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October 2016
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“I am sorry he didn’t cost £55m so he cannot be good”

By Tony Attwood

The Guardian headline, “Leicester City 0-0 Arsenal Wenger says he is ready to spend after fans vent fury” is, unsurprisingly a little misleading.  Amy Lawrence didn’t write the headline (unless procedures have changed over the years) but the article she wrote which appears under it she does say ““Spend some money,” yelled the fans in the away corner, with an expletive thrown in.”

The paper did manage however to quote Mr Wenger saying, ““Unfortunately, nobody speaks about the performance of Rob Holding… You should be happy – he is English, he is 20. But I am sorry he didn’t cost £55m so he cannot be good. He had an outstanding performance for a young boy who has never played in the Premier League up against a great player. We don’t talk about the players any more. We speak about anything else than football.”

The Telegraph was more measured with “Leicester City 0 Arsenal 0: Arsene Wenger faces more calls to spend after Gunners are held by the champions”

What actually happened was that on 89 minutes, under a pre-ordained arrangement, some of the travelling fans chanted “Spend some fucking money”.   There was a secondary chant by a smaller number of “We want Wenger out say we want Wenger out.”    The first chant was carried by maybe a quarter of the visiting fans, the second by fewer.

Of course those chanting are also the ones who were chanting and singing to great effect all the way through the match – but as anyone knows looking around, there are those who chant and sing, and those who don’t.  The away support, which is very noisy, and had a very jolly rehearsal as usual in the bar before the game (although not of the money out and the anti-Wenger chant; mostly “What do you think of Tottenham” and “Mesut Ozil”) continued to great effect through the game.  They make a lot of noise, and some grouping in the away corner have everyone singing.  But equally there are groups where no one sings – be it to point out Leicester’s lack of historic success or to support Ozil.

But the singers know they have some of the media, like the Guardian, in their pocket and that even a minute or two from a minority of travelling supporters would get the headline.  And so it did – the media will follow their every word.  That’s what they do.

Away support, in case you are not aware, is now a highly restricted operation – you can’t just try to get a ticket for the odd match.  Indeed I was talking with one of my Belgium friends before the game on this subject and I was reminded that maybe ten years ago it was possible to buy away tickets just by being a Red member.  Then there was a period when being a season ticket holder gave access to away games.   Now you either have to be registered with the away support scheme (which is full up so you can’t get on it) or a season ticket holder with over 25 away tickets bought in the last two seasons.   Or a member of one of the regional Arsenal supporters clubs, which will be allocated tickets occasionally.

So it has become a closed shop – a group of mates who travel the country and can organise their protest.  But they are no more representative of the whole support than any other group.

What I would say about them was that their support for the 89 minutes or so before the moment of protest was excellent, as it always is.

Of course in newspaper reports, the construction of sentences reveals everything – just as it did with Amy Lawrence comment about only four Arsenal players getting into double figures with the goal tally last season.  The Telegraph is currently running, “By the end of the game they were calling on Wenger to “spend some f****** money” and they sang it over and over again in case he was under any illusion as to the point being made,” and the “by the end” makes it sound as if the whole thing was spontaneous – although I suspect had we won 0-2 the chants wouldn’t have happened.

After the game Mr Wenger asked the rhetorical question “if I buy you for £45 million have I done well?”  It is a valid point for behind it comes the point that we do have some expensive players in the team, and others who although costing nothing are now worth rather a lot.

Recently Walter wrote the article “Arsenal never spent anything much on transfers, or do they?” which the media and the chanters could find helpful.    And Mr Wenger was virtually saying much the same as I wrote in “I doubt if anyone has ever had their minds changed”

Simple stories now run the day, anything that needs evidence and which draws on information gathered across time is dismissed.  Now is everything.  History is bunk (although I suspect a very large number of “Remain” voters like me, are never going to forgive those who voted “Leave”.

But for Arsenal – a run of wins as we normally at some stage in the season will help a little.   Of course, as we have seen, aspirations morf.  The “no trophies” became “not winning the league” after two cup wins and coming runners’ up in the League.  When we do win the league, then that will not be enough, we will need to win the Champions League.  And having done that, win it every other year at least.

There’s no end to this galloping vision that somehow we have a right to win.  And no one will change their minds because of debate or analysis.

Still, maybe there’s something good on TV.

(If you feel like commenting please do read “I doubt if anyone…” first – it sets out our editorial policy too).

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68 comments to “I am sorry he didn’t cost £55m so he cannot be good”

  • Hurrah we can now put the how much money we can spend argument to bed according to Mr W it’s £300 mill . Though his next statement was a little more confusing in suggesting yes he could spend it all if he wished but he would give thought also to the six hundred people AFC employ . At least we all know the truth now

  • And yes Holding is a great buy for 2 mill but I think we would all agree buys like this are few and far between

  • Brickfields Gunners

    You mean there are people ( I don’t want to sully the words fans and supporters !) who actually pay their own hard earned ( am supposing here !) money, to travel to far flung grounds to protest and boo and hold up banners ?

