Arsenal should show some more ambition; just like Liverpool

By Walter Broeckx

Some things are hard to understand. A current line that is being used when it comes to Arsenal is that “we should show some more ambition”. And those words are followed by a list of players we should buy. The more expensive the better is the only thing that seems to matter.

Last season Liverpool showed a lot of ambition. King Kenny hardly signed his contract the season before and he showed a lot of ambition. Buying Carroll and Suarez. Now that was ambition a part of the Arsenal fans said. At the end of the season they ended up in 6th place.

Last summer they showed even more ambition. Again the season had hardly finished and Liverpool fans could brag about new shining player coming to their club. Henderson, Downing, Adams…. And at what prices. Now that was ambition. And part of the Arsenal fans looked at it with big eyes and started crying that this is the way to do things. Sack the board, sack the manager, get rid of the players, do like King Kenny does, get some English players in because those soft foreigners have no backbone,  buy, buy, buy…..

This season the ambitious Liverpool won the Carling cup but ended 8th in the league.

Now at that time (last summer) one could partly understand some of the Arsenal fans for being unhappy with the way things were going. But after September 1st this was a line they could not use any more. Because last summer we bought: Gervinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Park, Santos, Arteta and we even secured Benayoun on a year loan from Chelsea.

And who knows maybe I have forgotten a player in this list but this is a total of 8 players coming in at the end of the transfer period.  But yes there was a big difference with the ambitions showed by Liverpool. I think all of our players together cost only half of what King Kenny had spent.

There wasn’t the fanfare  and horns being blown that surrounded the signings King Kenny did at Liverpool. Because King Kenny showed ambition and Wenger his cheap buys was just panic buys. Well 5 of them were. And that young Oxlade-Chamberlain was an unproven talent in the EPL.  Another of those unproven unambitious Wenger buys. Neglecting the fact that every other top team wanted Oxlade-Chamberlain. And that we actually did pay a lot of money for this great talent. If I’m not mistaken he was our most expensive buy (if we can believe what has been said in the papers).  And he is now in the England squad for this summer.

The players that Wenger brought in were in fact almost always players who were or are full internationals for their country. And yet the media labelled them as panic buys. And some of the Arsenal fans followed like sheep. One could say that Jenkinson was unknown. But it was clear that he would be a backup player for Sagna and would get the time to learn the job from Sagna.  Injuries from Sagna changed this a bit but I do think he isn’t that bad at all and will grow in the future. And we can be sure he will play with all his heart as he is a true Gooner himself.

But for the rest…Gervinho – full international for Ivory Coast. Mertesacker – one of the rocks in the German national team for many years and if he gets fit, he will play for them in the next European championship. (Is it bad from me to wish he just would miss out because not completely 100% being fit at the start of the tournament?)  Santos who had played for the Brazilian national team when Roberto Carlos retired and who only missed the world cup because of some troubles with the coach at the time.  Benayoun who is captain of the national team of Israel. Park who is captain of the South Korea national team. I know he didn’t have an impact but should Wenger have put Van Persie out of the team with no reason at all?

How on earth can you not call those transfers ambitious? I can only call those transfer ambitious.  And maybe the most unambitious transfer of them all was maybe the best of them all. The only non international player we bought was Arteta. And he maybe didn’t match the ambition level for some fans or for the media but my god what a buy he has been.

So the whole season we had to hear that we didn’t show enough ambition and we bought another German full international with Podolski. I don’t know about you but for me this seems another  ambitious transfer.  And still people are telling us we should show some more ambition.

I think some will only be satisfied when we bring in Messi and Ronaldo. But why don’t we just show ambition by buying them young and let those young ones develop in to stars.  In the current football world we live in with City and Chelsea and a few others,  that is the only way to show your ambition. Liverpool tried to show it by buying and spending a lot of money on a team that could just beat a second division team on penalties. And put themselves in more debt. Not really the best way as they found out. And as King Kenny found out.

We just should carry on like we did most of the time in our history: we don’t buy superstars, we make them. The only change I would like to bring to this is: we don’t buy superstars, we make them  superstars, and most of all we make them loyal superstars.


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128 Replies to “Arsenal should show some more ambition; just like Liverpool”

  1. Come on now! Do you really mean you want to be like us at Liverpool? That you want to be struggling on the last day to make 8th? Don’t think so somehow….

  2. If I remember correctly, Arshavin was 15mil. Still, also justifies what you are trying to point out.

    That aside, I think we are ambitious. But more often the problems we are having are from the complacent attitude we have (ie. handbrake effect) at times when we are in comfortable positions. This problem cannot be solved by spending.

  3. Spot on as per usual. Great stuff to read, thanks Walter. You forgot to mention Thomas Eisfeld who this season was the second-highest scorer for the BVB U19 team, having found the net six times in 12 appearances from midfield. Allegedly we bought him for about 400k.

  4. Mate i would have agreed 3 years ago,but right now we are standing still while are rivals go from strength to strength.
    Why shouldn’t Arsenal being one of the top clubs in world football,compete for the best players??

    We need to make a statement that we want to win and won’t accept that a top 4 finish for us is good enough.We have no define right to win trophies but we are losing our status which in turn is making players feel they can progress away from Arsenal.We are the only club time and time again put through this with our best players wanting to leave the club.

    This is the summer where Arsenal do have to show some ambition.

  5. We buy young superstars and sell them off when they reach their peak…you call that ambition? Cesc,clichy,nasri,adebayor and a whole bunch of “young superstars” were signed by Arsenal. How many of them were loyal? How many of them helped us fulfil our “ambition” ? At least if we signed a couple developed and experienced players around the age of 26 and signed them to four year contracts, they would’ve reached their peaks and be ready to commit their careers to arsenal. Think about it! I’m not saying we should spend 100m on a bunch of overrated English players like Dalglish did. I’m saying invest in a few world class players, even if it means spending big for once and put more effort into keeping a hold of our best players.

  6. I wont say we should go out there and sign everyone we are being linked with. Id be happy with 3-4 decent signing i.e. giroud (rvp cover), m,vila to strengthen our midfield, vertonghen to cover at the back and preferably a winger as gervinho and walcott arent good enough. Id bring in Belhanda, looks quality.

  7. As an outsider I have to agree with Essex. This summer for me is a summer where Arsenal can make a real statement and sign some good players. You MUST keep RVP if you are to have any chance of competing for the title next season and if you invest wisely you should win something next season. Investing in youngsters isn’t what Arsenal need right now, you need trophies and soon or else players aren’t going to be attracted to you. Because at the end of the day players want to win trophies and medals

  8. Walter,

    This is my first ever post on a blog – and only because you seem a lone (forlorn) voice of reason amongst our arsenal fans 🙂

    We are not a wealthy enough club to buy the absolutely top tier players – and have never been. Some of us are in denial about this fact.

    If Van Persie wants £175K/week, we have to sell him as we cannot afford to pay him that much. That is a simple fact of life – and I can understand him wanting to move if someone was willing to double/triple his salary. All the pundits are urging us to “break the bank” to sign him – an amazing thing to say considering we are seeing all around us what happens when the banks are broken!

    So, fellow Arsenal fans….it is an unfair world we live in, but “breaking the bank” is not the way. It is still possible that given a bit of luck, we could win the league with the team we have, supplemented with players that we can afford. If it does not happen next year, we try again….


  9. Why compare ourselves to Liverpool, I don’t think even Liverpool fans thought their buys were good!

    Arsenal fans have every right to complain that we continually make an unnecessary transfer profit buy selling our best players and not replacing them.

