LA Confidential: Single Combat

A guest post this morning from Limpar Assist.

In The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe ponders the question – why are the press aroused to create instant heroes out of men? In his case – those men were astronauts. In ours, for some reason, they are footballers.

Here I doctor, butcher and twist Wolfe’s pondering – to suit my own spurious point.

Wolfe on heroes: “The very language of the proposition has long since been abandoned and forgotten. The forgotten term, left behind in the superstitious past, was single combat.

Single combat had been common throughout the world in the pre-Christian era and endured in some places through the Middle Ages. In single combat the mightiest soldier of one army would fight the mightiest soldier of the other army as a substitute for a pitched battle between entire forces. In some cases the combat would pit small teams of warriors against one another. Single combat was not seen as a humanitarian substitute for wholesale slaughter until late in its history. That was a Christian reinterpretation of the practice. Originally it had a magical meaning. In ancient China, first the champion warriors would fight to the death as a “testing of fate,” and then the entire armies would fight, emboldened or demoralized by the outcome of the single combat. Before Mohammed’s first battle as the warrior-prophet, the Battle of Badr, three of Mohammed’s men challenged the Meccans to pick out any three of their soldiers to fight in single combat, proceeded to destroy them with all due ceremony, whereupon Mohammed’s entire force routed the entire Meccan force. In other cases, however, the single combat settled the affair, and there was no full-scale battle, as when the Vandal and Aleman Armies confronted each other in Spain in the fifth century A.D. They believed that the gods determined the outcome of single combat; therefore, it was useless for the losing side to engage in a full-scale battle. The Old Testament story of David and Goliath is precisely that: a story of single combat that demoralizes the losing side. The gigantic Goliath, with his brass helmet, coat of mail, and ornate greaves, is described as the Philistine “champion” (the direct ancestor of Ryan Shawcross) who comes forth to challenge the Israelites to send forth a man to fight him (I’m thinking: Yossi Benayoun); the proposition being that whoever loses, his people will become the slaves of the other side. Before going out to meet Goliath, David (Yossi) – an unknown volunteer commoner (bit harsh) – is given King Saul’s own decorative armour (Thierry Henry’s left shin pad), although he declines to wear it. When he kills Goliath, the Philistines (Potters) regard this as such a terrible sign that they flee and are pursued and slaughtered.

Naturally the brave lads chosen for single combat enjoyed a very special status in the army and among their people (David was installed in the royal household and eventually superseded Saul’s own sons and became king). They were revered and extolled, songs and poems were written about them (YOSSI BENAYOUN! BENAYOUN! YOSSI BENAYOUN!), every reasonable comfort and honour was given them (including, in some cases, chrome plated Mercedes McLaren SLRs), and women and children and even grown men were moved to tears in their presence (especially in the knock-out stages of cup competitions). Part of this outpouring of emotion and attention was the simple response of a grateful people to men who were willing to risk their lives to protect them. But there was also a certain calculation behind it. The steady pressure of fame and honour tended to embolden the lads still further by constantly reminding them that the fate of the entire people was involved in their performance in battle. At the same time – and this was no small thing in such a high-risk occupation – the honour and glory were in many cases rewards before the fact; on account, as it were. Archaic cultures were quite willing to elevate their single-combat fighters to heroic status even before their blood was let (Welcome, Prince Poldi!), because it was such an effective incentive. Any young man who entered the corps would get his rewards here on earth, “up front,” to use the current phrase, come what may.

So, as our single combat warriors prepare to do battle for us once again this season, let’s do as we always have done, and embolden them with up-front glory and unconditional support. The ACLF way.

Come on, The Arsenal.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on July 17, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 247 Comments.

  1. You’ve done it again! Prose of high quality. Brilliant.
    Shame about Benayoun being cast out though?

  2. 2nd…………….guaranteed CL spot.

  3. Brilliant!

  4. Brilliant, absoultely brilliant. It’s unbelievable Jeff.

  5. Ah…how brave & noble, Arsenal! Arsenal!

  6. if only Stoke supporters could read, your post might move them to change the ethos of their team.

    as for me – i wish only that I had a dragon to slay for arsenals glory.

    you the man, sir

  7. Um. So Ryan Shawcross is Goliath?

  8. arsenalandrew

    Splendid read!

    Especially appreciated the “GOON stoke” portrait; most apt, methinks.

    I wonder what our very own resident single combatant Pedantic George and his new-found partner-in-crime Comedy Dex (the Morecambe & Wise of ACLF) make of it all?

    I have a vision of them taking breakfast in bed together a la M&W, bickering as we read …

  9. You’re mad, limpar.

  10. riproarringred

    Have I strayed into the book of Samuals

  11. ‘Goon Stoke’ ha ha ha. The Philistines of football indeed.

    A quick check on sees Henri Lansbury on the midfielders list for the first team ….. id like to see him get his shot this time around and not go on loan.

    More meetings in the offing with RVP and Theo – enough already just sign the fuckin contrats!! 😉

  12. I can’t see where Lansbury fits in the squad to be honest. he may get some bench time with Wilshere and Diaby missing, but once they are fit he won’t even be making the bench. After a few years of first team action (on loan) will he be happy with that now? I know I wouldn’t.

  13. Good energy, with an eye for the odd goal from midfield – there’s always a place in the squad for that, surely?
    He didn’t play all that much last season under that fat walrus at West Ham, around 20 games all said and done. I reckon he’d be happy with that kind of involvement at The Arsenal this coming season…

  14. LA

    I agree with CBob. You’re quite mad.

    Sad news
    R.I.P. Jon Lord

  15. The words below the photo of Stoke fans seem to be an ominous forecast of David Dein’s future. OOOer.

  16. Does Yossi have to shag Bathsheeba, wife of Uiriah the Hittite ?

    (Presumably in this version that is Mrs Pullis)

    It is a heavy burden to bear

  17. He seems to be a good player, but not really good enough for us. If he is not playing that much at West Ham are we not setting our sights a bit low by saying he could play the same amount of games for us?

    I have nothing against the guy, but he would not improve us in any way, shape oe form.

