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Transfers, deadlines and lots and lots and lots of money

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Victory Through Harmony

Transfers, deadlines and lots and lots and lots of money.

By Dale Higginbottom

February 1st and the January transfer window closes after a flourish of activity from Premier League clubs. Liverpool and Chelsea were the big players on this day

Liverpool, well where do you start? After years of financial mismanagement and an ever-spinning revolving door of young players too and from the club they found themselves without a squad and with an ok staring eleven on paper. On paper is not the same as on grass and even with minimal injuries this season they have failed to get the results, largely down to under-performing, want-away players. So, some idiots were desperate for a striker and Liverpool held out for a great price.

Hats off to Liverpool, a glimmer of common sense, sell an injury-prone player who no longer wants to put in the effort for more than double what you bought him for. We did a similar thing with Adebayor and look how well that worked out for us. Anyway, long story short, one 26 year old striker out, two younger strikers in, THAT’S squad building, well done you’re getting the hang of it. You can argue the relative value of a £35 million Andy Carroll or a £22.7 million Luis Suarez but they have not spent massively above their means for once.

In addition, Charlie Adam remains a Blackpool player. Maybe that’s Liverpool holding out for the summer to get him for free? Possibly more clever work from the people with the bank accounts at Liverpool?

The reason that Liverpool could go out and spend this sort of money was as a result of the biggest transfer of deadline day, the £50 million move of Fernando Torres. The move has been seen by the media as a big statement of intent by Roman Abramovich. The signing of Torres, along with the reported £21 million transfer of David Luiz is a huge step away from Chelsea’s transfer strategy of recent seasons.

Recently, one line coming out of Chelsea has been that Mr Abramovich has decided not to play ball any more and that he believes that the players there are good enough to win the Champions League, he’s just been struggling to find a manager to do that for him. The other line has been that Chelsea are putting a lot of faith in their youth academy and the group of 18-22 year olds that they have prised from other clubs at knock-down prices. These efforts to avoid spending big money on transfers have also supposedly been with an eye to meeting UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules for the 2014/2015 season.

Well, yesterday’s statement was not that of a club that is looking forward and aiming to be financially stable. True, if Chelsea fail to get in the Champions League next season and the season after then they’ll lose the amount that they have just spent just in TV revenue and gate receipts but still, to spend £71 million on a day that they report a loss of almost the exact same amount for the last financial year, strikes me as very much as short-termism by their Russian owner. Did he wake up on Monday, see the financial results and say to himself, screw this for a game of soldiers, we’re never going to meet FFP better win the Champions League this season or next.

This looks to me like a last ditch attempt by a man who thought that money could buy anything, but has come to the realisation that it’s now a gamble. City will always outspend him and he’s got an old squad, if he doesn’t win the Champions League now it’ll cost him £200 million plus to try again. That’s assuming the FFP rules will allow a benefactor rule. No, this is likely his last shot at it, his last attempt at European glory and what if it fails? Will he care? Will he still want a loss-making club that have no future in Europe? Probably not. Maybe another club will look appealing in 2014? Maybe another sport? But I can tell you something, Chelsea will be doing extremely well to still be playing in UEFA competitions this time in four years.

An eventful day for some but meanwhile, what of Arsenal? Well, with a league game the following day to prepare for their deadline day transfer activity was well, non-existent (and thankfully so, if I can say so). In fact Arsenal’s highest profile move was our very own Jack Wilshere who reported on his Twitter page

“BREAKING TRANSFER NEWS: I have just moved from the sofa to my bed!!”

So, why do I feel happy that Arsenal are not part of this deadline day fiasco? Well, I honestly don’t know, I’ve no idea. Apart from maybe the fact we are not in a position where we need to spend upwards of £70 million just to maintain our Champions League status, I don’t know. Apart from the fact that we don’t need to spend over £57 million on two strikers because there is no-one else at the club that can do the job, I really don’t know. Apart from maybe the knowledge that we have three strikers in van Persie, Chamakh and Bendtner that combined cost us less than 10% of an Andy Carroll, I have no idea.

Our new players will be the return of Abou Diaby, Aaron Ramsey and Thomas Vermaelen. We don’t need to spend stupid money on Andy Carroll, surely Bendtner is a better player and he cost us next to nothing. Transfer deadline day is fun, it’s exciting, and it’s entertaining to watch the headless chickens throwing numbers at any player that moves (or even doesn’t move in the case of Carroll at the moment).

Yesterday’s spending was by two clubs that we at Untold Arsenal have commented about all season for having very thin squads and have suffered as a result. Their only solution has been to spend big money and bring in proven players. Arsenal on the other hand just keep them rolling in through intelligent scouting and great work by our academy and reserve team coaches. Long may the non-spending continue.

Us against the rest

Refwatch Arsenal v Everton – it doesn’t look good

Making the Arsenal – the definitive version

49 comments to Transfers, deadlines and lots and lots and lots of money

  • Tram

    Personally I lost interest in the transfer news when SAF said that Howard Webb was not for sale at any price.

  • Paul C.

    BUT WE NEED NEW PLAYERS!!!!! SPEND SOME MONEY!!!!

    I actually saw a blog yesterday where the author was saying we need a new goalkeeper, central defender, holding midfielder, and striker. Man, if that is what WE need then what does that say about the other clubs behind us in the League?

