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July 2021

Arsenal have suffered with forced transfers, now it is someone else’s turn

By Tony Attwood

I’ve written a few times that although RVP left, we didn’t do as badly as some predicted, and our goal tally this past season was, in the end, quite reasonable.

But of course like most Arsenal fans I felt bad as good players left for pastures new.  Nasri, RVP, Cesc… and then the inevitable “selling club” jibes, as if we were some sort of Premier League Crewe Alex (although actually that’s rather unfair because I rather like Crewe and admire what they have done with their production line).

It is interesting however that although the evidence is that most (not all, but most) of our players who are lured by promises elsewhere don’t manage to do as well there as they do with us (with the extreme examples being Hleb, Flamini and Song, but with many others taking the money but not playing all the time – which is what they like).  The buy-buy clubs, it seems, do just keep on making the same mistakes over and over again.

Indeed I don’t quite know what Barce thought they were getting with Song, but whatever it was, what they got they didn’t like.  I even heard one comment (I don’t say it is true, but it made me smile) that if we would buy Cesc back they’d throw in Song as well, just to get him off the pay-roll.

But this summer it all seems different.   Which of our top stars are leaving against our wishes?  Well… none as far as I can see.  Theo, The Ox, Jack… all staying put.  Which means it is a moment when perhaps we ought to pause for a second and reflect that DESPITE losing some top players who we didn’t want to lose, we continued with our run in the top four and thus Euro football.

So, I think we can be a little more relaxed this summer and turn our attention on other clubs to see how they will cope with handling endless rumour and pressure to remove their prize item.

I refer primarily of course to Liverpool and Tottenham who appear to be  facing the same sort of summer as we have had, although I wouldn’t be amazed to see an outflow at Everton, Newcastle, and all sorts of other clubs.   Of course maybe Liverpool and Tottenham won’t give in.  Maybe they don’t need the money as much as we did, but still, with Real Mad stalking Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale it will be an interesting story to follow.

The Mad president, Florentino Perez, is seeking re-election, which is always a dangerous time for clubs with decent players.  “Vote for me and I’ll buy them all,” Perez says, and of course he’ll have a new manager to manage whoever he brings in.

Marca, Real Mad’s spokesperson in the media, claims that a four-year contract with Suarez has been arranged, in the style that Barca did it with Cesc.  Brendan Rodgers, perhaps not fully versed in life at this level, said “every player has their price”.   So that will be £50 million which Liverpool also got for Torres.  Helps pay off the debts I suppose.

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Suarez blames the media for his woes, which is a trifle dumb, given that everyone knows that the English media is about.  He’s suspended for six more games, so Real Mad could be really mad and buy Edinson Cavani at the same time.

Andre Villas-Boas meanwhile is reported (so probably didn’t) to be asking the board to give Bale a new contract.  £10m a year is being mentioned.  Marca has said that there will be some negotiations yet.

In fact we may pause at this point to reflect just how clever the Marca operation is.  Tapping up is illegal of course, but increasingly illegal in name only.   The Barce DNA Campaign was tapping up by another name, and Marce will endlessly report that Bale is on his way, but because they are not officially part of the club, nothing can be done about it.

And if Real Mad decide that they don’t want Suarez and Bale, they will do enough unsettling for either or both to go to Manchester or Chelsea.   D. Levy at Tottenham has made a lot of not selling best players to Premier League clubs as Arsenal did with Manchester U and RVP, but in the end it is all about the need for a new stadium and money to finance it.

And having mentioned New White Hart Lane, there is still nothing new on the club’s official site on the topic since the article written on 18 September 2012 in which they revealed with full scale razzamatz that they the “CLUB APPOINTS MCLAREN CONSTRUCTION TO DELIVER NEW SUPERMARKET WITH COMMERCIAL/EDUCATIONAL SPACE ABOVE”.  (Their capital letters not mine).

As for whether Real Mad are willing to spend the sort of money that it will take to get Bale, they have spent around £800m in the last 10 years on players, and show no sign of slowing down, despite the growing interest in their highly illegal land swap deal with the local council.
The problem for everyone other than Real Mad is that buying is what they do.  They buy players, and then when they are no good any more (or turn out to be one hit wonders) they dump them. They pay big wages, and offer a warm climate and mega-star treatement. And after the semi-final humiliation in the Champs League this year (not to mention 10 years plus without winning the thing) their supporters will demand big buys.

The one thing that might save Tottenham and Liverpool from losing their best players is not so much the lure of the money but rather that in a two horse race Real Mad come second rather more than first (only three in the last ten years in fact). Even Athletico are starting to catch up!

Which is a bit sad given the amount of state aid that Real Mad get (or should I say, will be proven to have got, once the EU manages to get the investigation into the land sale fully up and running).

What is certain is that Bale won’t spend his entire footballing life at Tottenham, because that just doesn’t happen with players these days.  What’s more he will believe all the hype and think, “why am I not in the Champs League and watched across the world?” just as players at Liverpool will do.
But if he doesn’t go this summer, and if he doesn’t go to Madrid, where and when?   He only needs one poor season, or one nasty injury sustained from an attack by a Shawcross type player, for his value to collapse.  Madrid lose interest as quickly as they find it, and both Bale and Tottenham know that the number of times Madrid come calling is limited.

