“I will kick him; I will kick him” – Alan Green last night

It is tempting to say it has been a bad week for the BBC – looking stupid over totally ignoring the FA Youth Cup Final and now having their lead football reporter threaten violence against a fellow journalist while broadcasting.

But I fear the powers in the BBC don’t even recognise any of this as an issue. Certainly they haven’t mentioned it at all.

Last night was not a good night for A Green. I only heard part of his broadcast while driving, but sometime around 8.15pm he started a diatribe against a fellow reporter, repeatedly saying, “I will kick him”. It seemed the other fellow had stood up and blocked the Master’s view.

Later in the evening he got fed up with people phoning in (despite the fact he was running a phone-in) stating that the listeners were all “speaking tosh” and adding, “I hope we don’t get more calls like this – it is complete nonsense. Complete nonsense.”

Sir Alex F Word also lost it last night. He is of course not used to having any challenging questions put, refusing to talk to most of the media except when he has to under UEFA rules. At one point he said something like, “Why should I have to answer a question as stupid as that?” (The answer of course is that 99.999% of journo questions are stupid – as in “how big a win was that?” and “how do you feel now you’ve won?”)

In fact the overall feeling from last night was that for Green, the F-Word and others, the behaviour of P Evra, rather than being seen as a warning, was seen as a blueprint of how to speak.

Meanwhile the predicted sale of EPL clubs has started. Portsmouth and Sunderland have been sold, and we know that West Iceland Utd must be sold, or will go into liquidation. Liverpool Insolvency’s deadline for finding £350m from somewhere, anywhere, draws ever closer.

The Portsmouth sale is to the man who was involved for a few weeks at Manchester Arab, during which time he said, “Ronaldo has said he wants to play for the biggest club in the world, so we will see in January if he is serious. Real Madrid were estimating his value at $160m but for a player like that, to actually get him, will cost a lot more, I would think $240m. But why not? We are going to be the biggest club in the world, bigger than both Real Madrid and Manchester United.”

This could be the first summer where the sale and collapse of clubs could be bigger news than the transfer window. If that is not the case it will only be because of a lot of patching and mending en route.

(c)Tony Attwood 2009
PS: This blog is currently being attacked by off-topic emails from Russian sites. To save time I am going to block all emails from Russian domains – if you have a dot ru address and want to write in, please use hotmail, gmail, or yahoo instead. Sorry if that causes you a problem.

19 Replies to ““I will kick him; I will kick him” – Alan Green last night”

  1. Well said, then I think our model at The Arsenal is best. Last night’s match is testament to that. The players who made the most impact have been home grown- Messi, Iniesta, Puyol, Valdes, Pique, Basquets. So if a few years we can be proud when we win.

  2. Football presentation including commentating, punditry etc is in desperate need of an overhaul. Formats need to change. The whole seems to pander to the lowest common denominator and the discerning informed supporter seems to have been missed out of the equation altogether. When was the last time you learned anything new from a football radio or TV programme? Or from the newsmedia on paper or online? Anger, frustration, incredulity, ennui are the sorts of emotions evoked by modern day football media. Actually I have long thought that the first major change in this digital age would be to provide the option of watching a game on TV without the commentary. I want crowd noise and the sound of the stadium and the game, the live experience, with no commentary.

  3. Was Henry Having A Pop?
    On the radio late last night I heard an interview (with Sky?) by the great man after the game and thought that maybe he was having a sly dig at Arsenal when he said something along the lines of (and I paraphrase):’It’s all well and good playing nice football but at the end of the day you have to win trophies’. (if someone has a link that would be appreciated).

    Now I know that it can be seen as both a justification for Henry leaving us for Barca, and also a general statement about football that makes sense; but did anyone else hear it and immediately thought Thierry Henry was specifically referring to us?