    I would have loved to have seen a new player come in. But not at inflated January prices. If we could have found a good player at a good price I dont think many of us would have complained about that. But there is seldom much value for money in January. Better to hold off until Summer when prices drop and contracts get closer to expiration. Buying in January is desperation normally, such as two years when we bought Arshavin due to our desperate shortage of firepower up front. Similar to Villa and Bent, and Chelsea with Torres. Chelsea MUST ensure CL qualification and also need to keep their marketing revenue growing. Torres is a brand, and was bought as much to sell shirts as anything else.

    I think ultimately that all of us feel pretty good right now because we are 2nd in the League, close enough to capitalise on any slip-up, in the CC Final, the 5th round of the FA Cup, and looking forward to playing Barca in a couple of weeks. This is what we wanted when we were all complaining a few years ago. “We need to be competing for trophies!!!” we all said. Well, now we are. Whether or not you win the trophies has as much to do with luck as anything else. All you can do is puit together a good squad that gets you into the right position. If Utd go unbeaten this season then they deserve the Championship and nothing AW did in this transfer window, especially signing some big old donkey like Cahill or Mertseacker (I actually like Cahill, but he isnt the difference between winning or losing the Championship), would have changed that.

  • John L

    funny how few people see our lack of spending as arsenal’s great strength. i think that we will finish above both liverpool and chelsea this season which should put an end to all this malarky about wenger not spending. it wont, but it ought to…

    if carrol costs thirty-five million in todays market. it really is laughable when you hear all these ‘gooners’ saying things like ‘get rid of this, that and the other, and get subotic, pjanic, hazard, lukaku and more’ hahahaha

  • Armin

    Lets say we have 4 super-transfers this winter, one by Citeh, two Liverpoo, and one by Chavski.

    Now lets see what does signings mean to teams in short terms, as for me January signings are “urgent” interventions.

    Will Torres bring anything in this season campaign to Chavski? No, I dont think so, he cant do better than Drogba and Anelka. And it is just wasting of money and probably nerves because I am really wandering who of 3 of them will accept to be benched as I cant see them all playing at same time (except desperate all forward tactic). Beside, Chelsea troubles this season start in middle and creativity, and I really cant see how Torres can improve it.

    What can Carol and Suarez do for Liverpool this season? 100% nothing, they didn’t miss Torres goals, they missed balls from midfield to feed El Ninho. I don’t see how any of mentioned duo can do it too.

    And my beloved countrymen Dzeko, what can best attacker of Bundesleague bring in to “Only Carlos Tevez” team? Nothing, becase he may forever wait on ball but if Tevez is at last limping on one leg whole Citeh team will search and try to pass ball to him. And what for you have star attackers when you dont have guts to attack.

    So in a way I see things it is wasted 134,7 millions, wasted for this season, I wont say they will have benefits from those players next season. But in January you buy to get immediate impact, and I see how this 134,7 millions will help. So We are in same position as they, just we saved some money.

  • Paul C.

    And as others have said, if Carroll is worth 35m as a relatively untested 22 year old striker with 31 career goals to his name (11 in the top flight), then what worth would you put on Nik Bendtner, a just-turned 23 year old with 53 career goals and 12 at international level? Bendtner is also skillful enough to play wide in any formation, and apart from being cocky seems to have no off-field issues. And how much does that make Cesc worth if Barca come calling again? That is the problem that clubs like Chelsea and Liverpool make for themselves. They inflate the market every time they make a deal like that, and the next time Liverpool want to buy anyone, the selling club will simply say “well you paid 35m for Carroll, so so-and-so is worth XXm”. The cycle keeps going. Much better to keep out of it altogether.

    Some will say Liverpool had to spend the money to show the fans that the new regime was different. But the previous regime made an artform out of bad buys as well (Glen Johnson for 18m? Aquilani for 20m? Babel for 15m? Kuyt for 15m?). Liverpool could have refreshed their whole squad for 35m if they were wise about it. Just think, our buys of Nasri (13m), Ramsey (7.5m), Koscielny (7.5m), and Sagna (6m) cost less than one Andy Carroll. Does anything else bring the craziness into perspective more than that?

  • FinnGooner

    There was also Samir Nasri who tweeted he moved from his livingroom to his kitchen. I loved those tweets.
    I’m happy too that we didn’t waste our money for expencieve player who might not fit the club (we don’t need another gallas or ade-what-ever). Which by the way forced me to have any kind of support for Real Madrid.

  • FinnGooner

    Not to have any kind of support that is. My laptop refused to accept all the letters I wrote.

  • Marc

    Dale – Your initial conclusions on Liverpool are wrong. Selling a player for double what you paid for him is good business. I can’t comment about the fee paid for Luis Suarez I really don’t know how good he is but the £35 million for Carroll is a level of madness that even Benitez didn’t come close to. As for the comment that this was within their means – good grief. A club with Liverpool’s income cannot afford to spend that sort of fee (especially on an unproven player) when they have a desperate need of a new stadium that will cost circa £300 million. Liverpool were just trying to con the supporters with “look at how much we spent”. Wenger would have bought 2 strikers who could score the same number of goals for the Suarez fee.