    I think most sensible Arsenal fans simply want us to spend the money we have rather than hear “we’re going to keep our powder dry”

    Kudos to Wenger for managing to finish 3rd with that group of players but shouldn’t we be aiming higher. It was clear from the start we were never going to compete and transfer deadline day came and went twice and it was still clear we were never going to compete.

    How anyone can argue that it’s not negligent to go through an entire season with only RVP as a striker who can consitently score goals is beyond me. So many things had to go right this year just for us to finish 19 points behind. The incredible slump by the Spuds, Chelsea employing a naive new manager, Liverpool being totally crap, Rosicky turning back the clock, RVP playing EVERY prem game???

    What’s wrong with spending some of the money we have to ensure that we’re not relying on the unlikely for our success (if you call 3rd successful) If we have money why not by a back up striker, if you know Diaby has an unreliable injury record why not buy another attacking midfielder, why not buy another elite attacking midfielder anyway, it was clear all year we lacked someone with vision in the middle of the park….

    We all know we can’t afford the £30m+ players but spending what we do have wisely to give the team the best possible chance of success has not been done. Difficult to see how anyone can argue against that

  10. Hi, offtopic alert.

    I was just wondering if walter or tony have been a guest on arseblogs friday podcast?

  11. great post ,its true buying expensive players doesn’t mean will win you titles,yes it may help but its far from certain and liverpool is big example of that let alone their manager d’been showed the door already!
    buying sensibly is the key for me,players price doesn’t indicate their true value,the market is well inflated due to big spenders and agents manoeuvres hiking their clients values all the time.
    for example,Parker was me that was a bargain and we should have had him by then,solid in the midfield and bags of experience.Luis enrique was about 5mil too,he is one of the best four left backs in the prem.league,still we did not go for him!! Kompany was 8mil…title winner and player of the year!!! Demba Ba free!!! Moussa Demblee of fulham his price was under 7mil..he is a top player too..and the list could go on ..just we need to find the right players with the right price away from the hypes of buying 20+mil overrated ones..
    so much talks about Yann M’villa and everyone wants him in arsenal shirt,yes i would love to see him too,but if we gonna get involved in a tug and war game with his club and pay 17+mil for him,we might as well look somewhere else.and i really like the idea of us linked to Capoue from Toulouse,he is by far much better than a lot of people think ,his lower price doesn’t mean he is less in quality than M’villa,i have seen him live many times(i work partly in Toulouse) and he is a real talent and solid midfielder as well as can play centre-back too,i wouldn’t be surprised to see him at the top very soon,today the news around Toulmouse saying that Brca are in for him and preparing 12mil to buy him,they have been linked with him in the past so was PSG ,so that indicates he is a gem in progress.
    so let us hope we secure 2-3 qulaity players with the right price rather than buying big just to plaese some fans and clueless bundits!

  12. arsenal has a huge squad already plus the youngster from the academy who will move up to the first team… we have to sell before we can buy

  13. I’ll add, the fact we finished 19 points behind and the planets had to align just for us to finish 3rd shows that while the signings were OK (read bear minimum) they weren’t enough. All great squad players to have but with the exception of Arteta who i rate very highly who was a difference maker? They added depth to the squad which was much needed and i think improved over the previous year but the overall quality of the first XI was clearly down on the year before…. How is that ever going to win you anything?

    The thing that grates everyone is the refusal to spend what we have when we’re clearly in dire need. Every year we seem to take at least one step back before making a tiny step forward and it’s clear we’re stagnating.

    Surely you can see something is wrong when all our best players want to leave every year. That doesn’t happen if you’re squad is strong and you’re contending for trohpies.

    In fact its a statistical aberration that we haven’t won anything for 7 years we’ve been one of the top 4 teams in the league for 7 years and yet have won nothing…? That’s actually pretty difficult to do. It does not help when we don’t take 2 of the 4 trophies available seriously.

  14. I do think some people have short memory. Or selective memory. Last year around this time all Liverpool was dreaming of winning the title with all the early buys they did. And a lot of Arsenal fans were screaming at Wenger to look at Liverpool and learn from Dalglish. But a lot have forgotten that they ever said this.

    So I just wanted to remind some people of this simple fact.

  15. And maybe it was because it was the end of the article so some might have missed it but I wrote down : “and most of all we make them LOYAL superstars.”

    Now that is some ambition. It didn’t work with Cesc and Nasri for various reason$.

    And you know with the way we have and are bringing a nice bunch of youth players to the first team level this just might be about to happen in the next years.

  16. Hey Walter. I agree with you to a large extent but I think what is frustrating is that most of us agree that we’ve been 2 to 3 world class players short of domination for the last few years now. Clearly wengers focus on youth is attributable to lack of funds due moving to a new stadium, and we seem to be shifting to a more balanced transfer policy. If we can hold on to rvp and get m’villa, trim the dead weight and perhaps sign kagawa or another established creative mf then we would crush

  17. Chunky,
    I think buying Podolski is a very good first move in that direction. I think a perfect Wenger buy. Didn’t work out at his first top club (also because of a very bad knee injury) then went to his home town and kept his place in the German national team even when playing at a lower placed team. Reaching his peek. Eager to prove himself…

    Oh and this is not an article saying “not to buy”. This is an article saying: let us just continue to buy sensible.

  18. Its a good idea but the problem with it is that we buy young talents make them superstars then need for trophies drive them away that means we will remain at thesame level.

  19. And if for some this might have sounded like wanting us to follow the way Liverpool did….then I should read the article again 😉

  20. it really riles me when people still criticise Walcott as not being good enough. Now check the stats, which winger in the EPL has the most assists and actually thinking of it goals? We have a very good squad but we lack the consistency because as soon as one player stands out the hawks come with crazy money and we have to start again and that is all we’ve been doing for 7 years. We had a team at the verge of winning EPL in 2007/08 until Eduardo was assaulted after that the settled team broke up why? the fans were always on the back of Flamini and Hleb. We do that to our players and they then decide to leave then we whinge abt it. How much abuse hasn’t Song suffered over the years like wise Diaby, Walcott even RVP. I bet Diaby will come next season and have his best ever for us and leave and we will moan that he’s not being loyal though most fans call him dross

  21. This is trully a site for all ‘REAL GOONERS’ Constantly on point and addressing the real issues with the game and the ultimate impact on our philosophy towards the game. Nevertheless,we (including our detractors)wait in anticipation of future glory days for the Arsenal knowing that it would be deserved for all our contribution.

  22. Arsenal finished 19 points behind the champions.
    Losers (Liverpool) are not bench marks, rather winners (man city – ambitious) are.

  23. I am afraid that your article went over the head of Essex road gooner and olly.
    If we were to be ‘ambitious’ and spend really big to satisfy ‘THOSE WHO KNOW BEST’, what would they say if we still didn’t win anything. They would say it’s Wenger’s fault for buying the WRONG expensive players, he should have bought X, not Y, any idiot could see that. Whatever course Wenger takes the moaners will find some fault with it, it is in their DNA.

  24. @Stooee21
    Actually the bear minimum is zero bears. Unless it’s a fairy tale, then the bear minimum is three: mummy bear, daddy bear and a little baby bear….

  25. how many top players want to sit on the bench? That’s why Vertoghen wants Spurs he would be 4th choice CB and he knows it. If no one gets injured the kes playing time he’ll get. RVP this season was injury free hence the other strikers got little play time and also lost confidence because RVP pushed the bar even higher. Anyone remember Dean Sturridge wanting to be 1st choice ahead of Wrighty and as that was not guaranteed he refused to come so we bought an 18 y/o Anelka instead.

