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The fallout: Villa, Tottenham, Man C, Liverpool, Newcastle, Arsenal etc next season

By Tony Attwood

I have tried to get this article written five times, and each time something else happens.  It is as if there is more action in the Premier League out of the season than within it.

The idea of the original article was to do a quick review of a few clubs in terms of what they are facing in the close season.  But events move on.

However in the hope that nothing happens in the next half hour while I write this piece, here we go…

Liverpool.

They finished 8th in the league a lot closer to being relegated than to winning the league.   They reported a loss of around £50m for the last financial year as a result of the failed new stadium costs and payoffs to the former manager Roy Hodgson and other staff.

Now they have another pay out for the sacking of Dalgleish and other staff.

Fenway Sports Group has already wiped £200m worth of debt out in buying the club and the club is still being sued by Tom Hicks and George Gillett.  Roy Hodgson lasted 191 days.  The departure of MD Christian Purslow cost a further £8.4m.  It is called turmoil

Ian Ayre, the current managing director, said ” We have written off a huge amount on the stadium project. A big chunk of that £50m loss relates to the HKS project – which is now defunct – and associated costs around that.”   That was before the latest managerial sackings.

As we noted in an earlier piece, it is interesting that Mr Dalglish was sacked after winning their first trophy in six years.  Clearly in the eyes of Liverpool’s owner the craving for a trophy is outweighed by the need to a) finish above Everton and b) get into the Champs League.   In fact the owner stated at the start of the season that it would be “a major disappointment” should Liverpool not finish in the top four having spent £120m investment in new players.
And that is really the problem.  There are a lot of clubs that want to finish in the top four: Man U, Man C, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea, Newcastle…

Moving on there is Man City, whose manager is demanding more money to secure the next league win on points rather than goal difference.  They want Van Persie, Eden Hazard… the list could go on and on.   But the top dogs are saying the club should not spend, as it wants to meet the FFP regulations.  So the battle here is, who is going to win – the owner or the manager?

Mancini said, “Barcelona and Real Madrid every year buy two or three players and spend a lot of money. I think for Manchester City it will be the same. We need to improve. We need to have the strength to play Champions League and Premier League.”

Tottenham have a different issue.  Redknapp, every year, loves to deal in players and repeatedly said that he did not have a big enough squad at Tottenham this year.  He has made it clear he wants to unload a lot of players, keep some like Modric, and buy all sorts of others. It is the normal Arry style.  The issue is, will people want to buy Tottenham’s unwanted at a price that does not make Tottenham a big loss, and then will Arry have enough money to buy the sort of players he wants?

At the same time Tottenham have a stadium to build – which means raising a lot of money there.  The double requirement of funding stretched Arsenal’s arrangements considerably, but it could stretch Tottenham even further, even with the donation Mayor Boris has promised Tottenham.

Moving down the scale there is Aston Villa – with their worst season in quite a while and four managers in a couple of seasons.  The problem with such a club is that it is clear that there is not much money for transfers (it seems to have been spent on managers) and yet there is a large amount of transferring to do.   Would Paul Lambert really fancy such a challenge knowing that the fans want a top six finish to get Euro football?

Last time they chose Alex McLeish, a man that Villa fans liked because he had relegated Birmingham twice – but didn’t fancy as their own manager.

Villa’s chief executive Paul Faulkner, recently said, “Aston Villa as a club is very strong – there’s an awful lot of reasons you would want to come here.”   I really can’t see that, especially as he also said, “This is the worst year Villa has had in a generation.”

So what of Newcastle?

Ten years ago, they finished fourth under Sir Bobby Robson. The following year they finished third, but after finishing fifth the year after that, he was suddenly sacked.

It shows how problematic achievements can be.  As relegation candidates, a rise to mid-table would have suited the current manager.  Now he has to improve on a performance that has surprised everyone.  Robson became a victim of his own success.  This might happen again.  Would the board be satisfied with a drop down to mid-table obscurity next season?

West Ham have Sam Allardyce who is threatening to sue Steve Kean and Blackburn Rovers following a video that shows the club’s manager making disparaging remarks about his former colleague.  Mind you Sam the Slug has threatened for years to sue the BBC over something they said about doing naughty things, but never has.

Kean’s video shows him saying Rovers will definitely finish in the top 10 this season just finished, and win the Carling Cup.

Meanwhile there is Rangers FC.   There seems no settlement in sight of their tax bill, they will lose some of their first team this summer (because they all negotiated new contracts at lower salaries in return for agreements that they could leave this summer), they will get further punishment if they go into liquidation, they are being fined for past errors of judgement, and they are not allowed to sign any players over 18 for a year.

And thus we come to Arsenal.

Our big surprise packages this past season were Arteta and Rosicky, plus the arrival of a stunning goalkeeper at a time when the AAA said we had to buy one, plus a really powerful pair in defence (Kos emerging wonderfully in this role).

At the moment of writing I don’t know about Van Persie, but if he were to go we would presumably have a replacement in mind.

With luck Jack will be back, and we won’t have any more long term disasters.  Oxlade-Chamberlain looked a great talent, Theo came good, and waiting in the wings is Coquelin.

In addition to that we usually have an unexpected signing and an unexpected youngster moving into the first team.  It could be rather interesting.

Of course we need to make up 18 odd points on Manchester.   This could be done by

a) beating them where we were defeated (3 points to us -3 to them = 6)

b) winning four games we lost (=12 points)

I know it is never as simple as that, but it is certainly possible.  What we do know is that we are very unlikely to lose a whole section of the team (Jack, Nasri, Cesc) just as the season starts.  Yes the departure of Robin would be a great blow, but there are other talents out there.

