Contract Management – Time For Arsenal To Take Control

As Arsenal do battle with everyone over M’Baye Niang and Foday Nabay, they will apparently face a return to the Good Old Days over Theo Walcott. With Newcastle intent on re-signing Andy Carroll at roughly half of what they sold him for, Liverpool are looking to trade on Walcott’s love for the club as a child by offering a massive £15m for the player’s services. If newspaper speak was ever to be believed, Arsenal’s two most productive attacking players would be leaving the club for a combined total of the true worth of one of them. Sack the Board.

Except life is never that simple and whilst I do not disagree with the notion of fresher minds in the boardroom, the situation is not entirely of their making. Robin van Persie’s contract discussions – or lack of them – is the cud which has been chewed time and again in the Arsenal meadow. Theo Walcott’s advisors broke off negotiations last autumn with the club, deciding that they wanted to reconvene at the end of the season. No progress on either has been announced and this is something that surely must be addressed this week. Has anyone found a Theo Walcott Official Website which has sprung up in the last few weeks?

Did I say ‘not entirely’? Indeed but they were significant contributors to the ludicrous situation where complacency  allowed contracts to get to this stage. Were no lessons learned last summer? Why were negotiations with Walcott’s representatives delayed until late on? Surely with Nasri and Cesc’s departures known about some time before they happened – or the possibilities of those eventualities – someone had to take responsibility for the players whose deals were entering what is the contract ‘red zone’; the dangerous time when the last two years of a deal commence.

Before anyone starts, I don’t want David Dein back. But I do want someone to take responsibility for contract negotiations, to take a good look at the squad and say, “Yes, well done Laurent, here’s a new deal”, as well as picking up the phone to players such as Alex Song who are entering the final two years of their contracts. I don’t care whether or not it is Bob Hoskins but someone at the club needs to realise that it’s good to talk.

The world is not black and white though. This morning’s story in The Sun has the hands of agents all over it; the convenience of a lifelong Liverpool fan being subject of a bid from that club is too convenient in its timing. And whilst the club is culpable in letting the contract get this far down the road to a certain extent, they cannot dictate to the player (or his representatives) about negotiations if said individual(s) do not want to talk. A one-sided contract negotiation never works in the modern game.

So what of Walcott. For what it’s worth, my own view is that this is tactical. They know that the club cannot afford to lose two of its star players in one summer again; that is tantamount to be open season. Not so much the much-loved (by me) Bugs and Daffy routine of “Duck season, rabbit season” as “Who cares, just shoot” at the board. For Walcott, it is a prime opportunity for him to negotiate a deal that reflects more in his pay packet than his talent is ordinarily going to attain at this stage of his career. A chance to add an extra £5k – £10k per week into a deal. Team Walcott know the awkwardness of the club’s position with van Persie and it would be remiss of them not to capitalise on that for their client.

It is a double-edged sword. Handled badly, even staying can be a difficult time. Walcott has enough misplaced criticism as it is so any under-performance, real or perceived, could lead to that negativity increasing. However, this is a prime opportunity for Walcott to take his career to a higher level. He has been productive in the past two seasons, a healthy mix of assists and goals.

If he maintains the former and adds consistency to his finishing, I would expect him to be considered more for the central striking role that he has always coveted publicly. He has the pace, a calmer nerve allied to more accuracy in front of goal and it would be hard to see how he cannot achieve his aim.

The other issue is whether Walcott wants to stay. Aside from the boyhood draw, it is hard to see any reason other than financial for him to go to Anfield. Liverpool have consistently finished below Arsenal since 1991 and there is little reason to believe that will change this season. Arsenal cannot be complacent and in fairness to the manager, his signings this summer strengthen the squad. Another midfielder and I think the squad is good to go.

The problem is this just another thing for Arsenal to contend with, another negative scenario. A brick bat with which to beat them. Someone, somewhere must surely be taking notice of these things and trying to manage the agendas. Surely?

’til Tomorrow.


Posted on July 16, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 242 Comments.

  1. 1st,, good read as always..

  2. I think Bob Hoskins would be great YW

  3. Nice post as always YW.
    Like you say transfer negotiations is a two way street. If the player doesn’t want to talk, what can the club do. The club would have talked to both of them last season, surely? I find it hard to believe that contracts run down to the last year solely due to complacency on the club’s part.

  4. The only way Theo is worth anything to anyone but us is if they also stump up a massive wad of cash for Sagna. Theo wouldn’t know what to do with out Bac behind him.

  5. Attempting to look at the situation from TWs perspective the move has a lot to recommend it. I do not think he has ever developed into the player that I envisaged he might become, or Theo himself might have become. Too peripheral, too often.

    A clean start at Anfield at 24 might give him a chance to fulfil what I know he has in terms of talent, with rather less pressure than at AFC.

  6. “Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.” – Groucho Marx

    Getting as heartily sick of this transfer stuff as I am the rain

  7. anicoll5; Or it could be that he is just trying to get more money from Arsenal.

  8. Hardly less pressure at Anfield, anicoll5. The boy would have the weight of the world on his shoulders, especially if the new manager makes him a central striker.

  9. So then, anyone read an AC Milan in crisis article lately or is that solely reserved for Arsenal?

  10. ‘Walcott to take his career to a higher level’ – he’s not improved in 6 and half years – get rid of him to some other mug team.

  11. He is consistently inconsistent (with apologies to @wengerknowsbest).

  12. He is obviously prepared to see what other offers are around or he would not have broken off contract negotiations during the season. The excuse on concentrating on football is garbage; plenty of players sign new contracts mid season.

  13. Its in Theo’s hands.
    I beg to differ on the contract negs.
    Agents will play the time game as long as it suits their position.
    Only the player’s outright declaration can speed things up.
    By now Mr Walcott should be old enough to know what he wants.

    Yes, management needs to be more “responsible” with policy but considering the “pilfering billionaire” reality how severe can we really afford to be?
    Seems safer to try to get talented players to sign for 5-6 years with mandatory extension talks set for 2 yrs before the initial runs out

    my summation…if Theo leaves, we quickly go for Moses.

  14. Really John? I mean, really? He’s not improved? Yea Gods.

  15. Looks like I will have to bring up theo’s stats again at some point of time today.

  16. It sure looks like RVP and Walcott are gone. We will see. In the NFL there are salary caps. Does the EPL have the same? The press always life. Fiction is the way of the state run media.

  17. No player is bigger than Arsenal!

    The issue for me is not Cesc/Nasri/Clichy leaving last year or RvP/Walcott maybe leaving this summer. To me it is how do we get back to where top, top players wanted to come to Arsenal, our best players wanted to stay and those who left did it because it was in the club’s best interest?
    Our players should leave when it’s right for The Arsenal.
    If RvP leaves, if Walcott leaves, the amounts we receive must be reinvested in players able to force a place in the starting XI because that’s what we would be losing.
    Why cannot we go out and buy the ‘marquee’ signing that will show intent?

  18. He is allowed to see whats out there & what his market value is but once you’ve done that you must make a decision.

    …and to be honest, he has improved. Not as much as we’d like but he’s definitely grown as a player. My view though is that ONLY at Arsenal could he have been given this much game time & nurture among the top 6 teams. I hope he knows this based on how whack the national team makes him look.

    But hey Robin’s willing to defect for cheese….anything could happen.

  19. Theo and his advisors are playing the game but they had better get it finished asap once hes back for pre-season. We need another player pissing us about over a new contract like we need a hole in the head.

  20. T2T,
    “Why cannot we go out and buy the ‘marquee’ signing that will show intent?”

    can’t = cannot….

    because it would be an illusion we cannot sustain.

    “Intent” these days is measured more by CASH than silverware, CL qualification, top 4 membership, rich history, super manager, great stadium, pretty uniforms or mega-city location. Most players & agents don’t give a sh*t about anything but the CASH!

    re: Anzhi Makhachkala

  21. Limestonegunner

    The best players, apart from Eto who now regrets it, are not going to Anzhi at this stage. This shows it isn’t only about money for the top players. Of course they want to be paid loads of money. If RvP is considering leaving, I think it is a bit blinkered to think the sole or, perhaps even principal, factor is money.

  22. Deise 10.51.
    Agreed but YW is right, it’s really up to the club to force this issue.

  23. Less Pressure Yogi in the sense that Theo would not have a quite sizeable part of the crowd ( me for instance) dubious about his overall contribution.

    Given the extraordinarily easy ride that Downing has had at LFC this season Theo can also go there with the confidence that he will be given a good period to settle in and find his feet.

    And you may be right Sahil it could be about filthy lucre – but if it is then why Liverpool ?

  24. One again wonders what, if anything, is the link between Theo’s alleged interest in Liverpool and RvP’s website update.