  26. Excellent article. People have such short term selective memories. We have trusted in AW for sixteen years and have no reason at all not to continue. The man knows the value (not the price) of good players

  27. .

    Yes If only we were Liverpool they are a fantastic team. Henderson is great value at 20m and Adams …. what a player lets get George Graham back …………………

    A shit post , a shit blog if you are a genuine Gooner you should not even consider Liverpool as a comparison.

    Oik approved!
  28. By the way, what gives you all the impression that top players that have been mentioned,e.g Vertongen, Giroud, etc, are going to come to sit on the bench ? Vertongen would be third choice at best, Giroud likewise behing RVP and LP. RVP’s form is why we did not see Chamakh, Park, etc. With amidfield of Song, Arteta and Wilshere, where are the expensive superstars going to play

  29. @John Gee
    I trust AW, but only for 3rd/4th place.

    “The man knows the value (not the price) of good players” — 7 years.

  30. Walter remember the word hypocrisy, that’s what most fans are, especially the post 1998 fans. They also think the media and pundits know best and every thing they write is gospel, so all they do is keep looking at other teams and what they do. another thing some don’t realise is not every player fits into every team and it’s style. Torres comes to mind, even Scott Parker and a whole lot of good players who have moved to other teams and have looked useless to say the least so it’s not just buying for the sake of it because a said player is “world class”. Arsenal for one changed our style of play slightly after Cesc left, we’re a lot more direct and hence RVP has benefited the most, we don’t play with a specific DM the CM’s rotate but Song is blamed for being out of position when he goes further up field and we get caught on a counter. We can buy the whole world and it’s ambition and it won’t guarantee anything. City beat United’s worst ever team on GD after all the money spent. I won’t even go into ours and the rest.

  31. Me again !! Has anybody bothered to watch the Joel Campbell video ? This lad is going to be very, very special – and he cost £900,000 !!! Well done AW, again

  32. Absolute tosh.

    Every season we sell our best players. I can appreciate that we can’t compete with the like of City and Chelsea. But I expect us, considering the prices we charge to compete with United.

    They tonked us 8-2 at their house and finished miles away in the league.

    My season ticket costs twice as much as the equivalent ticket at Utd.

    While the club are happy for me to pay top price it’d be nice to see that reciprocated in the transfer market.

    No doubting Benayoun put in a shift this season but so did Grant fucking Holt.

  33. I do think some missed the tongue in cheek in the headline and the article a bit……or a lot… ah well…

  34. Mick where did i state anything about Arsene???
    Where did i say spend big???

    I’ve never wanted wenger gone and is fully behind the club,but even the most rose-tinted fan can see we have some problem’s here that really do need addressing.We have players who we pay high wages and are not even getting into the team.

    We have a owner that is well known for he’s penny pinching in world sport.We have a very rich shareholder who the club do not even want to entertain even thou they will have to soon.

    Ask yourself this,why is Arsenal the only club that has to make 30m-40m profits every season,while getting 3m in revenues just for one game.Constant tv money from champions league,sales of players.

    I’m not blind,where has our money gone?? I thought that was why we moved from highbury??

    Get your facts right before spilling out complete nonsense.

  35. essex mate you,ve read the article and missed the whole point!even i being french got it,i forgive you i guess the only way in essex is to spend ,spend…

  36. I think you are missing the point here! Liverpool were not showing ambition. Liverpool spent inflated amounts of money on unproven young players. Anyone with half a brain could see that at the time.

    We do need to show ambition, bringing in good players whilst selling off our world class players is not showing ambition it is at best trying to maintain our position. If we sell van persie and replace him with Podolski will that show ambition? of course not.

    I am not in the anti wenger brigade but seriously with people talking such drivel no wonder genuine fans slag off AKB’s. Wenger has done a great job with limited resources but we are not genuinly trying to win trophies. Wenger himself says he counts the premiership and the champions league as the important ones but we have no chance winning either at present. Coming 3rd or 4th is NOT a trophy. If coming 3rd or 4th is all we aim for we definitely need to show some ambition. Wake up!

  37. No mate them people comparing what liverpool and us spent last year haven’t got a clue what there talking about.
    I’ve read the article and all it show’s it that yes we do all want loyal players and making star’s is great,buy haven’t we been loyal to rvp and stood by him through all the injuries,and ask yourself why does he want to leave??

    Wake up.

  38. Thank goodness, I am an Arsenal SUPPORTER not an Arsenal ‘CUSTOMER’. It is actually an insult for some people to call themselves ‘FANs’. They need to go take a proper look at what it means to be a FAN.

    How can anyone claim to be a fan when all they do is advocate for the club to go bankrupt just because they want to glory-hunt?

    If RVP wants more money than Arsenal can afford, so Arsenal should just jeopardise the future of the whole club? What if Arsenal pays whatever RVP wants, runs out of money to improve the rest of the squad and still finish without a trophy?

    The glory-hunters will come back to tell us how useless Wenger is for not seeing it coming. Won’t they? Should we then go cap in hand to their lord and Master, the Usbek-Turgid? Or should Arsenal just go to relegation silently like Leeds or Portsmouth? I guess that’s why most of these glory-hunters are successful managers, uhnnn?

    Good perspective comes only from perceiving brains.

  39. Were most of the paragraphs tongue in cheek ?

    Fabregas, Nasri, Hleb, Flamini, Reyes, (RVP ?)…..all got shot of us for what they considered a better chance at wining things.

    As soon as they’re good enough, they’re cherry picked. At that point we sign Mikael Silvestre !!!

    Best Wind Up ever !!

  40. Lrv what’s being a glory hunter when you want your club to do well???

    No one want’s us to do a leed’s,so get off your high horse.

  41. Essex, You need to get your fact straight. I don’t know where your money is gone. But if you mean Arsenal’s money, it is gone exactly where the stadium money came from.

  42. I can’t believe that people are getting slated because they want Arsenal to win.I guess you just happy to finish above the spud’s.

    I hate that site le-grove and all there follower’s on there because they don’t really love the Arsenal.Are rival’s are getting stronger,can’t you see that???

  43. Lrv you have been duped mate.It’s going in kronke’s pocket.

  44. If you think Rvp want’s to leave just for the money than you are sadly mistaken.He want’s to play in a team that can at least compete to win thing’s.We all bitched about Nasri,but he is a winner now sad to say.

  45. .

    @Essex rod gooner – I bet Usmanov would save us wouldn’t he Essex… you know – help us ‘compete’ and win trophies?

    Why not tell us about that ‘Essex road gooner’ aka ‘jawbreaker’ aka ‘n1 gooner’ – we are all ears!

    Oik approved!
  46. “we don’t buy superstars, we make them superstars, and most of all we make them loyal superstars.” <- This is what makes me proud about being an Arsenal SUPPORTER.

    @Ziggy: Can't agree with you enough. I always dream about a very, very good day when those tawts who call themselves gooners and boo our own players shall make me feel very proud of them by committing suicide.

    Oh, and let me tell you a real story: I happen am a doctor. And some of my patients are really not happy with the cheap, local branded medications I give them. It's so cheap, so how can it be any good, they said. So, to make them happy, I take the cheap drugs back and give them some imported super expensive drugs, which do just the same as the cheap ones, and charge them 10 TIMES the price. Now they are so happy enjoying their lives! So you tell me about "ambition" (and foolishness).