    And here is the thing; just because he has come through the ranks does not entitle him (or any player) to be given a chance. That type of thinking will see us continue to struggle to make the CL places. He would be a token player in the squad.

    He could probably have a steady career at a mid table club. He needs to play regular first team football at this stage of his career I would think and I would not begrudge him one bit for moving.

  18. I aint saying hes definitely good enough either andy – all I’m saying is hes at least worth a shot to prove himself at the club. He’s 22 this year and hes seen enough lower league football to know the work needed.

  19. Silver Gunner

    I’ll say this about lansbury I believe he will give similar if not better end product to that seen by Ramsey last year if given the same and if that’s true he warrants a place on the bench at the very least. I love his all action style.

  20. We were so short of midfield players with any experience of first team football at times last season I think that may be where Henri “fits” in. We do not want to find ourselves with players making their League debut at Trafford Park (again).

    The absence of any news of Jack is unsettling – no sign of him in pre season pictures – I had assumed we would have been regaled with news of his rehabilitation and date of return as it is two months since his minor knee op.

  21. Deise – Fair enough.

    Silver – I can’t argue with that.

  22. brilliant and entertaining. stuff of legends.

  23. I would rather a player like Henri comes into the squad, knowing that he he give everything he has in every game for the club than make some other idiots career only for them to piss off to another club. More Lansbury’s, Wilshere’s, Frimpong’s, Jenko’s and Gibbs’ please any day! Not only excellent players but real Arsenal men.

  24. My thoughts on the whole RVP Walcott thing: If they want to stay, great sign and get on with it, if they want to leave, fine sod off. If they are trying to hold the club to ransom, sod off as well, who the hell do you think you are? I would say ask the entire squad, “Who here really wants to play for Arsenal?” Anyone that hesitates even for a few seconds, stick them on the list. Every player that pulls on that shirt takes our hopes and dreams and money with them. Unless they feel that, know that and share that, then see you later!

  25. drew – That is the fans persepctive though mate. Players may have a very different view on things. Do you think all of M City’s players have dreamt about playing for them? Do any of them them know the clubs history Not a chance. Still won the lge though.

    i know what you are saying, and I would like the same. But it is not realisitc (or needed) in today’s game unfortunately.

  26. Not needed?

    It’s a terrific advantage though.

    I’d go with drew’s approach but then I’m unlikely ever to manage a successful Premier League team.

  27. It may not be realistic but there are still players out there that consider themselves Arsenal fans. We need more of those players, that is all I am saying.

  28. I noticed the crutches in the picture, are all Stoke supporters on DLA?

  29. Limpar’s lost his marbles!
    Half-naked Stoke fans on ACLF?
    You’re definitely @ home here…lol.

    We have room for Lansbury long term.
    We have no room for doubters.

    who the heck is Paulinho?
    if our purported 9m bid is true, I worry for AA also.

  30. Ha, Ha, Ha. Gwaaan my yute. Ha, Ha, Ha!

  31. Notoverthehill

    Limpar Assist, well written but will not be well received by the “Big Bang Theorists”?

    Keeping up-to-date with the Rangerstaxcase, I came across this site:

    I have followed Livingston through Livi TV. They have 5 seasons of games archived.

    Now, this is how the game is actually played before a smattering of onlookers and committed lovers of playing the game. Local supporters of both clubs, who love a good game of football. Livingston went into financial meltdown and have been brought back from the mortuary! Partick Thistle, certainly in 50’s and 60’s, played in a stadium that was used as a public toilet facility! Look and enjoy.

  32. Bob – Oh, I would agree it is a huge advantage. But M City and Chelsea before them have proved that players do not need to love the club to be succesful. I am sure that once you are winning stuff any club is a much more fun place to be around though.

    I’d like Drew’s approach as well, but as we are seeing we would likely be a much worse football team if that approach were implemented.

  33. Aman – “who the heck is Paulinho?
    if our purported 9m bid is true, I worry for AA also.”

    Why? Different positions altogether.

  34. Great post. David was not viewed by his brothers as a warrior. He was considered less than his brothers. His bigger stronger brothers cowardly shivered in the corner doing nothing. David stood up and fought Goliath for the honour of God. David won. this was Davids destiny. Samuel chose him to be King under the direction of God. With that said the lads will have a long up hill battle but it can be done if the guys pull together as a unit.

  35. My worry is the state of the national game, as it were. If it is true that Man Citeh have asked his club to fly M’Baye Niang to their training camp, I cannot explain my feelings here without recourse to expletives.

    Were it not bad enough that they have consistently sought to buy our first team players, they are now trying to simply ride on the back of our scouting network to grab players we have voiced an interest in. I believe this might have led to our making a formal bid today (‘reportedly’).

    On the positive side, this all suggests the limitation of Mancini and his respect for what Arsene has acheived consistently. That might also explain the reason why we seem the only EPL side against whom they park the proverbial bus.

    F… them

  36. God should have simply killed Goliath. It would have saved all of that hoohah.

  37. read he’s an AM, Andy….

  38. “He is well known to possess extreme levels of mental toughness”…Paulinho

    listed as a midfielder..not specifically an AM.
    could be a box-to-box type

    phew, AA’s fine then…
    I’ll worry about Jack & Abou then..hopefully not Song.

  39. Paulinho rumours seem to ignore the fact that Corinthians have made it clear that they are not willing to sell him!

  40. Deep lying playmaker who plays in the 2 of a 4-2-3-1 at Corinthians…….supposedly!

    This quote on wiki is great ‘He is well known to possess extreme levels of mental toughness’

    Surely an Arsenal fan on a windup..

  41. Nice read LA, and congrats on your victory in the ACLF Euro 2012 league.

    All the best to Lansbury, hope he can make an impact. He looks like a bit of a tank recently, must have been on the Allardyce diet last season. Should add something different to the midfield.

  42. hi guys what do written know about Niang is he as good as his older namesake mamadou?

  43. anyone got a link (or list) of all our present 1st team player contracts with durations?

    maybe as fans we need to help pre-empt things.
    …the force is being tested to the limit every summer!