  • Markyb

    Few and far between eh?

  • T2T

    Being almost a life long fan, that is since I was six almost half a century ago, I’ve been part of the Arsenal family for some time; ups and downs…

    I am a strong supporter of Arsene Wenger (AW) and what he has achieved during I his tenure. However, although he has a degree in economics, he obviously lacks something in marketing. I’m not English and have never lived there. I have however, lived in several countries on four different continents; North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Why do I say AW lack something in marketing: The largest number of Arsenal supporter is outside of London/England. The potential for growth is almost exclusively outside England. Winning trophies are important also from a marketing view and subsequently from an economic perspective.

    The base of Arsenal is very strong: A modern, fairly large home ground; manageable debt; world’s highest match day revenue; a strong first team squad.

    What frustrates me the most is that we don’t buy what we lack.
    We have a top class GK with an excellent back up; the best RB in PL with Jenkinson an able reserve; the best, or at least among the top 2-3 CB in Koscielny and 2-3 decent, young prospects; a strong LB with an acceptable back up. Our midfield is second to none but Pogba does improve ManU significantly, our strikers however… We’re so close but still so far away. Some of the trouble is the sometimes naïve tactics of AW but I feel we missed out on not getting Zlatan for free. Yes, he makes about double of our highest earner, but with only a sign on fee, we could have made him a very good offer for the next two years – he is a winner. Pogba is an animal in MF. We have the money to buy 2 world class players every year. This year we could’ve had Zlatan and Pogba offering them CL football. Even with a weakness alongside Koscielny we would’ve won the PL. We could’ve bought Higuin 2-3 years ago for half of what he was sold for this year…

    Still, I will never stop supporting Arsenal, the players or the manager. Encouragement always results in better achievement than booing.

  • Conor

    I don’t think fans really care what a player costs as long as he’s a good player. And using a 20 year old rookie making only his second Premier League start to highlight the unasked for benefits of value doesn’t really sit right with me. Yes, Holding was very good yesterday and if we’ve unearthed a gem for that price then my cap is doffed, bravo and all that, but he’s only played two games for us and he’s just 20. Will he be as rigorous in his defence of him if/when he goes through a difficult period?

    He spoke about the club having a responsibility to the 600 employees, which is so irrelevant to anything. Staff aren’t paid out of the transfer budget, and not a single person with an ounce of common sense is saying that we should spend all the money we have on new players, then worry about paying the bills afterwards

  • adetayo

    I have only three words to say. “I love Arsenal!”….and everyone currently in it.

  • Vinnie Losada

    Nice bitter brow-beating of ‘Leave’ voters. Can’t forgive someone for having a different opinion now, can we? And if the EU goes tats-up you may not be forgiving them but thanking them.

    Anyway, political inclusions aside, nice article and I’m glad Wenger responded in this way. Did the reporter and fans not consider that we were playing the champions who put their squad together for a relative pittance? It was only last season after all, but memories are so short when there are headlines to write and chants to chant…

  • TJ

    @ brickfields gunners

    There are people who travel to away games, support and get behind the players for 90 minutes, and then having watched the match and supported the players for 90 minutes they let the manager know they don’t want him there anymore, as is their right. Whether you agree with the right or reason to protest or not is another story altogether.

    So to put it simply for you, no, they travel to boo and protest- they travel to support the players. Hence the boos and protest against AW only, and on 90 minutes.

  • iain

    For me Wengers comment illustrates an endemic issue at the club- he is the manager of a football team, not the CEO – who owns the responsibility towards all the staff. I think he is right that you can occasionally find a gem for not a lot but surely this is the mindset of the smaller clubs, who have little choice but get creative in finding players- Aubameyang or Griezmann would cost £80m + because they are top class strikers in a world with a paucity of top class strikers. The value of anything is what someone is willing to pay for it and sadly thats the market- Wenger has been left behind in his thinking on fair valuation, that much is clear and his constant prevarication on players is the source of our mediocrity in the transfer market.

    I get it he is peeved with constantly being harassed but he has done this to himself – Saying he has £300m and still shopping in the bargain basement is simply ridiculous- whats the plan – have £500m in the bank by 2020?? There seems to be more interest from the club is fiscal hoarding than actually in being a competitive football club– that is the issue that drives fan anger. Fans who pay the highest ticket prices in world football I believe.

    You dont buy a Bentley and expect to see bits of the engine replaced with VW parts.I am with John Cross on this. This window, like the last few has been a shambles – it genuinely amazes me he thinks its fine to start a season without what we need …again.

    Out of ideas and disconnected from the fans – sadly it does appear to be time to go AW.

  • Markyb

    I thought these know nothing trolls were being edited out.

