what is right. We fight against the tide and we are criticised for doing so.

    So basically RvP wants us to spend more money than we earn? Maybe throw daddy’s ill gotten money like mansour? Apparently showing ambition is not creating your vision for now and the future by building a stadium which will be one of the best atleast for the next 50 years, the best training ground, medical facility and environment for these fuckers.

    I think the best thing to do, which this blog has remarkably done is to support Arsenal and Wenger. Support the club and maybe there will sweet victory next season.

    We have to take heart from having Wenger at our club. We have to be proud of players like Vermaelen and Rosicky. They have so far shown what loyalty is.

  226. Great post – and Des Kelly also has a good piece in the Mail today about this. let rvp go and lets just get back to supporting the best club.

  227. I think I love you Fungunner 🙂

  228. And if he does stay does he remain captain? How does that look?

  229. FG;

    Someone pointed out that clubs take out insurance to cover things things like wages etc when players are out injured. Not 2 week sprains etc, but serious shit.

  230. @ Sensational Arsenal
    sensational comment!

    @ Deisegooner
    Definitely not captain, I would hope! But you never know, do you? NOthing would surprise me now.

    @ Dexter
    ha ha

  231. @ Dexter | July 7, 2012 at 1:11 pm
    Yes, another good point. Player still has the right to his wages. Nobody knew in advance that TR was going to be out in effect for years, did they?

  232. great post..
    rvp decision has left everyone gutted..

    i think as arsenal fans we get pounded anyway..the way the club is run sees us in the same situation every year so you kinda get thiick skinned over it..

    ive said many times that im ready to jack it all in, the clubs sees football as 100% business, it makes business decisions and the players know it, and have no problems following suit and leaving the club for their own business decision..

    you see, its easy to critisise players who leave for more money but thats the mentality they are taught at this club from day one..this clubs main aim is money,

    and what concerns me the why our players..
    you dont see half of anyone elses team all leaving in droves to join citys million men..

    so although what our players are doing isnt very nice, the club has more a part to play then anything..

    personally if this is they way we are going to be run for the next how many years im not up for it really..
    i fell in love with a football club not an accountants/estate agents and its why i look at usmanov these days and wish he’d go after the cowboy and stop him from breaking our club up piece by piece..

    the way i see it is that we didnt go thru all those years off being skint and finishing 4th, only for some guy to come in and set us back another decade while he makes his money back hiding behind our ‘debts’ blaming everyone elses millions while counting his own..

    bollox, fucking chance…and if that means usmanov has to come in then whatever…

  233. First time poster, however I’ve been reading this blog for about 4 years now. Really good post from C Bob and thanks to yogi for making arsenal more real for fans like us who are far away from London. The RVP issue has had me thinking and I realised that the players who made me happy a decade ago are gone, the ones who made me sad are also gone but through it all Arsenal FC remains and that is the most important.

  234. Journalistic moderation = moderate journalism

  235. pedantic george

    Take out the oil money teams and eturn the players we have lost to them and we win the league .
    It is that simple.It is NOT Stan’s fault,or the Boards.It is 100% the fault of oil rich owners.
    And there is no answer .

  236. Sensational Arsenal

    wouldnt there be clauses in the contract that forbids a player from acting in a way that brings the club into disrepute? His statement certainly falls into that. If Rvp can disrespect the club, we can certainly be silly and sue the bastard. Rope in his agent into the lawsuit as well.

  237. So let me get this straight. RVP is the good guy and is keeping us informed but the woeful board that has been with the team for ages and makes sure money is invested are the bad guys?

    Now, we all claim that Wenger is an upstanding and wise individual, I fully agree. With that I will pose this question, why would such an individual stick around such untrustworthy people? why would he renew his contract knowing full and well that they are not going to invest and all they want to do is line their pockets? Somehow I think he knows a lot more than we do, so why stick around when clubs would love to have him?

    Frank is not correct about the support RVP got on this site. RVP, like all the other injured Arsenal players got overwhelming support. Sure there were some that wanted him to be sold but that was a huge minority.

    FunGun, good stuff!

  238. Could you please explain to me why my comment was not published. It contained no swear words and just expressed my opinion. Freedom of speech on your terms only?

  239. The answer is to do likewise, George. SK is a billionaire so he should give the club money to buy players. Forget the fact that he said he likes the self sustaining model and never promised to invest money in that way. What it is coming down to is that many talk out of both sides of their mouth. We love the self sustaining model but the man should put some money up. Now, he could do that, but we would become what we despise.

  240. thats an easy cop out george..
    you listen too much to PHW

    and on that point hes another one that needs to be shown the door..
    him and his mates all made millions on a loan the club is still having to pay and hes still fucking there rubbing our noses in it..

  241. “and what concerns me the why our players..
    you dont see half of anyone elses team all leaving in droves to join citys million men..”

    Well chelsea pay equivalent wages so their players don’t leave. United win things. spuds and lvpool are crap, do not have worthy players. So I understand why city are knocking at our doors every season. Our best players are fit enough to grace any pl team.

  242. Now you are rewriting history, Paul-N. Why not though…many are rewriting RvPs comments to fit into their own little scheme of things.

    Robin Van Persie …..clickclickclick

  243. @ JonJon
    you see, its easy to critisise players who leave for more money but thats the mentality they are taught at this club from day one..this clubs main aim is money,
    So at the home of football, with its emphasis on team spirit, tolerance, diversity, youth development, its policy of living within its means, they get the idea that money is the be-all and end-all?

    and what concerns me the why our players..
    you dont see half of anyone elses team all leaving in droves to join citys million men..

    That’s because of AW’s unrivalled reputation in England as a talent spotter and developer of footballers. Because of the generally higher technical level of our players. Because, with their hundreds of millions and squad full of internationals, they can tempt them away.

    i fell in love with a football club not an accountants/estate agents and its why i look at usmanov these days and wish he’d go after the cowboy and stop him from breaking our club up piece by piece..
    Give me one example of breaking up the club. And do you really think Usmanov is not interested in making money out of Arsenal?

    the way i see it is that we didnt go thru all those years off being skint and finishing 4th, only for some guy to come in and set us back another decade while he makes his money back hiding behind our ‘debts’ blaming everyone elses millions while counting his own..
    Again, give us an example of SK saying anything like that, and show me where he has made money that would have otherwise gone to the club?
    How is he setting us back? Our turnover is increasing every year.
    Our debts were incurred before he came on the scene to build a stadium and to develop a property portfolio to sell on and make more money for the football club.
    And again, what makes you think Usmanov is not intent on profit for himself? Does he have a history of investing directly into sports clubs?

    bollox, fucking chance…and if that means usmanov has to come in then whatever…
    It’s easy to make vague promises but he has had chances to put his money where his mouth is and hasn’t taken them.

  244. So many reactionaries on one site…

  245. @ JonJon
    It’s the advent of the oil money which is setting us back. What Arsene and the board did has mitigated the effects

  246. pedantic george

    His family also spent generations putting money in and getting nothing back.He looked after Arsenal when it cost them money .He has done his bit.He might not be the sharpest tool,but it is not his fault.
    No .He is not the enemy .And I did not “cop out” JJ.

  247. Frank, come on. I am not sure what the deal is but you have been making things up for the past few days.

  248. FG: “You and others would question why such a player was being paid.”

    You’re confusing me with someone else.

    Anyway, as I remember it, the doomer’s points on wages weren’t just
    about injuries.

    It was also about comparing players relative worth and whether the not so great players should be paid so much. A frequent counter-argument was to accuse the doomers of being envious of the kids, and of being unnecessarily over interested in what one player or another was worth. It was none of your business, or its not your money, were some some of the phrases thrown around. You still think there is no hypocrisy? No problem.

  249. An excellent article which I find myself agreeing with on the most part but… As someone who has stopped going regularly to Arsenal I do wonder at our expectations of player loyalty.
    Why do we expect the better players to be loyal to us when we’re not loyal to the rubbish ones, Denison etc.
    Maybe because I’m 48 and hanker for the ‘good old days’ that I only expect the fans to be loyal, players are commodities and will come and go, we need to use them just as they use our club.
    Football has priced me out, I’m now on the outside looking in and believe there will be a bust which follows a boom.

  250. Henristic, I think the two situations are different. What someone gets paid is none of our business but a player being greedy and ungrateful is a different matter.

    Latrell Sprewell, a basketball player was offered a decent contract (at the end of his career) worth a few millions and he said that it was not enough and that he had to “feed” his children. Many would have had no problem if he signed for the millions, but he scorned the MILLIONS. His ungrateful backside never played in the NBA again.

  251. Read your Arsenal history. Boards have never made money out of Arsenal until the current members sold to Kroenke.

    PHW could have made much more if he hadn’t already sold most of his shares to Dein. Dein did sell many shares during his time at Arsenal and after he was sacked. Check his business history. A great deal of his money was made buying and selling Arsenal shares.

  252. pedantic george

    Any posts in Moderation will be dealt with as soon as possible.Yogi is encountering some difficulties , he will free the comments at the first opportunity.

  253. You are quite obviously bereft of the qualities necessary to provide unbiast journalism. I can therefore only assume that this is a project of immense ego. I really would appreciate a reply and answer as to why my comments were moderated. I would hope that would be the least I deserve considering the fact I have visited your site almost everyday for the last 4 years. You have my email address(as you have no problem collecting information). Reply or intellectual defeat?

  254. paul..
    from my point of veiw, im not asking stan where all his money is..i couldnt give a shit about his money..from what i can gather he aint got any anyway…
    i do however want to know where our money is..the clubs money..

    he likes the self sustaining model because it means he dont have to spend fuck all but at the same time that doesnt mean all the clubs money should go into paying off a debt when theres members of the last board still there with pockets deeper than the pacific….
    what gives those fuckers the right to make millions off it and then leave the club to pick up the bill and then have the fucking cheek to say weve got no money…

    whos all this we? there is no we.. it stopped being a we when they sold up..
    fuck knows why they are still there, to be honest it takes the piss..

    usmanovs already here..and he hasnt spunked anything in either so im not sure he will if he was in charge but i dont think usmanovs the kinda man who needs IOU’s and loans to afford to buy a football club like ours..

    financially id feel better knowing there was someone in charge who can actually afford the club and doesnt get cheap thrills when a quick 25mil is made on some bricks and mortar and another 50mil is made on selling captains..

    its nothing to do with spunkage, from my point of veiw..

  255. JJ, Sorry, I hear your frustration but I don’t see your point. What clubs money are you talking about? What is your definition of self sustaining?

  256. Just read the comment from george, maybe I spoke to soon.

  257. Counter speculation is what I presented, Paul-N. Alternative explanations. Got a few more too, but I know most want to believe that it is all about money with our captain. I happen to think that you are wrong.

    All I have been reading and hearing over the last few days not only and not always on here is a manifestation of the booing of players I have heard for the last three or four seasons.