  47. LRV
    I too am an Arsenal supporter and love the club win lose or draw but and it is a massive BUT my season ticket costs me £1395.00. This is substantially more than any supporters pay at any club. I am not asking to bankrupt the club. I dont even want a billionaire sugar daddy to spend his fortunes but i do want us to try to win trophies. I believe this can be achieved by spending more wisely.
    We have too many squad members earning rediculous sums of money, Diaby 60k per week and 172mins of football in a season. Chamakh 75k per week and 1 goal all season. Paying £52k per week to Bendtner so when he went on loan we have to subsidise his wages. Same with Denilson etc..

    Stop wasting money, pay squad players reasonable amounts and then we could afford to have some quality players without breaking the club.

  48. Dan,

    I would have loved Adam to be gr8 for liverpool (nationalistic eyes speaking), as he was for Blackpool but he has been inept all season and as for his holywood balls this season, Song must have much better acuracy. I hope he does come good tho, if only for him to take his club form into the Scotland setup.

  49. Yet again where did i say we need a sugar daddy??
    And no that’s not what i was getting at all.I’m just saying that sooner or later Arsenal will have to take him serious because he snapping up shares.

    My dis-taste for kronke comes from facts.Go have a look on google and study what this man does to all he’s team’s and how they end up.Bloody hell i ain’t asking for 50m players.

  50. As a fan when I ask for the club to show more ambition I don’t mean signing messi or someone for that sort of silly money.

    The two best examples for me of the level of ambition we should be showing are

    1) Juan Matta – we lost out on his signature because we wouldn’t pay 23 milion and would only got to 18m. To me that was holding back 5m and missing out on an ideal player at the ideal time for our club. He was a ready made replacement for Nasri on the wing. We seem to be willing to pay up to about 17m but the extra few million needed to get genuine class is a step to far. Cahil is also a case in point on this topic. We held out for a few million less than they wanted and to be honest it’s insulting to think we only offered for cahill what we paid for Squilachi!

    2) Lukas Podolski – This is a signing which shows ambition. A proven international and a relatively big name. He comes with a few question marks but I think every arsenal fans views this as a great signing. It took me back to the good old days where we spent a REASONABLE sum on players who we knew COULD deliver the goods. Podolski could score a lot of goals. He could be a total flop but we know there is potential. Marko Marin is another good example of this and it’s a shame we didn’t sign him as I feel for 8m he could be a real bargain

    Ambition also stretches to the current squad. It stretches to the manager evaluating each player each year and deciding if this player really is going to push the team forward. Every year the aim must be to improve and develop. Perhaps other teams will sometimes improve more one season but we must never accept going backwards ourselves.

    Each player must also show ambition. Why are we so impressed with Jack WILSHIRE? Is it because of his talent? His work rate? His skill? Perhaps but there are numerous players with similar skill levels. What sets Wilshire apart is that even at his age he has shown the ambition to grab a starting place at a big club. None of these ‘I’m just happy to be there’ type comments or I’ll do whatever role Arsene needs me for. Wilshire is clearly a player who thinks in his mind I will lead this team, I will show with my performance that I am the best. In just the same way that Henry reached the top and then continued to climb, or how Bergkamp continued to add to his game even in his later years.

    Over the last 7 years we have on many occasions lacked ambition and Arsene has made mistakes. He is only human and he will, anyone who is foolish enough to think he is a god and infallable needs to remember everyone gets things wrong. Arsene hasn’t shown the ambition over the last 7 years we showed in the early years. Spending money is part of it but in days gone by players who didn’t perform we moved on and others given a chance. Denilson would have been long gone even if we lost money and at least 2 or 3 other players would have played some of his games to see if they were up to the task

    I have been very disappointed with the last 7 years and I do hold Arsene Wenger to account for them just as I give him credit for the success he brought.

    The end of this season has shown me glimmers of hope, glimmers that the old Wenger may be back. We may once again see the likes of purchases such as Wiltord (bought at his peak for a reasonable fee) again. Podolski is a very good start. Spending 25m on an attacking midfielder and a small fee on a backup goal keeper and then spending anything we make from player sales would probably mean we spend £35m in total this season. A reasonable ammount and easily enough to give us a competitive chance. Defenders will not want to play against podolski. It’s been a while since one of oour signings could have had that unsettling feeling on the oposition.

    Arsene, you have taken your head out of the sand and faced up to the problem of us having one striker who can hit the goal. Please don’t put it back in the sand when we have this great oportunity

  51. @John Gee,

    i agree with your sentiment in general but arty and wilshere cannot be expected to stay injury free all season (& we cannot expect wilshere to play every game when he has returned from a season long injury) and because of that I would like us to bring in a class midfielder (AM or DM) for that reason, one who will also develop into a top top player, tbh, Song has been an ox in midfield for the last two seasons with minimal injuries as well, although, at times late on in the season you get the impression that his performances suffer because he is tired

  52. @Essex road gooner:

    1. To enlighten yourself on arsenal’s finances either scroll to the finances section of this site or google “Swiss Ramble” and read the articles on arsenal.

    2. “We have a owner that is well known for he’s penny pinching in world sport”, please provide your evidence?

    3. Google “Craig Murry Usmanov” and you will find out that Usmanov has a criminal past, so why would you want him more involved than he allready is?

    4. “I’m not blind,where has our money gone??”, helloooo, we had a net debt of circa 400 mill only 5 years ago and now its down to 100 mill, google swiss ramble if you want to be educated more.

    Essex road gooner, please be more constructive with your posts next time…

  53. just a thought. Does signing a player who might stop a young player getting oportunities realy hinder the development of someone who is capable of getting to the top? It’s often said by various managers but I wonder if someone is really good enough and has the right mentallity would just see it as a challenge and force their way to the top, like Wilshire, like Cesc, like Sczenzny would have done if we actually had another goal keeper who could catch.

    I think it may harm the development of most good young players but we should be aiming for the best from our youth and the best always forces its way to the top

  54. Thank you very much Jacobite Gunner. That’s how to state a reasoned opinion.

    Essex, read Jacobite Gunner’s comment up there and you may learn something. Don’t just come and insinuate something you clearly know nothing about. I agree with wanting Arsenal to win something. After all, that’s the main goal. But not at a terrible cost. And I hate fallacious insinuations, bothering on defamation.

  55. I wonder how many of those who came on here today were jealous at how Liverpool “showed ambition”……

  56. …I get the feeling that if Usmanov did ever get a strong hold on arsenal, it’s unique club culture would decline. With him, I just get an image of a bull in a china shop…

  57. Gooner tone – I am sorry to see you using this site to reproduce Tottenham propaganda.

    The season tickets at Tottenham mostly cost more than at Arsenal, and for a far inferior stadium, with many seats having a much worse view than anything you can get at Arsenal – and that is before you consider the content of the games.

    It is true that Tottenham does have some season tickets which work out a couple of pounds per game cheaper than at Arsenal, but this is for some very inferior seats for which there is no comparison with Arsenal. If we compare as best we can the like with like, the best regular seats available for season tickets at Arsenal cost £1955 per season for 45 games. At Tottenham the cost is £1845 for 38 games.

    That clearly makes the Arsenal price £43.44 per game and the Tottenham price £48.55 per game.

    The Arsenal price includes 7 FA Cup and European Champions League matches. If we don’t play that many games at home then you get a credit for next season as you well know – or else we get our money back if giving up our seat. At Tottenham the FA Cup and Europa League tickets are extra.