  • Luscious Lisa

    What would be interesting to know is how big is the team working on transfers and who are they. Is there a full-time dedicated team? Presumably AW has the final say, but can’t possibly be doing all the groundwork, analysis and negotiation personally. If AW is the problem, then presumably there would be evidence of internal frustration from the team doing all the work, setting up the deal, and then AW failing to pull the trigger. Does anyway have any insight on the team and the process?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Rome wasn’t build in one day as the expression is in my country. Can’t catch them all at once…

  • Alex

    Phisically there are players unfit .Santi ,Sanchez to name few.
    Holding top top defender anyone can see it but that Chambers need to out anc learn his tricks somwhere else.

    Theo just missed the olimpics he is built to run the 100s or 500s not footballer at all

  • Markyb

    The way the gutter press go on you would think we haven’t signed anyone at all.

  • Leon

    Absolutely true.
    Unfortunately there is a strong distance supporter element on this blog who have no idea about the culture of an English football fan who travels the length of the country (and often across Europe) at great expense and often to hostile & unwelcoming stadia.
    These people would be better just restricting their input to the crap recycled jokes and vainglorious self aggrandizing articles they’re more known for .

  • Come on now let’s not all get Precious

  • Rich


    No idea. Saw a good reminder this week that there’s lots we don’t know about internally, some of which is at odds with how club portrayed by press.

    Sam Allardyce is reportedly chasing a member of our staff, a world-renowned muscle expert, specialising in soft tissue injuries. As with Chad Forsythe, that doesn’t fit at all with the popular notion Wenger, bizarrely, stopped listening to new ideas and abandoned his practice of seeking expert advice from many fields years back, and does everything himself

    An extra nice touch is that the staff member in question appears to have worked with the Welsh national team at the same time as uber critic Raymond Verheijen was there.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Okay, let’s forget about Ibrahimovich and not to deceive ourselves. His agent Mino Raiola wouldn’t have accepted selling him to us while Man U are keenly interested to sign him. Do you know the transfer trade partnership that is existing between agent Raiola and super agent Jorge Mendes and Jose Mourinho? These 2 agents don’t sell to us but preferred to sell to other bidders of their like. But supposing Arsenal line was led yesterday at Leicester by say, Aubameyang or Lacasette? And despite Holding’s commendable showing against Leicester in partnership with Koscielny, but if any of Gimenez or Mustafi had been at one of the Arsenal CB position in conjunction with Koscielny, would Arsenal have won the match, and none of the penalty appeals by Leicester would have arose? it is only prosperity that can answer this question.

    Generally, I think Arsenal as a team is still competitive match rusty despite the unbeaten 5 games run they had in preseason. But the baffling issue is the Boss has not used striker Akpom in any of the 2 competitive games Arsenal have played. Striker Akpom had a remarkable preseason. Is there any matter with Akpom which we don’t know and the Boss has not given an update on it?. If not, the continuous exclusion of Akpom from competitive games could make him go rot.

    All things being equal with the Gunners next weekend, we should start seeing them hitting top form at the Ems and comprehensively put Watford to the sword to begin a BPL match winning run.

  • Polo

    @ Iain, I think what AW was pointing out is he has £300 million (income) but if he was to spend all that £300 million on transfer how is the club going to pay its’ 600 employees, implying he could be reckless spending the money but it will put the club in financial problems.

    He should have made the comment more clearer as people might misunderstood what he said.

    Here’s from the BT interview after the match. Copy from

    Does it matter that English sides pay over the odds for players…

    ‘What matters to me is when you have a club of 600 employees that you are sure you can pay everybody at the end of the month. That is the most important. If you have the money to spend £300 million you can do it. But at the end of the month you have to respect everybody who works for the club and pay everybody.’

  • nicky

    I have a lot of sympathy for Arsene Wenger.
    There is a growing feeling of discontent over the lack of new signings and he is urged to buy or go.
    In one respect he is part of the source of his own demise. For some time now, Arsenal FC have followed a policy of extreme reticence in regard to much of its business and it is therefore not surprising that in the absence of information about the lack of signings, many supporters are displaying extreme frustration.
    Nothing can be done now, in order to placate this opposition but following the Transfer Window closure, one would hope that the Club’s public relations department will furnish information about exactly what went on during attempts to strengthen the squad during the Window, particularly failed attempts. 😉

  • Marcus

    I don’t understand how anyone can call this window a shambles. Rob holding looks like a brilliant signing for a small fee just like elneny in January (few and far between? ), xhaka looked a lot more impressive yesterday and is in my opinion the position we needed to strengthen in the most. Our title challenge came off the tracks last year when we had injuries to coquelin and cazorla, now with xhaka elneny and coquelin we have serious options in midfield and have sorted out the midfield for years to come, when we are at our fluid free flowing best this is where games are won, even if the striker may be the one to score.