    I know I know up my own arse. Probably true but I am sticking to my players like glue and I won’t be budged. At the club I care about them and I care about AW and his team. Couldn’t give a flying fuck about any of the others.

  258. All of the clubs money has not gone into paying debt either. Unless the state of the art facilities and players coming in is not money being spent?

    JJ, it seemed we were all happy with what we saw from the team until RVP’s comment. It seemed as if we had turned the corner and were now going to invest and were investing. Very good signs from my point of view.

  259. Danny jJhnson

    Excellent piece.I was beginning to think I was alone in my reading of the latest developments. Wenger has deserved better than this.
    All power to your elbow.

  260. its a cop out george..

    cbob..shares at arsenal have always changed are correct.
    but days were different then..
    they all sold to eachother pretty much and there was no joint scheme to make the club rich as fuck and sell it..

    as soon as such a scheme became an option, they all started stabbing eachother in the back.

    i cant answer all those questions.. 😉
    you beaten me with quantity but i wil say that its the oil money that has made our turnover increase like it has..
    theres two sides to every coin..the oil moneys killing the game but weve been the quickest to sell..and in bulk we are playing our just suits the club to blame city all the time but they love the fact city are here because we can earn more money..

    stan dont need to say anything..i know why hes here and im just saying id rather take my chances with the uzbek
    and if im right about stan, he’ll sell to the uzbek anyway in about 2 years..

    wait til hes sold off all the property and guaranteed the debt, sponsers renewed, share price through the roof…he’ll double that investment and he’ll be able to pay all his IOU’s off..

  261. Funny really. Fans can use new media to dis the players, boo, insult, tear their characters apart. Player says I am having trouble with the decision to continue I don’t seem to be compatible with the club any more – just letting you know. Fucking torn apart. Talk about burning boats. What are you people going to do at the beginning of the season when RvPs Arsenal march out on 18th August? Boo him and cheer them?

  262. pedantic george

    JJ it would it be legal to take money from the club without showing it in the official accounts? I think not.

  263. Frank, yes but your counter arguments are absolving RVP and laying blame on the board, saying things like he was offered a bad contract. Sorry, but that is a stretch. In the mean time you are making unnecessary comments about those who don’t see it your way.

    You have a right to believe what you want but it was RVP’s comment that started this fiasco. You cannot get upset or whatever you call it, because people are offended by it. Just have your say and keep it moving.

    As I have reminded you, you were not too kind to Cesc, even when he stayed.

  264. paul n..
    the clubs money
    the money thats in the cash reserve that they been saving for years that they wont touch because it gurantees the mortgage..

    they cant pay the mortgage off, there penalties, the bank will still want the interest for 500 million years so even if we pay it off we will still have to pay it off in the full sum, paying it off quickly doesnt make any financial sence..PHW has clarified this as well..

    so what they do do, to keep the share price high, is plough all the money into guarenteeing the mortgage..

    technically it means the club is debt free and the club is worth more..
    and since 2005-06 its all been about the share price..

    you only have to see how the last baord all ending up scrapping with eachother to see how much the financail green eyed monster has really gripped the soul of this club..

    and hes’s still here..

  265. Frank

    Sent you an email about another matter – can you have a look and see.


  266. I can dig your plight and sentiament. I am fan of the Philaldephia Eagles since I was knee high to a grasshooper. I have seen free agency move players from one team to the next in a matter of years. the day when a player or a coach spend all his days with a single team are over. The Jersey and the team is all we have left to root for. This is the modern game. This is my experience from the other side of the pond. Gunner for life.

  267. whats hard to understand george
    they dont take money out of the club..
    they put it in an account and it makes the club worth more..share price..

    the shares are worth more..

    if i buy a company that self sulstains on IOUs and i spend the next 5 years letting it self sustain and watching my share price rise, im walking away with millions..

    am i not??

    so why would i have to take money out during the time??

    i’ll make my money at the end…

    the last baord did it and now stans doing it..

  268. pedantic george

    Talk about clutching at straws

  269. Limestonegunner

    Indeed, RvP’s statement sets up the transfer value dipping and then that is further reinforced by demands that he be sold. Doesn’t help AW.

    FG, it’s up to fans to decide how they want to support. No argument there. RvP made a decision, a poor one in my book, to make this public. You don’t have to be so uncomfortable about our agreement on the possibility he stays next season. In fact, I articulated that earlier on, so you are agreeing with me! Not only do I think AW wants to keep him, it might be a good lesson to the players and help us succeed next year. It should be up to AW.

  270. @ Henristic | July 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I am not confusing you with someone else. The players salaries are ridiculous. But if a player is injured, or not being picked he still has the right to be paid. People also queried the club for standing by injured players who they assumed were never going to get back to their best.

    Regarding the players you didn’t think were any good, we pointed out that they hadn’t been awarded those contracts on the basis that they weren’t very good, but in the hope and expectation that they would shine. Hindsight is 2020.

    @ jonjon

    The club has the debts because the club owns the stadium and the players. What is your problem? And the point of the club being self-sustaining is so that we are not dependent on someone else’s whims to survive.

    SK is an investor – not a sugar daddy. Why should he dip into his own pockets? Did he ever say he would?

    Why don’t you include Usmanov in that group of people making money out of the club? He’s made as much or as little out of the club as any current owner. The profit from the sale of shares is not money that comes out of the club – it goes from one shareholder to another. This process was started by DD selling ALL his share for many tens of millions. Why don’t you mention that fact?
    And you still keep muddling up the club’s money and the shareholders’ money.

  271. pedantic george

    JJ.You don’t think a 700 million pound investment entitles you to a return?

  272. @ JonJOn
    About the cash reserve, please look at what I posted yesterday with all the figures.

    @ LSG
    I’m not uncomfortable. And if we’re going to start vying as to who said it first, that crown belongs to me. 🙂

  273. RVP is a grown man, nearly 30 years old.. In his own (sic) words “I have grown up and became a man during my time with Arsenal FC.” Thus I don’t think there is any doubt of his intent when he states:
    “I personally have had a great season but my goal has been to win trophies with the team and to bring the club back to its glory days. Out of my huge respect for Mr. Wenger, the players and the fans I don’t want to go into any details, but unfortunately in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward.”
    He is rebuking the policies of current management and board of directors including that of Arsene Wenger, whom he lauds elsewhere, as many have have done before as they are in the act of betrayal. Ironically it is the very policies of AW that have taken Robin to the cusp of greatness even as many here and elsewhere were willing to be rid of him because for as most of the six years prior to 2011 he was laid up in the treatment room. Much of this time we could have used the goals he is capable of scoring to win the very trophies he demands.

    My point is Robin should be fully aware of the impact of his statement; if not, he is an idiot. He should have known it was an incendiary device which would cause maximum destabilization among the the fans, the warring owners and the public at large. In that regard he started a fire, no matter how benign was his intent. In the court of law that is an act of arson, malicious or not.

    Sorry, if this doesn’t please Frank, but it was very unbecoming and disrespectful of RVP, whom many of us thought was a better man than this.

  274. pedantic george

    Paul” It should be up to AW.”
    Correct.I think it was.Right up until RVP set the cat among the pigeons.

  275. Consolbob – that’s a truly wonderful piece of writing – an outstanding contribution on, for me, the best site in this virtual town we all inhabit here. I really appreciate the perspective you and others of your ilk bring to the football table, but the way in which you have expressed so much is as impressive as it is moving.

    And what a result re: Stuart Robson – could hardly believe my eyes! Congrats to Matt and LSG – a brilliant team effort there to remove a real blot on the landscape.

    Just need that overdue apology from Gary Linekar for his appalling recent display in aping AW which may yet happen as a result of Bob’s tenacity in pursuing the ill-advised cretin and that will complete an all too rare double strike in the name of common footballing decency.


    So, what to do with a problem like Robin?

    With his website update, I can’t recall another expression of intent (or non-intent, in his case) that has quite caused so much debate amongst so many taking in what feels like everything that goes to the very heart of what ‘it’ is all about.

    What it means to be a footballer.

    To be a fan.

    To be a manager, a board, a club.

    To be an owner. And a prospective owner.

    Just imagining the fallout from RvP’s ‘update’ is mind-boggling and all emotions seem to have been engaged and well and truly stirred from what I’ve read on just this blog. And I feel sadness to see some stalwarts of the site falling out as we all grapple with the truth of what is going on.

    And there have been so many first rate comments over the last few days, all of which I’ve read though I’ve not had the time to join in.

    No doubt this whole saga could fill a complete volume of AW’s eagerly awaited memoirs.

    Maybe, though, we will never know all the details?


    I will probably get shouted at for what follows but I offer it up in good faith as a possibility rather than via any spurious claim to know our good friends, the ‘facts’.

    The thing that has struck me most is that, almost without exception, so many of us here thought Robin was somehow different. A player in love with the club, in awe of his manager, in harmony with the fans. Dennis, V2.0. if you like. That we were largely unanimous in buying into this is one reason the reaction to his ‘update’ has been so passionate and wide-ranging.

    And now, today, the ‘consensus’, with a few exceptions, is that we were all mistaken and that RvP is in fact just like all the rest. Mercenary, self-regarding, greedy and selfish.

    But what if, in fact, we were to take Robin at face value? What then?

    During the last season, at a time when we might reasonably have not been surprised by him announcing a contract extension, we actually got a ringing endorsement from him of Theo. It was very unusual. And very public. Most (well, I) assumed it was a defence against the criticism TW had been enduring. But what if Theo had just been knocked back in his own contract talks? Was Theo’s captain doing more than simply standing up to the bullies in the stadium seats?

    Maybe Robin shouldn’t have gone public this week. But desperate people do desperate things. And Robin’s seen many great players leave the club for economic reasons.

    Should Theo and Alex break cover in the coming days and weeks with their own contracts suddenly put up for grabs, then we may have a better idea as to Robin’s true motives.

    But today, I ask this.

    What if Robin is sincere when he suggests it’s not about the money but his perception of the club’s lack of ambition? In other words, RvP won’t sign up because he already knows that one – possibly two, in the crucial shapes of Theo and Alex Song – are likely to move on and won’t be around to feed him the assists that he relies upon. Indeed, those same assists that were so noticeably absent when he was made to look fairly ordinary in the under-performing Dutch side in the Euros?

    What if, far from disrespecting his colleagues, he was, as captain – as a player in love with the club – ‘going nuclear’ in trying to get the Board (or IG) to ‘see sense’ and pay Theo and Alex enough to retain their services. Whatever ‘enough’ means – or meant?

    What if we, as observers with limited information, have been adding 2+2 together and coming up with 5? Assuming the greedy worst but over-looking the possibility that our captain may actually be acting with integrity.

    That his cause may have been, in part, hi-jacked by those representing Usmanov’s interests has clearly added fuel to an already raging fire and created a huge distraction.

    Manna from heaven for those living in Doomerville.

