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July 2021

What would Arsenal look like if Mr Usmanov had taken control this summer?

By Tony Attwood

There were two 0-0 draws of interest on Sunday.  One of course you will know all about, and undoubtedly the AAA are setting out their new stall.  Last season it was all about how many goals we let in.  Now realising that we don’t let in goals any more they are talking about not scoring goals and how terrible the loss of RVP is.

Anyway, the other 0-0 of interest was Paris St Germain v Bordeaux.  PSG, as you will know, have spent just about more than the rest of the French League put together in order to build themselves a championship winning side.   They are not just the Man City of France they are the Man City + Chelsea of France.  The richest club in the world, and they are spending like it – not just on transfer fees but also on salaries.

What is so interesting, to me at least, is that PSG have followed, to the letter, the model that the AAA would like to see adopted at Arsenal.  Spend, spend, spend, and then when you have a spare weekend, spend some more.   There are details of what they are up to in an earlier post here.

So PSG have bought anyone and everyone, and they have played three, drawn three.  Marseille are top, and Remi Garde’s team Lyon are second.

It just goes to show that buying, buying and buying again is not what it is all about.   Arsenal have two players missing from what most would recognise as their first choice back four (Sagna and Koscielny) and yet comfortably got through two games without a goal against.

Here are the stats, as provided by the Guardian:

  • Possession: 67% Arsenal
  • Corners: Arsenal 11 Stoke 0
  • Goal attempts Arsenal 17 Stoke 6

Which tells you that Arsenal dominated the game, that the defence snuffed out anything that came their way, that the midfield are providing everything for the forwards, but the forwards are not working as a partnership.

Now let’s see what PSG got up to – after all they are the sort of team we could expect if Mr Usmanov was in charge of the club:

  • Possession: 60% PSG
  • Corners: PSG 7 Bordeaux 2
  • Goal attempts PSG 13 Bordeaux 10

Which tells you that PSG dominated but not as much as Arsenal, that their midfield is not as integrated as Arsenal’s and that their defence let Marseille through more than Arsenal’s defence did with Stoke.

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Overall my point is that trying to make too much out of opening games with clubs who have transformed themselves in the summer is difficult.  It does take time to settle new players in, and because of the Euros we didn’t have that much time to get new systems tried and tested.  PSG are the same.

The game also showed us that Santiago Cazorla is a remarkable player and when we have a midfield that includes him and Jack Wilshere together I think we are going to see an even more  remarkable team.

Historically we get 0-0 draws.  In 2005/6 we had a couple of 0-0 draws (against Villa and then Man U) and went on to win the next game 7-0.  In 2006/7 we had two draws and a defeat in our opening games and then won the next five in a row.

But the series of blanks I most remember was 2008/9 in which we drew four consecutive matches 0-0 against West Ham, Tottenham, Sunderland, Fulham – and if my memory is correct there was also a 0-0 in the Cup in the middle of that lot.  Then we went five wins in a row before drawing 4-4 with Liverpool.

My point is simple – goalless draws at the start of a season tell us little more than we already knew: our attacking midfield player and two of our front men are new.   The defence, so heavily criticised last season, is solid, because it is not new.   In half of the last ten league games last season we conceded zero.  And if we look at the five men in defence for the Stoke game we can see three (because now I have included the keeper) who are not normally first choice.

“Gunners firing blanks” is a headline as old as the nickname for Arsenal players (I think it was introduced after the first world war).  It doesn’t tell us much apart from the fact that the journalists who use it are singularly lacking in literary imagination.


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80 comments to What would Arsenal look like if Mr Usmanov had taken control this summer?

  • Arun

    Media, which used to criticize our defense at every given opportunity last season,is silent about our defense this time around. Both our opponents barely had any goal scoring chances against us.
    But as usual, they need to criticize us and will find any reason to do so. It’s just that now I prefer to read comments on their articles more than the article itself.

  • Leon

    Arsenal are an easy target – they manage their affairs very effectively and are careful. Perhaps if they went the “City” way and spent hundreds of millions of pounds to win a competition that will net them perhaps 40 million then they would garnish the respect from the scummy English press – and yes they are scum – pure and simple…

  • Bradster

    Guessing that you didn’t create the title of this post cos it has nothing to do with any purchases made by billionare ownded teams.
    Surely that would include Chelsea and they’re top of the pops.
    I agree that the draws are not a disaster and should be taken on merit according to New strikers, park the bus and organised defence of Stoke and Sunderland.

    Not sure where the AAA’ers comes in as I’ve only seen papers using it to make headlines to tie in with RVP’s first goal for Man U.