  44. DeiseG,
    “Deep lying playmaker who plays in the 2 of a 4-2-3-1 at Corinthians…….supposedly!”

    ..thats the Song/Arteta role ain’t it?

    Arsene ain’t slacking is he…

  45. Drew and andy, as usual the answer lies somewhere in the middle, a mixture of home-grown lads with world class players is the recipe for success,Dennis and overmars nicknamed parlour ‘Romford pele’ probably in jest to begin with but when they saw his contribution and how it allowed them to play their appreciation of him was obvious. Let’s give Lansbury a go, by the way I include the likes of gnabry and bellerin as home grown.

  46. I don’t think alligence means anything nowaday. Look at Cole. He was Arsenal through and through, but still had his greedy little head turned.

  47. If anyone would like to take the mickey out of Stoke fans, I welcome you to
    The zombies( or the Goliaths) from Britannia have descended at Untold Arsenal today.

  48. Arsenal Andrew;

    You must be psychic man! I was going to post a youtube clip of M&W in bed together after someone accused me and George of being twins/one and the same insane person! 🙂

    Oh and fine post Limpar, you are even more bonkers than George.

  49. is van persie training with the squad anyway? any news? was away most of yesterday…

  50. Unlike Andy I am not a qualified football coach so cannot say for certain whether he is seen as ‘good enough for us’ as he can so unequivacably.

    What I will say is, that he has always looked decent whenever given the chance to play for his parent club. And his ability to get into the box at just the right time is a valuable trait to possess.

    It is difficult to judge a player from a loan spell as they are often playing under very different styles and circumstances, case in point Fat Sam’s West Ham! I will use Gibbs’ mediocre loan spells as an example that we cannot always tell what will happen with our young players.

    I really hope he makes it with us, before jack emaculate conception Henri was the next big thing. Here’s to thing finally getting the chance to show his stuff.

  51. Ha, Dex, couldn’t resist!

    Don’t hold back posting that clip.

  52. Dex – You don’t need to be a qualified coach to see that at his age he would played more often for us had he been good enough. You just need some eyes and some common sense.

  53. goonerandy

    true, but koscielny and giroud wouldnt have been playing with us now either…

  54. korihikage- I read on ESPN today that he is back as is the rest of the squad.

  55. No Andy, because in your myopic narrow world Ian Wright and others would not have had careers in football, never mind at Arsenal.

    Judging by age is a stupid argument, players arent robots. You don’t ship someone out due to them not ‘doing it’ by a certain age.

    But you think Theo is shite, so no surprises you want to cast off another young player.

  56. I see Kori has blasted your argument for me!

    Thanks Korihikage! 🙂

    Laters dudes.

  57. youtube vids of Paulinho show goals…cool but for a MF I need to see movement, passes, decision making, vision….
    ok, he’s a strong lad but so was The Beast and he couldn’t keep up with our tempo, lacked stamina and was sent back to Spain.


  58. Korihikage – Good point. Slightly different though as he has been on our books for a while so we have have the perfect stage to watch his develpment.

    My point is that both Frimpong and Le Coq have been given chances in the first team younger than him. If he were going to make it with us, he would have been afforded the same chance ages ago. He is so far down the pecking order, I really don’t see him getting a chance unless we have a massive (heh, I know) spate of injuries.

    Which was my initial point really. Is he a good enough 8th or 9th choice reserve? I have no doubt he is. Is that where he should be his age? Not really. He should be playing first team football, and he is not good enough to do that here. Nobody is slagging him off, but that seems to be the size of it no?

  59. Dex – I would like us to “cast off” any players not good enough for the club.

    Amazing on here. My point was that he is in all lilihood not going to make it with us. He has not really shown any signing of breaking into the first team, and at his age he maybe should have done. How that gets translated in to me slagging the player off is so wide of the mark.

    And I don’t think Theo is shite. I think he is horredously inconsistant and frustrating to watch.

  60. Paulinho doesnt want to leave Brazil and his club isnt selling him.

    Yea he does play deeper but can play as an AM. Very technically gifted and like wiki says doesnt seem to ever concede defeat and very mentally strong..

    I know I sound like a brokeb record but dammit sign Ganso! Yea his club president said he’s not selling for less than 45m but thats a lie!

  61. Hey c! How have you been?

  62. oh well C,
    I guess 9m buys u little theses days.
    45/3=15m…max we’d pay for a kid not called Neymar.

    I’m tired of all this summer crap.
    Might have to call it in till the decisions have all been made.

    friggin’ billionaires & bankers..screwing up all thats good in the world!

  63. goonerandy

    don’t forget that when he was breaking out, there was a certain cesc fabregas in our midfield.

    you will say: what about last season? we didnt bring him back when we needed midfielders.

    i don’t know. maybe you are right. but then, wenger himself said he feels that lansbury is the late bloomer kind of player. so who knows?

    does anyone know if conor henderson is still with us?

  64. corr: I guess 9m buys little these days.

  65. @sahil
    Good busy as all hell thats why i have just been reading the blog and posts. How have you been?

  66. Never surprised with the quality of posts on ACLF – thanks LA (and YW).

    Frimpong, Coq, and Henri – all fine young prospects. I won’t forecast an opinion, just allow Arsene to sort out the talent.

    thegeeman @ 10.53
    thanks for your comments – clarity.

  67. korhikage – Yeah, maybe he is.

    Not sure about Henderson. I am sure I rad that he was going out on loan. I may be wrong.

  68. pedantic george

    Nice piece of writing Limps.But ,really.Arshavin is clearly David.He has all the required swash to unbuckle Goliath and is surely diminutive enough.I am disappointed that this clear connection was not made.

  69. @Aman

    Yea I agree but Ganso is worth 15m and even up to 20m I say Arsenal pony up the funds. Eithef player would be a great fit for us.

    I agree with you though lets get on with the real matches i hate summer because of all the rumors and i hate preseason because (knocking on wood) Diaby always gets hurt and doesnt come back.

  70. I know absolutly nothing of this Ganso fellow, but who is not excited by the prospect of signing a Brazilian attacking midfielder?