    But like Frank, I think there is more to come on this. It doesn’t necessarily condemn Arsene, Ivan or even Robin. In the real, non-oil world, books need to be balanced. And Robin is in the form of his life – but at a stage of his life where he won’t get too many second chances to win things.

    He’s gone public and upped the ante, for sure. But we understand his family want him to stay with the club. He’ll know, more than anyone, that he spent what must have felt like a professional lifetime on the treatment table. He knows, thanks to his international experience, what it’s like to not have the right team mates next to you.

    How, as fans, can WE know that an already fabulously wealthy young man is so definitely simply trying to fill his boots at the expense of everything that has been his life up until now? How can we be SO certain of his supposedly ‘real’ intentions if those intentions contradict everything he’s ever said or written about himself or his relationship with the club and all associated with it?

    I’m really not sure we can.

  276. It’s fashionable to express detest to ManCity and their money. To be fair, the first player showing the way from Arsenal to ManCity was Kolo Toure, and for Wenger this was a convenient way to get rid of him with some profit. (That Gallas who was preferred by Wenger turned out to be a failure is another matter).

    Then followed Adebayor with an unusually tasty fee coming our way. I would also argue that Clichy was pushed by the club rather than jumping himself. And with Nasri going the same way, Arsenal got 70 altogether mln from ManCity in a relatively short period of time. A decent amount of money if you ask me.

    So, to be angry at good players using the familiar path to ManCity is a bit hypocritical.

    I could also argue that Viera should the director of football at Arsenal, not at ManCity. Has someone from the board even tried to talk to him and attract to his former club?

    Usually I’m the first to criticize Wenger, but now is not the right time I feel. He is the Mister Arsenal and the most reliable and stabilising figure at the club. He is percieved by the players as a bit of a soft touch though. So, time to teach someone a lesson? May be RvP spending the final year of his contract at Barnet would restore some pride a reputation of the club.

  277. pedantic george

    What Shotta said.

  278. Could you resend it to the old email address, YW.

  279. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Read your Arsenal history. Boards have never made money out of Arsenal until the current members sold to Kroenke.

    But that’s the point, isn’t it? In the end, they did sell to KSE.

    For decades, the club was a plaything of millionaires, well-managed, well-respected, but then the economic landscape for football changed, as it did all round the globe – with deregulation and Ponzi scheme-addicted bankers, and the insane credit and house price bubbles – and the world became much, much more unequal as a result, and the insane wages, and the insane debt in football are all part of that.

    And in the end the old-school board, PHW, Danny, Nina, sold out – they all sold out to a billionaire tax-resisting oligarch who hides his wealth in a tax haven named Delaware, while Dein had already sold to another one, from the opposite side of the planet.

    The very unfortunate deaths of two board members – DF & RB-S – effectively precipitated some of those sales, but the net result is the same. AFC is now in the hands of two representatives of an out-of-touch, global, sociopathically greedy, unelected economic elite, whose influence and power determines that the rest of us are going to be shafted sideways – from now to the end of time.

    Nor does it make any difference if the billionaire oligarch owner is from the US or the Ukraine, because the hideous social and political effects of the growing economic inequity – the ones that have driven you to south-west? – that they enshrine are the same.

    What’s the difference between with selling out to filthy rich tax-resisting oligarchs, and Nasri going to play for filthy rich oiligarchs at City, when PHW says, in his own words: “You wouldn’t say no to a few million pounds”?

  280. @ arsenal andrew
    I can’t speak for others, but what I’m angry about is the statement.
    And even if he thinks Theo and Song are off, why is that necessarily the board’s/AW’s fault? Aren’t those players responsible for their choices?

  281. i do think it entitles me to a return , but this is kinda the point im trying to make..

    hes not even bought his fucking shares yet with his own money..that he hasnt got..

    so weve got a man in charge of a club that turns over 300mil, worth a billion, and hes not spent a fucking fact, he still owes ppl for his ‘investment’

    and you ok with that? you trust him do you?

    hes been here for waht 18motnhs?

    all hes done is sold off half a first team, sell off QR and raise the ticket prices and you think its all oil citys fault??


  282. In what context did PHW says that? surely that matters. Cherry picking lines is not good.

  283. Could you send it to the old email address, YW

  284. @ JonJon
    As long as the club isn’t paying for SK’s shares, what do you care?
    Just because he is rich, why should he put his own money in? That was never the deal. He’s not taking money out, and he’s not taking money out.

  285. “He’s not taking money out, and he’s not putting money in”, is what I meant to say.

  286. SK sold half the team and raised the ticket prices. Had he not come in these things would not have happened, no true?

  287. @ Paul_N

  288. Fantastic post cbob. That was awesome.

  289. Serena is blasting this young lady in the finals.

  290. pedantic george

    Let us say your theory holds water.
    Did he know Theo and Song were to be cut adrift 12 months ago when he first refused to discuss his contract?
    And are you saying that he knows better than Arsene who should be kept or sold?
    Or are you suggesting that the board would over rule Arsene and cash in on players rather than give them a new deal.And that Arsene is prepared to be over ruled ?

    Well if I was a betting man,and I am.My money would be on Robin simply not being the man we thought and hoped him to be.

    And at very best he is incredibly arrogant if he thinks he should be dictating club policy.

  291. pedantic george

    Yes Paul ,What a shame .She is a pretty little thing .

  292. @ JonJon
    they cant pay the mortgage off, there penalties, the bank will still want the interest for 500 million years so even if we pay it off we will still have to pay it off in the full sum, paying it off quickly doesnt make any financial sence..PHW has clarified this as well..

    This is normal. If you borrow money, it is in the interest of the lender that repay it over a long time – this means you pay more interest, which is how they make their profit. That’s why there are penalties for early repayment, the bank is compensating itself for the loss of future interest payments. We have no difficulty paying the interest each year, so there’s no value for us in paying off the stadium loan early. It’s 25 years in total, by the way, not 500 million years. A lot of the money we borrowed has been paid back. The property side now yields pure profit. It is also normal that you pay back the principal as well as the interest. Everyone has to do that.

  293. pedantic george

  294. Excellent, arsenalandrew, excellent.

  295. pedantic george

    Sorry I cant help myself

  296. The twitter statement by Arsenal’s pr guy that Gazidas is not on a two week holiday in America (“such things do not exist for Chief Executives …”) struck me as misleading spin. I’d be very surprised if RVP wasn’t told, some time before his statement was put out, that IG would sit down with him in a couple weeks after he gets back from America. Now maybe it is 10 days and not two weeks, and sure he’s getting some work done while on vacation so it’s not purely a holiday, but RVP’s folks are smart enough not to have taken that dig if there wasn’t some truth to it.

  297. SV A sensible point about the “outrage” at Citeh and all their works

    As a club we have tapped players up and looted the resources of smaller football clubs, luring their best with our cash, all of my long life – and so have every other top club. It is what top clubs do.

    Unfortunately for us it is our turn in the barrel

  298. “It is annoying. The work we do is not getting the credit it deserves because we are not winning silverware. It is unfair because I think we have more merit as a club than those who have built their teams with millions of pounds whereas Arsenal have brought in young footballers, who have come here to play a certain kind of football and who have developed.” Nasri on Arsenal’s trophy drought, April 2010.

  299. People just can’t read these days…

    Oh is that a popular modern cartoon you have there, george? I used to love Wile.E.Coyote and Road Runner when I used to watch cartoons in my youth. Long time ago though.

  300. anicoll5, when have Arsenal tapped up players? name and dates.

  301. arsenalandrew | July 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm
    As ZP did yesterday you have rendered any further comment I can make redundant. Perfect post.

  302. pedantic george

    anicoll5 yes but .was Arsenal doing it it A club built on years by effort and excellence.
    It was all the history that had but the club in a position to do it.
    It was not because some Sheikh wanted to show the western world how big his dick was.
    It is very different.

  303. Arsenalandrew has presented an extremely plausible explanation of Robin’s behaviour. An explanation that if anywhere near the truth makes him the best captain that this club has ever had.

  304. pedantic george

    Ashley Cole , Adebayor,Framini and Nasri could all be available at the minute.
    Perhaps we should bid for them ,Because ,after all,they may just have had the best interests of the club in mind .And were actually trying to push Arsenal in the right direction.

  305. fungunner
    lol i know how many years its for i was being a lil sarcastic with the 500mil thing
    come on you must know me a little by now 😉

    i know the bank thing is normal, but ive been one of those who have been saying it for years that we havent been paying off anything early..
    weve just been saving it..

    .it leaves one question..

    why have we been announcing 30-40-50mil profit every year..and saving it…

    which is the answer to your 2,30..

    hes put nothing in and he takes nothing out..he just saves it
    but he doesnt need to take anything out..the clubs worth is growing..the higher the prudence the higher the share price it seems but seeing as though he has most shares then its fair to assume his worth grows with it..

    by saving money he enhances the clubs worth..hencing enhancing his worth, you speak like he has no shares…

    and if hes enhancing the clubs worth without the big sponserdeals how much is it all gonna be worth in 2014?

    i smell a rat

  306. You do of course know the difference between Ashley Cole, Adebayor, Flamini, Nasri and Robin Van Persie, don’t you, george?

  307. There are some who might say the “years of effort and excellence” were founded in turn on the basis of the formidably corrupt wheeling and dealing by the infamous Sir Henry Norris George.

    A man who I suspect would run rings around the Kroenkes and Usmanovs ( or the Mansours) of today George !

    Behind every great fortune there is a great crime – the “crime” in the current climate is financial doping in the game

  308. So do I, JonJon

  309. As this article from a couple months back in th Telegraph makes clear, Arsenal’s net transfer spend over the past seven years is -42MM (that has since increased to around -20MM with the Giroud and Podolski signings). City and Chelsea are of course off the charts, but Liverpool, Tottenham and United have all spent on net close to 100MM or more in excess of Arsenal over that time frame without the benefit of a “sugar daddy.” Full credit to AW for enabling us to compete and maintain our CL spot each year despite that. Wanting the club to invest more in attracting and retaining top quality players, as RVP has indicated he does, is perfectly consistent with a version of self sustainability that includes more investment and risk on the part of the principal owners, and much more effective exploitation of commercial revenue to allow more spending on players. With owners who are as wealthy as anyone, a worldwide supporter base as large as anyone’s, with tv revenues increasing substantially, and the best stadium in the league, it is just disingenuous for PHW to claim we can’t compete financially with our rivals — if this board and IG and SK can’t figure out how to do so (or, worse, would rather line their pockets while spending just enough to remain competitive and maintain the value of the asset with little risk) they should be run out.

  310. …and in PHWs grand fathers day it was probably slave labour in the mills, anicoll5

  311. I rate ArsenalAndrew, but as I said before, I am not playing Matlock. What ifs are ok but what is is that the team is now in turmoil when we did not need it. If RVP is being misunderstood, let him clarify himself with another comment.

