The Arsenal Transfer Mystery? – written by Red Arse

Written by Red Arse

Now let’s get this clear from the start, this is not another vomit inducing attack on our illustrious manager or indeed on our majestic Arsenal! This is no place for scurrilous rumours or insulting character assassination.

What I am trying to do is square the circle from the perspective of a committed and passionate fan. It is perhaps a fan’s lament at the conflicts that have arisen between what we, the fans, think our club should be doing in the transfer market, and what the club itself is actually doing.

Let’s begin with the Arsenal Board of Directors. They are key in setting the business policy and agreeing the aims of the club, as well as establishing key milestones in achieving those targets, and finally in formulating the way in which they can measure the success of those aims and satisfying the shareholders.

The roles of directors and shareholders are legally quite separate and the ardent fan should be aware that in a club/business with only a few shareholders, who are often not in harmony, and who are also the directors there are inevitably conflicts between the aims of these two roles.

The observant will have noticed that I have run the terms “club and business” together. It is important to understand what each of these terms mean in the context of AFC.

Although they are not mutually exclusive, they are very different animals. A club can be loosely defined as, “a group or association of persons organised for a sporting purpose”; which in our case is football. A business can be defined as, “a corporation or profit seeking enterprise or concern”.

Oh, oh! Conflict alarms should be going off everywhere for fans.

The average fan does not sign on for the “business enterprise”, no, they are attracted by the “Club”, which encompasses the history, the success, and the exquisite, sublime football Arsenal are capable of playing.

Now some fans know that without a successful business, built on the acumen of clever directors’, there would be no football club, unless it became the plaything of a disgustingly rich sugar daddy; and what right thinking, red blooded male wants to be a sugar daddies plaything?. I won’t presume to speak for the ladies! They understand and accept that money has to be budgeted and accounted for, not just in the short-term, but for the future financial well being of AFC. Other fans do not accept, or, perhaps, understand the need for that business ethic. They have an understandable insouciance about all that and simply want AFC, their team, to win trophies and smack about the likes of the Chavs, the Spuds and the Mancs on a regular basis, home and away.

So here we have it. The solution to the Arsenal transfer funds mystery!

The shareholders want to protect and increase the value of their stakeholding; the directors – same guys – want to maximise the profits to run the business and keep themselves happy – sorry the shareholders happy; and on the other hand, the fans who want dosh to be spent in great steaming magnificent dollops to buy the best available players for their beloved team. As I said oh, oh!

Into the fray rides our indomitable manager, Arsene, who in his usual sanguine manner attempts to square the circle between these two rather disparate factions.

To the intense frustration of us fans, there seems, on the surface, to be a mismatch between what Le Prof acknowledges is an urgent requirement to improve the quality of the team in certain areas and his actually moving his arse – nal and going out and doing so.

Our frustrations and concerns for the coming season have been caused, in part, by the protracted and tedious transfer negotiations, with dissatisfaction being expressed, in certain quarters, as to the age, height or quality of some of our signings or potential signings.

I have already outlined the internal conflicts governing the running of AFC, and mentioned that part of the directors’ responsibilities is the setting of targets and monitoring the achievements of these.

Does anyone seriously think that Arsene, just having signed a new three year extension to his contract, has not been measured against the required targets set by the Board of Directors and been passed with flying colours?

Forget all the opprobrium heaped on his shoulders, the accusations of incompetence, of being miserly, of deliberately buying or keeping sub-standard players out of cussedness. No! He is acting in accordance with the targets and requirements set for him by the Directors and within the financial resources they have budgeted for him.

For those of us, who believe Arsenal Football Club is being run like a very efficient, modern business, how can there be a different conclusion?

Be of good cheer. This man is a genius, and if anyone can square the circle of the directors’/shareholders needs and the fans’ desperate desire to see trophies flowing into our magnificent club again, Arsene Wenger is the man to do so.

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165 Responses to The Arsenal Transfer Mystery? – written by Red Arse

  1. dandan says:

    Absolutely magnificent and concise article, Red Arse no room for misunderstanding there, well done RA

  2. Red Arse says:

    Thanks Dandan,

    A compliment coming from an experienced and highly readable author like yourself is very gratifying. :oops:

  3. Rasp says:

    Excellent post Red Arse, the imminent signing of Squillaci fits in nicely with your explanation of the mechanics of our transfer policy.

    There’s an awful lot of ‘swooping’ for players going on this morning. Apparently we’ve ‘swooped’ and ‘raided’ La Liga ;)

  4. dandan says:

    Rasp, Come Saturday we should request Blackburn that we come out to Millicent Martin singing that was the week that was ….. how many remember that LOL

  5. Mugwalla says:

    Arsene is here to do what he does best… to bring glory to the club. We as supporters have to be right behind him and the club instead of asking for his head just because he didn’t fill our trophy cabinet for 5 years now. Lets do what we do best as supporters and fans…. SUPPORT THE CLUB THROUGH GOOD AND BAD TIMES! cheers.

  6. Livers says:

    Anyone buying into the Schwarzer rumour of failing his medical ?

    Morning all

  7. johnny boy says:

    Nice one man. Finally, some common sense.

  8. Mugwalla says:

    hi livers…. its a real ding dong affair this schwarzer’s story. it looks real that he would sign as he did not play yesterday against manu… then again, we won’t know jack…. 7 to 8 days left for any transfer to be done.