  71. Conor’s with us, not on loan I believe.

  72. @goonerandy

    Look him up. Touch, vision can pick any pass he wants. Being compared already to Kaka and Zico but with even more talent. Graceful yet powerful, quick but plays at at his own pace. Beautiful 1 touch futbol player but can dribble out of every situation do to great close control! Has an eye for goal but would unleash Theo, RvP, Podolski, Giroud, Gervinho for easy goals. You wath most of Neymars goals and many of them are easy finishes because Ganso played the perfect pass!!!!! Beautiful attacker but presses all over the pitch ffor club and country.

    Dear Arsene

    Pleasr sign Ganso!!!!!

    C from ACLF

  73. GA – very brave predictions about HL. I’m sure you’ll be just as happy as the rest of us to eat your words if he comes good.
    Really we none of us know how good he might be. And being fans we’re by definition irrational so the fact that he’s come through the club and not been shipped in does mean a lot to us. We love it more when one of our own comes good don’t we? It’s natural.

  74. pedantic george

    If we sign this Ganso fellow ,where will Eriksen and Gotze play?

  75. Ganso should make c his agent 🙂

  76. pedantic george

    I think Andy ,or anyone else,should be allowed to offer the opinion that any player might not be quite good enough.

  77. About Paulinho, he’s not a deep lying playmaker nor a n.10. He’s a box-to-box workhorse, a mix of Sandro and Ramires. He’s everywhere on the pitch, very intelligent on his positioning, thus scores a lot for a CM. He IS Premier League material.

    Having said that, I don’t think we need another CM at the moment.

  78. Gortze will play at Dortmund and Ericksen can sit a year!

    I could be his agent!

  79. Steww – I am always happy to eat my words if a player I have thought not good enough proves me wrong. It is a win win for me 🙂

  80. C’s view on Ganso must be based on his pre-2010 World Cup performances. Since then (it’s two years!) he’s been struggling with injuries and is nowhere as influential as before, walks on the pitch and often sulks in the opposition DM’s pocket. I want to believe it’s just a confidence problem from injuries and public fights over his contract with Santos board (to the point Santos doesn’t want him anyomre).

    I would be the most excited if we sign him, as he has the potential to be leagues’ best player in a year or two, but his pricetag is ridiculous given his recent history.

  81. Great post limpar. I wish you would come back regularly rather then hit and run. Your combination of wit and cynicism is unrivaled among the posters who have been regulars at one time or another during the last several years.

    A little sad that a club like ours has to even think or worry about a bunch of goons like stoke. That team should be like a bug crushed on the windshield of our speeding car. They truly are Neanderthals but their style of play keeps them in the PL. Had they tried any other tactics they would have been relegated long ago.

    Time will tell what happens to Lansbury. The boss will give him every chance I am sure but I doubt he will see any more time on our pitch then Denilson this season unless we have another injury crisis. Whatever happens I hope for a long and productive career for him.

  82. Didnt we assert that the whole Ganso thing was a rumour started from twitter ??

  83. The silly season is silly is it not?
    Save for gems like Limpar’s post.

    People make declarations like: ‘ I’m not sure if an nineteen/eighteen year Wilshere is good enough to be playing in the first team for Arsenal’.
    Just teasing.

  84. Brazil’s squad for the Olympics is so freaking exciting. I’m looking forward to seeing if they have the mental attributes to succeed because they definitely have the skill, Lucas Mourra’s videos on youtube are damn exciting.

  85. I don’t mean to melt any gr*tballs but the comparative budgets and tactics of Stoke and Swansea last season should happily conclude any D-Fence of Stoke’s cheating. Thanks.

  86. @mentalist

    I would have to disagree with you on his influence on Santos. has he been injured yes i have never denied that but you must also look at when he is on the pitch he still plays at a high level and along with Neymar is why Santos is successful. part of his contract dispute with Santos is he wants to be paid like a top player at Santos but has grown tired of not getting marketed by Santos.

    If we sign him I do agree with you about being the bet player.

    you must also realize his situation was similar to Jack in that he was never given rest to fully recover intially and now he is through injury

  87. Was Tony Poolis offered a job at a grand old club, not one that is owned by a betting company? Was he fwuck.

  88. @jeff

    I completely agree but this is being touted as the generarion that will bring loads of international trophies and bring Brazil back to world domination and I dont doubt it.

    Lucas Moura
    Leando DamiAo
    Lucas Lieva

    Are just a couple

  89. You are a star, you are, Limpar…here you go

  90. Stewart Robson on talksport saying Arsene is the blame for RVP wanting to leave. Does he still work for Arsenal ???

  91. LImpar is probably not mad.

    Though the problem with casting Shawcross as Goliath is that before his encounter with David, Goliath had an impressive repuation.

  92. This bloke does write some sensible stuff.

    Can anybody explain to me how it is that we seemingly have to pay £15 million a year to pay off the debt over 21 years, yet only owe £98 million? I make that £315

    That seems a mighty steep rate of interest, given the fact that I understood the deal to be on very good terms.

  93. “Ganso should make c his agent ”

    Then he’d be priced out of our range.;) The ganso in c’s world would have to be valued at 50 million and 200 thousand a week.

  94. Banans are not the only fruit.

  95. rpt:
    anyone got a link (or list) of all our present 1st team player contracts with durations?

  96. “Can anybody explain to me how it is that we seemingly have to pay £15 million a year to pay off the debt over 21 years, yet only owe £98 million? ”
    I wondered that last month when I mentioned our annual interest payments. Pretty sure I could get a better deal from a loan shark.

  97. Or even bananas.

  98. Bob – Maybe we went to to secure the loan?

  99. I quite like mangos

  100. “goonerandy | July 17, 2012 at 10:59 am
    God should have simply killed Goliath. It would have saved all of that hoohah.

    Aman | July 17, 2012 at 11:01 am
    he’s an AM, Andy….”

    God is an AM? Sign him up now!

  101. dk – Heh, he/she would have loftier ambitions than our humble little club. M city would be a sure destination.

    Or Hull of course. Great fish and chips.