    Just because Liverpool’s net outlay was a pultery £6 or so million does not make this good business.

  • nicky

    Torres wanted to leave a sinking ship. Liverpool put a ridiculous price on his head to deter buyers. Chelsea’s Russian sugar daddy paid £50m out of his back pocket for him. Liverpool promptly went to the sweet shop and went crazy with their unexpected money, in turn paying over the odds for their purchases. It’s a mad,mad,mad,mad world.

  • ali c

    bendtner a better player than carroll, you must be having a laugh,he couldnt score in a brothel
    i agree that you dont need another striker though
    van persie is quality and chamakh is very good too

  • RedGooner

    Dale, I totaly disagree with you on the assesment of Liverpool.

    Torres couldnt carry liverpool on his own the others at that club wouldnt lace his boots on a good day.

    Luis was 22.5 mill wenger would have bought Chamberline from Southampton and Eden Hazard for 22.5m combined.
    35 mill for that “JACK ASS” Carroll ? AW would have bought an entire back line for that and one thats better liverpools right now.

    I have seen nothing to say that Liverpools debts have improved since the new owners came on board only shifted about and yesterday the club that spent 30 mill or so on Robbie fucking Keane out done themselves with a 35 mill bid on a bigger donkey.

    But thats the financial thinking that comes with Damian Commolli an EX Sp*rs man .

    Liverpool heading down the same path as before only now its worse sell the best assets because they cant keep them happy and buy even more crap. The championship is looming for them BUT its not the EPL its division one and bankruptcy.

  • critic

    @paul c.
    i really love ur comments, insightful and intelligent.

    P.S – I want my article to get published, it might not be brilliant but hey, someone needs to start somewhere. Give a chance to rookie writer. 😛

  • Wrenny

    Torres = £50m

    Szczesny;
    Sagna, Djourou, Vermaelen, Clichy;
    Song, Wilshere;
    Walcott, Cesc, Nasri;
    Van Persie

    = £44m

  • Mandy Dodd

    Still think the strangest, most pathetic but ultimately most amusing aspect was Spurs desperately trying to get in on the act and getting nowhere, at least on the final day.
    In the end ,they were reduced to bidding for players they surely do not even need, just to give Arry his fix.
    Very silly and lacking in class.

  • Ian Trevett

    Just watched the Fulham Newcastle game.
    Hope Newcastle play like that against us

  • Dale

    Re Liverpool,
    Don’t get me wrong I think the profit made on the sale of Torres is great business. The Suarez deal looks ok and if they have held out for Adam to get him on a free then that’s also good business. £35m for Carroll is stupid but at least it’s stupid money that they have earned from the Torres sale and not stupid money that was loaned from the banks and was supposedly earmarked for a new stadium. Obviously the signings will be judged on their performances and we can evaluate Liverpool’s future transfers aa and when they happen but for now it at least looks slightly better than the old regime but still not a patch on us.

  • RedGooner

    Dale, Tell me if AW sold Cesc for 50 mill or Rvp and bought Carroll what would you do ?
    Personaly I would cry my frikken eyes out. Thats were Liverpool are heading.

  • RedGooner

    Anyone see The Sun online lead story on soccer “City Draw and Westham win” And the lead story is Cesc shouts in the tunnel at an Everton player how much did you pay the referee.

    Fuck sake he was asking the same thing the rest of us were lol
    I cant believe they made the soccer headline story yet another anti arsenal one.

  • Charlie

    Good point RedGooner. Tabloids love to pick a star and demonise him. Just before there was the story of Cesc swearing at Huddersfield players wanting to swap shirts. Before that there was some misquote that we could’ve beaten Man City with 9 men or whatever. They were made to look stupid when he didn’t join Barcelona so now they want to pester him until he can’t handle it and leaves as they “predicted”.

  • Dark Prince

    In an honest perspective, even though Arsenal were not involved in any of the transfers, these crazy amounts of figure will ultimately have an effect on Arsenal. Just think after all this madness, what price will Lille be askin for for Hazard?? Also the wages that are given to other players, even Arsenal will have to pay a similiar competitive wage. So this madness does affect Arsenal indirectly.

  • FinnGooner

    Charlie I have been thinking similar thing apart I also think Barca got contact with other clubs asking everyone to kick Cesc whenever possible and get ugly stories about him so he doesn’t want to be in England anymore (as they can’t make him stop loving Arsenal they need to make him want to leave the country)

  • GoonerTerry

    Dark Prince Mate:

    I disagree – although I understand the point you were attempting to make. What really will happen is that the asking price for Liverpool will now go up (25 M for Carrol was crazy after the great bit of business on Torres and Suarez). We know that it had already inflated for Chelsea and Man City. Both of those clubs will never be able to pick up a bargain player ever again. Clubs and Agents know that if they asked Wenger to pay a certain figure – and he doesn’t feel a player is worth it – he will say Bolloks! Look at the example of Chamakh: Wenger was prepared to let his contract run down and get him for free rather than pay his club the ridiculous 8 million pounds they initially wanted. Had Wenger succumbed to that piece of extortion then every other club would be emboldened to try that trick! Arsene will get Hazard if he wants him for the simple reason that Hazard wants to play for Wenger. We will also get the young defender Sacko (sp) and we won’t pay over the odds for either player. Mark my words..

