Why Arsène?…….

Written by Harry

The inner workings of Arsène Wengers mind have for some 15 years, had the average Arsenal fan’s imagination captivated. We’ve been spellbound by the intricate passing and mesmeric breathtaking counter attacks, in awe of the array of attacking talent on show, which saw us reach the pinnacle with the Invincibles unbeaten run in 2004, a feat unliklely ever to be matched by another team………

Taking Arsenal and along with them the rest of the Premier league to another level, Wenger was arguably the catalyst (along with Sky) to really establishing the PL as the best league in the world. Wenger’s success challenged old red nose, who responded and their personal duel over a period of 6 years has hogged many of the back pages……….

Wenger as we know, changed established habits,  diets, routines, really shaping, maybe even reinventing the culture of the stereotypical British Player, whilst fully integrating the foreign players, sprinkling that grit of the bulldog with the finesse of the European pedigree…..

He has created a training facility to be proud of; moved us from our spiritural home to a state of the art super stadium that is the envy of many. Plaudits and admiration have come from around the globe, vultures circle on our playing staff , the manager himself and even the groundsman, as many of the worlds greatest clubs (equal to ours of course) have come calling……And not forgetting our Physio Gary Lewin was also po0ached by England and let’s not go into the injury situation since his cousin took over…

Along the way we have lost some of our prize playing assets, but always to the financial betterment of Arsenal. Anelka was transformed from 500k to some 23million pounds.  Other favourites departed for the greener grass, but Wenger is a canny operator who has managed his assets as if they were highly spec’d finely tuned racing cars…he instinctively knew when he could move them on and replace them with better more advanced models (Anelka really the only one moving ahead of schedule, his on board computer was playing up), in the meantime he cultivated his youth products to ensure that we had the talent already groomed in the Wenga-ball methods.

Some of these youngsters have moved on, Bentley, Thomas and I suppose the most infamous was AsSHcOLE, but slowly we have seen some make it into the first team, it has been a very slow and at times a painful process as we have came so close to winning silverware but falling just short each time often due to a lack of experience / squad depth and of course the gutter press, along with Hansen, Lawrenson and the rest of MoTD have completely milked the cow at every opportunity to have a dig at our expense.

The fall was from very high up, having been invincible in 2004, the fans expectation was extremely high maybe even lacking a touch of realism, many have criticised Le Boss for some of his decisions probably rightly so at times, there have been tactical errors, failure to make changes when required during games, and the slow or even complete lack of movement within the transfer markets, most notably in the mid season window for a couple of seasons we have had a hole that has needed plugging due to injuries and he has failed to remedy. Another season we needed a striker, this season we really needed another centre back……… but Wenger waits on the return of injured players….

So Wenger is not infalliable, he does make mistakes, but overall he has transformed our club and really changed it from the bottom up, the club now has a solid slab reinforced foundation now that will stand the test of time, when he does go, whoever does takes over will be a very fortunate manager.

But why highlight what we already know, well at times when things do go awry, and at the moment our season has hit a brick wall, some teddys have been thrown by some fans who I feel don’t appreciate fully what Wenger has truly given us  and just cannot see the wood for the trees. Hopefully if I am still walking this planet in 25 years time, when everyone looks back, we will all be hailing him as a Legend and all of us appreciating what he has done for us..

Coming back to the here and now, and the thing that prompted the writing of this and looking at the whole picture, is something someone had said on one of the comments a few days ago, is just what you would  ask le Boss, if you had time alone with him to talk about Arsenal…..

My top 5 questions for Wenger:

1. Do you feel looking back, that your over 30’s policy that has seen much experience walk out the door has in someway affected our chances of delivering silverware and leaves you with some regret? And of the over 30’s that left which one do you wish you had kept on for longer?

2. At one point we had an abundance of centre midfielders, with Silva, Flamini, Diarra all vying for a space, Diarra was the one we all had high hopes for, but Flamini made it hard for you to drop him, but due to this we lost both of them, do you think you should have handled this differently, as surely now we are very weak in this area?

3. Bob Wilson has been quoted recently saying that you tried your hardest to get Reina in before this season started, do you feel your inability to get a decent keeper in to replace Jens Lehmann has really cost over the last 3 or 4 seasons?

4. Invariably, you do not make substitutions at half time even when we are playings atrociously, why is that?

5. Who is the best player who has played for you at Arsenal and which one has disappointed the most?

What would your top 5 questions be?

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119 Responses to Why Arsène?…….

  1. Rasp says:

    A comment from Will brought forward from yesterday’s post ….

    I will be taking my 9 year old step son to his first Arsenal game on saturday. He is a GK for his school team. He knows everything about Arsenal and knows that Almunia has made stupid mistakes but he still regards Alumnia as his idol, as he does Chesney and Fab. Because they are Arsenal. I have no doubt he will be shouting and cheering and supporting louder than anyone else in the clock end because he is Arsenal too and that is what its all about that is OUR job. great blog mate.

  2. Big Raddy says:

    Super read Harry.

    I am a huge AW fan. I think one facet of AW that gets overlooked is that he IS Arsenal to so many overseas fans. They associate our club as having Class because our manager is so different from say Tony Pulis.