  102. @philmar

    No i wyuld make sure to get a great deal done because I love ArsenL to much to fuck them over. Matter of fact mate i couldnt be an agent

  103. c – I bet if you were getting a couple of million commission on each deal you would reconsider your position. 😉

  104. Cbob- In 2006 the club converted the debt in terms of bonds. The interest rate was around 5 percent which was a good rate in pre recession times. The 5 percent was fixed on a debt of arond 300 million for25 years which works around 15 million. We have to pay that interest for next 21 years no matter how much the net debt decreases.

  105. @goonerandy

    Maybe but i woulda had a RvP Theo and Song deals signed!!!!!! I wouldnt be such a cunt though.

  106. The currency for praise is the banana. End of.

  107. And no people on here could not have got a better deal.

  108. Not sure the end’s the best bit.

  109. Two bonds were issued, one for £210 million and one for £50 mill to be paid off in full in September 2028 and 2031 respectively.

    The transfer of the bank debt to bonds in 2007 reduced interest payments on that £260 million by around £12 million year.

    It was as slick a deal as has was seen in football finance unitil Mike Ashley heard the words “Kenny is on the phone”

  110. “It was as slick a deal as has was seen in football finance unitil Mike Ashley heard the words “Kenny is on the phone””


  111. Notoverthehill

    For those who queried! Very brief and the source is the Annual Financial Report for Arsenal Holdings Plc, 2010/2011.

    The net debt is shewn in Notes to the Accounts of 2010/2011, Note 25(b) Reconciliation of net cash to movement in net debt = £97.8 millions.

    In Notes to the Accounts 2010/2011, Note 18 Derivative Financial Instruments are shewn:

    Bonds – fixed rate £183.428 millions
    Bonds – floating rate £50,000 millions
    Debenture loans £12,642 millions.

    This part refers to the reason for £20 millions profit to pay the interest on these bonds, before we start thinking about a transfer treasure chest!

    The Bonds and Loan ALL have to be repaid in accordance with the terms of the Bonds.

    Yogi, the floor is yours?

  112. Aman |”God is an AM, Andy….””

    So then Jesus, who saves, is a keeper.

  113. Jesus would have been from a family of goalkeeps. His mother was a Virgin and thus kept many a sheet clean.

  114. Excellent article, and I doubt that many will read it and not think of this very comments section on some days 🙂

  115. Silver Gunner

    Jeff agree RE brasil squad looks amazing even more so than the Spanish very happy to have my final tickets 🙂

  116. He would have been nailed on to collect every cross as well.

    *gets coat*

  117. Shame on Stewart Robson for giving HIS point of view.He was i thinking we lived in a country of free speech.Oh well

  118. sshh guys, khalifa cannot…repeat, cannot handle this type of commentary,
    please be sensitive about his sensitivities and move on to lighter analogies…

    i suppose john the baptist would be a DM wouldn’t he then!

    (i could NOT resist)

  119. Sensational Arsenal

    So Moses would be the create midfielder who splits defences.

  120. Stewart Robson has a crucially important role in testing the principle of free speech to breaking point.

  121. We had him loan didn’t we? The beast?

  122. Im seeing Van Persie’s face in the pictures for pre-season, i can’t say i don’t feel a little angry when i look at the pictures.

  123. Seeing so many pictures of RVP in the training pictures, maybe its some sort of PR to let the fans know he wont be leaving. i’m almost certain we wont let him go

  124. goonerandy

    was that Baptiste by any chance?

  125. SA – not Moses, Aaron.

  126. Martin, saying someone should shut it, is also free speech.

  127. Moe – Julio (the Beast) Baptista. Close enough, perhaps the English translation?

  128. goonerandy

    Haha yh most likely, i thought he was descent when he played for us, would have liked him to stay on.

    And theres something going on here, because the pre-season pictures have ALOT of pictures of van persie. More than is neccessary to be honest, im guessing that he WILL stay but he won’t sign a new deal and the club want to reintroduce him to the fans, kind of integrate him so we don’t feel as much animosity towards him as we would.

    To be completely honest, i don’t know how i feel about Van Persie, i feel almost betrayed and trust isn’t gained easily with me. I see him training and i can’t help but have a slight doubt in the back of my mind that he isnt fully commited to the cause, and whenever he has a bad game, there will always be a little voice in my head telling me it’s because he doesn’t want to be there. I can’t help it , i am human.

  129. John the baptist would just run around like a headless chicken

  130. Just looking @ the training pics….wow,
    methinks Robin wanting to leave has really shaken AW…

    kind of like a father would feel if his youngest son who was sickly all his life, for whom he had sacrificed many opportunities to move the family to a warmer climate because of his health and had also refused numerous offers of a much higher salary for, came home the day after bagging his first Phd. and told his dad he didn’t want to bear the family last name again because he always disliked his father’s values & way of life!!!!!!!

    ..a travesty

  131. I am offski like Podolski.

    Laters 🙂

  132. BUT, looking @ the pics…Robin looks to have grayed up quite a bit….and there is quite a bit of pain & sadness in his eyes…..

    …”u don’t know what u’ve got till u lose it dude!”

  133. Aman

    He looks like a man in mourning, its quite sad to see really.

    And Van Persie’s Grey hair is maybe Karma

  134. Wenger looks like a man in mourning that is

  135. Bendtner looks like he’s waiting for his agent to get him the f**k out of here!

    AA looks positively radiant…what a guy!

  136. Thanks for the finacial gen, people.

    So, the £15 million a year is for a looong time.

  137. i think wenger looks like a man on a mission. and i think the pics of van persie is meant to show everyone: look he is here. to shut people up.

  138. arshavin and ryo have a similar look…

  139. Accountancy is so fucking dull..

    Robin van Persie…clickclickclick

    Robin van Persie…..clickclickclick

    Sign him up..sign him up…sign him up!………sign him up…sign him up…. sign him uurrrup.