  9. K-TR7 says:

    Morning all.fantastic piece RA as you’ve taken things into perspective from another dimension.before the window opened there was a general consensus that we needed a striker to cover rvp,two cbs,a cover dm and goalie.we have signed chamakh and kozzer with squillaci being on the way.there must be some truth to shwarzer rumours so thats 4 players.AW said he was looking to sign a midfielder but frimpong’s emergence changed his strategy in the market but with him being injured Aw may yet surprise us.Montolivo rumours certainly show he is still on the look out.All in all that squad looks pretty good to me and im glad that the likes of sky aren’t overhyping us but Aw is getting his mojo back…

  10. Red Arse says:

    I saw the Schwarzer “medical” story on NewsNow yesterday, but if it was true I am sure the papers would pick up on it.

    I have a friend who is a Fulham fan and he says that he has heard from a “source” in the club, that Schwazzer has suffered from a duff back for most of the summer.

    Who knows? :-(

  11. Red Arse says:

    Morning KT, :-)

    Haven’t seen you for a while, but you are on the ball again, as usual!

  12. Mugwalla says:

    shouldn’t we try to go for enyeama, robinson or frey? stekelenburg looks good for us don’t yall think?

  13. Moaning all

    Great read Red Arse but ……….. this does mean that Arsene respects the Directors wishes to make the ‘business’ successful for the long term more than making the ‘club’ successful in the short term.

    I understand the economics of the plans for the future but I also understand some fan’s frustrations that a couple of tweaks could have made us look like we had a bit more ambition even if they didn’t lead to silverware.

    I think I’m in the latter camp ;)

  14. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all – I saw they pulled the plug on that story Livers, it was on Newsnow but not anymore.
    I think I’m playing the pantomime villain from last week and Red A is the good guy, still I think I did acknowledge there was little blame attached to the manager who is merely acting as an employee.
    If anyone wants to re live Saturday’s romp I’ve got a little piece up here(sorry for the shameless plug guys(there wasn’t anypne around last night when I tried plugging this) : http://www.7amkickoff.com/2010/man-at-the-match-chary-holloway%e2%80%99s-tangerines-juiced/

  15. Livers says:

    We seem to be making a profit in every transfer window.

    We are being told that money is available but we don’t seem to spend it. Let’s look at the players that have gone already, Gallas, Campbell, Eduardo, Simpson, Merida et al. how much Wages has that saved per annum also ?

    I know it’s a difficult economic climate and we have been very frugal in the transfer market but when you spend £1500 on a season ticket I’d expect it not to just pay the mortgage off for Arsenal..

  16. Red Arse says:

    Hi Peaches,

    Your view is perfectly valid, and there are always shades of grey. Arsene does have to conform to the Board’s policies and Strategies but within that he does have lee way, I am sure.

    Decisions on when and who to buy, within his agreed budget, must be down to Le Prof, and like you I am sure we all get a bit concerned/frustrated with the buying or lack of buying such as in the last tfr window.

    Not even the great man would claim to always get it right. :-)

    The only camp I am against are those who heap abuse and bile on a wonderful manager and human being.

  17. Hi Livers

    chary – I read your piece yesterday but it wouldn’t let me leave a comment.

    Back to Saturday – the Blackpool supporters were singing a version of the Beach Boys – Sloop John B

    Don’t wanna go home
    This is the best trip
    I’ve ever been on
    De da da de da da de da da ……. very catchy

    Beach Boys of course – silly me ;)

    Come on down to the sea
    To see Blackpool FC

  18. Red Arse says:

    CharyB,

    You are certainly not a pantomime villain, I thought your piece last week was inciteful and well written, and I defended you when there was a misunderstanding.

    Me a “good guy”, not likely!

    Livers, I cannot disagree with you. On the face of it we are making profits on tfr sales and it seems puzzling.

    But looking at the near future, we have got some players like Miguel and Bartley who are good footballers and physically imposing (both over 6′ 4″), so balancing their development is also part of his remit.

    I am not pretending to know any more than you, but as Arsenal FC is both a club and a business, that does rationalise some of the “goings on” that can upset us as fans.

  19. charybdis1966 says:

    Hi Peachy, I did notice from where I was that there was a lot of singing and bouncing around going on at the away section, I was at the opposite end of the ground to them so I couldn’t really pick up much of what they said. I do remember them saying “5-0 and you still don’t sing” to which we replied in the North bank “we won’t see you here again.”
    I think the comment adding does freeze sometimes on 7am, I get that too. It’s as annoying as our phones switching off by themselves, bloody Sony Ericcson !

  20. K-TR7 says:

    RA the media haven’t picked up on our transfer business but id say it may prove to be genius poker play by Aw again.chamakh was a free signing but he’s had an impact already.kozzer looked good at Anfield and shwarzer would improve our play especially from crosses and setpieces where we concede most of our goals.squillaci is very strong in the air and is a keown type of player who has massive cl experience including a final appearance with Monaco versus Mou’s Porto.In song’s absence diaby and wilshere have gained more experience in defensive roles which would make our ‘double six’ pivot much stronger coupled with defensive organisation by a commanding gk we’ll concede fewer goals.Our medical staff despite all the stick have nursed back a potentially lethal player in lil mozart so i have to say i’m pleased so far.you saw how evans struggled against Zamora which effectively means they have vidic and rio as their only reliable cbs.we have kozzer,Tv,squillaci,djourou and nordveit.Oshea was battered by my manc mates for his perfomance at rb while at rb we have sagna and eboue even nordveit who looked good in preseason while at lb we have clichy,gibbs and traore.what more depth do you need?

  21. kelsey says:

    Very articulate comments, Red Arse, though it shows that Wenger doesn’t have a gun to his head.Hill Wood or was it Gazidis said a few months ago that not qualifying for the CL this season, wouldn’t be a catastrophy for the club.