  • tygme nicky


    pliz arsenal fans we ve to be realistic, lets not always come with some defence mechanisms, ts true we conceded last seasons more than any other member ov the big 4!, now ts two games without scoring a goal, which is also true. ALL WE NEED RE TROPHIES, NOT EXCUSES!!!, man city,ve won two trophies in two seasons, what do we ve to show?, 7 years no trophy. We ve to accept our weeknesses,we nid more players en stop loosing good players!!!! Oik approved!
  • Jonathan

    An interesting and brave post so early on in the season. Will be good to see how this reasoning stacks up come May. As far as I can see Man City and Chelsea have spent big and won things last season and the seasons before between the two clubs. PSG may win nothing this season but you can be sure success won’t be far away in all likelyhood. As for Arsenal under Usmanov I would expect RVP to still be there on higher wages and helping the others settle in with less pressure. As mush as I hate the spending culture of football it is fast becoming the reality that to have real success on the pitch, ie trophies, you need huge cash injections. Finishing third or fourth isn’t real success, it’s better then 13th etc but still not that great. Still I enjoyed your post and only time will tell.

  • big ernie

    Take the positives out of the situation, we have what we have, the players that have left are gone ! Steve Bould has started to sort out the defensive problems and we have kept two clean sheets. Face up to the fact we are not going to buy someone with the quality of Cesc or RVP, but AW brought them those guys through. We have a few duffers in Givhinio, Walcott, Ramsey, Park, Asharvin e.t.c (some of who will be on their way soon)in the squad, but lets hope AW can turn around the form of ones that stay around. We will probably get one maybe two good players in (not world class) and then the squad will settle. I am more optimistic this year than the last two and although I think the title is out of reach, I genuinely think we can win something this year when the new boys bed in !! Keep the faith and support the team no matter what or F*ck off and support another team …. keep it gonnerish !!

  • ClockEndRider

    For the umpteenth time, there is no evidence whatsoever that Usmanov will put money in. At no stage has he said he would do that. It is all by implication in his leaked letters to the press etc. in fact, he stated that the first thing Red and White would do would be to institute a policy of issuing dividends to shareholders. This is money out.
    I appreciate not all supporters are able to understand d some of the financial terms used I the shareholder battle, but that should be Aston to go find out what they mean rather than just parrot some lazy journalists who have been bougtn and R&W PR men with an interst solely in furthering their boss’s interests.

  • ClockEndRider

    Apologies for some of the typing in the above.
    + “a spur”.
    Sorry for the swear word.

  • Alan

    Not a completely balanced argument. Bordeaux won the French league a few years back and have quite a handy team, whereas Stoke are… well it’s Stoke. Rather than pointing to PSG as an example that things are not always greener, it’s far better to look at things rationally. It’s two games into the season, the attacking players have not played much together and it may take time to click. Also, Stoke away has become a bit of a bogey game, similar to Bolton when Fat Sam was in charge.
    It’s strange that even after the Sunderland game people were starting to question the new forwards, yet United lost to Everton and no one questions their new signings.

  • RGG


    PSG will come right & win the League.

    Arsenal won’t.

    Where’s you fucking argument now???

    Oik Grand Master!
  • don

    If Arsenal had been taken over by Abramovich or Shiekh Mansour we would achieve the same success as them.Money buys better players.Ya Ya Toure or Diaby?The only blessing that Abramovich took over Chelsea was that he nearly took over Spurs

  • Jonathan


    I was commenting on the posts title and content. I was not suggesting money was definitely going to be pumped in. I was doing what the original post was doing, ie speculating outcomes, surely you can read the original post and my comment and work that out? By the way I like many others can workout financial terms, but how you know that Usmanov might not pump money in but will pay shareholders given your comments re leaked press reports is beyond my limited knowledge!

  • Randy

    Usmanov has lost at least a billion dollars on his purchase of facebook ctock on the IPO. He purchased 29% of Arsenal for 300 million and that share is at least double that. The board which is is not a member is responsible for that increase. If Usmanov ever got control of the club, I can guarantee that we would win silverware because he would spend excessively to compete with his boy at Chelsea. I can also guarantee that that the value of the club would decline as it would be laden with debt or the operating cost will far exceed revenue. So folks, what do you choose, win now and operate at a deficit or compete well with a chance winning and securing the future when financial fairplay comes in to play?

  • Phil

    Alan – naturally Tony’s point is a simplification, as he concedes, but a simplification that aptly makes the point. Bordeaux winning the league in 08-09 doesn’t detract from TOny’s point as their team has been gutted then, with even the manager off.

    Basically we need some time for things to gel, and with that time things will look up. Personally, I’m happy to see a solid back four – even if we are slightly less potent going forward this season without RvP, we could potentially make huge strides defensively and on balance, be a stronger side.

  • The BearMan

    If Giroud, Podoski and Carzola can stay relaxed and start enjoying themselves on the pitch they will start to find the back of the net. Believe me GOALS will come!

    No pressure!!

  • @Randy – you can’t ‘guarantee’ jack shit… nobody can – there is no way even Usmanov cam come close to competing with Manchester City – so that would leave us chasing domestic cups for silverwear – which is nice but not when you have to spend 8 figure sums to get it.