  • RedGooner

    Hey DarkPrince, I am not sure I think Hazard is Arsenal mad and will arrive for a reasonable fee. I hope so because I think he will be as good as Nasri.
    His club will negotiate fairly as they know he wants to come here and Arsenal will deal fairly with them no tapping up and possibly a price close to what we bought Nasri for plus add on’s if he does well.

    It will effect wages but I think wages have already been effected by chelsea and mancity, I cant see them rising much further not everyone is a mancity and the rest will go broke trying to compete unless they adopt the Arsenal model.

  • Shakabula Gooner

    GoonerTerry, you have a point there. However, the same cannot be said for their wages. The players are mindful of what their peers are earning. They expect Arsenal to match such wages – if not immediately, then over a short time frame.

  • Dark Prince

    @GoonerTerry &
    @RedGooner-

    Hazard has also a liking for Real Madrid and Real Madrid dont bargain much. Just think Real Madrid bidding £30 mil for him whereas Arsenal bidding £15 mil for him. For a club like Lille, £30 mil will be more temptin. And Hazard will not complain if he moves to Madrid. Even in the case of Chamberlaine, after that mad transfer deadline day, Southhampton will easily demand atleast £15 mil for him. And a club like United, Liverpool or Chelsea will not shy away to pay that amount to a young talented player, especially when that player is english.

  • snehalbumbhatt

    Looks like Fabianski is set to miss the rest of the season. Can’t downplay how important this is. Having Szczesny and Fabianski available and at the top of Wenger’s selection was the most stable the keeper situation has been in years. This means that Almunia is going to continue to get games. Hopefully he can step up… but I see this as a blow for our run to compete in all competitions from now until the end of the season. And no more keeper injuries now…we can’t afford it.

  • gooner80

    I feel sometimes signings are made to mask deeper underlying problems, chelsea had to spend big to paper over the cracks, their team is decaying fast. Arsenal would have been taken to the cleaners if we bought someone and who in their right mind is going to loan out any CB worth his salt. TV5 coming back will be like a signing.

    The hectic Jan is causing all these injuries. I would have liked us to have near full strength for barca and carling cup.

    I am vexed because the refs are corrupt we was supposed to have dropped points against everton. Moyes was pissed and outraged he couldnt do his master a favour. I would hate to hazard a guess but I think man u have gained at least 10 points with strange ref decisions, I believe this is the reason we are not going to win the league and SAF’s henchmen are going to do a hatchet job on a few more of our players b4 the season is over to ensure we drop points dark forces at work

  • walter

    If Hazard is smart he will look at his chances to play football. In Arsenal he will have his chance to play from the start. Will he have the same chance at Real Madrid?

  • goonergerry

    Liverpool look like they have paid approximately 20m over the odds for Carroll who in other respects looks like a match made in hell for Liverpool the place. Whereas Suarez could be a success.
    In reality Liverpool have effectively re launched a rival for the 4th CL spot-Chelsea’s season and probably next season as well-just when they looked to be becoming vulnerable. They have demonstrated amazingly poor judgement.
    As for Arsenal-I have to say that I disagree with nearly all other comments on this site. Are you all saying that it is NEVER justified to spend your profits on a player- no matter how good he is? It appears that you are. Then please explain what you consider to be the point of moving to the Emirates and increasing your profitability and generating significant profits year after year by raising entrance fees?- is it to brag to your mates how much the club has in the bank when you know it will never be spent on a footballer??
    There is a ludicrous amount of over- optimism about what Vermaelen, Ramsey and Diaby are going to achieve this year. I would like to know where the evidence is that players who have suffered such serious long term injuries as these have can perform to such a high level tin the season of their injury?
    The fact is they can’t- and relying on them alone means we have to forego this season.

    Torres is – in the right hands- and Wenger is one- one of the few genuinely world class finishers in world football. A rare talent with a number of years at the top.
    This club has sat on its hands when he became available- when we at a stretch could afford him now and he would transform every aspiration the club has.
    Lets be clear about this -Hazard- might or might not eventually become a world class player-and if he costs a lot of money- Arsenal will not bid for him-Torres already is a world class player.
    I do not criticise Wenger for not paying silly money for Bolton centre halves- but I do criticise him for doing nothing when a player like Torres becomes available.

    Cant afford him has become a mantra amongst those with no ambition who call themselves Arsenal fans.

  • terry

    Good victory for your team lads over the wanabe KOP lot. You nervous yet? You have now lost your top goal scorer and a goalie who could have effectively won you something but now you have you real no1 back – should be good – UTD4EVER

  • Buxcey

    I have witnessed first hand the abuse that has been dished out to Andrey Arshavin over the past few months. We all like to moan and whinge when a footballer paid £50-£100k a week misplaces a simple five yard pass to a team mate, but some of the things said about our little Russian were simply shocking.

    Arshavin – Changed the game v Everton

    As always though, Arsene knows.

    Our 5 foot 4 Gooner, did the biz on Tuesday night. Searching for inspiration, Andrey and to be fair to him, Bendtner, changed the game in our favour thankfully, because defeat would have left us trailing too far to claw back.