    Ok, a lot of fans would like us to buy a CB, but I don’t think we necessarily need to or should, holding in my opinion looks good enough, and it would be good to let him play with koscielny for a bit. In terms of a striker, when we buy one he has to be world class, I don’t believe wenger cares how much we pay for him (provided he’s 27 or younger) . however the strikers who are world class simply don’t want to move. The only ones who I could picture us signing are griezman or aubameyang, they both are at clubs comparable to the size of Arsenal and actually quite similar to our club really. However, we have a lot more money than them. The other strikers at big clubs wouldn’t want to move to us from where they are regardless of money, and I don’t think any other strikers many claim to be “the solution” are an upgrade on a fully settled bpl acclimatised giroud who has improved his stats year on year, and incidentally suffered significantly when we lost our midfield axis last year.

    Let’s hope we sign a top striker, but if we don’t, let’s let the team gel with xhaka and holding in it, and maybe next year we will look a more attractive prospect to a world class striker.

  • Conor, the broader issue that I think was being referred to was one relating to legacy. Many managers leave their clubs in a worse position than it was in when they took over – the number who don’t is very small indeed.

  • finsbury

    The telling observation with these hacks is how much of their match reports were actually describing the football on the pitch. From the likes of Holding, Koscielny etc, you know the footballers, who were playing the football…

    Very telling. Considering the hacks spend so little of their efforts in describing (& watching?) the actual football, is that how they come to the conclusions of rating mules like Hart and the other donkeys like clogger Rose that couldn’t beat Iceland (In a game of football).

  • finsbury

    tbf I have vague memories of the hacks describing a young Arsenal player as a donkey back in the day, one who didn’t cost the club much wonga.
    Less dithering back then and more braying and clapping of hooves.

    I think said donkey was playing CB during England’s best performance since ’66 (with respect to the late great Robson the 4-0 victory over Holland was the peak for England in tournament football in my lifetime).

    Yup. The hacks at the least have some kind of consistency to underline their, um, their credentials. Mr. Alan Partdrige will be very proud of the efforts of his spawn.

  • joe

    Some very good posts on this blog on either side of the particularly good one from leon who makes the good point about criticism of the away supporters off posters who live in foreign parts and their only contribution to Arsenal fc is buying a 1998 replica shirt.
    Another great point is about the transarency of the club and let the fans know what is going on atthe club so we can make our own mind up and not believe what the press quote.The last 10 days or so in the window could be the most important ofWengers reign and could shape the destiny of the club for years to come.One last point is the manager in his post match interview looks extremely down and tht there is something weighing heavy on his mind and I dont mean the results

  • finsbury

    According to our esteemed plundits friends of special agents and owners like Peter Lim and associated hangers on:

    Spend grit loads of wonga on brazen mules like Mangala or even upon a limping nag like Lescott = All good. Statement of intents. This is how Winners win! With (leverages of) Wonga!

    Dig up gems like Koscielny (best CB at the Euro’s) or Holding (or even Chambers, Bellerin etc…), have them alongside some kind of hundred cap World Cup winning German legend who has rebuilt the dressing room and been a great Leader at the club, as if you think that you are running some kind of football club = Dithering.

    The above makes perfect rational and reasonable sense. And can be easily observed from following the media. Clearly the people writing this stuff repetitively are not engaged in some kind of, well, observable act of propagandising. Or propaganda. Not at all. Amidst their genuine heartfelt concerns for the Arsenal’s well being, which must explain why’d they’d prefer to see the club spending like a Petro club buying mules off their business partners the special agents out there. Some of whom have more influence then 99% of clubs (Valencia) in the game. I’m touched by their concern for AFC. Glad we’ve all got that sorted then.

  • Polo

    @ Finsbury, just read what John Cross from The Mirror said about AW being a shambles in this transfer window, what an absolute joke. I guess the player’s abilities are no longer the benchmark for acquisition but it’s the price tag of a player. No wonder the foreign clubs are laughing all the way to the bank.

  • Joe I think he was just totally pissed off with the same old same old comments from journalists, whom he knows will then make up ludicrous stories unrelated to reality.

  • joe

    Tony I dont think so .We all have seen himafter defeats but he looked really deflated .It wouldnt surprise me if he calls it a day at the end of the season .I dont think its the supporters response either I think its something to do with kronke and the funds available and what is being held back and why.What is certain is tha there is something fundamentally wrong going on behind the scenes at this club and that is clear.

  • davood MC1


    You cut and pasted what you said from Arseblog. That is plagiarism. If those are your arguments make them in your own words at least

  • Gooner S

    I really do wonder if some of those commenting that Wenger is not the CEO and he shouldn’t be caring about the finances have worked in any job that required budgetary control. I see some of those comments here and on twitter and on FB. Do they apply the same sort of devil may care attitudes to their own finances? Wenger will have been given a budget by Gazidis to work to in this financial year. That budget wont just cover player purchases but the full costs of running his team and coaching staff and perhaps other responsibilities that we don’t know about. This is normal business practice. He has to work to that budget, whatever it is and here’s the thing we don’t know what it is! It is not the cash reserves. So, just throwing another £5m or £10m at a deal may jeopardize other opportunities and current commitments and may not be within his remit to do so if his budget doesn’t allow for it – it will need approval from elsewhere.