    I agree with your point about debt – but that debt would also serve Usmanov’s interests as a loan rather than this nonsense of him ‘keeping up with his boy’ like it’s all a game of jolly hockey sticks – unless it’s just keeping up with the money owed from a cash generating business.

    The only way forward for anyone other than Manchester City and the blood-sucking middlemen is financial regulation.

  • Dickto

    Its good to be behind our team but we should also point at the weak points depending on our views.Arsenal new boys have so much pressure to deliver and that is also making it so hard for them. But in the real sense arsenal needs to improve the attack, the back line is good now.

  • With regards to:

    “Which tells you that Arsenal dominated the game, that the defence snuffed out anything that came their way, that the midfield are providing everything for the forwards, but the forwards are not working as a partnership”

    I would love this to be true – the defence does look more solid and it was looking better towards the end of last season BUT the two teams we’ve played were very negative in their play so we are yet to see a true test of our solidity at the back – the signs are good so far though but we are being too cautious in our play at the moment… but that will change as well as the players gel – so the early signs look good there too.

  • bob

    ” It does take time to settle new players in, and because of the Euros we didn’t have that much time to get new systems tried and tested… My point is simple – goalless draws at the start of a season tell us little more than we already knew: our attacking midfield player and two of our front men are new.”

    With due respect, that our players played in part of the Euro 2012 is only part of the performance story. An other part of the story is that AFC/Emirates Airlines business side cooked up the Summer Tour 2012 which took away weeks of integration time among the new and old players. You mention Euros 2012 but not Tour 2012, when both have contributed their part to our players being “new” to each other.

    That Summer Tour – as some of us here mentioned at the time it was announced, and when Arsene looked liked he’d rather be anywhere else than doing that – is part of the mix in dropping four out of the first six points, whilst earning two points.
    A fuller picture here would analyze possible effects of the Euros and the Tour which put 2 of the 3 new players in Nigeria (if I remember correctly) but not with the first team, as used to be the case, training together in Austria for several more weeks. The business side did no favors (to be polite) to the state of our current attack. And one can only hope that those dropped four points won’t bite us in the end.

  • ClockEndRider

    Jonathan @ 1.19,
    “but how you know that Usmanov might not pump money in but will pay shareholders given your comments re leaked press reports is beyond my limited knowledge!”.
    Ido t know that Usmanov won’t. Him that regard I know as little as you as I don’t have access to the man or is investment vehicle. However, I can use some facts in the public domain to back up my belief. Like the fact that in Jen of the statements made by R@W has Usmanov given any inkling of wgphat he would actually do. He has simply stated repeatedly that the current set up is not good enough blah blah. he has also stated that he will institute a dividend policy. It is only fair to infer from the lack of anything resembling an actual plan snd from the fact that dividends are by definition a cash out transactin that Usmanovis not looking to behave like Abramovich or Mansour. It’s quite simple really. I look at what he has actually said rather than what I would like him to have said.

  • dein

    Pathetic comparison!

    So Man city / Chelsea are expected to finish in the same position as PSG?? You trying to show the journalists how to be creative in literary imagination??

    This site has lost all credibility.

  • ClockEndRider

    DogFace@ 1.41,
    I find that people who use phrases like “I guarantee” when they are not in a position to do so, or who end sentences with “believe me” or “trust me” are invariably unable to construct a cogent argument and feel that simply putting some spurious form of guarantee at the end of the sentence somehow makes up for the utter lack of substance in their argument.
    It is similar to Fergusons favourite- putting “there’s no doubt about that” at the end of a sentence when there almost invariably is, when what he actually means is ” I’m out on a wing here and if you want access to press conferences and players for the rest of the season, don’t query what I’m saying”.
    Both of these are nothing but cheap rhetorical tricks.

  • Menace

    He goes where he wants
    he goes where he waaaants
    Greedy Van Persie he goes where he wants

    Our team was fantastic. The ref yet again allowed Stoke to kick Carzolas legs in serial fouling – a Pulis speciality.

    How could such an evil stamp on Carzola not be punished? FA you have to take action as the referee was found wanting yet again.

  • Jonathan


    You must have missed what I said about speculation. It’s sounds like you are against him, me personally I can’t see it being any worse or better than the current set up, just under this set up I can’t see Arsenal being realistic challengers for any major trophies. I use the likes of Gervinho and Chamak to back up this argument, they are players of limited ability for the division they are in, but they are not exceptions, far too many of the squad are not good enough and that is a result of current policy.

  • iniez

    re both teams being more defensive. I was thinking the same thing myself. Sunderland had everyone behind to defend and still managed to catch us out on a few occasions and, though they were only a few chances, they could’ve gotten a goal. Stoke did try to attack more but I think we defended much better against them. The pressing was great and we were winning the ball back quickly after losing it. Their chances weren’t great and while they did prioritize defending, I feel that our collective defending forced them back even more. I think next weeks game against liverpool will be a good test of where we are at this point in time.

