Arsenal News

Live Arsenal News

Arsenal latest news

Arsenal News & Transfers
As featured on NewsNow: Arsenal newsArsenal News 24/7

Arsenal News, Only Arsenal, Blogs, Transfer News


July 2021

Arsenal make a sign of intent: Welcome Mesut Özil

By Walter Broeckx

With Tony being out for the moment I had two options: step in the transfer madness like the rest of the world or…stay cool and relaxed and wait what would happen.  I chose for the latter option because well we are Untold and like to think we are different than the others.

So I tried to be relax, look at the TV but I also had one eye on my computer. Just well in case there was some news. The first news was that we signed an Italian goal keeper on a season long loan. Emiliano Viviano he is called and he is the backup keeper for Buffon in the Italian national team.  Those asking for strong competition in goal will be pleased I think. But I will come back to him later on if you don’t mind. And even if you do mind… sorry then.

During the day the word was out that Özil (mind the ¨above the O – alt + 153 to have it there) could move to Arsenal from Real Madrid. Now I must say that even for me this was a rather impossible dream. I thought it was another of those rumours that fly around each day of the transfer window.

But when I went looking for it I found that the German media was also bringing this story. So it seemed to have legs. And today close before the end of the transfer window the deal was finally made official on

This deal involved almost a tripling of our earlier transfer record. So all those coming over here in the past months saying that it will be same all over and that Wenger will not spend any money or only buy some cheep unknown Frenchman can start eating humble pie. Because with this deal Arsenal made the second highest deal ever for an incoming player to the PL.

Wenger said that he would spend the money but only on world class players and if they were available. Some weren’t or weren’t sold by their team like Suarez. Who still had 3 years of his contract so he was not in the position like we were with Van Persie last year.  But Özil became available (or maybe was the target all this time without us knowing it) and look our manager, Gazidis and Kroenke wrote the biggest cheque ever written by Arsenal football club for a player.  No ambition you said?  Well we can put this to bed from now on.

This is the new Arsenal. I was told behind the scenes a few months ago by someone from the club who should know a few things about transfer dealings that they will not spend money on players that wouldn’t be good enough. We didn’t spend money on Sanogo as he still has to prove himself. Flamini wanted to join Arsenal and so he showed what he still can do in training and repeated this in the game against the spuds last Sunday. But again we didn’t spend the money as we weren’t 100% sure that this is a top top quality player.

The same goes for the Italian keeper who will be 2nd or even 3rd choice and we keep him on loan so again no money was wasted on this.

But Özil is something different. He is a play maker. And his former coach Mourinho said of him he was the best nr. 10 in the world. And we have just bought him. So we did spend the money on him. As he is a top top quality player.  A player that can improve a team for a big part. And his goal scoring record is not bad, but what is more important is that he is the assist-master in football. And he is a creator of goal chances.

Watch Arsenal Live Streams With

What this signing shows is that Arsenal are turning the page. I can imagine that for some it isn’t going fast enough. But this is something that just a few days ago seemed out of reach for Arsenal. Not any more.  The tide is turning. We have added a play maker and a defensive midfielder this summer. After the international break some injured players will return. Podolski has gone to Germany to get some treatment by Dr. Wohlfart (German team and Bayern Munich doctor who knows a few tricks) and I think he will be back earlier than expected now. Vermaelen is returning after the international break.

I think that apart from a disaster in the internationals we will have not only a strong team out there but also a strong bench.  And we still have lots of money for a possible January transfer window.  Where I think we will see more movement than usual certainly when some players don’t make the starting line up of their team.

In the league table we are 3 points behind the leader, one point behind Chelsea, equal in points with Manchester City and even 2 in front of United.  Teams will find it harder to stop us as they will not only have to take care of Cazorla from now on  but Özil will be showing his skills also.

It is not the numbers that count but the quality that you buy that counts. And with this new transfer record we have made it clear. Despite some of you  saying ‘he/they will never change’ it is clear that we are changing. Slowly but certainly. Keeping the core of this team together and adding a real world class talent can only make us stronger. And as you know we on Untold feel that already had a strong team.

The only bad thing I see now is that we will have to wait another 14 days before we can see Özil in his Arsenal shirt.


Recent posts

The books…

The sites from the same team…



259 comments to Arsenal make a sign of intent: Welcome Mesut Özil

  • WalterBroeckx

    And if you look at the tweets from the Arsenal players they all are very very excited. So are we I think 😉

  • The font

    Omg I must be dreaming as an overall team player there is no one better in the world we could have signed . Arise. sir arsene wenger.

  • Florian

    This news is all the sweeter considering the reaction of the manure fans, who would have loved to see Ozil in their team. Well done Arsenal, double coup!

  • Mick

    I am so excited, a terrific signing. What a selection of midfield maestros our youngsters have now got to learn their trade from. Can’t wait to see him playing alongside Cazorla etc. We are now accumulating a solid group of German players which can only be a good thing as far as I am concerned.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    He turned down manure and PSG to join us.
    Mertesacker, his teammate at Werder Bremen, promised him that he will not collect any “tardy fee” penalties for the current season.

  • Mick

    A pity RVP didn’t have a little more patience when he decided that his ambition wasn’t matched by the club and Wenger and jumped ship.

  • Tasos

    It’s all slotting into place nicely.

    Without the stadium move Arsenal FC could never have afforded to fund such a deal, ever.

    This was the first summer the club has been able to hold onto its best players and now this sensational signing.

    This club is getting stronger and stronger.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    I am relieved we got him and not Benzema.
    I was watching a team involving the French National team with my French cousins.
    We were awaiting the announcement for the starting eleven, and when Benzema was started ahead of Giroud, a collective “merde” was the unanimous reaction.
    Incidentally, Angel di Maria may become available in the winter window if he gets limited playing time as a result of Bale and Isco being ahead of him in the pecking order.

    As to formation, AW will now play the ?-?-?-? guess my formation, thus confusing all these young managers in the Premier League.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Great signing, gives us a seriously good mf. And as you say, this guy is an assist machine, like cesc. Just hope the refs give him the protection any player deserves. Stuff appearing that Jose purposely strung us along over Ba then changed his mind when it was too late for us to sign another striker. Still more fool us if we really did trust jose! Perhaps an indication of how highly Jose rates Ozil and the threat we can become, maybe levy also knew this and delayed bale until after the NLD accordingly?
    The extreme elements of the AAA, the Einstein quoting swivel eyed lunatics who want us to lose and not qualify for the champions league cannot take any satisfaction in this great signings, for such a player would never join a team not in the CL as I am sure our neighbours found to their cost.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Mandy Dodd,
    This is a move to win the Premier League.

  • Pat

    As I said elsewhere, Arsenal have made THE signing of deadline day.

    It’s very exciting. And he is looking forward to working with Arsene Wenger. What a welcome he will get at his first Arsenal match. If this doesn’t beef up the atmosphere in the stadium, nothing will. I can see good times ahead!

  • bc

    Bendtner and may be park have been thrown lifelines. Let’s give em a chance to earn some wages. Both are international goalscorers and a better option than sanogo. Let him go out on loan or play in the u21s get the other two back training as cover for olly and podolski

  • Pat


    Interesting what you say about Jose Mourinho. Whereas the media have consistently left us out of the list of title contenders, when interviewed Mourinho mentioned us second in the list of the main competition.

  • Pat


    Interesting what you say about Jose Mourinho. Whereas the media have consistently left us out of the list of title contenders, when interviewed Mourinho mentioned us second in the list of the main competition.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Now Cazorla can play left wing nominally until our injured left side attackers come back.
    I was re-watching the NLD earlier today, and did we miss some goals; Lloris was everywhere; he was awarded the top goalkeeper spot for week 3 of the Premier League by most top team media outlets.

  • Mjc

    I see you are now an alt-Jedi master 😉

  • Pat

    Sorry my comment came up twice!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Hope so Ray. As for bendtner, surely he must be motivated to play well and get himself a deal somewhere? A bendtner with his head together and a bit of humility….ok clutching at straws here ….is actually a half decent striker. This could be his last chance, hope he takes it if called upon…should Giroud get injured, or the FA in their wisdom decide to ban OG for an identical tackle that they clear Vincent kompany for….retrospectively…
    Park and bendtner, with the MF we now have, think even I could be a 20 a season type

  • Mandy Dodd

    Jose knows and probably fears Ozil Pat, expect a Ramires hatchet job under the auspices of the likes of ref Atkinson when we meet Chelsea

  • The font

    No noise from the boo boys. No noise from the boo boys. No noise from the boo boys
    Shout up. If you love arsenal . Shut up if you love arsenal shut up if you love arsenal
    As ist iona Shoona tag ozil sorry about the spelling in German
    This has been the happiest few days . The greatest manager of all time in arsene we trust

  • Jerry

    Arsenal has a British and German strength combo. I can’t wait to see Ozil in an Arsenal shirt, amazing player who looks like a man among boys on the pitch! Exciting times ahead!

  • Arseniel

    Wow! Absolutely thrilled to bits. Hope our own arsenal and arsene hating fans pull their tails between their legs and fall back in line or fcuk off. They’ve made a difficult time even more painful. Well done Arsene, Ivan and Stan. ivan – keep your mouth shut about how much money we have to spend. Very unhelpful!



  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Something tells me that a serious injury by a hatchet man like Ramires on Osil will result in serious backlash. The German Federation will put Platini under siege, and his position will become so untenable that bad refs will be targeted by UEFA. Somehow, the Germans care more. This is in contrast to the English Federation and their complete ignorance of how to force the refs to protect players like Wilshere. Incidentally, did you see how Hodgson was demoted to the scouts’ area rather than the Directors’ Box by the Liverpool ignoramuses (or is it ignorami?) when he attended the Liverpool versus manure game? You wonder what they are smoking at Liverpool.

  • Arseniel

    Sorry Mandy. I don’t want to see bendtner in red and white again. He insulted the club when he thought he’d found a way out and said he’d never play for us again. Let him get fat in the reserves until new year and see if we can offload or loan out. Meantime give Sanogo a go. He at least is desperate to do well for us. Get a to striker in January but no Bendtner.

  • Foolishgooner

    Great signing! Now, Rosicky/Wilshere/Cazorla can be managed and not burn them out. Ramsey, Arteta, Flimini and whomever can rotate too with quality to spare.

  • unmanneddrone

    Congratulations from a City supporter on a truly fantastic signing. Brilliant to see lads of this quality come and join us in the EPL, and can`t wait to see him get going.

  • hartwick89

    quality as promised. I have no problems with any part of summer business. We strengthened the middle with Flamini & Ozil took in a potential great striker and finished w/ a highly rated back-up keeper

  • Gooner NW5

    Thank you Arsenal! You have made my summer by signing Ozil + Flamini. Top, Top Quality!
    Well done Arsene.

  • ehnjaaloh

    I had always believed in Wenger .

  • Pete

    I have looked at a couple of other fan sites for reaction:

    – Goonerholic: very positive – and some top news breaking.
    – Arseblog: fairly positive apart from a couple of trolls.
    – Online Gooner: “503 Service Unavailable”
    – Le Grove: All out civil war.
    – ANR: Ignored, not even carefully selected “letter”…

  • I have been a severe critic of the Arsenal board and in particular of AW because of the way the club was being managed in recent years. The selling of some of our best players over the years culminating in the sale of RVP to Man U last year was the final straw for me. As recently as last week I again criticised AW for his lack of movement in the transfer market. Tonight my emotions are a mix of excitement, relief and disbelief. On that issue I feel that I have to make a public apology to the board of directors and in particular to Ivan Gadzidas and Stan Kroenke for that criticism. However it is to Arsene Wenger that I owe the biggest apology. I based my reasoning on what I percieved to be the managers modus operandi and for that I am truely sorry. This is my “humble pie” night. It don’t taste too good ! but my word what a signing ! Well done to all concerned.

  • Pete

    Might be worth taking a step back here. I will always criticise people who over react to a defeat (remember Villa!) so should not get too carried away after beating the other lot and then buying a…. world class player and breaking the British transfer record to boot! Err…

    Obviously excited and looking forward to seeing how things gel. Flamini looks superb, unconvinced so far by Sanogo (but early days) and have never heard of the new keeper.

    Still a little light on numbers – but think otherwise the club strategy is absolutely spot on. Apparently Wenger wants a “top top” striker – but couldn’t quite make it this time.

    Just need fair protection from the refs and extremely good performance from the medical staff.

    Roll on Sunderland!

  • para

    Quote: “This club is getting stronger and stronger.” I cannot agree more with this statement by Tasos.
    Since i realised that Arsenal had a plan, i was a little more relaxed inside (even though i had a few doubts in my weak moments concerning AW’s tactical ability). A Wenger does things his way. The reason why he is manager is because it is also Arsenal’s way, and it will remain so for quite a while. Arsenal is a team that sets records and i am looking forward to the next one we set. We take little steps to get where we want to be, and if we stumble, the damage is less than if we are bolting(pun intended) along.
    Forward ever Arsenal, forward ever. Welcome Ozil and Viviano, may you become true gunners.

  • Arsenal1Again

    This is exactly like the day we signed Bergkamp.

    A very good article today Walter I managed to nod through all of it for the first time in a long while. Thanks for writing it and for the update about Poldi.

    I will add that I expect Cazorla and Özil to interchange positions on the pitch during play the exact same way as Overmars and Bergkamp did.

    I think Ozil has the same talent Emanuel Petit had and this is to place the ball anywhere on the pitch from anywhere on the pitch, whether a long ball or through ball. Like Petit did, Ozil will find heads regularly from Corners and we have Giroud and Vermaelen who love heading.

    I am also glad Bendtner is still with us, I really rate him and feel he has just been handled wrong and disrespected just because he refused to adapt willingly to a new position. His one man jaw dropping performances in Euro’12 should be watched by doubters.

    Pretty much any striker will look good with Ozil playing behind him, so whoever does play up front is going to score.

  • para

    Had to come back.
    Pronunciation: ert zul. Get your tongues around this one fans.

  • admiral awesome

    I’m relatively new to the party that is supporting the mighty Arsenal, however, that said I’m downright =D that they stepped up and got a world class player. I’ve read some negative nancies cry about how we could have taken this $$$ and gotten squad depth here and there and all around the square; I’m not going to pretend that my fears re: squad depth are completely alleviated (and in many ways, they’re totally exascerbated now) but HEY NOW, this is a guy with years of experience in the mix at the top of the football world, a #10 for real madrid, and the fact that he’s here and only 24-25 can only bode well for the gunners going forward.

    back during the higuain mess i read some pundit somewhere saying that arsenal needs to make a signing to break the ice and convince other top-top-top-quality/world-class players that arsenal is a destination where you can show up and immediately be in the picture for silverware. this move certainly does that; all of the pressure in the world is LITERALLY on giroud now, as the fact arsenal weren’t that desperate to go out and get another striker (even as depth, a la demba ba) wasn’t nearly as prioritized as many of us would have hoped. arsene managed to wield the double edged sword nicely: he spent 99% of the window saying that his squad as it was constituted a legitimate threat to win domestic/international silverware — and the other 1% was getting a world class player in ozil.

    now that you’ve got ozil, you can still carry on about how wenger always believed in his team and he thought they had enough BUT HEY NOW when there’s a world class #10 available and you just happen to have sat on a bunch of money for all but a few hours of the transfer window, hey now, this isn’t like coming home with a consolation prize. this is making the biggest incoming transfer in domestic football for this transfer window…. well done.

    so yeah, whilst i wouldn’t exactly go out and bet $100+ on arsenal winning the EPL/silverware, still, they’ve definitely got their foot in the door and they have a chance. it’s legend time @ the emirates: does anyone wanna step up and get immortalized by a statue outside the stadium? if so, now’s the time for everyone to step their game up and reward wenger for his faith…. cuz really the odd thing getting into arsenal fandom = this team seemingly has a young (british!) core with promise/a-legit-chance to step up and become a world class force of football excellence….. and they’ve got the playmaker in there, so now it’s time to make those plays.

    and if we hold on for another de-facto 4th place trophy on the outer rungs of CL qualification, well, methinks we’re in an infinitely better spot trying to recruit scorers to play with ozil, and perhaps a striker with a chance to move to a destination looks at arsenal and says “hey, i can thrive there” and then if another 2-3 BLAM! type signings come through, well yeah….. things are looking up for arsenal.

    especially after a gritty victory in teh NLD yesterday. it’s been a brilliant last ~37 hours or whatever…. jolly good show, and now i can confidently go out and get my proper home kit with an ozil #11 cuz much like mesut, i’m new to this arsenal thing….. but i figure to be here for awhile!

    ich bin ein transfermasters! =D

  • Rufusstan

    I agree that it was amazing that he came to us, when PSG at least were offering more money.

    More than that, the fact that merely signing him has both the United and Madrid fans frothing at the mouth (the former for not buying him and the latter for selling him) adds to his impact.

    It is a Bergkamp level, game changing signing.

    We might still need a striker, but may try again in January. There is still money left, and now on top of our current squad, any new striker will play behind the assist machine as well.

    Somehow I think attracting the right guy may have become a little easier.