    If there is a link then we shouldn’t be too surprised to see Alex Song’s hat thrown into the ring …

    John (10.24) – which Walcott do you have in mind? Someone you’ve obviously been watching these last 6 and a half years or the Arsenal player RvP and many others who actually know what they are talking about, publicly endorse?

    I’d love to know.

    Or probably I wouldn’t.

  25. Having just read the Rangers farrago and the role of PR companies in spinning stories to put clubs in a good light by, well, basically lying, I hold no truck with that story.

    Much too convenient when they are being made to look fools for looking to sell Carroll for less than half of what they paid last year. A nice distraction for the fans and media. A positive story to look at rather than a negative. .’ Take no notice of that, look over here!’

    Smoke and mirrors.

  26. Theo’s output has improved without question. But it is easy to see why people get frustrated with him. He is just as likely to run the ball out for a goal kick under little pressure, as he is to get on the end of a through ball and score.

  27. Limestonegunner

    I’m not sure what to make of Walcott’s delays. Perhaps YW and others are right that it is a tactic to get a bigger contract from Arsenal. It’s also possible he is looking elsewhere and is affected by RvP’s decision.

    YW, isn’t this Gazidis’ responsibility? or Dick Law’s particular brief–negotiating deals? Obviously someone does look after this and either hasn’t been decisive/proactive enough; or he is calculating that replacing from within is a cheaper option when dealing with a rigid wage structure and ceiling; or, finally and most disturbingly, Arsenal is not as attractive to players with other options anymore. Coming 3rd or 4th basically every year on a good but not competitive wage just might not be enough to senior players who can earn more money on teams with apparently better chances to win the league and other trophies.

    The question is, what if anything can we do about it?

  28. The Liverpool link up could be pure fantasy from the media anicoll5. A few weeks ago it was Chelsea who wanted Theo and now it’s Liverpool. The hacks change their tune from time to time.

  29. The club should set a deadline for transfers out. If only for sanity’s sake. I think we should have a player auction on a set date for those intending to go. Internet bids etc. Nowadays there are some great systems for procuring commodities. Great fun, watching bids on a screen. Auction day could be a great event on the football calendar world wide.

  30. LSG

    Not sure – Dick Law is responsible for transfer negotiations but I would imagine that IG / AW deal with squad members.

  31. Frank – I agree.

    For the auction we could employ ebay? Obviously with some “buy now” options as well.

  32. Walcott is simply seeing what his options are. Obviously the later he leaves contract negotiations with us, the better a position he is in. Unless we call his bluff and sell him of course.

  33. We could always take the £15M for Theo and add that to our own budget and make a bid for Goatze or somebody similar. Maybe throw a bit of the cash at RvP as well.

  34. It could be scenario number two LG.
    With the new TV deal and upcoming commercial deals the club could easily be earning around 50 million more which I think would be utilized for increasing the wages. Till then I don’t think we can do anything about it since any outside money would most certainly not be provided by stan and would go against the club’s principle of “spending what you earn”.

  35. What does Dick law and order, i mean Gazidis do at Arsenal, sorry but, must.blame.someone. NOW.

    Seriously tho, if a player refuses to negotiate a new contract then the club has to be exempted from blame. I agree Walcott has improved in the last 2 years but considering his inconsistency during that period he has no right to demand whatever he is demanding, he is demanding something right?

    Also, keep in mind that Rvp renewed his arsenal contract in 2009 and completed his first full season in 2012, having been offered a new contract in 2011!, you can’t blame the club for that. Now Walcott hasn’t exactly set the world alight during his arsenal career either, so he didn’t exactly earn a new contract. He better stop ‘testing the waters’ and sign whatever has been offered to him.

    Aarrgh, I’m really pissed off with Walcott’s delay in penning a new deal but i can’t seem to think of any positives in selling him, he is approaching his peak years, extremely quick and a very good finisher, i can live with the inconsistensy. There is also a small matter of 6years wasted on his developement.

  36. If the ‘danger zone’ is 2 years before the end of a contract and the normal contract length 4 years (Fifa ‘just cause’ rules effectively mean contracts are only enforceable for 3 years – or 2 after the age of 28) then every contract should start renewal negotiations after it’s first year. Time for Arsenal to take control of contract management? The reality is they have little beyond their ability to pay more than all but 3 teams in the EPL.

  37. Aman @1044 in agreement with you with regards your 2nd paragraph n the TW.

  38. There’s a scene in the long good Friday where bob Hoskins and his henchmen string up some of their own men on meat hooks in smithfields to see who’s betraying them,if we’re going down the Hoskins route of negotiating it could be more productive.

  39. With all the posts about Theo, at least we should have some sort of closure on this today

  40. Mel – If AU ends up on board that could well be the ways things pan out.

  41. I’m surprised. Arsenal endure their worst start in decades but finish third, coming from behind to beat resurgent Spurs, Chelsea and Liverpool. Strong purchases are made early, Jack + Diaby are in return and people observe that this resembles a team with serious prospects; something “new” they say, about their teamwork and resolve.

    Then contract problems start around RvP and maybe Theo, players who have not yet hit – relatively speaking (RvP being older, better and after a stupendous season) – their highest possible level and form, but look as though they might do so now. Shouldn’t it be the opposite? Players clamouring to be part of a future they’ve worked hard for?

  42. JD – I doubt it. This will drag on.

  43. Theo has the club by the balls.We all know he is not worth £100k a week but we cant afford to lose our best two attackers last season.So do we act stubborn and not give him what he wants or do we take the money and re-invest it.Remember a £100k a week contract over 4 years = £20m in wages.Is Theo really worth that?

  44. As Frank has made clear with Vos, you begin to suspect agents who get their cut, known and unknown, off the deals made.

  45. a contract is meaningless nowadays. you can have a player under contract for 5 years, someone can just come along and declare that player has the dna of another club, and that player is being kidnapped. if a player wants to leave, he will leave.

    players have too much power that it is ridiculous.

  46. Martin – Yup.

  47. And Arsene looks on drily, and says to each (or at least thinks, as we ourselves do), yes, you’re good no doubt but one way or other fella, you’re not as good (valuable, effective) as you think you already are.

  48. Then again, in Walcott’s case, he may have a point (looking at it from his side) – use me (take me seriously as a senior, maybe central striker, give me that role) or lose me, yes I’m that good Boss.

  49. I trust Wenger to do what he must in the circumstances.

  50. Nice one Yogi.

    The board are more than complicit in this contract kerfuffle, yet again.

    What the fuck does Gazidis do for his £1.8m salary (that includes bonuses, bonuses? For what?) Of course it takes two to tangle a contract decision and Theo and hios ‘people’ have no doubt decided he is worth more than the club wants to pay and that he also should be considered for the central spot up front.

    Well, for me, he is worth the reported £100k he has demanded, allegedly because he is our most productive wide merchant and h=is young and yes, he is ENGLISH! That last thing must surely add a few quid to the coffers of AFC?

    But he isnt ready for that central spot yet and I think he is very potent wide right. The thing is there are plenty of Arsenal fans out there who would love him to leave, till he actually does and then they will aim their bile at the manager and board.

    Theo Walcott may not be as consistent as a FIFA12 player, but he is important to us and if we should make comparisons, then I think Ian Wright could be a good one. And he didnt even make the grade till his late 20s.

    Sign him up Arsenal! 🙂

  51. Zim – Then he would be wrong. Theo is not going to get a sniff at a central roll having just bought Podolski and Giroud. And rightly so; despite it being a favorite soundbyte of many, he has shown nothing which would suggest that he would be any good there. And if he had, I am sure we would have seen him play there before.

  52. -roll

  53. There’s nothing like a Theo Walcott post to show how ignorant, media fed and bitter a lot of people are.

    Spewing hackneted cliches like a mutha fucka.

  54. *hackneyed

  55. pedantic george

    Perhaps Dexter should take over from Ivan.?

    “Why cannot we go out and buy the ‘marquee’ signing that will show intent?”
    why would you come on here and post that? Unless you are Muppet.

  56. Theo

    To me its apparent that Arsene has cast the future in Podolski and Giroud as starters on the front line. (experience and consistency)

    Maybe Arsene was influenced in his earlier meetings with RvP and Theo and their positions and intentions are clear and not in the best interests of Arsenal. I certainly don’t know the facts.

    Cat and mouse games never end. Regardless of our managers’ intentions to resolve contracts early, as stated, both parties must be on the same page or even be reading the same book.

  57. pedantic george

    Rvp ,Theo ,Song,let them all leave if they want.
    Our let them all stay.I don’t care anymore .I am fed up with this shit.

  58. Liverpool’s Big signing last summer was described as a ‘statement of intent’.
    But by who?
    Sports Direct?
    Carroll’s agent?
    The friends of Sport Direct?

    I’d say some of the above, but not all.
    Who needs Jabba!