Barcelona kept the pressure up for several years on Cesc because they hit upon the DNA story, and found that all the media ran with it.  Real Mad can’t run anything like that (unless Family Bale once took a holiday in Spain), so if they don’t get their man this year then they will move on.  And that means Tottenham are likely to get a lot less than the figures being quoted this year.

Just one final thought; whenever I write a piece which brings Tottenham into the frame loads of Tottenham supporters write in saying, “why are you so obsessed with Tottenham? why don’t you focus on Arsenal’s problems…?”  We usually publish a handful of these, but let me just explain.  This site focuses on the wider world of football from an Arsenal perspective – and given the problems Arsenal have had with situations similar to that which Tottenham are facing this year, it is a subject that we cover among the 15 or so articles we publish each week.  I hope that’s clear.

3rd June Anniversary File

  • 3 June 1939  Jimmy Logie was signed from Lochore Welfare.
  • 3 June 1939: Bobby Gould transferred to Wolverhampton
  • 3 June 1988 Steve Bould arrived at Highbury from Stoke City

The most detailed study of Premier League Refs ever:The referees 2013.

The books…

The sites from the same team…

63 comments to Arsenal have suffered with forced transfers, now it is someone else’s turn

  • Wing wizard

    The only reason arsenal are not facing the same situation as spurs this year is because you don’t have any stars left! Nobody other than arsenal fans rate Walcott or oxlade-chamberlain as highly as you do and comparing them to fabregas, van persie or nasri is a joke. Wilshere is the only one who comes close but no-one will touch him with a barge pole as he’s more injury prone than my grandma…..oh and er…..why are you so obssesed with spurs?

  • rob (United fan)

    lmfao if THAT isn’t an indication of how obsessed you idiots have really become about Tottenham I don’t know WHAT is….when you were winning trophies you hardly ever bothered with them even for witty banter, now everywhere I look its you lot acting more deluded than Liverpool fans as if you’re better than everyone else….FAILURE to win a trophy in 8 years tells that story, you have gone from winning trophy after trophy including a season unbeaten in the league to picking on your not so wealthy, not so rich in history…the truth is the balance in power in your stretch of London is shifting and you gooners hate it, the sooner you face that fact, the better off you’ll be.

  • Whatever I as a Spurs fan wish to think about Arsenal there is no denying the stadium build hangover has been managed with a great deal of success. Eight years or whatever it is without a trophy will be remembered as a lean period but in the history of a club it quickly becomes a short period of time. I very much doubt another manager would have done what Wenger has done, but then I very much doubt another manager would have qualified every bloody year for CL. Best thing to do as fan is turn up, make yourself heard and enjoy the ride. If we lose Bale I’ll take the 80m quid, be gutted for a while and then forget all about it – just hope it gets done at the beginning of the summer if it happens.

  • Jimbob

    I’m a Liverpool fan and thouroughly enjoyed this article, it’s nice to read an article by an opposing fan that’s not utterly biased or filled with hate for a change.

  • Dec

    Tradition being so important at Arsenal, I suggest that Untold should ensure Arsenal fans of a traditional Summer by ‘sourcing’ some information that ‘confirms’ an ‘almost completed’ deal to transfer Theo, Santi, Kos and Ox to Spurs.
    What in heavens name are we going to do with a worry free Summer?
    Please help!

  • Andres

    Interesting article (from a Spurs perspective).

    Have to admit I was overjoyed when Cesc returned to Spain as he could turn any match (as you might remember..) in a blink. You’ve done pretty well coping with the loss of some real class players but the taint of a selling club is around you and the players brought in are nowhere (apart from Carzola) near as good.
    We also suffered but Levy is sticking now as otherwise we will start slipping as well and Bale won’t go unless an extraordinary amount comes our way, to rebuild with.
    This is going to be a really interesting season with three new managers at the top. And I think this is the season we will pass you 😉

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Yes, a worry-free summer with sundry quality players linked to arsenal to offer competition to existing and promoted players in Arsenal’s books. Very worrying!
    What will our professional moaners get to moan about.
    Please pinch me; pour cold water on me. it must be a dream.
    Untold, please do all you can to wake us all up!!

  • ian

    @ Dec / Shakabula

    Think we can go back 10+ years of Pre Seasons about who would be leaving us. Vieira was the main subject for about 3 – 4 summers, followed by TH14, then Cesc, Nasri and of course last year Van P.

    Prior to Vieira of course it was DB10, although he quashed those rumours quite quickly, nevertheless it still gave the media something to write about.

    Have had a look at the New Stadium for our neighbours and have to say it does look impressive. Only thing to say is that the pitch looks a little close to the stand. I know that Tottenham made a lot of noise about fans being closer to the action and they wanted to keep the intimacy of WHL in the new Stadium.

    This does seem like a large oversight on their part as AW stated recently that under EC regulations (I think) new stadia have to ensure that the nearest fan is a full 7 mtrs from the pitch.

    Maybe that extra 7 mtrs around the perimeter means that they don’t have the space they need and are therefore looking for a new site?

  • WalterBroeckx

    why so obsessed with Arsenal that you even come to an Arsenal website to read an article about transfers that are not really about United?

  • ian

    @ rob (United Fan)

    Some interesting points but most people I know think that what we have achieved with the move to The Ems (that we funded ourselves) has been exceptional.