But here’s a thought that keeps bobbing up in my mind.  I never thought that Robin could be the centre forward he has been this year – I just didn’t believe it possible.  I didn’t believe that Henry, who I had watched endlessly drifting down the left, could become the greatest player we had ever seen. Yet both were there in front of my face.

So way out answers are possible.  Oxlade Chamberlain as a centre forward.  Ryo on the wing, Theo in the middle?  I certainly don’t know.  That’s why I write about it.

Untold Arsenal

65 comments to The fallout: Villa, Tottenham, Man C, Liverpool, Newcastle, Arsenal etc next season

  • togara

    l dont think gunners realise how much we lost yesterday 125 years of being london kings died yesterday l love arsenal but lm tired of defending it its sad

  • Gerry Lennon

    Better post for the maturing of time? You do make Arsenal look very good, which is a joy to read, thanks.
    I have to agree with you on RVP. I have always held the view that as a striker, he is difficult to build a team around because of the way he plays. I think Gervinho, in the early part of the season, was the first partner to compliment his game. Which is why I worry just how Podolski will work with him?
    Building a team around Podolski would be much simpler?
    I do hope you are right about alternatives though. There you have a conundrum: With the sale of RVP, plus the current budget for transfers, I could put a name to three players that might help bridge that gap you were talking about. On the other hand, you pay a big boost to Robin’s salary and have little left for tranfers that have a 4 year contract tied in?
    Who’d be a football manager? …. No, a real one, idiot!

  • Lanz

    Nice one. I am for everything this site stands for. However, lately, I am begining to think, “should Robin’s proposed new pay be just about half of Rooney’s present pay?”. I really hope AW does “all he can” to retain him- even though noone is above the good of the club.

  • simon

    site is a bit of a joke. we are a poor team. when we won we won by scrapping through. we had no easy victories and if Arsene cannot see it then we are in for another season of praying other teams fail. too long we have tried to be penny pinching and bring through youth. it hasnt worked so why keep doing it! show some ambition and stop trying to polish a turd.
    RVP sees it. non diluded fans see it. show some ambition. spend some money and buy players someone has heard of.
    Ramsay sucks ass. Djourou isnt good enough. we dont have a left back. no cover for right back and no goal scoring midfielders. no wingers. and Podolski isnt proven yet. and if RVP leaves or gets injured then we have 0! walcott is back up at best and song is one of worst DEFENSIVE midfielders out there. look at stats. its all proven. i dont even get paid for this and i can see it.

  • colario

    Two points or rather one question and one comment.
    Question: Are manure beyond your horizion thus no reference to them.
    I read your comments about us and observed that the ‘eternal hope’, for the new season has already stirred in your ‘Arsenal heart’ A bit early for that don’t you think!

    May I suggest that between now and the new season you get out the bucket and spade and find yourself a sunny beach and build castles in the sand for a couple of weeks. It won’t cure you of your eternal hope of that I am sure but its holiday time – go – enjoy. Return to us with ever better ‘Untold Arsenal blogs.

  • Charlie

    Arsenal can be considered as having an average season but conidering the financial disparity with City, United and Chelsea who had better seasons we shouldn’t have expected much better. Man City might suffer severely from FFFP but we need to wait and see. IF they feared the consequences you would not expect them to be linked with Hazard and RvP because that would just add another 50m+ to the 200m or so that they need to make in profit this year to meet the requirements. They will struggle to sell anyone due the wages that they’re paying so I don’t see how they can expect to ever meet the requirements. Then the question is do the players care or will they happily collect their pay packets while not playing in European competitions ?

  • The BearMan

    We can write Arsenal into the BiG TiMe with a little movement here or there and a few IF’s n prayers – but that is all wishful thinking.

    For approximately 3 seasons I have been saying Arsenal need a minimum of 4 world class players and to help off set the wage bill do some deep pruning. Get rid of the waste. Players that are only bench warmers collecting wages for doing nothing.

    Arsenal lacks balance, but Wenger still manages to convince “certain fans”, bargain bucket players are quality. But the reality is the wasters in the first team is part responsible for a number of youngsters failure to progress.

    The next area we must change is coaches n coaching. As much as Pat Rice was a much loved guy, good servant. He should have been pensioned several seasons ago. To produce winners, you have to also work on their mentality n just basic exercises.

    Would Banfield n Bould n Wenger produce a winning formulae?

    Would our defence be more solid next season with the same personnel?

    More importantly would we be ready to kick start the new season with a team ready to battle on all fronts?

  • Charlie

    Well done Simon, you are obviously better than Arsene Wenger. That was sarcasm incidentally, you are like a school kid doing physics GCSE comparing yourself to Sir Isaac Newton. Get back to football manager and there you can keep persuading yourself that you’re a world class manager. Please prove how Song is one of the worst Defensive Midfielders out there though, through stats, I could do with a laugh.

  • Alansmithisgod

    The way Arsenal could improve is simple. Remeber our heritage and start acting like a big club again. We are a club that is now about nothing except stories that our top players are unhappy/leaving. We will never progress until these situations are nipped in the bud, our star players paid what they are worth, and the stories that are coming from our club are exclusively about a rabid inextinguishable obsession with winning the premier league and European cup, and not just existing in it.

    This morning we are waking up to the inescabable inevitability of the drift that has set in over the past few years. Today is the culmination of Arsenals doomed, unrealistic, self-defeating, unnecessary and completely self-imposed self-sufficiency policy (otherwise known as make-the-fans-pay while-the-billionaires-sit-on-their-investment-policy). Today is its crowning glory. All the policy hs done in real terms is make our team stand aside and pave the way for another London club to win a trophy we have never done – at the same time we are told we are lucky even to be in it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was not just inevitable that our policy should result in their coronation, I firmly believe that, without our willing acquiesncence, Chelsea would never have been allowed to dominate London football like no club has done since Arsenal in the 1930’s.