  • RooM28

    We have the scariest and (perhaps) the most vertically challenged midfield in the league. I am literally having conniptions imagining Ozil and Cazorla on the same pitch. Is it just me or have the last few days been just un-fucking-believably good? Oh to be a gooner~

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    RooM28: Greetings!
    You meant “challenging” and not “challenged” when speaking about our midfielders, I presume.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Özil’s height isn’t the issue…he is just slight of frame. I suspect that Sunderland will try to separate his left foot from his leg.

  • OMGArsenal

    It is interesting that those professionals in the know always stated that Arsenal needed a stronger spine to allow us to compete against the tougher teams. I always felt that this was the core difference between Barcelona and us, we were easily dominated by bigger, physically more robust teams but we now have an Iberian-British-Franco-German spine with Kos and Per as CB’s, Ozil and Cazorla and Jack as attacking midfielders and Ramsey-Arteta and Flamini as DM’s….all of them backed up by Vermaelen-Sagna as a CB pairing, Rosicky-Ox-Frimpong as attacking midfielders and all the progressing youth players to be blooded in the various cups. Sanogo and Miyachi have much to add as well.
    My guess is that Walcott will get a few more games as a striker (in the Cups) and that Park and Bendtner will never be seen again in an AFC shirt….particularly Nik, as Wenger doesn’t take kindly to being insulted by one of his players.
    Suddenly we don’t look light anymore….we are solidifying as a team (the Spuds found that out) and barring injuries and poor officials, we could realistically be expected to attain silverware and titles this season. We have speed, passing artistry, cutting through play and finishers right across the front line….I am convinced we’ll see a lot more scoring opportunities with players like Cazorla, Jack, Ozil and Rosicky setting up the plays.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    RooM28: Apologies, I stand corrected.

  • sukebe

    Wohoooo yeah!!


    *the only thing in my head right now*

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Like you , Walter was keeping an eye out while trying not to so my nervousness as the day drew close .Glad we got the players ,but would have been happier if the Ba loan deal had been done .
    Just glad we bought class while showing intent and of course spent some fucking money – just to shut the AAAA up !

    @ Pat – your comments came up twice probably to the echo created by the absence of the AAAA !

    @ The font – Its so peaceful here today without the boo boys!
    @The Font – Its so peaceful here today without the boo boys!
    Damn there’s that echo again ! Try it , you know you want to and its so much fun ! All together now…..
    RIICOOLLAAAAAA ! Aahhhhh !

  • AL

    Welcome Ozil. What a signing, a real statement of intent.

    Good business too overall; world class backup gk, a good DM who can play in defence, and a top top attacking midfielder. And all for £42m! Just hoping for more unbiased refereeing, and everything else should be fine.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Since I’d mentioned the AAAA , have a look at this strip.

  • americangooner

    Ozil broke the british signing record fee. The last time Arsenal broke signing fee was in 1995 when we signed Bergkamp. Still nothing beats the signing of Arsene Wenger in 1996 cause without him Henry, Viera, Overmars, Petit wouldn’t be possible. We beat the likes of PSG, who had offered better personal terms to Ozil. The difference makers were/should have been Poldi, Per and most importantly, Wenger. So yeah, Wenger still pulls off a magic.
    With Ozil and Cazorla, lots of things are possible. And these two are gonna massively improve our attacking force.

  • AL

    You always crack me up:) I had more faith in Ozil joining us than Ba, simply because of who’s manager at chelsea. This is the same mf (not to be confused with midfielder) who strung us along again the last time we wanted a player from Madrid when he was still in a job there. Perhaps he’s aware of what a threat Wenger is, so will take every opportunity where he can to weaken us.

  • AL

    What I find real strange is those that have been clamoring for AW to spend some money are quiet. Is it a sign they aren’t happy? I don’t care to be honest, and much prefer things that way, but just wondering what will actually make these individuals happy. It seems neither a NLD win nor a world class signing are good enough. Anyway, not the time to focus on the negatives, lets just enjoy the moment.

  • Mahdain

    The jealousy from rival fans say it a lot.. What a player we have signed and all thanks to Arsene Wenger who contrary to what the media and the WOBs would tell you, is still a big draw for best players. Another contract for him please :).

  • Mahdain

    A special mention to Per who once again played a big part in convincing Ozil to join. What a player he has turned out to be for a “panic buy”. My admiration for him has shot up considerably

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Great players are apparently like apples on tress !Read on.

    Women are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree.
    Most men don’t want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they sometimes take the apples from the ground that aren’t as good but easy.
    The apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they’re amazing. They just have to wait for the right man to come along, the one who is brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree.

    Now Men…. Men are like a fine wine.They begin as grapes, and it’s up to women to stomp the sh*t out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.

  • Mahdain

    What the club needs is to pull all stops to make sure we are not victims of the bent organisation known as PGMOL. Pressurize them behind the scenes and expose them for what they are if/when they screw us. Some way or another these matches against 12 men need to stop and im sure we will be there with the PL trophy come May. Yes thats how much faith i have in this team. We just need to keep the Deans, the Taylors and the Proberts away from our matches.

  • AL

    Spot on, I fear the refs more than what City, Utd or the chavs can do to us.

  • Va Cong

    @brickfields gunner your jokes made me laugh out loud in the petrol station queue. I think I wet myself…

  • Rupert Cook

    Finally Wenger has bought that super quality he always goes on about. The midfield is, some might claim, overstuffed but I can’t see Rosicky or Wilshire avoiding injury all season and we’ll probably only get our usual eight or nine games from Diaby so Ozil is a fabulous recruitment.

    It is like a Bergkamp moment but we have to follow it up with players of similar stature in January or the next summer’s transfer window.

    I’m disappointed we didn’t buy a striker, Benteke would have been good, better than Ba I think. We really should have more than Giroud up front considering Podolski is out for weeks. Having said that it seems that Ramsey is becoming very accomplished at scoring goals.

    It’s been a frustrating few months and I think it’ll be the most interesting season in years. Manu have signed virtually nobody of note but Fellaini and I have a feeling Pool may have had the best transfer window with what look like some decent signings and they’ve kept Suarez. Spuds haven’t gelled yet but if that squad does it could be a threat. Everton have done well to get Lukaku, rate him highly. Chelsea and City still look favourites for the title but I think Manu, Pool, Spuds and ourselves all have an outside chance of winning it.


    Well, well, well! What do we have here? A player of Ozil’s quality is PARTICULARLY LOOKING FORWARD TO WORKING WITH that “clueless idit”.

    Now I have heard it all. What was Ozil thinking? Haven’t he heard from our ‘fans’ about how no good player wants to join us because we are an ambitionless club? I pity this Ozil guy.

    Sarcasm off.

    Oh, I love this signing. I love this transfer window. We ‘failed’ to get Suarez (Thank FSM), we got Flamini (who I was against because I was acting like a jilted lover but Shard, Rufusstan and the rest of the gang got me back to my senses) on a free and boy, was I impressed by his performance on Sunday? Then we got Ozil! Now we have 3 German international first teamers. Is there any other non-German team with such?

    Arsene Wenger, well done you ‘tightwad’ and ‘clueless idiot’.

  • Al2.0

    @Brickfields Gunners
    September 3, 2013 at 6:17 am

    Haha – Loved it.. Nice umm – Metaphor??

    But what if I just took an axe and cut the whole damn tree?? 😉

  • dan

    Can’t wait to see him in action, the disapointment being this weekend being the all depressing WC qualifiers. I can watch the Germany game that just isn’t the same.

    Glad we didn’t sign Ba, would of love to see Di Maria in an Arsenal shirt.

    January transfers may spring another suprise.

  • nicky

    A word to the Emirates faithful.
    Ozil will be new to the EPL. He may be lucky and slot in immediately. Or he may take the rest of the season to properly acclimatize.
    In either scenario he is entitled to 100% support from all home fans at all times.
    No moans, groans or sounds of exasperation when things go wrong… they will from time to time.
    Prove to the outside world from now on, that the Emirates Stadium houses the most loyal fans in the EPL.

  • Why do gooners keep repeating that we need a ‘world class’ or ‘top’ striker? What the hell are Giroud and Podolski? Am I just blind as an Arsenal fan or why do I think we already have a world class striker in Giroud and a good goal scorer in Podolski?

    Of course, strengthening by adding niumbers is good but what we need is a decent back up striker for just in case. But we can use Walcott for that. Enough with this “add a world class striker” mantra. Please let’s appreciate what we have. Other than RvP and probably Suarez, I don’t think any other striker in the EPL is much better than our Frenchman. Please show him some respect and love.

    I am still feeling very very good about Giroud (I may need to trademark this sentence 🙂 )

  • blacksheep63

    I’d echo everything I’ve read on here this morning, Ozil is a world class player and a winner. He brings something extra to the team and will inspire those around him. I too haven’t felt this excited since we signed Peter Marinello (joke: DB10 of course!)

    But it is vindication of the manager because only he would have attracted that quality of player to a club that has won nothing in (remind me…) 8 seasons. It is vindication of the policy of making sure we get CL year on year. Vindication of AW’s reputation as a coach that improves even the very best players. And it is vindication of the club’s long term planning that Ozil chose us over PSG – we are the Arsenal and we are the best. The man in Row 15 is pretty quiet at the moment

  • colario

    Those who say that Arsene does not sign established players do not know their Arsene.

    It was Arsene who signed for Monaco a certain Glenn Hoddle who was in his prime playing for spuds at the time. In addition he signed Mark Hately and they went on to win the French League.

    It was Arsene who persuaded a certain spuds center back to leave his beloved spuds and cross Finsbury Park to become one of the invincibles.

    There are many examples of Arsene buying – getting for free players who have learnt their trade elsewhere and bring experience to his teams.

    It is true that Arsene did not buy Bergkemp. True Bergkemp was going nowhere football wise. He seemed to have lost the plot. It was Arsene who transformed him back to the great player he had been.

    The only thing Arsene critics have in common with each other is ‘ignorance’ and that by the bucket full.

  • nicky

    I agree with your remarks about Giroud. He is now entering his second stint in the EPL, when experience should start to
    I too am feeling very, very good about Giroud (thought I’d get that in before you could trademark it).

  • Matt

    Good signing and definately a step in the right direction for the club. Something all the other big clubs have been doing for years.

    World class players attract other world class players and hopefully Wenger now realises this and this can be the start of us acting like a football club again.

    We are still 2 players short of challenging for anything a CF which we desperately needed (Lets pary Giroud stays fit) and a CB.

    Funny to hear Wenger,Gazidis and Kroenke slapping each other on the back about this great deal they have finally managed to pull off, only taken you about 7 years. Pretty embarrasing really after a net spend of £32 million which is entirely covered by the new TV deal.

    Anyway we are where we are until January so lets hope no more injuries no refs cheating us and some good performances from the team.

  • The font

    We have chuba who can do a job and sanogo I am amazed at the experts who have judged sanogo already . Stating he is not ready my god the boy has only had a couple of cameos Even a world class player needs 5/6 full games to gel with new surroundings we can move theo to c/f pololski
    Giroud sanogo and chuba is more than ample cover . With santi and ozil setting . Even I could play c/f

  • Nelson Wong

    First about the amount of spending. I read from either here or one of the other web site saying Wenger/ Arsenal are not afraid of spending. In fact they have been spending above 30M in the last two seasons. There were more players invloved though and none of them commanded a high transfer fee. The results were a mix for the 11/12 season and a success 12/13 with a bargain of Casorla (30to 40% of his market value) who could have easily broken the club transfer record in market price.

    I am not pouring cold water but this year, Wenger spent just a little bit more.

    The difference is that Arsenal no longer sell major players before they buy; however there’s some limit to that. Gervhino is still sold with a price quoted from 5M to 8M. Judging from the failure to sign new striker and injury of Poldi and Chamberlain on the flanks, the club could have retained him. That will probably reduce his market value by a few millions but the attacking bench will be far more health than it is now.

    By selling Gervhino, it shows that Wenger still has that finaicial displine in him and I support that even though in hindsight he’s better not sold. (Its good for the player though)

    Some say that Arseanl cannot bring in “big names”. This deal shows that sort of talk is complete rubbish. The team might not have won alot but is still a major team with CL. In a way, with a big stadium, growing financial strength and oversea fan base, the team is actually growing bigger year by year. The only thing lacking is result. As long as Arsenal pay the price/ wage and maintain CL opportunity, they can still easily buy players.

  • MoW

    Mixed emotions. Inevitably this deadlines wasn’t going to draw a black or white conclusion. Delighted with Ozil. Certainly a super super quality signing. It gives me some some confidence in the board and our manager. They finally dispelled some of the aura of mediocrity. With Flamini and Ozil our midfield is looking tasty.

    But yet another window passes by where they have pocketed a huge chunk of available funds and left the squad short. My personal list was a striker, winger and CB. We didn’t get either of those. A lack of striker is a massive concern and I’m still angry we didn’t have the nouse to find a solution during the window. I just don’t get it. CB too. This will haunt us.

    However, I can cut the management a little slack, if the deal is “we bring in super super quality in small doses each window whenever we can” then we can wait till Janaury.

    My verdict: this will create a restless truce until January.

  • Thanks nicky. Don’t worry about my about to be patented sentence. You are always going to be allowed to use it 🙂

    I have to say, having seen the extended highlights of Sunday’s about 5 times now (including the less extended one from MoTD), that Giroud is clearly my man of the match. Yes, Hugo Lloris stopped us from recreating the scorelines of the 2 previous seasons but Giroud did not only score a SUBLIME goal for the decider, he was defending as our last man at a point!

    What I probably love most about Giroud is his almost child-like joy of playing for Arsenal. Different fans look for different qualities in players. I am always looking for dedication and enthusiasm first. A dedicated and enthusiastic player will do wonders even with limited talent. But undedicated and unenthusiastic players won’t do much even if they have all the talents in the world. e.g. Berbatov and Arshavin. Messi is so great because he ticks all the boxes!

    Barring injuries (knock on wood), Giroud is going to be great this season.

  • Asif

    Thank you Wenger…I don’t know how you manage all the pressure…

    Even yesterday…the press were disappointed that ManU had not put a bid for Ozil…how they were wishing that something disasterous happened to us…and the deals would not go through. The overall feel that the press gave was how could Arsenal run away with this transfer…someone should stop them

    People reading the live updates would know of a moment when everyone came in stating that PSG have made a late bid…while in hindsight we can only say that Wenger had spoken and convinced the player a few days prior to that!

    And I can’t still fathom…why such hatred for Arsenal! Sad media…

    Just to quote…after Manure’s loss to pool…the following is a quote from Dailymail, “On Twitter, #moyesout trended, undoubtedly fuelled by those of an anti-United persuasion.” So if some of their fans ask for Moyes’ sacking then they have an ‘anti-United persuasion’ but when our plastic fans call for Wenger’s head, they are Arsenal fans….

    Where the #@*& have all those Son of *&@## disappeared! Why don’t they show up now…sewer rats…have all disappeared…

  • MoW,

    Can you please justify our need for each of those positions that you have listed. It’s not enough to just say we need this and that. It helps to say why we do.

    This is not a wind up comment.

  • Matt

    After Giroud we have Sanogo who has the 1st touch of a pinball machine. Vermaelen seems to have been injured for 2 years and lost his form so after 2 1st choice we have a right back.

    Most clubs have a least 4 cb’s and at least 3 strikers.

  • Rupert Cook

    This is a great statement of intent but Ozil alone doesn’t make us the best team in Europe or even England. I’m wary about getting too excited because unless other players of similar stature arrive in the near future we still may be not quite good enough.

    There’s no doubt that we have an array of promising youngsters, Wilshire, Ramsey, Eisfield, Zelalem, Gibbs, maybe even Sanogo, time will tell on him and some of the others. And Giroud is a good striker and also someone who works hard for the team. Another top class striker would have made us really powerful I feel, especially as Pod is out for some time and if Giroud does get injured we then have to rely on the inconsistent Walcott. I suppose we can bring Bendtner back.

  • MoW

    @ Matt

    I agree. Showing some balls and doing what the critics have asked for just once in nearly a decade doesn’t mean we can all relax and accept they’ve tuned the corner. It has to be backed up again and again consistently. This summer’s net spend was still very modest given our potential firepower, yet again, while painfully obvious holes in the squad are just ammo for the critics. In this regard nothing has changed. As much as I desperately want to be I’m still not 100% convinced in this management team.

    Anyway, not much we can do now but enjoy the football and hope we don’t get injuries.

  • Mahdain

    Bla bla blah blah. Will just shut up and enjoy the moment? Its not Cabaye that we have signed, its Ozil. Thats Mesut Ozil. Let that sink in before complaining

  • WalterBroeckx

    you said: “But yet another window passes by where they have pocketed a huge chunk of available funds and left the squad short. ”

    They haven’t pocketed anything. The money is still in the bank and can be used in a next transfer window. In fact from next season on we will have the new commercial deals starting and with the money we now still have at our disposal added to those deals we could see us paying even over the odds without hurting ourselves.

    I think from now on we will have similar transfer windows. We will not buy 5 or 6 players but pick 1 or 2 top players to add to the already strong core we have.

    I just think that this was one of the first little steps to another hierarchy in football we are about to see in the next years.