    A man with a University education, fluent in 5 languages (including the impossible Japanese), a man who understands a balance sheet and a man with humility and superb manners.

    The Club mirror his attributes as well as the reverse.

    As to the 5 questions – give me time to think.

  3. Rasp says:

    Intriguing article Harry. More challenging than thinking up our own 5 questions, would be guessing what his answers to yours might be.

    Re: the contracts for 30 year olds – I hear totnum are about to offer Gallas a further 2 year contract – what would our fortunes have been this season had he still been in the squad?

  4. Carlito11 says:

    Harry- nicely penned rumination. Thanks for the post, and the opportunity to discuss our manager. I’m sure we will have the full spectrum of opinions on here today and that is natural given the widespread feeling that he has both led us so close to and also cost us silverware already this season.
    I really like your question about his over 30s policy. I’m not sure you will get an honest answer until he retires but in his heart of hearts he must have regrets about letting Vieira, Pires and Henry all go- especially when we can all see the effect that Scholes, Neville and Giggs have had with their cameos and presence in the dressing room at ManUre.
    I would ask him if he feels that the emphasis on preserving players confidence (ie not substituting players in the first half at all and rarely before 65 mins) has ever actually been counterproductive? My own feeling is that a player with self belief should be spurred on by taking the occasional knock to his pride- I wonder if AW would concur?

  5. kelsey says:

    1. Why are you not consistant with your over 30 policy.

    2.What would you regard as your biggest mistake in your tenure at Arsenal.

    3.Which game has given you the most satisfaction over the numerous games we have won.

    4.When do you expect to retire and who would you like to succeed you.

    5.Which manager irks you more than any other.

  6. johnQ says:

    Koscielny can’t develop if Gallas still in the squad.

  7. lance (south africa) says:

    question to aw : what would you rate denilson / bendtner / diaby / alminuia on a scale of 1-10.

  8. Morning all, intriguing post Harry, and it poses the question of the 5 most puzzling Wenger decisions you want deciphered.
    It’s very easy to carp about our manager whenever we hit a rocky patch however his thinking behind certain choices would be very illuminating:
    1. Why did he not play Arshavin in THAT FA cup semi final from the start?
    2. Did he really think we had 6 centre backs for, at the time, a quadruple chasing team this January?
    3. Why did he believe Flamini, in his final season, when he said he would renew his contract and keep playing him thereby alienating an admittedly already bolshy Diarra and forcing him to leave so we were down 2 defensive midfielders in one summer?
    4. Why don’t you send out Pat Rice to do some press conferences to take the heat off you when our illiterate, Neanderthal gutter press give you a hard time, a la red nose?
    5. Do you feel our players are too slight for such a physical league as the Premiership as we seem to suffer more from impact injuries than most teams ?

  9. johnQ says:

    I firmly believe there’s strong reason why Wenger decided to have over 30’s policy because Tony Adams and Lee Dixon played with us until their retirement, and Bergkamp played with us until 37!!

  10. Gooner in Exile says:

    Cracking read Harry, my answers to your first three questions:

    1) Over 30s policy is about contract extensions, if youre over 30 you’ll get one year extensions, if the player feels he can continue to do it he would stay and I would give him another contract, like Denis, but if the player is looking for financial security when his legs have danger of being gone he will ask to leave, Pires, Viera etc. Unfortunately for most players financial concerns come first.

    2) when Flamini told AW he would stay he hadn’t been offered £200k per week by Milan

    3) he can’t say that in public

    Evonne thanks for the permission request slip might have to use that :)

    I think my biggest questions to Wenger would be:

    Do you really have money to spend, or are the board preventing you spending?

    What youngsters do you believe will make the grade.

  11. Evonne says:

    Harry – interesting quesions, I would like to see AW’s answers.
    What I would really like to ask Mr Wenger is if he reads any of the fans’ letters, comments, blogs? Has he ever found any of the suggestions useful?

  12. Big Raddy says:

    As I understand it the over 30’s policy doesn’t preclude them playing for AFC, it is that AW will not offer more than a year contract, which seems fair enough to me.

    The players want it all ways, they want a 4 year contract when their bodies may not allow them to play a full season, and they want full pay while being far more prone to injury. Look at the players who have left and show me how many play over 20 games a season?

    That the players decide to reject a one year contract is their decision not AW’s

  13. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Wish I had read your comment before jumping in!

  14. king gooner says:

    the one question i’d ask if i knew i would get a clear,straight answer would be the question that has divided millions of gooners over arsene wenger & his policy of youth over the las 6years-because the answer would tell us whether it’s his fault for the six year failure or the boards.the qustion is”how much money have the board given you to spend for each of the last six seasons”?now if the answer is nothing to peanuts-wenger has worked “miracles”& the arsene out brigade can f**k off-but if he’s had a shed load *& never strengthened,he is “guilty” of negligence

  15. London says:

    I am respectfully amazed at how the posts just seem to get better and better. I doff my cap Harry, I don’t wear a cap but I would if I did, you understand.

    The Youth Policy, that old chestnut has raised its head again. The one thing that has changed about this argument recently is that with Wilshere being worth 50 million, no one can say that it has not been a financial success any longer.

  16. kelsey says:

    Jérémie Aliadière playing for the reserves today.!!!!!!