    As I am sure you will have noticed the dynamics in football have changed enormously in the last 10 years, first Chelsea and more recently Man C with their rich owners of which the impact has been huge. Whilst Chelsea had there owner when we were signing off on The Ems, Man C did not.

    The impact is that we have not been able to compete on a financial basis. The Ems build was £360m, that’s £360m that we have had to find and yet still deliver a Top 4 finish. On top of that we have been in 3 Cup Finals. Its good that this is recognised by some (including Tottenham fans) but sadly seems missed by yourself.

    Also take into account the fact that Chelsea have spent over £100 in the last 10 years on sacking Managers. They and your neighbours can afford big mistakes where as we cannot.

    We have been given stability for the long term at the expense of some Cups, yes I would like to have them but knowing my team will be around for my Children to watch them is more important. Trophies will come.

  • Legoon

    @andres oh my god another spud before the season has started
    Saying this will be there year that’s the 17th time
    I’ve heard that
    Look at statistics over 100 years the arse are Londons
    Number one club get used to it

  • Jambug

    It seems you cant even mention a team, be it Spurs, Man Utd, whoever, without being accussed of being obssessed. Surely when you are debateing anything it is with ‘relevance’ and/or ‘in context’ to other teams. Surely just saying how good or bad you think your own team/players are only has meaning in ‘context’ to other teams/players. I don’t get this “Obsessed with” critisism. What makes it even more amazing is that those accuseing us of being obsessed are on an Arsenal fans forum. Doh !!!! You could’nt make it up.

  • Oye Alle

    None of the players mentioned would start in any of the top clubs in the premier league, that explains why no one is really interested. Walcott can’t even get a command on the fundamentals, the Ox and Wilshere are still works in progress, and time will tell. No one in their right mind would over pay for mediocrity except us.

  • WalterBroeckx

    To be fair to Andres I think he said it with tongue in cheeck (smiley).
    I think it is the only thing they can say at the start of each season…

  • GoonerPete

    Ha Check out Rob the United Fan.

    No doubt only a United Fan because they win so many trophies.
    Get back on your perch you glory hunter.

    Real football fans don’t support United. Real football fans don’t need constant glory (a fair bit given to you as pointed out on this site) to feel vindicated in their team of support.

    Get back on your perch Rob. Nobody cares what you’ve got to say because the second anyone outs themselves as a United fan then their opinions no longer hold any real merit.

    Oh an by the way. It’s MANCHESTER UNITED (Should be Salford United, mind).
    Simply calling themselves ‘United’ is an insult to all the other clubs that also have United in their name.
    Just another thing Manyoo fans do that shows their overwhelming sense of entitlement.

  • Rufusstan

    @Oye Alle and others about Walcott. Its funny how people still dismiss him as untalented/untrained/whatever.

    I ended up looking at one of our rivals’ blogs comparing strikers -here- (don’t judge me), and like a few in the comments wondered why Walcott was not on the table.

    I did his numbers, and he was about even with Aguero on their categories. At 24 he has become one of the best strikers in the league. I’m just waiting for what happens when he gets his act together and actually gets good.

  • A. Stewart

    “Maybe they don’t need the money as much as we did..”

    Very interesting comment, if not admission, and ironic lending of credit to what those fans’ views that you oppose have been saying for years.

  • A. Stewart

    The only reason we are not selling any “stars” this season, is because there are no “stars” left to sell for high prices. It was always going to reach that point at some time. And thus a model (financial obviously not sporting focussed) which was marketed as being supposedly “sustainable” and in part relying on heavily on top player sales for high prices , was and is anything but sustainable.

  • A. Stewart

    Lastly regarding the title and “Foced Transfers”…

    Since it was pretty standard by the staunchest of defenders of the club’s policies over the last few years to paint all these top players we sold players as greedy mercenaries who forced their way out, how is that now reconciled with the statment that it was done because we needed money? Who really/mostly did the forcing?

    And on the topic of mercenaries.

    The real mercenaries were not the top talent we had that was grossly underpaid and either forced out or wanted out to earn what the market pays for their talent, and also to achieve their sporting desires, which many have done..

    Rather the real mercenaries were the players who contributed very little or nothing, and were not top talents who were being overpaid (and causing the top players to be underpaid to balance) and on long terms, and all too often happy to sit on the bench and/or rot in the reserves, or cyclical unproductive loans, with no or very little ambition to make a permanent move to a club that may be a step down where they could play far more regularly, but that would mean giving up nice overpaid salaries.

    Those were the real mercenaries, not the top players that were arguably let down/sacrified by the club, and in some cases forced out (as admitted it seems) because the club wanted money (even though it remained ridicuously profitable and ever increasing revenue wise [including even without some player sales] during those periods).

  • Mandy Dodd

    Other teams turn indeed. Strange, you do get some Spurs fans who maybe lack the intelligence or ability of rational debate, and they feel they have to pretend to be Utd or even Chelsea fans in the hope they can really get to us Gooners. I have regularly seen this on various sites I have visited. Guess if their only purpose is to troll, then they give us too much comeback if they identify their true allegiance. Quite sad really. Not tarring all Spurs fans on here with such a brush btw.

  • LRV

    Wow! Is anyone on here really sure that this ‘A Stewart’ character is not related to Robson? To think he claims to support Arsenal is nightmarish? Who needs enemies when you’ve got so-called-friends such as this?