  59. Ade David, a Nigerian Gooner.

    Honestly speaking, loosing RVP and Theo this summer will not be good for the team. I am of the opinion that Theo should be given what he wants. Otherwise, he will come back and hurt us. As for RVP if he has made up his mind of leaving, the club should dispose him off asap.

  60. On the point of “contracts are meaningless” and that a sulking petulant player will always get his move does anyone know why English teams d not seem to go in for the eye watering “buy out” clause ?

    Even very ordinary player like the immobile Hulk have buy out clauses quoted at £30 million, Falcao at £40 mill !!

    Admittedly in the final year of contract it would be irrelevant but it would certainly stop the sort of exit that Ade engineered a few years back and which any player might pull if the lure of cash were strong enough

  61. Great post yogi.

    It feels like all the rats are leaving the sinking ship. I think losing theo would feel as bad or worse then losing RVP or cesc We all expected cesc to leave and RVP is also part of the prior generation and I suspect he believes the club is a few years away from being challengers for titles and RVP has a short time frame. However, Theo is young, English and he is the first big money signings of project youth and has been fully invested in arsene and everything he stands for. He was signed for a big fee, outbidding several big money clubs when our money was really really tight. Clearly arsene believed he would be a superstar and the building block for our club for many years. Him leaving throws into question our theory that the current golden generation of JW, Ox, Aaron,etc etc will be more loyal since they are lifelong arsene prodigies. Bottom line is that players want money and trophies and they are clearly not getting the former and they don’t believe the the latter are anywhere on the near term horizon so it’s easy to understand their motivation.

    How do we break the cycle? The first golden generation fizzled out and the second is unraveling. We have to start by winning some trophies even if it means that we modify our playing style towards solidarity and pragmatism. I know that one hurts but its needed We have to be willing to take some risks with our money. Our revenue from commercial contracts will be increasing significantly in a couple of years and we have a big new revenue stream from TV coming soon. We can afford to be more aggressive even if it means we might not balance the books every year.

  62. pretty sure a number of posters who have been told to f off by some on here were talking about this exact situation arising last year

    the club has still failed to sell many of the squad players. the reason behind it is there wages being to high

    lets stop hearing that the clubs direction is correct. the manger should take just as much blame as others.

    the issue isnt our wage level its what we spend it on which causes the main problem

  63. If Theo wants to go then let him go. But let’s rape Liverpool like the Geordies did with Carroll.

    First it was Arshavin, then Bendtner. Now it is Theo. Nobody wants to play out on the wing on this team. They either want to be central striker or central midfield playmaker. That could be part of the problem too. Buy legitimate wingers (Podolski) rather than playing talented players out of position on the wing where they don’t want to play.

  64. Bill – Your posts sums things up nicely. Many of the issues are simply the flies round shit. The shit being winning silverware. Players wants to be at sucessful clubs.

    As fans it is great seeing our club “ding things the right way”. But a player wants to win medals. They are going to go to a club which gives them the best chance of doing so. Once we get the right balance and start winning trophies I firmly believe that our yearly exodus will cease to happen. Sure some players will always go after the money, but they are less likely to want to leave if we are winning competitions.

    Any sport at the top level is about winning.

  65. I do not think we need another midfielder, promote Henri Lansbury he deserves his chance and Wilshere will be back soon Frimpong too, if we really want to go for someone lets go for Fellaini. Let walcott go, Gervinho out on the right Miyachi on the left or maybe sign one of the ayew brothers until Miyachi is experienced enough) Poldi can also play on the left. Way I see it, screw Walcott and RVP if they want to leave let them we do not need undedicated players causing a dressing room rift!! If Mr Wenger really wants a striker to replace RVP get Falcao or Cavani or even give our lad Benik Afobe a go supporting Giroud/Poldi.

    Up the might Arse!

    Gooner Till I Die!

  66. ” We can afford to be more aggressive even if it means we might not balance the books every year.”

    Aye, but that isn’t the cheap Stan Kroenke way.

  67. @Bill
    I am as usual humbled to able to read your posts with your detailed insights into our financial situation. Up to today I didn’t know what we can or can not afford, so thanks for enlightening me on that!

  68. Contracts for players like Denilson and djourou are witness to the fact that we do not delay. Theo cut off negotiation which implies that the club was trying to renew his contract in plenty of time. I am not a big fan of Ivan since i think we should have hired someone who was more of a football person rather then just a business man. However thats not ivans fault, and even I can’t blame him for contract impasses since there is nothing he can do if he is told how much money he can offer. The players make their own judgements regarding our ability to compete and if Ivan can’t offer them enough money to make the trophy wait worthwhile then there is nothing he can do to convince them to stay.

  69. From what I understand Theo’s wage demands are within our wage cap. It’s not like he’s pricing himself out of the club. I say give him the contract. Martin asks above whether Theo is worth 20 million over the 4 years of a potential new contract. I’d have to say yes. In fact if he isn’t then I don’t know who is. Could you replace him for less than 20 million? The Ox was 15 and that was just for raw potential.

  70. Give Theo what he wants?
    Is that why Arsene stocked up the squad with flyers like Oxo, Miyachi and Joel Campbell?
    So as to have a weak bargaining hand?
    Have we learnt there are no limits to the greed of players and agents?

  71. Notoverthehill

    Yogi, again you prove your worth!

    Why have you not written an article about the AW theorem that “a soccer player’s menopause starts at 30”?

    PG is correct about Dexter!

    In January 2009, Mr Ivan Gazidis joined The Arsenal as Chief Executive Officer and Director. He found that that recession had hit The Arsenal hard, very hard. Gazidis worked with the banks to reschedule the loans, to give the Club a year in which to sort out the fiscal mess! The property side!

    When Gazidis took over the Club was focused on the development of the new stadium and the property side of the business. The Club lacked the essentials that an American front office takes as normal. There was no solicitor in-house, a director of communications, a human resources department or a head of I.T. The solicitor in-house of course, draws up all the contracts so that they should be as legally free of hazards.

    The main appointment would appear to be a Mr Tom Fox, as Commercial Director. Like Mr Wenger, I would not expect to see Mr Tom Fox included on the Payroll!

    Yogi, excuse me for rehashing what WE always keep in the forefront, when WE consider The Arsenal

    BTW, £100,000 per week equates to £20.96 millions over 4 years. Assuming the maximum is put into the pension pot, each year; with a 45% tax if it holds over the length of the contract, the player will be left with circa £11.5 millions. The player will have other perks, London Colney will be considered the players base, so any car trip to The Emirates will be tax-deductible. Then there is clothing, training gear, hotel expenses and so on. Then of course, the bonuses, the essential specialist care etc., etc. Contracts a piece of cake? Never, even toe nails require specialist treatment, finger nails of course, eyebrows of course.

    Yogi, I trust you are bored to tears with all the tax deductibles? Do not forget the soccer player’s 30 years of age and the menopause!

  72. Notoverthehill


    Mr Ivan Gazidis knows more about football than you do!

    I believe Gazidis was an Oxford “Blue” against Cambridge. He was deputy commissioner of the MLS, right over the water, where you are!

  73. Evil @ 3:09.

    Pretty clear that we will have some new revenue sources soon and no one doubts the Stan and AU are both very wealthy men who could easily afford to help us until then if they wanted. There are also ways to raise money without adding debt. Some see that as the first step toward the dark side. I don’t agree and I think our management is smart enough to be more agressive and still avoid the slippery slope to financial ruin. But as always it’s just nothing more then my opinion.

  74. Markus:
    “Could you replace him for less than 20 million?”

    if he really is trying to extort the club, then f**kit, sell him quickly to the highest bidder!
    Far away from mummy…I’d sell him to Anzhi Makhachkala!

    Lets see him play CF there!

  75. Whilst Theo has improved, is he really at the level you would expect from a player earning £100k p/w? Not for me. But on the other hand, we really cannot afford to keep losing 1st team players. A difficult position for the board, and one that will not have escaped Theo and his agents no doubt.

  76. here’s a guy who’d “die” to remain in r&w,

    loyalty should count for something, shouldn’t it?

  77. IG gets a lot of unfair criticism in my opinion.

  78. Lets stop this myth about Theo being a striker, admittedly he was bought as a striker when he was 16!, how does a player decide his role in a team due to performances at that age?

    Are there even any top strikers currently in football that have Pace as their biggest threat?, i can’t seem to think of any, probably because those days are long gone – He needs to sign that contract and get used to playing on the wing, Wenger knows (don’t tell Bendther that tho) – Another myth is Arshavin playing in the No10 role, anyone watched Russia lately?

  79. btw we haven’t lost RvP or Theo YET!

    (i remain calm & ready for any eventuality)

  80. khalifha – I agree 100%. And if you look at his attributes, he is currently playing in the position which best suits him. His stats were better last year, but they still were not as great as some are making out. See the list below for scorers in the lge and see how many players are above him (playing for much worst teams).