    Just to throw this out there, do you think bould’s influence on our overall shape may be affecting our ability to create? Maybe it’s just me but it seems as though the players aren’t positioning themselves the way they normally would. While individual fitness and gelling are surely culprits, maybe this re-shaping will also take some getting used to? Maybe it favours defence over attack?

  • ClockEndRider

    The only way any club can compete is by having an owner willing to spend money on a scale making Russian Czars look like skinflints. It’s just not going to happen. In the absence of such a person, and there is no evidence that Usmanov will spend like a drunken sailor much less a Russian Czar, best we all get used to not necessarily winning through having the best plays but through craft skill and guile if the manager and the staff. By the way, that had been the pattern in English football for almost all if my life until the new money came along so perhaps that’s why I find it so easy to accept it.
    We can either accept that and be happy or live ever after like a load of miserable teen goth fans.
    I prefer to be In the former camp.

  • bob

    “How could such an evil stamp on Carzola not be punished? FA you have to take action as the referee was found wanting yet again.”

    I too was alarmed by the stompings. Perhaps even more alarmed by the post-Weimar bloodlust let loose toward Aaron Ramsey. (Why didn’t Shawcross wave against it?!) This all begs serious questions:
    Seriously, are there no legal remedies that can be applied to a situation where there is an INTENT to injure. Whether its individual horror tackles or gang-banger serial attacks, the effect – if not intent – will be to damage a team’s assets in ways that – in, for example, the leg-breaking assaults that we know all too well. Does it take the expectable/predictable assault on Carzola to publicly warn, object, initiate pre-emptive legal remedies; that is, can AFC not raise the legal bar before there is another sport tragedy? If not, then will we finally threaten, if not use trench warfare retaliation on the pitch against the other side’s best player?

    My point is that “Pulis-Ball,” whoever practices it, should be openly denounced and declared: (1) against football’s rules; (2) a form of illegal economic warfare to destroy an organization’s material assets; (3) an act of criminal assault by its perpetrators.

  • Arsenal1Again

    Swings and roundabouts. United has lost a game and their main striker for months through injury, RVP is doing a Giroud and needing time to settle, despite him scoring an opening goal in their last match. Man City with their manager bleeting that the team that won the league last season has no chance of winning the Champions League and to boot, they drew this weekend. As for Chelsea, De Matteo is at the helm of a ship that steers itself. For seasons since Mourinho left the team has pretty much been managerless. The players go out and do there own thing, do whatever plan they come up with in the dressing room among themselves … which is exactly why the team will continue to fail. Chelsea with their geriatric players, rickity defence and no manager will not be a problem and that’s with Torres bang on form … they couldn’t do it with Drogba on form … so no problem there either.

    Sure we’ve had 2 draws, but like I say, swings and roundabouts. There’s no better time to be playing Man Utd or Chelsea. Let’s pray Giroud can open his scoring account at Chelsea in the dramatic was Reyes did in the Invincible year, albeit the FA Cup for him. Giroud will have played about the same amount of games by that match as what Reyes had done … oh, and I doubt Szczesny will gift the opposition the ball to make it 2-1 ala the style of Barthez to Henry against Man Utd, though that was twice.

    I’m not worried about a thing, though it would be rather nice to see a DM come in. Arteta, Chamberlain, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky are better deployed more forward without having to worry about defensive duties too, or so I think. It seems such a waste of beautiful energy and talent being stuck so deep. Yes, with an out and out DM, these guys can run amok over the 2nd and 3rd of the pitch. Cazorla and Podolski can even join the party too. 😉

  • Who gives a fuck,you wana support a good team ? go and support Barcelona by the way there is Madrid,Manure and man$ity leave our Arsenal alone and we will see how we get relegated.MORONS

  • John Lynch

    Most of the media and a lot of the familiar football “experts” were predicting a Stoke win, because Arsenal hate going there and can’t cope with their “physical” (euphemism for “dirty” approach). They became even more strident when it was announced that Vito was to play (“inexperienced rookie keeper will be bullied by Stoke etc.)

    To hide their disappointment at the result, all their comments are about firing blanks and missing Van Persie (who was playing in last season’s draw).

    On a separate point, Lee Mason’s performance was much better than feared, even though he missed the handball-penalty in the first half and gave a yellow instead of a red card for the dangerous tackle on TV5. On past form, he would have given a penalty against Gibbs and maybe sent him off.

    I wonder whether your excellent analysis of referee bias has started to have some effect in PGMOL.

  • bob

    Your points have merits, but let’s not say that RVP is taking all sorts of leisure time to bed in there. The first match, all of 20 minutes time, he showed a very good combination with Kagawa and a near miss. The second match he scores (and with Rooney gone due to injury). Saying that RVP also is going to have to take his sweet time to bed in – even if you and I wish that were the case (say taking about 4 years to do so) – is wishful thinking. It does not correspond to the reality of our loss – as Arsene was the first to acknowledge at yesterday’s post-match press conference – and of Manure’s gain. Imo, it’s better that we stand on solid ground and face facts as we try to bring about what’s best for our side.