    That is question 6.

  17. Rasp says:

    I’d like to ask AW 5,000 questions and not only about football.

    I think I already know the answer to the ‘big one’ – he maybe could have spent a bit more if he’d pushed the Board, but he was acutely aware that in this transitional period managing the finances was paramount and more importantly that buying expensive players does not guarantee success. With the budget we had, we had to choose wisely. AW has had to maintain a dignified silence whilst being slaughtered by some sections, but at the end of the day it comes down to plain maths – the books balance (just!) because of the way the club is run.

  18. king gooner says:

    depends what you call a financial success?wilshere worth £50 million as part of his youth policy or the undoubted millions more?the club would have made with trophys for the last six seasons?did the board give him sufficient funds each year to comptete or not,that is the question?

  19. Carlito11 says:

    Kelsey: “Jérémie Aliadière playing for the reserves today.!!!!!!

    That is question 6.”
    Raised a hearty laugh in these quarters! :-D

  20. Smith14 says:

    Wenger has said plenty of times, maybe in different words, that spending heavily has never been an option; either financially or philosophically. When we decided to move to the Emirates he undertook a project to build a team that didn’t rely on costly signings so, even if we did have the money to spend, he wouldn’t have spent it. He has preferred to foster a team spirit by giving youngsters a chance.

    I also think the 30+ thing is a financial concern too. If you give a 30 year old a long contract it’s a risk. They are more injury prone, lose sell on value and may become complacent. Short contracts mean that they have to work hard each season to earn a new deal, like Bergkamp did. Take Wiltord for example, left Arsenal to get a 4 year deal at Lyon and faded into obscurity.

    Equally, the 30+ rule meant we got money for Vieira and Henry that we wouldn’t have got if they’d gone in their 30’s.

    Anyway, as for 5 questions, I don’t think I could restrict myself. I think the man is an inspiration both in a Football and capacity and as a person. The criticism he gets nowadays is partly because of the impossible standards he set by being the only manager in living memory to go unbeaten for a whole season. Almost anything else after that looks like failure when what he’s achieved in the last 5 years, regardless of trophies, is astonishing and will prove to be the making of this club. Sadly, much of Football’s following is too short termist.

  21. Carlito11 says:

    Just found this quote of a Yiddish proverb that I think gives an interesting angle:
    “From success to failure is one step; from failure to success is a long road.”
    I interpret this to mean that it is both easy and common to experience failure as we did in the Carling Cup or against Barcelona (I know the f word is loaded and have no desire to get into semantics). But from the real failure of the mid nineties before Arsene came to us, to the unqualified success that was the Invincibles was a long road, albeit littered with other successes :-)
    I believe that anyone taking over from Wenger at Arsenal or CCC (Claret Conked Caledonian*) at Old Toilet will find the road to success a long one indeed as all success is relative.
    *Think it was Chary that coined that one- a personal favourite!

  22. Carlito11 says:

    Can anyone get my last comment out of moderation? It contains a firewalled word but I assure you it’s not been used pejoratively! :-)

  23. Moses Watasa says:

    He he heeeeeh. Here we go again with you guys dreaming about reifoncements to a squad ‘screaming out’ for infusion of quality at Arsenal FC! I am baffled at you (like i used to be with Arsene Wenger – AW) but by now, you guys should have given up (like i did) on AW. The man is atrociously thick skinned (unfeeling) and sturbbon to the bone-murrow. Spare yourselves the heartache resulting from bloated expectations from obstinate AW. The man is not about to sign any proper goal-keeper, quality central defenders and a clinical striker.Our glory (trophy-winning) days are now history. I dread any other reports of bitter Arsenal FC fans committing suicide (like one in Nairobi – Kenya) after a typical whipping of clueless gunners by Manchester United in 2009. That AW and his Board have switched their priority from pursuit of silverware to stuffing (bulging) the coffers at Arsenal FC is the reality!

  24. Is that the one you meant Carlito ?

  25. Evonne says:

    King Gooner – if you think that money can buy you success then look at the Chavs and ManCity – I think Arsenal are a much better team than they are. AND above them in the table.
    Alternatively look at Rafa Benitez’s stats – I seem to remember that he bought 77 players, that’s 7 full squads. And where are they now?

  26. Carlito11 says:

    Moses- I have two quotes for you:

    “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller

    “Better to live hopefully and be disappointed than to live fearfully and be proved right.” – Carlito11

    With that I depart for the afternoon- keep the faith Gooners!

  27. Carlito11 says:

    Cheers Chary :-)

  28. Danish Gooner says:

    It has all been asked and never ever answered,Mr.Stubborn will never change or admit he is wrong so expect 3 more years of the same or at least till the board grows some balls and kick him out.

  29. Smith14 says:

    It still astonishes me that people who want to criticise Wenger stick to this idea that he won’t spend money through stubborness or stupidity and that he and the board are just interested in making money.

    Arsenal built a new stadium and couldn’t afford to pursue expensive players that don’t guarantee success anyway. Almost every deicsion made in the last 5 to 10 years has been financial. Not to increase profit but to increase the clubs stability. The club is stable and in a great position to kick on from now.