    On to newcastle :

    In my opinion joey barton, with or without moustache should have been banned for life from ever playing professional football again.

  22. charybdis1966 says:

    I’m only kidding Red A – you saw my piece for what it was (a case for debate) and it’s not a case of there being black and white sides to this complex argument.
    BTW I hope you meant “insightful” as I was certainly not attempting to “incite” anyone!

  23. Rasp says:

    Arsène’s got 4 more years before he gives up being a hands-on manager (by his own words). That’s 4 years to really leave a legacy. He’ll be desperate to add the CL and another Premiership title to his long list of achievements. He’s proved he can be patient. I think he’ll see how we do this year and then add to the squad year on year until we peak as we did with the Invincibles.

  24. Red Arse says:

    CharyB,

    I know you meant it playfully, and I meant what I said too, you write v. well and interestingly. :-)

    For my sins, I am writing on more than one site at the same time, so my spelling, my fingers and my brain are not necessarily all in the same place at the same time! But then, that’s not uncommon! :-)

  25. Red Arse says:

    Kt,

    A good analysis. To the resources you name we can add two more CB’s in the next year or so, Messrs Bartley and Miguel.

    Both are impressive players already and getting better and physically v. imposing. They are bot 6′ 4″ +. The lumps we are looking for, in the near future.

  26. 26may1989 says:

    Excellent post Red Arse – trouble is it leaves me nothing to add on that debate! But having returned from the Brecon Beacons, and a very enjoyable if wet and muddy music festival, I need to check in here with some sort of comment. So I’ll pick up on Kelsey’s comment re Joey Barton instead:

    Barton has some done decidedly obnoxious things in the past (on and off the pitch), and is easy to hate (after all, his brother is a racist murderer), but I quite like him in some ways. For one thing he’s a better player than he’s often given credit for, and were it not for the tabloid headlines he comes with, he would have more than the one or two England caps he’s got. But the really interesting thing about Barton is his honesty: the comments about over-pampered England players cashing in by “writing” books was on the button, and if you listen to him, he often says much more insightful and reasonable things than vast swathes of others in the footy world, especially in the time since he got out of prison.

    All in all, I quite like Joey Barton, although he deserves to be criticised for many things he’s done, he’s a bit different and very candid. He’s just one of those figures lots of people learn to dislike.

  27. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey,

    I think it was Hill Wooden Top who said it in response to the impact on AFC’s finances if we did not qualify for the CL.

    I agree with you, I don’t think there is a gun pointed at Arsene’s head because I think the Board know the club might very well implode if Arsene went just yet.

  28. Red Arse says:

    Thanks for your comment 26May, it’s appreciated. :-)

    Where Joey Barton is concerned I find myself in broad but reluctant agreement with you. He is a good player and I think some of his comments are naive and don’t help him.

    But isn’t he the one who almost blinded a young Newcastle player by stubbing out a cigarette in his face, as well as other unsavoury incidents?

    As I say, I have mixed feelings about him, but you raise a valid counterpoint.

  29. Rasp says:

    Just changing the subject a tad……. many have criticised Theo (me included) for apparently not showing the improvement expected of him in terms of acquiring skills.

    Well it seems that we can no longer make that accusation. He can take free kicks. Two so far (I think) this season. Both pretty good and only a foot away from being great goals.

  30. Rasp says:

    In terms of attitude on the pitch, one could draw parallels between Joey Barton and Wilshere. LJ is a rough diamond and a Stevenage boy from a ‘Stevenage family’! I’m sure Arsenal’s nurturing will keep him on the straight and narrow, but he’ll be earning good money at a young age so I hope he can stay focused on his career.

  31. 26may1989 says:

    RA: I think the cigar in the eye incident came from his time at Man City. Obviously terrible thing to do, but I seem to remember the youth player in question was also trying to set fire to the shirt Barton was wearing, so not many innocents in that exchange.

    Alan Hansen on Theo: what a twat Hansen can be. Nobody thinks a hattrick against Blackpool means Theo is suddenly world class, but give credit where it is due. Walcott has shown the doubters there’s more to his game than they said. And as Wenger points out, Theo is only 21. Let’s see if he can keep this going, and if he can develop more of a mean streak, but if he can, I look forward to Hansen (and perhaps Chris Waddle) apologising on air.

  32. Red Arse says:

    Rasp,

    I confess to having become disillusioned and somewhat critical of Theo. The reason is that I, in common with many others, had such high hopes for him.

    What I liked to hear from him was that he said he was usually the last to leave the training ground. Apparently he stays behind to practise free kicks, and crosses, and I think it is showing. Atta Boy! :-)

  33. Its an interesting point you make rasp about Arsenal nurturing. I was in a pub after the game on Saturday and they were showing the Unbeaten Run DVD on a big screen – as Jermaine Pennant scored the hat-trick in the first game of the run he features a lot in the commentary – Wilshire only needs to see how Pennants career went wrong by not listening to the Arsenal nurturing to make sure he doesn’t stray onto the wrong path.

  34. Red Arse says:

    26May,

    Yes, it was while Barton was at Citeh, sorry.

    I am also a bit wary of reading too much into reports of “who did what to whom”, but it does colour one’s view as to the character of people like Barton.

    Hanson should be ashamed of himself criticising a young player so publicly, and the BBC for allowing it. It was the nature of the comment to. Criticising a players skills etc is one thing, personalising it to ridicule his brain power is despicable.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for any apologies though. :-(

  35. I think Theo is being groomed to be the face of Arsenal for the next ten years and if he’s successful he will be the face of England too so they’ll have to eat their words.