  140. Cbob @ 2:09.

    Thanks for that link. The writer mentioned Swiss ramble as the most authoritative source and swiss ramble indicated a couple of years ago that we could safely spend up to $50M, and that’s where the whole idea of a $50M war chest came from. What he is saying in that article seems to contradict what Swiss Ramble said even though he gives Swiss Ramble credit for having a much better understanding of financial picture. Additionally, I thought Ivan mentioned a similar amount at a meeting a couple years ago. I remember because we talked about how the club was changing its tactics and letting the world know how much we could spend and that might make it harder for arsene to drive a tough bargain. A couple of years ago arsene said that the club had finally gotten to where our financial situation was not an major impediment. Ivan, PHW, and arsene have always said that there is money available if needed and that was before we made some tidy transfer profits the last few years. Then last season arsene implied that he had to make a transfer profit just for the club to break even. and there is not going to be any real change in our debt payments for 15 years. All sorts of contradictory information from the rumour mill, the press but also from the club itself. All very confusing.

  141. The training pictures are in the same spirit as the hundreds of pictures of Steve Bould and Neil Banfield in the last lot. Focusing on the main men. This one is RvP, a main man. They always have loads of pictures of Arsene, too.

  142. Moe,
    these pics speak volumes don’t they….
    to think in a month’s time 5-7 of these guys might not be here?

    ..its enough to mourn don’t u think?

  143. Aman, I feel really sorry for Wenger. The man has tried to stick to his beliefs and the players have benefited from in but the players don’t really care.

  144. Think AW just told him he can’t leave till next summer…
    A tense meeting between “father” & “son”..
    never the easiest…

  145. Well there are three fellows who are certainly not in the photos. One is on Olympic duty..probably moonlighting as a security guard, but what of the other two? Have you spotted them readers? I mean have you not spotted them? Oh fuck… I mean have you spotted that they are not to be spotted?

  146. Vela is moving to Real Sociedad

  147. Aman

    It’s not the same pictures i used to see with Van Persie Smiling and Wenger and him walkin and talking.

    I would have thought Wenger would have had a word with The Squad about Van Persie, or a word to van persie, or a word to anyone to be honest. I can’t imagine that Van persie just waltzed back into the squad training.

  148. Frank

    The others have progressed further in the Euros so are being given more time than the rest. SO Probably the whole squad to be back on thursday or friday maybe

  149. Well he did, Moe, and I have not doubt that he arrived to an ovation from the rest of the players. He is Arsenal’s captain.

  150. AW’s a trooper..he’ll be alright.
    He’ll work thru it.
    I actually don’t mind greater ruthlessness.
    Steve Bould looks like he’s got some in him…if Arsene ever needs someone’s knee caps dented….

    no sign yet of Theo, LJP, OG, Per, Kos, or Jack, Bac & Frimp..(I won’t mind the crutches)
    seeing the boys always makes me feel better..
    …tired of reading speculations

  151. pic 17 of Nik & Song is soo interesting to me…

    Nik like i mentioned earlier looks like he can’t wait to exit, his ego can’t stand the fact that he’s still an employee at the place he was taught how to walk!

    Song looks like he’s taking it all in, preparing, making sure he does not make similar, messy mistakes as this year’s contractees…

  152. Look like guys who do not enjoy fitness training to me. Totally agree with them.

  153. Trooper or not, the man does not deserve this amount of crap yearly?

  154. Are you seriously interpreting these pictures as AW being stressed by players contracts? He is more likely to be stressed by the fitness stats he is receiving from his management team.This is July not the end of August.

  155. fitness stats

    thats funny!

  156. i agree Paul-N,

    wish i could bake him a cake…

    or better still hypnotize Messi to force his way out of Barca and be signed (till 2022), dressed & training @ Colney by friday in time for the trip to Asia….

    i bet that’d bring him some joy,
    confuse the sh*t out of everyone,
    and maybe even let Yogi allow Hunter13 in for the weekend to gloat about,
    “how true genius always recognizes true genius…Messi knows Wenger knows!”

  157. fitness stats?
    u said it yourself Frank, its July not August.

  158. Silly idea, He would worry about his players nicking his cake and getting fat. Best leave him to getting this bunch over their holidays and back into playing mode. Send him fruit and vegetables if you want to help.

  159. This fellow has to get these players back to fitness and playing his brand of football again…at pace, whilst nursing them through a trip to China etc.

  160. fruits & veggies it is then….bananas, mangoes, celery & asparagus

  161. ..and pasta. Lots of pasta.

  162. isn’t pasta fattening ?

  163. Nope not if you are running the equivalent of 11-15km a day. Burn off the carbs very easily. Most cakes are full of fat, or those worth eating are anyway.

  164. Yes Aman, mangoes! that’s what I am talking about!

  165. Hilarious! And Quite True!……….We are the Arsenal……..ho! ho! hoo! Arsenal! Arsenal. You have my support, 100%

  166. pedantic george | July 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    I think Andy ,or anyone else,should be allowed to offer the opinion that any player might not be quite good enough.

    Haha! No surprises you would say that george, given that a) You also slate Theo and b) also think ansbury aint good enough.

    It’s nice to see you have no compunction of the poeple you affiliate yourself self with, or defend, as long as they share your rather jaundiced, doom mongering views.

    What a hypocrite.

  167. Ola Soyoye,
    i take it you’d like me to hypnotize Messi?

  168. Why is Stewart Robson being asked his opinions about Arsenal? Given the fact he isnt a Gooner and had to jump before he was pushed out by the club, any view point would obviously be as skewed and warped as your average doomer.

    Oh, so that’s why talkshite asked him.

  169. Pffft, SSN ‘transfer talk’ is just waffle and bullshit. A televised version of the twaddle in the tabloids, yet people suck it up. Including me! 🙂

  170. Soo supposedly

    1) the club has said RVO cant leave – of course he cant, he under contract bish – unless the club and player agree to void it

    2) the club have turned down a 25 mil pound bid for Theo from Chelski!

    Looking at those training pics, RVP looks like hes got a fair few more grey hairs and Song still needs to sort his barnet out!

  171. Frank | July 17, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Come on Frank! you really think that after all that has been said and not done that there might not be a smidge of tension, a slight offishness (not a real word i know) from the players or manager.