  312. In the mean time you will keep kicking the shit out of him, PaulN. That right?

  313. You hardly need any more praise for this piece but I’ll just add mine.
    Eloquent and worthy of as wide a circulation as it can possibly get. But please don’t get too down hearted – the cavalry, in the shape of FFP, is coming over the hill!

  314. pedantic george

    I know I do .
    Let me put it as simply as I can.I don’t care if he wears the shirt or not.It appears to me,beyond reasonable doubt,that he is a back stabbing rat.
    And it also appears to me that you are blinded by your emotions.
    We will see soon enough.

  315. Hahaha FG,
    You say you’re not confusing me with someone else, but still insist on answering a point I’ve not made.

    For example:
    “But if a player is injured, or not being picked he still has the right to be paid.”

    Perhaps you should go back to skipping my posts?

    Well said. Best to reserve judgment as you say, even though I’d insist that he deserves some criticism for coming out with that statement in the manner that he did.

  316. The stadium is full of fans who don’t care whether our players wear the shirt or not, george. Poor support. Very poor. You need to do better.

  317. pedantic george


  318. foghorn leghorn

  319. Yep. Enjoyed that too, JonJon

  320. pedantic george

    No Frank .The world is full of people who accept others of low character because the makes their life easier.You need to have higher standards.

  321. yosemite sam..

  322. No not good, george. Read it slowly. N-o-t g-o-o-d. Y-o-u-r s-u-p-p-o-r-t i-s n-o-t g-o-o-d. In fact on match days why don’t you stand outside of the Diamond entrance and sing.

    Board..we’ve only got one Board…we’ve only got one Board

    Young Mister Graaace….Young Mrister Graaaace

    Kroenke clickclickclick…Kroenke-…clickclickclick

    Whilst you are doing that a dwindling number of us will try get behind the players

  323. pedantic george

    Mr Magoo.he could not see what was in front of him either.

  324. Can’t see you putting your career on the line to stick up for a principle, george. I can see you knitting away defargian fashion hoping that one of our players gets strung up though. What will you do wait until he is strung up and then dance round him, maybe bravely give him a rabbit punch. Grin and look around for approval from the baying crowd. You prick..

  325. Frank, no, just stating that I don’t like his comments and that I see no reason to heap a bunch of what ifs. Again, ironically in your defence of him you say the board offered him a crap contract and that they are not matching him as far as risk taking. You don’t have any issue with that do you. With all due respect, you are on some self righteous trip.

  326. pedantic george

    So you are the bench mark are you Frank?
    Top supporters sing the name of anyone who wears the shirt . Regardless of character or commitment?
    Ok. Sing your lung out for Judas.

  327. Notoverthehill

    Yogi, I must congratulate you on your selection of writers.

    Cbobs, has a smallholding and with an all-seeing eye compares the current year prospects with past years. A long time ago, I read an article by a Russian saying “taking the people away from the countryside will mean they will lose touch with the bounties of life”. That is why Cbobs wrote a very sensible article with which all of us can agree with.

    Frank and Pedantic George, bless both of them, enliven us with their repartee and let us not forget the essence of their experiences!

    In Scotland, the fans are fighting against Regan of the SFA, Doncaster of the SPL and another Englishman who heads Sevco. The 2 former gentlemen are threatening the lower clubs in the SFL, in order to ensure that Sevco are parachuted into play in SFL 1. The SPL have kicked Glasgow Rangers (In liquidation) out. Without Sevco in the SFL1, the clubs will lose £18 millions of TV and broadcasting money. That is according to Regan and Doncaster. This is a blatant lie. Sky for example, will still hold to their 2-year contract, regardless of losing 4 so-called Old Firm (Celtic v Rangers) games.

    The Scottish Premier League attendances exceed the likes of the Belgian top League attendances, yet the Belgian Premier League has far more Broadcasting money. In other words, the Scottish F.A. are being short-changed or rather Sky have a real bargain!

    Cbob can refer to Plymouth Argyle, where the staff worked without pay for 6 months, if I am not mistaken. The new owners have now rectified that injustice. These small clubs with perhaps 500 – 1,000 die-hard supporters are the life blood of the game, as we USED to know it.

    Do not despair, but without change nothing changes? Swansea, Norwich and others are showing way forward.

    Each year brings it’s own challenges and it cannot be worse that last year, can it? When was the last potato famine?

  328. pedantic george

    I can see how you would happily support people with low standards.
    You really are not a very nice man..Frank.

  329. I am doing what I always do.or almost always do. Support the players and on this occasion our captain. For the millionth time I don’t know what has happened but there are many possible explanations. I presented a few some of which may seem implausible and some more plausible. Arsenalandrew presented a much more plausible explanation than I did, and much more eloquently than I could have.

    I don’t give a twopenny fuck what you or anyone else thinks of me on here. But we need to get behind the players. One of them needs our help.

    What do we have to do at this club to get fans to support the players?

  330. Paul-N that last comment was addressed to you.

  331. pedantic george

    “Can’t see you putting your career on the line to stick up for a principle,”
    So you have turned your hair brained theory into fact now have you.?
    Is he going to cure cancer and bring about world peace for us as well ?
    The boy is a fucking saint!

  332. So what are you going to do, george? Boo the players you don’t like? That it? We have that already,son. Arsenal supporters boo our players in our stadium. Reckon thats good, do you?

  333. pedantic george

    “What do we have to do at this club to get fans to support the players?”
    Well it would help if the players supported the Manager.

  334. He is not a saint, george. He is an Arsenal player.

  335. Anicoll5,

    According to Professor John Dumbrell of the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University by investing in the UK the dictators from Abu Dhabi are practising ‘soft diplomacy’. They are hoping that the UK would protect them from their dictator neighbours Saudi Arabia. Of course, in the UK we do not care where money is from and how it was made….gangsters during the Soviet time that bribed politicians and bought the utilities during the chaos that followed the collapse of communism and are here ‘investing’ in the UK….and go around shooting people they don’t like….or retaining law firms to intimidate an ex-UK ambassador to Uzbekistan and now human rights activist, from trying to inform us of the blackmail and racketeering history of another ‘investor’….of course it only about football….

  336. pedantic george

    “Arsenal supporters boo our players in our stadium. Reckon thats good, do you?”
    That does not even deserve a reply.

  337. Currently, RVP is pissing in our mouth and asking us if we like it. I do not think that such behaviour deserves support. And with the situation RVP has put himself in of his own volition, I find it hard to see how he can justify his actions. Going behind the club’s back is unacceptable, no matter what was said on that fateful meeting in May.
    His reputation as an Arsenal player is tarnished forever. I will reserve my support for him until he decides to apologise or the season starts and he is still wearing the red and white. The respect he’s lost, who knows if he can earn that back?

  338. Dearie me

  339. Why would he want to earn your support, evil? Doesn’t seem like anything worth having from where I’m sitting?

  340. Frank, what I say about you is not for you to care. Likewise I don’t care what you think about me.

    Cesc needed your\ help also. It took you a while, so get off of your high horse.

  341. To say the board offered him a bad contract is a joke also.

  342. pedantic george

    Strange how many previously good fans have turned into pricks.
    Looks like you are the last good fan standing Frank.Well done.

  343. even if it is a what if.

  344. Pedantic

    I’m a magnificent fan…..I’m admiring Serena’s huge arse as I blog…

  345. Well, I’ve been supporting him ever since he has started playing for us, I’ve supported him despite some of his questionable actions on the pitch when he still young and I have supported him even in 2009, when he went on another meaningless friendly to get crooked until the end of the season which meant that at some point we had to play Arshavin as a CF, even though there were loud internet voices calling for him to be sold and replaced with someone who can actually stay fit for more than 75% of a season.
    And this is the situation with many posters on here. It was RVP’s decision that we aren’t good enough for him — to such an extent that he couldn’t have a quiet chat with everyone at the club and inform them of his decision but instead had to voice it publicly, inflicting damage on the club he claims to love. Him doing that weakens our position in the contract negotiations with some current players and will simultaneously make it harder to attract talent from outside, especially if RVP ends up leaving. Clichy could keep schtum about it, Nasri managed to do it and even Cesc — even though he did probably incite his Spain and Barca mates to talk about him as much publicly as possible — never went out and put up some ridiculous statement on his website.

  346. im willing to give him some slack..

    if a player like denilson can say the same thing and then be welcomed back with open arms then we should be able to give robin the benefit..

    im still fucking annoyed though, but im interested to see how this war of words plays out and if robin has had a part to play..

    dont forget its only one down, theo is next and if he feels the same as robin then we have to stop pointing fingers at the players and start being a little more vocal towards the ownership and ask the questions the players are asking..

  347. I did support Cesc, PaulN. Whilst he was an Arsenal player. My high horse is the same one you should be sitting on, is it not? Just get behind the players. Leave the dising of our players to the supporters of other teams.

  348. Anyway, as you are my elder. I will concede defeat as I want to keep it respectable.

  349. ok, Frank.

    RVP made the comments. If you want to know why this is happening, you can blame him.

  350. Did you read arsenalandrews post, Evil?

  351. …OR I can find out why he has a problem, Paul-N. Is that not the normal reaction? Hey Robin whats happened? Why have you written this statement on your blog? Whats bothering you? A lot lot more to this than meets the eye.

  352. Frank, it does not matter, he was wrong to say it publicly. The team is not in a better place for it,

  353. Fun/George/Paul – I’m not necessarily endorsing what Robin has said on his website and I’m not automatically defending his ‘right’ to use that medium. As I originally wrote, it could be that this was his ‘nuclear’ option, the last desperate throw of a dice by someone who genuinely doesn’t want to go but who is fast running out of options – and time.

    But if RvP IS hell bent on leaving for the highest rewards possible, given the nature of funds available to the top clubs both home and abroad, I’m not at all certain he would necessarily NEED to put comments on his website merely to depress his transfer fee and to expediate a move.

    It boils down to whether his incendiary comments are indeed bridge burners intended to force a move or flares flagging up what HE thinks could be critical errors on the part of the board who simply don’t value the colleagues he feels are indispensable.

    I guess it could be one or the other.

    I’m just not comfortable turning on the club captain – and a long-serving player – on the speculative basis of what seems to me to be fairly flimsy ‘evidence’.

    I accept I could be wrong, I often am.

    But excuse me if I don’t follow the crowd on this one.

    How can we condemn players for an absence of a sense of loyalty if we abandon ours in a heartbeat?

  354. You have always seemed like a tolerant man to me, PaulN. Why can’t you give Robin the benefit of the doubt at least? I reacted badly at first too. But I was wrong. I misread his statement, partly because I did not read the original first. My first reaction was an emotional one. I hope that my reaction now is a little more considered.

  355. i would imagine that wengers idea is to hold robin to his contract, this team is ready, with robin and the additions and weve got a year to go for it..

    saying that i can imagine a situation where the owner will step in and sell..and then we need wenger to work his magic again..

    if he does stay, then i can imagine a situation where we as fans drive him out, and if hes out to earn a massive deal on a free i would imagine he will perform so driving him out is the last thing we need to do..

    we need to hold it together, see how it plays out..