  • Zuruvi

    Wenger is right that we should only buy quality and not be excited just because we spent a lot of money. There are many expensive players who are not very good players (such as Andy Carroll and Memphis Depay). And there are many cheap players who are actually brilliant players (such as Holding and Elneny).

    I think a good review of our players yesterday would be as follows.
    Goalkeeper was good.
    Both fullbacks were very good.
    The Central Defenders (Kos and Holding) were brilliant.
    Holding Midfielders were brilliant.
    The wingers were ok. But Theo could have done better.
    The Striker? The Striker? The Striker? Did we have a striker? Sanchez is a brilliant footballer but the experiment of using him as a striker isn’t working. Sanchez was clearly our worst player yesterday.

    What we saw yesterday is that Arsenal needs a proper striker (in addition to Giroud).
    We as fans don’t mind whether this striker costs £2m like Holding or £50m or £60m.
    We just want a proper striker who bangs the goals in. Arsenal creates many more good goal-scoring chances than other teams (including Leicester and Spurs), we should be scoring many more goals open play. Wenger himself said our finishing isn’t good enough. We need a proper striker who bangs in the goals.

    Even those who are going to thumb me down will be happy if Le Prof sorts out our central striker deficiency problem. We all enjoyed it when Thierry was scoring for fun, we all enjoyed it when Ian Wright was banging in goals, we all loved it when Anelka was firing in goals, we all had fun when even Adebayor was hammering in goals.

    Does anyone still feel that we don’t need another proper striker to add to our squad?
    Please don’t say we have Welbeck, Walcott or Sanchez. These guys are wingers. Very good wingers. They are not the proper striker that we need.

  • Polo

    @ Gooner S, well said. One of the most important element in business is controlling the budget, lose control and it could be the end of that business.

  • Polo

    Joel Campbell on season long loan to Sporting Lisbon, sad news.

  • davood MC1/David M

    I said on this site a few weeks ago (I think it was the day Gabriel got injured). That with the addition of a CB we might be ok, even with Gabriel out. From watching a few Holding full-game highlights from bolton and in preseason the kid looks like a really classy defender. Against liverpool I thought he was even ok (not perfect, but it wasn’t really his fault on the goals).

    Although we might be ok numbers wise to go in with the defenders we have it’s still a tad risky though, but hopefully Gabriel comes back quick. The concern is Chambers in defence. He was really bad against the mug smashers, and I’m not convinced by his quality. Everything I have seen from Holding makes him IMO a better defender already…Wenger obviously agrees; in truth I even thought Bielik looked better in preseason than Chambers. So while we are playing a bit of a risky game (an injury to Kozzer and we’re kinda in deep do-do) given the Gabriel and Per injuries, we might be ok if we survive until Gabriel’s return.

    The biggest concern is that we are still short in attack, especially with Joel Campbell now gone on loan (see note below). Even if we play Alexis up top sometimes (which is going to take a fair adjustment period – we looked like we were playing 4-6-0 for most of the game) we then require the technical, creative side that Alexis provides on the wing. If Alexis sticks to the wing then we have Chuba Apkom or Theo as striker backup until January at best.

    While I agree 100% with Wenger’s comments on Holding (Wenger thinks he has an absolute gem [I tend to agree] but all he gets asked about is transfers, which in this case is bollocks just because he was cheap – even being British didn’t appease the Xenophobic British media in this case), some of Arsene’s own arguments are coming back to haunt him. We know there was a bid for Lacazette as their president even stated that. So Wenger feels Lacazette was the quality we needed. Wenger then says “I will spend 300M (if we had it) on the right player” obviously a little tongue-in-cheek, but we get his point. So the question is why didn’t he significantly increase the Lacazette offer to get the deal done for a player that Wenger believes is of the quality to improve the squad? That paradox is my chief concern with Wenger and Arsenal in general at the moment and I believe a lot of fans also. Now so close to the end of the window with the season started most of the quality players are settling into the season, focussing on the job at hand and it looks like the bird has flown the coup in terms of us getting a quality striker/attacker. So now we go into the season underdone physically, short in quality and numbers in attack and with an air of pessimism because it is clear to all and sundry we are short at the part of the game that defines football – popping the ball in the net…

    (side note on Campbell: I am absolutely flabbergasted at Wenger’s treatment of Campbell – every time he comes into the team he does a job, he is far more creative than Walcott and the Ox – probably even more creative than Ramsey, form wise played significantly better than either Walcott or the Ox last year, we are clearly short in the attacking 1/3 and then Campbell out of all the players goes on loan – I think that is a massive slap in the face of a player who really gives 100% effort always and never says a thing wrong in the media)

  • TJ


    You would have a point if Arsenals income and expenditure was a private matter, but it’s not, it’s published annually. Income is increasing year on year, as is expenditure, but cash reserves are growing. They’ll contine to grow for the forseeable future as long term sponsorship and tv contracts have been signed. Therefore income can be projected, as can rxpenditure, more accurately and confidently than most other businesses. Other clubs are using their cash reserves investing in their team. Arsenal are banking it for some unknown reason or reasons only known to club insiders, watching it grow and this £300 million gather interest. That’s a lot of interest. .I wonder.

