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A smile or two just before we get nervous

When the big games come I get nervous – just like most supporters I guess.  Probably the worst occasion was the final game at home to Leicester in the Unbeaten Season.  I had hoped I would be dancing and singing and having a lovely time, taking photos and all.

But the silly buggers were one nil down at half time, and I felt really ill.  The league was won of course, but surely they couldn’t throw the prize of the unbeaten season away at the last?

Of course they didn’t, but my abiding memory is one of real worry.  So it will again, be riding up to the game against the Bankrupts, and in an effort not to think about that today, how about a little reflection on one or two of the more amusing issues around?

Like the Tiny Totts starting to talk about breaking into the Top Four next season – just like they talked about it, last season, and the season before and…

What is amusing is that Appy Arry is worrying that maybe getting a place in the Europe League this year will make it harder to break into the Top Four next year, so perhaps they should throw a few games now, not get into Europe next year, and then have fewer games and make the big push…

It is not so far from what M O’Neil did with Aston “hold your head” Villa this season.   They went to Russia to play a UEFA cup game, sent out a team with a few top players missing, and duly lost.  The reason they did this was to get fourth place this year in the EPL.   So they threw out a chance of getting to a final, on the vague hope that the Lord Wenger’s talk about it all coming right at Arsenal was just talk.  As it was they ended up about 200 points behind us (well not quite, but it is a big gap).

A breakthrough into the Top Four for any of the little clubs is dependent on one of the Top Four having a bad season.   This of couse could happen when…

a) Sir Alex F Word retires and the owners and their bankers move in to get the debt restructured (thus depriving the new manager of the regular £40 million a year expenditure on which Sir F-Word has built his club).  This sudden lack of funds will happen to an aging squad (you will have noted the celebrations for Giggs’ 100th birthday recently) and could be the moment they slip down.

b) Mr Absent Abramovich goes even more absent, and decides that if he can’t win everything he doesn’t want to play.  He appoints M Mouse as manager and they slip into League Two,  (Spending is limited at KGB Fulham, there is strict censorship within the club, and the owner has a penchant for changing managers – any of these could give them a bad season).

c) Liverpool Insolvents’ big moment is this summer when the club have to refinance the £350m loaned by Nat West and an American bank.  At first the banks were taking a strong line demanding repayment in July, but now they have softened saying they might continue to loan the dosh if the owners of Liverpool stump up some more cash.   The owners can’t so they are trying to flog it all to the Arabs, and meanwhile they have a maniac spender for a manager.  It could go very wrong.

d) Arsenal are the least likely to slip, since this season is the one of rebuilding that was most likely to cause a problem – and instead we got a 21 game unbeaten run.  By next August we’ll have all this team one year older (a good thing) and several more ready to step up (a game or two for Wilshere and Merida) with fringe playerse like Vela more central, and Arshavin coming into his own.  There’s also a lot of loanees and some of those might become squad players too.   So the squad is bigger, more experienced and that bit older – a slip up next year seems unlikely.

The the Tiny Totts, Manchester Arab, Hold your Head Villa, and the rest will be looking at a shut door, until one of the big boys falls apart.   Villa look likely to lose Barry, the Arabs have got a manager who doesn’t look comfortable (in the Oooooze), and as for the Tinies, Arry will spend a lot, rebuild the team, sell off whatever he can find, and that’s another season drifting by (but we can all have a laugh as their stadium plans fall apart).

So, time for a smile, take it easy, watch the ladies in the FA Cup Final, and hope they beat Everton in the league decider.   Just the relaxation I need before getting all knotted up again.

(c) Tony Attwood 2009

5 comments to A smile or two just before we get nervous

  • Terence McGovern

    They keep on knocking (la la la!) but they can’t come in hehe!

    Holy hell! Is anybody else watching the Ladies FA Cup Final on ITV.

    I say GODDAMN! Those girls got serious game!
    Switch over if you get the chance. If ever there was a team that deserved support and praise it is Arsenal Ladies. Almost FIFTY Trophies in their cabinet. And as I type this they have just gone ONE–NIL up YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!

    Katie Chapman is a Legend.
    So is Vic Akers!

  • Marc

    Every year we get the “this is our season” from the Spud’s and Liverpool. The Spud’s to get CL football and Liverpool to win the league. I can’t see either happening for a long time. Redknapp will probably have a decent season next year, maybe a cup run but he will be gone the season after when having amassed a squad worth in the region of £200 million they still don’t look any closer than before.

    What does worry me is this report about the takeover commission looking into recent share acquisitions. This has apparently been instigated by Usmanov who seems a little peeved that the board seemed determined to stop him buying the club (and a bloody good thing to!). I have a feeling that he will look to disrupt the club during the summer in a bid to get his own way. He has a blocking share, will this allow him to stop us spending in the summer?

    Tomorrow night is to important to allow distractions but after we ned the fans to let him know what we think of him. The louder and cruder the language the better.

  • Ateeb

    Marc,

    “Tomorrow night is to important to allow distractions but after we ned the fans to let him know what we think of him. The louder and cruder the language the better.”

    Capitalism doesn’t really work that way. Well not for now atleast. But the current recession does offer a glimmer of hope for changing times. You can make all the noise you want to make, and it would matter less. The showdown will be between the capitalists in the boardroom. Case in point, Liverpool & Manu, takeovers. There were a significant amount of people against the move, but it mattered less. But then again, being a fan, you have your right to do whatever you feel like doing. And if you can make enough fuss about it, then maybe you could alter the outcome in the your favour.

  • Terence McGovern

    I think that there is a long way to go in this saga yet.

    I get the distinct impression that Stan doesn’t want to buy the club outright but Ulisher ‘the hut’ (2nd cousin twice removed to Jabba)
    does want to own the whole thing.

    In many ways there are pros and cons to both of them.

    Stan has bought into our self sustaining ethos but may not have the readies to buy us lock stock and barrel although he seems to have no problem coughing up £100 million or so this year. He can probably add extra revenue streams from America that he hasn’t been forthcoming with given he wont be the only person to benefit at the moment. No point increasing the value of shares that you havent bought yet etc.

    Ulisher on the other hand has other attributes. He is several times wealthier so presumablyin the event of taking over he wont leverage the club up to its eyeballs with his debt like the Glaziers have at Old Trafford. He has a superbly successful track record at increasing the revenue and profit of companies that he takes over. It should also be mentioned that he has the profile of sombody that you dont want to mess with. I’d imagine that his solution to dealing with Platini’s covert actions against us would involve a horse’s head etc. That of course could bring its own problems.

    I’d say better the devil that you know but really we don’t know either of these guys. Stan is in the driver’s seat so far with his subtle acquisitions and his guy installed as chief exec.
    However the thing to remember about his adversary is that he doesn’t lack for patience and when he makes a move it is a big one. When he goes for shares it will be for Lady Nina’s lock stock and barrell and then it is on!

  • don't believe the hype

    I hope you’re wrong Terence because I don’t want to see a hostile takeover, which it would be. I suppose the plus for Kroenke is that he has experience in Sports Ownership, whilst Usmanov’s business background may not translate as well to owning a football club. I also read somewhere that he has lost over half his fortune in the recession, so he may not have the liquid assets to make a move at the moment.