Arsenal reap the benefit of Wenger’s transfer vision and a stadium completed

By Tony Attwood

We do it sometimes – as with the sudden change of plan by not appointing managers from within when Billy Wright was taken on, and we did it again with Mr Wenger, but generally we stick with what we have and see it through.

So while we think about a solid squad and adding one or two in the summer as we have the last two summers, we might cast a glance at those around us and think how they will respond…

The top of the league suddenly seems to be two leagues…

Man City
Man United

In the upper zone we have four battling for the top four places and then behind them we have three slogging it out for the Europa League.  After them it is a big gap to Swansea.

In the summer I’d imagine Chelsea will keep things as they are.  They have well over 30 players out on loan, and might bring one or two of them into the fold, and then will presumably go out and buy one or two players, paid for in FFP terms, by astronomical income for selling a player we never knew could be worth that much.   If the club that buys Chelsea’s over-priced players then gets into the Champions League they’ll pay their fine – which is of course just a fraction of the money they earn from being there.   Meanwhile the loan list will grow – probably to approaching 50 players next season.

Man U will go on recontrstucting under the new manager – I suspect another 12 defenders will appear – and Arsenal will buy one more big star.

But Man City… well, that looks a different kettle of haddock.  The mindset they now have means nothing but winning everything is enough, and so the clear out will take place with a few youngsters replacing the oldies in the squad and anyone available replacing Pellegrini, Ferran Soriano, the chief executive, Txiki Begiristain the sporting director, and our old chum Patrick Vieira, whose contract is up.  (Patrick to Arsenal maybe?)

The key issues they will face are:

a) how come they could lose the Charity Shield match so totally and comprehensibly to a team as useless as Arsenal – the one team in the top four not supported by more money than could ever be needed?

b) And then to rub it in, how could they lose so totally and comprehensibly to a team as useless as… you know the rest.

b) Is it ok to restructure (as they have done before and before that) but only get two or three big successes out of 10 or 11 big name transfers?   Arsenal brought in two big names in the last two years (Alexis and Ozil obviously) and both are successes.  Demichelis and Fernandinho have looked good but that is out of a big long list of big buys.   So the question is, how can we do an Arsenal in the transfer market?

Mangala doesn’t look like £42m (about the amount we paid for Ozil) and I’m not sure Jovetic looks like £22m.  In fact I am not sure Bacary Sagna looks worth a free.

The FFP broo-ha-ha still rankles among an elite at the club who have never had anyone – not anyone – tell them what to do before.  But they will probably do it right this summer, and not have any more restrictions – bolstering their ability to buy with the money they get from selling some of the unwanted goods.

Also I suspect they will look at Chelsea’s “buy everyone” policy for young players, and push to bring in the new clubs in the City Group more quickly, so more youngsters can be fed in, emulating the Barcelona youth academy model.

The problem is that when you are going to move on Yaya Touré and possibly Kompany, plus maybe Dzeko, the ceaselessly petulant Nasri, the no longer wanted Clichy, Demichelis, Milner, Richards, Kolarov, Jovetic, Zabaleta, Navas… the phrase “you don’t know what you are doing” takes on a new complexion.  And the sale price of City rejects goes down.

They won’t all leave of course but some will and it is going to cost.  Nasri has never been the easiest man to deal with and he signed a new contract last year – as did some of the others.  They’ll take a loss.

So City go on a selling and buying spree, and urgently work on a youth and loan system going to match Chelsea – the new model for getting round FFP.

In the blue zone, Liverpool, Southampton and Tottenham have other matters on their mind.  Liverpool’s second place last season is looking to be a blip achieved by one excellent player with personal problems, now departed.  The last five years have seen them 7th, 6th, 8th, 7th, 2nd, so although 5th or 6th will seem a drop on last season, it is an improvement on the normal position of the club recently.

Their problem is that they are spending money on the stadium, with the work due to be finished by August 2017 with another 13500 seats.  Whether the money needed for the development is all coming from the owners is unknown but seems unlikely.

Tottenham has the stadium issue too, and the announcement during the last planning hearing that Tottenham had a bridging loan in place suggests that the funding is coming not from the owner but from the finance houses via bonds.  That is exactly what slowed Arsenal down during the building and the years that followed.

So my guess based on such facts as I can find is that both Liverpool and Tottenham in redeveloping their stadia will have the same issues that Arsenal had in building theirs – the money that might have gone on transfers will go on building and loan fees.  But of course I never know for sure.

For Arsenal it meant we had to accept finishing fourth in the league, but we also got the money from the Champions League to help the cash flow and get us through the debt quagmire quickly.  Liverpool and Tottenham may not be so lucky.  If luck it was.  Which I don’t think it was.