    Yes he got a good amount of assists, but enough to justify what he is asking? I am not so sure.

  81. TR and TV signed new contracts, so did JD. Rvp and Theo refused to sign last season, what can the club do? Nasri was the only player in recent times that has been sold with a year left on his contract. And it’s not like he set the world on fire before his last season with us. If players refuse to sign, it’s not IG’s fault.

  82. Dear old George, out of his depth as usual, with a post that doesnt relate to Arshavin, so all he can do is lash out like a wish wife after one too many Pernod and blacks!

    And Theo is getting a lot of stick for what? We DON’Tknow WHAT the hold up is, yet some, like shotta would rather slate him before any evidence. Great support?

    This site used to be renowned for its unwavering support of Arsenal players. Seems those times are long gone.

    I agree with markus

  83. He needs to concentrate on scoring more goals before trying to increase his salary.
    He’s too inefficient in front of goal and should take a leaf from, say Pedro of Catalonia.

    there’s so much work to do and i’m getting tired of the cliche-greed of agents & players AND some owners too.

  84. GA; In that list tell me how many wingers have scored more goals than him?

  85. Shit that should be FISH wife!*

  86. Ih dear Andy, if you are trying to build a case against Theo, you need better evidence man.

    8 goals for a winger in the PL? About right, one less than Bale and one more than nani. Plus Walcott’s assists were better than both those players.

    But feel free to carry on slating him.

  87. GA

    We don’t just play in the Premier League. Second, the club in this situation are paying for the potential maturing over the course of the next contract, not past performance.

    “This site used to be renowned for its unwavering support of Arsenal players. Seems those times are long gone”.

    I’m allowing myself get compromised…must put an end to it…NOW!

    YW, any way u could ERASE all my posts after 12noon?

    (need to go polish my RASER gear pronto!)

  89. Sorry Aman! 🙂

    I know, it’s way too easy to get carried along with the player bashing. We are hurt, we’ve been here before and yep, it’s fucking frustrating.

  90. Let’s not start slating theo just yet. On that I agree with Dex and Markus.

    Btw Dex exactly in which areas do you think IG is doing poor work?

  91. GA, 100k a week is too much man, but when you think about it Bale just signed a new contract with the spuds, probably with similar wages.

    Lets just sort all this out before another 8-2 in the middle of August, jeez! Everyone wants a new 100k a week contract, what about me, i want one too, gimme, gimme!

  92. Theo is a valuable player on this team. Is he worth 100,000/week?? I don’t know if he is, but he does make us a more competitive club and we have to break this trophy free cycle sooner rather then later. We can’t keep aiming for something that is 2-3 years in the future. Besides, if do let him go what chance do we have of keeping players like the Ox or JW? When does the cycle end?

    I wouldn’t be against selling Theo or anyone as long as we get a good price AND we were willing to turn around and reinvest the money in a better player. The team has to start getting better and adding to what we have rather then running in place.

  93. I compared and contrasted the involvement of Victor Moses with Theo the last time both turned out at the green sward of the Emir.

    Important game for both clubs as we all remember.

    One player, hustle, bustle and stamped his mark on the game.

    The other barely registered.

    What does one game tell us you ask ?

    Quite a lot

  94. Hmm Sahil, ‘Let’s not start slating theo just yet’ – Where have i heard that before! I smell another R.a.t/R.v.p

  95. Both RVP and Theo had there best seasons at the club after yeare of injury and inconsisentcy knowing they were going into their final seasons.Coincidence?

  96. Anicoll5;

    Depends what game you want to use. When I go to away games, I have seen Theo tear the opposition defence apart numerous times. Its no surprise to me he has struggled in home games given the poxy support on offer there at times.


    Gazidis may well deserve the £8ook bonus he got last year for all I know? But someone, somewhere is being a bit lax in terms of sorting out deals. WE have seen it happen for years, the club just assume a player will resign, leave their deal to run down and then act surprised when said players fuck off.

    Edu springs to mind. I was gutted when he left.

  97. Yep, a coincidence.

  98. khalifha; Has Theo issued a statement like Rvp, if he has I have missed it.

    anicoll5- Where even to begin with that post. Let’s play a game. I replace theo with rvp and moses with de santo or rosicky and macarthur or song and mcarthy; should I continue?

  99. Dexter at 3:54 pm
    I was simply responding to a “give Theo what he wants” poster.
    After years of seeing many players kiss the badge then angle for the riches of the many spendthrift clubs with money to burn, I am not going to ignore the machinations of Theo or his agent . They have a negotiation strategy, which is fine.
    Just a reminder to all those bashing IG and AW for the current impasse that the club has a strategy as well. There is a reason for signing up all those young players year-after-year.

  100. Anicoll, don’t buy into the Moses hype, he was the star player at Wigan where non of his deficiences were scrutinized. His greatest asset is his ability to beat a player one on one and dribbling, but what about his shooting accuracy (1 goal from his first 44 shots on goal), he doesn’t have vision, average technique and not a very good finisher.

    He is a quality player but not Arsenal quality, there is a reason Chelsea started bidding for him at 4M!, don’t let the highlights fool you man.

  101. i was more astounded when Gilberto left.
    Took a while to understand why.

  102. Dex; But Rvp and Theo’s contract have not been allowed to run down. They were offered contracts last year just like Rosicky, Vermalean, Djourou. The latter three signed the former two didn’t, not exactly the club’s fault is it?

  103. Ox:
    ““I spoke to the boss and Colin [Lewin] the physio and they said I am in on Thursday, but I asked if I could come in earlier! I just can’t wait to get started again and get cracking with the new season.”

    ..thats the spirit..

  104. Shotta;

    OK amigo. I’ll let it slide this time! 🙂

    Look, I am guilty of jumping on posts as this subject opens up a right can of worms! So, sorry if I get a bit OTT with you, or anyone else for that matter. Apart from George, he deserves even more abuse.

  105. Sahil;

    Well, I am not sure when they started the negotiations TBH? But there is previous with several players’ contracts running down. maybe I am completely wrong and it is 100% the player and his advisers.

  106. Sahil, its not a matter of issuing statements, i started to smell the R.a.t/R.v.p the moment his agent decided to postpone contract talks, but seriously man i hope Dick law and order sorts it out.

  107. I have an issue with our board, that has been the case for years. I appreciate what they have done for the club (well, most of those responsible are no longer with us), but I think they are also culpable for a lot of the bad press and negative PR we receive.

  108. I am with George, I am fed up. Really, this is getting worn the heck out.

    You would just like to see the Arsenal way get its due reward but everytime we are on the cusp of something great, the best players jump ship. Like ZP, I am surprised that the players cannot see what is going on. I guess as supporters we are too emotional but i would have thought that the players would want to see this thing through; this team is talented enough to win.
    We have added some excellent players the last couple of years and look ready to make a serious charge at the PL title. Only two teams were in front of us for crying out loud and we beat the PL winners quite comfortably. The point gap may be a bit wide but, all things considered, how on earth did we place 3rd?!

    Come on RVP, Song and Theo! greatness is right there, lets do it!

    Have a blessed day all.

  109. Khalifha – Technically Theo is a superior player to Moses – it is his lack of involvement that disturbs me.

    At a stage in his career Theo should be an stamp his presence in every game, and in some make an killer contribution.

    Too often he drifts out of the action and contributes nothing, oh so often in those games like Wigan when a player of his ability should shine.

    As I say I do not think VM is a particularly good player – however he demonstrated something in terms of his character that night that was in sharp contrast with our own player.

    Sahil – I have no idea what you are talking about.

    I try to write to be understood rather than to demonstrate how clever I am. It is probably not my worst trait.

  110. True.

  111. Dex, what do you think the board could/should do to stop the bad press?

    talking about not being a fan of something, I am not a fan of football right now.

  112. Would you spend £20M over 4 years for a Winger who averages 10 goals and 10 assists a season?

    Who is still only 23, with bags of experience, and still improving?

    Who also seem’s to be a fairly sensible lad, with a pretty good attitude?

    Sounds like a bit of a no brainer to me.

  113. PaulN;

    Firstly, Song has 2 years left on his deal and apparantly IS in discussions about a new deal, along with LK.

    Gazidis, initially seemed to be the answer to the vacuum between Board and AW, but it just seems like he is a politician, talks the talk, but ultimately the club still gets mud sling at it befiore he turned up and the likes of Usmanov are allowed to berate the board and club without any attempots to deflect this constant negativity.

    Given how highly strung alot of fans are, how quick they are to believe any interent rumour (just check out twitter if you dont believe me), it must be a difficult job, but we have employed a big staff of people to deal with these issues.

    perhaps there is a need for a dare I say it, DD type position at the club?