  • Mark

    Great article man very well thought out.

  • bob

    sorry, meant to write: “to our loss of RVP…”

  • Xtreme

    compare it with Madrid,chelsea,Mancity even Man U…not P fucking S G

  • The font

    I like to have a flutter every now and again last 4 bets all winning I have just placed a bet on arsenal to concede less and score more than last season looks a dead cert to. Me

  • Danish Gooner

    Sorry but your argument stinks.Arsenal are consistently in transformation PSG are only in to their second year as a rich owners play thing.

  • Shard

    If money is the only way to trophies, do quality players play for money or trophies? The answer is pretty clear.

    But money is not the only way to trophies. Arsenal would have disproved that theory well before it became established fact, except money (probably) also affects refereeing standards seemingly. And of course reporting standards.

    We may win a trophy this season, or may not. But I am enjoying the ride and nobody. Not the media, not the naysayers, not even our team’s deficiencies will take it away from me.

    The one thing that annoys me is any match outcome being due to referees. And on that subject, ManCity have already had an offside goal, the 1st against Southampton, and Chelsea have had an offside goal too, and what I count as a dive by Torres resulting in a Hazard penalty. They’ve also had Cech handle the ball outside the area and not be punished for it.

    DESPITE that, it appears that referees are handling matches better than the previous seasons. I would keep vigilance though. I suspect they have reverted to type and will only look to influence matches blatantly towards the last stages of the season. We’ll see.

  • top gunner

    come on wenger. we r not even goin to make to top four this season if we r goin on this pace.i can see this throphy drought to contiune.wenger plz resign now. your youth policy is not working and won’t take us anywhere.O ya!!! definitely workin for the boards cuz u nurture young talents and when they mature u sell it for profits.gud for a few fabregas,toure,nasri,clichy,now rvp n song,who is next walcot,ox?? well done wenger on ur Youth policy u should get an award.

  • Xtreme – only to happy to oblige. Let’s take Real Madrid

    Real Madrid’s start to the season is a 2-1 defeat at Getafe and a 1-1 draw at home to Valencia.

  • Shard


    The tour has harmed our preparations. I classify that under the heading ‘unfortunate’. The tour is vital I feel. If we are to compete with the brainless cashrich clubs, (not to mention referees and media) we need to maximise our earning potential. Is it worth the 2, 4 or 6 points it MIGHT have cost us? As you say, we’ll only know at the end of the season. As I said, I think it is just unfortunate, but the tour is necessary I think. Maybe we could have rushed through to arrange another friendly once the match in Nigeria got cancelled, but I guess that was not possible either.

  • Shard


    And Barcelona (the bestest team that ever was and will be) went behind to Getafe and relied on a possible offside goal, and scored again after Getafe had a man sent off for protesting the decision to allow the first goal to stand.

  • top gunner

    article is total rubbish…wat u think bout rvp goin to man’s all bout the money money…

  • osmosis

    please guys explain to me why on earth cant the board allow usmanov a slot in there,,

    no 2.i think coquiline is better than diaby please why wont wenger give him a chance

    no.3 these guy called wellington silva,i think he plays like cr7 why wont wengeer allow him to play,,only to send him on loan

  • theHotHead

    How will Usmanov taking over Arsenal or buying players laden us with debt ? He has the money .. unlike the Glazers .. unlike Hicks and Gillet it wouldn’t be a leveraged purchase ! Too many people assume that people want Usmanov in to spend to match Chelsea et al, no they don’t.

    What Usmanov will do is allow Wenger to buy the players he actually wants without us penny pinching all the time, I mean, Arteta took a pay cut to join us – our 2nd most important player last season !!

    I don’t wan us to spend big money, I’d prefer we remain frugal but buy players we need and take it to the Citys and Chelseas and beat them – that would give me much pleasure.

    I’m not reading too much into the 0-0s, I’m sure the team will click, but you could say this was the third game our new boys have had – their “pre-season”.

  • rusty

    My broadcast didn’t say why Mannone started instead of Szcz / Fabianski — any word on their prognoses?

  • jbh

    Walter/Refs – what is the definitive law about time wasting? Are there no guidelines? Both Sunderland and Stoke from the first minutes would routinely take 40+ secs per goal kick and 20+ secs per throw in?
    Difference between time of possession for Sunderland/Stoke vs real possession (no. of passes) indicated 10 to 15 mins of time wasting. This is killing the game. Why anyone would pay money to watch this time wasting is baffling.

    Re Stoke. Good result. No major injuries and no goals conceded. The key to the game was the grass. 5cm+ long. Like playing in treacle. Great comparison was to watch how the ball simply fizzed over the Anfield playing surface in the later Sunday game. It will be interesting to note if Stoke keep the grass at this length for the rest of the season. Next home game for them is Man City. In responses to the question of the grass Wenger said: “you can’t complain” (interestingly ambiguous). You cannot make any comparisons of this game with any other, and as a marker for the season does not rate, especially with the long grass. As Wenger always says you can only think about title contenders after 8 to 10 games.