    I know UA are good guys, and Arsenal fans at heart, but I sadly believe you have lost your way with an inward looking infatuation with a limited business model and pretty tippy tappy football. The truth is, neither of these things mean spit unless they result in a winning footbal team. And for the size that our club once had, Arsenal no longer win enough. Football is a competition. Our policy is simply not competitive. You can talk about the ins and outs of the policy(and so could I) of this, that and the other at the club, but this just clouds the real issue. The final bottom line is that the longer we persist in the self-gratifying delusion that we are somehow doing things right while others are winning trophies, the further we fall behind footballs big clubs.

    If anyone is somehow happy with the current status quo, I strongly suggest you paste the following links to your desktop, and read them every day until Arsenal reclain their place at the top table:-

    http://www.espn.co.uk/football/sport/story/151609.html?CMP=OTC-RSS

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/may/15/samir-nasri-arsenal-manchester-city

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2145995/Patrick-Vieira-warns-Arsenal-Robin-van-Persie-costs-risk-high-profile-departures.html

    I know these are hateful, and they really hurt me to the point of tears, but the truth is that these people, who we deride (correctly) have proved they made the right choice, because Arsenal simply refuse to compete, whether in the salaries market on on the football pitch. The longer we clap ourselves on the backs that we are doing things right, the more of these headlines we will deserve.

    The time has come for change. If there is not change, prepare to watch RVP scoring the goals which lead Man City to a second title, Jack Wilshere captaining Chelsea for a decade and telling us they are the club of his dreams, and Oxlade Chambarlain returning ManU to the top of the tree next year.

    Because like last nights abomination, unless we stop bending over and abandon the clubs current path, THESE THINGS WILL HAPPEN. And not just will they happen, our clubs current policy is designed that for the purpose of making them happen.

    At least let us not delude ourselves that we are doing well while we allow these crimes to be committed against us, in the name of our own club.

    Im going out now and hoping I dont run into any Chelsea fans in north London this morning……..

  • simon

    Charlie i’ll say it simply for you as you seem as diluded as Wenger.. we conceded 49 goals. now thats not just his fault but if you had watched any of our games youll see song setting up goals and not defending them (cause hes not a Df) can you understand that? crazy stats i must have got off football maanager. or as normal people call it the real world u moron.

  • simon

    and just so you know Charlie the FFFP doesn’t scare City cause their owner can sponsor there stadium and tracksuits and trainers and socks for hundreds of millions. makes them look like a sponsor so they can pay whatever they want when they want. got that off football manager too. so they are not breaking any rules. real football fans already knew that though.

  • The BearMan

    The best thing Arsenal can do seeing the object is to qualify for the CL in order to make a profit, is to get religated to the Championship Division. Then aim simply to win the play off’s earning approx: 90m.

    It is no good being in the PL or CL if the ambition is not on winning it.

    You know why some of our youngsters development is slow? It takes iron to sharpen iron!
    If they were mingling with real quality players, there progress would be that much quicker.

    In these hard times, my Club is paying certain players 30 – 60k per week to develop a fat arse.

  • The BearMan

    My apology to Simon n Charlie for interrupting your private conversation!

    GroWWWWL!

  • nikkogunners

    Podolski comes with loud expectations and lets hope he does not disappoint like one Devor Suker. We need someone in the center and i think the Brazilian Lucas Moura or Sebastian Giovinco would be quality additions. I know we have moved away from signing them young and full of potential… How about turning Walcott striker next season and sending all the others away so we have RVP, Podolski and Walcott plus Campbell. If we revert to a two man striking role we can give Walcott enough chances to play. I would however not mind retaining Park, he may just burst into the scene so maybe a loan arrangement to settle him in the premier league. Move Song to creative Midfield and we have Song, Rosicky, Lucas and Wilshere is pushing for the two spots. Ramsey goes on Loan. Get Vertoghen or YMvila and together with Arteta we have two accomplished players vying for the slots there and we have Coquelin, and Frimpong too, get Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Montpelier) and get rid of Djourou and Schilachi and you have real competition for the roles in the defense. With this arrangement Roy Miyachi, Oxadale Chamberlain, Benik Afobe and the likes get time to grow into the first team. We have Gervinho and we can keep Banayoun just in case. I suspect this will be the depth and quality squad ready to challenge for titles next year. Wenger should design a captain system where there will be a defense captain, in charge of ensuring the defense works flawlessly and commencement of attacks (counters), a midfield captain whose role is transition (defense to attack -attack to defense) and the forward captain in charge of ensuring we maximize the opportunities on attack and as soon as the opportunity passes begin the first line of defense. Of course the attack captain will be RVP who will also be the overall captain. Wenger should also sign another player who will play every game arsenal will play competitively. He is called the bonus. say 5,000 pound per game up for grabs to be shared out by members the department of the team (defense, midfield or attack, that wins the department of the match honour, just like being named man of the match). The department that picks more department of the match honours will be declared the department of the season and pick a bonus three times that size with a trophy. Of course such honours are something that Fans can be involved in creating and funding. Finally, Arsene must consider creating a role-shift training day every month. At this time in the training ground people shift roles and you will see RVP as goalkeeper, Sczechny is a striker pairing with Gibbs, etc. this help the players learn insights about the kind of people they will be up against and what they feel, how they will most probably react and the likes. It will also get the players to appreciate the roles each play in the field.
    Here is something I have taken from a Gunnerman from another contribution.
    In short, individually our defenders are talented, but too many mistakes being made and a serious lack of cohesion in the defense has hurt our chances each season. Here’s a simple stat to show that our defenses actually been regressing over the years…. in my opinion, I think our problem might not be solved by simply having more depth….
    Goals conceded:
    2007/08 – 31
    2008/09 – 37
    2009/10 – 41
    2010/11 – 43
    2011/12 – 49