    But again thanks to the obviously growing team spirit, we kept plugging away and got our rewards, especially following the shameful display from the ref and linesman which allowed Everton a half time lead. Hopefully Andrey will now find his touch again. I don’t believe he has ever lost confidence, because he has never tried to change the way he plays to compensate for a loss of confidence. And he will continue to run straight into players, he will continue to give the ball away, he will continue to give away silly fouls. Just as long as he keeps providing ammo to RVP, Nas, and Fab, the boy’s fine by me.

    Once again I overheard many a Gooner at the Everton game slagging Arsene for not spending in January again. Why should he exactly? The transfer market is a joke at the moment. £35m for Carroll? ‘Nuff said.

    Five points off the top of the Premiership, Carling Cup final, 5th round in the FA Cup, and a Champions League tie v Barca to come… some fans I truly believe will never be happy with anything the gaffer does. If you are one of these, then maybe you should p*** off down Tottingham High St. There is a certain rumbling of discontent there, which should keep you moaning well into the summer.

    I hope by May’s end we all will again.

  • walter

    Our real N°1 is Szczesny for years to come Terry. I cant say he has done anything wrong in his games sor far. 10 starts only let 5 goals in and 5 clean sheets. Not a bad statistic for a 20 year old keeper. And from the 5 he has let in 1 was a penalty and 2 should have been disallowed by the ref.

    Speaking about refs: I’m more nervous about the refs than about the injuries. And it is the refs that will cause us also more injuries at the end of the day….

  • critic

    it seems chesney don’t communicate well with his defense, that’s his only shortcoming…

    @walter
    It seems tony is superbusy, can i contact u guys at any email id?

  • critic

    nothing can be more funnier than a u(rina)t(e)d glory hunter wandering in gunners world..,

  • critic

    @goonergerry
    This guy is crazier than wenger. What would u do hotshot with torres? Turn him into a centre back?

  • Paul C.

    Goonergerry – you misunderstand why the club moved to the Emirates. When the decision was made to move to the new stadium the board made it clear that the reason was to compete with other top clubs in Europe for WAGES, not transfer fees. There is very little correlation between money spent on transfer fees and success. There is huge correlation between money spent on wages and success. The club NEVER EVER suggested that the move to the Emirates was so that the club could pay more for transfer fees, in fact the club have always, throughout our history, avoided playing the transfer fee roulette wheel.

    Arsenal ARE spending their profits on players. Cesc got a massive new contract. Nasri is in negotiations right now. Our wage bill has increased 50m per year in the past 3 years. If that isnt spending profits on players, then please enlighten us as to what that is?

    And what on earth do you mean by saying that we are relying too much on Vermaelen, Ramsey and Diaby and therefore have to forego this year? Uh mate, those three have been injured all season and we are 2nd in the League, in the Final of the CC, 5TH round of the FA Cup and the last 16 of the CL. Does that sound like we are foregoing this year? If those three contribute much this season it will be a bonus. Who is RELYING on Diaby, Ramsey, and Vermaelen?

    You say Torres would “transform every aspiration the club has”. What the heck does that mean? Who would you bench if Torres arrived? RvP? Nasri? Walcott? Cesc? Wilshire? It would have to be one of those guys. Right now our aspirations are to win the League, win the CC, win the FA CUP, and win the CL (although most of us would just be pleased to give Barca – the best team in the world by a mile – a fantastic two games). So how would Torres change the aspirations of the club? And 50m is a ridiculous amount of money. It becomes 80-90m when you include wages. And when Torres is on 170-180k a week, what will Cesc want as a wage? What will Nasri want? Want will Wilshire want? Are you prepared for our wage bill to go up to 150-160m per annum and to go into debt? Is that what you want? Do you have any idea what it takes to run a football club?

    Yes, Torres is a wonderful player, when fit, and may turn out to be worth every penny for Chelsea. But there was no way that Wenger was going to get involved in that lottery. And for good reason.

    If you honestly think Arsenal are going to get involved in those kinds of silly money deals then you are going to be eternally dissapointed. I have followed Arsenal for 40 years and we dont do things that way. Get used to it. It will save you all kinds of stress and grief.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    In essence, we can thank Chelsea for putting the damper on the AAA calls for us to spend Arsenal’s 2016 profits. Even they can see the stupidity of spending the way Abramovich’s minions.

  • GoonerTerry

    GoonerGerry let me get this straight: you wanted Arsenal to spend 50 Million pounds on Torres, Is that right? And you are confident that he would transform our aspirations? So basically you are saying that the top scorers in the EPL are crap; have no ambition, and; need a 50 million player to come save us? Send me the name of the stuff you are smoking – I’d like to experience that “off my fecking head” feeling you are currently enjoying..

    Thanks Paul C for taking the high road with this one…It saved me the trouble (0;

  • GoonerTerry

    @ Terry: so nothing interesting happening on Manchester United’s blogs eh? Nobody celebrating your unbeaten season…nobody coining new phrases – “Unbeatables” is a bit tempting fate I agree, but surely there must me something you can talk to your fellow Manc’s about. Be a good lad and run along: Gooners are having a discussion here…

  • goonergerry

    Paul C
    It is far from clear what Wengers position is- he has said on several occaisons that he would spend big on a special player who he considers better than what we have. Yet today he said he would never spend 35- or 50 m on a player. I don’t think you can be so sure- it depends how well we do this year amongst other things- like if we keep Cesc and if not what we sell him for.