  • Sam

    You are advising us not to draw conclusions based over two games, but you are doing the same by drawing comparisonsg with PSG based on two games. I am not complaining this year. Wenger bought well this year. But damage has been done to our squad and reputation over the past years. Wenger is now trying to rebuild our reputation by buying good quality players. Its not the quantity, but the quality of the players that matters and ultimately wins the trophies. Anyway, I am happy because I have adjusted my expectation. I have looked at our squad and come to the conclusion that although we will do well and the team is better than last year, we are not going to win premiership. So as long as we play good football, I am happy. It’s called being realistic.

  • alex

    By reading the title I thought you are going to give us some insightful about PSG and the draw/loose situation.But I found your post more inclined to the Stoke game than Usmanov.I had a feeling from your previous writing you don`t like Usmanov.
    Fair enough ALL this fat people that they are buying football clubs they are just after their money.Stan is not different for me.So what compelling reason are to single out Usmanov?
    In regard to PSG even though i dont follow them but i guess they have a manager like Mark Hughes he bought player at astonishing amount of money and extraordinary salaries.
    In fairness we have three examples here in the premier league that after spending silly money CHELSEA-Manu-and now City won titles.The same goes to Real and Barca.I can safely say money buy you titles.Here i am not saying about the financial implication.just the trophy.Do i like it ? No!

    Slightly out of the topic I want to ask this question

    When,wich year Arsenal will be debit free ?
    For how long is going this financing debits argument ?

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    The vast weight of evidence shows that spending money on players doesn’t work. For every year we’ve not won a trophy you can find lots of teams with greater net transfer spend who won nothing and finished below us in the league. Spending money on the wages of your squad is a far better indicator of success and yet, as I’ve posted before, in any given year, only one club can win each competition and if one club does a double or treble an awful lot of money is wasted by the other big spenders.

  • JohnW

    OK Alan, forget Bordeaux, Real has only one point in two games! And yet their forward line has been working together for atleast 2 years. The point is,for the media to now shift on Arsenal not scoring, when this time last season, we were leaking left, right and centre smells of some double standards. It seems as if some one is engineering the negative publicity.
    I also have a feeling that should we start scoring, then they will look for another anomaly to leap on.

  • Mick

    @ Danish Gooner. Your argument stinks as well. So what, it is irrelevant that PSG are only in their second year as a rich owners plaything, it will only be a matter of time before they prevail in the French league. The whole idea of the PSG model is to buy instant success. Furthermore Arsenal, together with several other teams, are always going to be in a state of transition as long as the ‘rich owner plaything’ teams are allowed to constantly steal our star players with offers of riches beyond compare. Hopefully FFP will put a stop to this situation. As Tony says, conclusions based on two games is ridiculous, how can anyone dispute that.

  • Stuart


    How can you guarantee Usmanov will spend? and secondly, why is that the only solution you seem to be able to comprehend. Surely the other clubs that spend will also be guaranteed the same trophies as us so we would be joint winners with Man City and Chelsea maybe?

  • Stuart

    Why are people unable to read between the lines here. When R&W holdings say the current set up is not good enough, they don’t mean it is not good enough for us (Arsenal). What they mean is it is not good enough for them as it is not earning them any money at the moment.

    Think logically please. Arsenal is a rare case in that it actually makes a profit and by further increasing turnover, whoever owns Arsenal can make ALOT of money. If we get to Manu Utd levels of turnover you are easily looking at £100Million profit per year on the current business model. Usmanov can see this as a way of adding more profit per year to his portfolio which is why he is so adamant about owning Arsenal. If the guy was a fan and not out to make money like he portrays himself to be, he would have donated some money already for use to strengthen the squad (maybe last season). This guy is not an Arsenal fan, he probably hadn’t heard of us until a few years ago anyway.

  • ClockEndRider

    Well put. The idea that someone who grew up years ago in central Asia was glued to his radio late into the night listening to Arsenal games, or evn came to Arsenal later in life at the same time as developing, somehow, a billionaires empire, is frankly laughable. There is no evidence that he wouldn’t behave like the Glazers, or Portmougpth, Rangerrs or Leeds owners of past times. Tthis is despite all the expensive PR he has tried to utilise.
    Lest we forget: this is also the man who that threatened long standing Arsenal supporting blogs early in his battle for shares with letters from very expensive lawyers. Giving, I would suggest, more of a glimpse into his likely behaviour once in full ownership. By his deeds shall he be known.