  • MoW wrote:

    “However, I can cut the management a little slack, if the deal is “we bring in super super quality in small doses each window whenever we can” then we can wait till Janaury.”

    If this is your belief, I wonder why you are not already giving the management credit because that is what they’ve always done. The fact that the critics never listen or pay attention to what the management say and do does not invalidate them.

    Yes, the management have always brought in quality whenever they can. I don’t know about the double supers but Carzola, Podolski, Giroud, Monreal, Mertersacker and now Ozil are quality players that have been brought in when the management could.

  • MoW


    Always happy to discuss football banter with you.

    CB: I don’t think any combination of Per, Koz or TV is a league winning pair. The first two have improved a lot but I think we need a super quality player who can push them and break through. Koz I rate the most, Per can be a beast in the air but I get nervous with his agility and lack of speed. TV has gone off the boil and I don’t think he plays well with Koz. Plus we need a fourth. Sagna is largely unproven, plus he’s our first choice RB.

    Striker: I too have a nice feeling about Giroud. Think we will score goals. However, I don’t think he’s the sort of talent that other top clubs would beat down our door with 50m offers for. I question his pace and ability to create goals out of nothing. I’d prefer he was our number 2. I see him as the player Bendtner should have become. Also, if he gets injured we’re left with Poldi, Sanogo or Theo. the first was largely toothless in the this role, the second is a year or two away at best, and the third isn’t perfect either.

    Winger: I concede that Ozil pushes Carzola out to the left full time so that covers Poldi and the Ox.

  • Matt

    Fair play to them if this is the start of things to come and we do start to by the quality we need slowly but surely.

    On a side issue the press that hate Arsenal seem to be pretty positive about the Ozil signing and giving Arsenal a pretty good press today.

  • MoW

    Walter, I used the word pocketed figuratively, as in “banked”. I’m not one of those who thinks there’s a conspiracy whereby the management are creaming off funds from the club.

    Boo, super quality is Ozil in this context for me. Someone who turns heads. Who sets the pulse racing. Who is worth a big fee and big wages. Your list is made up of players who are in the next rung. Although perhaps Carzola is different IMO.

  • Super Singh

    Five games, four wins, one world class player and squad partially strengthened? Are we still in a crisis? (Takes off his metal helmet)

  • Matt

    Singh do you post on Afterhours?

  • Mahdain

    @Mow we had the 2nd best defensive record last season with the CBs we have or are you believing the bs media spouts about our supposed shit defence when we had better record than united last season?

  • Shard

    That’s Özil by the way 🙂

  • MoW,

    On CB: At this point, I think it is VERY unfair to call Sagna a “largely unproven” CB. He has not had a bad game as a CB. I consider Sagna our utility defender and a top quality one. Jenkinson is not at Sagna’s level yet at RB but he is fairly ok and will only get better.

    Your rating of the Kos-Per pairing is contextually inaccurate. Yes they haven’t won the league yet but they are the best EPL defensive pairing of this calendar year! Fact! I believe that they are a title winning pair and hope that they show it this season.

    Vermaelen will be back soon and hopefully stay fit.

    The team defend and attack together. Giroud was our last man at some point on Sunday for instance. As a unit, we have a good defence.

    On strikers: I am not worried at all but that is just me. We don’t even play a lone-striker-centric game. RvP’s success made people forget how Arsenal plays. We rarely ever rely on just our strikers for goals. Recall the Nasri-Cesc time? We may not have many named strikers but we have goal scorers. We’ll be fine.

    Winger: We have agreement.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Thanks for the reply Mow it could have been interpreted otherwise but glad you rubbished that.

  • Super Singh

    I’m an occasional poster, access to the computer is a bit tight, especially with the kids busting my chops?
    I’m also an old temperamental git, so certain comments made tend to wind me up so I don’t really go there? But there are certainly very articiculated and intelligent posters out there and very uplifting comments made?

    I won’t say too much of the “others”

  • Shard

    The only reason we’re so worried about strikers, is because Podolski was recently injured. Otherwise, I suspect we’d be fine with it. I suspect that injury was the reason we went for Ba. Not because he was a prime target, but because we don’t want to buy just an ok player to fill a need which we’ll have for only about 3 or 4 months.

    If we can sign a truly world class striker, we will. It’s all well and good saying we should hav bought another striker, but it doesn’t always work like that.

    I’m more than satisfied by this window. We’ve added Flamini who adds some bite to our midfield and will scare the opposition into not kicking us. He might get sent off too, but he’ll be well worth it I feel.

    The fact that he can also cover at fullback means Sagna can cover at CB, which he does very well. Arteta will be back soon. Jenkinson can keep developing. Bellerin should get a chance in the League cup. And maybe next season Miquel can come back to claim 4th CB spot. Not many teams can boast of having a CB like Vermaelen as third choice. Look at City. Millions and millions, and with Kompany’s injury, they’re left with playing Garcia at CB, and just bought in a ‘panic buy’ like Demichelis.

    In midfield, we’re well stocked. So much so, that we have such flexibility of options. Either Coquelin will prove himself in Germany and take his place in the squad next year, or we can even add some super quality if Diaby doesn’t recover (as unfortunately, seems likely) Cazorla can play on the left (this gives us balance), or it can be Podolski or Ox (typical Arsenal luck that both get injured just after we sell ervinho).

    Ozil can also play on the right, and Walcott can play CF at times. Especially against teams that might play a high line. Or maybe much weaker teams.

    Giroud has improved so much it is unbelievable. And he offers us so much more than just a body up front. If he keeps working hard, he’ll keep getting better. With the midfield we have, he should get lots of chances to score. Sanogo might be better than he’s shown so far. He’s barely had any time, and he’s bound to have been nervous. There’s still Bendtner and Park, is need be, although I’d prefer not. Still, beter than buying just any striker to fill a short term need.

    Add in youngsters like Eisfeld, Akpom, Yennaris, Gnabry, Miyaichi, and we have some real depth, and quality to work with. A perfect squad, maybe not yet. But it is a very very good one.

    Arsenal have shown they meant what they said about the financial shackles being off. Which is what anyone who kept faith in them also said. The new commercial deals will change the equation. So far, so good. And all the complaints seem a little premature to me.

  • MoW

    Guys, on CBs and strikers I hope I’m proved wrong. Well find out this season. If we finish within ten points of the PL champs, or get into semis of the CL this season, with this squad, then I will eat my words. Happily.

  • Matt

    Arsenal have finished strongly in many seasons over the last 8. When we had been knocked out of all the cup competitions and the pressure was off because we couldn’t win the league due to being eon’s behnd.

    Let them start the season well when its’s all to play for and we can then maybe give them some credit.

  • Am I bad or what; but thinking of what Flamini would do to Sunderland and the likes of Stoke makes me so happy.

    It feels great to have our own mad dog around 🙂

  • Pat


    Your post about men and women – I laughed and laughed!

    I’m going to have to pass it on to my daughter!

  • Matt

    @ Shard

    After getting rid of all the dross this year i can accept Wenger not just buying a player to be a filler because we couldn’t get the player we needed or wanted.

    We definately need to find a front man though.

  • MoW

    Flamini is a warrior. I want him starting in the middle in all of our big games. Especially those big European knock out games, and battles against Chelsea and City. Plus the games against the bully boys, in fact i want him to start a lot of games.

  • Jambug

    I still find it incredible that some of the more critical still harp on about what we have and havn’t done/spent over the last few years. The assertion being that Wenger and the board are tight and unambitious and try to back this up by the claim that they never spend on players and are simply ‘pocketing’ the money.

    That is simply not true.

    Every penny from sales has been reinvested in replacement players. In fact I believe our yearly net spend over the last 8 years is about – £1.5 Million. HOW IS THAT POCKETING ALL THE MONEY ?

    We have over the last 8/10 years built state of the art training and madical facilities, as well as a new Stadium. You may of seen it? What the hell payed for those? Monopoly Money? HOW IS THAT NOT SPENDING MONEY ?

    Add to that the BILLIONS of pounds in oil money thrown at city and Chelsea as well as the enormous black hole of debt created at Utd and surely anyone with half a brain can see the enormity of the task to simply hang on in there.

    And to Wengers, Gazidis’ etc. credit, hang in there we have.

    I think it is only now that we are emergeing from the hardest part of the move from Highbury to the Emirates that, as @BLACKSHEEP 63 said, the true value of maintaining CL football will show it’s true worth.

    Top players, and I include the likes of Cazorla, Mertesacker and Podolski in this as well as Ozil, would not of joined us if we wasn’t a CL outfit. Top Eurpean players do not look at a team and say, Oh look they’ve won a couple of Carling Cups and an FA Cups lets join them. In the great scheme of things they don’t give a shit about them. Okay, once with a team they would love to win a cup but ultimately and much more importantly it’s being in the Champions League they want. That is where the BEST want to be. Pitting themselves against the best, in the best Club competition in the World.

    That is how we got Ozil at our Club yesterday. No amount of FA Cups would of made him give us a 2nd look!!

    Thank God our Manager, with the full backing of the board, through these toughest of times, where smart enough to see the bigger picture. Even more importantly, strong enough to ignore the constant critisism from all quarters of the ignorant, anti Arsenal media and the sad misguided Arsenal fans that blindly followed them.

    Shame on them.

    Heres to the start of a wonderful new era.

  • Shard


    I agree with you, and hopefully January will give us the opportunity to sign someone. Apparently, according to the Daily Star at least, (and a few tweets I believe from some agents or journalists) we bid for Rooney yesterday. And apparently also Benteke and Pastore. I thought Pastore was an Am, but maybe he can play as striker as well.

    So, I think we did try to get some very good striker in. Which would make sense because we definitely tried for Ba on loan, which must have been the backup plan.

  • Tasos


    “Heres to the start of a wonderful new era”.

    100% agree.

    This is just the start. The club have laid down a marker and this transfer will reverberate all round Europe.

  • Shard

    Agree Tasos.. All said and done, a truly world class player has committed the best years of his career to Arsenal. Whatever be the circumstances of that, that fact alone will be enough to turn some heads.

  • Shard

    And Jambug… what a lovely comment.

  • MoW

    @ Jambug

    We reinvest all off our money on players do we?

    Pasted from the Swiss Ramble. I suggest you read his blog before making such statements in the future.

    “Arsenal have long been considered the poster child for financial success, consistently reporting large profits. Not only did they register the highest profit before tax (£37 million) in the Premier League in 2011/12, but they have also made an incredible £190 million of profits in the last five years. In fact, the last time that the club made a loss was a decade ago in 2002. This is virtually unparalleled in the cutthroat world of professional football.”

  • nicky

    Re your 11.16, I agree 100% about Flamini. His workrate seems to be as good as ever and he’s just the guy to sort out the Shawcrosses of this world. Too many yellows may result but Arsenal will benefit greatly en route.

  • Jambug

    I did not say we re-invested ALL our money. I said we re-invested all the money recouped from player sales into buying players.(Hence the small net lose in player tradeing over the last 10 years or so) I suggest you read what I said before quistioning such statements in the future.

  • MoW

    Jambug, even assuming your point was correct, I don’t see it’s relevance, the clubs banked massive profits over the years that could have been spent on the squad.

  • MoW,

    Don’t change the terms of the debate mid-way. On transfers, it is a positive net spend. We actually spent more than we took in from transfers. That was Jambug’s original point which I think was in response to those who describe Arsenal as a team that makes profit from player sales.

    There may be other disagreements but I think this one is easy to resolve.

  • Shard


    This reverts to th old debate about why.

    The people who supported Arsenal in this, like me, said that this was because a) a fraction of the money is required to stay in the bank as guarantee. b) we needed to pay bank loans c) we were paying for the stadium modernisation, upgrade to medical centre, injury prevention etc d) we were spending on buying players and extending contracts, and e) the money that was left over was only substantial through years of saving and that this money wasn’t spent because unless there was a glaring need, we were looking at players who for whatever reason, we couldn’ get. We bid 20m for Reina to replace Almunia. We bid for Phil Jones. We apparently bid for Gotze, and also Hazard. So we haven’t been hoarding money, rather been refusing to spend it on players which in reality would be just more of what we have. A gamble in its own right but been proven correct..Just about..

    In the meantime, we’ve been increasing our commercial income. Spending all our money before a new source of assured income is tied up would be reckless. It would also conceivably then, leave us open to being short changed because our need for cash would be like it was while building the stadium, leading to longer term deals, rather than the very good 5 year deals we have now.

    All of which was to say that once the money for the new deals comes in, we will have entered phase 2 of the stadium move, and we will be able to keep our players, and also spend more on buying players. Add in the fact that our academy talents should also develop, then we will hve more money to buy the special players. All of this seemed a dream/lies to most till yesterday, but surely even you must start to believe it a bit.

    In fact, we’re a year ahead of schedule (and this is also because we saved money)

    I’m not saying everything’s perfect or that Arsenal don’t need to do more. I’m saying that so far, Arsenal’s plan, as espoused by the supporters of the club’s strategy, has been vindicated. There’s more to do. I see no reason why we won’t do it.

  • MoW

    Well maybe someone made that point, Boo. I don’t know. I don’t recall that argument being made by me or others but feel free to reread and proove me wrong. And if JamBugs numbers are accurate then great. My point earlier when I used the term pocketed figuratively was because we always seem to leave a chunk of what’s available unspent to the detriment of the squad. Apart from 2002!

  • MoW

    Shard, nice post.

    I do appreciate the model on a certain level. It’s prudent and sensible. Sure. Part of me enjoys the fact that we have class. But as we’ve said before, the difference between the supporter camps is just a small thing. A trifle. £190m profit? £160m cash in the bank? Really?

    Just a few players extra. Splashing the cash on deals to keep some of the talent that left.

    8 years and counting without a trophy isn’t success. It’s a blight on our records.

    Nothing has been vindicated yet. We have to win stuff. That’s the bottom line. The jury is still of on the management. Ozil is a fabulous declaration of intent. But it needs backing up each window. We need to bring in big big players regularly. Surely we all agree on that. I still don’t fully trust these guys yet. However, I’m given optimism because Ozil could be the catalyst. It signals a change in direction.

  • MoW,

    Today is a day that ALL Arsenal fans should celebrate and look forward to a bright future. Things are different now, my good man and we are going to be fine this season 🙂

    To be honest, I have no idea how we are going to do specifically in the 4 competitions that we are in this season and I have been reading someone saying that they intend to not be happy till the end of the season. Well, not me. I intend to celebrate all the team’s achievents. Big or small.

    My motto as always is “Keep the faith and support the team”

  • Jambug


    (cheers Boo)

    I made 2 points.

    1: We re-invest EVERY penny (plus) from player sales into buying players.

    2: We have invested over £500 Million on inferstructure.

    How does that constitute Not spending money, being tight or not haveing ambition. Thats the point I’m makeing.

    I also know we are extremely well run and therefore have made good profits (which somehow seems to be construde as a bad thing by some) and have avoided getting into massive debt (which again somehow seems to be costrude as a bad thing by some) but I have read articles by people much better versed on financial affairs than I, and basically to suggest we have £190 Million plus spare cash hanging around is ridiculous.

    As I say for me it is all very complicated but there was infact an article posted on this very site a week or 2 back(if someone can point you there you could take a look) that explained in great details the minutia of Arsenals financial status. For idiots such as I it clearly showed how the famous (infamous) £70Million kitty was arrived at.

    Either way to say we don’t spend money or are unambitious is simply not true.

  • MoW

    Boo, I certainly don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade. My first post of the day captures my mood. In delighted with Ozil, that little swagger is back. £43m FFS! It’s more than a player, its a symbol. The Emirates will be different now. And I do think the cynics will leave you guys alone, not completely, but I think it will be different on here until January at least. Just goes to show what most of us thought; solving the problems and killing of the critics and press was easy.

  • Arsenal1Again

    Still totally dazed and breathless. The anticipation is killing me. So happy.

  • Shard


    Your last paragraph is basically what I said, except that I’ve been saying it will eventually happen, for some years now. The signings of Ozil vindicates that idea. As well as the idea that Arsenal want to win.

    The rest of the money. A player extra here or there etc etc. without any facts on when what player was available, and what the exact financial position was at the time, who else we were looking at etc, that is just wishful thinking of the plan as it is working even better. Understandable, but in itself it an acknowledgment that the plan was correct in its essence, leaving aside micromanagement.

    I disagree with Wenger and the club many times. None of that changes my outlook that we’ve been very well run, in the face of tremendous setbacks and circumstances over which we had no control, that we will soon be back among the elite, and this time, with the foundation to back it up and make it last, even well into the future.

    Ozil is just a visual representation of that, and I’m glad it came, because the club had indicated for the first time that this would happen this summer. All I’m saying is, that yesterday, Arsenal showed what a lot of people wouldn’t believe. That there is a plan, that there is ambition at the club to be the best, and that we’re working towards getting there.

    You can choose to disbelieve it, or remain unconvinced, but I am happy that my confidence in the club has not been misplaced. More needs to be done. No one’s forgetting that. But a lot of people were demonstrably proved wrong yesterday, and a lot of us were demonstrably proved right. Hopefully, all the fans can now find some hope and get behind the club. A fractious fanbase is never good.