    What’s more I believe that Tottenham normally charge full price for League Cup games. We charge £10 and £20 – and you get first choice on your seat if you want it, for those matches. If you add that in, all our seats – even the lowest cost seats are cheaper than Tottenham

  58. LRV – always nice to see you here. I always recall that you were with us almost from the start – glad to see you still with us.

  59. @Essex road Gunner Arsenal posts her account quaterly/yearly if you actually bother to know where “our money” went or is going then have a look at those accounts,every year (till i think 2015)we have to cough out 25 to 30 million pounds to service our stadium debt,our sponsorship deals is the lowest among the top teams (Wenger didnt negotiate it neither did Kroenke do) so the only way to make up all these cash is from player sales,this year might be diffrent cos we sold a lot last year to cover up for this year,am all for keeping RvP and making a statement but i dont think we should pay him more than 150k per week(+ his loyalty bonus of 5m) we have stood by him all through his injuries and if he says he wants to leave cos we dont match his ambitions (i doubt he will do it though) i have just one question for him: did he match our ambitions while been on the treatment table all those years? He appears to be someone who knows a thing or two about loyalty so i doubt it will come to that.

  60. 50k 60k a week for a CL/top 4 club is actually average wages if you compare to other teams. We also are the ones who complain about player loyalty and for not paying the going rate as the reasons we lose our top players. If Nasri had a season like his first season at Arsenal we would be whinging about how much money he was being paid, he had ONE good season and his stock rose and with Mancini about players will be able to command huge wages for one season of good performances. Diaby, Denilson and co have been either unlucky with injuries or been in and out of the team so are not consistent however, their wages you would have thought was to encourage them to show loyalty had they played to their potential and the hawks started to circulate above. People say we can’t unload them because of their wages, well the teams with interest in them are on the lower end/scale but will it be difficult if they turn it on next season and they are coming to the end of their contracts? we will be screaming for them to be offered more money.All It comes to is that we are fans and need to support the team and encourage then. Someone is paid to crunch those numbers. Our job will be to dispel the negativity from rivals and media. The truth is the others are jealous and worried we manage to sustain it on our meagre budget and will do anything to destabilise it. It will not surprise me it was Spurs idea to destabilise us at the beginning if the season through the press(Harry the hacks pal) cos it all went quiet when we overtook them. I just wonder.

  61. I can not believe that last seasons summer buys were “panic buys”
    Up until the last minute Arsene had to face one of two possibilities before buying players. Did he buy for a team playing in the Europa Cup or the Champions league?

    His buys proved the right buys. If he was panicking buying then Arsene is a ‘lucky panic buyer’ and we can be proud of his luck.
    However Arsene has a reputation for maticulous planning in all aspects of football (and for all we know in all aspects of his life).

    There was no panic transfers but the negotiatons had to be done quickly in order to beat the transfer deadline.

    Another factor that Arsene had to face last summmer was that for the first time there was not the preseason preparations in Austria its was fly away to far away Malay.

    So the team got off to a bad start. This happened to Arsene at Monaco and Monaco tore up his contract! Arsenal didn’t. Result? Asenal finish 3rd Totty Botties 4th. I don’t know what happened to Littlepuddles as my eyes can’t see that far down.
    Another excellent blog from Untold Arsenal.

  62. Goonertone seems to know a lot about the wages that Arsenal players earn. Just for interest could he give us a full list of the players earnings together with the proof of where his information comes from. Maybe he works in the accounts department at Arsenal FC in which case I defer to his knowledge. On the other hand he is gullible and just repeating the utter rubbish about players wages frequently spouted elsewhere.

  63. Good article Walter, as usual.

    Today, media is not only radio, tv or newspaper. We lived in the flat world now!

    Internet, websites, blogs also have a lot of influence to us. They need audiences, hits, and crazy news or topics is good for them.

    So, buying a young player with high price is a good news, they will be another Messi, another Ronaldo, another Bebe (LOL).

    Buying average player like Downning for 20M is big news, buying Poldi for 10-13M is not big news, no ambition.

    Buying Per for 10M, buying Poldi for 13M, is very good bargain, worth it! But it is too cheap for media, not big news, no ambition.

    The other thing that we must remember, football is not math. Sometimes football is unpredictable, who will predict Arsenal at 3rd and Chel$ki at 6th at the beginning of last season?

    Even without RVP, our squad is good enough! Believed me!
    Can not win tittle? Let’s see! (that’s they said about Montpellier last year, comparing with new PSG)

    Our squad just need believed and supports from their fans.
    They need supports from us, whenever, whatever, forever.


  64. Seriously you are deluded. You have just made up those figures for the scum season ticket prices. I am annoyed you actually forced me to check their website which was horrendous but if you disbelieve me check the link
    If you believe what you preach you should not have to lie. Clearly you are happy playing for 3rd or 4th place and have no wish tou do better. If you aim low you never succeed.

  65. Goonertone,

    are the ticket prices less @the spuds so that fans can get taxi’s outa-there quickly after games in order to get to safer areas of London?

  66. Also, looking at the chelsea prices. Charging anything more that say £8 a game to sit in the shed end area is daylight robbery. The viewing quality is poor and all you get is yobs thumping on the top of the “shed”.

    -experienced this when I was @the chelsea bolton game earlier this year (no arsenal home game that weekend we went down and there was a chelsea fan with us)- tangent here, Ryo skinned the chelsea players all day!

  67. Jacobite
    You are going a bit off point now. This was about showing ambition now you are making it about the shit part of London the spuds are based in. Am I wrong for wanting us to compete again? Should we just accept being in the champions league but never winning anything?

  68. Goonertone.

    Look down at the Gray and Black Boxes (For Centre Pitch Seats) and you will see exactly where Tony got the figures. As he says Spuds best seats vs Arsenal’s best seat the cost per game is higher for Spuds tickets.

  69. Goonertone,

    my question was just bait and I was surprised you actually bit.

    No, you are not wrong in wanting us to compete, but have you missed the point that we actually do compete right now, in fact, we actually punch above our weight if you look at our net spend (for the last 8 years)compared to all the other top clubs in the EPL-and before you say, why do we not spend? just look at the fact we have paid down our net spend from circa 400 million down to 100 at present.

    We do not have a benefactor who spends money like it grows on trees-jeezo, please read the finance sections of UA and the Swiss Ramble blog if you want to further educate yourself.

    I am content for arsenal to challenge for the league and champers at the moment, which, i beleive we do, although we are never favourites anymore because of our self-sustaining model (which we will probably not see the benefits to until 2015) whereby arsenal wil be posting large profits with a full capacity(world class stadium); be able to invest these profits into wages and purchases; attract the best youth players in the world due to the facilities, structure and reputation that arsene has created for arsenal (in fact, his youth legacy will benefit arsenal long after he leaves)

    All the while chelsea and liverpool and spurs will be overtaken by arsenal in player spending due to thier limited matchday income at their vastly inferior stadiums, which incidently they are all looking to move away from because they have realised that they are not making enough money. Constructing these stadiums will cost them hundreads of millions, which subsequently will affect thier player spending, while, arsenal will be mostly free of their stadium debt, ya day, ya day, ya…

    Have I not made myself clear? (Goonertone, this is rhetorical, no answer is needed, like my previous question above)

  70. Trivia, how much Roman take money from his wallet for Chel$ki? How much Arsenal stadium he can buy with that money?

    Isvinitye Roman.

  71. I think when supporters say Arsenal should show more ambition than liverpool they mean it in a different sense.

    Arsen has such a good track record on buying players those supporters mean if he was spending similar money that arguably he would buy better players than liverpool paid for and hence improve the team.
    Im not saying it is or isnt the way to go but the fact remains we are always one or two players away from briniging back silverware and still keep selling arguably on paper our best players.