    If he literally did walk back into the squad without any hint of anything from anybody, then they make a different breed of human down at Arsenal.

  172. pedantic george

    Dexter.Is it my fault you don’t know your arse from your elbow when it comes to judging a player.
    Pass me my tea ,will you?

  173. pedantic george

    No Moe.The players all love and respect him for putting their contract negotiations before his career.
    He is the greatest visionary captain in the history of the club .Dont you listen?

  174. Here you go dear;

  175. Deise; We’ve rejected a £25m bid for Theo?

  176. George; Not fair, you didnt bite like Andy did! 🙂

  177. So a bit more fun on the training pics, some are in red and some are in white. I assume the red ones are temporary squad numbers. Ryo has a white (permanent?) squad number. Szczesny has no squad number on his shirt, but I’m guessing that’s because he will be given the number one shirt when squad numbers are finalised. Bendtner doesn’t have a number on his shirt either, no surprise there.

  178. The ONLY people talking to the media are sharks, agents and leeches. Check this pure agent spiel from the Guardian about Walcott’s situation;

    “Walcott was scheduled to start discussions with Arsenal over a new deal in January but his form dipped and he decided to concentrate on recovering it and postponed the talks.”

    Utter baloney, as if you cannot do both. As if sorting out a new deal interferes with your football one iota.


  179. maybe the players arent even aware of the statement?!

  180. Kori;

    Perhaps. They do have it hard, what with training from 10am – 2pm 3 days a week n all! Then there’s the shopping, XBox sessions and sleeping. There aint enough hours in the day to sit down and watch Sky Sports news is there man! 🙂

  181. Thanks Deise.

  182. Dex – i reckon Theo’s crew said we will leave it till after the euros where Theo might have a blinder of a tournament and be able to ask for more wages and an extra 2 % for the agent!!

  183. Does anyone know when tickets go on sale for the Sunderland game?

  184. Deise;

    Once again a footballer has been piss poorly advised by a greedy agent IMO. These wankers think the trough is unlimited and can slurp from it ad infinitum! The 2 worse things that happened to football are the introduction of these blood suckers and the Premier league.


    I’ve been told it’s end of July man.

  185. Laughed my butt off this morning when The Sun managed to make out the RVP was definitely off as he wasn’t included in the online catalogue. He was out of the country when the promotional stuff for the new away kit was produced anyway.

  186. …and he is the heavily featured in the home kit AND the Arsenal shop.

  187. Cheers Dexter

    If Chelsea want to buy Walcott for £25 million they can have him.

  188. george

    Oh sorry how fickle of me, i forget such great men never do wrong.

  189. 😉 forgot the wink ,never forget the wink

  190. George; From the BBC website


    Dexter Wansel on Twitter: “Arsenal after a disastrous start still finished 3rd With the players acclimatised and new strikers they can push on and finish in the top two.”

  191. Do long time readers remember what was written by myself and Ole Gunner during the Ade saga? Don’t worry, I won’t repeat! For those who might be curious, whatever Ole Gunner is tweeting about at the moment will be more articulate then any of my own rambles.

    Anyway, I never did join in the songs for Arshavin that sang more about Adebayor. As time passed and passed I felt it bacame a really crap song for Arshavin. As in proper crap. He deserved better. If only for the assist and pre-assist for two of Henry’s goals.

    I’m sure George will agree with me!

  192. pedantic george

    I do indeed

  193. @stewblack, I’ll be reconciling warring factions tonight playing Garnet Mimms and Banana songs to bring people together. #sbonsv

  194. Stop buttering up george Fins!

  195. Dexter

    yup there is no time left to watch silly sky sports news.

  196. Steww

    Can you play ‘Hey fatty Bum Bum’ for George please?

  197. though there is no time left to watch silly sky sports news I bet they have each of their mates tweeting/emailing them about transfer rumours.

    I don’t know if John the Baptist would be a good DM or not. I do know he’d be a crap striker because he was useless heading the ball.

  198. Arsenal were ranked as the 10th most valuable sports franchise in the world today by Forbes magazine. Maybe that’s why the agents are agitating and salivating.

  199. Limestonegunner

    First noticed the signs of silver during one of RvP’s early matches in 20010-11 season after re-joining from the world cup induced extra rest and injuries that absorbed the first half of the season.

    He had a bit more of a sprinkle of silvery gray this last season, but I have to say he is going gray very fast in these photos. Seems related to international tournaments with Holland!

    Very distinguished looking but it isn’t going to help his transfer value. Maybe these should be circulated in certain quarters (ManCity, Juventus, and Barcelona) with a caption: “turns 30 after next season…” Might help depress his value.

  200. Limestonegunner

    Arsenal’s value is high, but its revenues have stagnated the last several years. Still in the top 5, I think, but clubs like Chelsea, ManCity, PSG, Malaga, Anzhi are behind us in revenue but not in resources/budgets.

    Our value is high because of AW and Arsenal’s success in a period of major global expansion of the PL, and subsequent to that success on the pitch it has build a large modern stadium in one of the great capital cities of the world.

    We should be a major force in Europe, but the sugar daddies and clubs ahead of us in revenue (Real, Barca, ManU, Bayern) are constraining us. We should be able to do better than we have, however, against the Italian and other German clubs.

  201. pedantic george

    Why which German and Italian clubs have qualified for the CL for the last 15 years LG?

  202. Is this a trick question?

  203. Ostrich

  204. Not I think in the South

  205. I hope to be free of my burden soon. This is getting heavier and heavier…however.

    Robin Van Persie…clickclickclick

    Robin Van Persie….clickclickclick

  206. Limestonegunner

    Done better in the CL, George, not in getting to the CL. It was vaguely phrased, perhaps. But actually, it really is only the Italian teams we could have done better than, namely Milan. Inter were essentially a sugar daddy team for a period there, but the last five or six years Milan has not been propped up by Berlusconi. Juventus hasn’t been in the picture. It will be interesting to compare this coming season. None of the German teams have been better than us except Bayern, who are narrowly ahead financially.

    But as I pointed out the other day, the groups could be very rough next year with several pretty strong but low coefficient teams in the competition.