  36. charybdis1966 says:

    Peachy, I was at the game for the start of that unbeaten run at Highbury against the Saints. Bobby got a hat trick also in a game that was seen as a dress rehearsal for the FA Cup final a bit later.
    Great game and the north bank(Highbury) was rocking the same way it was at Ashburton on Saturday after another 6-0.

  37. SharkeySure says:

    Great read that Red.

    Arsene really is a magician. Look at Saturday – very good starting 11, top quality on the bench, with Kozzer, Rambo and Nasri in the stands !

  38. And I was at the game against Pompey too where the team all looked liked they’d had lobotomies and Arsene famously remarked that ‘I did not recognise my team today’ ;)

  39. SharkeySure says:

    Me too re that night vs the Saints. If memory serves it was a welcome pick me up having just come up shorti n the title race.

    Wonderful night that.

    Super Bobby P !!

  40. charybdis1966 says:

    I loved the wagging finger salute that Bobby gave after his lob for the hat trick S Sure. Great memories there.

  41. Red Arse says:

    Thanks, Sharkey. :-)

    CharyB, I was on the North Bank as well to see what was a wonderful emotional game. What memories!

  42. kelsey says:

    One can take the view that especially high profile players,providing they give 100% on the pitch week in wek out shouldn’t be chastised over what they do in their private lives.

    I live in a part of the world,were unfortunately they are ten a penny in the summer months, and to put it mildly their behaviour in public places is disgraceful, and often one feels ashamed to be English or British. So many have too much money, no morals whatsoever and I am afraid that just doesn’t sit well with me.
    What they do behind closed doors is another thing, but i asure you many keep the likes of Max Clifford in luxury.

  43. Theo’s hat trick – how good was the ball from LJ for Theo’s 2nd

  44. SharkeySure says:

    Yeah Chary, Bob was pure class. Hardly any flashy tricks or flicks, just supreme technique and movement allied to amazing speed of thought.

    A real Rolls Royce of a player !

  45. Rasp says:

    peaches,

    I thought Diaby’s pass for Theo’s third was even better.

  46. Rasp says:

    Incidentally, Theo scored 2 with his right and 1 with his left. Technically the shot with his left foot was the most dificult as he curled it in low and had a smaller target. Maybe he’s been working on his left foot during the summer. I firmly believe it was a very good thing for Theo that he was left out of the WC.

  47. tommystout says:

    wonderful piece Red and word of the day “opprobrium”….
    all we need is a fit scwarzer and i’ll have high hopes for this season.
    what did hanson say re. theo??? anyone?

  48. Rasp says:

    Hi tommy,
    Basically he said that Theo is OK when he plays instinctively but he makes the wrong choices when he has time to think – and because of that, he went on to say, Theo will never be good enough to make a top class player.

  49. tommystout says:

    shocker – i really dislike that knob!

  50. Rasp says:

    A hat-trick for England, a hat-trick for Arsenal and he’s still not good enough for Hansen. The outsatnding feature of all 3 goals was rhythm and speed of passing in the build up. If you watch the first goal again in the clip above and focus on the poor Blackpool defenders, they were busting a gut to get to the ball, but it was passed before they could even get close. A tougher side would have marked much tighter and kicked us a lot more.

  51. Rasp says:

    That rhythm and speed of passing was reminiscent of the Invincibles.

  52. SharkeySure says:

    “word of the day “opprobrium”….”

    I really liked insouciance. I’ll try and work it into tonights bedtime stories for the kids. Wish me luck….

  53. 26may1989 says:

    Theo has plenty more improvement to make but it’s not just his hattrick that should be acknowledged by the likes of Hansen – in pre-season and the two games of the season, Theo has also created a number of chances for others, some of which have been taken, others of which haven’t. It’s clear that Theo has taken many of the criticisms (and the lost place in the England squad) to heart and is determined to prove himself. His game has stepped up in a number of ways (so far).

    Rather than slag him off with little cause, critics like Hansen and Waddle would do better trying to take the credit by saying “He just needed a kick up the arse, which is what we gave him”.

  54. Moist says:

    Your article paints a somewhat overly simplistic picture of the directors’ duties and while I fully acknowledge that Wenger is doing a good job (I am a big fan) I don’t think that the directors are acting like the corporate fat cats that you imply.

    You are correct that directors have a duty to shareholders but that is a duty to both current and future shareholders. Therefore, purely maximizing short-term gain is not compliant with their duties. It is obviously a difficult one as to where you draw the line going into the future but the basic theme is that directors have to consider the long term success of the business.

    Additionally, it is the directors that set the dividend each year and (unless it has changed recently) I don’t believe that Arsenal has paid a dividend for quite some time. Some would argue that shareholders are instead relying on growing the share value which certainly was the case until recently as Arsenal shares have grown hugely since the beginning of the premier league. However, shares are now trading at £10k a piece and have probably hit a ceiling.

    This leaves Arsenal in the situation of having a manager and directors that are not spending much money (players or dividend) while the club increases its finances hugely. I’m not quite sure why they’re acting in this manner but it strikes me as a bit of a Warren Buffet style play. The market is inflated by an influx of extremely high net wealth individuals and funds, over the long term this situation isn’t likely to last and when the down turn begins Arsenal’s large reserves of self made wealth can capitalize on a deflated market.

    Of course, a deflated market may not happen (although that seems unlikely going on indefinitely) or more probably a rich slug-like oligarch will come in and take it all for himself with the current shareholders being bought out thus leaving the fans high and dry both currently and in the future.