  • MoW

    Jam, we don’t need profits unless, we dot pay dividends. Ok that’s a bit simple. But it’s more or less the case. Profits + weakening squad + no trophies = a bad thing for me and lots of fans. Yes it a complicated and we are talking about a matter of degree not black and white. But this has been the fundament beef of all those naysayers. Simple. Anyway, I don’t want go on about this. I don’t want to bring people down. I just wanted to bring a bit of balance and caution to the table, which was hours ago now!

  • MoW

    Shard, I don’t want us to risk going round in circles when we probably agree with each other. What you say is fine by me. Apart from I say lets wait till the milk and honey arrives before we say anything has been proven.

  • Although a welcome signing, Ozil alone will not be enough to challenge for title, still short of at least 3-4 top quality players.

  • colario

    Özil is said to be the best mid fielder in Europe. The question no one seems to be asking is this: Why was RLM prepared to sell him? Especially when we note that RLM are a buying club not a selling club

  • Shard

    Haha MoW

    Ok. and you’re right that we probably agree on everything except that wording of it. But no worries, hopefully that distinction will not need to be made by the end of this season. 🙂

  • A. Stewart

    Ozil..great signing…

    The calibre of player gooners of all views have been long asking for. It would be nice to have another or two of this quality, but this will do for now.

  • Matt

    I dont think anybody was proved wrong or right yesterday just that Arsenal Football Club have started doing what they should be doing.

    All the AAA stuff on here is ludicrous bacause all those people wanted is what happened yesterday they are not against the club at all just wanted to see a sign something was happening.

    I have seen that sign and although not completely convinced will find it much easier to swallow that the men at the top do care as much as i do.

    Lots on here mocked us for wanting new signings saying we have enough. look how happy they are with the signing of Ozil,that tells us something.

    I think Arsenal fans have been very patient and if other top clubs had been through what we have recently the manager would have face far more than Wenger has.

  • G.Elliott

    There are a lot of freshly soiled pants in the premier league now that Wenger has splashed the cash.

  • G.Elliott

    And thank goodness for the Arsenal haters. They pushed this through.

  • I like it when a fan speaks for just not all Arsenal fans but fans of other clubs as well. It’s called omnipotence and it used to be reserved for that bearded old man in the sky. I guess some men have God complex 🙂

  • MoW

    Well said Matt.

  • Matt

    Some men are Gods and some cant keep there mouths shut. That’s the luck of the draw in The Game of life.

    “Who’s got my nectar”?

  • Pete

    Financial situation is very simple. We went into enormous debt to build the stadium. As a result, our revenues increased. This extra revenue – “profit” – has been used to pay down some (not all) of the stadium debt and more has been set aside to cover some of the remainder (a bank requirement).

    Arsenal’s financials do not currently indicate any significant underlying profit – what has been realised is due to (i) transfers or (ii) exceptional items.

    However, going forward, the situation is much brighter. The new commercial deals/TV money are kicking in and a lot of squad players have been disposed of – hence this £70mm.

    But, in previous years, the money was not there to any significant extent – at least without being reckless. I will accept that the management may have sexed things up with public statements in years gone by.

    If you accept that the current Arsenal first team players are worth between £15mm and £30mm (clearly Sagna, Arteta, Rosicky would fetch less due to their age and lack of resale value) then there seems little point in buying players in the £10-20mm range. Either buy relatively cheap young unpolished gems (or pick them up on a free) – Sanogo, Zelalem, Crowley etc – or really go the whole hog and buy “super super” quality for £30mm+ – Ozil. This seems to be exactly the strategy being followed.

    As the financial situation continues to improve I expect to see more big name signings. Apparently we worked hard to bring in an Ozil-priced striker but couldn’t find one fairly priced (Suarez is NOT worth £50mm).

    One final point: Many, many have slagged off Wenger/the club for “not getting the business done early”. I think it is clear that Ozil was not available “early” – so I think they are owed a large number of apologies. Wenger/Gazidis played poker – and won.

    Roll on Sunderland!

  • Mandy Dodd

    If Ozil was available early, others would have beaten us to him, Chelsea for starters. whereas at the end of the window, most of these richer teams had already spent heavily, filled their squads…except the mystery/cockup that was Man Utd this summer

  • Shard


    Arsenal have started doing what a lot of people doubted they would do, and had any intention of doing. Arsenal also did what they said they would when for the first time they intimated that the financial handcuffs were coming off. Right or wrong, that depends on what the argument was, but I feel they repaid the faith I showed in them yesterday, and like you, I am hoping this is the start of something.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Pete – Your last comment was rang true . There is no way anybody is going to beat the ultimate gambler .He may not have a poker face but you just cannot out guess him.
    Reminds me of this song ,with its subliminal life’s message.
    Here’s to the gambler ….

  • Jambug


    Summed up pretty well as I understand things.

    My disagreement with Matt and the guys who take a similar stance is with regard to there comments such as “Arsenal Footbal Club have started doing what they should be doing” (Matt). The inferance being we should of been splashing £40 million around on players long ago.

    As I think Pete sums up better than I, as have others, that simply was not possible due to the numerous reasons that have been pointed out.

    The problem is no matter how many times people highlight the enormity of the financial restraints and disadvantages we have been under they still infer we should of been splashing the cash for years already when it clearly was not possible.

    Maybe they just don’t believe the figures put in front of them and just think Wenger enjoyed being abused each and every day by the media and fans alike !!!

  • Matt

    The trouble is there is only acceptance of one point of view on this site and anything else gets burried under a barrage from the super fans.

    It seems today for the 1st time after a big transfer people are prepared to debate whats been going on in a fair and frank manner.

    We need all the Arsenal fans to be onside to help the club be successful again nad we need the board and manager onside aswell and maybe today is the start of that.

    Lets hope so because i for one have had enough of being negative.

  • Shard

    “It seems today for the 1st time after a big transfer people are prepared to debate whats been going on in a fair and frank manner.”

    Matt. Maybe it’s because today for the first time debate can occur without being shouted down by invective. Not saying you do that, but so so many on Untold have done that. So much that I left blogging for a while, because it got too much for me.

    Anyway, hopefully this does signal a shift now, and we go on towards building a team that can win the biggest prizes.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Pat @ 11:11am – Send this along too .

    Late Night Party
    The mother and father had just given their teenage daughter family-car privileges.

    On Saturday night she returned home very late from a party.

    The next morning her father went out to the driveway to get the newspaper and came back into the house frowning.

    At 11:30 AM the girl sleepily walked into the kitchen, and her father asked her, “Sweetheart, what time did you get in last night?”

    “Not too late, Dad.” she replied nervously.

    Dead-panned, her father said, “Then, my precious one, I’ll have to talk with the paperboy about putting my paper under the front tire of the car.”

  • Tasos

    Mesut Ozil told the German Football Association’s official website.

    “At the weekend, I was certain that I would stay at Real Madrid, but afterwards I realised that I did not have the faith from the coach or the bosses,”

    “I am a player who needs this faith and that is what I have felt from Arsenal, which is why I have joined”.

    “I am really looking forward to it because I have the faith of the coach. I had spoken to him at length on the telephone, he explained his plans and that he has faith in me – that is what I need as a player.

    “I am looking forward to the new challenge there (Arsenal). I have already heard that they have super fans, the city is great and the team is fantastic.

    “Wenger gives me the faith and I can develop further. I know what I can do and I know that I could make the grade with any club in the world because I am so convinced in myself, but if I don’t feel people have faith in me, then that is why I had to leave and at Arsenal, I feel I have this fully”.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    How to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings, misery and confrontations .From …..

    Pathan has a Pass
    One fine day, a bus driver went to the bus garage, started his bus, and drove off along the route. No problems for the first few stops – a few people got on, a few got off, and things went generally well.

    At the next stop, however, a big hulk of a Pathan got on. Six feet four, built like a wrestler, arms hanging down to the ground. He glared at the conductor and said, “Pathan doesn’t pay!” and sat down at the back.

    Conductor didn’t argue with Pathan, but he wasn’t happy about it. The next day the same thing happened. Pathan got on again, made a show of refusing to pay, and sat down. And the next day, and the next.

    This grated on the bus driver, who started losing sleep over the way Pathan was taking advantage of poor conductor. Finally he could stand it no longer. He signed up for body building courses, karate, judo, and all that good stuff.

    By the end of the summer, he had become quite strong; what’s more, he felt really good about himself. So, on the next Monday, when Pathan once again got on the bus and said, “Pathan doesn’t pay!”

    The driver stood up, glared back at Pathan, and screamed, “And why not?”

    With a surprised look on his face, Pathan replied, “Pathan has a bus pass.”

    Management Lesson: Be sure there is a problem in the first place before working hard to solve one.

  • MoW

    Pete. Loads of people just don’t buy your argument. After player sales and property sales the club, or group rather, has made big profits and accumulated cash in the bank year after year. No one can explain why this hasnt been reinvested back in the team. It’s mystified Gooners and media alike.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Some mothers do ‘ave them ! Sigh ! Goodnight all !

    Stung by a Bee

    Patient- please doctor help me. I have been stung by a bee.
    Doctor- don’t worry . I’ll put some cream on it.
    Pat..-You ‘ll never find the bee. it must be miles away by now.
    Doc..- No no please understand. I’ll put some cream on the place you were stung.
    Pat..-Oh! It happened in the garden where I was sitting under a tree.
    Doc..- You #$%&! I mean in which part of the body did the bee sting.
    Pat..- It stung me on my finger.
    Doc..- Which one?
    Pat..-How am i to know? all the bees look the same to me !

  • Pete


    It’s not really an argument – it is the numbers. I think most of us will agree that Swiss Ramble is fairly unbiased – and he estimated £70mm as available for additional spend (inclusive of wages) this summer.

    Yes – profits have been made – but, as noted, these have gone to paying down some of the stadium debt. I guess this could have been diverted into transfers in prior years – but this would have kept debt high, interest rates higher and our finances extremely stretched. Or “mortgaged to the hilt”.

    I, for one, much rather the debt be brought down to a more sustainable level before starting to spend significant sums on players.

    Given this “sustainable” assumption I would estimate that we could have spent max £20-£30mm more than we did last summer. This time we probably have about £40mm still available. Fairly confident we tried to spend it on a striker but failed. Clearly we are now running a risk with Giroud – but every chance we will be in the market again in January.

    In my view, we have got the strategy just about right over the last 8 years. The club can certainly be criticised for claiming money was there to be spent when it wasn’t (or at least not to a great extent). They also took a real risk that Wenger could keep us in the CL with minimal investment. Fortunately, we came through thanks to the manager’s ability to do a great deal with not very much. Unfortunately, a little bit of luck would have seen us win a couple of trophies during this time – but not to be.

    I can see why we are all frustrated after 8 years without a trophy – but, other than going down the sugar daddy route, I can’t see what more we could really have done (at least from a strategic point of view)? And all the time competing against teams with unlimited resources.

    The really good thing about Ozil is that it now shows the rest of the football world that we are serious. This will mean bringing in “top top” players in the future should be much easier – although still hard to compete with PSG/Monaco/Chels/Man C/Man U/Real M/Barca in terms of wages offered. Hopefully the “Wenger Effect” will make the difference – as it seems do have done with Ozil.

  • andy bishop

    Ozil is a great signing…get the feeling he would have stayed at Real if that was an option. Time will tell if he puts the shift in for us. I hope others read the game as quickly as he does. No doubt he will create chances. The wage cap has finally been broken. Lets hope we can bring another world class player in next year

  • Pete,

    Unless being done just for the sake of having an argument or to prove to be smarter than everybody else, I see no reason to object to your comments. You have summarised our situation for the past 8 years perfectly.

    In the same period, Liverpool have spent and spent but have very little to show for it but mostly failure. What many cynical Arsenal fans want to do all the time is blame Arsene Wenger excessively when things are not working out according to plan. In a classic case o0f having it both ways, they then hijack the glory when things are working out by claiming that the manager is finally operating according to their suggestions.

    It can be futile to debate narcissists. Let’s just say they are right and be done with it, for everybody’s peace of mind.

  • Gunz

    @Pete (September 3, 2013 at 4:46 pm)
    @Bootoomee (September 3, 2013 at 5:05 pm)
    Great posts! I will be bookmarking those for future reference.

  • Jambug


    Brilliantly put, again.

    Just one point though.

    “The Club can certainly be critisised for claiming money was there to be spent when it wasn’t”

    Thats a tricky one but I don’t think they had a choice. My brother, a fully payed up member of the AAA, kept ranting on about ‘All we want to know is the truth’, but is that really what we want to hear? Back on the day AFC commited to the new Stadium did we really want to hear that thats it for possibly 10 years. did we hell !!

    Can you imagine the farore. We get enough stick about our prices without AFC comming out every year to reiterate how little money we have for transfers and therefore how little chance we have of competeing. In these tough times we need to ‘sell out’ the Emirates not ’empty out’ the Emirates.

    And another thing, it’s tricky enough attracting players as it is without telling the World and his dog how skint we are.

    It’s ‘Spin’. It’s not particularly nice, but alas I believe a neccessary evil.

    AFC and Wenger were clearly prepared to take the flack on the back of claims they made that they knew they quite obviously where unable to deliver on. But Just imagine the shit we could of been in if they did’nt employ a little subdefuge !!

  • MoW

    Pete, according to Swiss, operating profits plus player and property profits were £376m between 07 and 12.

    29% was spent on interest repayments
    19% sprucing up the Emirates, training ground and other capital payments
    17% on net debt repayments
    2% on tax


    32% cash in the bank
    and 1% on net player purchases!!!

    that’s £118m gone into the bank.

    these are as of last year. I also recall that his £70m figure was from last year? since then the new commercial and TV deals have been signed.

    plus we’ve sold players and reduced our wage bill significantly so the £70m is probably out of date.

    sounds like we’ve had a war chest for a number of years. and the new deals should increase revenue by another £50-70m a year on top.

    so you agree we have a war chest left unspent. this is my point! it doesn’t matter when we missed out on that striker, this summer or last, the point is we haven’t converted the cash into playing staff!

    and if we do have 30m -50m left unspent (after Ozil) that doesnt mean we can sign just one player on 50m. they have a resale value too. as you know, the cost is the prices paid + wages – fee recouped. young players go up in value. strikes me could have bought a number of players in and not busted our P&L. look at Madrid with Ozil. he didn’t cost them a penny.

    and we know the new deals only add to wealth in the future, so why not spend even more now based on known future income. we have the cash in the bank.

    i just still don’t get why we’ve been so [tight / ineffective in the market]. we’ve only asked for a few players!

  • A. Stewart

    I’m not sure why some seem to be trying to use the Ozil signing as a stick to beat the so-called AAA with; when this is exactly the type of signing gooners have been long calling for. It’s hilariously ironic to see some almost suggesting that those who called for the club to do precisely this (often to the vehement and derisory opposition of those so-called AKBs now celebrating it) are somehow unworthy to join in the celebration of exactly what they were asking for.
    This is just finally another step of the club acknowledging what many have been long calling for.
    If many are honest you’ll recall some of the things the so-called AAA have been long championing (to much initial opposition from gooners that would be typified by this site) that the club has now met in action or words are:

    1- More British Grit. It’s hilarious to see the so-called AKBs (and the club itself now shamelessly marketing) celebrating the British core, when (generalizing here) they often snobbishly turned up their noses (and the management famously defending not looking at passports) at fans saying they wanted more English and British steel.

    2- More Experienced Players: In the last two or three seasons there has been a steady shift towards recruiting more experienced players for the first 11 and first team. Something the so-called AAA has long been championing, often to much opposition of those rabidly defending the youthful direction.

    3- Wage Distribution: The so-called AAA have also long been calling for a more sensible distribution where potential is less rewarded versus being proven, where the better players earn more and kids and squad players earn less until deserved. A shift away from the socialist-tinged wage policies born in the opinion of many out of ideology as opposed to financial reality. The club in the last couple of seasons has publicly acknowledged (through Gazidis iirc) the need to do just this type of shift.

    4- Top Quality Marquee Signings (like Ozil), speaks for itself no need to write a paragraph on this one.

    I find it comical that there seems to be some underlying tones of suggestion that the very people who were long championing this type of signing are somehow unworthy to celebrate as a result of it. That gooners of all views are celebrating this signing of Ozil should show many that it was never about being Anti-Arsenal.

    The only (to me) real questions are whether these shifts could have been done before. And no-one outside of inner circle of the club accurately knows the answer. However, one cannot ignore that the club through its football management and executives have said publicly for years, that funds were there for these types of transfers, and that the manager was not being denied them (said repeatedly over the years by AW himself). Moreover, the club has been profitable and high revenue generating for well before this current season now as its own published financials show, as well as reputable third party reviews. So if one accepts that this was the only season that club had this spending power, then one also has to accept that the club has publicly and repeatedly lied to its fan base in recent years. Can’t have it both ways

    Also it’s clear choices were made, that didn’t necessarily preclude the ability to make these types of transfers. For example, considering the culling of dozens of kids and squad players over the last few years who made little/zero impact, and the net increase of some 30/40 plus players on our books (prior to this season’s culling) since our last trophy, can one really argue that in their place for arguably the same if not less money spent on fees/wages for these dozens of players, that a handful of Ozil type signings with the potential for far more impact couldn’t have been brought in instead before now? For many it’s hard to not think that the choices made were not driven equally, if not more via idealism as opposed to financially reality. And the slashing of a veritable plethora of those players to many illustrate the failure of those choices, and yet another one of the things that to so-called AAA were long championing.