    If we are looking for Strikers to replace RVP. Robert Lewandowski, Fernando Llorient, Leandro Damiao,Roberto Soldado, Luuk De Jong and a host of others can be tempted with Champion league football to join Podolski upfront…I just hope we will pair up Podolski and RVP, and not keep them apart

  • Pius G. Chomo

    Simon, you must be a sadist or something doing the kind of analysis you have done. Calling Song the worst defensive midfielder out there really betrays your total lack of knowledge of the roles of our players, and what the BEAUTIFUL GAME of football is all about (perhaps you hold Song to blame for all the goals Arsenal conceded during the season), just like all your like who are so deluded to think that Arsenal have the capacity to continuously and promptly make the installmental payments it has to make for their brand new stadium (which will continue for a few more years), sign all the best players in the world that you all have been asking for at the prevailing unbelievable sign-on fees and player-wages in play and still have enough to prosecute all aspects of our seasonal campaigns.

    If you all are so desperate to win trophies at all costs, you better go join any of those funny, thieving, rich clubs who have the money to just buy any trophy they set their minds on luring, no, actually stealing other cub’s star players on their to those trophies. This they as opposed growing and grooming their own talents.

    Let me ask. Is it really the fault of Wenger that all through the past few years (immediately after money launderers and thieves hijacked the epl) all our star players appear to no longer have the word “loyalty” in their vocabularies? Running off to sugar-daddies for more cash (even though they hoodwink us into believing they left for the trophies)? They pain of it is that they usually leave at the point when they have attained ripe levels and the younger ones the club has been waiting for to mature are beginning to break into the senior squad. This usually sends us back to the drawing board to start regrouping. Should we really blame the manager under all these circumstances????

  • DaveWestAus

    I’m not quite sure of the points you are trying to make,most !of it is quite obvious!
    However one or two points are wrong!
    (1)Liverpool are not concerned about Everton finishing higher,unless the top spot is involved.
    (2) Gillet & Hicks are not suing Liverpool FC! they are suing those who were involved with the sale of the club! Sir wotsisname etc:

  • countryboy

    I hate extremes. Spending insane amount of money to buy trophies disgust me. At the same time, being the 4th richest club in football and investing in playing staff like a relegation battler is insane. Chelsea nevr won the UCL when their owner was spending insane ttransfer fees. They did it by buying “fair value” players and paying “fair value fees” for them. I know they finished the season 6th but all in all, they had a successful season – UCL and FA Cup trophies in the cabinet. Barca, Inter, MUFC, Liverpool, won the UCL by investing REASONABLY not INSANELY on world class players. FYI, Juve won the Serie A unbeaten after building a new stadium. I used to think the reason we couldn’t compete on transfers was due to loan repayment, now Juve in a similar situation is rumored to want our star player. I can only conclude that funds that should been to recriut 3 winners is being wasted on 10 players not going anywhere. AW deserves credit for seeing us thru the past years with his frugality but he needs to change a few things. There is nothing wrong in planning to sell a star player every season to ensure an end of year profit, but buy them young and ready not young and green. MVila is 22 he is young and ready. If AW’s scouting is spot on, then his value can only go up. 3 or 4 players like him plus Wengerball will bring success. That way when Barca, Real or City come along, he’s won u a few trophies, maybe even UCL and they will have to break the bank for him.
    A sad thing is when the wobbling and fumbling Ramsey eventually gets better, he will say he needs trophies, the club can’t match his ambition, he wants to play under Sir Alex, be the successor to scholes and off he goes tto Man U.

  • Arsenal1Again

    Simon should not have to be pointing out that Song has a lot of room for improvement, or about the universally known sponsorhip loophole used by City to dodge the ‘fair play’ rules, but …

    Well done Tony for getting the piece out at last. I hope over the Summer when Untold Arsenal usually quietens that you’ll focus a bit on the fall of Man Utd that should have happened by now in the style of Liverpool. What has delayed it?

  • Pius G. Chomo

    Simon, I’m happy you noted that in addition to the yoreman’s job that Song does on the defensive side, he also sets up goals. Thank you. What your blockhead cannot grasp is that without the versatility of Song and those assists of his, people like you, with your misplaced emotions may probably out of exasperation have committed suicide at the end of this season.

    Just so you Know. Song is, without the remotest argument, one of the very best that we have got. Why else do you think Barca were monitoring him during the season? It is ignorant people like you that continue to give Walcott a bad name (without regards to his crucial goals and assists during the season as celebrated and eulogized by non other than our very own RVP). Again, Why do you think Barca wanted him? Some of you never know the gem you have until you have lost it.

    Final note. There has never been any argument that a few dead wood on our pay-role need to be offloaded. But we do not necessarily have to pay through our noses for the kind of replacement that we would really want to see. We can’t have everything. Thankfully, we have a large family. While signing a couple more from outside, we can look inwards for other veritable covers.

  • The Blaze

    – Now they have another pay out for the sacking of Dalgleish and other staff.

    Actually, Dalglish waived his pay out, wanting the owners to spend it on players instead.

    Good article, but I felt the need to point that out.