    But the club have NEVER stated that they are only going to use the increased profitability of the move to the Emirates to increase salaries only or to buy more kids only. Wenger stated on numerous occasions that the move to the Emirates would enable the club to compete on equal terms with the best in Europe. It is reasonable to consider that may include competing for the best players available in the transfer market.

    Is it not the case that the percentage cost of salaries of Arsenal’s turnover is the lowest in the EPL? Is it not the case also that over the last 10 years Arsenal are the only club in the EPL to have made a net profit on trading players?

    So if you can afford it why would you not by a special player- especially when for years you have said you would?

    Are you saying that Arsenal’s wage costs would spiral out of control as a result of buying one player? Really? And we cant afford it. You are only drawing attention to disadvantages of signing any top players- what about the marketing opportunities, the potential for increased commercial revenues and if we did win the CL the financial benefit and the clubs standing arising from that?- and for that matter the increased value of the players we have?

    You mention Fabregas’s salary- but prior to the move to the Emirates we had big wage earners at the club- like Pires. Bergkamp and Henry who in his last year at the club earned more than Fabregas did last year. Whats happened is that our squad is bigger- and we are paying younger less experienced players more money and our overall salary budget is bigger. Looking at this seasons performances and the injury status of our back up players I don’t think you can reasonably argue that this is the only way to go.

    Prior to the last transfer window-Arsenal made an overall profit of player trading in three out of the previous four windows. Unlike you I find it hard to reconcile that a selling club is genuinely competing with the top clubs in Europe.

    I cannot understand why you do not see the point I am making about the expectations of players playing a key role in the run in when they have been out with serious injuries all season. The club is at least one experienced centre back short at a minimum- or would you like to argue the benefits of playing Koscielny and Squillacci together- that combo have been the centre back pairing in 7 of our 8 defeats this season. It is a no- brainer.

    As for where do you play Torres -Are you serious??????? We have played more games in January than ever before, we are in four competitions RVP cant play 2 full games per week let alone the 3 we have- we wouldn’t have to drop anyone we would be able to concentrate more on keeping them fit. The combination of RVP and Torres with Cesc and Nasri providing the bullets would worry every team in Europe even Barcelona.

    I have been supporting Arsenal for longer than you and the club are far more pragmatic than you claim- whilst we look like we could be successful by growing our own we will continue to follow that path – we will never go stupidly into debt- but if our lack of success on the field continues and the value of the Arsenal holding diminishes- then the transfer policy will change. Sure some members of the Board are complacent about success others in the club are far more concerned about the implications of continuing to promise but never delivering.
    There are also other circumstances which could lead to a change- Spurs beating us the next 2 or 3 times we play them, Spurs winning the CL or even not qualifying for CL 2 years on the trot.

  • Paul C.

    Goonergerry – you really think that a players worth is measured by transfer fees? So you think Carroll at 35m is a better player than Nasri at 15m? Or Robinho at 34m is a better player than Pires at 6m? Or Torres at 50m is a better player than RvP at 2m? Or Yaya Toure at 29m (and 200k a week wages) is a better player than Song at 350k? What about Jolean Lescott at 24m as opposed to Koscielny at 7.5m? Or Glen Johnson at 19m compared to Sagna at 6.5m?

    The reason Wenger said he wouldnt pay 35m for a player is because he KNOWS that you can find equal or better players out there at a fraction of that cost. Why would you want to spend 35m on a player when you can find a better player at 10m? Why? And do you honestly think players should be bought for commercial reasons? I would hate it if the club ever used commercial viability as a reason to buy a player.

    And yes, the club did state categorically when the decision to move to the Emirates was made that it was to compete on equal terms for wages with the other top clubs in Europe. They said they never again wanted players like Anelka, Overmars and Petit to move simply because they could get more money somewhere else.

    And remember, the wages that Henry, Piers, Vieira etc were on were the reason the Invincibles were broken up so quickly. We had zero money and the little money we did have at that time was gotten through the sales of those players. All of it is laid out very clearly in the accounts of those years. We could barely afford to keep those guys at Highbury, and had no chance once we committed to the new stadium.

    And the club is “at least” one experienced centre-back short? How many bloody centre-backs do you want in the squad? We have four right now. How many is enough? Sometimes injuries happen and sometimes players dont adjust to new surroundings as quickly as hoped (Squillaci). As we have said before, Squillaci came to Arsenal highly recommended with a terrific resume from a top Spanish side. He hasnt settled yet but what guarantees are there that any other player would? There are no guarantees when you are dealing in the transfer market.

    Maybe Torres will be worth 50m to Chelsea. Maybe he wont. Time will tell. But that is an enormous amount of money to spend on one player. I dont think anybody would complain about having Torres in the squad but at 50m, no way. That is a massive risk that could set you back for years if it didnt come off.