  114. Thank you Matt. me too.

  115. Anicoll5- people tend to take debate to a personal level when their arguments don’t stand. I have noticed that a lot. Don’t worry , I won’t offer you the same courtesy.

  116. Another thing that annoys me is that instead of people sticking a boot in where it should be (teams like Chelsea, City, Barca and RM), they down the club for being ran in a sensible way. Due to that, some of us have concluded that the club should jeopardize itself in order to try to win, take risksand all that. Now if these risks don’t pan out…?

    This is what you call, “keeping up with the joneses”.

  117. Paul N @ 4:43:

    “Dex , what do you think the board could/should do to stop the bad press?”

    Win something!!! It’s going to get worse until that happens.

    We have been building for tomorrow now for a long time waiting for world football to financially implode and to finally recognize that our own brand of attacking football is the future. You never stop building for the future but it’s important to have some more success then we have had in the short term.

  118. YW/Dex – I am not slating him; just saying that he is not worth the amount of cash being bandied round. He has improved and has continued to show glimpses of what he can do. But he is also pretty terrible on quite a few occasions and IMO a far too inconsistent player to be earning the type of money he seems to think he is worth.

    Also, Yogi you say we would be paying for the expected development of him. In the nearly 7 years he has been with us now, his overall development has been nowhere near what most thought it would be. So why would that change now?

    I am not advocating getting rid of him, but he is not a player whose quality deserves the type of cash he seems to be wanting. Just my opinion of course.

  119. Bill; That is precisely it man, you have nailed it buddy! 🙂

    According to dam statistics, Theo was the most productive English winger in the PL last season. The competition aint great, but he beats the likes of Young, Sturridge, Johnson and dear oh deary deary me, £20m man Downing.

  120. Dex, I hope the player stay and make the dream a reality. That is really my point. This team has got it in them.

    I cannot comment about IG to be honest but you really did not give me anything I could chew on. What should be done? It seems to me that players leaving brings the negative attention. He is the person that signed Cesc to an 8 year contract.

  121. True – To the comment at 4:35.

    Anicoll, you make a lot of sense also but the first 4 years was Theo’s developemental phase, the last 2 saw an increase in his productivity and if he is asking for 100k per week then this is the time to judge his performances. Posturing over a new contract is the equivalent of putting a bulls eye on his forehead when the season starts, i don’t even care about what he earns anymore as long as he delivers on the pitch(minimum of 15 goals, 15 assists! In all competitions)

    Go on then, give him what he want Dick law and order, btw he wants justice.

  122. Andy;

    You are wrong and out of step with how things are in football these days. We’ll be looking for you inside ancient glaciers along with wooly mammoths dude! 🙂

  123. Paul-N at 4:54 pm
    “keeping up with the joneses”. Do you mean up with Chelsea and that 50 million for Torres, like Liverpool and that 35 million for Carroll, like ManUtd and 30 million for Berbatov?
    Jeez – That is a lot of keeping up by IG plus negotiating inflationary contracts.
    Hope he is not stuck with a jumbo mortgage in the suburbs.

  124. Bill, it seems that we need you on the board. Why are they making it seem so difficult?

  125. Dex; Forget about English buddy. Theo was the second highest goal scoring winger and the third highest assister. in the PL last season.

  126. Shotta, it getting ridiculous.

    As far as worth, we are asking for us to pay players according to what City and Cheslea think they are worth. If some of these players are making 100k/week, then Walcott is worth it and more.

    For those who are talking about some drastic wage scale, when City pays some players 200+k/wk, the other players are making 100+k/wk. That is a big difference from giving one player 200+/wk and having other first team players on 60 and 70k/wk.

  127. khaifha; Theo scored 11 and had 13 assists. Next season I see him easily passing your predictions.

  128. PaulN;

    I would hate us to try and bankrupt ourselves by attempting to match Man City type levels of wages. Espeically after we have worked so dam hard to make the stadium move and become financially solvent without the need for a dam sugar daddy.

    IF RvP wants £250k a week, a la Rooney, then he should be shown the door. Ant player for that matter should be. NO payer in world football is worth that god awful obscene wage.

    However, we have our limits, which according to gazidisare un the process of being changed to better reflect a hierachy of players. RvP and Theo therefore will be more than adequately compensated for the troubles, it just won’t be Oil City style amounts.

    And rightly so.

  129. arse or brain

    marquee signings as we all know very rarley turn out to be what they were supposed to be,to eliminate the gamble you need to buy several not only does this need extraordinary amounts of money but it turns out to be a fake team difficult to identfy with. In 89 not only was the winning great because we had waited so long but also it was our team, ateam of ARSENAL players who were just as excited to win as ARSENAL players as the fans were. can chelski or city say the same? I would rather wait and win with players like frim and lansbury which is why when players like rvp go its just a bump in the the road and not the train crash some people perceive it to be.

  130. Khalifha I agree the key issue is what Theo does on the pitch – he is no longer a kid and the sympathy he enjoyed because of his youth, not to mention a poor injury record, is spent.

    As I say though it is not just goals and assists but standing up for himself, tackling, using his head once in a while, hoofing the opposition up in the air – God forbid – losing his temper from time to time !! Grrrr

    Sahil – perhaps it is me – What “courtesy” will you not be offering me ?

  131. I agree with all of that Dex.

  132. khaifha; Theo scored 11 and had 13 assists. Next season I see him easily passing your predictions.

    Sahil, if he does that then he would definately shut me up(hands up if you would like that :-), because i don’t think he is worth that kind of wedge at this stage of his arsenal career, ya dig.

  133. Anicoll5

    You are chatting complete bollocks now. So, to help you in your slating of Theo, goals and assists just dont cut it, you want him to maybe break an opposition players leg now.

    Give me fucking strength.

  134. Is it Theo bashing day? if so, it was long overdue.

    I dare say that RVP gives credit to Theo and justly so. Those are comments we can actually attribute to RVP.

  135. Anicoll, i have thought long and hard about that, now would you prefer a player like Hleb who does all the fancy works and is consistent(dribbling, passing, overall game e.t.c) but has low output(goals and assists) or Walcott, inconsistent but relatively high end product?

  136. Paul N.

    No secret that I think the club went over board on the fiscal frugality thing. Just my opinion but when this started 8 years ago I think arsene honestly believed he could win with a low budget and with project youth and his own vision of total attacking football. After DD went away there were no other football people to counterbalance arsene and the board was more then happy to go along with whatever Arsene wanted if it meant not spending money. IMO arsene would have been right if abramovich had not come along. Unfortunately roman arrived and the club did not adapt. It was only through arsene’s brilliance that we were very close even with the finacial handicap but he was not willing to change our playing style enough to fix the defense and the board or arsene or both were not willing to deviate from the highly averse business even when we started to lose players right and left. The bottom line is that we have not had the level of success that we had come to expect from the club and the players, fans and media are impatient and that’s not going to get better until we see some more success on the pitch.

  137. anicoll5- Since you are not getting any of my posts, I say we put this to rest.


    Oxlade-Chamberlain will be travelling to the Far East this week on Arsenal’s summer tour and he is thoroughly looking forward to it.

    “To get back into training, see the boys and play football again – I just can’t wait for it,” he said.

    “I spoke to the boss and Colin [Lewin] the physio and they said I am in on Thursday, but I asked if I could come in earlier! I just can’t wait to get started again and get cracking with the new season.”

    What a blessing youth is, look at the appreciation for his fellow team mates and his hunger. If he keeps this attitude he will be a legend.

    Good for you youg man!

  139. Oh it’s definitely the Theo bashing day today, Paul-N.

  140. This comment is awaiting moderation.

  141. pedantic george

    “Notoverthehill | July 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Mr Ivan Gazidis knows more about football than you do!”

    Ha ha .
    He knows more about being CEO than that halfwit Dexter also.

  142. A read a lot of emotional reaction when a player declares intent to leave Arsenal. “Sell his ass to Anzhi Makhachkala!!” it’s often written. Just so people know a player is rarely sold to a team without the player’s chosing and consent. Anzhi isn’t going to spend a transfer fee to a player who won’t sign with them because a player can leave on a Bosman a year later (assumes he has 1 year left on his contract)

  143. There he is. I was missing your wit PG.

  144. Bill, what are you basing what you saying on?

  145. pedantic george

    Sadly,some of my very favorite people on here have turned out to be very stupid.

  146. “I do not agree with the direction of Bill’s comments”

    Paul-N’s agent.

  147. Jenks on Podolski and Giroud.

    “They are two world-class players, they are fantastic signings and fantastic assets for this Club,” he told Arsenal Player.

    “I am really looking forward to playing alongside them both. Everyone is delighted that we have signed players of that calibre.”

    What a great attitude. Jenks seems to like the direction of the club. Good for you youngster!