  • simon

    Puis G. I don’t want you to feel stupid but where did i mention world class players? in any message i sent can you tell me where i mentioned that just once? please.
    i also said its not just songs fault but i guess you made that bit up too :/
    And Gary Cahill was hardly breaking the bank at 6million,young English quality we missed again.
    join a thieving club? u mean one that doesnt charge highest ticket prices to watch them? can you tell me who highest ticket prices are cause for past 5 years i was told thats Arsenal?
    and we steal barcelonas players so dont mention other teams stealing players.
    Yes we should blame the manager cause ultimately he is in charge. why buy foreigners at young age,train them and then let them leave cause we don’t have ambition? show ambition, fight! keep best players. even SPURS kept modric but we keep Almunia Denilson And Chamack and let Nasri CLichy and Fabregas go. serious Puis you might be on happy pills but the normal supporters want some fight from the club that WE pay for. its not being deluded its showing some fight,some ambition and desire………..the very thing that RVP wants to see……..so tell me whos wrong now?

  • simon

    PUIS your officially the biggest douche bag on the site.well done mr yes man.
    grow a back bone u idiot and have a opinion other then the one your boyfriend gives u. Song is employed as a dm! he sets up goals more then defends so is bad DM. do u need a picture to help u understand? i can go slower for u if u like ‘blockhead’

  • GunnerPete

    First let me commend Pius above..he talks like a man who knows football. I am sad to read some of the others like Simon because I have met ‘fans’ like him many times over the past 62 years of being a real Gunner and they are blind to reality. Let me be clear though…I am sick to my stomach that Chelski, City, Manure and others buy all their trophies. In fact it may be time for us to have two premierships…one for the clubs who just buy trophies and the rest who buy players using only money made by the club in business not donated.I for one would always support my club in the fair play league…never if we allow Usmanov to use us a a toy to beat Abramovic with.

    As for the current team..well, RVp has had the season we have waited patiently for for 8 years. And as Pius says loyalty is the key. If he wants to do a Cole,Nasri, Toure,Henry, Viera, Petit, Overmars, then let him. If AFC are offered £25/30 mill, sell him. He will NOT ever score so many again. It is likely he will get injured as he did every other season since he was 18. We will get over it.

    MY ONLY CONCERN IS THAT AS I AND MANY OTHERS HAVE SAID SINCE 2006…ARSENE YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO DEFEND. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO BUILD A DEFENCE. YOU HAVE ALLOWED THE BOARD TO TALK YOU OUT OF POTENTIAL SIGNINGS FROM UK.ie:Lescott, Cahill, Jones. All we could have got for a few mill more.And all a class above the men in situ now.

    So here we are again..saying the same as last year and five years before that. nothing will change due to MONEY. The FA will continue to grovel to the rich kids as will the officials who gave them so many little assists last year. And AW will no doubt use this as his last Hurra before becoming a board member.

  • GunnerPete

    God Simon you are sad and so missinformed you could be a Tory! Lay off the sick insults and concentrate on getting your facts right. The very fact that AFC played so many matches without a whole defence ( and the best defence we have is not much good) menat that people like Song had to play many roles, and he did that with manificent effect. If we had not lost Frimpong and Coquellin also for a season and had Jack all year, then Song would have stayed back, but he had to do a ‘jack’ for us until Arteta found his feet.
    So stop all the childish insults mate and talk ARSENAL…not spoilt bratish.

  • Cape Gooner

    @Simon

    “Song is employed as a dm! he sets up goals more then defends so is bad DM.”

    Not sure why you haven’t noticed, but Song doesn’t play as a DM. If he is employed as a DM, then the manager should drop him, because he doesn’t play as a DM. The manager doesn’t drop him; therefore it seems obvious to conclude that he is not employed as a DM.

    You may want to blame AW for playing without a DM, but to blame Song seems to lack logic.

    We recently play with two CBs, four fairly defensive midfielders, two attacking wing-backs and two forwards; a 262 or a 2422. It seems to me that your comments are directed at a time long past.

  • humnnn , is it just me or do we really have a winner for Hysteric of the week 🙂

  • And apperantly RVP is going to russia, and now not only he gets a 300K/week salary but even the club gets 45m 😉

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2147093/Anzhi-Makhachkala-line-45m-bid-Robin-Van-Persie.html

  • ak47

    thats what happens Pius when you take the bait. lol
    there’s no convincing the AAA/spuds in disguise, they know everything there is to know about managing a world class team within its means. the only reason they cant get employment is because it would be an unfair advantage?
    victims of derren brown type experiments they really do think they form their own opinions..no seriously they really do. i know crazy right?
    i would recommend a rvp type ban as they usually shrink back to the shadow.

    nice art i think nfc if they can keep the squad together might just take the spuds spot and hope everton can push on along with sunderland, cant wait for the target practice season, love the new kit. didnt at first but its grown on me massively. gonna get one for my birthday in april i think.

    afctid

  • ziggy

    well said Pius, what a lot of the just buy world class fans don’t realise is arsenal may go and buy 3-4 so called ‘world class’ players and have one good season and the hawks will come with name your wages offers then we will be back to square one and as Simon who is a real football fan has noticed, ffp will not affect Citeh, therefore his argument is buy them anyway and City will knick them and we do that again the following season. Oh dear we may as well give up. We had a horrible start to the season, we didn’t win games easily but who actually did? or do some people think because you are a certain team the rest should just roll over and lose. Remember the last World cup? who were the last 8? Football has moved just like the rest of the world and you just have to make the best of your resources and have some luck or should I say referees on your side. how many good goals were we disallowed? how many pens were we denied? how many non goals were scored against us? the fault of the useless players I guess. 2 seasons ago the same people who now want RVP wanted to get rid if him, he was too injury prone they said. Podolski unproven? check the stats as you call it. Who should we buy? Hazard? M!vila? veryoghen? yea they are all proven in non of the top 4 leagues in Europe. check your grey matter it needs a washout.