    And lack of success on the field? We are 2nd in the League. We are alive in all 4 competitions. We challenged for the League last season. The year before that we made the semis of the FA Cup and the CL. The year before that we challenged for the League again. We have qualified for the CL umpteen times on the trot. We have retained CL Football despite spending 350m on a new stadium. What lack of success are you referring to? If you have supported Arsenal longer than I have then you will clearly remember the 1960’s. Now that was a time of lack of success on the field. Or the mid-70’s, which I do remember, when we skirted with relegation three seasons in a row. Or the early-to-mid 1980’s, when we had the most boring team in the land, or the mid-90’s, when we looked to be going absolutely nowhere and Spurs were considered the “bigger” club. We are in the middle of a golden age that looks set to continue for many years with the age profile of the squad. Maybe we will win loads of trophies, maybe we wont. One of the great teams in football history, Leeds United from 1965-74, won only 4 domestic trophies during that time. Only one team wins each trophy each year. There are always going to be other teams trying to win as well.

    I just dont know why you would want our transfer policy to change. If we can continue to find gems like Nasri, RvP, Arshavin, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Sagna, Song, Chamakh etc at a fraction of the price that other teams are paying for guys absolutely no better, and if we continue to produce youngsters through the academy of the talent level of Wilshire, Gibbs, Bendtner, Djourou, Chesney, and Frimpong, why would want our policy to change? Just so we can say, “look, we spent ridiculous money on a player!”. That means absolutely nothing. City have spent loads and they are BELOW us in the table. Liverpool spent loads and they are in 7th (and were in 7th last season).

    The amount you pay for a player means NOTHING. The only thing that matters is the quality and value for money you are getting.

  • Paul C.

    Goonergerry – oh, and Arsenal’s ratio of wages to turnover is not the lowest in the League. The lowest in the League is that well-known selling club, Manchester United. Hmmm.

  • Armin

    I am still wandering what worth 35 millions on Carol and apart from his birth certificate, I really cant find any value which could not get for less money somewhere else.

  • Paul C.

    Armin – absolutely. Every single transfer is a risk. The more you pay, the greater the risk there is. Carroll may turn out to be worth that money, and if so, great. But if he doesnt turn out to have been worth out then that is a colossal mistake by Liverpool. Squillaci, by the end of his time at Arsenal, may turn out to have been a bad buy (half a season is nowhere near long enough to judge that – Vidic was AWFUL his first 6 months at Utd), but at 5.5m it is hardly going to break us. We will simply try again on someone else. When you spend 35m or more on a player and they dont work out, there is next time unless you have a sugar daddy to pay your bills. The fee hangs around your neck for years and years.

  • Paul C.

    whoops, should have read “there is NO next time unless you have a sugar daddy to pay your bills”

  • Armin

    Somehow, but maybe I am wrong, January signings are urgent interventions, and I cant see how those 35 millions will help Scousers, gap betwean where they ant to be and where they are now cant be fixed even with more than 50 millions they spend (though I believe Suarez worth every penny he is paid), but again those 50 millions wont bring them CL next season, and without it they lose 50 millions+money they wont get from Champions League.

    We are in a bit same position when bought Arshavin (of course price cant be compared, but in Arsene way of thinking it was worth as Scousers 50), but that money get paid off already at beginning of next season trough CL money.

    On what Liverpool count, as champions league spot is 9 point away + Chavski have one game less, and there is Olimpiakos Hotspur who is bigger candidate to steal that position. And of course they are out of all cups.

    So from my point of view (except if its not cosmetic) 57 wasted millions as UEFA League spot doesnt worth that much.

  • Armin

    Sorry too much wine (start with warming for tomorrow game a bit early) dont help typing in foreign language it was supposed to be:

    Somehow, but maybe I am wrong, January signings are urgent interventions, and I cant see how those 35 millions will help Scousers,fill gap between where they want to be and where they are now. It cant be fixed even with more than 50 millions they spend (though I believe Suarez worth every penny he is paid), but again those 50 millions wont bring them CL next season, and without it they lose 50 millions+money they wont get from Champions League.

    We were in a bit same position when bought Arshavin (of course price cant be compared, but in Arsene way of thinking it was worth as Scousers 50), but that money get paid off already at beginning of next season trough CL money.

    On what Liverpool can count, as champions league spot is 9 point away + Chavski have one game less, and there is Olimpiakos Hotspur who is bigger candidate to steal that position. And of course they are out of all cups.

    So from my point of view (except if its not cosmetic) 57 wasted millions as UEFA League spot doesnt worth that much.

  • goonergerry

    Paul C

    I did not argue in favour of spending 35m on Andy Carroll-in my opinion he is not worth half of that-or for that matter any other over-priced players.

    I argued only in favour of spending big money on special players- exceptional players-who will make a major difference. That does not involve taking a huge risk. There is only a handful of those players in world football and in my opinion Torres is one. When fit, there is not a defender in the EPL who can handle him- and that goes for the rest of Europe as well.

    Having a forward like that alongside someone whose movement is as exceptional as RVPs would in my opinion transform our prospects against any of the top sides in Europe-admittedly it would not resolve our defensive problems- but we don’t need to make a huge outlay to address that.

    Can you not see that making a statement that paying more competitive salaries for top players is not the same as stating that the club will only spend increased profits arising from the move to the Emirates on salaries and not transfer fees-which you have stated? Wenger may have made the statement that it was his intention to raise the salary level-but is it true that he has done this has this prevented players leaving? Only Fabregas out of the current team earns more than Campbell, Gallas, Bergkamp and Henry did pre Emerates. Did Flamini not get significantly more money at Milan than at Arsenal, as did Toure and Adebayor at Man City?