  356. Frank – “A lot lot more to this than meets the eye”

    I really don’t think there is. He simply does not believe we are going to be good enough to challenge for honours. So he wants to go somewhere that can. And earn shedloads more cash that he is doing now.

    It is a kick in the teeth for us after standing by him all these injury plagued years, but it is also fairly understandable from his point of view. Whatever AW&IG sold him as our future strategy obviously didn’t convince him. Simple as that.

  357. JJ – If he does stay, and the club make a good start and he is scoring goals, people will quickly get behind him I am sure.

  358. As I have said, goonerandy. I will give him the benefit of the doubt

  359. Frank – But the doubt being what?

  360. arse or brain

    you know when its a great article when you wish you wrote it yourself, reflects many of my own feelings on a game i still love but i also hate mor and more each season. on rvp i think we have to look at it physiologically he wont be the first wont be the last, its not the best but not the worst, it wont destroy our club and like when wrighty left we just distributed the goals around the team and became a better unit. 15 years of champs league, cant remember when spuds finished above us, achieved spending less than pissheads utd not bad for a club in crisis

  361. Just Another Luke

    Robin’s huge respect for Wenger will go out of the window now that opinions are going against him, he’ll break his respectful silence to inflict more pain on those who used to love him… I hope that it will not come to that.

  362. Doubt 1 – I don’t know why he posted the comments on the website.
    Doubt 2.- I don’t know whether he will be playing for us next season
    Doubt 3 – I don’t know whether his intention not to extend is final

  363. Now where did you pluck that from, Just Another Luke?

  364. I agree with many of JonJon concerns regarding the board and our current ownership.

    Here is the US I support the Texas Rangers baseball team. I think their model of ownership is the ideal situation. 3 years ago the team was owned by Tom Hicks and the fans universally hated him. The club was terrible and Hicks was taking money away from the club to pay the interest on his investment in Liverpool and the club spent over a year in court going thru administration The average attendance at games was horrible and the club was losing hemmorrhaging money. The fans and all of the press was rightfully calling for Hicks to be lynched.

    Fortunately the club was purchased at auction by 2 very wealthy Texas oil men who were long term fans of the club and they hired a new staff. The club has now become successful on the field and reached the world series 2 seasons in a row. The fans have returned and this season we will have the highest attendance in history. Because the club is now successful they were able to negotiate a huge TV deal that will start to bring in about $80M extra per year in 2014.. The goal of the club is to stay close to budget but the owners are willing to put some of their own money into the pot every year if needed to keep the club competitive. Break even for payroll last year was reported to be $110M and this year the wages actually are $121M. The owners are not willing and can’t afford to be the US version of Man City but they are willing to go over budget if needed. This season they also made a one time purchase of $50M out of their own pockets to buy a special player from the Japanese league. The sort of expenditure will not happen again but the owners realize that they will see a huge jump in revenue from the TV deal in a couple of years and were willing to bite the bullet this time. To me this is how a sports club should be run. The goal is to be reasonably close to budget and not put the club into debt but the success on the playing field is more important then balancing the books. I think Stan could certainly afford to put a few million into the pot and although it won’t happen anytime soon.

  365. Jesus JJ, I am not sure who you are angry at man? Denilson? WTF did he do again? Apart from say he wanted to play football.

    Your complete over reaction is understandable though. Although I do worry about the mental fragility of some on here. Given that up till 3 days ago, we were challenging for the title and now we are in a triple dipped nuclear tsunami apocolyptic crisis of biblical proportions.

  366. goonerandy | July 7, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    JJ – If he does stay, and the club make a good start and he is scoring goals, people will quickly get behind him I am sure.

    Spot on Anders. Fans have short memories and are as fickle as fuck too. Just look at some of the nonsense on here man.

  367. Just Another Luke

    I’m a cynic

  368. GA; Amongst the hyerbole and gossip, there was ansighful cooment on SSN where some herbert was suggesting RvP’s statement (I am guessing about 2% of which is his own handy work BTW) is simply a bargaining tool, designed to up the ante.

    That may simply mean, he wants more money, but it may also be a more subtle demand for transfers too.

    Time will tell.

    I really do feel most of what is being argued about is pretty pointless right now. Players have advisers, advisers who suggest they put out statements like that. Nothing is written in stone as yet.

  369. JJ; “we need to hold it together, see how it plays out..”

    Yes you do mate, you can do it, take another pill man! 🙂

  370. Andy;

    Do you think that after such a torrid start, even the most blinkered anti-Arsenalite, never mind a current player of ours would be able to see the development as well as the potential to win stuff NOW? For anyone to suggest we have NO CHANCE of winning anything is deluded IMO. I have never felt more confident ( the crisis de jour notwithstanding of course!! 🙂 )

    AND that is even without me having to resort to throw stones like, “well, if we coyuld have had more than one full season, instead of the 42% from him, we might have actually won stuff already”

  371. Thanks for putting this up earlier, korihikage

    ‘Piers Morgan

    @piersmorgan 4 Jul 12
    If Gazidis (when he gets back from his lengthy holiday) sells @Persie_Official to City, he must resign.
    Mark Gonnella@MarkG_Arsenal
    @piersmorgan Ivan is not on a two week holiday. Such things do not exist for Chief Executives at football clubs or anywhere else’.

    I had not seen it. I have a couple of questions…

    It does not really say that Ivan Gazidis is in town, does it?
    CEOs patently do go on holiday, don’t they, or does it mean that it is not two weeks, maybe three?
    Why is Arsenal Football Club responding to RvPs assertion in a Piers Morgan tweet and in such an equivocal manner?

    All seems very odd to me

  372. I think that was in the immediate aftermath, Frank. We know RvP’s statement mentioned something about a two-week holiday, and I think the Arsenal PR guy took the opportunity to set something straight by responding to the most-followed Arsenal… well, I can’t call the prick a fan exactly. Tweet something to him and most Arsenal fans on twitter will see it soon enough. This happened no more than an hour of two after RvP’s statement – before Arsenal’s website response even. Can picture them all feeling a bit affronted, and scrabbling to get some kind of message out.

  373. jeez Frank get over it, piers morgan is a cock perpetuating a falsehood from a statement made by RVPs advisors, while RVP kicked it on a beach somewheres after the Euros. Why is it odd for an employee of the club and colleague of Gazidas to put morgan back in his box after he shoots his mouth off without even checking what he was saying had any truth to it,

  374. Exactly Deise; RvP was on holiday at the time of the statement anyways, well, wasn’t he?

  375. Arsenalandrew @ 2:18 pm
    Excellent crafting of the situation. Sometimes it is wiser to say nothing and wait until the facts are revealed.

  376. It’s not ALL doom and gloom you know. In other news Salomon Kalou has signed…. For FC Lille. 🙂

  377. Yeah Dex on a beach with Puyol, Buffon and Toure discussing his options!! 😉

  378. Wonderful, wonderful stuff Bob – agree with every single word mate. Thanks.

  379. I was browsing newsnow and hit the connect to a headline on Arsene’s 52 million warchest. Sorry guys but it is a LeGrove story but you may find it interesting. What do you think Frank?

  380. Thanks Arsession.

    Yes, agree, it’s surprisingly often that your advice to ‘wait and see’ is the best advice.

    Plenty of upset Gooners around at the moment. Let’s hope things don’t get worst before they get better.

    Time for cool heads …

  381. I can’t wait till we get Theo’s statement next week.

  382. Now hang on. Wheres the fun in saying nothing?

  383. Consuls, thank you for the wonderful post this morning. I am approximately your age and I feel exactly as you do about what has happened in football. As you most capably point out, there is no more dreaming! Everything that is related to meaningful human values is now painfully subverted to the acquistion of wealth. Is this now the chief reason for existing in the world?

  384. pedantic george

    Dexter,if it is a bargaining tool by our saintly Captain who is desperate to nudge the club away from the rocks to which Arsene is heading it.To cause this level of upset ,in order to get a better deal?Then he is a bigger fool than I thought.
    It is simply inexcusable no matter what.He has destabilised the club ,turned fan against fan,given the anti Arsenal media as much amunition as they could ever have wished for.
    But hey.If he scores a few that will make it all all right will it?Really?

  385. Consolsbob – great post.

    A perfect antidote to the recording that I listened to earlier today of John Cross on Talk Sport. I am coming to Devon in the first week of August. If you are free, we could go for a beer. Otherwise, look forward to the next ACLF meet up.

    The soul has gone out of football, you have said it for all of us. I can’t add anything more. I have just bought a season ticket and I don’t feel that excited about it given the current negativity. I guess the important thing is just to try and enjoy the games and not invest too much emotional energy in the players, but respect them on a technical level. We have all been conned by the commercial men and the agents, so it’s time to keep a distance and focus on what’s important. I hope to still see you at a few games, despite your misgivings.

  386. George;

    You need to give it a rest. Your arms must be knackered from all that flaining.

    I never said anything would be alright, just positing a few scenarios given that we are not in receipt of all the facts yet.

  387. Would have been a great article except for the fact that Cesc, Nasri, Rvp, Clichy also left various clubs to join us.
    Well i guess to the writer its ok for players to leave their clubs and join us but its a crime for our players to leave to other clubs.

    PS: Remember Wenger also “dumps” players when they hit 30.

  388. And it isnt RvP who has set any fan against another. It is a fact that these feelings are there regardless and are just bobbling under the surface of a few Gooners. It could have been any news that set them off this time. We could sign half a dozen world class players, yet draw our first game of PRE-SEASON and they’d be out in force, hammering the club, manager, board etc.

  389. Oh, I’ll still be coming to a few games Muppet. I haven’t let go yet. Still a buzz. The pub, the walk to the ground.The stadium, game, the ritual, really.

    To be honest, I envy you the season ticket.

    Let’s do that beer in Devon though. I’m here. Talk to you on twitter. Whose round is it?

  390. azed;

    Not very good at this are you man.

  391. pedantic george

    Dexter I know.
    I am just saying no matter what his excuse .It was ,at very best, outrageously stupid.
    And as the statement is to well worded for it to have been rash stupidity,then the likelihood is that he is a rat.
    Do you disagree?

  392. Bob that was exquisite work. I sent it to my dad, for his attention with my highest commendation.

  393. Excellent Consolsbob. Probably my round.

    Yes, I’ll contact you on Twitter nearer the date.

  394. pedantic george

    Azed.Thanks for that .We idiots on here missed that simple answer.
    Can you post every day .We need people like you.

  395. Robin van Persie….clickclickclick

    Robin van Persie….clickclickclick

  396. George;

    As we have discussed on here before, many times, football is changing, the money, loyalty, short termist ideas, the media everything about the game I love (just about).