  4. Everyone gets different things out of football. Yes I sometimes meet up for a beer with mates before and after the match, and of course I will applaud if the team puts together a good move but in reality is all about the winning for me and I would easily go on my own to watch Arsenal any where in the world (if I can afford it of course). That’s just me, doesn’t make me a glory hunter, I put it down to the fact that I am a highly competitive person. Some people need the pre match beer and burger culture, need to be entertained and of course that is up to them, I’ve got no bones to pick with them.

    I think I am a reasonable person as well, and I can basically accept defeat when my team puts in their all but are beaten by a better team who may have greater resources. If the team/club has done all it could to achieve the most success it can, I’ll be content (and obviously ecstatic if we win a trophy).

    That is not what has happened this season and I am pretty angry about it. Wenger has built a club that should challenge every year. When we don’t, something has gone wrong and questions need to be asked.

    In any game a scrappy 1-0 victory is better than a classic 4-3 defeat or even a 4-4 draw.

  5. Plus Everyone comparing us to Barca – lets get some perspective here. Yes you are right,the best thing to do in football is to pass and retain posession. Ive always believed that and i love the fact that when we do it well(namely last season) we are probably next best to Barca at it. However lets compare teams here. Youve got a forward 3 of Messi Henry and Etoo v Arshavin RvP and Walcott. A midfield 3 of Busquets/Toure Vavi and Iniesta v Song Diaby and Fabregas. Bit of a differnce really. Xavi and Iniesta run games in a way our(and everyone elses) midfield can only dream of doing. Its gonna take at least 4 good signings before we are close to their level!

  6. Is this some sort of counselling session for you, Mason? If so we are not responding until you have agreed our hourly rate.

  7. Mason, I agree that the Barca first choice is better than ours, but what about the rest? You don’t mention Edu, Bendtner, Vela and perhaps Ade. What about Nasri, Rosicky, Denilson and Ramsey? We are just below the Barca level, but we can play two teams at a similar level.

    On last night’s game – I think that Vidic is the best CB in the EPL. However, last night and against Liverpool he was terrible. Why were we so lousy to Senderos? He made mistakes, but so to do Vidic and Terry.

    I think the problem is our fans. As Lord Wenger implied when he talked about the Liverpool fans, they are in a different class to our lot!

    This site is not only great because it talks sense about our players, but because it talks sense about finance. I guess that only a small percentage of people who read football blogs understand the financial implications of our neo-liberal economy, but for those who don’t, please believe me, Tony is right!

  8. Well said Cape, (are you South African or do you just fight crime at night?)

    I think many people don’t think about the finance aspect or they just don’t want to. I have seen this written on blogs – people saying they are bored of listening to people talk about money rather than football. As though the two are in some way extricable!

    Nonetheless as someone with largely left-leaning tendencies I do understand the anti-capitalist attitude and yet in a weird way I have grown to embrace the money aspect.

    I think this is because the alternatives –

    1. Shunning it and pretending it doesn’t exist
    2. Railing against it, as though it will go away
    3. Stop supporting football altogether (as some fans I know have done)
    4. Start supporting non-league football

    – are just not options for me.

    I’d prefer that business had not skewed things so badly but the football machine is here to stay.

    Instead I am taking something of a business interest in football and allying that with my appreciation for the sport as a vision of skill, performed at the pinnacle of ability.

    On both fronts I find The Arsenal immensely fulfilling and frequently I pinch myself that I somehow ended up supporting the right club by chance.

    Thanks Arsene.

    Also the business side of things has never been more interesting – it’s a roller coaster ride right now.

  9. Mason,
    I think Henry was talking about Barca as well, in a sincere manner. For all their flair, they had won only once CL until they beat us in 2006. Barca is the regional pride of Catalonia but also was a long time frustration for people identified with them. Their recent success can be an encouragement for us.

    Does “neo-liberal economy” mean screw governmental interventions and let business arrange social affair – in this case no-one out there to regulate financial matters and pays in clubs? Or maybe you were referring to the speculative flow of capital that inflates the “undeserved” underlings? Hm, I haven’t thought carefully about how much Arsenal directly benefit/hurt from the lack of financial regulations. Interesting idea.