  • Robl

    @ A.Stewart:

    What do you call a Germany with over 100 caps?

    Apparently not a star.

  • Pad Gooner

    I don’t know why all those so called $tars when they were playing together, didn’t produce cup winning performances. If at all someone should be angry it should be wenger because he is the one who for example,saw RVP do limping dance around emirates when he was stretcher bound. RVP, a couple of seasons ago was on the list of so called deadwoods that everybody publishes.

    When players are ruthless in forcing a move, I do think the club can try its level best to get the maximum out of that sale.

    Loaned players are paid by the clubs which takes them on loan and most of the players who weren’t wanted were loaned.

    Its absolutely ridiculous to even think that nobody wants any of our current players considering the rumors that are going around(Kos,verm and Podolski). No sale is happening this season because all are bound by long term contracts and the club is on a firm footing.

  • Adam

    No quality players at Arsenal. What has a player to do nowadays to be considered quality.

    Maybe, go to Brazil and score against their national team, in their own backyard?
    Go to Germany and turn the top European side over, in their own backyard?
    Recover from an horrific double fracture, to captain your country at the age of 22. (Sir I salute you).

    I wish Spurs all the best for the future as I cannot bring myself to hate the club, There new stadium does look fantastic.

    I hope Manchester United really struggle next season, as then we will see the fan base’s true colours.

  • bjtgooner

    When our team takes to the field, I feel that almost all are stars or stars in the making. I do get sick of A Stewart and others running down the guys who are out there playing their guts out for the club.

    Lets get completely behind our team – and if individuals cannot do that then they should go elsewhere – so called supporters of that disruptive type are not needed.

  • Ugandan Goon

    Thanks for the article,Tony.
    I’d like to say another reason we wont have to worry, is that we are now the poachers rather than the prey, the acquisitions over the last two seasons have mostly been from clubs experiencing financial challenges, self inflicted or not, jenkinson from charlton, arteta from everton, santos from fenerbache,podolski from koln, the two malaga lads even arguably benayoun from chelsea.
    I wish i could have looked into the faces of the malaga lot as they relinquished carzola who they’d nubbed from under our noses less than a year before, brazenly ignoring the Arsenal DNA they must have spotted during his medical, fools.

  • Zig

    I remember well last season so many Totts supporters coming on Arsenal sites and tell us how Arsenal is a one man team and once rvp leaves we are fighting for relegation. They must feel pretty stupid right now. Serves them right. I would like to see how they cope without Bale.

  • Andres

    @Legoon – calm down, just a little joke at the end. I am a true Spurs fan in that even if we finish higher than you, I will wait 1 week before celebrating. We have that sort of luck.
    I do admire the work that AW has done for you but I think that era is over and the trend is downwards now whereas I reckon AVB will keep us moving upwards and with a couple of decent signings we will be in with a shout for hopefully more than just top 4. Hope over experience, nothing more. Isn’t that what keeps us going?

  • americangooner

    Except for RvP and Fabregas, I dont consider the others as stars. adebayor, nasri, clichy, hleb are not stars. these players thought they were great quality players but in reality weren’t. if they were that great why aren’t we hearing about them any more? our rivals were willing to pay astronomical amounts for an average player. one can say those four were mercenaries.
    By a certain commentators definition a mercenary is someone who is highly paid beyond his level of talent. let us see who satisfies those criteria: Nasri, adebayor, clichy, hleb, flamini, song. these guys aren’t/weren’t contributing to their team as much as their pay level suggested. And by the way average PL salary is 50K/week. most of our players are not far from the median salary compared to other teams. So earning a near to average salary is mercenary to some.
    And another thing because those players stated above were paid astronomical wages that weren’t warranted ,given their talent and contribution, helped in other truly quality players thinking themselves they got a lesser deal which in turn raised the salary level.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think nasri could have been great but got distracted. Wenger said nasri was not the finished article and was making a mistake going to citeh, he was proved right. Nasri became a very rich man, he got a league winners medal, but as a player, I do not believe he has hot the heights he may have done had he stayed. Talent only takes most so far, you need other qualities, for some reason, these other qualities became diluted in nasri . I bet he would do anything to join us again, wengers set up is made for developing such players.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree with you Adam on the quality aspect, especially on Ramsey, not forgetting the tragic loss of the man who made him captain of Wales. Rambo has quality, he will get better, but he epitomises mental strength, of the sort our critics always call for in our players. Wenger and bould have spoken very highly of Ramsey, I am sure his recent performances will be taken into account in this summers transfers policy

  • Rupert Cook

    Perhaps the real mercenaries are in the boardroom……..

    As for stars I think we have a few decent players other clubs could target like Cazorla and Wilshire, although his injury record might put off some.

    This has always interested me and A.Stewart has brought up the point again. (I sometimes feel that he’s one of the few balanced commentators on here along with Shard and Adam and a few others). Exactly what is this self sustainable model we harp on about? If it’s selling players every season to fund the purchase of others then we’ll not be winning anything again. You can’t build a team by selling off your best assets every year. It’s the law of diminishing returns as we’re now beginning to see. So far that’s what we’ve done for the last few seasons.