    If anyone seriously thinks we should have jeopardised that simply for the sake of adding a few trophies then I give up. 5, even 10 years out of the clubs history and future is nothing. Get some perspective.

  30. Red Arse says:

    Smith14,

    A mature and intelligent reflection and “to the point’ (or au point) as Monsieur Wenger might say.

    Could not agree more with your observation!

    My question to AW might be;

    “What is your view on all the questions addressed to you, by both the media and the fans, some of which are deliberately provocative or hypothetical?

    His answer might be;

    “I respect the right of fans to ask questions of those, such as myself, whose decisions can material affect the professional running of the club and its chances of winning silverware.

    The critical success or failure of my decisions can improve, or adversely impact on, the quality of the faithful supporters’ lives, because of their love for the club.

    I therefore believe it is a privilege and of paramount importance to answer their questions truthfully and to the best of my ability, within the usual constraints of club confidentiality. And this I will continue to do.”

  31. Smith14 says:

    Sorry, me again. I think this quote from Wenger, regarding moving to The Emirates and therefore not spending big explains to anyone who still thinks we should be competing with £25m+ transfers why is not feasible or desriable.

    We try to go a different way that, for me, is respectable. Briefly, these are the basics. I thought: ‘We are building a stadium, so I will get young players in early so I do not find myself exposed on the transfer market without the money to compete with the others. I build a team, and we compensate by creating a style of play, by creating a culture at the club because the boy comes in at 16 or 17 and when they go out they have a supplement of soul, of love for the club, because they have been educated together.

    The people you meet at college from 16 to 20, often those are the relationships in life that keep going. That, I think, will give us strength that other clubs will not have.’

    Under Wenger Arsenal have an identity that is lacking from clubs that just want to buy and chase success that way. I wouldn’t swap this outlook for all the trophies in the world. Supporting Arsenal is about more than trophies although, this style will bring success in the end. Our eventual will mean more than any trophy Chelsea or City win.

  32. Red Arse says:

    I choose not to respond to most of the more asinine comments about AW and his perceived lack of spending costing the club trophies.

    But let’s look at an hypothetical situation to try and put this nonsense to bed.

    Man Citeh are spending colossal sums on players and will continue to spend more.
    Chelsea are stretching their financial muscles and will no doubt want to match them. (£60 million for Torres just for starters?)
    Manure are not going to sit idly by and allow this to happen so they to will also spend more to match them both.

    Now let’s say they all eventually spend £1 billion each on transfers. (There is no way Arsenal could compete in these ridiculous circumstances, but let’s pretend for a minute they could).

    It is an incontrovertible fact that there is only one EPL, so only one of those teams could win it.
    The other 3 would experience failure, even after spending these hypothetical and ridiculous sums of money. The same would apply to the CL, only one winner.

    It is possible one club could win both trophies, leaving 3 very upset clubs as total losers, despite spending huge sums, which means that something more than just money had a material impact on their success, or failure.

    The ‘spend big for success’ wallahs are flogging a flawed horse!

  33. dandan says:

    Afternoon all, super Article Harry will give it some thought whilst I sit at the garage waiting for the car this afternoon.

    In the meantime Moses how long have you been out of the bulrushes,because you appear to have missed all the good things achieved in recent years, never mind, stick with this site read the posts and all will be revealed to you.

    Guys you know I am an AW fan, its not that I don’t think he makes mistakes its just he has trained me so well I don’t see any of em. :-)

    Kelsey loved your succinct contribution superb my friend

    Now consider Arsene in this light.

    Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”

  34. tommystout says:

    Fabulous post,
    & mostly fabulous comments
    RedArse your comments continue to be worthy of full posts in themselves, i for one would be a subscriber.
    My question, as i only have the one – will your successor be chosen to continue your legacy?

  35. tommystout says:

    whoops i do have another – does wengaball aspire to become barcaball?

  36. Big Raddy says:

    There is an excellent Q & A with AW, Keown and Winterburn on The Tuesday Club podcast available on Itunes etc etc.

    Once again, AW shows his intelligence and humour.

    DanDan. So true, which is why it is Beckham practising his free-kicks hour after hour and being last off the training ground who had a more notable career than say Gazza who had far more talent.

  37. Jekyll says:

    Some more questions for Wenger:

    What was your role in the appointment of Ivan Gazidis? Who at the club has the authority to sack you, an employee, were it required?

    What does Pat Rice do? What input does he have on tactics and team selection?

    Who do you turn to, to question and challenge you and your decisions?

    Why do you persist with certain playes who let you and the club down so frequently?

    Why do you use certain phrases – such as ‘mental strength’ – so frequently? Do you think repetition enhances or dilutes meaning?

  38. Harry says:

    Afternoon all, gutted so busy I cannot even read the responses to my article properly, had a quick view, some great comments and feedback, thanks again. When at home tonight I shall read and digest…..

    Hope to meet with many of the AA crew on saturday before blackburn……

  39. Red Arse says:

    Hi Tommy, :-)

    Thank you for your kind words. I sometimes think I am ‘speaking’ to myself! :-)

    Sorry Harry, I should have said earlier how much I enjoyed reading your article. Forgive me? :-)

  40. RockyLives says:

    Great post Harry
    Most of the questions I would ask have been suggested already by the wise men (and women) of AA.
    Others would be:
    “What were your first impressions of English football in general and Arsenal in particular in your first few weeks in the job?”
    “How did you set about winning the respect of old, senior players like Adams, Parlour and Bould when you first arrived at the club?”