  148. Paul N @ 5:56

    My own gut feeling. nothing more or less.

  149. pedantic george

    Bill,so complete bollocks then?

  150. Ok Bill. Just as you believe team should have done what you believe, the same way they could have done it, to the detriment of the team.

    I agree that Wenger is the truth but it is the board that gives him the resources to put his plan into place.

  151. pedantic george

    “No secret that I think the club went over board on the fiscal frugality thing. Just my opinion but when this started 8 years ago I think arsene honestly believed he could win with a low budget and with project youth and his own vision of total attacking football. ”
    That my friend is as poor an understanding as is possible ,by anyone with any sense at all.

  152. Gentleman, it is so very difficult to predict what in the world is happening within the managerial dens of Arsenal with respect to signing players to new contracts. We simply do not know anything until it is reported to us. The fact that nothing is reported does not mean the club is derelict in attending to these matters. In a very real way the process is a game. It seems to me that the same game is played throughout professional sports with the player sitting tight until he understands what the market will pay for his services.

  153. How does it go, George? Ah yes, ouch

  154. Sounds good Sahil – no problem on my part

  155. Bill,
    Instead of finding every angle to repeat ad nauseam the doomer mantra that the club doesn’t spend enough, can you refute anything that NOTH wrote at 3:25pm, specifically:

    In January 2009, Mr Ivan Gazidis joined The Arsenal as Chief Executive Officer and Director. He found that that recession had hit The Arsenal hard, very hard. Gazidis worked with the banks to reschedule the loans, to give the Club a year in which to sort out the fiscal mess! The property side!

    When Gazidis took over the Club was focused on the development of the new stadium and the property side of the business. The Club lacked the essentials that an American front office takes as normal. There was no solicitor in-house, a director of communications, a human resources department or a head of I.T.

    OR maybe his broadside at 3:31pm that:
    Mr Ivan Gazidis knows more about football than you do!

  156. Seems to be a lot of whining, bitching and good for nought arguing going on re Theo. And yet at the same time we all admit to not knowing exactly is going on behind the scenes. He seems to get unfairly slated when he plays and yet people are concerned if he leaves. A case of the whatevs IMO.

  157. Personally, i’m looking forward to the Gibbs-Santos tandem next season. I liked the way Kieran ended the season and I have faith in him enough to expect greater solidity & a few goals from him.

    A fitter, stronger brazil and opponents WILL be in for it.


  158. Good grief Khalifa – Hleb ?? Noooo – What I would prefer is a player like Valencia who involves himself in the game, gets forward, back, comes looking for the ball if it does not come to him, gets in the occasional header.

    Even Lennon is a player who is more visibly involved, buzzing like a wasp around the pitch, harassing defenders, taking them on, posing a question every time he gets the ball at his feet.

    Call it service in the tradition of George Armstrong – technically not of the highest quality but effective for 100% of the time he spends on the pitch

  159. George @ 6:16:

    Perhaps it’s complete bollocks. I don’t know and we probably never will.

  160. I agree with Two Owls @ 6:29.

  161. pedantic george

    I agree with ……….oh yes……….me

  162. I’m curious to know once all of our players have left re ambition and wanting to win things which ones will take responsibility for being the current weak links?

  163. I don’t think we have to match Shitty, Chelsea and Manure wages. They can’t sign everyone. The world had plenty of talented players and Arsene can mould the rest in to a decent team. We might lose 1 or 2 players a years but Arsene can replace them with someone cheaper and more committed to the team.
    Problem with that model is we are often left aiming for 3rd or 4th place. But Stanley isn’t the type of owner to invest in his teams so we have to live with that fact. Sure we can hope a few of our competitors implode. Last year we started terribly and luckily 3 opponents imploded: Spurs, Chavs and Liverpool. We managed to get to 3rd place.
    Maybe the financial dopers have changed the landscape here such that until our ownership changes or our stadium is paid off that we can only continue to realistically hope for top 4 finish. Our most accomplished players will probably always leave for bigger wages/trophies. Only way out of this cycle is to win something soon. That would require the current board to spend money like it hasn’t in a while..This isn’t Stan’s way.
    I’ll let Arsene sort out the headaches. All I know is that whoever is on the squad that they’ll contribute to an attractive brand of exciting football.

  164. I loved Alex Hleb and think comparing him to Theo is plain wrong.
    He was not a winger.

    What he brought to our team, along with TR & Cesc, was magical.
    Goals do not say it all for every footballer and you must admit the quality of that team was as good as we’ve gotten since the Invincibles.

    Hated him for leaving us the way he did but hey what goes around definitely came around to make him regret his decision.

    khalifa, compare him to Jack if u must compare him to anyone….

  165. What I don’t understand in the midst of all this feeding frenzy of rumours and half truths about Theo Walcott is why no one yet has alluded to the comments he has made on this week about the upcoming Asia tour. He makes it clear he is excited about making the trip with the team – and doesn’t sound to me like someone looking to ship out.

  166. Jack has a lot more terrirer in him that Hleb

  167. terrier – Yorkshire cuz he’s kinda small

  168. shotta on July 16, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    That sounds like some kind of a plan.


    I guess those reports by lots of agents last september that Arsenal were a ‘nightmare’ must be true. Arteta. Santos. Some crap player who everyone loves to call the BFG.
    It appears as if someone has been telling football agents to ‘fark orf’ for a while. Terrible is it not? As in way before Robin’s agent needed to copy & paste in the best of traditions as they embellished a website that they had been dilligently maintaining for years and years.

    What could it all mean?


  169. Someone needs to tell Dein Jnr. where to get.
    I’m going to guess: they already have.

  170. Limestonegunner

    Philmar at 7:02, you might be right.

  171. At the risk of stating the perfectly obvious but …

    If what Grimandi had to say about RvP in respect of AW being prepared for the worse (whilst presumably almost certainly hoping for the best) is true, could not the same be reasonably expected of Arsenal’s approach to a potential stand-off with both Theo and Alex Song.

    It’s a big assumption but if Podolski and Giroud are intended to play WITH – or in a worst-case scenario – INSTEAD of RvP, applying the logic, who has, if anyone, been lined up to replace or back-up Theo and Alex?

    Whilst I think I can see possible AS cover in the existing line up, Theo I’m not so sure of.

    What do people think?

    Bearing in mind I’m not sure we’ve yet found out what Ivan’s exciting new development/signing is yet …

  172. pedantic george

    Philmar .
    If we won the Premiership and CL we would still lose players to City and other mega wage payers,All that would change is the excuses used to justify their defections.

  173. Limestonegunner

    Development of Emirates stadium took place several years before Gazidis became CEO. American front office is apparently what he has built.

    And we’ve seen Arsenal conducting its business much better as a result of this than in those prehistoric years up to 2008 when we signed great players, sold many of them on for a big profit after their best years spent winning with Arsenal, developed and built a huge new stadium in the heart of London, and managed to win the league every so often but challenged every year, won FA cups, and went to a CL Final. Good thing IG came to the club and saved us. You always want to have a few more lawyers around–thank you Dick Law and Order, you are worth your weight in contract clause savings alone! Now we have a head of IT and a director of communications, both doing amazing things to take the club forward. Too bad the media just won’t listen to Mark Gonella’s great story ideas–“Where Arsenal CEO, IG goes for vacation… nowhere, because he is always busy and those were business trips with his family!” Wonderful that we finally have an HR department at the club. I really love my HR people where I work–they’re so helpful with my employee benefits and taking all those deductions out of my paycheck, but their seminars can be a bit boring. Great progress made in three and half years. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Probably could reinforce the team with a few more hospitality and event planning specialists. But I think the next big step forward for the club is an in-house pension fund manager; also we have all that cash in the reserve fund, shouldn’t we have an investment manager who can maintain liquidity for the banks while increasing our return? Plus he might be able to show the players how to get more from their investments so that we don’t have to offer such large wage increases–but I’m sure its on IG’s list, so I won’t fret.

    It is wonderful being a gooner. I used to think it was just about football, but happily I have come to learn a great deal about the corporate world and finance. It really has put things into a new and helpful perspective. All that keeping up with the jones’–that I used to think of as sporting competition, silly me!– is so obsolete. The real joy is waiting to see how many gold stars UEFA is going to give us on our terrific FFP compliance report! Can’t wait–should be unveiled in Emirates stadium with much fanfare; I’m sure many gooners will gladly pay to attend the event, with Ivan Gazidis at a podium near the centre circle going through its key points and the exciting accounting moves involved. Special pay-per view on Arsenal player to watch it live! (KACHING!!) It will be a real team effort of our new American front office who can line up behind him on the pitch. Hurray!

    In the spirit of a reverse muppet! 🙂

  174. pedantic george

    Limestonegunner @ might be wrong

  175. Limestonegunner

    PG, still, I’d love to hear what those excuses are!