As for Southampton – they have their new stadium, and seem to have an extraordinary youth model.  It might not be enough to get them into Europe, but unlike Liverpool and Tottenham, they don’t have a financial distraction.  They might actually make it to fifth and the Europa League.   And if they do, they’ll probably do quite well.


We’re on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

Giroud is better than Costa

Giroud in the top four in terms of goals per minute

29 Replies to “Arsenal reap the benefit of Wenger’s transfer vision and a stadium completed”

  1. Interesting read. Still think Liverpool and Tottenham will have a more favourable financial environment compared to us in terms of turnover and commercials, but we shall see.
    Paddy to Arsenal. Would like to see that, if indeed Wenger is planning leaving or going upstairs or whatever at the end of this contract, being a club that likes consistency, and mindful of what recently happened to Utd, I would expect us to have a succession plan we will soon start putting in place, perhaps even from this summer to ease the transition should the great man call it a day in just over two years, which is not a long time.. In addition, we don’t want wenger in his last season, with everyone knowing it is his last season, that can affect the players, unless they know there is going to be some continuity, perhaps starting with the coaching staff.
    Nothing suggests paddy and other greats are ready for management as yet, but they could be good to have around as we face transition. Or wenger might have sufficient success and be in good enough health that he may choose to give it a few more years, which would be nice.

  2. I’m struggling to understand exactly what Vieira would offer that we don’t already have. He was a good player for us a long time ago but there it ends.The fact is he’s yet another mercenary prepared to go anywhere as long as the money’s right. Quite how that makes him in any way desirable is beyond me.

  3. Good write up. I too do not think that it was luck that gave us the Champions League slots during our lean years. I know and you guys know that Arsene’s astute management of finances and ability to buy cheap and develop youngsters kept us afloat and in the CL spots. As for Liverpool and Tottenham, I think their fans should brace up for a significant decline in performance from the squads as a direct result of the financial crunch that will not allow them buy a whole bunch of players at once that Rodgers and Villas Boas had drone on recent times. It will be interesting to see his tyhry handle it.

  4. Mandy. You wrote “that would be nice” “Nice”. It would be great. I am hoping Arsene will stay for at least another 5 years.
    If this article doesn’t prove that Arsene is greatest manager in the history of English football then there is no ptmroof.

  5. Don’t forget that Spurs face the additional problem of having to find somewhere else to play for at least a year while WHL is being redeveloped – Liverpool may not be totally without problems playing at Anfield while its being restructured either.
    You can’t, as they say, make omlettes without breaking eggs and a broken egg can leave a hell of a mess.

  6. Just watched the highlights of this weekends football. The thing that stood out was PGMO cheat Deans award of a penalty against Leicester for a dive by Rose that probably would win a gold medal for technique. Pearsons reference to Dean as being the most arrogant man he’s ever met means that he’s probably not met Riley.

  7. Menace your comment “Pearsons reference to Dean as being the most arrogant man he’s ever met means that he’s probably not met Riley – was a real laugh out loud moment.

  8. Menace

    “Pearsons reference to Dean as being the most arrogant man he’s ever met means that he’s probably not met Riley.” 😆

    Have to agree with Gooneress No1. That is brilliant. In fact it deserves another couple of these… 😆 😆

  9. ‘Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity’

    A Geordie told me yesterday that Arsenal very lucky to beat Newcastle , but I replied that we were plucky !

  10. THE BUILDER – author unknown.

    An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house
    building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.

    The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor.
    The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

    When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”

    What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

    So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized, we would have done it differently.

    Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The plaque on the wall says, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.”

    Who could say it more clearly? Your life today is the result of your attitudes and choices in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.

  11. “If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him.
    Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest.
    If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected .”
    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

  12. ***Wenger Out***

    Need a fresh young talent.

    Look at his pathetic failings in the CL.

    Look at his terrible management of Theo Walcott. We signed 9 years a go….what potential has he fufilled?

  13. Talking about refereeing, think I saw a link on the BBC website saying Riley has said we need video technology. I thought it was laughable coming from a man who claims they get 99.9% of decisions correct.

  14. Who on earth is the 4.44 contributor?
    Arsenal have the best consecutive qualification for the CL in the UK.
    Walcott’s performances for club and country have been impressive and would have been even better had he received proper protection from referees.
    There cannot be many if any clubs in the UK who do not envy Arsenal FC for the way the Club is run, its overall integrity and the exciting football the team is encouraged to play.
    The Club’s loyal global support speaks for itself.
    I sometimes wonder whether some of the folk who comment on this site, really understand the ignorant rubbish they publish.