    There isn’t really a point to this apart from to say that directors can’t be viewed as solely looking after shareholder’s short-term interests. They actually have an explicit duty to consider other stakeholders.

  55. SharkeySure says:

    Ehhh Rasp…..??

  56. Big Raddy says:

    Super post RA. Really well thought through and presented.

    Like Sharkey I particularly enjoyed “insouciance”.

    As to the finances, you make an unarguable point. There has to be a conflict of interest, but thankfully no-one has filled his boots yet (apart from DD).

    Would I be right in thinking that Usamov paid @ €8k for his shares which are now trading at @€10k? Who said that football was a terrible investment? Though I have probably got the figures wrong.

  57. Rasp says:

    Apologies to one and all – especially Moist who is still welcome ;)

    I must get a new pair of specs and remember to stop being so over-protective of the authors. Paints is not pants – unlike my reaction

  58. SharkeySure says:

    Too funny that one Rasp !

  59. Rasp says:

    Haha Sharkey, thanks for the heads up – I don’t know if Moist read my ill conceived response but thank god for the edit button :lol:

  60. Big Raddy says:

    Hansen……

    Scottish – why would be do anything but deflate an up and coming English talent.

    Liverpool player who was in the 26/5/89 team. Hates AFC and always has. He begrudgingly gave plaudits to TH14 & DB10 but part from them, nothing.

    He is another of the BBC pundits who should be put out to pasture. They should be given a maximum of 5 years and then shipped out. Lawrenson is an embarrassment.

    Considering MOTD is the most watched programme devoted to the national game it is shameful that the standard of punditry is so low.

  61. Irishgunner says:

    Afternoon all,

    nice post Red Arse.

  62. Rasp says:

    Pundits who have to keep harking back to the good ‘ol days of 2 generations ago are living on borrowed time. The way Hansen and Loro sit slouched in their chairs and the whining tone of their voices creates an air of tired indifference.

    I like Lee Dixon’s comments and Keown is also very articulate.

  63. Big Raddy says:

    Hi Irish (not in a druggy way!)

  64. Irishgunner says:

    Afternoon Rasp, Afternoon Big Raddy.

    You’ll always find begrudgers – Theo had a great game, couple of misplaced passes but he was a constant threat and scored 3 goals, if it was Wooney he’d be proclaimed the best player in the world.

  65. tommystout says:

    2 ex goons , that would be nice rasp. though it would never be allowed :-(
    anyhow 2 ex liverpool pundits – shouldnt they hate manutd if anyone, theyre always kissing their ass’s.

  66. tommystout says:

    so – are we all confident that we are getting schwarzer then???

  67. Big Raddy says:

    TS. Fergiphobia. Fear of Ol’ Red Nose. And of course the FA, Refs Association and the PFA spend much time on their knees in front of the great man.

  68. Rasp says:

    Hi irish,

    I don’t know how you’ve resisted telling us what a great game Rosexy had? He was my MoM after Theo.

  69. Irishgunner says:

    I’m going to wait till the end of the season when Rosexy has been one of our best, if not our best player and then tell ye “I told ya so” :D

    Form is temporary, class is permanent, our number 7 is class.

  70. Rasp says:

    Do you think that Tomas would be able to play with such a command of the midfield if Nasri and Cesc were on the pitch at the same time Irish?

    How many playmakers can any side have before they start negating one another?

  71. SharkeySure says:

    “MOTD is the most watched programme devoted to the national game”

    We all know thats no reflection on its quality.

    Terrestrial monopoly !

    When they have competition, ie World Cup, they get some decent pundits on, ie Seedorf, Hodgson etc.

  72. Irishgunner says:

    Rasp – That’s a very far point of course.

    Things would go through Cesc first but after that I’d see Rosicky and Nasri as of equal importance but I would place Rosicky’s eye for a pass over Nasri but of course he has added experience.

    All in all if 2/3 are fit for every game, its great news for us.

  73. Irishgunner says:

    Just on the play makers side Rasp – I know we were 5-0 to the good against a Blackpool side all over the place, but how awesome was it to see Cesc, Rosicky, Vela, RvP, Wilshere and Chamakh all on the pitch at the one time.

    DM? Pah! :lol:

  74. London says:

    According to Barcelona you can’t have too many playmakers but I take the point.

    Good read RA

    Although like 26May I agree with it all so it is difficult to add anything.

    I enjoyed the Theo debate above, I hadn’t noticed the LJW pass and I certainly missed Diaby’s. I think what this shows is just how much the team have learn’t to play with him; they are putting it in front of him to run onto rather than to his feet which happened so much last year the result being that he failed to use it as well as he is able.

    Having said that I do not expect him to start on Saturday.

  75. tommystout says:

    good afternoon London –
    so is squillaci left side or right side then :-)

  76. 26may1989 says:

    Does anyone really care that Gallas will wear a Tottenham shirt when he’s not injured?

    Woodgate, King, Bassong and Gallas, probably the best, most-injured group of CBs ever.

  77. Big Raddy says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t try to sign Rio Ferdinand, but the window has’t closed yet.

  78. dandan says:

    Kelsey can you tell me what the legal tyre tread is in Spain please.

  79. Red Arse says:

    Hi Guys,

    Just got back, and am disappointed Frothing Inarticulate Loon did not turn up! :-)

    Reading back comments to catch up I could not help but notice the tiresome drivel from Moist. You clearly do not comprehend that debate, not point scoring, is the leitmotif of this site, Seigfried. (sorry Moist). :-)

    I do not want to spoil the usual hospitable welcome of this site by replying in kind; other than remarking, in passing, that in trying to elucidate his point, he makes two major errors of principle.