    This summer should tell a lot about our direction.

  72. i surely cant wait till we’ve paid off the stadium and re new some deals. till then im blessed enough to watch rvp and podolski week in week out bang in spectaculars. to watch theo improve his technical game, as ive been pleasantly surprised at some of the tricks he’s pulled off this season. that can only breed confidence for next. and if you lift up one of the wings that help him fly so fast you’l find the ox. another i’ll enjoy watch develop into a legend.

    there’s many reasons to love this club, my one at present being that black and purple number with the red bits doing the rounds.

    a must buy if real, erg sexy. as rob would say.

  73. You could look at ambition in not just a footballing success point of view.

    If you looked at it from an ethical view of how your club conducts itself in transfer dealings and how players conduct themselves on and off the pitch, I believe (although very hard to quantify with all the different variables) Arsenal would be high up the list, which could be largely proportioned to how arsene wants his players to behave and the culture he drives for.

    And if we continue along this vain of a comparison to Liverpool, they have a bona-fide thug as a captain (yes, that’s you gerard), who was guilty of assaulting a dj for the reason of not playing a song he wanted. Maybe he didn’t want to loose face in front of his mates-we shall never know but how he wasn’t found guilty when there was CCTV evidence of the assault astonishes me (but lets face it, we all know why that is).

  74. ‘Show ambition’…it sort of reminds me of the ‘War on Terror’ How do you make war on on a tactic|strategy? How do you show ambition…yell a lot? Throw money into the wind? Tell everybody and their dog that you want to achieve `Great Things`?

    No, seriously, what someone might perceive as `showing ambition` may well be seen by others as `propaganda` or `running around like a chicken with its head cut off`.

    Or, showing ambition might just look like establishing a goal, and staying the course (with minor adjustments) until you have achieved it. Hey, I know a club that is showing ambition…ARSEN…naaah…you must be extracting the Michael.

  75. Hmm exactly what trophy were we close to winning. We’ve come up a long way short fir a long time now. I think we could compete if we had not become a feeder club. We take on young players, coach them till they become top class then sell them just when they hit their prime years…. Then we start again. Dont get me wrong wenger has done wonders keeping us in the top four while balancing the books. Playing some very average squad players and still making the top four but the top four is still not a trophy. When you grew up and starting supporting Arsenal did you think “I want to support a self sustaining business”. Or did seeing tony Adams or patrick vieira lifting trophies excite you?

  76. Goonertone

    I’m happy supporting my team, watching them playing at the highest level year after year, watching new talent emerging, watching players develop, watching a legacy being built, watching the club transform the face of football, watching entertaining football…. I could go on but just incase you don’t get my point, I don’t support Arsenal for trophies however I do appreciate them when they come along. If we don’t win a trophy, it’s not the end of the world.

    I’m extremely happy that the future of all the reasons I support Arsenal are not being risked for some short term gain resulting in long term unmanagable debt. There is a thin line between managing debt and going to the wall in football and we are on the right side due to our sustainable model, teams like Birmingham, Rangers, Leeds all took the risks many are calling for now and ended up on the wrong side. It’s not that I’m happy to accept third or fourth but that I’m not prepared to accept the club going into oblivion.

  77. Not only did the article go over the heads of some, it appears what has gone on with player wage demands, injuries and poor refereeing seems to of also gone over their heads too. I had hoped that some would of finally had a reality check or attitude adjsutment, but nope clearly not.

    The ‘lowest common denominator’ amongst the Arsenal fanbase seem to still be ridiculously using words like ‘negligent’ in relation to those running Arsenal FC and quoting player wages, which they don’t know the details of as fact. I doubt they know what their friends in their immeadiate circle earn, let alone what an Arsenal player earns! I support Arsenal because I enjoy doing so, I wonder if some of those leaving comments can say the same.

  78. Goonagal,

    I’d go so far as to say I support Arsenal where as many of these you talk of believe the club should be there to support their bragging rights to their mates

  79. There is a saying out there “you get what you pay for”. Thing is with the cost of a season ticket and our extortionate food and drinks at the emirates I don’t believe we do. You may be happy seeing Nasri, clichy and Toure winning the league at city, Ashley cole winning loads with Chelsea and various other ex players winning trophies at other clubs. You may take heart in knowing they honed their skills at our great club. You may even look forward to seeing van persie leaving to end his career with some medals but I don’t.
    I don’t expect to win something every year. I do expect to be in the mix come may and not be out of everything by march or before. I expect our club to tie up the players they have coached to a high level so that they cannot leave on the cheap. I expect us to look at our bench and have players who can make a difference when they come on the pitch not look to see chamakh, park, almunia, squillaci etc. I expect our club to be honest. If we want to win things get a squad that can compete, if we don’t want to invest in our squad and we want to make a profit on transfers tell us the truth. If they are happy with 3rd or 4th tell us the truth. Don’t tell us we want to win things then sell our best players and not invest in quality players to replace them.
    Clearly you have accepted being 2nd tier. I on the other hand see us as the 3rd most successful club in England and want no expect more.

  80. Oh damn!

    24th” and Farca already lead 3-0. What is Bilbao players doing on the pitch?

    And, our beloved former captain sitting nicely on the bench, waiting for his trophy.

    I don’t know what is his feeling if Farca win and he not play. Like Tores, win CL trophy without playing at final.

    Hungry for trophy…
    Oh football…

  81. Goonertone,
    In the last 7 years we have been taken away one league title (2007/2008) by the PGMOL

    We have lost 2 CC finals (rather coming close I would say)

    We were some 15 minutes away from winning the CL

    We have been in the 1/2 of the CL and the FA cup in that period

    Even last season we have been losing points because of bent/incapable/biased (pick or choose them all) refs when we were getting very close to the top (I think we were first after our win against Everton – then stepped up Phil Dowd at Newcastle to derail our title chase just like they did in 2007/2008)

    For you this might not be close enough. But that is because you have other ambitions. Maybe personal ambitions?

  82. Two things.

    Firstly on the offtopic; Goonertone, did you read your own link? As clear as day, the Spurs West stand upper centre tickets –> £1845, just as Tony used in his post.

    To make the point more clearly, their cheapest season ticket is £730 –> just over £38 per game for the league matches. Ours is £985, but includes the 7 cup/CL games. Its not an exact comparison, but over the 26 games, ours comes to –> Just under £38 a game. Ok we pay more up front, but it evens out. That doesn’t factor in that they are paying to sit in their dump….

    On point with the thread, like many of the posters here I want to win things, but cannot subscribe to the idea of win at any cost. Like many older fans, I survived the wastelands of the 70s and 80s so 7 years without winning anything is bad, but I have seen worse.

    In the end I support Arsenal over the long term, so my first priority is that I get to enjoy my club. That means that the club remains healthy so that I can bring up the next generation as supporters. That means that the club plays football that I enjoy watching. Winning is alongside those two thing, but not at the expense of either.

    We finished 3rd this year in what has been our worst season in ages. We do need to strengthen, but what would represent ambition? We cannot match either Manchester club, as United are the only team that is financially larger than we are, and City simply do not play by the rules. Those are the only two club we came in behind.

    Podolski is exactly what I would be looking for, and I would suggest that Arteta was the same. If his transfer had not happened when it did we would have been heralding it as exactly what we needed. Arsenal has rarely been about the big stars, but the team.