    Anyway to sum it all up, once again, look around. No matter their views on Wenger, the club’s management/ownership/direction in recent years, I’d say 99.9999% are happy with the singing of Ozil (yes some may think more is still needed but that’s another discussion). And the reason we are all happy is because we all support Arsenal Football Club, regardless of if we disagree on how it is being run or who is running it.

  • Digvijay

    At MoW,
    The reason for that is I believe, that teams are not made by buying a bunch of players. Well Real Madrid, now PSG et al do that, but they seem to strangely lack tradition. They buy players, get a manager who can keep them on the same pitch, and when the buzz is gone, they get Bales and Iscos.
    But at Arsenal, the processes of building a team is given much importance. “Standing on your own feet” maybe apt.

    And a football club, much like life itself is about the journey itself, rather than the destination, no?

  • Jambug


    “We’ve only asked for a few players”

    Thats not true for a start. You’ve been asking to win something.

    In any case how would spending the odd few million more each season have made any impact whatsoever against the backdrop of Chelseas and Cities spending? There spending over the last 10 years works out at £50 MILLION NET PER SEASON.

    Unless you really think Wenger is a genius

    Basically it’s been a pissing match between oil Billionares, a pissing match we where, and still are best to keep out of.

  • Jambug


    A truely baffling tirade of total utter clap trap. Sorry but have you actually read any of the previous posts?

  • A. Stewart

    @ Jambug: Re:

    “Just one point though.

    “The Club can certainly be critisised for claiming money was there to be spent when it wasn’t”

    Thats a tricky one but I don’t think they had a choice.”

    I alluded to this in my post, because the real discussion and the real unkowns are about if signings like Ozil could have been done before or not. I think both sides of the issue can put up credible cases for their point of view. However, I have an issue with what you said above, as mentioned in my post, if one accepts the club weren’t able until now to make this type of signing, then one also has to accept the club has been lying repeatedly to its fan base. And it seems by your post (apoligies if I inferr incorrectly) that some are willing to accept that they have been mislead by the club, under the guise of they had to do it as a “necessary evil.”

    I don’t understand the pass given for the presumed dishonesty from a club that cherises and promotes its “values”.

    Also it’s highly debateable as to whether any of this evil was necessary in the first place. It’s not difficult to draw up a list of over 2 dozen players (could be much more) that during this period and make reasonable assumptions about their wages and/or fees over time, that made zero impact, and compare that to a handful of then available quality players who transfered for affordable prices during that period and went on to make big impacts, who is fees/wages could have cost less than that long list of players who came, went and did nothing, and could have kept us closer to winning or achieving that, which then has its own positive finanical windfalls as a result.

  • A. Stewart

    “A truely baffling tirade of total utter clap trap. Sorry but have you actually read any of the previous posts?

    I think it’s rather easy to follow to be honest, and yes I have read several of the previous posts including some of yours which I respectfully find very interesting and well written. Good job.

  • The font

    I am a super fan attend home and. Away I cried with nervous tension when ozil finally signed not becouse he is world class but becouse he reinstates wengers kudos as one of the top 4 managers in the world I tick all the boxes born a stones throw from the ground every child born into the family first piece of clothing will bear the badge but let me tell you. Fans like Walter and tony and many more who come on this blog love the club as much as me and are also super fans people that support the club and enjoy success from near and far the only criteria you need to join the super fan club is love loyalty and understanding when things aren’t going well. Weighing all the options circumstances . New stadium top. 4. 16. Years. Financial. Security Great. Football Superstar. Maker. World recognition as. One of the most attractive teams . I will be the first to slaughter any manager I feel is not worthy. Becouse arsenal is such a big part of my life so when people start saying we should sign this one that one . As if they know more than wenger. I take it as an insult to my intelligence .

  • MoW


    I do think Wenger is a brilliant coach by the way. And I think he can get more out of a given bunch of players than most of his peers.

    What I find utterly nauseating is us throwing the towel in the not spending it on principle. Sorry. If that’s what you believe then I guess our principles are completely different.

    Project Gervinho cost us what £10m including wages and resale? We could have gone in for another 3 to 5 similar projects in different positions. Or 2 project worth twice as much. They don’t all fail like Gervinho. Koz for example.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Jambug re:


    “We’ve only asked for a few players”

    Thats not true for a start. You’ve been asking to win something.

    In any case how would spending the odd few million more each season have made any impact whatsoever against the backdrop of Chelseas and Cities spending? There spending over the last 10 years works out at £50 MILLION NET PER SEASON.

    Unless you really think Wenger is a genius

    Basically it’s been a pissing match between oil Billionares, a pissing match we where, and still are best to keep out of.

    Actually yes Jambug, gooners have never asked for wholesale long list of top quality signings, rather it’s always been about 2 or 3 top quality signings that we could/should be able to afford. No-one ever asked to go on a City-Chelsea-Madrid-esque spending spree.

    And about your point as to how it would make a difference. Well football is played on the field. We have beaten all the big teams domestically at some point (and repeatedly in some instances) during our tophyless period. Often it seemed that while we had good teams, we were short of a few quality difference makes to 1) close the small gap between success and being close to it, and 2) allowing us the bodies to sustain challenges on multiple fronts.

    Hardly anyone thinks or team was utter shit or our manager equally so. Rather most recognized that our teams were and is very good, but just a few quality players short from competing with the likes of big spenders, who, do not win everything every year!! So yet it can be done and has been done domestically and continentally (Dortmund for example) where in less expensively assembled teams but with the requisite quality can beat the top spenders of the game. And many gooners believed and still believe that OF COURSE we can win the tile regardless of how much City, Chelsea spend with just the right additions of quality, doing things more efficiently with wages, and do these things well within the realm of what we can afford.

    That’s the problem with this discussion in that is starts from a false argument of those who hold a different opinion that the prevailing ones here, being caricatured incorrectly as wanted to spend money willy nilly like City, Chelsea and Madrid when no-one has ever wanted that. Moreover, the other false argument about winning/trophies as the end all and be all, when rather many/most gooners of a different opinion than here, wanted to the club to do all with ITS power to give itself the best chance to win and simply don’t/didn’t believe it was doing so. That is markedly different than the false narrative caricature about these parrots saying trophies are everything and that there is some divine right to always win.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Colario Re:

    “Those who say that Arsene does not sign established players do not know their Arsene.

    It was Arsene who signed for Monaco a certain Glenn Hoddle who was in his prime playing for spuds at the time. In addition he signed Mark Hately and they went on to win the French League.

    It was Arsene who persuaded a certain spuds center back to leave his beloved spuds and cross Finsbury Park to become one of the invincibles.

    There are many examples of Arsene buying – getting for free players who have learnt their trade elsewhere and bring experience to his teams.

    It is true that Arsene did not buy Bergkemp. True Bergkemp was going nowhere football wise. He seemed to have lost the plot. It was Arsene who transformed him back to the great player he had been.

    The only thing Arsene critics have in common with each other is ‘ignorance’ and that by the bucket full.

    Agreed 100%..

    On this very site I made a long detailed argument ironiclaly in direct response to people who I’m guessing you wouldn’t term as “Arsene Critics”, that it’s a myth that Wenger doesn’t/didn’t sign teams chock full of experienced, and players who were known and well accomplished before working with him, and moreover, that all of his successful sides were heavily skewed towards those types of players as opposed to the accepted myth of him winning with teams of unknowns or unearther gems.

    When I think about it, it really makes your last line halarious considering the opposition to it I got here, because of people who weren’t Arsene Critics taking exception to me poiting out what you did above.

  • dan

    Talkshit are try their best, especially Adrian Durham calling us the new one man team of north London. Funny how this team without Ozil beat the super mega stars of Tottenham!!!

  • Jambug


    More fool you for listening to that to$$er on that ridiculous station.

    The guy has a pathalogical hatred of all things Arsenal.

    We was a one man team with RVP. Then without him had an almost identical season.

    We scored 2nd most goals last season without it appears one single striker of any note. We had the 2nd best deffence without a single deffender of any note it appears. We have accumulated more points than anyone else in the Calander year so far without a single player of note it appears.

    Calling us a ‘one man’ team even before that ‘one man’ has kicked a ball seems to sum up the complete and utter stupidity of the man to a ‘T’

  • Jambug

    And by the way didn’t he predict a 7 or 8 nil thrashing for us by the mighty Spuds. Might be wrong but I thought I read it somewhere.

  • Jambug

    So basically if Ozil is a sensation and we do ‘win’ something he’s already got his derisary line tee’d up!!

    If he’s a flop he’s got the fall back option of how bad Wengers transfer policy is.

    Basically before Ozil kicks a ball we can’t win.

    Standard talkshite policy regarding Arsenal then !!!

  • dan


    Foolish me indeed, I occasionally listen to Talkshit during my drive home. Yes, the ginger idiot’s hatred for us is legendary, to the point of him dedicating a slot called the daily Arsenal.

    Almost forgot, today Stuart Robson gave his verdict on our new signing.

  • andy bishop

    Who cares what Talksport says or indeed Stuart Robson or tomorrows papers. Too many on this site get defensive over the crap that is spouted. The Arsenal talking is done on the pitch.

  • Jambug,

    But it is not just Adrian ‘To$$er’ Durham and the talkshite crew. Look at some of our own supposed fans too. When we get poor results, they attack the manager and players. When we get good results, they either undermine them or claim that the result came about because their ideas were ‘finally’ adopted by the manager.

    They can never lose the argument because they are always right.

    Meanwhile, Ozil has told DFB TV that he has made this move because of the faith that he has in Arsene Wenger. He said he believe that AW will enhance his development as a player! Please see for yourself:

    Let’s just remember this point in future when the usual suspects tell us that no player wants to join us because they have no faith in our manager.

  • Yassin

    Waited 8 years for this moment.
    Trusted Wenger for 8 years for this moment.
    Been insulted for 8 years for this moment.
    Man bootoomee, fuck them, they dont deserve a shit, we do deserve to enjoy it without their stupidity.
    Man enjoy it, u deserve it and dont ruin your moment by arguing with/about these people.

  • Yassin,

    Thanks man! I am having a great time.

    First we beat Tottenham, you know the team that is finally going to overtake us because they have “spent the fucking money”. Actually £110million of it. The team that our ‘fans’ were drooling over was beaten fair and square. But for their keeper having a great game, last 2 seasons’ results might have been repeated.

    Then Arsene Wenger gave them the final shut up with the Ozil signing. All of a sudden, Arsene Wenger is acting according to their wishes!

    They are freaking annoying but believe me, I am having a great time. This season is going to be different.

  • jambug


    Yep, next thing you’ll know they’ll be claiming it’s all down to them that wengers finaly ‘spent some ****ing money’ and it’s got not nothing at all to do with Arsenal haveing a long term strategic and financial plan that may finaly be about to bear fruit…………….Oh wait a minute, they already are !!!!!


    You are so right but I just can’t help myself.

    I console myself in the knowledge that in there hearts they are’nt really enjoying this. How can they be when for the last god knows how long, in there bitter and twisted minds all they’ve wished for is Arsenal, and Wenger in particular, to fail.

  • Stuart

    As if Wenger listened to them.

    And they have the cheek to call us AKBs deluded.

    Do you know what, I have seen only 1 (thats one) of these fair wheather fans apologise for doubting. They are not respectable human beings, they are filth & scum.

  • Arsenal1Again

    I am shocked to see some of the crap I’ve been seeing out there. I mean beyond comprehension. The general opinion is not enough was done, nobody has mentioned the existence of Flam iini or Bendtner and are demanding a DM and CF, while the rest have absolutely no clue what Ozil brings to the team. I mean scary, disgusting and very shameful crap. I am done with them.

  • andy bishop

    Ray Parlour who knows more about Arsene Wenger and the club than anyone on this site says we need another top class striker but hails the signing of Ozil. Who cares what he says. Its what happens on the pitch that is important

  • americangooner

    HHAHAHAHA! NO, arsene spending on ozil wasn’t because the so-called or not-called AAA or WOB or ‘f*cking spending brigade’ asked for it. It wasn’t because suddenly AW/Board realized that there are a group of fans wanting world class. NO!NO!NO!. That said I also don’t know the reason why there wasn’t any spending the previous 7-8 years. But what I can say is that we had World Class players in Arsenal throughout those time. We had Fabregas, vPersie and even Arshavin was called as WC after his performance in EURO. And although all of 11 players were not WC, they certainly were quality enough to compete. Evidence: 2010-11 and 2007-08. This,2013-14 is the only season in a long time, whereby we have not lost anyone that is “Integral” to the team. Instead we have added to what we have got.
    The so-called AAA did not champion anything.

    If one looked at who AW bought in his entire tenure, one can see that he does buy WC players, provided the forces at work cooperate. Henry, Petit, Overmars, Fabregas, vP and now Ozil. For some reason(s), which we can only surmise, AW did not buy players of stature the last 2-3 years. Even then some of the players AW bought in the so-called ‘trolley dash’ of 2011-12 are now integral to Arsenal- Per and Mikel.

  • andy bishop

    Waddington..ex Stoke said on BT Sport last night that he felt Arsenal despite the signing of Ozil were not in his opinion top four material. Where the f..k has he been the last 16 years?

  • colario

    How many players were we supposed to be buying in the TW according to reporters, commentators, those who know better than Arsene and those with contacts at Arsenal? 100, 200 +.

    How many of them mentioned Özil? None. None. Not even the world’s number 1 Arsenal expert, the great one and only Stewart Robson mentioned him.

    That ignorance bucket is a very big bucket.

  • Va Cong

    AAA want a new 11.I found the solution… We need world class fans! What a signing! 3-0 bet just might work… Haha spuds…

  • Va Cong

    That’s so funny if true Mandy!

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Rather amusing debate…both sides saying “I told you so!”

    Damn shame we aren’t all together in one room….nothing a few beer and few songs sung together couldn’t fix!! 🙂

  • Shard


    Can’t help but think that Levy, or whoever, wrote just the perfect script for us. What could be better than celebrating a NLD win with our record signing of a genuine superstar player?

    Just perfect. And I’m so so excited to see Arsenal play. It’s so frustrating about the internationals. But it shoud be well worth the wait. Ozil and Cazorla. Park the bus defenses are going to have a hard time now, with Ramsey, Arteta, and Jack also there. Add in Flamini with his ferocity, and we’re looking so very good in midfield. Our defense has done so well since last season, and gives us a good platform to build our scintillating offense from.

    Ox and Theo are major threats in their own right. Giroud has developed so well, and Podolski’s left footed hammers. If we can add in one quality forward there then….

    Didn’t mean to gush like that, but can’t help it. Is this what signing Bergkamp felt like?

  • Va Cong

    Shard I’m open mouthed drooling in super sexy football now after the boring qualifiers

  • Mandy Dodd

    Yes levy has certainly had a bad day or two he may want to review the terms of his clubs so called special relationship with Real Madrid. There are now suggestions utd failed in a bid for khedera are we the only club to tame the sharks of real? the reported reactions of jose and levy tell us all we need to know of the quality of this signing as if we did not know already. yes this is like getting DB or in my era as a kid even malcolm mcdonald.Levy had become the darling of the media and even some of the AAA just goes to show how things can change. Just want these internationals over and our players back safe.

  • Pat

    @A. Stewart

    Your posts are too long but I will give my opinion on one point – the ‘British core’ point.

    I speak only for myself and I would claim I have been consistent – not vacillating, as you claim the ‘AKBs’ have been.

    Arsene Wenger was berated some years ago by the press for playing a team with no British players – at one point with players all from different countries, even. I quite liked that by the way – a truly international team.

    Anyway, he didn’t do that because he was anti-British. As he said, he judged players on their quality, not their passport.

    Since then for various reasons – some to do with Arsenal and Arsene Wenger – a number of young British players have appeared and been developed who play the Arsenal way. We have got several of them.

    Having lost several young foreign players, Arsene Wenger also hopes that his core of young British players will stay the course – they won’t want to go back to Spain because it’s home, at least.

    It’s nothing to do with ‘British grit’ as you refer to it. There’s plenty of grit as well as skill in the Arsenal team, regardless of nationality.

    I don’t want to concoct a post as long as yours, so I’ll leave it there.

  • Pat

    @Mandy Dodd

    Thanks for the great links!