    Seeing statements like that one, would have angered me no end a few years back. Now it just washing over me, like an MP answering questions on Newsnight or Question Time. Every time a player answers questions about transfer rumours, they always speak in the same bullshit PR terms; “Oh I am very happy here, but X is a very big club with great traditions, and in football, you never know… Blah blah blah.”

    Van Purse Strings statement smacked of all the most cliched football agent speak, they not ony want the very best deal possible for themselves (whether that means staying or leaving BTW) but they are all try so hard to appease the fans, by sucking up to them, the cowards.

    I think it was ill timed and ill advised. Stupid as fuck really. But all par for the course nowadays, unfortunately.

  397. I’m honoured Jonny.

    It was your ‘pissing in the well’ comment a few days ago that inspired the post. RVP was the catalyst but it’s the game that is rotten.

    Oh, and definitely your round Muppet.

  398. Chortle – YW asked me if I wanted to do a post extrapolating further on the ‘pissing in the well post’ and, to be absolutely honest, I just did not know what direction to take and totally stalled.

    I’m very sincere when I say that I am very glad that I did – you have a lovely way of cutting to the nub that I envy and enjoy.

  399. Robin van persie……cuntcuntcunt

  400. Touche DukeyG!

  401. Robin Van Persie…clickclickclick

  402. BTW YW my dad read ACLF for the first time t’other day. It can be very hard putting things in front of him but I was at his and using his laptop – he picked it up after me and so it happened completely organically.

    His interest was clearly piqued – he scribed to me (cannot speak at all now) :

    “Is this free? Can anyone access this?”

    As likely as probably he will be too distracted with the things he has left to do in the time that remains, to be a regular reader but I was delighted by the innocence of his questions. 🙂

  403. Dear me, Jonny

  404. frank , how long will you be in denial mode??

  405. Until RvP is not an Arsenal player, DG. Can’t you fucking read or don’t you bother?

  406. Robin Van Persie……..clickclickclick

  407. the first phase of a broken heart eh!

  408. wont be long then.

  409. No the third phase in Passenal’s list…you really don’t fucking well read do you?

  410. nah i dont read your shit anymore fank.

  411. pedantic george

    Duke ,you can come over here and stand with the rest of us bad fans if you like

  412. You see that is what I hate about a large number of so-called Arsenal supporters, especially on line. The glee with which they dis players. Absolutely fucking appalling. When you’ve heard what we have heard on the Arsenal ‘terraces’ this last season or three, if I was a player I would have no problem leaving the club. We don’t exactly make loyalty easy for them do we? Yes we wrap it up in the cost of tickets and the wages of the players, but when it comes down to it many supporters are complete and utter shitbags………, aren’t they, Duke?

  413. That does not surprise me at all, Duke

  414. It’s a positive that the attention has been drawn to Kronke. He is a businessman for whom protecting and increasing the value of his investment is the main thing.

    When analysing business and working out strategies, business people sometimes use the SWAT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats).

    So, the main short term OPPORTUNITY for Arsenal may be identified as the sponsorship deals renewals in 2014.
    Related to that, the main THREAT may be that the events on or around the pitch make the club less attractive and so weaken our position in negotiations with the possible sponsors.

    In this situation, the next two yeas can be identified as crucial in the club’s long term self sustainability strategy, and the management should do their best to minimise risks during this period.

    Paradoxicaly, sticking to the usual risk avoiding approach with cautious transfer policy and isolating the other major shareholder can turn out be the most risky one. In the next two years, a sensible business person would try to improve PR and to make sure the squad is in the best possible shape, and the manager gets all possible help, even if it means some overspending.

    Is Kronke well informed to see the threats and is he well advised to take the necessary measures to minimise the threats? Silence is no longer an option for the silent Stan.

  415. oh piss off frank.

  416. george, frank can go fukin support rvp where ever he wants to fuck off to.

  417. You have the power to make that happen do you, Duke?

  418. Frank’s hoiler than thou posts are amusing. The fact he is getting so many bites is funnier though.

    Yes, I know, stand in the corner, with george, Duke, Paul, CBob, etc… 🙂

  419. Do most of the players return for Pre-season Monday? That should be when we get some more information/updates/new biscuits in the boardroom biscuit barrell.

  420. you finally got your wish Frank and someone bit on that rvp clickclickclick hook you have been dangling all day 😉

  421. I dont think i would need to frank its clear you like rvp to such an extent that you are willing to slag off your fellow aclf gooners in protecting his greedy selfish dutch arse.

  422. Now now Duke, this is RvP’s way of ridding the world of hunger, disease and corduroy.

  423. Frank, you are out of order here. Most of us here have a record of defending our players against the twats and fools over years now.

    To call us all ‘shitbags’ because some of us perceive RVP as just another spoilt brat, given the evidence, given the history, given the politics, is just unreasonable.

    Perhaps you are right. It’s a fair stretch of the imagination, but maybe you are. If I was you, I’d just make my point and wait for the outcome. Your determination to insult and vilify long standing supporters of Arsene and his work for smelling a rat is unnecessary.

    I’ve read prats and fools on here. The perople you are having a pop at are not those people.

    You have bottomless credit with me.This doesn’t change that. Just leave it. Celebrate your stubbornness if you are right when it happens.

    Don’t piss in the well.

  424. Frank, I don’t hate RVP, i am disappointed, big time. I am fed up of these millionaires crapping on Wenger and the Arsenal supporters. I don’t feel sorry for him at all. I would love to be in his desperate shoes, as would most Arsenal supporters. He made the statement, with a lot of help, I am sure, I am not wasting my time trying to figure it out. I am sure he knows what is going on and what is being said and he has ample resources to clarify. If not, why say anything in the first place.

    I don’t even care if he feels this way, just keep in house. He knows what the club went through last season, why the backside would he do this now. Again I don’t care about his being desperate, it has still done major damage to the team.

    I have stuck by these players time and time again only to look like an idiot. It is time to realize that self is what is most important to them, they want the easy way out. I wish them well.

    I am not damning him, but this is indictment on football overall, it is sick.

    JJ, if the players are after the big money, I see no reason why the owners shouldnt want some also. Only the supporters get shafted.

  425. Prince Buster

    ” RvP was not the first to tread this path. Fabregas, Adebayor, Hleb, even Clichy, all left Arsenal in poor circumstances to pursue their ‘dreams’. All played a part in the failures of the teams of which they were a part to win’ trophies’. ”

    Or more accurately , Fabregas , Adebayor , Hleb and Clichy all left our club and won the league with their respective new clubs. All of which renders your argument emotionally powerful but very inaccurate. These players won trophies rather than ” played a part in failures “. And if they didn’t want to win trophies they wouldn’t count for all that much as professional sportsmen.

    Money would have played a part in their decisions to leave for sure – but a financial model where Almunia is getting paid on the same level as Arteta is laughable. Why would any sane player put up with that level of inequality ?

    This is why our fourth successive captain is angling for a move away. It may be an unpalatable truth but these are the real issues troubling our club – not player greed.

    A couple of days ago The Guardian’s David Conn tweeted that ” Arsenal’s owners have made £300m personally selling shares and have put nothing into the club ” . If his figures are accurate , and I have no reason to doubt them , that’s pretty telling of the board’s attitude to the club, don’t you think ?

    Our Arsenal are now a disinterested American owner’s UK sporting franchise. And no-one on the board has the intelligence or the cojones to put right the things that are screwing the club up.

    We have the highest ticket prices in world football , and the lowest net spend on the playing squad out of all the current Premiership clubs. The self-sustaining model was a cute idea ten years ago but it will deliver results that don’t match up to the aspirations of world class players .

    It’s a pivotal moment in the history of Arsenal FC and it looks like the route to mediocrity is odds on favourite to prevail at the moment when you read head-in-the-sand articles like this one – no disrespect intended.

    Top 4 in England but 25 points behind the best. Also rans in Europe. That’s where we’re heading.

    A huge shame really when you think how it could have turned out with some people in positions of power who genuinely gave a flying one about the club.

  426. Kenneth Campbell

    Thank goodness. This is the only blog I have seen that captures all the key points surrounding “recent events” which must be totally transparent to any long term follower of Arsenal. It amazes me that even relatively sensible bloggers ( e.g. arseblog) feel that Wenger / Board is in some way responsible for current events. I think there is a significant and growing number of Arsenal season ticket holders (of a certain age) who also feel, as you state, that Wenger is the main if not the only reason to continue to pay and watch a game that has totally lost its sole. When he goes so will I and a part of me hopes that he goes soon. The premier league certainly does not deserve him and I am afraid to say neither does a sizeable number of so called Arsenal fans.

    Thanks for helping to retain my sanity.

  427. Frank – can you elucidate, dear me what?

  428. OK here goes…

    I did not call all supporters on here shitbags, Consolsbob

    ‘….Yes we wrap it up in the cost of tickets and the wages of the players, but when it comes down to it many supporters are complete and utter shitbags………, aren’t they, Duke?’.

  429. Dukegoonem

    ‘…slag off your fellow aclf gooners in protecting his greedy selfish dutch arse…’

    That is factually incorrect…a correct way of putting it would be…

    ‘ .disagree with some fellow aclf gooners and trade insults results with some aclf gooners…’

    It goes without saying that I disagree with your assessment of RvPs motives, Duke

  430. Several comments in my direction have suggested that I wait until I know the outcome of the RvP situation and shut up until then. That would be fine but many people have already jumped the gun and are slagging him off mercilessly. Can’t stand by silently watching that happen to an Arsenal player…sorry.

  431. ‘dear me’ what a sad situation, Jonny

  432. You are the master of pedantry, Frank. All credit for that, I admire your use of the language. George is just a boy in that regard. It’s just that some of us are too busy to ensure that our grammar meets the exacting demands of replying to your posts.

    You don’t deny the tenet of my post though, my last one I mean, though, do you?

  433. whoops trying to answer everyone at the same time…kindly forget the spurious ‘results’ just thinking ahead to the season start

  434. I do deny it, Bob.

    I don’t think that there is enough evidence either way. In that situation I must always give the benefit of the doubt to the Arsenal player…particularly the captain

    To me all the RvP detractors are ‘pissing in the well’. I guess it depends which ‘well’ we are talking about.

    ‘Pedantry’ is not intended, Bob. Many supporters I meet, hear etc on line, in the stadium, on the radio are shitbags. That was my meaning and reading my original comment again I think that is clear. I apologise if it is not..

  435. Dexter – What is wrong with corduroy? I could have sworn it was making a comeback!!

  436. It is, Irishgray, especially burgundy corduroy Oxford bags that stop above the ankle. You should get some.

  437. Well, Marray beat Murray to the punch.

  438. Irish has woke up, and still sober.

  439. Anyone excited to see podolski and giroud get togged out for pre season? I know I am:D

  440. OK Frank. We don’t see eye to eye on this one.

    You think we have been unfair to RVP, I think you have been unfair to Long standing ACLF’ers.