  • Zuruvi

    I feel like you mate.

    I don’t know why Le Prof doesn’t seem to value Joel Campbell as much as we (the fans) do.

    It boggles my mind. But I suppose when confused just remember … Arsene knows best.

    Someone (probably you Polo) did say yesterday that Wenger was letting Campbell go on loan because Arsenal was buying Islam Salami.

    Arsene (often) knows best.

  • Mandy Dodd

    The logic out there at the moment is breathtaking.
    It would be equivalent to a relatively wealthy person who needs a car , just taking up and paying over the odds, then some more for the first car they are offered. £58g for a 2008 Fiat Punto anyone? And throw in an extra ten grand to get the deal done quickly, plus twenty percent as a sweetener to someone loosely attached to the car or vendor.
    That is roughly the equivalent of what some out there are proposing.
    Having said that , I believe Wenger when he says they are trying to get a couple of players, would guess a defender and some sort of utility forward. Role on transfer deadline so we can forget this shots for six months and concentrate on the football itself.

  • TJ


    tell me about it..the 94 & 95 cup winners cups runs cost me my two jobs, two relationships and my credit rating. But it was worth it!

  • joe

    Mandy if you need a car to go to work and its the only car available you have to pay It or you cant work.Also if you think its expensive but the going rate you still have to pay.Ibrahimovic would have been an ideal striker for us.World class , a leader and a fantastic goal scorer he would of been ideal.I know his wages are high but with no transfer involved h6e would of been someone who would improve us tenfold.I know utd are a top draw but with the champions league and a big offer we could of gone for him.That is what the big clubs do not dither.Part ofme also thinks that Arsene doesnt like big personalities that might challenge him.He would ofcertainly shook the dressing room up and brought a buzz aroung the place and appeased some of th would of been a win win situation.Who cares if giroud sulked , let him fight for his place the same way they do at all top clubs.

  • Polo

    @ TJ, ignore the profit and loss statement, look at the balance sheet, if you look at Arsenal’s short-term payables (money owing which need to be paid within a year) and deduct that from the cash reserve, the cash reserve is not so large.

    Yes, companies can project and spend but you can not predict unforeseen events especially when it comes to economic, for example not many predicted the global financial crisis. So it’s wise to keep money in the bank for such events.

  • joe

    Just to add I dont think the fans will forget this transfer window even after it closes thats why Arsene has a big 10 days ahead of him and one that will determine his future ar the Emirates.

  • Stevo433

    Think you’ll find September to January is only four months, Mandy.

  • Stevo it is five months if you count both September and January

  • Joe to set out a statement about going to work and then lead straight into talking about transfers and alleging that other clubs don’t dither but Arsenal do, is neither an argument based on evidence nor one based on logical deduction. Arsenal have paid out large sums at both the start of a window and at the end (Granit and Ozil). There is no evidence of dithering, although there is evidence of careful manipulation of a situation to pull off a difficult deal (see our articles on the transfer of Ozil, Tottenham’s interference therein, and the situation at Real Madrid).

    Just repeating allegations made in the press without evidence doesn’t help anyone.

  • Polo

    @ Zuruvi, I have no idea whether Arsenal will sign a striker or not so my Salami comment is just a guess. Reason for my assumption is because AW said he’s looking for a striker, Salami was linked with Arsenal in the past, the player want to leave Sporting Lisbon and the Lisbon manager believe he is similar to Vardy or even better, as you are aware AW bid for Vardy, then out of nowhere Joel Campbell signed a loan deal with them. So I’m just piecing the jigsaw. More chance of it being wrong though 😀 so please don’t take my comment as gospel.

  • Davood, you said, “We know there was a bid for Lacazette as their president even stated that. So Wenger feels Lacazette was the quality we needed.”

    What we don’t is is Wenger’s attitude to Lacazette. For example, he might well think he is a decent player, but he needs training and help to fit into Arsenal’s system. That might take him six months to achieve, just playing some games and working on technique. That therefore reduces his value to Arsenal.

    Re Campbell, his loan might be due to the fact that with Gnabry coming back having regained all his form, Wenger considers Gnabry to be above Campbell in the pecking order. Also he might well feel that Campbell is unlikely to get many games at the moment with the players we have but needs regular games to reach his fullest potential, and thus for Campbell’s own sake as well as the club’s benefit it is good for Campbell to go on loan.

    There is also the possibility that a transfer has been arranged which would hinder Campbell’s development. If we wait until the transfer is through there might not be time to arrange Campbell’s development. And there is the fact that in the forward department we have the Ox, Theo, Santi who has played there, Reine Adelaide, Iwobi, Alexis – a fair choice.

    What you are doing, it seems, is picking on one negative explanation of an issue when there are others that are possible. Not really evidence.