    Now we’re told we have about 70 million to spend. Is this based on probable shifting of the deadwood this summer or is it funds from other sources?

    Or do we really have this sum or is it just spin to get people to renew their season ticket?

  • bob

    american gooner,
    To assert that clichy and song were overpaid mecenaries is not only slanderous but wrong. You make a good point in general, but you tar with far too broad a brush. My god.

  • bob

    Rupert Cook,
    Before any deadwood liquidations, the new TV deal, the Ems deal, the Puma deal, the CL qualifier all sound like kerching to me. Plus we’re arguably still owed for x-Cesc (no way to know for sure). I could see where the club shouldn’t comment directly on how much is in the till, for negotiations advantage, and it’s surely legitimate. That you suspect its non-denial of 70M (without affirming it’s available) might be a ploy to sell/maintain season’s tickets. But there appear to be good grounds to expect that there’s at least 70m from the deals above alone. N’est-ce pas?

  • bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    Given the long period ahead until football resumes, I have to reflect on whether all gooners by definition are the only ones capable of “the intelligence or ability of rational debate”… I think no group owns that monopoly 🙂

  • @Swales1968

    I find it funny when fans of other clubs moan about fans of other clubs are talking about them. When discussing a player’s position say a goalkeeper then is it not acceptable to compare him to other goalkeepers in the same league. When discussing club’s finances should you not look and talk about other clubs to see how they are doing.

    It has nothing to do with obsession more trying to have a balanced view, when discussing the Arsenal’s financial situation you have to look at the effect Chelsea & Manchester City’s money has had on it. You look to Manchester United for they way they run their footballing business and then you look for another club be it Tottenham or Aston Villa for they way they look after themselves.

    The problem comes when fans only look at their club from one point of view and do not look at the bigger picture of EPL or European football. You can not look at Arsenal’s eight years without a trophy for just an ‘oh we have not won’ viewpoint there are many mitigating circumstances.

    When Spurs fans talk about their new ground do they not look at Arsenal and see how they financed and built theirs, do they not look at the trouble Liverpool are finding themselves in or Everton?

    It’s not obsession more seeing the whole picture and discussing it without the name calling or point scoring that some try to.

  • americangooner

    bob, i was referencing that with respect to a certain definition of star given by one of the commentators. look at how much the two command in wages and look at the contribution they actually make on the pitch. are they then worthy of being called a star? if he would have stayed at arsenal, our game would have been based on him. he would have become pivotal but now he is a fringe. even mancini called on him as someone that lacks effort. isn’t that complacency? and which star player is complacent? no one.

  • Jambug

    This is my take on the trials of tribulations over the last 8 years……Basically I believe once we commited to the building of the Emirates Arsenal FC and Wenger knew there hands where tied. Wenger after all has an economics degree!! He knew that the quickest possible repayment of our massive £400 Million morgage was crucial in our goal to compete financially with Man Utd and the other giants of Europe. This would mean MONEY NOT MEDALS took presidence. This meant CL football a MUST DO, a medal a NICE TO. Sad maybe, but a cold hard fact. This is why CL football, not FA or CC’s was essential. This meant a frugal(ish) wage structure. This meant trying to break even in the transfer market. (Which remakably was more or less achieved,ubelievable really) This meant useing all profits from TV, Sponsership, season tickets etc. to pay off the morgage. I believe Arsenal knew without quistion all this would impinge dramatically on any chances of silverware. But, due to a couple of things, not as much as it did. Firstly, there was the reccession which had a big affect on cash flow from the various property projects. I believe this extended the time it has taken to get our heads back above water so to speak. But secondly, and more tellingly nobody could of predicted the sheer amount of money the Russians and Arabs would throw at there toys. Simply asttonishing. In the end I believe all Arsenal FC could do was batten down the hatches, put there heads down, and get through it. To me anyone who cant see the remarkable job Wenger has done under the restraints of the last few years must be blind. We should be proud of our club. I know money is crucial to success, thats why we built the Emirates in the first place, to generate more money. We dont lack ‘ambition’ in fact we are one of the most ambitous clubs in the World. THATS WHY WE BUILT THE EMIRATES IN THE FIRST PLACE. The fact we are trying to achieve all our goals with a fantastic sustainable working model is to be applauded surely and not derided. I’m sorry but I see no glory whatsoever in just takeing a Billionaires handouts to ‘win’ things. After all dont Perenial failures Chelsea and City prove the point, that basically, GIVEN enough money, anyone can do it. Bloody hell even Blackburn did it!!! So stop whingeing and get behind the boys. A very proud, ever optamistic, SUPPORTER. To some of you neg heads the clues in the word…. SUPPORTER !!! COYG

  • @Swales68


    And that is the way I have seen it for a while now but, if you put this point of view over on other forums, blogs etc you are battered down with a wave of name calling and views that are poorly thought through. To many it is not about the bigger picture (I am going to have to come up with a better term) it is the here and now, trophies are all that count not the future of the club. It comes down to if you are short sighted or long sighted regarding how you look at The Arsenal

  • Stroller

    Rupert Cook – “Now we’re told we have about 70 million to spend…”

    Told by who exactly? The implication is that it’s the club or Wenger saying this, but in fact it’s just another media generated figure that by repetition gets turned into fact.