  41. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    Belatedly picking up on some of yesterday’s comments…
    I’m sorry you can’t make it out to North America at the moment, but when you do feel up to it it would be great to meet up. I’m in Toronto, but spend a fair bit of time in New York and Los Angeles, so take your pick! (I quite like the sound of your hillbilly friends).

  42. Red Arse says:

    Jekyll,

    I think you seem to have lost your Hyde.

    Your questions are valid, I suppose, but their tone is both provocative and aggressive.

    Tell me, if anyone turned those tiresome questions around and asked you about your work in a similarly intrusive and implicitly critical way how would you feel?

    For clarity it might help if I enclosed a relevant definition for you!

    “Jekyll and Hyde” has come to mean a person who is vastly different in moral character and behaviour from one situation to the next.”

    I would hate you to think I wish to discuss this further with you …. I really do not care to!

  43. 26may1989 says:

    Excellent post, Harry.

    As an unapologetic Wenger Fundamentalist, my colours are well and truly nailed ot the mast – he is simply the best thing that has happened to Arsenal in my 35 years of supporting the club. He’ll leave one day and we’ll be the poorer for it.

    Most of the things I would say about AW are covered already, but I just wanted to comment on a couple of things:

    1. I don’t recall the so-called over 30s policy existing before 2004; isn’t it all tied into the financial issues that dominated the club between 2004 and 2010?

    2. I feel strongly about the Diarra/Flamini thing: Diarra is technically a classy player, and I really thought his partnership with Fabregas would be the future. But the reality is when he joined Gilberto (who’d just had his best season in an Arsenal shirt) was first pick, and, when he was injured, Flamini grabbed his chance by producing a run of form for 4 months or so that was way above anything he produced before or after. But to me Flamini was always a limited player, and had Diarra shown just a tiny bit of patience, rather than leave after just a few games and in the transfer window after he arrived, he would have been an Arsenal legend. But it seems for all his technical ability, Diarra is weak in the character department and couldn’t see that. A missed opportunity for us and him. And Flamini, just as he did when he left Marseilles, played us very cutely by running down his contract (something he recently confirmed he did) and getting another great Bosman deal for him. He only ever looked after himself – not really a criticism, but I never understand why anyone goes misty-eyed when talking about such a mercenary character who was no better than alright on the pitch.

    3. Re Rasp’s suggestion of Gallas having stayed, I accept he is a very good defender (though not quite as good as he appears to be in his own mind). But the squad is so much better off with him gone. The conflict around Gallas was a cancer at the heart of Arsenal, and it is much better he is elsewhere. And good luck to him, it looks like we were exactly the wrong place for him to be, he looks much happier at Spurs.

    4. A question for Danish re the post at 12.24: why so hard on yourself? Would you really describe yourself as Mr Stobborn??

  44. 26may1989 says:

    *Mr Stubborn, obviously.

  45. Rasp says:

    Hi 26m, I wasn’t saying that I wished Gallas had stayed, I’m one of those who was glad to see him go as I wasn’t sure what effect his presence was having in the dressing room. Having said that, he has had a very good season down the road and played a large part in their success.

    Hi Rocky, I’d like to ask AW if he really thought he could have taken Martin Jol when he faced up to him on the touchline :lol:

  46. 26may1989 says:

    Apols for misreading you Rasp.

    And Jol would’ve battered Wenger, no doubt about that one!

  47. Red Arse says:

    Rocky, I had been looking forward to about 6 weeks trotting around the US for a bit of work and relative visiting. When things sort themselves out (probably next year now), I will try and link up with you, if at all possible. :-)

    I have just picked up on the pre-Post comments, and for what it is worth, I agree with the no-Censorship faction, subject to the normal social niceties, obviously.

    If I disagree with someone’s comment I will make my opposing view clear, hopefully courteously, I will also argue my case, vehemently if necessary, but I will undoubtedly also ‘walk away’ if another blogger makes a pointless or irredeemably stupid comment.

    Quarrelling is out tho’.

  48. 26 – Wenger would concede a 3 stone weight advantage for a start; no contest.

  49. Red Arse says:

    Look 26,

    Can you not come out with a statement I can disagree with? :-)

    It seems I have even lost the art of provoking you, but if you carry on being sensible I will have to resort to subterfuge!! :-)

  50. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    Great – we might even meet up in the UK before then.

    I’m with you (and most other regulars) on the ‘censorship’ issue. It’s fine to have people with very different viewpoints provided they are respectful and can put their points in a sensible way. It usually makes for some interesting exchanges and helps those of us in the pro-AW camp hone our arguments!

  51. Red Arse says:

    Actually, I think Arsene would have taken Jol.