    I’d back the latter against the former for loyalty to Arsenal and Arsene.

  441. Frank -Quite enjoyed your back and forth with George, Duke & co. But I do think C’Bob (fantastic post by the way 🙂 ) has a very valid point when he says you should refrain from the insults.

    C’Bob – Excellent post my friend and brilliantly written. “Jumpers for goalposts” it most certainly is not these days but still, I must admit to being infatuated with the beautiful game, I can’t picture myself ever walking away from it. However, that does not mean I won’t sit down with a nice ice-cold cider, and bitch and moan about all that is wrong in the world of football. But then, that’s part of its charm is it not? It’s not perfect, it never was and I hope it never is.

    Jonny – “Is this free? Can anyone access this?” – That brought a grin to my face mate 🙂 I remember when I stumbled upon ACLF for the first time. A whole online community of opinionated Arsenal fans?! I was like a kid in a candy store! Glad you and your father got to share that.

  442. C’Bob – Can’t say I was too sober last night! But then that is the beauty of a Saturday, nothing to do but wait for Sunday to show up 🙂

  443. ‘You think we have been unfair to RVP, I think you have been unfair to Long standing ACLF’ers’ …slightly more deep rooted than that, Bob, and we do not necessarily share the same ‘friends’.

    As for ‘refraining from the insults’, Irishgray…I suggest you skip over my comments if they offend you

  444. The only thing we can say is that we are not in be in full possession of the facts. If we were to suspend the cynicism about RVPs motivations regarding his own contract and assume he wants the club to strengthen the squad, then he may have had a conversation with Arsene and Gazidis to that effect.

    At the moment the debate is so polarised that there are people out there who believe the club has absolutely no ambition, and no plan at all to move forward. Whilst Gazidis on the other hand, with the zillion roubles, represents the only way forward. As usual, pundits and callers to Talk Sport were ringing in saying that we had never signed anybody and we had no clue, and we were a feeder club to City etc etc.

    So RVP sits down with Gazidis and Wenger. RVP is an intelligent man, he says – “What is the plan ? “, Gazidis and Wenger talk about the plans to sign Giroud and Podolski and one or two others, the need for financial restraint perhaps, some talk about economics and austerity. RVP wants assurances on one or two marquee players, and probes a bit. Are we going to have some big names other than those mentioned ? No assurances may have been forthcoming.

    I don’t know, because we don’t know what was said. We could say, it doesn’t matter a damm about what RVP thinks. The important thing is that Wenger is still in charge and we have a very good squad, with some new signings and very exciting young players. AOC and Jack are 2 of the most exciting young players in europe, not just in England. On the other hand, we can wonder about the impact of RVPs actions, and the impact it will have on future acquisitions.

    Playing devils advocate, I am not prepared to say that I will be happy to be beaten by City, Man U, Chelsea forever, and for the club never to taste success again. My fury though is unleashed in a different direction, and not at the arsenal board, manager or players. It is at the weak willed greedy administrators, the TV executives and the conniving press who know who is buttering their bread, and so cannot afford to be sanctimonious about what arrives in their bank accounts. There is no doubt that with the absence of City and Chelsea we would be successful, or at least successful enough to stave off the howls of derision and the constant attacks in the press. The question for me is not whether Arsenal will ever win anything again, but whether anybody in the british press or any other institution will have the balls to stand up and mount a campaign to stop the sickening prospect of regular domestic and european cups being bought by either leveraged debt, russian or UAE money. Never again will we have the joy of witnessing an Aberdeen Team, managed by Alex Ferguson, winning the cup winners cup, or an Everton team, contemptuously sweeping aside their opponents in the same trophy. Never again, will we see teams come from nowhere, like Swansea, from the 4th to the 1st division and finish 2nd. The people who question Arsenal’s ambition do not understand that the system is being rigged. This is not about sport anymore. This is about asset fixing and asset stripping. About securing the best players and ensuring whilst you do so that your opponents are out-manoeuvred and robbed of theirs.

    For that reason, I don’t want to condemn RVP too much, as I don’t believe that is where the big picture lies. It is ensuring that teams have a chance.

  445. Ah, Friends Frank.

    I have about four I reckon and one’s my wife.

    But I was talking about ACLF ‘friends’, as you know.

    We may not share all those ‘friends’ but many have stood against the tide of twattishness that broke against Arsene and Arsenal over the last couple of years.

    That makes them ‘friends’ to me. Well virtual ones at least.

    Mind you, some of them have actually bought me a beer, which at least two of my ‘real’ friends haven’t done for several years.

    I’d buy you a pint Frank.

  446. Well said, Muppet.

  447. You are star, Moopay….you too, Bob. Of that there can be no doubt.

  448. Great post Muppet, and dead right, in my opinion.

  449. …not many of the old guard left

  450. …but the new guard are just as good

  451. Cheers guys.. beers rather than fists at the next meet up !

  452. While we have been busy trying to keep up with Frank it seems that Prince Buster has been allowed to get away with Blue Murder. Almost every single point he made had factual errors which of course is funny considering the premise of his post …

  453. No, not many Frank.

  454. Prince Buster = AU PR by any chance? YW will have a better idea …

  455. AA

    There are so many of them at the moment my instinct is that every person in favour of AU is PR. Prince Buster IMO is definitely in that category.

  456. They stand out a mile.

    Embarrassing, really.

  457. Prince Buster

    What factual errors please GoonerTerry please ? Would be interested in a rational debate on the points – as I understand them to be true 🙂

    And Yogi’s Warrior – I have no brief for anyone other than the club I have supported for thirty years as a loyal fan – home and away for most of them. So no – not PR mate 🙂

  458. I’ve read through the posts and whatever ‘side’ people are on (and in a civil war that isn’t always clear) one thing is unarguable and once again Frank has shown many of us up; until his status officially changes it behoves all of us as fans to defend and support our captain from attack.
    We don’t have to agree with what is said on his behalf but as supporters we shouldn’t stand idly by and let anyone call him a cunt.
    It’s not actually even complicated.

  459. As requested by, Irishgray and Bob, I hereby apologise to all the posters I have insulted who did not deserve it.

    Has a bear just walked across the stage without anyone noticing?This Prince Buster fellow?

  460. Some interesting comments on here today, especially Arsenal Andrew’s. I’m dismayed to see some of the bickering though. It should be enough to express our disapproval of Persie’s actions, even if the intent was noble. Needless to say, we should reign in any insults until he has formally left the club. Until that time materialises, he is still our player.

    I would just like to say though (since it has cropped up a few times today), the “two week holiday” comment is one of the biggest red herrings going in today’s age of instantaneous communication. Even if IG was in the States, any negotiations could have been conducted via conference calls. I once had a conference call with colleagues in Kingston while I was driving in Bari, such is the miracle of our times. My point is the physicality of a person doesn’t matter, only the intent and desire, and I would think it very queer if Robin’s decision hinged upon the whereabouts of IG.

  461. pedantic george

    Steww one thing is unarguable , it behoves all of us as fans to defend and support the Manager and club from attack ,even if it is our captain who attacks them..

  462. Prince Bluster,

    Ok – factual errors.

    Fabregas – went and won the league with Barcelona – falsehood.
    Adebayor – went and won the league with Man City, Real Madrid or Spuds – falsehood
    Hleb – yes he did, but he had his arse glued to the bench.

    Clichy left in poor circumstances to pursue his dreams ? Bollocks – Wenger sold him – he was a perceived to be a liability..especially on Le Grove and the like.

    The rest of your post is pure bollocks. You moan about “self-sustaining” model like it’s some novel idea that we’ve embarked upon. Whereas all it is in reality is pure vanilla economics, as opposed to being bankrolled by a glutinous russian or being leveraged in debt up to our eyeballs. What do you want ? We want to pay off our stadium debt, have some good commercial deals and hope to generate enough cash to sign good players and afford transfers. It’s a vision that will take some patience. The alternative could be to to delay the debt repayment a bit and go a bit slower.. But for fucks sake man make an intelligent argument. Don’t come on here and tell us that the board are money grabbing sharks, and the shareholders have their noses in the trough and that Wenger is a clueless buffoon. Because it is complete bollocks.

  463. I’m hearing Dempsey to Arsenal on Twitter.

  464. Gadget, unimportant I know but it might not be a red herring if IG suggested to RvP that he will discuss it with him when he gets back from holiday in two weeks. It is true that you can communicate from anywhere to anywhere but you both have to agree to do that. Perhaps that was a red rag to a bull in an already tricky relationship. I can quite imagine that IG and RvP are not best pals. Something caused that to be inserted and it seems to have meaning to the author.

  465. Muppet – Well said mate 🙂 I think Dempsey would be an excellent signing. Besides, any player that takes out John Terry is fine in my book:-

  466. Plus he scored 23 goals last season for Fulham in 46 appearances. Pretty amazing all things considered.

    Would it not be a little ironic if Ivan Gazidis met with Dempsey while on ‘vacation’ in the States and talked him into signing for us? Just sayin’

  467. @ Andrew | July 7, 2012 at 9:22 pm
    “Anyone excited to see podolski and giroud get togged out for pre season? I know I am:D”

    me, too!

    @ Muppet | July 7, 2012 at 9:35 pm
    great fourth paragraph.

  468. I have just switched my computer on and have seen this post, without yet looking at any of the comments.

    i want to say that this is one of the best posts i have seen and succinctly and accurately states how I feel.

    The kneejerk reaction by so many, including Usamov, to blame the club for being too right is sickening.

    RVP duplicitous and ungrateful actions simply reinforce what you have said. It is and always will be about the money and as long as there is someone there who will shower almost limitless sums of money of poorly educated and relatively unsofisticated, but otherwise talented sportsmen, this will continue to happen.

    In the end, it is only oney that they understand, wlthough even if they retire tomorrow, they will nevr be able to spend what they have already.

    There is no way and never should be that the club will join the manshittys of this world and simply buy the trophies.

    When we win them through merit and hard work,, then they will be worthwihile. Otherwise, let us just enjoy the annual rollercoaster of ups and downs that we tend to experience by supporting the very best, Arsenal.

    Remembering always that it is the club that we support, in the bad as well as the good days, not the players.

  469. Frank, you are correct, the announcement said nothing about “ambition”. However it said “….but unfortunately in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward.”.

    What dies that mean, other than to suggest that he knows better as to what is needed to win trophies and that if AW and the club do not agree with him, he wants to leave.

    Do you think he is suggesting ways to make the club more financially secure or that it should be doing more to improve the canteen facilities?

    No, or course not.

    It does not take a PHD to realise that he is saying that, if the club does not do what he says they should, so that he can win some trophies, then he wants oiut.

    So, If one wants to gain something, like, win trophies, is that not “ambition”?