  176. Limestonegunner

    We both might be, George. How’s that for a revelation!

  177. Oh.
    I forgot to mention Cesc F Words replacement. You know. The kid who looks like a forward but can play in midfield, almost the inverse of his predecessor at the same age. As we see the Game developing, I guess it doesn’t matter. At least we know why the AFC coaches spent half a season coaching the kid D-Fence, which was surprisingly disappointing to many fans. When we consider the amount of bile heaped upon the coaches by the self declared experts, it is a joke. These people know nothing. How can I say that? Simples. I class them alongside Stuart Pearce? Who? The U21 coach who did not pick AOC to play in a tourney, twelve months before he played for the seniors. In case anyone desires to mount a D-fence for Pearce, I refer you to the D**M of Mancienne. I rest my case.

    Anyway. AFC signed AOC up nice and prompt. I noticed. Shortly after he’d impressed against the cheatin Mancs.

  178. Limestonegunner

    AA, perhaps the replacement for Theo is internal–already at the club. The Ox. Maybe the M’Vila rumours were pointing to the same sort of modus operandi for negotiations with Song.

  179. Limestonegunner

    Or Ryo, plus let’s not forget that Gervinho can easily play either wide forward position.

  180. we’ve enjoyed some delicacies over the years

    Hleb was called “Zauberlehrling” or “Sorcerer’s Apprentice”

    Arsene knows…

  181. Gervais played on the right at Lille. I think.

  182. Anicoll, i was trying to give an example with players of differing(?) qualities, but you gave a perfect example in Lennon – Lennon’s game is easy on the eye, he has some sort of shuffleing style of dribbling and is also very quick. But the fact is he has never produced Walcott’s numbers during the course of a season(3 goals, 5 assists in 3
    matches or so) and is 2years older, Theo is more Effective. Now who would you prefer, a buzzing Lennon(low end product) or Effective Walcott(high end product).

    As for Valencia, he was bought for 18M and named Man utd’s player of the season(i think), so he isn’t exactly available on the market.

  183. meanwhile, didn’t Capello say he was retiring after coaching England? or did he mean after the 2014 world cup?

  184. Correction – 30 matches or so.

  185. Lennon would be a much more effective player if he was under AW.
    I can guarantee that.

    What I cannot say for sure is whether he would not have done the exact same thing (delaying an extension) if he were in Theo’s shoes.

    on his day, Lennon is very difficult to contain.
    just ask Patrice “the adult” Evra

  186. Limestonegunner

    Hleb was the master of the pre-assist assist.

  187. Hleb, Reyes, Flamini…all wasted the opportunity to be great.

  188. Limestonegunner

    btw, George, what I was agreeing with was the thought that perhaps we can only realistically challenge for 4th these days.

    I agree that some players will always leave for more money. But I do think it would be fewer leaving whom we don’t want to go.

  189. yes he was Limestone.
    he had the most exquisite pair of feet
    just went to rot @ Catalonia

    oh but he did win silverware didn’t he Philmar?

  190. Forget 4th Limestone,
    regardless of who we lose this summer
    Nostrathymus still maintains we’re doing a PURPLE REIGN-DOUBLE!


  191. Walcott is a litmus test:

    What do I mean? Well, here is an example.
    Last seasons Newcastle Home game. Me and a friend treated a poor unfortunate who was born and bred a West Ham fan to a proper game of football. Vermaelan scored a rousing late winner. And according to his many critical fans and journalists, that was one of Walcott’s most impressive performances in an Arsenal shirt.
    Did the haters behind me stop abusing Theo during that game? As in abuse. Not a sigh, not an “oh!” as pass or something else might be incomplete (shocking, I know) but abuse. No they did not stop abusing Theo Walcott.
    Why? A Haters gotta hate.
    Even if it makes guests to their club laugh at them for their stupidity.

  192. 7am Kickoff did some excellent work on Theo’s stats:

    finsbury at 7:19 pm, 7:32pm and 7:38pm – Think we are both unto something. Pity this is an anti-Gazidis day. Bean counter.

  193. corr: he had the most exquisite feet

  194. Limestonegunner | July 16, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    “AA, perhaps the replacement for Theo is internal–already at the club. The Ox. Maybe the M’Vila rumours were pointing to the same sort of modus operandi for negotiations with Song.”

    LSG – this is exactly my point.

    If a replacement for Theo is already at the club (Ox) and the M’Villa (and/or equivalent) rumours were ‘encouraged’ by the club in response to Song’s jockeying then this could go a long way to explaining RvP’s present position. In other words, what his website ‘update’ actually meant.

    Most of us are not in a position to gauge whether AFC can afford to pay RvP, TW and AS what they (and/or their agents) tell them they are worth. But if the club has decided it CAN’T afford those salary demands then they may well now be prepared to work to get the best price for any or all of those three should the situation demand it.

    The point being that wild horses wouldn’t drag the club’s management back to the scenario they had to deal with at the end of last summer …

    It’s brinkmanship, Jim, but probably not as we would want to know it.

  195. Nice link Shotta.

  196. pedantic george

    Andrew .Then what you are saying is that RVP could ne deliberately sabotaging the clubs well thought out and planned strategy.
    What? because he knows better how to run the club?
    I prefer to think he is just a greedy twat.rather than a pretentious greedy twat.

  197. Limestonegunner

    Yes, AA, I was riffing on your point. I also thought earlier on that so far we have not done any business that wasn’t related to providing some security/replacements/leverage in current negotiations.

    We have not, for instance, seen much on the attacking midfielder front. That, as I alluded to in a post a couple of days ago, might also be part of the differences between RvP and the club. What we have seen, and I applaud the moves, are moves for forwards and a dm. To RvP, this might not look like progress but hedging bets against him, Song and Theo’s contract demands.

  198. Yes George. And Theo must be just as evil 🙂
    Or perhaps, he has had agents wiping his Arsenal for so long that…

  199. Gawds above the above is boring thread, don’t you think.
    I can’t be arsed.

    I’ll start again.

    Was Yossi let go to allow one of the younger midfielders a go? Like Henri de Lansbury?
    We’ll find out!

  200. Limestonegunner

    Aman, I prefer to believe as you that we have a great season ahead.

    Unfortunately, Philmar makes a fairly coherent point that we can hardly expect to do more that compete for CL football given the financial advantages of other clubs, so if we lose some of our best players or the instability affects the start of our season, we know we have a challenge just to get into CL. Hopefully we won’t have major injury worries, which would be really helpful. But, you cannot expect Podolski and Giroud to be firing goals at a near record rate in their first several months of the season. It will be wonderful if they do, but to be fair to them, they deserve a few months or even a season to adapt to the PL. Sergio Agueros and Ba/Cisses don’t come every season.

    I do think Gervinho will have a break out season and give us 12 goals and 7 assists. That’s my prediction. Plus Mertesacker will emerge as a top defender, if healthy, in his second season. I also think Santos will add 4 goals and 3 assists and the Ox will blossom to give us 6 goals and 7 assists. There it is.

  201. If anyone had to pick a player from within the squad to replace Yossi in the first team, who would it be? I’m happy to take a blind guess and go for Lansbury.

  202. ‘First team’ in my post above includes the bench for some reason.

  203. pedantic george

    We could save a fortune if we appointed RVP as player/manager/CEO/contract negotiator/players agent.
    Seems he can do everything .You wonder why ,with his vision ,he needs an agent himself.

  204. Shotta @ 6:45.

    Sorry I missed your comments earlier. I don’t know If all the stuff that NOTH said is true. Ivan is a fine businessman I suspect and if he helped the club sort a financial mess then I am happy he is here. My concern is that he is a businessman and I have said many times i think should be other football people in upper management similar to a general manager in American baseball or football clubs. I dont think any one person can wear all the hats that AW has to wear. Ivan is not the one making decisions regarding how much to pay our players and no onevreally knows who does. Arsene is the only football person in upper management so perhaps AW and IG are told how much money they can spend then AW decides how to distribute that money. Obviously Stan would make any final decisions but I doubt he actually knows enough about European football to make informed decisions. I dont think anything has really changed since Stan or IG have arrived so I suspect the status quo, whatever that is has been maintained.

  205. Limestonegunner

    But, George, can he run an HR division, IT, and communications (he flubbed that last one didn’t he?!), which as we have learned today is the really important work of Arsenal’s executive team? I ask you! All he knows how to do is score goals, make goals and lift his side emotionally on the pitch. What good is that on the balance sheet or in the board room?

  206. George I have no idea whether RvP is deliberately sabotaging anything. But I think if he wanted to leave for a big payday he’d have simply instructed his agent accordingly without bothering with the website guff.

    LSG – yes, hedging is probably exactly the right word to describe the club’s tactics, possibly dating from as far back as Xmas, who knows?