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    I have an exclusive about how Wenger got Osil:

    Wenger was taking a bath at home, and his wife walks on him; she is not a puritan, but very proper and all, and she did not know AW was taking his bath; so she goes: “Oh my God”
    And AW admonishes her: “Honey, please be informal and call me Arsene when we are alone at home”
    So she changes the subject and says that he should sign a key player (excuse my French): “Mais zut, Arsene, tu dois embaucher un joueur d’exception”
    Arsene’s face lit up: “You are such an inspiration, Mais zut it will be”
    Within 48 hours, Arsenal acquired Mesut Osil from Real Madrid.
    So, let us give credit to Mrs. Wenger, please.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Sorry sperez,
    Great link but:
    I stand by my story; I was told of this version by the shampoo bottle in the Wenger bathroom.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Ray from Norfolk ,Virginia 1: 25 am – – Sweet ! As far as I know shampoo bottles may foam but never known to fib !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    From an AKB –

    I’ve seen better days ,but I’ve also seen worse .
    I don’t have everything that I want ,
    but I do have all I need.
    I wake up with some aches and pains , but I wake up .
    My life may not be perfect , but I am blessed .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Since we are on about Germans …..

    No Speak English
    A beautiful German woman married an American gentleman born in Virginia and they lived happily ever after in his home town.

    The poor lady was not very proficient in English, but did manage to communicate with her husband. The real problem arose whenever she had to shop for groceries.

    One day, she went to the butcher counter and wanted to buy chicken legs. She didn’t know how to put forward her request, so, in desperation, clucked like a chicken and lifted up her skirt to show her thighs. Her butcher got the message and gave her the chicken legs.

    Next day she needed to get chicken breasts, again she didn’t know how to say it, so she clucked like a chicken and unbuttoned her blouse to show the butcher her cleavege. The butcher understood again and gave her some chicken breasts.

    On the 3rd day, the poor lady needed to buy sausages. Unable to find a way to communicate this, she brought her husband to the store…

    (Please scroll down.)





















    What were you Thinking???

    Her husband speaks English!!

    P/S : Be honest. What were you thinking?

  • Rupert Cook

    @Mandy, I think we can thank Spuds for the Ozil signing. If they hadn’t taken so long selling Bale then Chelsea might have pounced before they bought the players they did. That delay meant Ozil wasn’t up for grabs until the eleventh hour.

    My worry is that if we don’t finish fourth Chelsea will try and lure Ozil away as Mourinho is a huge fan. Top 4 is essential this season.

    @Jambug, nobody really knows how much money we’ve had to spend. Maybe I misconstrued Wenger but I seem to recall him saying a few years back that if he thought a player was worth 40 million he’d buy him so not sure how tight those financial constraints really were. Anyway he’s got his wish now and we can all be happy.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Bootoome, yes we can all deride Spuds for spending a huge wad of cash but it takes a team a while to gel so it’ll be fascinating to see where Spuds will be around January. If Wenger had bought in so many new faces and lost away to Spuds you’d be one of the first to defend the club claiming it takes a while for a team to get to know each other so I wouldn’t write off Spuds just yet.

    The only player they bought that I wish we’d gone for was Lamela. Could be a great signing. I sincerely hope not.

  • americangooner

    Ray from norfolk, that joke was quite original. brilliant.

  • Asif

    @A Stewart – How deluded, you and your lot are! If you think that its people like you (AAA in our parlance) to convince Wenger to bring in British steel or it was the pressure that you’d applied and hence he bought big…shows how ignorant you and your ilk is.

    Wenger is not someone who listens to anyone…do you get it…He is his own man…if he could be pressurised then he would have quit a long time back…there is no club and no manager which is scrutinized as much as Arsenal or Wenger…and maybe he is hated because of this very reason that he treats media, pundits and the likes with a degree of disdain which they rightfully deserve!!!

    SO PLEASE DON’T EVEN THINK OF CLAIMING ANY CREDIT…no! He did what he’d done…waited for quality and it was very much possible that if he had not got Ozil, then maybe we would not have bought anyone…and then you all could have a field day…sadly that is not the case. Also, we have money to spare and that will be spent in buying players who fit Wenger’s vision rather than any Tom Dick or Arry…

  • Rupert Cook

    Everyone’s a bloody comedian on this site. I think Brickfields jokes are funnier Ray, sorry, but it wasn’t a bad effort.

  • Rupert Cook wrote:

    “Bootoomee…….If Wenger had bought in so many new faces and lost away to Spuds you’d be one of the first to defend the club claiming it takes a while for a team to get to know each other so I wouldn’t write off Spuds just yet.”

    No Rupert, that would be you and the other buy-buy-buy brigade. Go back and read everything I have ever posted at Untold; I believe in AW’s measured approach and I support the players that we have. If there will be additions, they will be blend in gradually. You know, like Flamini was brought in. I was never in support of the buy “3 to 4 world class players” nonsense, so why would I be defending its failure if implemented?

    A few days before the match when Arsene Wenger said that Spurs might struggle because it takes a while for a team with many additions to blend, he was crucified by Spurs fans, the media and many of our own fans. When the manager was proven right on Sunday, then the same people who called Arsene an idiot for his perfectly logical opinion are now using the same as excuse for Spurs’ failure.

    Say what you may but I’ve always been a consistent supporter of Arsene Wenger unlike some here, in the media and amongst our ‘fans’ who shift as the wind blows.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Asif, nobody knows what motivates Wenger. He may have been under pressure to make a big signing from the board or even Kronke. And the hostile atmosphere at the Emirates may have urged him to spend big. Remember he said this a few weeks ago “I want to make the fans happy”. And he knows how to make the fans happy, buy players, that simple. Most fans are now placated.

    I think Wenger had every intention of buying at least two star players. I also think he was incredibly unlucky not to have signed one before he got Ozil but he was trying to buy from rival EPL clubs (Suarez and Rooney) and that’s not easy, especially when you’re trying to sign those teams’ best, or near best, players.

    In fact maybe not signing those two ensured we signed Ozil as I don’t think we’d have gone for him if we’d got both Rooney and Suarez. I am very glad it panned out that way as I think Ozil is a much better signing than either of the others. If Wenger could have spent 80 million on players he really wanted he would have done but some transfers just didn’t come off.

    I think the club will build on this. I think Wenger wants world class players primarily and a few promising youngsters that he can find at extremely low cost like Sanogo.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Bootoome, that wasn’t really my point. I’m saying that you can’t write off a team based on one performance. If we buy two or ten players everyone tries to give them time to settle in. It’s got nothing to do with people saying buy buy buy, that’s a different argument. (And for the record I never wanted a huge influx of players a la Spuds but two world class players every season with the odd promising youngster thrown in).

    And plenty of people doubted Spuds would do anything against us. I predicted a 2-1 win on another site. Most people know that you can’t make a great team overnight when you’ve added loads of new faces. It didn’t work at QPR and so far it’s not helping Sunderland either. I hope it’s as big a flop at Spuds.

  • Shard

    WHat’s this about Spurs needing time to gel? I thought that’s why you’re supposed to buy early?? 🙂

    It’s true though. They will improve, and I think AVB is actually a good manager, who could have been a similar transformational manager for Chelsea, like Arsene was for us, if given time. However, he still has a lot to learn, and replacing an impact player that scored 40%+ of your goals, and secured you some 20 odd points (I forget the stats) on his own is not going to be easy. The fact that Wenger has done it just shows how good he is. And he’s done it not just recently, but when we lost Anelka, and then Overmars and Petit.

    I agree about Lamela with rupert. I really like what I’ve seen of him at Roma. But honestly, when I saw him, I thought of the Ox. Maybe slightly ahead in his development, but then he is a few years older (I think) Lamela for 30m or so? Not worth it to the squad I think.

  • Shard


    I had to laugh..Sorry.. 2 world class players every season? Forget the finances for a while, what do you think makes a player world class?? Ability to get into the World 11? Or 22? 33? Where and how do you think 2 such players will become available each year?

  • americangooner

    Moaners still getting something to moan about. Now saying other positions namely CB, DM and ST were more important than CAM. These people are forgetting that Arsenal’s gameplan is still based somewhat on cesc-like player. Cazorla nor wilshire nor rosicky could be that cesc-like player. During the 07-08 season we had cesc as CAM and flamini as DM and look what that made to Adebuywhore. He became a 30 goal-a-season player. Obviously we know giroud to be way better than adebuywhore. giroud might not have a 30-goal season, nevertheless could score way more than last season. We have 2 creators, one from left and one from center and with Arteta and Flamini covering as DM, we can give the creators the freedom they want, just like in 07-08.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Shard, world class is a subjective statement. I’d say that Cazorla is world class and Koscielny so it seems that players can be found before they’re known to be world class. Kudos to Wenger for finding them. And anyway how much would have a world class player cost before this summer’s crazy prices? Mata is world class and was affordable. I’m sure there have been quite a few in the last 7 years. Better to have that policy than one of investing huge wages on ordinary players that probably cost more anyway in the long run.

  • elkieno

    Americangooner: Fuck that sounds good doesn’t it? Moaners will moan, they are sad and unhappy with life. When we lose a game I dont get unhappy at us losing a game. I get unhappy at what the retards will be screaming about. I think dont go online cos they will be there abusing, teasing and polluting the places I like to go, like Untold. Now they seem to be staying away, but just go to Le Groan and read the comments.
    Are they at Le Groan aware that we all know how negative they are?
    Do they know they are famous for having attracted the terrible, poisonous and abusive fans we have?
    In saying that, I have already seems articles and comments about UTD and Moyes Out already.
    I suppose we all have retarded fans… and I am referring to the abusers and folk that just cant say ‘I was wrong, we do have ambition etc’.
    ok onwards and upwards, this 14 days is taking sooo long..

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Some really bad doctor jokes .


    Let me tell you about my doctor. He’s very good! If you tell him you want a second opinion, He’ll go out and come in again.


    He treated a woman for yellow jaundice for three years Before he realized she was Chinese.


    Another time, he gave a patient six months to live.
    At the end of the six months,the patient hadn’t paid his bill, So, the doctor gave him another six months.


    While he was talking to me, his nurse came in and said, “Doctor, there is a man here who thinks he’s invisible.”
    The doctor said, “Tell him I can’t see him.”


    Another time, a man came running in the office and yelled, “Doctor, doctor! – my son just swallowed a roll of film!”
    The doctor calmly replied, “Well let’s just wait and see what develops.”


    One patient came in and said, “Doctor, I have a serious memory problem”
    The doctor asked,”When did it start?”
    The man replied, “When did what start?”


    I remember one time I told my doctor I had a ringing in my ears.
    His advice: “Don’t answer it.”


    My doctor sure has his share of nut cases.
    One said to him,”Doctor, I think I’m a bell.” The doctor gave him some pills and said, “Here, take these — If they don’t work, give me a ring.”


    Another guy told the doctor that he thought he was a deck of cards The doctor simply said, ” Go sit over there. I’ll deal with you later.”

    When I told my doctor I broke my leg in two places, he told me to stop going to those places.


    You know, doctors can be so frustrating. You wait a month and a half for an appointment, Then he says, “I wish you had come to me sooner.”

  • Matt

    What kind of fan isn’t unhappy when we lose? Just goes to show it means more to some than others and they then have the cheek to belittle the diehard supportes of the club. Unblievable really.

  • Shard


    That’s playing the second guessing game armed with hindsight again. If that’s your strategy, you’re relying on world class players being found, being available, having the money to buy them, hoping they stay long enough, and hopin that the supporting cast don’t just move to other clubs because they can get more wages elsewhere.

    It’s easy to pick out the cons of Arsenal’s strategy and say, I would have prevented these things happening in such and such way, in a post-facto analysis. It doesn’t work like that. Not even with hindsight can you eliminate all the risks of every strategy. And a lot of the strategising was done before Abramovich showed up, and before the property prices crashed. Whichever way you look at it, Arsenal have undergone a huge transition, and they’ve handled it very well. The rest is nitpicking. In my view.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Shard, well a lot of it depends on how much money one thinks Arsenal have had at their disposal. Wenger stated he could spend 40 million on a player he wanted a few seasons back and yet he won’t spend an extra couple of million if it pushes him over what a player is worth. Or is that a myth? Any debate over these issues is extremely hard because not all the facts are available.

    One could argue on both sides all day and never reach a conclusion. And what’s the point? What’s done is done. There aren’t many players that spring to mind that I wish we’d signed, Suarez before Pool got him and Tevez after he left West Ham are the only ones that are not “hindsight buys”. And Mata.

    Anyway it’s great to see Arsenal buy some proven world class talent instead of sell it. May it long remain that way. And let’s hope Ozil is only the beginning. I may be giving Adam that £100 before 2019 if Wenger commits to buying stars.

  • Shard


    That’s the thing. Speaking for myself of course. Let it be some referees, or let it be the excessively negative comments on the blogs. They both take away my right as a fan to have a legitimate moan at my team. I hate that. I hate that I can’t honestly say ‘losing was entirely our fault’ if the referee played a big hand in the result. I hate that I can’t say Wenger got his tactics wrong, without it becoming fodder for cries of ‘Wenger Out! Even the AKB’s are turning on him’.

    The excessive negativity around the club takes away the balance from the equation. It robs supporters like me of the right to express my frustrations without it being co-opted as something larger than it is. And often, I am left worrying about a draw/loss more due to the reaction that I know will follow than the significance of the result itself. You can say, ‘what kind of supporter does that?’ but that ignores the context of that feeling. The need to maintain some balance.

  • TripleJJJ

    Completely irrelevant, but who would people put as our starting midfielders should all of them be fit?

  • Shard


    Let’s hope you’re a hundred pounds out of pocket by the end of this season. 🙂

    Was the bet for any trophy or the league title?

  • Rupert Cook

    @Shard, the bet was that Arsenal had to win the league by 2018. I said we wouldn’t win until at least 2019.

    I don’t think we’ll win it this year so I think my money is safe but I’d rather win the league than have the money. (Are you listening Arsene?) Ha, ha.

  • Pete

    Must say that this is a really interesting debate conducted (generally) quite positively. I think most people are in a happier frame of mind which makes discussion easier. It is always said that you will never convince someone of the merits of your argument if you are angry (Sales 101…).

    Several points made.

    1. Could we have “splashed the cash” 1/2/3/more years ago.

    Consider an analogy. You have a very large interest only mortgage on your house. Through prudent housekeeping you have managed to put aside some money that will make a significant dent in the mortgage. But then you think – well I could always build that extension instead. The mortgage will remain very high but I will enjoy the extension and it may (or may not) increase the value of the house more than I spend on the construction.

    Maintaining the mortgage at a very high level is all very well – but what happens if you lose your job, or don’t get that bonus you expected? What happens if property values start to fall and you move into negative equity?

    Bringing it back to Arsenal. I think significant fees could have been paid – but only if value was obtained (i.e. can get a great extension cheaply because the builder comes in with a rock bottom quote to keep his men employed). I think we did do this with the likes of Cazorla. What a bargain!

    2. Did the club behave ethically in claiming the money was there in prior years?

    Good post from Jambug at 5.44 yesterday.

    See above. The money was there – but only if top quality at a decent price. Very hard to achieve when the sugar daddy clubs are spraying money around like water. We no longer have a competitive advantage in terms of scouting networks. I was told once that Everton have over 400 scouts trawling youth leagues in the north west (clearly these are mostly part-time or honorary positions). Can you imagine how many Man Utd have?!

    I feel the club was a little disingenuous – I also heard that Wenger feels he may have been left somewhat exposed here. Money not really there to the extent implied. Perhaps we have all been left somewhat misinformed over the years in order to sell season tickets?

    3. Money Available

    (MoW at 5.47pm)

    Without re-reading Swiss Ramble’s blog I clearly recall him calculating £70mm – or at most £100mm was available (and see 1 above). They need to leave significant money in the bank to comply with lenders’ covenants around the loans.

    Yes, we could have spent more over time, but would it have been prudent…? I suspect we will have to agree to disagree on this one!

    And if we don’t spend the money now, it is always there for next time…

    4. Club quietly complied with “AAA” demands?

  • Pete

    Seems there must be a word limit on comments! Oh dear – being concise has never been one of my strong points… Here is the rest:

    4. Club quietly complied with “AAA” demands?

    Really interesting post from A Stewart at 6.09pm. Made me think.
    “British Grit”: The issue historically has been the poor technical quality of English players – and them being very over-priced. By partially or wholly developing our own this has been to some extent addressed. I can’t remember the last mature British player that we signed?

    “Experienced Players”: As has been pointed out elsewhere, Wenger has always bought more experienced players when he could. But, until the last 2-3 seasons, had hardly any money at all. We could not afford a 26 year old of the requisite standard so had to take a punt on youngsters. Some made it, some didn’t. As you would expect.

    “Wage Distribution”: I agree with you that however nice in principle it seems to play players relatively equitably (it is a team sport after all!) that it is not the way the world works. We are clearly changing our model here. However, referring earlier, over-paying the young players was part of taking a punt. I would suggest that Wilshere and Ramsey, for example, are probably being paid less than their market value. Others were paid too much. But was it always obvious that JW and AR would be the ones to make it?

    The point about the deadwood is that when you are taking punts on players, there will inevitably be many who don’t make it. The club has done a fantastic job of culling those who haven’t made it this summer. I still believe that Wenger is peerless in terms of (i) seeking and getting value in the transfer market and (ii) developing the players he does buy. It is the last point that is attractive to transfer targets. Unfortunately, it means that patience is required. I note Wenger’s comments that he was aware of all the players that Sp*rs bought. Read as: I don’t believe they are good enough, or represent value at the prices being paid, for Arsenal. It is very easy to buy players if you don’t worry about the cost!