  470. Was out with some mates, some of them Arsenal mates. They are absolutely fucked off with RvP and cannot seee him ever playing for us again. I begged to differ and said i THOUGHT IT WAS ALL AGENT SPEAK ETC ETC.,

    nAH, NOT AVING NONE OF IT// But not with caps locks.;

  471. Bradys right foot

    I’ve bitten my lip and have time to gather myself and will give my fellowe left footers my 2 cents for what its worth. Divide and conquer the oldest play in the book. There seems to be a direct correlation between intelligence and falling for the spinology of R&W. Usmanov is a demagogue every inch as corrosive as Joe McCarthy but the co ordinated assault on Arsenal by R&W RVP and their cheerleaders is motivated only by self interest and unforgiveable, How dare these bastards deliberately damage Arsenal.

    The fact that RVP before exiting left choose to deficate on the stage is his legacy at Arsenal and how he should be remembered.Get him out asap and he can take Theo with him if he’s not signing, if Songs undecided get him out too, Infact sit the parasite Dein jr down and tell him to take everyone of his clients with him. We have nothing to fear we are Arsenal, my support for this club is undimished, unapologetic and uncompromising it is not and never will be dependant on success. I do not demand the club reciprocate in terms of trophies, my only and singular ask is that the players respect the club in terms of effort, application and act with integrity, it is hardly an extravagent request and those that can’t reach this can eff right off.

    However every cloud has a silver lining. I can still laugh at those who blame our manager, their incoherent splutter may at times even form the basis of nonsense but quickly degenerates into what seems to the listener as random verbage.

  472. Billy’s Boots

    Fantastic post, consolsbob. Well done, sir!

    @ Henristic | July 7, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Yes, I agree.

    @ Grepolis | July 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Cant see why anyone who has options would join us?

    Come on, lad (or lass), you need to up your game. If you can’t see why anyone would want to join the club, you should think seriously about supporting another club.

    @ Dexter | July 7, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Steady on!

  473. Billy’s Boots

    @ arsenalandrew | July 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Very good post. It’s an interesting ‘what if?’, and of course you are right: none of us knows what he was thinking. The question I ask myself is, what is the most likely scenario? To me, it’s not the one where he is taking this stand as a sacrifice to try to get the club to keep Walcott and Song. In my opinion, it seems more likely that he is agitating for a move now rather than having to wait for his contract to end. He could have made his position much more clear. As it is, we will all have to wait and see.

    It seems like it would have been better for RVP to address whatever is bothering him behind close doors. Praise in public…

    @ Frank, re ambition, here’s a quote from around the time of RVP’s previous contract negotations:

    “I’m still in negotiations with Arsenal, and it’s going well – in a very positive atmosphere,” said Van Persie. “There are further meetings planned.”

    He added: “Financially Arsenal’s last offer is fine, but that isn’t everything for me. It’s about my ambitions and how they can be fulfilled.

    “The club and I want the same, and it’s our intention to achieve that. We have all the other factors in place – fantastic stadium, dedicated support and money in the bank.

    “Now it’s about making that final push. In the last four years, I’ve only won one prize, the FA Cup – and that is too little. I want to push through to achieve more.

    “That is something I feel in my mind and my body. It’s difficult to explain, but I certainly feel I can play an important role in taking Arsenal to a higher level.”

    @ Paul-N | July 7, 2012 at 8:21 pm


  474. Billy’s Boots

    Good posts, Muppet. When will your ‘street’ friend be making a return? I miss his guest posts, innit!

  475. Thanks @ Muppet for saving me the trouble 🙂

  476. Frank

    According to some sources, IG was at Highbury House working last week and has a meeting with the AST next week. Can’t be much of a fortnight’s holiday if he has to fly back and forth.

    Raises an interesting question: why does RvP need to speak with IG about the direction of the club on the pitch? That comes purely from the manager who will know what the board have handed him.

  477. arsenalandrew

    Billy’s Boots (1.26am) – great quotes you posted there, Billy – great memory you have for a quote!.

    That quote alongside other elements (his praise of Theo, mid-season, for instance) convinces me more and more that this is less about RVP, per se, and much more about Theo and Alex Song.

    We might disagree that the club’s captain should have any role in team selection and development but it is to me a different order of demands than simply wanting to leave for more money and mere greed.

    Personally, I think he sincerely wants to win stuff.

    And ideally to do so at Arsenal.

    His age is now forcing him, in his mind, to make that choice.

    His passion for the club has driven him down the somewhat desperate route of going public – his last throw of the dice, in my view.

    If he genuinely thinks what he’s doing is in the club’s best interests then I can’t condemn that. I might not agree with him or his method(s) but I’m not certain I can criticise his Arsenal heart.

    it’s in the right place …

  478. Frank

    sorry for the late reply, wasn’t home.

    well my first reaction would be that mark gonnella saw pier morgan’s tweet and responded in a personal capacity. piers morgan is a twat who undermines the club, who has come out time and again, slamming players like chamakh. essentially he is a doomer, albeit with massive influence. you would want to stop him before everyone laps up his bullshit.

    whether or not CEOs really take 2-week holidays is another matter. but as Yogi has pointed out, IG seems to have had quite a busy week…

  479. YW – Good point.

  480. Thanks for this quote Billy Boots:

    “I’m still in negotiations with Arsenal, and it’s
    going well – in a very positive atmosphere,” said
    Van Persie.
    “There are further meetings planned.”
    He added: “Financially Arsenal’s last offer is fine,
    but that isn’t everything for me. It’s about my
    ambitions and how they can be fulfilled.

    “The club and I want the same, and it’s our
    intention to achieve that. We have all the other
    factors in place – fantastic stadium, dedicated
    support and money in the bank.

    “Now it’s about making that final push. In the last
    four years, I’ve only won one prize, the FA Cup –
    and that is too little. I want to push through to
    achieve more.

    “That is something I feel in my mind and my
    body. It’s difficult to explain, but I certainly feel I
    can play an important role in taking Arsenal to a
    higher level.”

    Remember how much pride we all exuded when he made this statement? I take it these are his own words and not agent speak?

    I’d like to point everyone’s attention to the part where he says our financial offer was good enough. This is consistent with his recent statement which I still think was inapproriate from a PR perspective.

    However, it’s clear that RvP (rightly or wrongly) sees himself as more than just a player for Arsenal.

    I don’t quite know exactly what to make of all this yet, but I’m not so sure anymore that this man is ‘just another money grabbing player’.

  481. Me woke up from 3 day flight wid the news dat the mainest man RVP has flipped the coop. Me is no student of istory, innit ? but iz of the opinion that arse is the greatest team in the whole stellar universe. Weze may be have been having a trip, but how many cups did we ave in the trophy cabinet b4 all the rats jumped off the sinking ship ? weze won the world cup, the inter-toto cup – atfer ze dog from da wizard of oz innit ? and de european main man cup, which we won gainst the italian ganstas innit ? checkit.. we ain’t goona win anything nowz unless we have some hard readies in ze brown paper bag. Me iz of the opinion dat we need Bob Diamond to give some tweaks to ze strategy of how to knick the main men from ze other tribes.. fix the inter-transfer rate innit.

    Me is contemplating the finest columbian chronic when ze news filtered through that the russian main man Guz wrote a cross letter to the mainest men in N5. We woz sketchy wiz ze details.. but ze upshot iz dat we need the hugest brown paper bag to arrive in ze hands of some of the finest ball players in ze world. Weze is appy with this thought as Guz controls the entire distribution from Georgia. Its going to be a beautiful season 🙂

    Me crapped in me pants when Dempsey came up on the street corna. weze not sure bout the street of a yank coming from the Fulham projects. Moses iz also a whispa on the corner. e iz in dat book innit ?

    Anyway.. laters. woop woop.

  482. pedantic george

    In the wake of me being unable to turn Andrew around to my way of thinking I now believe RVP to be a Rat not beyond reasonable doubt ,but on the balance of probability.
    This is the only scenario I could stomach him staying
    Ring ring
    RVP” hello,Robin here what do you want?I am about to eat dinner”
    KV”Looks like Arsene is prepared to let you go after this year .He want give us £200k pw over 4 years.I have written a statement to push things along”
    RVP”What does it say?”
    KV”oh the usual,you know,money not important ,love Arsene and Arsenal ,blah,blah,Nothing much”
    RVP”Ok,You are the agent,do it ,Must run.Speak when we get back”

  483. It’s my birthday today. Hooray!! Happy birthday ZimPaul. My best present is CBob’s post (of yesterday I suppose, never mind).

    Anyway, as often happens in these situations, similar to Cesc, we are getting carried away. van Persie seems only to want to fast-track into the new breed of global entertainment super-rich mega-teams, whose budgets exceed some national economies and who play a “super-brand” of football – and if Arsenal can’t get there fast enough he feels he must go and join them. Or, in a nutshell, Arsenal and its players is now “beneath” him. In my opinion an offer may quietly follow in due course from Spain, which would explain a lot.

    If van Persie was Arsenal that would be the end. But he is not Arsenal, just a player guys, just a player. One of many. Wenger, as usual, must have his wits about him to compete at the highest level. Has it been different before? I wish him courage. Nothing really has changed.

    All this van Persie business is not as important as people think.

  484. As a Gunners supporter since 1958, I totally agree with this article. In retrospect, it now seems stupid to me that as a lad of 12, all those years ago, that I could invest so much emotional support in following them. I remember writing to Bob Wall (Sec) objecting to the move of David Herd to United…t’was ever thus! So now I watch the Club’s fortune with a degree of detachment, if only to keep my sanity! Still ‘n all, it was instrumental in me playing the game for some forty years and for that I’m grateful. Like Cultured LF, I’m not happy with the ‘workers’ game being hijacked, but that’s the way it is…my scarf will still go in the box with me!

  485. The Arse in The Gamb

    Such a good piece that it is worth continuing today. Sorry I missed it yesterday.

    Robin represented one of the last hopes for those of us who want to see the hyped turn their back on the money machine. He has jumped into the money trap and he has done so the year after he has had a full season of football, and as such he makes us want to be sick in a bag.

    But before we lose all our hope remember not everyone is in this trap; many of our players and other teams players are very happy to be at such great clubs and as fans we should be ignoring the hype generated about these greed merchants in the first place.

    We have a fantastic squad, one of the best for a long, long time, everywhere you look we have numbers, potential and excitement in that position. We did not believe that vP could have scored those goals on his own, without Song, even when the idiots were shouting we only had one quality player. They had already forgotten about Cesc by then. They had already forgotten that Cesc had turned his back on them and paid to leave Arsenal to follow a dream – they had already forgotten that we only finished 4th in the League the year before.

    I hope that vP serves the rest of his contract or we get a real bidding war for his services. Whatever happens we have a fantastic team now and people ought to stop dumping on them by saying that we lack ambition. That includes the captain.

  486. Well said that man… You’re are for me in a majority that feel this way. Sadly there is a small vocal minority of Arsenal fans who would have people believe different. As you mention, mainly younger fans who have grown up on the success created by Wenger himslef.see here

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