    ‘Spin’ ? – see it’s the club misleading honest fans again to extract their renewal cash. Strangely the renewal pack I received no promises of new players to go and see, but doubtless the club was being doubly crafty by leaking this information through the redtops instead. What a complicatd web it weaves when setting out to deceive.

    Doubtless come September, when nothing like this amount is outlayed, and the plethora of names we are being ‘told’ to expect doesn’t materialise, the same people will be be back moaning on about being lied to.

  • Stuart

    @ @swales68 & Jambug,
    My thoughts on this are that these people are not of the understanding of the value of money. It’s wrong to generalise but I imagine they’d not think twice about taking out credit and worry about paying it later (if at all).

    The only fair answer these people can have is that maybe we should have stayed at Highbury and ended up like Liverpool.

  • A. Stewart

    “I do get sick of A Stewart and others running down the guys who are out there playing their guts out for the club.” Well bjtgooner, you’re wrong. My issue is not with the players who bust a gut for Arsenal, they could be limited or mercurial, once they try and give their all I’m fine with them. My issue is with the plethora of players who contribute nothing or very little and are on higher wages than they can fetch elsehwere and are all too content run down their contracts and to not play, rot on the bench, go on unproductive loans over and over again, rather than showing some actual sporting ambition and leaving the club and playing regularly elsewhere (however, that would probably mean giving up some nice pay). Those are the real mercenaries, and in my opinion there have been far too many of them draining the club’s valuable resources in recent years. It’s pretty clear what my complaint was about, it was never about as you put it “running down guys playing their guts out”..actually the complaint epitomises the opposite of that description. Not quite sure how you didn’t grasp that when it was detailed pretty clearly.

  • A. Stewart

    “Wow! Is anyone on here really sure that this ‘A Stewart’ character is not related to Robson? To think he claims to support Arsenal is nightmarish? Who needs enemies when you’ve got so-called-friends such as this?” I’m an Arsenal fan, if you don’t think so, I won’t be able to convince you otherwise.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Pad Gooner re:

    “I don’t know why all those so called $tars when they were playing together, didn’t produce cup winning performances. If at all someone should be angry it should be wenger because he is the one who for example,saw RVP do limping dance around emirates when he was stretcher bound. RVP, a couple of seasons ago was on the list of so called deadwoods that everybody publishes.”

    Yet that isn’t really the discussion, the discussion is not about whether they should have won or not, but rather it was about the reason why we are not losing any stars this summer, and some like myself are of the opinion that they are no players left (considering other circumstance like contract terms) who can really command a big fee on the market (at this moment right now, maybe they may develop into such in the future), we’ve practically lost them all. Wilshere is a burgeoning star but very unproven and comes with injury concerns, Cazorla is a quality player but not a realistic option for transfer as he just signed, and the price paid for him and his age means I doubt he would fetch much more, Koscielny is a burgeioning star, but himself is a bit unproven over time. The rest like Ox etc. are a long long way off.

    Anyway to entertain your argument about whether they should have won, well the team was always close, Wenger himself and the club always said there were funds to invest during that period, and the general consensus amongst the football public (including some players that have since left) was just some investment in a few pieces of additional quality that the club and manager said we could have afforded during that time, would have made a big difference in competing for titles. So blame the players if you want.. Call them $tars with $ if you want, when the real mercenaries are the wage leeches who make more than they can elsewhere and have no sporting ambition to leave and would rather rot on the bench and not play. Call them $tars if you want, which again contradicts with the original post which said we needed to sell them (i.e. inferring the onus was on the club not the players).

    “When players are ruthless in forcing a move, I do think the club can try its level best to get the maximum out of that sale. ” Again, according to Tony we needed to sell for money (although the post contradicts itself a few times). I don’t think anyone expect those directly involved really knows the full truth behind some of those high profile departures, the club has issued many statements about having money and not needing to sell, and all the money available to the manager at those times, some players have given contradictory/ambiguous positions about their leaving etc. The truth is somewhere in between. However, of course it’s easier and comforting to many just to paint players that left as greedy bastards as they are the easiest targets.

    “Loaned players are paid by the clubs which takes them on loan and most of the players who weren’t wanted were loaned.”

    Not necessarily and completely true in all cases at all. In many instances owner clubs can pick up the salaries in part or in entirety, obviously we don’t have the details, but it’s a bit naive I think to suggest that we don’t pay anything towards the salaries of our many loanees. And also you say most of the players who weren’t wanted were loaned, now tying that back to who pays salaries, we have players that go out on loans season after season for seemingly years and then ultimately never make the first team and go when their contract with AFC is up, isn’t it logical to think that we couldn’t get rid of many because they were overpaid by us?

    “Its absolutely ridiculous to even think that nobody wants any of our current players considering the rumors that are going around(Kos,verm and Podolski). No sale is happening this season because all are bound by long term contracts and the club is on a firm footing.”

    I’m not sure why people do this, no-one is saying that no-one wants our would consider our players, but rather we don’t have the high profile star player sagas like summers before because none are left, in other words there’s no player left like in summers gone that could have their pick of practically any big club out there, and could fetch very very big transfer fees and fetch top wage rates on the big club market, and in the opinion of many us not having any of these sagas (yet) is more a reflection of the absence of those calibre of player in the squad as opposed to having them like before but suddenly being able to keep them this summer. The nuances of the discussion are important, as opposed to over-simplifying into something that it is not.
    It’s perfectly fine if you disagree with the premise of the argument, but at least portray it accurately.