  • ak47

    ‘we got third…… and podolski’
    ‘we got third…and per-dol-ski,
    ‘gonna play with the thief in a brand new kit’
    ‘target practice is gonna be the shhhhh’

  • ziggy

    lest I forget have arsenal actually announced they are playing with a static dm or they just rotate amongst themselves? the only time Song was an actual dm and didn’t venture past halfway line was when Fabregas was in the team. The formation and style has since changed and it’s why Song sets more goals than Arteta who is playing a more orthodox cm so what is the argument? I

  • ziggy

    oh yeah train young English who will be loyal errm Cashley Cole? the beginning of mercenaries at Arsenal, the last time I checked he was English, Stewart Downing? well he’s in the England squad, Walcott? not good enough for Arsenal I kept hearing, a 35 million Liverpool striker who scored less than Walcott whilst playing up front, Jordan Henderson, scored less and made less playing the same role as Walcott who is so brilliant he turned into a dummy in the biggest game in the pl against city, the Ox, was supposedly another waste of money on yet another kid and is now being told he is at the wrong club, Bentley? what happened to him? I just hope the pne’s we already have don’t sod of to City. The fact is we have more homegrown talent in pl than most check other players at other teams who started at arsenal but were not good or disciplined enough you will be amazed but that is why Teams employ managers. what we see and think is irrelevant after all this. even a so called arsenal legend(wright) has joined the mercenaries, check his tweet from last night.

  • bob

    ziggy,
    I agree – and there’s ongoing big bucks in the media cottage industry known as Arsenal-bashing by ex-Arsenals in their stupid columns and commentaries. Basically, Arsenal-bashing by ex-Arsenals is an optional part of their retirement benefits and a few too many have exercised it.

  • marcus

    If Anzhi want to pay RVP 15m tax free a year, then it looks as if Platini and Fifa have a problem.

    Maybe football will fork into a mega-rich self-governing league, and the rest.

    But even the mega rich are not immune to global financial meltdown….

  • marcus

    and if RVP is equivocating on a new contract, Arsenal will sell him for 45m at the drop of hat,
    and reinvest.

    Actually will be very good for us, because for 45 m they will go out and buy 3 top class players.

  • slugboy

    Good article!

    I hope this site doesn’t go the way of ‘the grove’ with all of the bickering.

    For the record (for the numpties wanting to ‘just buy the best’) if you buy a player it is not just the up front payment. Two scenarios using RVP as an example:

    Arsenal keep RVP. This will cost 130k (guess) per week for say 3 seasons. he will be paid a signing on fee of 5m. Total cost of employment for 3 years = 3 x 52 x 0.13 +5 = 25m.

    Man city or some other moneybags team buy him. This will cost them 180k per week (based on what the going rate is) plus a transfer of 20m. Total outlay = 3 x 52 x 0.18 + 20. Total outlay = 48m.

    The above scenarios show why arsenal do not purchase players at the top of their game and why they do not pay top dollar wages. If we were to do this for say 3 world class players we would be down in revenue about 70m at least. Also the wage thing is also contagious. Pay one star this money and the rest want it and get upset when they don’t get it. On a total revenue of about 270m, we just cannot afford this. The argument for getting a sugar daddy (usmanov has been suggested) to pay for losses is a bit childish and is not what football is about, in my humble opinion. Some ‘fans’ would have us in liquidation before you could say ‘Leeds,portsmouth,rangers’

    One final thing. Song is a great player. We are conceding goals because of lack of solidity around him. We were great with Arteta (and with proper full backs), we’ve gone downhill because Song lost Arteta to play alongside. Our wingers (gerv and walcott) are lightweight defensively and Ramsey and Rosicky are not consistent enough (prone to mistakes) – hence the leaky defence.

  • @marcus
    Mutual feeling, although that seems to be a non story. The point is, just a season back he was a guy who was a libality, injured for more than half the season. Now how do we suddenly become a team that cannot do without him? Every season we have a new what if. “What if Viera leaves?” “What if Fabregas leavs?” “What if Nasri leaves?”.
    And next season we recognize another gem within our team. So wenger will find a way. In arsen we trust.
    Its just a question of who will it be podolski, walcott, diaby,ramsey or even maybe even prak ;).

    Ps: I dont want RVP to leave but if he wants to go we wolud be better off looking for replacements.

  • @slugboy
    and also the fact that most of those goals we conceded came in the start of the season while we were having real bed time.

  • Ong Bing

    If Anzi bid Robin at 45m, sell!!!

    45m is a lot of money for Arsenal, no guarantee Robin will not injured again. I like Robin very much, but this deal is good for Arsenal and Robin (he will get 300,000 pound every week for 3 years).

  • Charlie

    @Simon. Do you really think Citys’ owners can hide their investments in the form of sponsorship ? The FIFA judging panel judges the deal on whether it represents value for money. If they pay an amount which is far in excess of the industry standard the deal will be deemed an improper transaction and not included in the sums. There is, of course, specualtion about whether FIFA will be bribed to make the judgement that City want but I think Platini is determined to make it work so we’ll see.

  • Pius G. Chomo

    Simon, shouldn’t you feel a little embarrassed? Well, for the sake of argument I don’t think I mentioned “world class players” anywhere in my comments. Shouldn’t you therefore be the one feeling stupid?

    In any case, it is only stupid to blame Song for the goals conceded. Many would forgive you if you blamed TV5 for often forgetting he is a CB and leaving gaping holes in the defense each time he overlapping. But you should know that we have had to play without Fullbacks in many of the games we conceded cheeky goals. Perhaps, what you mean is that in those circumstances Song is to blame for not combining the jobs LB, RB, DM, CAM and CB when TV5 overlaps. Why else would you, excellent manager, single out Song for a capitalized dressing down?