    Liverpool, and to an extent Man City suffer from having the opposite view, with stars who don’t have synergy. For me it is not about making big signings, but the right players to fit with what we already have.

  83. Oh and just for the record I support Arsenal even when we lose. I was at Cardiff when we lost to Liverpool but still came away proud to be a gooner. We outplayed them but lost. We did not actually win but at least we competed. Same against Chelsea at wembley. Competing is what is important. Having a good go at it. Not capitulating year on year seeing our goals conceded going up and up every season. Yes I want to win but don’t ever say I don’t support my club. I am Arsenal through and through. My 8mobth old son is a junior gunner and has been for 7 months. I just want us to go back to trying to win.

  84. Our most expensive tickets are £4500 so you can’t compare their biggest prices. If I’m honest caring about spuds season tickets is not so important to me. The cc final we were so close in was a long time ago. I don’t wanna argue with arsenal fans so you go on enjoying watching kids become men then leaving. I hope it makes you all happy seeing our best players leave. I hope can persie stays but if he goes to win things before his career ends I hope it makes you happy. There will be new kids on the block to replace him. We all love the club but I think you seem to have excepted being also rans.

  85. @ Walter, I forgot to say – good article.

    @ Tony 4:42pm – very good points about the tickets, not to mention the prices have been frozen too. I reckon the club could put out a press release illustrating the value for money and also emphasising just how low ticket prices are for CC games (not just ad’s in the Evening Standard newspaper).

    Also the way these articles that periodically appear in newspapers and even on the BBC should be corrected by the club. Not only that, when factoring in the cup games along with the League games, I reckon the median average for a ticket would be lower. I would also factor in ‘London weighting’ (well tis more expensive here) would reduce the average cost also.

    Last season I was at the Newcastle Vs QPR game which was a second tier (or third I forget), as in it was considered one of the cheaper games because it was not Arsenal, Chelsea, Man U etc and this cost £47.50. Not only was it expensive considering the two teams involved, it was an uneventful boring 0-0 draw. It was in no way value for money.

  86. @ Goonertone *yawn*. Started to respond, but found myself saying ‘bucket’ instead.

  87. These people who nowadays talk about ambition, where were they when Vieirra, Henry, Laurent, Kolo Toure were bought? How much was each? Did we win? How much did Dortmund buy their players? Did they “show ambition”? How about Montpeilier, did they “show ambition” by spending crazily? Like Barca bought Ibrahimovic for 45m + Eto? Like buying a defender whose name is so difficult to pronounce for amount and selling for less than half at the end of the season? Yet the club owes so much! Or Rafa Benitez’s purchase of Keane for 24m only to re-sell at 12m six months later? It is just a pity that things went for us the way they did, especially those seasons we were first or second on the table at a point and then ended up 4th. And to the person who described Parker as a decent buy, go check the stats compared with Song. It is sad that some mind have been so shaped by the press, they cannot see things any other way. Let’s just get behind the team like our supporters on the 8-2 day. They were fantastic!

  88. @ Stuart – Agreed. To say we haven’t been ‘in the mix’ to win something over the past few years is utter bull.

  89. @Ruffustan, thank you. Most of these “buy crazily to show ambition” guys are young people. They often imagine players can be picked like apples. These people have choices! And to those who go on about panic buys of last August. Arteta had to accept a pay cut and such a deal doesn’t look to me like panic buying! Someone spoke about Cahill. Wenger felt what Bolton wanted was not the guy’s value especially as he was certainly not the sterling defender many believe he is. If he was, Sir F would have gone for him instead of younger chaps like Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. Instead we got Per. Six months later, Chelski got him for 0.5m less than AW offered and some people blame AW. I don’t know what for. How come Chelski did not notice him in August?

  90. @Goona Gal, good point. Who want to see cheap game but poor?

    If I am not wrong, I think Roman kick Jose because he makes Chel$ki played boring football. My wild speculation is Roman fall a sleep in a few games, so he decided to kick out his coach.

    Sexy football, hmm….

  91. Goonertone,

    Get your money out, buy the club and start spending like Man City, then you can expect.

  92. I do enjoy it when the grovers come onto UA sometimes, at least it’ll provide some entertainment over these summer months

  93. Well said! Buying the most expensive players is very rarely the way to build a team.

  94. Rarely the way to build a team eh let’s see barca, real Madrid, man city, man ure, chelski, all buy and all win trophies. If people had actually read I don’t expect us to spend loads I expect us to spend more wisely. Not waste money on players that do no benefit their squad.
    Incidentally I’m not a grocer either they think im an akb.
    I guess I’m just somewhere in the middle. Not blinded by club propaganda and not in the spend spen spend brigade. Ive been an arsenal fan for 40 years an remember this club when we fought to win.

  95. Goonertone,

    Maybe I am reading it wrong but you seem to be contradicting yourself. You say ‘Not waste money on players that do not benefit the squad’ in one breath and earlier on you said ‘I expect our club to tie up the players they have coached to a high level so that they cannot leave on the cheap’

    Well it is doing the latter which has caused the former IMO

  96. right Goonertone,

    we’ve all had enough of this, get back to your green grocers.


  97. If I am not mistaken, the other club that people were talking about, using words like “ambitious”, “challinging for top four” and “great buys” was Sunderland. They ended up as number 13. Jolly good.

  98. I don’t want to pick on Goonertone again, as I really understand the frustration he feels, but the list of clubs he mentions highlights the problem we have in being competitive.

    The five clubs mentioned are who we should be aiming for, but we are financially outstretched by all of them and that affects what we can do. Three of the clubs are self sustaining, but the weakest of them is Man U who make £100 million a year more then we do. Barca and Real double that. The other two are smaller than us, but that is irrelevant as their owners seem happy to push unlimited amounts of cash into the business in order to get what they want. All 5 can pay wages and fees that we cannot.

    For Arsenal, there are only 3 options:
    Compete directly with them using our current finances, but that leads in the direction of Leeds and Portsmouth.
    We can get a benefactor of our own (Usmanov?), it would work but personally I would hate it, and I feel it would just add to the building crisis in football finance.
    Lastly we can do what we are doing now, which is find the best deals, and buy players that we can afford that fit our system. This relies on Arsene finding hidden gems, bringing on youth players, and a lot of luck (which we’ve seen very little of recently).

    2 examples to finish with. If Van Persie leaves on the deals suggested in the papers, 4 years at Man city will cost them about £80 million in wages and fees — money that the club simply doesn’t have. Thats how badly these benfactors are skewing the system. If we keep him at the figures reported, we will have spent maybe £12 million on him next year. The numbers are crazy.

    Equally, M’Villa will fit nicely to our needs and if none of the 5 clubs mentioned earlier come in we could easily buy him. If one of them take an interest, they can afford to pay him £10-£13 million a season, which we just cannot. That is the problem we have with ambition, as ambition is tied to money.

  99. A van persie deal might look like 130k a week with a sign on fee of 5 mill (henry got 5 mill). this would equate to 6 and a quater mill a year and over a 4 year contract and this totals just under 30 mill including a the signing on fee…

    ….yes, 30 million for a striker who’s got maybe 2 twilight years left in him who is unfortunately, quite injury prone. Is RVP really worth it considering the resources we have for contracts and player spending and if we got 25-30 mill for him and re-invested it in the first team, would that be such a bad thing?

  100. Stuart no contradiction. Don’t waste 75k ow in players like chamakh, waste money in park etc. tie up players like van persie, nasri etc players who are clearly world class.

  101. .