  • A. Stewart

    “When our team takes to the field, I feel that almost all are stars or stars in the making..”

    Good for you bjtgooner, that simply makes you a more optimistic supporter in that respect than me, but no more a genuine supporter of the Arsenal than me.

    I don’t feel that nearly almost all are stars or stars in the making when they take the field, and I probably have precedent and % rates of those not achieving star status (an admittedly subjective qualitative notion)as a reason for such realist views.

  • A. Stewart

    “@ A.Stewart:

    What do you call a Germany with over 100 caps?

    Apparently not a star.”

    Well no Robl, not in the very specific sense that we are discussing, i.e. coveted by all/many of the genuine big clubs in the world ready to engage in a bid-war protracted saga for a signature, able to fetch a very high transfer fees from said clubs, and able to command top rate wages elsewhere.

    For a variety of reasons Podolski generally hasn’t been and definitely now isn’t that.. It doesn’t mean he’s not a great player or even a star player for Arsenal and Germany, he’s just not in the category of player that we have lost and that have been highly coveted by top clubs all over, in recent years.

    The difference, to me at least, is pretty clear.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Adam re:
    “No quality players at Arsenal. What has a player to do nowadays to be considered quality.

    Maybe, go to Brazil and score against their national team, in their own backyard?
    Go to Germany and turn the top European side over, in their own backyard?
    Recover from an horrific double fracture, to captain your country at the age of 22. (Sir I salute you).”

    Personally I haven’t yet read through all the comments, but I doubt anyone has over-simplified and dumbed down the argument in incorrect absolutes such as “no quality players at Arsenal”.

    Secondly, I just don’t get why many seem to get so insulted by this discussion.

    No-one is saying that Arsenal doesn’t have good players, and players with a lot of potential. But right now at this juncture, for many of us, we no longer have players who be it as a result of: age, productivity, injury, proven record over a period of time, been one of our undisputed standouts, marketability etc that big clubs are lining up and fighting for and more importantly ready to pay big money and big salaries for as we previously did.

    Let’s look at your examples:

    I think I picked up Ox and Ramsey in your descriptions (the Germany one was more a team description, correct me if I’m wrong should you have been indeed alluding to an individual player).

    Great, Oxlade-Chamberlain scored a good goal at the Maracana in a summer friendly. Has he had set the world alight at Arsenal yet? Been consistent? Featured Heavily? No, no and no. Therefore it’s unsurprising there’s no big queue and fight (perhaps yet) for his services. So it’s not about him being quality or potential quality. Perhaps a big club would take him right now for their squad, but would they pay big money, offer high wages etc? No. Would we sell him, or would it make sense for us to sell him for what a big club would arguably only take him for now as is? No. Hence, there’s no issue. He hasn’t prove anything yet. No-one is saying he isn’t quality nor has great potential. He just isn’t yet remotely in the category of some previous AFC players that many big clubs have lined up and ready to pay big for in recent seasons.

    Ramsey? Guess what? I salute him too. But as you mention he’s coming off a horrific injury in the last few years, has been pretty poor for us since then generally, and arguably has only had one good second half of this season since that, regardless is still pretty hit and miss in many aspects of his play, not to mention it’s reported that despite that he’s on a pretty high wage, and for his age he isn’t anywhere near the conversation of emerging top quality midfielders in the 21,22,23 bracket (of which they are quite a few). So like you I commend him too, but there is and will not be in the near future any real threat of big clubs coming in en masse ready to pick off Ramsey for high fees.

  • A. Stewart

    Great discussing goones, I enjoyed it, hopefully you see some validity in my reasoning..if not, that’s fine.

  • Shard

    A. Stewart

    Those players that we lost were perhaps not stars before they were bought by other clubs. They were still important to the team. Anyway. I don’t really care whether a player is a ‘star’ or not. I like what Podolski and Giroud have contributed to the cause. Likewise Cazorla, and I’m happy we have them in our team.

  • Shard

    On balance, it would be better for us if Spurs keep hold of Bale. The 50-80million that they get for him, will go a long way in financing their stadium (I wonder if that will lead to cries of no ambition)

    But is there stadium project really happening? Like, for real? Good on them if it does, but don’t expect any sympathy from me with the inevitable struggles. After hearing Spurs players and fans alike shouting about how Arsenal are nobodies now, maybe they deserve the troubles.

    Of course, if they can pull off the transition as smoothly as Arsenal have, they would have done very well. They’ll have it easier in a sense that they have an example to follow, and so can learn from it, they are (as far as I know) not really self financing, although off late they seem to be working like it. Plus of course, they don’t have the expectations and legacy that Arsenal do, so won’t face the same aggravation from all and sundry. (Although, even Liverpool didn’t face it on their decline, which again begs the question, why Arsenal?)

  • bjtgooner

    Wow! What a windbag!

  • A. Stewart

    “A. Stewart

    Those players that we lost were perhaps not stars before they were bought by other clubs. They were still important to the team. Anyway. I don’t really care whether a player is a ‘star’ or not. I like what Podolski and Giroud have contributed to the cause. Likewise Cazorla, and I’m happy we have them in our team.”