    And yes, when I said ‘you and your likes’ in in my reference to you wanting to see all the ‘best players in the world’ playing for Arsenal irrespective of the financial implications of those kind of signings, I meant every word of it. If I am wrong correct me by answering these questions which border on the insinuations you made:

    1. Your statement was categorical. You said, “Song is one of the worst DEFENSIVE midfielders out there. Look at stats. It’s all proven” (I’m quoting you). You never added that, “it is not just Song’s fault” like you are doing now. Did you now realize after the barrage of criticism that you were wrong and had to cover your embarrassment by now adding this as an afterthought? you would be forgiven if “yes” is your answer.

    2. You said you did not insinuate that we needed to by “world class players”. Educate me. What did you mean by:
    (a) Arsenal has for too long been “penny pinchin and bringing through youth. It has not worked” and “show some ambition”?
    (b)”Podolski isn’t proven yet”. A German international with many caps plus over 40 international goals? Germany? Well, you must mean we should go for the more proven Messi, Chrstiano Ronaldo, Arjen Robben, Rooney, etc. Right? The other people we all have been angling for: M’vila, Giroud, Hazard, Goetze, etc. Are they really more proven?
    (c) “Show some ambition. Spend some money and buy players someone has heard of” not someone like Podolski that is unproven and unheard of. Of course, you must mean “world class players” that ‘someone’ (the rest of the world) has heard of. Right? Come on. Own up. You are a pretender or just stupid in football matters. It is not a shameful thing. There are many of you out there. Really.

    You implied that Arsenal has the costliest gate fees? (how much? $5 or less?). You have your stats, rights?

  • FinnGun

    I hereby nominate Simon for the Oik Awards. Only a true numpty or a troll could roll out all the tired AAA cliches.

  • Adam

    People that moan about Arsenal conceeding goals. Would you rather we park the bus. Arsenal take risks, accept this or carry on moaning. We were a team in transition last year. Not many sides will hit the ground running when they have internal problems, Just look at chelsea, shocking under AVB but just won the champs league by parking the bus under RDM. Arsenal are a club that wants to win, But with style. Below is a run down of the monthly goals scored and conceeded,

    F A
    Aug 5 11
    Sep 12 7
    Oct 14 8
    Nov 8 4
    Dec 10 6
    Jan 8 9
    Feb 14 10
    Mar 12 04
    Apr 6 3
    May 6 5

  • Pius G. Chomo

    Slugboy, you are the man. Nice having intelligent, objective analysts like you around. Hope other gooners are listening, true gooners I mean. Not the bunch of crybabies that we seem to have been inundated with of recent. Where did they all suddenly come from? They are coming in with the psyche of financially failed clubs. We better watch out.

    We all need trophies like yesterday. But this new generation bunch? They want it at WHATEVER COST. The club can thereafter go to blazes if they can’t find a sugar daddy to continuously offset the subsequent debt burden. Shame on them.

  • Charlie

    You know a fan is impossible to please when he criticises the purchase of Podolski for 10m. Germany will probably win Euro 2012 and Podolski is a key member of that team. He has 18 more international goals than Van Persie and probably more assists, both playing as left wingers, and he is 2 years younger. Simon, how can you suggest that he’s unproven just because he’s never played in the Premiership ?

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Afobe…
    I’m not saying he’s as good as RvP, merely pointing out that we have one hell of a young striker on our books. As a plus point, if he breaks into the England squad we have a nightmare scenario for PGMOL – four England internationals who need protection from clogging defenders who all play in attack for Arsenal.
    “Ooh, ref, better not let him tackle me again, I might not make the WC qualifier next week if he does…”

  • Sid

    simon

    Ypur ‘opinions’ are the kind of tired lazy shit I see on dommer blogs like le grove. You spout them almost verbatim.

    You clearly are an idiot.

  • LOL

    Lol everyone stop arguing 😛

    Arsene Wenger is a manager that has been managing a top club for several years and you are not.

    So all of you calm down.

  • Ray from Norfolk

    This is hilarious!
    There are people who want to spend Mr. Usmanov’s money without even asking him; if he wanted to be Abramovich II, he could buy another London team in the Premiership right now.
    As to “Arsenal supporters” of the AAA variety, we know that most of you are Sp*ds fans.
    Amazingly, the media has not uttered one word on how ‘Arry failed to make it to the CL next season. Had it been Arsenal finishing fourth and missing on the CL because Bayern gave it away, you bet all the pundits would be out there berating the Arsenal players, Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal board.
    This, by the way, is the only satisfaction from the CL final: the Sp*ds have qualified for the Europa League.

  • marcus

    ‘Arry’s taking his missus on holiday

    Europa?

    No, she’s coming of her own accord

  • Bobby Pliers

    “Podolski is unproven”, you couldnt make it up!! You’ll be saying Messi is unproven next. Unbelievable.

  • Asif

    @Slugboy – good incisive mathematics! But who is going to explain it to the thickhead moronic AAAs who lose arguments at pubs and blame it on the manager…they must have all been poor students at school! Bloody losers Simon and the likes…why don’t they take their negativity to the same planet they brought it from!

  • cong

    I think Simon should support man city

  • Persian gunner

    I believe some day FIFA should make a new rule against parking the bus!
    Really, this is exhausting and destroying football!
    Things need to be changed, just like changing the rule of “back pass” to the goalkeeper!

    And I am kind of agree with the hypothesis of: We cannot defend our gates!
    I am not telling that we need to buy new defenders for this problem, as I can remember the night, we played against AC Milan and our defenders silenced their idiot forwards for good!
    but we have to do some thing about it, as I also can remember how my heart was pounding at the last minutes of our last game!

  • General slimtee

    Great article and sum interesting comments…I’ve been bored all day but I had d best moment of my day reading simon’s comments..{LMAO}.Its fun 2 have people like him on d thread 2 add clownish sarcasm 2 d collumn.but methinks its just a waste of time 2 reply clowns like him…still LMAO

  • Sammy The Snake

    Yesterday was a dark day in football, when negative football wins. Chelsea 2012 = Greece 2004.
    Shameful winners.