    There is a lot there I agree with you on but not all good players cost fortunes. Mata wasn’t rediculous money. Papiss cisse was not fortunes. We could have signed hazard last summer but went for gervinho who is a poor 2nd option..

  102. jacobite gunner,
    As you know, RVP is talsimanic and charasmatic (a little redundant there?) and award winning. So, another knock on effect of re-signing at top value lies in attracting other top-flight or affordable mid-flight players wanting to be because they want to be a teammate; potential commercial/strategic sponsorships with him on the side vs. without him; the favorable buzz he can create for us in the media (however begrudging). These are a few value-added reasons to consider.

  103. p.s.2: Also, many players attest to what a great captain he is. Team chemistry has surely got to matter and he seems to help stoke and deliver that.

  104. Some people say that we’re one of four strongest teams in the league and we should be title contender every season. Well, you should consider who we are competing with. Chelsea and ManC have unlimited resource that they can buy any player in the world. MU is referee’s favorite club which ensure them advantaged 15-20 points every season, and they also have a very powerful resource too.

    Wake up people. It’s not just us and MU like the old time. It is growing harder and harder every years. With our current resource, we are very lucky to have Arsene Wenger helping us stay in the upper tie of the league every year. That’s a massive achievement.

  105. Jacobite Gunner

    That is a fair point, but as bob has pointed out, RVP is also a symbol of the club. Those figures make perfect sense. That much of an outlay on a player who will be 30 when his current contract ends is not the most, economical. However, part of a football club (or any business) is run on perception. All the profits that accrue from running the club as a business in some way or the other are linked with perception. If we are thought to be a club with no ambition, we won’t find takers both in terms of sponsors and players. So, as things stand. I;d say it’s worth paying RVP those sort of figures to ensure he stays.

    What IS interesting is, if we’ll take the deal off the table (or offer a lower deal) if he gets injured at the Euros. I think we should lower our offer then, and we should tell him now that that will happen. He should commit to us before, or else he’s taking a risk. It is essentially a game of chicken, but Arsenal should not blink first now. To be fair, I’m quite calm on the whole thing. Even if he leaves. Someone else will step up. Someone always does.

  106. Goonertone,

    No, it doesn’t make sense. If Chamakh had turned out to be a star, then all you would be doing is praising what an excellent bit of business it was, it’s at an early age these commitments (gambles) need to be made because once the players start to show their promise, other clubs come calling. I’ll use Nasri as a perfect example. He had one good season then Man City came calling with the cash and all of a sudden we should have already tied him into a long contract (like Chamakh) before he had shown how good he could be.

    With regard to RVP, why would you tie someone who spends more time in the medical room into a long term contract? I think this is the first full season he has played for us ???

    If Wenger had tied RVP into a long lucrative contract and he only ended up playing 18 games last season and next (like in 09/10 season) , you’d be coming on here telling us how much of a mistake it was.

    You are talking purely in hindsight.

  107. this is why it makes me laugh and it is so much sweeter when we finished several places above liverpool.

    i also wonder why so many fans are so stupid to think that spending loads of money is the best way to run a club. I agree that history has shown paying more money is likely to equate to more success. but paying money you dont have, will equate to ruin… as history also shows us.

    Why dont some fans relate to their own lives before saying arsenal should compete with man city or chelsea? Its like if they are “competing” with Bill Gates. you can also go for a luxury yacht, private jet and penthouse like him… but its pocket change to him. for you (most of our fans who spout that nonsense), you will go bankrupt and go to jail.

    i assume thats where credit cards make their money on these idiots… all this fucking up their future for short term happiness.

    one part i don’t agree with in the article is the pride in spending a lot less than liverpool. I think we have money to spend (as much as liverpool at least tho certainly not levels of man u, chelsea, man city). its great that we have very good players for about 10m… but imagine if we spent (with the same eye for value that wenger normally has)20m-30m on a player. he would surely be world class and not Caroll, Torres, Downing, etc.

  108. Ed,
    I have to pick up on your last point. I think it would be near impossible for Wenger to use his ‘eye for value’ in the transfer market spending £20 to £30 Mill and finding a gem. Any player priced at these higher numbers will already be well known andmost likely over priced, if they are not, this would not be such a bargain but more like the players you mentioned.

    Wenger’s transfer dealings have earned him a good reputation by the players being un-knowns and therefore not having much value attached to them most probably through not being suited to the team they are in.

  109. Stuart

    Just for the record I was not just talking in hindsight. Chamakh was never a prolific goal scorer even in an inferior French league. He never had pace so even before we signed hime I could not see why we were so keen to sign him apart from the fact he was free.

    As for Park he scored goals in the 2nd tier in France and internationally against very poor oposition. He also needs to go and do international service in the army so I could never understand why we would upset lille by stealing him after he had agreed terms to sign for them particularly as we wanted Hazard. Seriously did you ever believe Park was the answer. All I can say is if he was the answer what was the question.

    I do not need hindsight to know when players are under performing but we persevere and persevere with them then give them another contract earning big money (denilson, Djourou, Vela, Bendtner etc) then we can sell them because of the fat contracts.

    Walcott was on £60k way too soon. He has hardly set the world alight but now wants £100k per week. Is 100k a week for Walcott value?

    As for Van Persie, yes he has had injuries almost every single year however he was always clearly talented. Even when injuries plagued his season he still scored goals at a good rate.

    We all love this club I just dont agree that being ambitious is a dirty word. I dont think wanting to win is wrong but some of you seem to be happy to just exsist. I dont expect us to win but I expect us to try. Being more sensible with contracts would be a good start to allowing us to look at bringing in a sprinkling of top quality to help the young potentially great players improve.

    You cant win titles if you are constantly transitioning to the next batch of potential and selling on the ones who have started to hit their peak. Its not rocket science!

  110. Hindsight again too tbh.

    In one breath you say “Walcott was on £60k way too soon” which contradicts an earlier comment where you cited Nasri as your example of where we don’t sign players up on big enough contracts soon enough. He only had 1 good season FFS.

  111. Sorry Dogface.
    Everything is just perfect. We get great value. Wengers 7.5 Million salary is cheap. I dont want us to win trophies as long as I can watch young players learn their trade playing possesion football from left to right and we stay in the top four. Arsenal utopia eh!! Hope that suits you better…..

    Theirry Henry was a world cup winner, a player who took less than a year to start proving how good he could be, a player blessed with bags of pace, plenty of skill and most importantly composure.

    Walcott has been at the club for 6 years and is still potential, paying him 60k was over the top for a player still yet to prove his worth. I still believe Walcott can become a great player but he is some way off the finished article.

    Why do we have one of the highest wage bills yet only one player who is world class?

    Nasri always had the talent and composure, yes he had one great season but it was still bad management to leave his salary negotiations until he had one year left on his contract. It was the same with Clichy and it is the same for Walcott and Van Persie. I dont blame Wenger but I believe our contracts negotiations are flawed.

    FFS do you really think wanting to win is bad!

  112. Goonertone,
    You are contradicting yourself again, it is quite clear all you want is to have arguments and aggro. You’re now saying it is bad management to not have improved Nasri’s contract earlier (before he proved himself) yet it is also bad management to have players on improved contracts before they have proved themselves.

    You’re boring me now with your idiotic argument for the sake of argument shit stirring attitude. Truth is, as I always sy, if you don’t like it, don’t pay!! Simples!

  113. @ Stuart,

    That’s why I didn’t bother with him. In a social setting he would be the guy that everyone makes their excuses and moves away from while he’s left nursing a flat pint. He was boring and wrong about 10 posts ago. And most definately part of the problem and not the solution.

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