    He (AW) has the longer reach, and he would have remained behind his Maginot Line (the technical area) and sent long range left hooks ranging onto his adversary, while all the time keeping a firm eye on his ‘Ardennes’. No point letting Jol get behind him and breaching his defensive alignment!! :-)

  52. tommystout says:

    what defensive allignment :-)

  53. Good point RedA, what Wenger lacks in poundage he makes up for in mobility and range.

  54. 26may1989 says:

    Not even if Wenger had a case of Evien bottles to chuck at Jol would Le Prof prevail over that ugly little bruiser. It’s no accident Jol is from The Hague, home of Holland’s most militant hooligans (well, they’ve nothing better to do, as anyone who’s been to The Hague can verify).

  55. Red Arse says:

    Arse no questions, Tommy! And AW will tell you no derriere lies :-)

  56. Red Arse says:

    26,

    The only way Jol would have a chance in a straight match is if he enticed AW to give him a kiss to make up, and then overwhelmed him with his hideous breath! :-)

    A well known tactic in the Hague (or so I have been told!) :-)

  57. RockyLives says:

    What about Arsene versus Pardew then?

  58. Red Arse says:

    AW might be better advised not to get involved with Jol and take note of this limerick.

    There once was a young boy named Nick
    Who by chance was always being kicked
    He tried not to fight
    For he was smart, kind and bright
    So he learned to run damn quick

    I have belatedly remembered the ode that I wanted to attach to my Post on refereeing with regard to Einstein’s theory of relativity. So here it is (I know you will have forgotten my Post, but so what?) :-)

    There once was a young lady named Bright
    Whose speed was much faster than light
    She set out one day
    In a relative way
    And returned on the previous night

    Come on, smile! :-)

  59. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    I think Pardew is a blow hard who is all bluster. He belongs to the school of “yeah, if I had someone to hold my coat I’d show you”. Chicken! :-)

    Got to go, before the Rasper starts reading excerpts from ‘One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’, about loonies (me, apparently) taking over the Asylum. :-)

    Laters.

  60. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    As if we could forget the only post (surely) that has ever linked Arsenal’s progress to Einstein’s theory of relativity.

    In fact, I reckon we’re due another one from you in similar vein. How about one looking at the way in which Arsenal has changed under AW through the prism of Darwin’s Origin of Species? (Or to give it its catchy full title: “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.”

  61. Jekyll says:

    Red Arse – you may not wish to hear from me, but I think I have the right to defend myself. My questions may have been critical in tone but they were constructive. And were I on £7m a year in a public role I think I’d have to expect detailed questions regarding my methods – as do the heads of PLCs in shareholders’ meetings.

    Are you really so sensitive on behalf of Wenger this is too much for you? Do you really not think we, as paying fans propping up the club, have the right to ask Wenger the whys and wherefores of his decisions that affect the club we all feel we have a stake in? Would, given the chance, people here really only ask Wenger questions like ‘What did you first think of England’ etc? An opportunity wasted, I would say. Except perhaps as a journalist for the Official Arsenal Magazine.

  62. Rasp says:

    Hi Jekyll, thanks for joining in the debate.

    Arsene’s accountability is often questioned, and of course the answer is that he is accountable to his employers – the Board. Someone suggested earlier that perhaps the Board might sack him for ‘dereliction of duty’.

    It is obvious from your comment that you have an understanding of business so I ask you; is it likely that the Board would be anything other than overjoyed with the efforts of a man who has transformed their business, vastly increased the value of its assets, raised the profile to top international level, hugely increased its earning potential and set it on a sound financial and business footing for years to come? … and all at a time when most of its competitors are heading in the opposite direction.

  63. Jekyll says:

    Hello Rasp, thanks for responding.

    I’d agree that the board would be and are delighted with Wenger’s work. I think the particulars of a football club are such that it doesn’t just exist to make profits though, and that there is a second accountability to fans regarding matters on the pitch, and that we have a right to ask questions such as I’ve asked – obviously many here and Wenger himself disagree though (given vetted questions at the AGM).

    Think this site is a little to reverential in tone for me so I’ll leave my comments there and wish everyone and the team good luck for the rest of the season.

  64. Rasp says:

    Thanks Jekyll, the romantic in me would like to think that football clubs are not ‘just businesses’, but my logical head and all the evidence suggests that although the fans are an important part of the revenue stream, the Board is not accountable to anyone except the shareholders and that performance is judged primarily in financial terms and footballing achievements second although the two are obviously linked.

    The manor of your comments is certainly not out of place on this site, but you are correct that the general stance is to support rather than denigrate – none of which should not preclude you from becoming a contributor.

  65. Red Arse says:

    Hi Jekyll,

    I think you have the right to pose your questions and I am fervently anti-censorship. As I said in my original comment your questions are valid.

    I am sorry I did not make myself clearer. But my beef with your comment, and those of so many like minded fans, is that you write on the blogs in a way that would not be acceptable in a real life face to face encounter.

    I asked you what your reaction would be if the same type of questions, phrased in a similarly hostile way, were asked of you in your working environment?

    If you asked your perfectly valid questions in a different and more socially acceptable way, however incisive they may be, I would have no problem with them.

    I simply feel Arsene is entitled to a little more respect than he is given by some people and it is becoming tiresome.

    I said I did not want to discuss this further, but you have responded in an intelligent and non aggressive manner and so I believe I would be wrong not to explain my position. Taking a couple of the questions you raised, can I suggest how they could be phrased without the rancour?

    The following are not intended as ‘model answers’ but they do put your questions across in a way that few would fault.