  • Adam

    @Don, Some what unfair assessment. “If Arsenal had been taken over by Abramovich or Sheikh Mansour we would achieve the same success as them, Money buys better players.Ya Ya Toure or Diaby?” For one signing Yaya Toure had nothing to do with finances, It had everything to do with a work permit back in 2002/2004 when he first arrived in Europe from ASEC Mimosas to Beveren, Please remember he turned out for Arsenal back then at Underhill. He then left the EU (Beveren) to play ball in the Ukraine. So no European side got his signature. Arsenal will not pay £20odd million quid for a player they should have picked up for half a million back in 2003. As for Arsenal having the same amount of success as the “oil clubs”. Give Arsene that amount of money and he will either “give it back” or win every damb thing in sight.

  • bob

    “When,wich year Arsenal will be debit free ?
    For how long is going this financing debits argument ?”

    I join you in asking this question as I have (sporadically, rhetorically, and directly) several times. You won’t get an answer because those who know won’t say, and those who don’t know say that it’s AFC’s right not to tell anyone information because it’s proprietary and might empower our enemies and competitors. I don’t know and can’t know, but mostly I object to people who ask this question being told not to ask for a big world-class signing or two because of the stadium debt and the early-repayment penalty and that’s that. Blessed forced ignorance, don’t ya think?

  • Stuart

    Bob, Alex

    Have you tried asking Swiss Ramble for an estimate?

  • Johan Greening

    Has it been a policy to slow the games down as this year and last year we seem to be playing a slower tempo which allows longer periods of possession but doesn’t frighten the opposition that much.

  • Bangladesh

    One of the most pathetic articles I have ever read in my life. An amateur writer. How can you compare Arsenal’s game with PSG’s? It’s a completely different league. And no ones saying do a Man City or Chelsea. We have the best manager in the world. Just one or two quality signings would see Arsenal winning things. But yet again the board do not want to spend RVP & Songs £40mil which they have all pocketed. Not to mention the Champions League money as well as Ashburton block sales £25mil and the board still haven’t managed to replace RVP with a world class striker like Llorente, Pato, Jovetic etc.

  • pray tell bangladesh, how the board pocket cash? Seeing as they don’t take dividends… stop talking nonsense.

    Van Persie out roughly accounts for POdolski and Giroud, though the balance is negative, an outlay for Arsenal. Then there is Cazorla…

    Try looking at the financials once in a while before attempting to pass comment on them…

  • tomstoned

    why on earth do you drag up PSG as a comparison.?..lets stick to what matters the premier league..and you know what…both city and chelski looks pretty solid to me…or ??

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Tombstone…..2 games played and you conclude that City and Chelski are pretty solid? Let’s see in January and May!

  • Stuart


    why compare with PSG? Simply because they are simlarly run to City & Chelsea and prove it is not perfect like those of you with your ££ sign eyes believe.

  • theHotHead

    @Mick – the solution is simple .. stop selling to these clubs :))

    But while making a big profit seems to be more important to the club than winning trophies we will continue to sell our best players to the highest bidders, to the detriment of the club.

  • Stuart

    Do we have to worry about this do you think? I’m thinking about any unpaid fees from Barca which they might find difficult to make now.

  • theHotHead

    @ Stuart – your argument against Usmanov is a hysterical load of nonsense !

    The Glazers sanction whichever purchase Fergie asks for, Fergie himself said that. He also said that “They have to invest in the team to maintain the value of their asset.”

    Usmanov is not silly, he will have to do the same. I’ve seen it written in another article that Kroenke is good because he doesn’t want to upset the applecart. I despair. What we need is someone to upset the apple cart. Since Dein left the board Arsenal have gone downhill – FACT. Hill-Wood doesn’t want the applecart upset, the stadium debt is PERFECTLY manageable so thats not the reason why our net spend is LESS than it was at Highbury. We cannot carry on the way we are, selling our best players and eroding squad quality, we should be challenging for titles .. not CL qualification.

  • Shard

    We always have challenged for titles. Even through the years we didn’t win anything. A CL final, A CL semi final, 2 league cup finals, an FA Cup semi final, 2007-08 missing out by 4 points due to referee decisions, 2010-11, challenged for all 4 trophies till march, including being screwed out of beating the bestest team that ever was in the CL. How is any of that not challenging? We didn’t win. But we challenge for trophies.

    If Dein had stayed I suppose we wouldn’t have had the stadium debt. We’d just be paying to rent Wembley. Which remember faced some long delays before it opened. And had its pitch relayed some 20 times before they finally got it right. Yes. That Dein is definitely the saviour we need.

    Usmanov is no idiot. Nor is Kroenke. And though you might disagree about that, remember Kroenke outsmarted Usmanov to gain control of the club. Which makes Usmanov nothing but a troublemaker at this point. All he has is nuisance value and all he has to offer in terms of ‘positivity’ is that he’s not Kroenke. Which means, when you think about it, nothing at all. Kroenke has control, Usmanov wants it. Beyond that, there is no way of knowing either of their intentions.

    The board did side with Kroenke, to the extent that they refused to sell at higher price to Usmanov. There must be some reason no?

  • Shard


    “I don’t know and can’t know, but mostly I object to people who ask this question being told not to ask for a big world-class signing or two because of the stadium debt and the early-repayment penalty and that’s that. Blessed forced ignorance, don’t ya think?”