  • Joe

    Tony I will give you the first point but can you give me evidence that we haven’t so called dithered on a striker.Its 4 years since we sold our last world class striker and some would say he hasn’t been replaced .Even Arsene has pointed out in the last 3 transfer windows we have been actively looking for one .Would you not class over 12 months of trying to find one dithering ??Or would you logically deduct it is something else.
    Also just out of curiosity do you think Ibrahimovic would of been a good addition and why don’t you think we went for him.Just your opinion is needed as unless you are an insider in the club yourself you wouldn’t have any evidence to back it up.

  • Hi Berry

    Gooner S – I think you are over-complicating the situation. I’m no business expert but imagine that Wenger has been told how much money is in the kitty to be allocated towards new player purchases and wages. To try and muddy the water by upping his remit to include coaching staff costs and ‘running the team’ etc. is a little disingenuous as they are pretty much fixed costs that have already been factored into the equation. Surely the jobs of the CEO and Chief Financial Officer are to analyse and monitor the club’s finances on a continuous basis and arrive at what they believe to be a prudent and sustainable figure that may be available for the transfer windows. It should not be part of Wenger’s job to worry about budgets on the scale you suggest. His job is to manage the football team, not look at the balance sheet. Why on earth he is commenting on the 600 employees that Arsenal have to pay each month is a bit of a red herring designed to deflect criticism regarding his transfer policy – all those costs will also have been factored into the financial equation prior to arriving at the transfer ‘war-chest’ and will not impinge on him spending what he has been allocated. If he is more deeply involved in financial analysis and planning I would respectfully suggest he is not in a position to concentrate fully on the prime requisite of his job.

  • Menace

    It is so obvious that Arsenal should have bought all the best players going. In fact Arsenal should have bought Manchester & Stratford & leased it to the locals for the Games.

    I love all these know alls who have the best 20/20 vision about success. The FA & PGMO could do with your help. Please pay them a visit & explain how good your hindsight is.

    I appreciate the love of Arsenal that you claim to have but it is worth nothing if you cannot accept it has an administrative structure to deal with asset management.

    TJ – if you managed your support correctly (Wenger’s way) you would not have lost what you did. Calling for his resignation is certainly not sound considering your history.

  • dan

    This is not right, Rob Holding has been the find of this season. WTF is wrong with u people, so what he didn’t cost 55 MIL, is it some sort of bragging rights? Bellerin was part of Cesc’s exchange from Barca, is he not good enough.

  • dan

    If the boss continue’s to find diamonds, so be it. Any other manager would only buy/play ready mades, just look at the depressing cry baby at manu.

  • dan

    I am so sick of these couch potatoe managers, I run a minor league, I got the kids nobody wanted, those very same clubs couldn’t believe these were the same boys when the one time whipping boys became league/cup winners. Two of whom have been approached by walsall/wba academys.

  • Pat

    Well, Tony, you did your best to argue the case. What more can you do?

    I can’t understand people who agree Holding and Xhaka are excellent signings and yet still don’t follow Arsene Wenger’s arguments. One was expensive, one was cheap. Arsene Wenger’s criterion wasn’t the price, it was the quality.

    There are still people saying we need a striker who bangs in goals. This one has been argued again and again. Such strikers ar expensive, few, don’t want to move, and then don’t necessarily carry in banging in goals in their new club.

    Giroud isn’t even back yet, Alexis is obviously not yet at his best, and we have the youngsters. And that was only the second match.

    I agree with the critical comments about football commentating. I watched an Olympic women’s handball match. The commentating was all about what was happening in the game. It was a plus not an irritation or a distraction. The whol experience was so much more enjoyable than watching any football match on television.

  • Gord

    Of late, doing any search for “England referee” at Google News just brings up cricket concerns. It would seem that the medja has decided it is not going to pursue any issues of (lack of) referee performance or referee competence.

    Today there is one football concern, that being the late challenge/tackle by Costa on West Ham goaltender. The most “noteworthy” source of the few (only 6 hits it seems) is ESPN (worldwide leader in being ESPN). This supposedly being an article devoted to the concept of Diego Costa being targetted by referees now.

    The article has many images associated with it, many of the images have nothing to do with the challenge in question. But, one of the images is completely off-topic:

    You can’t copy/paste off an image, so I am doing the best I can to quote it. Ozil has the diacrits in the original.


    CHIP Pate

    @ESPNFC Without losing it, guys, what fear, policy, error is really behind Arsenal’s dreadful transfers since Ozil & Alexis? #FCExtraTime

    If nothing else, this shows ESPN has an agenda with respect to Arsenal.

    As it is not easy for Arsenal fans to get away tickets, away protests must be hard to organize or arrange. Are the medja involved in this organization process?

    Out of curiosity, is there any “control” or checks on the people buying the tickets being the same as the people actually at the away games?