    Indeed, his final paragraph, though flawed in Law, really sums things up beautifully, “there really is no point to this”, I agree wholeheartedly, but other than that,………….. I couldn’t be arsed really!

  80. 26may1989 says:

    RA, am I missing something? I didn’t agree with everything in Moist’s post but it didn’t look much like “tiresome drivel” or “point scoring” either.

  81. SharkeySure says:

    I’m with 26M, I’m gonna have to read it again.

  82. SharkeySure says:

    Read it again Red, I’m still lost I’m afraid.

  83. Red Arse says:

    26May, Sharkeysure,

    I am sorry but this is my final comment on this subject.

    To explain further, particularly as regards a Director’s responsibilities and legal obligations, as enshrined in the Companies Act 2006, would make me look didactic, apart from which I have no interest in engaging further with Moist.

    Finally, this is a footie site and my only justification for broaching the world of business was to show that Arsene is not exempt from the rules and ordinances that bind senior managers within a company.

    To that extent, he should not be vilified unfairly for “his” tfr budget or the performance criteria laid upon him by the Directors in their wisdom.

    Now that is why I said it was tiresome drivel because it has caused me to explain myself to you.

    Thank you v. much, I’ll get my coat.

  84. Red Arse says:

    26May, Sharkeysure,

    I am sorry but this is my final comment on this subject.

    To explain further, particularly as regards a Director’s responsibilities and legal obligations, as enshrined within the Companies Act 2006, would make me look didactic, apart from which I have no interest in engaging further with Moist.

    Finally, this is a footie site and my only justification for broaching the world of business was to show that Arsene is not exempt from the rules and ordinances that bind senior managers within a company.

    To that extent, he should not be vilified unfairly for “his” tfr budget or the performance criteria laid upon him by the Directors in their wisdom.

    Now that is why I said it was tiresome drivel because it has caused me to explain myself to you.

    Thank you v. much, I’ll get my coat.

  85. tommystout says:

    squillaci has passed his medical! then again who wouldnt at arsenal

  86. SharkeySure says:

    Lol Tommy

    No worries Red.

  87. tommystout says:

    Vermaelen has attempted 69 passes in the past two games all of which have been successful. WOW

  88. Rasp says:

    I hear that Squillaci can’t pass wind, but is a very good tackler/header and hard as nails ;)

  89. SharkeySure says:

    I just hope that’s not 69 passes, for a total of 138 yards !

  90. London says:

    Red Arse

    You could look at this from a humorous point of view and that is that Moist finally found something about your excellent post to debate; the rest of us have been floundering.

    Personally, I think Moist missed the point of your purposely simplistic explanation; he is not a regular on this site and obviously isn’t aware that we have at least two accountants, ex directors of significant companies as well as a whole host of successful business men and women. It seemed obvious to me that your post was not aimed at these people but to the array of dullards in blogsphere that don’t seem to be able to comprehend the obvious company structure that Arsenal is.

    Don’t let Moist get you down; he is not really being rude he is just not familiar with this site or your work.

  91. London says:

    Hi Tommy

    You know what I have trawled the internet for footage of Scillaci in an attempt to find out if he is left or right footed and I cannot find anything.

  92. tommystout says:

    you mean denilson style passing sharky!
    lets play 3 cb’s on saturday – take that allardyce

  93. tommystout says:

    me neither London…
    just found a couple of headed goals… i think he’ll be pretty much back up to anyone… just as sol was

  94. 26may1989 says:

    London, I can’t say whether he’s a leftie or a rightie but I did see the goal he scored for Monaco vs Real Madrid at the Bernabeu (when Monaco knocked them out and got as far as the Final), and I think yer man Squillaci shot with his right foot. I read somewhere else that he’s good at free kicks.

  95. tommystout says:

    unbelievable. Adrian Durham is bigging Theo up and would have won us world cup and that Alan Hansen is a disgrace! I’m listening this time. lol

  96. London says:

    Saturday is a big game bigger than Liverpool for me. Blackburn play a completely different style. I watched MOTD and they are not only doing the high ball stuff aimed at Samba in the same way they were doing last season, they have added even more height. I fully expect Scillaci to sign before the weekend I do not expect him to play but if Koscielny gets embarrassed, which could easily happen, then Wenger can point to Scillaci as action that has already been taken.

  97. London says:

    26May

    Was that the one he scored in the six yard box when he was almost on the floor, if so it was with his right but I found it inconclusive as shots are always awkward when you are almost n the floor.

  98. London says:

    Rule Number I

    Never take Adrian Durham seriously.

  99. tommystout says:

    well i guess on saturday its up to us to have a 75% posession day.
    Keep it off them, minimise corners and freekicks.
    easy!

  100. tommystout says:

    LOL i’ll hate him again – very soon – i’m sure

  101. 26may1989 says:

    Yup, sound like the one London – not pretty, but anything that goes past Casillas (at least when he’s in a Real Madrid jersey) is fine by me. Anyway, I thought Squillaci showed fine predatory instincts! Though what a CB was doing that high up the pitch when playing away to a side like that must raise one or two questions.

  102. London says:

    I certainly expect us to be better going forward…….which I remember as being an embarrassment last season.

  103. Red Arse says:

    Thank you London.

    It is exactly as you say.

    I have a lot of other vexatious work on today but I feel a particular responsibility to help with the site when an article I am responsible for is posted.

    I did not have any real animosity towards Moist, so it would probably have been better to let it pass.

    My unfortunate lapse in humour is regrettable.