    Shard, with due respect, unless I completely misundertood your angle, I’m not sure how any of this is relevant. It doesn’t matter if we made them stars, the point is for players like Fabregas, Nasri, Van Persie, even Adebayor at the time and others when they left they were amongst our best players, and were generally coveted by several big clubs, and able to fetch very high transfer fees. We simply don’t have any (genrous = many) players left who are right now at this minute, of that ilk. Perhaps as I alluded to above, Koscielny, a burgeoning star is the only one emerging that can probably in short order be that category of player (as evidenced by the noise he is making today, and BM links)..though I don’t think we are quite at that stage with him yet. Another good season and we’ll be we don’t win). Beyond him, there’s really not much.

    It’s not about who I like or you like (I quite like Cazorla, Podolski too and think they are great/good players for us)..that’s not the argument.

  • Shard

    A Stewart

    I know that isn’t the argument. In my view the whole argument over ‘stars’ is meaningless. Which was my point of view. It’s ok if you don’t agree. As you probably don’t.

  • Adam

    Rupert, good question. I think it maybe different for everyone. Arsenal survive through their own productivity and not through the productivity of an unrelated industry.

    If we consider “self sustaining” to me this means training your own staff at all levels and not relying as heavily on the transfer market as we do, so in that respect, I think we have along way to go.

    But if you view “self sustainability” as purely monetary then yes Arsenal could be considered self sustaining.

    You could also separate the fan base’s contribution and the clubs generation of funds via sponsorship, but I think that would be nit-picking.

    Hope this clarifies my position and that it makes sense.

  • Adam

    @A.Stewart, I’m glad you picked up on “quality”, rather than attacking me you could have viewed my refusal to use “star” as a backhanded agreement with you. I believe we have quality players at Arsenal who are not as yet the finished article, and who could become “star players”, god I hate that saying, its so media driven.

  • A. Stewart


    Actually I’m quite more in agreement with you than you think, I don’t necessarily and automatically equate “star” in the sense of the discussion with quality (well the other way around really). We are entirely able to assemble a great team bereft of lots of genuine star players.

  • A. Stewart


    Why do you think I attacked you? I even deliberately pointed out the several instances that I was in agreement with what you said and about who you said it (like saluting Ramsey), and thus yes I actually did sort of in a backhanded way acknowledge the backhanded agreement. I completely agree with your conclusion too, about having quality that could potentially become “stars” too, and said so in that post, as with the case of Oxlade-Chamberlain.

    And lastly, I also agree with that the use of the word “star” is tricky (not sure If I was first to bring it up in this thread), by trying my best to specifically highlight the use of the term in this specific discussion, and then by also acknowledging it’s invariably a very subjective qualitative labeling in the first place.

    Sorry if I gave you the impression of attacking. That was not my intention.

  • A. Stewart

    But to the context of the discussion regardless of label of choice, the likes of Ramsey/Ox are not (or not yet) in the category of players that we lost over the years, that several big clubs would line up for right now to pay big bucks for. Or whose production, relative consistency, current and recent importance to the team, consistently amongst our best, or current rank amongst their peers elsewhere, mean that we have to worry about losing them in the manner that we lost previous “stars” “top quality players” “most important players” in recent years. They are not (perhaps yet) that calibre of player, and we right now don’t have any left (at best precious few).

  • Adam

    The difference for me, is that most of our players are still within the protected period of their playing contracts. This gives us a sense of stability and allows for growth within the squad.

    The only player I am concerned about is Walcott, but he seems happy for now.

    The Ox, I don’t like his representation so one to watch in the future.

    But as for the rest of our squad, I think Arsenal have done a good job in outing the negatively represented players.


    Question marks are still hanging over Vermaelens representative.

  • americangooner

    it has begun. reports have surfaced that BM is after Koscielny.

  • sperez

    There’s no danger of Wenger selling players simply because he sold all our star/top ones.
    We have Cazorla, our best player, and Wilshere, a good prospect but they’re still not in the same category as star players.
    Anyway I’d like to see more interest in the likes of Chamakh, Gervinho, Diaby ‘the shite crock’, Djourou and Squillaci. I know it would be too good to be true if a club was dumb enough to buy this overpaid lot.
    Yes, Koscielny is making the same noises the some players did before him (Nasri,RVP,Fabregas). ‘I have the desire to add to my list of honours. I hope the club will give me the means. If this weren’t the case, I’d look elsewhere.’
    It doesn’t matter if the AKB faithful will label them as ‘mercenaries’, top players want trophies, good players around them and wages dictated by the market. They won’t put up with 4th place trophy, shite players around them and won’t accept being punished financially so the dross can be rewarded massive wages via a pathetic socialist wage model.
    IT’S FAIR!
    Wenger has made Arsenal less competitive over the years with his pathetic policies. If any of you were a top player you lot also wouldn’t put up with this stupidity.

  • Adam

    Koscielny signed a new deal last year so people can talk all they want, we don’t have to sell. Bayern should do whats right and announce their interest or refute media claims.

    If Bayern want to do their business in the papers then they are not the big honest club I thought they were, they can be considered another Real Madrid.

    As for Guardiola, if he wants one of our players he should call Wenger and have a chat, which I’m sure is the case anyway.

    Can anyone confirm these quotes from Koscielny? Because I cannot find them anywhere but the mail, which I don’t trust.