  • Joe, I can’t give you evidence that we have not dithered because I am not in the club. You cannot give evidence that we have dithered because you are not in the club. The fact you give is that we sold a player because he demanded to leave, but whom we wanted to keep.

    But to equate not buying a centre forward as dithering seems to ignore all the facts that we have gone over so many times I fear it is boring the readership. Please refer back to all our statistics and analyses but here for the very, very last time is a quick summary. (And before I do give that Ibrahimovic is I believe slower than Giroud, which given the speed of our attacks would quite possibly make him a liability.)

    1: Clubs with the highest goal scorer do not always win the league. Much of the time they do not.
    2: We were one of only five clubs last season with two players in double figures. An alternative way forwards would be to have each of those two score just two goals more each, and we would not only have scored more than the league leaders last season, but also have a very effective way of beating many defences that find marking a single player easier.
    3: Buying an expensive player is only effective in year 1 in 25% of cases.
    4: Although having one main striker can work, there is a huge danger if he gets injured.
    5: Not only can some expensive players fail to make an impact, they can disrupt a team that is working to a plan, causing much difficulty in rearranging other players performances to fit the new man.
    6: One effective way of overcoming all the problems is to bring through an effective striker ourselves, and where such a player is coming through it just causes problems to block him through buying someone else.

    That is enough. For me to reconsider this issue I need someone to write an article with logical deduction or evidence on why it is not right to look always for a new striker in case another Henry appears on the scene, but meanwhile not to take a huge risk on someone that might or might not work, but instead build a side around the players available.

  • Gord

    Ars Technica has an article on correlations between team performance and the mean concentration of testosterone and cortisol. Nominally, the better performing teams tend to have higher testosterone and lower cortisol. I failed to grasp whether the teams studied were all male, or mostly male.

  • Norman14

    I just wondered if some of those 600 employees actually had to fight for the club to sand how some responsibility pay them the living wage?

  • Norman14

    “show some responsibility and pay…” apologies

  • Leon

    Norman 14

    There are no “living wage” issues with Arsenal employees, or have there ever been.

  • Top Guns

    Interesting comments on here.
    I have 2 observations – I actually think that Wenger has done very well in this transfer window. He spent £30 million on a top class midfielder and got him in EARLY!

    He also appears to have unearthed a real prospect in young Rob Holding and only paid £2 million for him!

    My second observation is not so positive I am afraid. I feel we needed to buy a top class striker this summer. I appreciate that Tony has spent a lot of time arguing that there is no evidence to support the case that one is needed. However the leading 3 clubs do appear to have strikers who you feel will score in the majority of games. Costa at Chelsea, Aguero at City and Ibrahimovic at United have all hit the ground running. Ok there is no evidence that this will continue but it may explain some of our fans frustrations at Leicester yesterday.

    Anyway onwards and upwards and let’s hope we have our scoring boots on next Saturday.

  • Menace

    Top Guns – the champions leading scorer didn’t score! His teammates dived a few times but there are those who think Wenger should have bought him. I personally don’t think there was any bid or offer for Vardy. There are many more wonderful footballers other than the overpriced finishers.

    Arsenal are a team that play passing football. Sometimes the pass into the goal does not happen.

  • Top Guns

    “Sometimes the pass into the goal does not happen”

    Well isn’t that the whole point????

  • Buchi

    With all due respect to you Tony,you run your blog and you reserve the right to do things your way. From reading your blog, i have noted that you take yourself a bit too seriously. Please try and relax a bit and avoid the temptation of replying to anything you feel does not sit well with your own ideology.
    Allow both sides of the argument and let things flow without getting over involved.
    I am not happy with what is going on at our club. You cannot possibly tell me that you do not wish things were a bit different?
    I think you will be much more credible if you came out occasionally to state a different position than always giving the impression that you accept all things Arsene,even when he is clearly wrong.
    We need to refocus the club to one that aims to compete rather than our current position of a club that just tags along. We have become too reactive than proactive.We just sit and wait for things to happen rather than make things happen.
    Arsene has been great for Arsenal but it just feels that he needs to move on. Just to freshen things up.Yes it might take time to get back up but that is just life. The excitement appears to have gone with status quo ante!!!
    I am not a hater, I am just a realist!!!!!

  • Buchi – I think you have probably not read the article “I doubt if anyone has ever had their mind changed by arguments on this site”

    That will help you understand.

  • Yellow Canary

    Holding may well be the bargain of the year but that remains to be seen. He’s had one excellent game and one rather anonymous one. Let’s hope he will be amazing, I wish him well. Of course Wenger has used this line before about people being annoyed he didn’t spend vast amounts on a player. Sanogo springs to mind when he was extremely pleased with unearthing a gem. Unfortunately he was more of a stone but who knows, by some strange alchemy, he may yet turn into a diamond.

    Whilst spending loads of money is extremely satisfying sometimes I believe most fans don’t care if a player costs 2 million or 50 million as long as he plays his heart out and serves the club well. If Wenger can find a striker for a million and he helps us win the league who will complain?