    I would not wish to offend either Sharkey or 26May, both of whom I respect and enjoy blogging with, so if I have done so I apologise, unreservedly.

    Thank you for the calming word, so now, what are you like on VAT statutory instruments and discounted cash flow calculations? ;)

  104. London says:

    26May

    It has to be the same one, to be honest I didn’t realise it was against Real Madrid as I was only looking to see which foot he kicked with but as you say to be able to add preditory instincts to the list of talents can only be a good thing.

  105. London says:

    RA

    Hmmmmm…..”VAT statutory instruments and discounted cash flow calculations?”…….not my strong point ;)

  106. 26may1989 says:

    As ever when we play a play teh man not the ball side, a lot will depend on the referee this weekend – based on their dire performances in the weekend just gone, if we get either Lee Mason or Peter Walton, we’ll be in trouble.

  107. London says:

    I think we should just accept that we will suffer some embarrassment (every team does up there) but make sure we score more goals than they do.

  108. 26may1989 says:

    Don’t worry RA, no offence felt here, was just a little perplexed. Which I know is a feeling anyone who has to read a discounted cashflow analysis is familiar with…. Good luck with that!

  109. Red Arse says:

    I’m hopeful that Kosser will be a revelation against Big Sam’s crew.

    He seems fast and eager to chase down opponents, and I would personally send him my autographed jock strap if he kicks a couple of them in the same specific area that he mullered (?) Masherano.

    (See there are words I’m not too sure of). :-)

  110. Rasp says:

    Did you like my graphic Red Arse? – its an original seen for the first time accompanying your article :P

  111. London says:

    If Kozzer can deal with the onslaught that we will inevitably face this weekend we will know for sure that we really do have a gem on our hands. Big test for him.

  112. tommystout says:

    seen as 26may brought up the referee for saturday, i’m hoping that the pattern of the past two games continues, i’m a little optimistic that we may be getting fairer treatment this season! though i wont be holding my breath.

  113. London says:

    A little something inside me is saying that Wenger might pick Djourou over Kosser, our Swiss CB has more EPL experience.

  114. Red Arse says:

    Thanks 26May.

    I don’t normally get grumpy, without cause.

    I enjoy the site and it is usually a welcome and relaxing break to read and comment on it.

    Not being of the fairer sex, I sometimes find multi-tasking beyond my feeble brain’s competence! ;)

  115. Red Arse says:

    Rasp, forgive me, I knew there was something I meant to thank you for and compliment your ingenuity too.

    A “Sherlock Holmes” style magnifying glass to underline the title.

    Excellent! :-)

  116. 26may1989 says:

    Tommy, not sure I’m with you on the refs: some of the decisions in the Liverpool game were terrible, Koscielny’s second yellow being the obvious one, but booking Rosicky and not Gerrard for mutual and simultaneous studs up challenges and not booking Ngog for obvious handball were rank decisions in my book. Yes, he did have the guts to send off Cole but the big decisions were more often wrong than right in what wasn’t that tough a game to ref.

  117. Rasp says:

    Hi London,

    Djourou over kozzer – nah!
    Squillaci over kozzer – possibly
    Squillaci and kozzer at the back and TV as DM – I’d like to see it

  118. tommystout says:

    yep may26 the voice of reason… i thinks you are probably right :-)

  119. Red Arse says:

    Rasp,

    Too soon for Squilli.

    But I like your third choice, as amended.

    DJ and Kosser at the back with TV in midfield (where he often played for Ajax).

  120. London says:

    I would like to see it as well, it might happen but not this weekend unfortunately.

    It is going to be very interesting to see who Wenger picks on Saturday, my impression is that he is rotating in an attempt to make everyone feel part of the squad.

  121. Red Arse says:

    26May,

    You are spot on. But did you see the appalling reffing in the Manure/Fulham game?

    Vidic pulling the shirt off (?) in the penalty area, right under the nose of the ref. The penalty he awarded against Duff for a clear deflection from boot to hand etc etc.

    I don’t like thinking the worst of refs because I do believe they are honest, but some of these decisions defy belief.

  122. Rasp says:

    My money would be on TV and kozzer to start, and if we buy him by wednesday, squidgy to be on the bench.

  123. Red Arse says:

    Rasp,

    Did you see the Sky News report that Arsene has said he is still looking for yet another CB, with Juan and Ciani possible candidates.

    I would luv that, really luv that if we got them! (with apologies to Kevin Keagan). :-)

    But I don’t really believe it. :-(

  124. Rasp says:

    Hi RA,

    I can’t believe it either. We’ll be fine now with TV and kozzer first choice, squidgy as an option, and JD and Song as back-up.

  125. 26may1989 says:

    There’s no way we’ll sign another CB after Squirty, that must be Wenger taking the piss out of Sky.

    And yes, that penalty award re Duff was utterly pathetic, how could that begin to be deliberate handball? And to miss the Vidic tug as well, the referee is very lucky the Fulham keeper saved the pen and Hangeland got the euqaliser.

  126. dandan says:

    New post in draft Rasp

  127. Rasp says:

    Thanks dandan, you’re a diamond.

  128. London says:

    If you were the negotiator for Arsenal in the Scillaci deal right now what would you do in order to strengthen your hand and weaken your opposite number?

    I would put out an announcement that Wenger has other options.

    This to me backs up my belief that these statements are not aimed at the fans they are negotiating tools.

  129. Irishgunner says:

    “squidgy” :lol:

  130. 26may1989 says:

    I like your thinking London but Sevilla already announced that the clubs have come to an agreement, so in this case I don’t think the Machiavellian interpretation is the right one, at least not for that reason.