    But the key demands of some of the hostile elements (I don’t like AAA….) seem to be/have been:

    – Fire Wenger
    – Fire Gazidis
    – Kroenke should sell to Usmanov.

    I have always strongly rejected all three proposals.

  • Pete,

    Very good points that clearly expressed. But what if I just want to argue for the sake of it or have the need for others to agree with me?

  • Pete


    Superb! In which case I can’t really help you…

    Having said that, I do occasionally lose patience with some idiots. After we signed Ozil there was one guy in particular on Le Grove (can’t recall his name – but think he had a Japanese sounding handle) who was absolutely ranting. Quite unbelievable. But obviously I would have been considered the troll over there so refrained from giving some back.

    But generally happy to debate with people who disagree with me provided it is done in a civil and constructive manner. And not expressed in a way that is detrimental to the club (e.g. booing players/manager/club). I was very angry after the Villa game – not with the team or club – but with those who were venting at them.

  • marcus

    And there are other voices of dissent. Madrid’s former sporting director, Jorge Valdano, has already said: ‘If they gave me the choice I would put the Ozil-Angel Di Maria pairing before Bale. I would certainly put Ozil before Bale.’

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  • marcus

    Wenger was always going on about Goetze, but I think Ozil is the better player anyhow

  • marcus (@10.55am),

    Isn’t that classic misdirection? He bought Ozil and not Goetze didn’t he?

    As the disgruntled people at Real Madrid: NO take-backsies 🙂

  • Shard


    Not so sure about that. Gotze is awesome as well.

    Here are some stats I copied from elsewhere. Stats for last season.

    Mata – 134 mins/assist 249 mins/goal
    Ozil – 146 mins/assist 282 min/goal
    Fabregas – 213 min/assist 238 mins/goal
    Willian 176 mins/assist 331 mins/goal
    Bale – 264 mins/assist 145 mins/goal
    Gotze – 165 mins/assist 191 min/goal
    Pastore – 268 mins/assist 388 mins/goal
    Cazorla – 308 mins/assist 329 mins/goal

    Of course, different teams, different playing styles and all that, but Gotze’s figures look the most balanced to me as a complete attacking midfielder.

    But, Ozil is also genuinely world class. There is no denying it. He is that good, and under Wenger, he should get better. Including at scoring goals, especially because there’s no Ronaldo to look for in this team.

  • marcus

    lol…no take-backsies indeed. I guess Bale is a pretty boy, and Ozil is not. And that explains the 44million difference. Real Madrid and their shirt sales, you gotta love ’em.

    I am not really a big fan of statistics. Bale scored about a third of the goals Ronaldo did last year, but finding the back of the net two minutes into injury time to break a deadlocked draw, is ….. priceless

    Making a decoy run that drags off two defenders….does that feature in your stats?

    Being the focal point of the attack to the extent you are continually surrounded by several opposition, which allows other players to prosecute a successful attacking manoeuvre, does that feature in your stats?

  • Shard


    No. It doesn’t. I already implied that stats are limited in their use. They just provide another frame of reference, and a point of debate. Or at least, I would have thought.

    I already said Ozil is awesome. He’s surprisingly quick as well, and he’s taller than thought.

    But I’m not sure Gotze is any worse. They are slightly different sorts of players, but I think Wenger really did want Gotze, who is younger as well.

  • marcus

    Perhaps he was ozzilating between the two?

  • bob

    Really high on Ozzy, really dread no back up to Giroud. I’m in extremis.* Yours truly…. (*I don’t see Giroud going injury free for 12 weeks what with multi-fronts, the refshite and ramires schythe-goons, and our having this vulnerability in this empire of cynicism.) what think thee?

  • bob

    sorry, meant” scythe-goons.

  • bob,

    Injuries to players is one of the sad realities of football. But it’s not always in proportion to number of matches played. Some players are just unlucky.

    I am hoping for an injury free season for all our players. When they do inevitably happen, I think the team will show resilience to overcome the shortage.

    Keep the faith!

  • bob

    I also hope for an injury free season, but don’t expect it; and I have great faith in our squad, but am eyes open about the gap between one good striker and no backup to him. If I can see it, so do our enemies (er, competitors); and as one who fully subscribes to Walter’s compilations on refshite, I am not optimistic about the actuality of the ramires’s of the world and the non-calls allowed by the likes of The Dean’s and Atkinson’s who do their masters’ biddings. With Podolski out for a long stretch (I’m assuming more than the 21 days), we do need quality backup/rotation at striker. Mourinho, recognizing this, seems to have sabotaged our getting Demba Ba on the last day. If we bid for Ba on the last day, we also recognized and reactively tried to close that chasm. While I also exult in our signing Ozzy, I hold my breath (while keeping fingers and toes crossed) as to the vulnerability that ruthless competitors will exploit in this deeply cynical EPL and no-holds barred PGMOL.

  • A. Stewart

    “@A. Stewart

    Your posts are too long but I will give my opinion on one point – the ‘British core’ point.

    I speak only for myself and I would claim I have been consistent – not vacillating, as you claim the ‘AKBs’ have been.

    Arsene Wenger was berated some years ago by the press for playing a team with no British players – at one point with players all from different countries, even. I quite liked that by the way – a truly international team.

    Anyway, he didn’t do that because he was anti-British. As he said, he judged players on their quality, not their passport.

    Since then for various reasons – some to do with Arsenal and Arsene Wenger – a number of young British players have appeared and been developed who play the Arsenal way. We have got several of them.

    Having lost several young foreign players, Arsene Wenger also hopes that his core of young British players will stay the course – they won’t want to go back to Spain because it’s home, at least.

    It’s nothing to do with ‘British grit’ as you refer to it. There’s plenty of grit as well as skill in the Arsenal team, regardless of nationality.

    Pat, I don’t think you understand my point at all. Regarding British players, I didn’t once disucss the merit of it from a personal perspective. The overaching theme of that post, is that several of the clear and distinct changes the club has made in recent seasons perfectly mirror much of what so many of the what is called the AKBs have been long championing (be it rightly or wrongly) and PEFECTLY IRONICALLY many of the things that are now happening and being celebrated by those who would likely consider themselves having full faith in Wenger we of the same ilk who used to regularly castifate those of other opinions for having those positions.

    One of them is the British player issue.. Many Many Many gooners, during our trophyless years, thought there was a clear need to integrate more English/Brit players into the squad, and let’s be real and HONEST here, many of those who loyally follow Wenger would scoff at the need to do so and the calls for doing so, based primarily then on what Wenger was doing and had done with foreign players vs English..

    And by the way, not once did I say he did it because he was anti-british, nor does it personally make a difference to me where players come from once they are good, I’m simply stating this is one recent change of trend of many that so called AKBs have long been asking for that happened.

  • A. Stewart

    “@A Stewart – How deluded, you and your lot are! If you think that its people like you (AAA in our parlance) to convince Wenger to bring in British steel or it was the pressure that you’d applied and hence he bought big…shows how ignorant you and your ilk is.”

    At Asif, first of all good day.

    Second, I’m an arsenal supporter and don’t subscribe to any particular ideology, or think other gooners are free to support the club in whatever way they want without silly childish labels.

    Thirdly, no where in my post did I say anyone definitivelyconvinced Wenger to do anything. So the only point of delusion would seem to stem from your inability to read. Rather, I’m simply pointing out that many of the changes that have been occuring in recent seasons by coincidence/pressure/alinging of the stars whatever, do mirror A LOT of what the so-called AKBs have long been championing to much resistence from the so-called AAA sect.

    Nothing to get so worked up and emotional about son.

  • Shard


    Özil allows us greater flexibility to change things up a bit. He can play on the right so that Walcott plays up front. We can play a 4-6-0 as Spain and Barca did. And besides, there is still Sanogo, and even Bendtner. I know Sanogo has looked like he’s not ready, but he’s barely played at all. There must be more to come from him.

    We obviously want another striker. And we need one as well. This need is more because of Poldi’s injury. The Ba loan deal made sense to fill that gap. I think we’ll be looking at the strikers at the highest level again, in January. Till then, ideal or not, we’re going to have to make do. All this team is missing is Van Persie’s replacement. Who could it be? There’s plenty of potential movers in January. Suarez maybe although I hope not. There’s Lewandowski, maybe Real will have a new toy and Benzema will get tired of being booed. Or maybe it’s someone we never thought of. But I’m pretty sure we’ll find the missing piece of the puzzle.

    Till then Walcott, Sanogo, Bendtner, Afobe and Akpom will have to be enough to cover the backup striker position behind Giroud. Hopefully they’ll be hungry to grab their chance. If Poldi was fit it wouldn;t be that much of an issue. But there is a limit to how many injuries you can legislate for.

    Meanwhile, what the Ba deal shows, is that Mourinho is worried about us. That is a good sign.

  • Shard

    A. Stewart

    How is it a change of tack when the ‘AKBs’ have always supported Wenger in his team building? I don’t care, just like you, where the players come from, although I like seeing young players come through and take their chance.

    Vieira, Henry, Bergkamp. None of them were British. Neither was Gilberto. To suggest that what we missed in the ensuing years was a ‘Britishness’ is worthy of being scoffed at. To say that we have good young British players now and that this is a good thing, is in no way contradicting the earlier stance.

  • Shard

    And A.Stewart

    TIMING is also an essential part of holding a POSITION. Sure, a big name signing makes everyone happy. To say that this shows you were right to criticise all along is stupid.

  • Shard,

    Someday we are going to win a trophy and expect a similar chest beating triumphalism from the negative nellies.

    “We only won a trophy because we have been crying about winning trophies all along”

    Or berating patients fans for celebrating:

    “Hey, why are you jumping for joy now? Weren’t you guys happy when the team was not winning trophies?”

    You are right, it is a stupid way to reason.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Pete, thanks for your insightful non-emotional response. Makes for a wonderful discussion regardless of agreement or disagreement.

    Regarding your point about the “British” contingent, absolutely you have a point about developing (though several were actually transferred for in the face of competition like Walcott, Ramsey) as opposed to buying mature English players, value for money, technical skills etc. However, subtly that’s a separate discussion with a whole lot of merit, all I was saying is that there have long been vocal calls from many over the last 8 years who disagreed with Wenger that more of a British influence needed to be integrated into the club (regardless of how it was done) more for the reasons of spirit, and chances of staying “loyal” (regardless of any nuances alluded to above), and that’s exactly what happened and the very same justifications are publicly endorsed by the club, and now marketed heavily. And the irony is that the staunchest Wenger backers used to vociferously beat back those calls for more British steel/spirit/loyalty from the gooners that were loudly calling for it.

    Regarding your points on experienced players, I have to disagree. Yes as pointed out (which I did a while back to much opposition and surprise) that Wenger has only won with his teams skewed heavily towards experienced, known and accomplished players, not this unknown gem myth. But I have to disagree that we couldn’t afford players of that level in before the last 2-3 years, because firstly experienced and accomplished really doesn’t automatically mean expensive. Several experienced and accomplished quality players (fitting more the ilk of players we used to have when winning titles) have moved and been available, unwanted by their clubs (something we used to pick off before) etc. in the last 8 seasons for very affordable priced. Secondly, it’s clear choices were made and partially/largely based on idealism and there are no shortages of Wenger’s own words to support that he wanted to pursue a more youthful direction and pave the way for the youngsters even at the cost of better player staying coming in (killing development), or even at the cost of points/games won. There is also some precedent and parallel (not perfectly so) to the evolution of his situation at Monaco to support it being driven by idealism. Thirdly considering we invested heavily (at huge costs in fees/wages over time) in a net increase of 30-40 players between 05 and prior to this season’s mass culling, it’s clear that was a choice of where we wanted to go, which could have been balanced for less or equal with more experienced players and less youngsters (the vast majority of which have failed en masse and have recouped little return on investments over 5,6,7,8 years).

    Anyway like the British issue, it’s less about discussing the nuances of this, but rather an acknowledgement that the change in direction of recruiting more accomplished experienced players (mert, pod, arteta etc.), who like before were done so affordably (those players have always been on the market post moving into the Emirates), is something and one of many recent changes in trends that have loudly been long called for from a sect of fans disagreeing with the Club’s/Manager’s direction over the last several years.

    “But the key demands of some of the hostile elements (I don’t like AAA….) seem to be/have been:

    – Fire Wenger
    – Fire Gazidis
    – Kroenke should sell to Usmanov.

    I have always strongly rejected all three proposals

    I have to disagree with this, well that is if one accepts the AAA is all encompassing of people who disagree with how things have been run recently. Those disagreeing with the direction have been asking repeatedly for several things including but not limited to:

    – Investing more (sensibly) into first team playing staff
    – Efficiently and fully utilizing our available resources (wages, transfer targets).
    – Playing players in their natural positions
    – Specific Tactical preparation for opponents
    – Seeking more experienced additions
    – Not relying on players who have repeatedly struggled with injury, and planning ahead with squad numbers/depth and quality to account for their likely absence.
    – Integrating more British influences.
    – Distributing wages more sensibly, and paying our better players the money or near to it that their status can command on the market and not paying our kids/squad players big salaries that their status cannot command on the market elsewhere.
    – Being less predictable in substitution patterns, and being more hands-on in in-game adjustments..
    – Making one or two marquee top quality signings that we could/can afford especially when the team was just off competing from the top.

    and several more…
    All of which preceded Kronke, Gazidis, Usmanov…

    Thus it was never just about fire this and that, and spend money willy nilly like Chelsea and Madrid, rather that’s what people conveniently and disingenuously liked to lump together those that disagree in a simplified and untrue caricature, in order to dismiss them and their concerns.

    the calls for firing etc..are largely from a vocal minority, and paint the perfect caricature and summation of all of those who disagree with the direction (including many of the points above). And rather just conveniently ignore that succinct and several points that have been long spoken about and concerns raised on.. Also and for some of that vocal minority it’s a culmination of frustration of seeing several separate individual concerns in their views being neglected.

    I think most of those who label gooners as AAA will be surprised to know most were and still are willing to give Wenger a chance if he makes what they see as needed changes in direction..and Thankfully be it a result of sheer coincidence, external/internal pressure, the stars aligning, financial consideration or whatever..There are many trends of change that mirror much of what they have been long championing (to much opposition from the firmest of Wenger backers)…

    That’s pretty much the point of my observations.
    Thanks for the discussion Pete.

  • Shard


    the first time I lost my wool with some Arsenal fans was in 2011, after the League Cup final loss and the loss to Barcelona in the CL. We still had a chance to win the league but all of them (starting with the AST) were all just bringing the team down. Saying we’ll never win it.

    I got so angry that the very people saying we’ll never win the league will be the angriest when we don’t, or conversely will come out to celebrate if we do. That triumph isn’t theirs. It just isn’t. Shameless glory hunters.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Shard RE:

    “A. Stewart

    How is it a change of tack when the ‘AKBs’ have always supported Wenger in his team building? I don’t care, just like you, where the players come from, although I like seeing young players come through and take their chance.

    Vieira, Henry, Bergkamp. None of them were British. Neither was Gilberto. To suggest that what we missed in the ensuing years was a ‘Britishness’ is worthy of being scoffed at. To say that we have good young British players now and that this is a good thing, is in no way contradicting the earlier stance

    It’s worthy to be scoffed at it that was my point. Which it isn’t.

    Again, all I am saying (and it’s pretty simple to follow), is that during our recent trophyless years under Wenger, many gooners who disagreed with how he was doing things THEN (when people are winning OBVIOUSLY everyone/most will agree with how things are done) had as one of SEVERAL points of disagreement that there needed to be more of a British influence (I think anyone who has been following Arsenal would honestly remember those calls and the opposition from other gooners to them)..And now there is more of a British influence, by coincidence/design/opportunity/aligning of the stars or whatever.

    Please note:

    1) I’m not saying that the need for a British influence was my position, or is valid/invalid.

    2) That we missed anything by not having more of this type of influence.

    Hope that clears it up.

  • A. Stewart

    “And A.Stewart

    TIMING is also an essential part of holding a POSITION. Sure, a big name signing makes everyone happy. To say that this shows you were right to criticise all along is stupid.”

    Good thing I wasn’t actually saying that then.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Bootoomee

    “Someday we are going to win a trophy and expect a similar chest beating triumphalism from the negative nellies.

    “We only won a trophy because we have been crying about winning trophies all along”

    Or berating patients fans for celebrating:

    “Hey, why are you jumping for joy now? Weren’t you guys happy when the team was not winning trophies?”

    You are right, it is a stupid way to reason.

    Sorry this is a silly post.

    You seem to (correct me if I am wrong) have a warped view of what people who support Arsenal Football Club are actually like. Regardless of disageement in policy and direction if we win, everyone will be happy, and that is the way it should be.

    Also, any rational thinking person expects that at some point, some day we will win a trophy again. And this is regardless of what side of the issues they sit on.

    Lastly, when we do win something again (under whoever is leading/managing the club) it wouldn’t automatically in the eyes of many be a validation or vindication of the x amount of preceding years of not winning, or whether it was a necessary road to travel in the first place. Simply many are well and fully capable of genuinely celebrating that win (whether it came about with more a direction they support or not) and STILL be able to hold the genuine view point that they think our direction in the years we didn’t win was the wrong one. Human beings are capable of complex thought and analysis like this you know.