    I still think there is a 50:50 chance of all three staying regardless of everything that’s happened so far – but I have nothing whatsoever to support those odds, just a gut feeling.

    I simply just suspect RvP would prefer to stay in London if he possibly can to avoid the MOTHER of all Rows with his missus. Theo would be wary of leaving AW after all this time as he is surely aware his game is still developing and only a MADMAN would leave one of the best coaches on the planet at such a critical time in his career. Alex Song is mindful of the nosedive trajectories the careers of others of his ilk (eg the Flaminis of recent history, to name just one) have taken in the past.

    Okay, I’m being slightly flippant by way of expression but I may not be a million miles out.

    We’ll see.

  207. pedantic george

    LSG .Well he should stick to that then , Shouldn’t he?

  208. “LSG .Well he should stick to that then , Shouldn’t he?”

    Yup Yup

  209. “Amos | July 16, 2012 at 12:14 pm
    If the ‘danger zone’ is 2 years before the end of a contract and the normal contract length 4 years (Fifa ‘just cause’ rules effectively mean contracts are only enforceable for 3 years – or 2 after the age of 28) then every contract should start renewal negotiations after it’s first year. Time for Arsenal to take control of contract management? The reality is they have little beyond their ability to pay more than all but 3 teams in the EPL.”

    Ain’t that the truth! Which makes all this pointless bickering about what the club ‘should’ do about contracts, completely pointless.

    As for Gazidis, those who can do, those who can’t criticize on internet forums.

  210. Jeeeesus, Aaron fucking Lennon??? Are you fucking serious???

    A headless chicken with less output than Downing! You are saying on an Arsenal blog that he is preferable to Walcott??? And your reasoning is; because he looks busy!

    You are on a wind up, twat.

    And please can people desist from saying anything derogatory about our magnificent CEO, seems he is untouchable and immune from criticism, unlike our players.


  211. Finsbury;

    We, hopefully we will have Lansbury, Diaby and Wilshere to replace Yossi man. I know, I know, just humour me, its bound to come good eventually.

  212. AA; I too think he is more than hapopy to remian in London and would rather not uproot, or be seperated from his family. The thing is though, his agents and subsequently RvP know precisely how much is on offer from other clubs (*spit* Oli City *spit*) and that is something that he and his agent *cough* leech *cough* have to wrestle with; the fact they can earn more but will have to relocate etc.

    And of course the loss of commision will be of absolutely no consequence to said blood sucker, erm, I mean leech, no agent.

  213. Limestonegunner

    Ha, ha, good one, George! But, isn’t that what he did last season?

    And how do we know he won’t again next season?

  214. I am more and more convinced, reading the postings, that dexter and PG are actually the same person and he’s psychotic/schizophrenic.
    Another thought: Do people who think something is a no-brainer have no brain?
    Apropos of TW, those stats have convinced me to give him my full support (I mean, we all have bad days, don’t we?) Unless of course he does a runner.

  215. Sorry – I forgot – I’m the one doing a runner.
    Have a great season.

  216. Shit, looks like the game’s up george, we’ve been rumbled.

    Spose it takes a psychotic drooling flatulent fuck wit to spot one.

  217. DK;

    I can’t help it if Geogre tries really hard to be as witty and urbane as moi homme.

  218. Limestonegunner

    Off to hit the high seas (ok, great lakes!)–never thought I’d do it, but when you live in a smallish city that styles itself “the freshwater sailing capital of the world”, it makes sense to learn. Good evening all!

  219. Passenal @ 9:24

    Which makes all this pointless bickering about what the club ‘should’ do about contracts, completely pointless.”

    What’s the point of having a sports blog if not to have pointless discussions and bickering especially this time of year. In reality none of what is said here ever makes any difference anyway so what else should we do?

  220. Bill;

    The fact that it is one of the salient points of today’s post is immaterial too I imagine! 🙂

    Hang on a minute. Did I just agree with you?

  221. Dex

    “Hang on a minute. Did I just agree with you?”

    I am so thick that im not sure.

  222. “If we won the Premiership and CL we would still lose players to City and other mega wage payers,All that would change is the excuses used to justify their defections.”

    That’s a mightly unlikely ‘if’. Presumably winning both those competitions would give us winner’s prize money and increased sponsorship money (prestige)…and a few extra gate receipts. Sustainability would allow us to pay higer wages and that surely that would lessen the number of defectors..

  223. Khalifha – we appear to be speaking at cross purposes

    I thought you asked for a player who attributes and performance on the pitch was more what I
    Wanted to see from Theo

    I suggested Valencia whose busy, flexible and positive approach is what I am talking about

    I do not think Valencia is much better technically than Theo – he just has a rocket up his arse

    Then you say that Valencia is irrelevant because he is not available to buy

    I am not talking about buying Valencia

    I am talking about a player, our player, pushing his energy and involvement up a gear

  224. Dex.

    I guess my 10:18 post proves that even I can get something right once in a while. 🙂

  225. pedantic george

    Philmar Yes,we could likely pay about an extra 5k per week.Do you think that would do the trick?

  226. Winning a trophy or 2 would make it easier to retain our better players. Or at the very least prove without doubt that those that would still want to leave ARE the mercenary souless wankers we assumed all along.

  227. pedantic george

    Did I just speak?

  228. Are we still keeping up the pretence my alter ego?

  229. And BTW, can you try not to snore tonight. Its very dustracting when I am trying to watch the Corrienation Omnibus on the portable TV.

  230. Ah Anicoll, got you. I would like to see Metersacker outrun Koscielny and i would also like to see Vermaelean stay in defense but that is not going to happen soon. But seriously, Walcott does all those things you mentioned, he tracks back, makes runs, takes on players( not the best at that tho), and puts the opposition defence on the backfoot, infact most of our attacks goes through the right hand side so he can’t be asked to do more in that regard.

    But like those stats on 7am pointed out, i would like to see him keep possession more and reduce his turnovers(misplaced pass,poor control, blah) that is what frustrates me most, i have no other problem with him, i think! As long as he signs a new contract.

  231. Well, the 2007/2008 side was probably as good as any Arsenal team and came very close to winning. It didn’t stop player’s from leaving a club challenging for all honours for greener pastures. Which is not to dismiss that winning trophies can be a motivation for players, but say, can anybody here imagine any of the “big” players at a top 6 club taking a pay cut to join Borussia Dortmund, even though it’s a very prestigious side and shaping up to become — once again — one of the top clubs in Europe. Of course not, because most of the times prime motivator is money, and in some cases personal reasons. Winning stuff is important, too, but I would argue that the two others will take precedence most of the time.

  232. Dexter is Pg? Dexter in Pg? They are both twins :O, aarrggh my head hurts, you need to start a soap opera or something Dex, this is a darn good storyline.

  233. You think so Khali? Beats the shit out of this summers Arsenal dramas that’s for dam sure man.

  234. R.v.p/R.a.t didnt even know he was good enough to be a striker, Wenger made him one, just saying.

    12pm, july 2009 – Wenger’s office.
    Wenger: who’s there?(hides icecream in drawer)
    R.a.t: its me boss
    Wenger: me who?
    R.a.t: Robin
    Wenger: ah, come in Robin
    R.v.p: i heard you wanted to see me boss
    Wenger: Get your arse off my favourite chair
    R.v.p: so sorry boss
    Wenger: i have a new position in mind for you
    R.v.p: whats that?
    Wenger: striker(smiles)
    R.v.p: haha! Good one, seriously what do you have in mind
    Wenger:hold on,(answers call) yea Gazidis is that you? Go get me some chips, no not Vela! Hold on
    R.v.p: boss, i think i just fractured my ass while letting one rip, so sorry
    Wenger: i knew something was smelling, just leave my office
    R.v.p: am sorry boss

    The End.

  235. Please don’t quote me on that! According to reports R.v.p fractured his ass before allowing nature to take its course.

    Dexter, its deja vu man, keeps happening all over again. I don’t even have the energy to have a rant at these players anymore.

  236. Bradys right foot

    I didn’t see too many people call for Theo to be transfer listed last January after contract negotiations stalled. Should the club have done this for RVP and Theo last year? Its not as if the club have not tried to engage the players. Nasri for example led the club up the garden path from that November to February “discussing” a new deal. RVP told the club to wait until the season was over. Not to oversimplify things but other clubs will pay our better players more, while we can only make them millionaires.

  237. James m tembo

    Its true, the gunners board has to change how they do their contract extensions, they should start to negotiate to extend a players contract when its 2 years to go, coz in this way it will give the club a clear picture of who wants to go or stay with the club, and it will also help the club to prepare for good on which players to be signed by the club, hope 1 day these problems of contract extention will be of the past. GUNNERZ DIE HARD FUN OF ZAMBIA

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