  207. And as we enter the final hours of his tenure…

    Watching such a hero transform himself into a pariah is deeply disturbing experience. To extend Limpar’s analogy it is a bit like watching Dave square up to Goliath and then announce that he is changing sides.

  208. Bring on Eddie Stobart. Load up the lorries with our RvP emblazoned Arsenal shirts and let us ready ourselves to dump them on his sodden Cheshire lawn.

  209. Erase his name from the record books. Send his father’s pictures back to Rotterdam. remove the stain of his ‘opas’ feet from the Arsenal turf, give his children a Northern lilt….

  210. pedantic george

    I thought he wanted to stay.With improved deals for he cronies Theo and Alex.

  211. This is quite funny. I doubt it is true but it says that City want him also, a striker?!

  212. snicker, snicker, snarky george

  213. well, are we talking about RVP here?

    I am not sure, but I am fed up. I am hoping for a statement by tomorrow from the club. Get this settled and move on.

  214. pedantic george

    Just saying.Frank .
    Or has you position changed ? Yet again?

  215. Paul N; Regardless of the eventual outcome, the silence/waiting game is ridiculously frustrating isnt it man?

  216. My position often changes, snarky george. It depends on the evidence presented to me. Is an immovable position a virtue?


    Don’t know if i belive it but maybe there is some head way in all this boring drama.

    And for those who think that all this will be over once we sell him , i doubt it, depending on if he’s as classless as nasri (his statement left a bad taste), he may take parting shots at us.

  218. This situation above all others is lamentable. Different scale to the others.

  219. pedantic george

    Theory’s are not evidence Frank. Ridiculous ones even less so.

  220. pedantic george

    Moe ,he will do nothing that might hurt his comrades he leaves behind.
    After all ,the whole episode was for their benefit .For the greater good and all.

  221. Theories, snarky george? Speculative games. I have always wanted the player to stay. Happy to pose any number of theories in the absence of evidence, no matter how ridiculous. This is a player I have had a lot of faith in for eight years. Stood by him when he was in real trouble and stood by him until the end. But today, this very hour, I have been presented with different evidence…and so my position has changed.

  222. His ‘comrades’ are no more trustworthy than he is, snarky george. No Arsenal contracted football player can be trusted now. Not one. The consequences of this will reverberate for years to come. ‘No more heroes anymore….’

  223. pedantic george

    What new evidence.Loyal Frank

  224. Limpar was right

  225. george

    Yep, and his statement was just to make things easier for his team mates, to let them know beforehand. Infact all of this is in the benefit of the club. AT least this way , they get a refund for the medical bill.

  226. fuck stoke
    stoke are shit..

    im thinking that if it goes tits up this summer, we should employ a policy of sign or be sold, like others have suggested, going into the last TWO years..

    fuck it..offer everyone in the squad a new deal..those lads last year did well, they deserve it, but those who refuse within two years left – just sell em..

    that includes song and kozzer in this scenario….

    whats the point in having a ‘strict’ wage structure when theres nothing really strict about it, the players abuse it if anything…

    so fuck em, learn from the errors and adapt to the situation..take some control back…

    saying all that, i really would like them all to sign, because i think with the striker additions we can really go for it this year..

    with a squad full of strikers and hopefully no injuries to wingbacks, or any other complete anihilation of a position, as well as the same players i can see us winning something..

  227. pedantic george

    Yes,Robin appear the very definition of Altruism.

  228. the positive i take from all this;

    if we do have another mini player walkout then that makes a whole team gone in two summers..

    its sickening really..

    but at least the bulk of the new team will all be on 4-5 year deals because of all the new/replacement signings..

    hopefully we’ll get a good few years out of them and if they are any good we might have a bit more success before they all refuse to extend their contracts…

  229. I am intrigued as to what new evidence there is too?

  230. agree with the comments about lansbury coming in for benny as well..

    im kinda gutted we havent got him back to be honest, but i think lansburys a good call…

  231. if the game takes away our heroes then theres no point anymore..

    football to me is about cheering for your heros and the club you love, wanting them to do well..
    its not about cheering for a business and its employees..
    and thats what its becoming isnt it?

    everyday we talk about finances and contracts..

    5-10 years ago there were only few people who cared and before that nobody at all gave a fuck really..

    jumpers and goalposts is becoming chequebook and pens and when it gets to the point you stop trusting the players then there is no point at all…

  232. Football is just another capitlaist tool JJ. Arsenal, ManU are Levi’s and Coca Cola, just brands. But brands with incredibly loyal customers.

    That is the USP that makes them ripe for the picking. However, i can see a time where this loyalty is no so guaranteed, where customers simply graze bewteen various clubs, depending on success and marketability.

    United sign a japanese player, we sign a S Korean. They might be good players, but you know the money from marketing is very lucrative too. Opens up lots of potential revenue streams etc.

    basically, I am talking about the death of football as we know it.

    And on that cheery note, I am off to bed.

    You coming george? 🙂

  233. The Arse in The Gamb

    Stirring stuff. Can’t help thinking that it is looking more like a Bonfire of the Vanities though. Hard to be stirred by the right stuff when our heros turn out to be greenback junkies and are ready to snort every cent the financial world can conjure for the game.

    I will feel more positive when the season’s prelims are done.

  234. Yeh Dex. Enough of this rubbish already! no repeat of last season, please!

  235. as soon as the boys walk out onto the hallowed turf again for real football then everyone will be back in love again..
    until we lose..
    and then the games a pile of shit, kreonkes a crook, theres no heroes and the mrs aint getting none..

  236. I pray to god , tomorow we can have an end to all this rubbish, or Arsenal give us something to distract us with. Something, anything , please.

  237. Ok LIMPAR….
    Up the. ISRAELITES!!!!!!

  238. Great post by the way

  239. Limestonegunner

    We used to be ranked higher on that Forbes list, I thought. Last year, we were 7th and actually ahead of Barcelona.

  240. Yep LG we were ranked higher in previous years. We have been ranked third highest football club in Forbes list for a number of years before this one.

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