  131. Red Arse says:

    Good day all, enjoyed myself, except for a squidgy bit. OOps, sorry Rasp/Squilli pinched your nickname.

    See you tomorrow. :-)

    Hi Irish, sorry it’s also goodnight. you know I like having a giggle with you, so move your bum and get on earlier. :oops:

  132. London says:

    26

    I just had a another look aroung the Spanish press and it seems as though negotaitions are on going. Hence for me the reason why Wenger made today’s statement about other CB’s.

  133. London says:

    Right at this minute I bet Squidgy’s agent is saying to Arsenal that his client wants a five year contract and the club are offering two.

  134. Irishgunner says:

    I was on earlier Red Arse but was just floating in and out, I’ll float in earlier tomorrow if I can :)

  135. Red Arse says:

    Excellent, Irish!

    Needs the feminine touch to soothe the fevered brow!

    Any old excuse will do. :-)

    See you tomorrow. Nite.

  136. 26may1989 says:

    OK, you’re probably right London, I know you’re on the case re those dodgy Spanish rags.

    Evening all.

  137. dandan says:

    Strange city side Think the pool could win this

  138. Big Raddy says:

    They could if they could finish, Good game though

  139. dandan says:

    My two boys, one city, one pool, are in separate hotels away on business, my phone is melting from the texts LOL

  140. Big Raddy says:

    Seems as if Sparky is playing hardball with AW. I remain convinced we wil get our man

  141. Sparky, Squidgy, Squirty and Squilli must be a kids tv show in there somewhere :lol:

    Seems ‘pool didn’t read the script – the one that says that they’re expected to take points off all of our rivals this season ;)

  142. RockyLives says:

    Thing is Peaches, they still think they are one of our rivals. Poor delusional fools.

  143. Big Raddy says:

    According to the Mail, Mahmadou. Diarra of Real Madrid is available on a free transfer. At 29 y.o. he is just the type of player we could use as backup for Song, though his wages may price us out. Prior to his injury he was one of the best DM’s in Europe.

  144. SharkeySure says:

    Cheers Mozart….Keown always makes a lot of sense.

  145. Big Raddy says:

    Super game last night. MC look as though they will be serious challengers this year.

    Amusing to see Jo come on as sub instead of Ade, Mancini showing he is not scared to make a point in public.

    L’pool cannot be considered as rivals for a top 4 place maybe not even top 6. It put our result against them into perspective and showed that taking a point at Anfield against 10 men was not a particularly good return.

    Johnson or Walcott. Tough decision for Capello. Theo scores more but Johnson’s final ball is more reliable. If Johnson can play left side as effectively as he does right, then England are in clover!

    Milner looks a fine signing (forgetting the fee). He is the new Ray Parlour.

  146. tommystout says:

    good morning braddy
    i was hearing all kind of rumours that we were in conversations with real madrid, though i know not about what.
    My hunch was that they were enquiring about clichy and i heard even more talk that we had given them a big fat NO on the subject.
    Diarra would seem like a wenger tempter especially considering the loss of pingpong.
    However i’m still praying for schwarzer, if we get him i think we will be up there with a good chance of the title.

  147. tommystout says:

    Liverpool have dropped to 27/1 for the title after last nights no-show.

  148. Big Raddy says:

    TS. I agree.

    I think it is a season early to sell Clichy and the fact that Traore was offered for sale indicates that AW will keep Gael and Gibbs.

  149. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all, so the shiney pate-headed Reina gets another dose of karma – an integral fellow team mate is being tapped up by Barca and is weakening his club side. Is Javier the future of Argentina nad Barca you plonker?
    Now stick a Barca shirt on Mascherano’s head now you mug !
    Ha de har-har !
    What goes round, comes round. Wait for the 3rd and final dose of karma when the Poo don’t make the top 4 again.
    You deserve it Pepe, you retard.

  150. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Do you think the club are going to announce the signing of squiddly diddly today? – I’ve already added him to the ‘Players In’ widget, the deal is done.

  151. charybdis1966 says:

    Hi Raspers – the must do, it’s all over the press that Squiddly is looking forward to the challenge of playing for us. I’d guess it’ll be up around 3pm.
    It’s sunny today so nice light for mug shots of him in the number 12 shirt.

  152. Rasp says:

    I thought Liverpool played considerably better against us than citeh. Their performance last night was similar to England in the WC, no energy, lack of pace and couldn’t find a pass. If that is typical of how they’ll play this season, top 10 would be an achievement.

  153. Rasp says:

    Morning chary,

    My guess is that Squeezy will be on the bench against Blackburn.

  154. Big Raddy says:

    I forgot that Masch played so brilliantly against us and was missing last night……

    Very very funny Chary.

  155. Rasp says:

    New post …..

  156. charybdis1966 says:

    We’ll get a battering from Fat Sam’s lot and as it’s at their hovel the ref will give the cloggers free reign to give us a dam good kicking.
    Maybe it’d be worth sticking the squeegee in from the off, if he’s match fit? However I agree it’ll be more likely he’ll be able to watch from the bench – like when Bobby watched his first game in the Premier League from the dug out.
    We all remember him saying he was struck by the brutality and frantic pace of it. It was at Sunderland I think ?

  157. tommystout says:

    i was watching blackburn last night to try and gain some insight in to how saturday may pan out.
    i’m sure that corner limitation is the answer and we will come away with 3 points.
    I can’t wait.

  158. Mugwalla says:

    I hope we do not let GC go… He is good going forward and has speed like TW too. He just has to work on his defensive skills though.

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