  10. Jonny – I am from Cape Town, but my Dad took me to Highbury when I was 6, so I have been a Gooner for a long time. Although not a Caped Crusader, we do spend some time at night fighting, or at least avoiding, crime!

    Nhan – neo-liberalism is the policy of nu-Labour and the Tories, basically privatisation, deregulation and decreased government spending. This has led to an environment totally alien to Britain of the sixties and seventies. The current collapse was entirely predictable. As Tony has said many times, what has happened with ManU is dreadful. Glazer “bought” the club with borrowed money and then promptly “gave” those debts to the club. So now the club owes the banks a fortune, cannot even pay the interest charges, and faces an uncertain future. Meanwhile, the owners bought the club for nothing – magic system this!

    Arsenal, on the other hand, is in wonderful financial shape. Debt on property is normal.

    Quantitative easing, ie printing money, is likely to result in massive inflation. That means that ManU and Liverpool will probably escape as their debt is in today’s money, which will be worth much less in the future. Arsenal will also benefit as its mortgage bond is inflated away.

    I would like to see more discussion of a 433. With six or seven great forwards, I cannot see how we can play any other system and keep the players happy. Cesc & Rosicky are as good as Xavi & Iniesta, and Nasri & Diaby are great backup.

  11. Yes all well and good but what if Kroenke buys the club as so many seem to be in favour of, and he does a “Glazer” with it – effectively buying it with debt. As he will be a 100% owner he will not need to be transparent with his dealings or over how much he takes out of the club in earnings.
    Usmanov is the same.
    The fact that the Board are being quite parsimonious with the money re salaries and transfer budget suggests to me that they are very keen to get the best price when eventually selling out to Kroenke.

    Abramovich I believe is a “one-off” who is not concerned by the money side of things (so far) and treats it as a hobby. Usmanov and Kroenke are hard headed business people who will not do anything unless there is a good likelihood of big returns for them.

  12. You missed commenting on the second part of the Henry interview last night (wonder why?) in which in response to a question about 2006 he said it was the biggest disappointment of his career and that Arsenal is his club and will always have his heart.

  13. jbh,

    For all our suspicion against Kroenke and Usmanov, I observe that these two have learned from the Glazer experience and have potentials to be good owners. They went in slowly and tried to stave off any public media tensions with fans. They understand that much of Arsenal’s assets are not the stadium or even the personnel but the fan-base as well. They also understand that bear-knuckle capitalism imposes high costs when someone as financially lame-duck as Peter Hill-Wood has such a huge effect on the club’s public relation. So instead of taking on Hill-Wood, Kroenke and Usmanov pretended to fight against each so that the Hill-Wood people get the credit of favoring one over the other as the better future owner of the club.

    It’s worth pointing out again that Hill-Wood is the one famously calling Dein’s “dead money.” It may indeed be for the good that we have new owners who at least know a thing or two about breathing money (Kroenke’s NBA team over this side of the pond are on a healthy rise over the last decade or so. We’ve got our current CEO probably thanks to his blessing, too). At least they have shown that they care about how to deal with fans.

    In case you worry about them not being English – does Fiszman qualify as English anymore? I mean what difference does it make when some shares of the club go from one guy who owes tax to Switzerland (or maybe no-one) to a guy to owes tax to the state of Colorado and the USA and another guy who by force pays no tax?

  14. Nhan Le
    Its more about the (lack of) transparency around private ownership. Not worried about english or foreign ownership the problem is once it is not publicly owned (widely) as at present. Then the private owners can effectively do what they like. This is what I mean by the Glazer effect. For example Kroenke could buy on debt and put that on the club as Glazer has done. He can also start to pay himself dividends which currently the board do not do.
    The club could easily have 500 or 600 m in debt in no time at all.

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