    1)– What was your role in the appointment of Ivan Gazidis? Who at the club has the authority to sack you, an employee, were it required?

    1a)– Did you have any direct input into the recruitment of the Chief Executive? If so, is he your Line Manager, with all that implies?

    2)– What does Pat Rice do? What input does he have on tactics and team selection?

    2a)– Can you describe the role and responsibilities of your assistant Pat Rice. Do they include an input on recruitment of new players and team tactics and selections?

    3)– Who do you turn to, to question and challenge you and your decisions?

    3a)– Does your Line Manager regularly meet with you to discuss the achievement or otherwise of your goals or targets?

    4)– Why do you persist with certain playes who let you and the club down so frequently?

    4a)–Do you regularly meet with players to discuss their performances against expected levels and outline areas for improvement?

    5)– Why do you use certain phrases – such as ‘mental strength’ – so frequently? Do you think repetition enhances or dilutes meaning?

    5a)– When discussing the teams attributes, post match, who are these comments aimed at? The fans or to encourage the players?

    You might think my suggestions are bollox, and that’s an end to it.

    I have no objections to you commenting on AA and if I agree with you I will say so. If I don’t I will say so too, hopefully without antagonizing you. :-)

  66. 26may1989 says:

    Jekyll

    In fact, Wenger has made himself more open to shareholder questions than any other manager around. And what did he get for that? Abusive, ill-informed inquisition from backseat driver type fans, intent on second-guessing tactics, team selection and transfer policy, and making points rather than trying genuinely to elicit information. Can anyone imagine the likes of Ferguson, Redknapp or Mourinho even countenancing such a thing?

    Yes, Wenger enjoys his position and his salary at the whim of the club and as the fans whose dedication and funds are the lifeblood of the club, we are entitled (even obliged) to express our views about his performance, and he is responsible for everything to do with the playing aspects of the club.

    But given how emotive it is to be a football fan, I don’t think it’s a good idea for someone in his position to be subject to detailed direct scrutiny by shareholders or fans – I would be delighted if it were different and a sensible dialogue were possible but having seen how it played out in reality, I see little prospect of something meaningful ever being available again. A shame that some of our number behaved in the disrespectful way they did.

  67. Red Arse says:

    26,

    Well said!

    The ‘incisive’ questions voiced on the blogs and elsewhere are invariably footling and I suspect their purpose is simply to give the questioner a vicarious thrill in asking them in an agressive and abusive manner.

    In truth the questions posed by Jekyll above are pointless and easily dealt with by anodyne replies because what would be the import of the answers to them?

    The answers to Jekyll’s questions above could be answered;

    Yes; yes; no; no; the players! So what would be learned? Nothing much.

  68. 26may1989 says:

    Actually, going back to Jekyll’s original questions, I quite like the one about who questions and challenge Wenger. I don’t think the confrontational style of questioning Jekyll implicitly has in mind is worthwhile (and I cross-examine witnesses as part of my job, so for once I do have some idea what I’m talking about here). But with Wenger and Ferguson having been in post for so long, and (whatever the naysayers might say) having been so successful, it must be hard for anyone internally to do anything real to challenge the manager in a constructive sense.

    None of us really knows what goes on at that plush training ground, but from the outside it does look like Wenger isn’t going to face robust questions from his coaching team – Rice, Primorac and the others no doubt all do a very good job, but they don’t look like the ones that would go and say to Wenger “You know what, you got that wrong”. I could be wrong of course, but that’s my impression.

    The manager needs to operate as a benign dictator, not subject to meddling and micro-management from those who know less than him. The whole job is built around judgment and it demands reasonable latitude in order to work. But after all these years, perhaps it feels a bit too cosy for Wenger at times too. I sometimes wonder if Steve Bould is ever tempted to have a say, even though he’s a youth team coach – he’s got fire in his belly and must have strong views about how the game should be played, especially when he sees some of our brilliantly talented players self-destructing. But is he close enough to Wenger to be able to make his views known? I don’t know, but it would be no bad thing if he is.

  69. RockyLives says:

    Jekyll appears to have checked out.
    Maybe he’ll come back as Hyde, with some comments supportive of AW?

  70. Red Arse says:

    Rocky, :-)

    26, as I said I had no problems with the questions, though they are hardly earth shattering, and I would not ask them myself, but the manner they were couched in. But enough.

    Your comment at 6:20 is very fair. On a personal level, I found, early on in my career, great frustration in trying to convince more senior managers that a particular course of action was the correct one.

    The solution was to make ‘confirmative’ asides that enabled first one, then the other, to convince themselves the idea for the solution was theirs’.

    Perhaps Arsene, who is human after all, needs someone, not to challenge him directly, but to manage him into seeing the problem and the proposed solution and to make him feel he has ownership of it.

    Is that part of an assistant coaches role? It should be, but it is not an easy skill to learn.

    Come on Pat, you can do it! :-)

  71. chas says:

    Interesting post, Harry.

    Q4.I’m not sure Arsene would agree his team had ever played atrociously in the first half!

    We’re definitely a second half team. Though, how often do we say we need a early goal to open up the opposition?