    Every transfer is a risk? There you go again only considering one side of an issue-Every action and inaction involves consideration of risk. Failing to invest in experienced players, spending big money over a number of years on kids who may not make the grade is a risk, building a team around a player whose ambition is to play for another club is a risk-allowing experienced defenders like Gallas and Toure to leave and play for your rivals and replacing them with cheap French players who have never played at this level is a risk- a risk you constantly overlook.
    Football is like any business-under investing may create as many problems as over-spending.

    Arsenal’s prospects look good at the moment – we can fill the ground easily- but we have looked good at this point in the season for the past 3 seasons only to fizzle out- pretty much for the same reason poor defending in key games-injuries-and key players like RVP an JD are injury prone and we have a lack of options through the spine of the team.

    We do have a core of promising players- and back up players who are not there yet and some may not ever be- but I do not think that success is inevitable by any means both now and in the next few seasons. Our competitors are strengthening their squads at a far faster rate than we are able to develop our young players and our bargains. We do not compete for the best players -except as very young players- this leavers the market for top experienced players wide open to our competitors. We haven’t solved our defensive problems and we don’t demonstrate real belief in key games-the belief that arise from experience and knowing that you have players in your team who will score against anyone.

    I do not share your optimism- that this current squad has what it takes to win major trophies like the CL- and the EPL title without supplementing the squad with some key experienced players.

    It is too simplistic to argue that you can get equally good or better players without paying big money-can you get them when you need them? Can you afford not to qualify for the CL for a few seasons whilst your players adapt and gain experience? When you are out of the CL can you still afford to attract the best young players?

    The most successful club by far in the EPL is Man U-and the foundation for their success was on growing their own-supplemented by some purchases of top players-we would not have the revenue to spend as frequently or excessively as they have-and I am certainly not suggesting that we do-but you know as well as I do that their debt problems arose as a direct result of a leveraged buy-out and they are otherwise a profitable outfit.

    Where is the evidence in the modern era that a club can win major trophies like the EPL and CL and sustain success by growing their own, without entering the transfer market to buy any top experienced players ? I dont know of one. Your argument that is the only way to successfully run a top club is simply groundless.

  • Paul C.

    Goonergerry – I am not saying at any point that you shouldnt buy top players. I am saying you dont have to spend ridiculous amounts of money to do so and that transfer fees, especially in January, are absolutely nothing to do with a players quality. We have entered the market to buy Nasri, Arshavin, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Chamakh, Sagna, and many others. You are simply saying that because those players are not worth 30m then they are not as good as those who cost that amount. That we need to spend huge money because only players costing loads of money are of any worth. That is silly.

    And our competitors are “are strengthening their squads at a far faster rate than we are able to develop our young players and our bargains”? Really? Did you see Fergie out there spending 50m on players this January? And Chelsea HAD to spend that money or else risk losing everything. If they dont qualify for the CL it will be a disaster, a far greater disaster than if Arsenal failed to qualify for the CL. Drogba is 33, Anelka is 31, Malouda is 31, Lampard is 32, Terry and Cole are 30. They havent so much strengthened their squad as simply bring in cover for the inevitable decline that their squad will have in the years to come. They need a lot more in that department as well. City had to spend 300-400m quickly just to get up to top-4 level, everyone knew they were going to spend that money and the only way they could attract top talent was to pay over the odds and huge wages. They now have a wage bill of over 100% of turnover.

    And so far we havent failed to qualify for the CL. Even when we had zero money to spend and were down to our last 14m in the bank (mid 2008 – that was all the money in the entire world that Arsenal had at that point, we were pretty much broke, check the accounts to see for yourself. Had the Highbury flats not sold we would have been in serious trouble).

    And of course succcess is not inevitable. Nothing is guaranteed. And yet a moment after you say that you start again talking about how we need to spend huge money because that will bring us trophies. But SUCCESS IS NOT GUARANTEED NOR INEVITABLE no matter what you do. We could have spent 50m on Torres and he could have broken his leg in his first game for us, been out for a year and a half, and been 29 when he returned, on his way down as a player. That is the risk you take with every transfer.

    I am not the one saying that you can win by “growing their own, without entering the transfer market to buy any top experienced players”. I have never said that. I think Nasri is a top player whom we bought in the transfer market. You may not, I do. I think Arshavin is a top player whom we bought in the transfer market. You may not, I do. I think Vermaelen and Koscielny are top players whom we bought in the transfer market. You may not, I do. I think Sagna is one of the very finest full-backs in the world whom we bought in the transfer market. You may not think he is a top player, but I do. I think we have bought loads of top players. I thought Robert Pires was a pretty good player, and he cost 6m. I thought Sol Campbell was a pretty good player, and he cost us nothing. I thought Vieira and Petit were pretty darn good players, and they cost us 7m combined.

    My point is simply that you do not have to spend huge amounts on players in the transfer market to find superb players. The top four of five players in the world will cost 50m or more, but there are loads of other very, very, very good players out there who will cost far less and you can find lots of them for the same amount of money that you would spend on a Fernando Torres. I say let Madrid, City and Chelsea keep spending 50m on players. It just leaves the market open for the rest of the clubs who rely on good scouting and development to pick up the bargains that are out there in there multitudes.