  • @Ray from Norfolk talk about it the media would be on our ass like no mans business. They would say how the Arsenal is almost gone and a lot of crap.
    Sometimes when i hear morons like SIMON i puke,Fabregas had a 4year contract but he left,it does not matter if a prayer is on a 10 year contact when he wants to leave he goes, i also wonder how the director of football in Ma$ity does not know this.
    He was talking of how Arsenal took all this long without renewing Van-P contract,i mean they wanted but Van-P delayed.

  • bob

    Tony, All,
    Here’s more Fallout for you from the Deafening Silence Department of the Manchester Guardians’ Bent Football Emporium:

    NOTE THIS UNHOLY TRINITY OF MOST CURIOUS NON-STORIES:

    (1) Fungus drops 8points, falls out of Rednose XX.(NOT being labeled a bad turnaround in the Guardian/media.)

    (2) Arry falls out of 3rd to 4th place by losing points in 9 of Spuds’ last 13 matches. (NOT being labeled a bad turnaround in the Guardian/media.)

    (3) Arsene rises from 17th to 3rd place after being hounded by the Guardian toward relegation. (NOT being labeled a GREAT TURNAROUND in the Guardian/media.)

    This is duly enetered as Exhbit A in the case for them being Bad Losers and Arsenal-Haters.

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Simon says so it must be true…right? Pius has more football nous in his little finger than Simon has in his whole tribe of AAA and anti-Wenger whiners, but we know he is a secret Spud at heart as all he can do is create spurious ¨facts¨ based on even more dubious ¨statistics¨ which, like a thin veneer of intelligent commentary, are soon revealed to be all smoke and mirrors. You can always tell an AAA/WO plastic fanboy Spud hiding in supporter’s clothing because they insult anyone who disagrees with them and ALWAYS cry for AW’s head, regardless of irrefutable evidence to the contrary showing Wenger’s skill as a manager. But then AAAs always know better and all sing from the same broadsheet…Wenger out, Buy,Buy,Buy at ANY cost…wahhhhhhh we want superstars not the dross we have, wahhhhhhhh we want our diapers changed by RVP!!!!!

  • Damien Luu

    Well, I just repeat this over and over again: “Arsene knows. He will take actions. I just wait and enjoy them.”

  • Shard

    I’ve been traipsing around in the jungle the past weekend, with no internet access and virtually no phone as well. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. I came back and woke up to a world in which Chelsea have won the Champions League. When Chelsea beat Napoli in the second leg of the 2nd round, I had said I had a feeling about them being ‘chosen’ to win the CL this year. Benfica were next up, and they were beaten without much comment from the media, but with very interesting comments from Benfica’s president. The whole world agrees that Chelsea got ‘lucky’ against both Barcelona and Bayern Munich (I haven’t seen the final) What is this indescribable, intangible quality called LUCK? Whatever it is, Arsenal have been well short of it. In any case, I don’t particularly care about Chelsea’a triumph except that it means I was correct in my ‘prediction’. Which gives me no pleasure at all.

    Regarding Arsenal and the gap to the top 2. Yes it was 10 points. 12 of those points were opened up before the 2nd of Octber. The following 7 and a half months, the gap between us and them increased by 7 points. Certainly in ManU’s case, the referees had a huge part to play. (By the way, is it just me, or have there been no ‘ManU fail to win a trophy and this represents a crisis’ articles in the media?)

  • Shard

    Oh, and regarding Villa. Just something which occurred to me (probably means nothing) when I read that they were considering hiring Solskjaer as manager. I know he’s set to win in the Norwegian league, but what would persuade Randy Lerner to get Ole Solskjaer, who is a relative newcomer and unproven manager in to boost the club’s status in the league. Could Solskjaer’s ties to Ferguson be the answer? Is that part of the reason we have so many former ManU players as managers in the League? Does it help their results? Like I said, it probably means nothing. But still…..

  • Mandy Dodd

    Arsenal will be in very good shape next year. Only my opinion, but I believe Wenger has been burnt by certain players recently,not all his loyalty and patience has been returned hence the departure…to a degree from the youth project. As Wenger said this year, we are entering a new cycle. Wenger has only a couple years left on his contract, he will go all out to win something in that time The youth project was a necessecary and worthwhile idea at the time but it maybe, unfortunately did not pan out quite how Wenger envisaged.
    Bringing in Steve Bould should prove a master stroke. He will presumably want to be a hands on coach – he can help with our defensive issues. RVP, if he needs time to decide, give it to him. If it gets too late in the summer, keep him until his contract runs out, we can now afford to, and use that year to bring on others. Whatever his plans, RVP will always be motivated as long as he wears the shirt
    I think we will see maybe a stronger more resiliant team next year, with flair, but more strength in depth.
    The AAA, you have to laugh, they are even using whatever you call Chelseas performance as a stick to beat Wenger with. But the fact is, we are in a good place, and will only be stronger next year. It was not a trophy, but that third place will prove extremely significany. Turned out, Gibbs really did make a £30m tackle….at least £30m………

  • Jacobite Gunner

    There are so many bitter spuds in disguise posting dross, it’s jus the sign of the close season. Biting only gives them vindication…

    (and yes, i’m speaking to you simon, bear man ect)

  • Jacobite Gunner

    could we just all get together and split the aaa/spuds in one group and the myself and other arsenal supporters in the other group and have a big game of british bulldogs (and yes, there are many budgetary, time challenges to this and more…) but it would be alot more fun than having to post back to these spineless so called arsenal fans and spuds in disguise.

    (not played british bulldogs for years but I did love it!)