    Lastly the chest beating that I see around goonerdom and that sparked my opinions on the matter, has initiated from those who would label others as AAA or whatever, who are celebrating the Ozil signing (as they should) but not realizing this is the type of signing that those with who they have long disagreed have been long championing.

    Yet they seem bewildered as to why the so called AAA would be celebrating the very thing they have been asking for.

    It’s so ironically halarious.

  • Shard

    Just because you use an abstract form of talking to make a point doesn’t mean that’s not what you are saying A.Stewart.

    If there is a caricature of an ‘AKB’ then surely it is that they support wholly and fully, WHAT Arsene Wenger does, WHEN he does it? So any changes in tack that you point out, are in no way a contradiction to the ‘AKB’ position.

    It merely shows that Wenger, despite statements to the contrary, is always changing and adapting, and that his philosophy isn’t as rigid, or exclusive of reality, as many would have us believe.

    That has been the ‘AKB’ position pretty much all along. That has not been the contrary position. The contrary position has basically always been, ‘I know better because I can point out a few flaws in Wenger’s position’

    1.Investing more (sensibly) into first team playing staff
    2.- Efficiently and fully utilizing our available resources (wages, transfer targets).
    3.- Playing players in their natural positions
    4.- Specific Tactical preparation for opponents
    5.- Seeking more experienced additions
    6.- Not relying on players who have repeatedly struggled with injury, and planning ahead with squad numbers/depth and quality to account for their likely absence.
    7.- Integrating more British influences.
    8.- Distributing wages more sensibly, and paying our better players the money or near to it that their status can command on the market and not paying our kids/squad players big salaries that their status cannot command on the market elsewhere.
    9.- Being less predictable in substitution patterns, and being more hands-on in in-game adjustments..
    10.- Making one or two marquee top quality signings that we could/can afford especially when the team was just off competing from the top.

    I read those and although they are very specific in nature, yet the general theme is exactly what I said. ‘I know better’
    Who decides what is sensible investment? Who decides whether a player’s injury is enough to ditch him or stick with him? How is this decision arrived at? Why should there be a more British feel, and how do you find players good enough who fit the national profile but also into the team? How do you know tactics aren’t discussed?

    Naah man..None of that matters. I just know what I want, and because Wenger doesn’t listen to me, he is wrong.

  • A. Stewart

    It’s really funny to see (imo) people almost seeming to bewilderingly think..

    “But but but.. these AAAs how dare they celebrate the Ozil signing..I thought they hate the club, and would disagree with every and anything Wenger does, even when he does something they actually agree with and have wanted for a long time”..


  • Shard

    “celebrating the Ozil signing (as they should) but not realizing this is the type of signing that those with who they have long disagreed have been long championing.”

    And the fact that Wenger and Arsenal delivered that signing in 2013, with new commercial deals tied up, which was always going to be the start of a new phase, has no place in that narrative, does it?

    The fact that 42.5 m was just spent by a club that doesn’t have sugar daddies or political patronage to be able to get one of the best players in the world, and the journey of the club that made this possible for them…None of that means anything? The sheer significance of it is lost, because as always, the people who didn’t work for it, nor believe in it, claim that they were right all along. Such a lack of self awareness. Must truly be blissful.

    No A.Stewart. It is something that everyone that loves Arsenal should celebrate. No one’s begrudging you that. In fact I am encouraging you to celebrate not just the fact, but also how we got there. But doing that goes against your pride it would seem. No, you weren;t wrong. You just started complaining about something before it was time for it. Fine man, be happy with your ‘support’. Don;t acknowledge the sheer effort to get to this point. I just ask one thing. Show some more faith in the club and its plan from now. They’ve earned that. Not blind faith. Just faith.

  • A. Stewart

    “And the fact that Wenger and Arsenal delivered that signing in 2013, with new commercial deals tied up, which was always going to be the start of a new phase, has no place in that narrative, does it? ”

    Why of course it ABSOLUTELY should and can have a place in the narrative..

    If you looked in my previous posts from yesterday you will see:

    1- “The only (to me) real questions are whether these shifts could have been done before. And no-one outside of inner circle of the club accurately knows the answer.”

    2- “… because the real discussion and the real unknowns are about if signings like Ozil could have been done before or not. I think both sides of the issue can put up credible cases for their point of view. “

    You see Shard, regardless of whether I personally think signings like this could have been done only now or before I am:
    a)- (like every gooner) Happy that such a signing has been finally made.

    b)- more than willing to accept that there is a real discussion about whether this could have only been done now or could have been done before, and accept that those who think it could have only been done now of course can present a credible argument for their case (just as those who think it could have been done before could also present one).

    Lastly re:

    “In fact I am encouraging you to celebrate not just the fact, but also how we got there. But doing that goes against your pride it would seem. No, you weren;t wrong.”

    Again, no-one knows for certain how if we got here was the only/perfect time we could have gotten here, how much idealism vs. financial reality played a part etc.. Whether you agree or not, things like” the Clubs OWN WORDS previously, its financials and reputable third party reviews can help form a credible case as to whether this could have been done before, (just like you can use the new sponsorship deals etc. to present a very credible case that only until now this could have been done). And Also in acknowledging that no-one including me knows for certain, I certainly acknowledge the possibility that I could be wrong.

    So no, I don’t need to celebrate “how we got here”..Because neither me or you know the actual full truth of how we did never once did I say I am definitely “right” so conversely there is no need to accept being “wrong”.

    I’m just happy as any gooner to celebrate that we ARE HERE, regardless of what I think about the past, and hope that this signals the start, or a continuation (depending on one’s view) towards a brighter future, regardless of who is managing or owning the club.

  • Shard

    I’m just happy as any gooner to celebrate that we ARE HERE, regardless of what I think about the past, and hope that this signals the start, or a continuation (depending on one’s view) towards a brighter future, regardless of who is managing or owning the club.


    Something we can whole-heartedly agree on. Hear, hear!!

  • A. Stewart

    Thank you Shard..Up the Arsenal!

  • Matt

    Arsenal Football Club doesn’t need AAA’s or AKB’S but fans who support the club but will hold the custodian’s to account if they think there not doing what’s right for the club.

    Until we get to the point where fans can own a club this must be the only real way forward.

    The only way forward for this site if for certain people to stop whining on about AAA’s and AKB’S as if there life depended on it.

  • Pete

    A Stewart.


    Your list of areas where the club/Wenger could have done better over the last few years (I have embedded my comments in CAPS):

    – Investing more (sensibly) into first team playing staff


    – Efficiently and fully utilizing our available resources (wages, transfer targets).


    – Playing players in their natural positions


    – Specific Tactical preparation for opponents


    – Seeking more experienced additions


    – Not relying on players who have repeatedly struggled with injury, and planning ahead with squad numbers/depth and quality to account for their likely absence.


    – Integrating more British influences.


    – Distributing wages more sensibly, and paying our better players the money or near to it that their status can command on the market and not paying our kids/squad players big salaries that their status cannot command on the market elsewhere.


    – Being less predictable in substitution patterns, and being more hands-on in in-game adjustments..


    – Making one or two marquee top quality signings that we could/can afford especially when the team was just off competing from the top.


    and several more…

    The bottom line is that we have had to be very careful in the market over recent years – until now. Couldn’t afford to spunk £20mm+ on a player who may or may not improve the team significantly. Now we can take some risks – and are also in to the £30-40mm class. But still looking for value even at these levels…

  • A. Stewart

    Now that all the chest thumping and pitting AAA vs AKB is/should be finished (which I admittedly and regretfully played a part in on here)….How about discussing the Ozil signing with regards to the field and tactics.

    How do you guy see this working out..:

    1) Change of formation to fit everyone in?
    2) Someone will be benched to fit Ozil in
    3) Structured and prescribed rotation.

    Of course these questions are based on eventural assuming Ozil at full fitness and integration.

    Personally on current form, I think it’s Wilshere that would/should (and for those who can’t decipher, it’s just an opinion not that I think I know better than Wenger) be affected most by reduced playing time to accomodate Ozil.

    Can’t say I was high on the Flamini re-signing, but now that he is here and to accomodate Ozil (who is ome circles has a reputation as a player that doesn’t really tackle or help out defending) I think he will need to feature a bit more as a result.

    Assuming everyone fit and current/recent form, I see something like:


    As my preferred way to line up..

    Wilshere, Rosicky etc rotated as needed.

  • Florian

    A. Stewart,

    I hope this has been a good learning experience for you (and others alike) that fear and doubt gets you nowhere. Sorry if you already expressed this concept, I didn’t have the time to go through all this thread. Just came back home from London last night.

  • Shard

    A. Stewart

    That’s actually what’s gotten me so excited about this. There are so many possibilities and options now.

    I think Rosicky will be the one to miss out the most, but maybe with Poldi’s and Ox’s injuries, he’ll still be in there.

    First choice I think, Arteta/Flamini-Ramsey at the back, and Ozil in the centre, Cazorla to the left, and Theo to the right.

    Rosicky can interchange with either Cazorla or Ozil. Ozil can also go to the right, as Walcott plays striker. Wilshere can also move up to play in the hole, though I think that won’t happen much. We can even play Monreal at LB and Gibbs left wing and play Cazorla/Ozil in the centre.

    But when you add in Podolski and Ox to that equation, it gets even more mouth-watering. Just so many attacking options. One more quality striker and I reckon our attack will be as near perfect (also because it will be flexible) as can be.

    BUt yeah, as I said, we’ll line up much the same way as now usually (IMO), but Rosicky will give way to Ozil

  • A. Stewart

    Thanks Pete:

    I’ll in response address these three (by the way Walter/Tony I think the site may benefit from some functions for quoting/bolding/italicizing etc.):

    Keep in mind I’m primarily framing my discussion of what we could have done better post 2005.

    1)Players out of position:

    Agreed we don’t know what went on behind the scenes, but I think it’s been a pretty significant problem. Consider that in this period there has been a dramatic shift from us being the tallest heaviest team in the league, to I think around 2007/2008 being the shortest lightest (it’s been improving since). During this period Wenger has collected a veritable plethora of similar players, small, technical, attacking midfielder/winger hybrid kind of players, and with many of them being young it further exacerbated the problem of what role will the best play in and “educating” them in a variety of roles as a result. The problem has been further complicated by injury issues (to be addressed below) which has resulted in some eye openers as Bendtner and Ramsey as Wingers, Arshavin as a long striker etc. Other experiments including Eboue as a central midfielder/right winger, Archiving never really featuring in his preferred central playmaker role, Nasri as a winger Diaby on the left wing and many more examples. It’s also arguable that it’s caused discontent amongst players who were not able to feature in their preferred role, because there were simply too many similar players. I think he was better at converting players before, and the examples you cited were obviously in the preceding era, when we had a smaller squad, more experienced and robust squad, with more specialist players. Personally I think the lack of specialists and collection of similar players and thus playing players out of position has been a bigger issue than you may think, especially as it is compounded by increased youth and injury problems (with smaller and younger players).. But we can disagree.

    2)Injury Management:

    Agree, as with converting players, he had a better track record with this too, when dealing with more experienced, accomplished, and also simply bigger stronger players. Admitting he “gambled” (his own words) on Diaby’s fitness last season (and I think thus got rid of Song) was to many pretty negligent. It didn’t take a genius, or being at training every day to predict the high likelihood of a player who had suffered with injuries for his entire Arsenal career, and even before with Auxerre (before having his ankle snapped) would once again….suffer with injuries. And the thing is, relying on, or holding a place for such players doesn’t come for free, especially when some argue that resources have been/were skint.

    3)Specific Tactical preparation for opponents


    I hear you, and I agree it’s a rich over-generalization that “Wenger doesn’t do tactics”, but I think his own long stated principles it’s clear that he really does (in COMPARISON [that’s the key] to MODERN conventional management) focus far less on the opponent and preparing for them tactically over just applying our principles and style as the way to surmount every challenge regardless of inherent and stark difference in opponents, their characteristics, management, strategies, experience and tactical formations. I think the words of several departed and ex-players give this theory a little more credit than you may be, as several have alluded to as much, and/or also commented on the difference in strategic/tactical preparation of their new teams (that win) versus their previous experience under Wenger at Arsenal.

  • A. Stewart

    “A. Stewart,

    I hope this has been a good learning experience for you (and others alike) that fear and doubt gets you nowhere. Sorry if you already expressed this concept, I didn’t have the time to go through all this thread. Just came back home from London last night.

    Florian, huh what?

    Fear what? Doubt what? Personally I think this is overdue, and am elated that it has happened. Not sure what there is to learn..that a club or our resources is able to make this kind of signing? Ok then.

    Frankly, to me the squad is still short in numbers/depth, and imo quality, to sustain a real title challenge on multiple fronts. I think it is certainly good enough to qualify for the CL again, to go a little deeper in the knock out rounds of the CL, and maybe to take a domestic cup. In other words not much difference right now than where it has floated around being in the last few years which included having players of Ozil’s quality like Fabregas and Van Persie etc before.

    That being said I’m happy with this signing, and with some further strengthening in January or next summer my expectations for what we can achieve may/will be much higher.

  • A. Stewart

    Shard, yeah on second thought I agree, Rosicky may stand to miss out more. And to be honest, I actually forgot about Ox for a second. The possibility for the midfield lineup is endless (partially as a result of having many similar players in style and size, but that;s another discussion)..
    I’m really liking the Flamini signing now, I’ll admit I didn’t at first, but after his display and the need now with Ozil who will obviously feature heavily, to have a more robust midfield protection, I think he will come in very handy.

  • jambug


    you get ripped apart time and time again. Not with barbed bitter rants, but with reasoned arguement and logic.

    Your arguements are systematically inspected, digested and ultimately destroyed and still you keep coming back for more.

    Please please don’t stop your hilarious !!!

  • A. Stewart

    Whatever you say Jambug…I’m sure some/many will disagree with your assessment about my arguments, as many have before. I have gotten quite a few compliments on my writings here from both sides of the divide.

    Nevertheless, what’s the big deal really, a forum is about an exchange of ideas, and such a forum is done in annonyminity. Therefore to be honest, I could care less who rips apart what. I’ll continue to express my thoughts.

    Glad I could make you laugh though…

    Take care friend.

  • Adam

    Read through most of the comments, some interesting debates going on.

    Lamela, I wanted to see at Arsenal and stated as much some time ago.
    Never, did I think Arsenal were in a position to take Ozil off of Real Madrid, now they truly have earned the title “Real Mad”, I liken this signing, to Arsenal taking Bergkamp from Inter.

    Will Ozil have the same impact.

    We have a lot of exceptionally talented footballers at the club, and now, not only can we keep our players, we have just mugged one of the top sides in Europe for a player who can be our next Bergkamp.

    I hope this fella helps those around him to improve and reach their potential.

    Oh, and Rupert cook. Our bet still stands but I want you to donate that £100 to a charity called “Dream flight”.

    If anyone on here wishes to donate, don’t be shy. It’s for an amazing cause for kids that don’t have much time.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Adam, I’ll gladly donate it to a charity should I need to.

    @Jambug, strange triumphant, without reason I may add, comment about A.Stewart’s posts. I guess it depends where you stand on the side of the debate but I have to say that, with the exception of Shard, A.Stewart posts are well reasoned and usually nullify those who argue against him. Shard puts some valid points in these debates and both of them make fascinating reading and both give as good as they get, whilst always remaining civil, something other don’t always manage. I’ve enjoyed the banter.

    Yesterday Joachim Low said it was incomprehensible that Real Madrid sold Ozil to Arsenal. Is this an insult directed at us or Real Madrid. Us, I suspect.

  • Florian


    The words were taken out of context. Here’s the link to an article quoting Loew:

    His exact words: “For me, it’s incomprehensible that Real would sell one of their top scorers.”

    Gladly for us, not a word about Arsenal.

  • Rupert Cook,

    I think Low’s sentiment is similar to yours about Arsenal selling RvP. You don’t think that Manchester United would be insulted if the Dutch national team’s manager had said that it was incomprehensible that Arsenal sold their top scorer would you?

  • Stuart

    On the subject of sign of intent, has anyone heard from that Russian chap?

  • jambug

    Rupert Cook

    Fair enough. If you think his points are valid thats up to you. I’ll give him one thing, he certainly gives me a run for my money in the ‘Why say it in one word when you can say it a hundred’ stakes ! I just think he moves the goal posts as and when it suits. Never convinces me at all. Depends on your point of view I suppose.

    Whatever I do or don’t think at least it’s debate and not the crass garbage found in other forums.

  • NotThatImportant

    “Build it, and they will come.”
    Welcome to the Emirates, Mesut.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Bootoome, no I wouldn’t but then everyone expects us to sell our best players so it wouldn’t be incomprehensible to anyone.

    @Florian, thanks.

    @Jambug, I noticed that the standard of debate had risen dramatically since we signed Ozil. More measured and articulate comments and less of AAA scum this and AKB sycophants that, language that I know some on here seem to revel in employing but reflects more on the person using it than the one it’s aimed at.