    Ok, lets say the stadium debt is not the issue. Why are the board not spending the money then? What are the reasons you can think of that this might be?

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    I can give you a blatant example, which I call transfer bid-sniping. If you are bidding for scarce commodities, you will never win against someone who doesn’t care how much they spend.
    I myself have bid on stuff on fleabay where I was prepared to go to nearly 80% of the new price of an item and some clown comes in at 110% of the price for a brand new one.

    Check out any player we were ‘interested’ in, who they went to and for how much.

  • Shard


    I understand what you are saying completely. I don’t understand what were you giving me an example of.. Is it you think a reason for why the board have not spent the money on a ‘world class’ player?

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    I think if we have £25 million to spend, someone else will come in with £30 million. If we have £35 million, they come in with £50 million. We get the players no-one thinks it worth outbidding us for rather than not bidding in the first place. For Arsenal, every £1 matters, for MCFC or Chelsea money isn’t that much of a concern.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    I would bet good money the club has been trying to buy at least one £25 million player for the past few years. The trouble being that its got to be worth outbidding Arsenal for such a player for the-money-no-object clubs. Our only hope is players not so far up their own arises to believe they’re not being bought to warm a bench.

  • Shard


    I wouldn’t disagree with that at all. Weren’t there rumours we tried to sign Gotze? And Bob Wilson said we bid 20m for Reina a few seasons ago?

    So, yes, there are some suggestions we’ve been willing to pay in that price range for players we feel are worth it. There aren’t many players bound to be worth it, and you are right that we’d get outbid on those by other clubs. The selling club will no doubt try and get the billionaire clubs interested to see if they’ll improve on our offer. Also of course, even if we’re not outbid, some players are also simply unavailable at that point.

    Perhaps you misunderstood. I was only responding to bob’s frustrations about not even being able to demand a world class signing. I see no reason that Arsenal won’t buy a player they want, if they have the money they deem him to be worth.

  • Alex

    “When,wich year Arsenal will be debit free ?
    For how long is going this financing debits argument ?”

    Very much muted response on this matter as you noticed.

    People talk about the Glazers and say they are milking Manu and how sure we are that Stan is an angel

    I am sure thsi american he is taking a nice chunk .Probably Usmanov know mre than us.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Alex can you back up your accusation on Kroenke?

  • Stuart


    You’re just repeating the same stuff.

    PROVE to me that Usmanov will do what you say and not stitch us up and I’ll be happy to have him on board.

    The fact is if the guy was a real fan not looking to stitch us up, he would donate, if he is an investor looking for a way to make money, he wont (and doesn’t). Do you actually believe that someone would be so persistent if there was nothing in it for them? He will basically be an expensive credit card with a long repayment period.

  • bob

    Shard, Alex,
    re: Shard’s @ 2:57
    I’ll have a better-informed opinion on our spending policies after the transfer window closes. Since there’s no transparency, there’s only tea leaves to read, and there ought to be a few more to read based on the level of transfer activity. It’s a question that matters and a glib answer is a dime a dozen; so I’ll opine then on a more informed basis.

  • alex


    I am not accusing anyone to start with nor do i am praising Usmanov .The fact is i dont like any of this riches to be involved in our football.

    I sense when it comes on Stan Kronkie is kind of an angel and Usmanov an evil.To me all of them they are here just to maximize their profit so there is no point to dislike one and fall in love with the other.

    Abramovich is the model of the riches for me.
    I hate to say this but i cannot deny what i am looking .The man is not only the owner that spend his bilions but we can see him his anger-joy 100% involvement on the club.Exactly like me and you that we buy merchandise out of love of the club.

    Please do not drag me out my line if you can help me or shed a light on :



  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Sorry, yes, we’re on the same wavelength. I just don’t see us ever being able to spend megabucks unless we get someone who refuses to go anywhere but Arsenal (might already have happened, Arshavin for instance) or pay over the odds (Liverfools transfer policy) for mediocre players.
    You sense United are in the same predicament and buying RVP was a PR move. So SAF isn’t lying when he says the owners back him in the market but there’s no value in it.

  • Michael Gomez

    I think it is high Time Arsenal stopped selling players just to make profit to clear their debt! There are so many other ways to make money. Every year for the past 2-3 years they sell their best players for profit. if they had maintained all these players and with their experience and better understanding in their game we could have lifted some of the cups last year! These yearly changes take time for the players to gel and it is not good. Tell me which fans dont want to see their team always winning and on the top? I wont be surprised at the end of this season another 2 or 3 senior players will be sold to make more profit!!! I dont blame van Persie for leaving…at his age he would definitely want to have some trophies to remember his playing days. Just look at his 3 goals over the weekend! If not for him i bet MU would have lost. Arsenal wake up! Stop taking the fans all over the world for a ride! Some of us are just getting sick and fed up. Michael…Malaysia.