  15. 4.44

    Is that post for real?

    I do hope so. Cant wait for more. Could be very entertaining.

  16. @ Mandy,

    i believe bould is the most likely in terms of arsenal promoting from within, which if arsenal keeps with history is possibly the most likely outcome. it would also provide stability and continuity.

    man u brought in alot of former players and im not entirely sure how much good its done. as much as id love having vieira, bergkamp, pires, etc back at the club being a great player doesnt necessarily translate into being a great coach or manager. i think having those players in and around the club is of great benefit, but with how specialized coaching is these days i believe there are probably more qualified professionals for the job. my point is that coaches should be hired on merit and qualifications rather than the romanticism of a fan.

    i believe, and hope, that wenger will sign another three year contract at the end of this one. if he doesnt, i could see bould being promoted, the club going for a top top young(ish) coach in the form of klopp, guardiola etc, but most likely i believe the media and fans are in for another arsene who? moment…

  17. You could be right about Bould John, have read the players respect him, he certainly has the history, and as you say, would provide continuity, guess it depends how well he has been doing behind the scenes, or if indeed he would actually want the job.
    Some sites have Clement as flavour of the month to be bought in early with a view of eventually replacing Wenger, but sounds like a lot of speculation to me.
    I wonder if Bould would be able to attract the big names like Wenger, that would be my concern. But maybe the club itself would help with the big names.
    Still think the ideal scenario is Wenger staying on for a bit, because that will presumably mean he has achieved some measure of success and is in good health, but the club have to at least consider the future.
    As for Paddy, good players don’t always make good coaches, but if he were interested, I would consider him in some sort of role, think the same may apply to TH or DB, if they are interested, if a post is available, and if they have accrued sufficient experience

  18. @ mandy,

    i think bergkamp has a growing reputation with ajax as a coach. i dont believe he can be a manager though, due to his fear of flying. i think from a coaching perspective he seems the furthest along in his development.

    vieira i believe is a u21 coach at man city (i could be wrong) if he were to want to come i dont see any harm in having him around, but cant see him being in a managerial role for quite some time, unless it was with the youth squads, then working his way up. (similar to bould)

    i believe henry is currently working with our u18’s and working to get his coaching badges. however, similar to bould and vieira i think he has a long, long way to go before he is ready for top flight management.

    i think its good to have former players, especially players that won and are legendary, in an around the club. even if it is an ambassadorial or scouting role i think it helps keep the clubs rich identity and history.

    however i think the most likely scenario in the event of wenger leaving, is a lesser known young visionary coach. probably someone with a good number of years in managment somewhere in europe but not yet in the limelight. bayern munich tried to sign wenger before he was sacked and went to japan, so it wasnt as if he was unknown in football, however the media in england still thought he was a nobody.

    i think arsenal will try and go down that route again. the question is whether they can pull the rabbit out of the hat a second time?

  19. Please do complete the death process ‘As I lay dying’ because your post is pathetic and irrelevant, your arguments are non-existent and your premise that we ‘need’ a fresh young talent is both condescending, irrational and patently unsupportable. Have a peaceful demise!

  20. As I lay dying is just a G-up, let him go annoy someone else blog. Pay no mind to the numpty

  21. Tottenham wasted the money generated from the sale of Bale on buying players. They may have learnt from that experience, and hence cash in on Kane to partly finance their new stadium.

  22. well her it goes again !! De-information alert

    Some so-called expert on HITC has now run 2 pieces this afternoon explaining how Wilshere is useless and lost….
    They just can’t stop it. Just attack each and every angle to destroy, to seed trouble, doubt and unfair cricism.

    Wonder if the word ‘enjoy’ appears in their dictionnary (question remains if they know what that is).

    Get a life, trolls.

  23. Let’s face it. AW is a legend ahead of his times. Just when everyone thought they figured him out, he always has something unique in his sleeves. At the time of Ems planning, no one thought it could be done effortlessly without any damage. Now, as all clubs tries the same way, AW move to create something new. Giroud was that classic striker all EPL had, AW came and introduced speedsters and technical players. As the whole world spending ridiculous money on the same players, AW went back and created a new position and new tactics. Every football season, Arsenal is the only club playing different tactics compared to other clubs and doing it with players no one ever heard of. Compare the purchase fee and performance of Mangala and Gabriel. What a joke! AW got Ozil when no one thought he will leave RM. He got Alexis even before he became a star in the World Cup. Now, he bought a Brazilian defender whom no one thought will ever play in the EPL. As far as I know, Untold will be entertaining as long as AW continue to surprise and amazes us all. Which he will.

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