  72. dandan says:

    I find the continual suggestion that Pat Rice is a Jobsworth who does as he is told highly improbable. This is a man who went from kicking a football against the walls of Highbury, to Captain of both club and Country, Despite being told he wouldn’t make it in the first place. He has got where he is by Character and hard work not the qualities of your everyday yes man.

    In my working life my instruction to my managers at all levels was, “if you want change you must delegate upwards” I have no reason to suspect Wenger is any different. A man of his intelligence and mental prowess would IMHO be more likely to dispose of the services of the likes Of Rice and Bould where they not to do so.
    The other great sign that they are a management team is the lack of gossip or whinging that emanates not only from the management team but from players past and present

  73. Red Arse says

    Perhaps Arsene, who is human after all, needs someone, not to challenge him directly, but to manage him into seeing the problem and the proposed solution and to make him feel he has ownership of it.

    A woman is what you mean Red Arse, Arsene needs a woman by his side. Simples and I know just the girl ;)

  74. RockyLives says:

    dandan
    Really well said.

    I hear so many people moaning about Rice – and none of them have the faintest idea what he does or doesn’t do in the Arsenal set-up.

    He’s clearly such a rubbish first team coach that all he can point to as his coaching successes is this paltry list: F.A. Youth Cup winner 1988, 1994. League Championship 1998, 2002, 2004. F.A. Cup winners 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005

    Clearly hasn’t got a clue what he’s doing…

  75. RockyLives says:

    Let’s start a campaign to get Peaches hired as Arsene’s “Business and Life Coach”!!!

  76. Gooner in Exile says:

    Rocky you forgot assisting in producion of Adams, Merson, Davis, Thomas, Rocastle etc when he was Youth Coach.

    More important matters pass has been granted for Saturday, off to book ticket, bit gutted as there were a couple available near Red Action earlier they’ve gone, but quite a few more on now.

  77. mickydidit89 says:

    Very Great Article Harry. Thank you.
    I would ask Arsene whether he shares my concerns about Pat Rice looking increasingly like Elton John. Perhaps he is taking on work on the side as a lookey-likey and in the process becoming distracted. I would also ask whether he has a “spare” for the Utd game.
    Nite anyone.

  78. micky – you have a ticket for Saturday :)

    Ticket fairy over and out …….

    Just get me that job and our problems will all be solved although I’m not sure I could do a lot about Almunia :oops:

  79. Gooner in Exile says:

    North Bank Area 9, row 20 happy days :D

  80. Big Raddy says:

    Let us hope for no injuries tonight.

    Bendtner playing again tonight in the lone striker role. Been anonymous in the first half and keeps drifting out to the wings or going deep, thereby denying Denmark an outball.

    1-1 at HT. Kom nu Danmark!

  81. RockyLives says:

    Jack has played the first half. Hope he doesn’t come out for the second.

    Jagielka has looked very dodgy at the back (it’s funny how all the pessimists think that all these players from other clubs will be the answer to our problems).

  82. dandan says:

    RVP injured again. taken off for RVN

  83. Evonne says:

    Change of subject anyone?
    I have told you guys that I am not a technical kind of fan, but my heart is in the right place, ie at the Emirates. AND I have just had an idea…
    The Scoucers are coming to us in April and as usual they will taunt us with the ‘Where’s your european cup’. Well, how about if we all replied singing Louis Armstrong ‘We’ve got all the time in the world….’
    I think that could be really funny, no?

  84. RockyLives says:

    Jack on for the second half. Thanks Fabio.

  85. Big Raddy says:

    Please pretty please let RvP’s substitution be precationary

  86. Harry says:

    Evening all, cannot believe I have just sat down and totally missed the responses to my post….
    I am up in 6 hours!! so I have read very quickly the core of responses…..

    GIE|: that question about the budget was a good one and evonne, your question about whether he reads blogs was a good one, I wondered if he logged on here and answered the questions…….

    Micky – quality if he has a spare for united game ask for me as well……only game I havent got a ticket for………

  87. Harry says:

    Red Arse: Your forgiven………

    I need sleep now, sorry I havent been able to respond to all comments today, so busy, contract closes on thursday so maxed out…..

  88. Vicky says:

    A few more questions for AW
    1. Why he continues to persist with jokers such as Denilson, Diaby, Eboue, Almunia, Bendtner and so many more.
    2. Why is the wage bill so high considering we do not have that many superstars in our team
    3. Why the likes of jokers (mentioned in 1 above) draw wages in region of 50-60k pounds per week.
    4. Is AW scared of handling big players
    5. What made him say that this was his best squad ever (best squad win a few things)
    6. Why not restrict the one year contract policy to over 33-34 and not to 30years.
    7. The most important will he change back to the old AW going for winning trophies or will we have to bear with the torture of seeing these ‘youth jokers’ day in and day out
    8. If he is so good with transfers prices howcome he missed out on so many good opportunities recently (last 2 years)
    9. Does he think that fans have a say in a club because if fan base wasnt there, he and his jokers wouldnt have earned their unjustified millions.
    10. Is he accountable to anyone???

  89. johnQ says:

    you’re a sad man vicky..

  90. Gooner in Exile says:

    Morning Vicky

    Answers…..

    1. Three of the players you mentioned are under 25, the other 2 are purely squad players. Thierry was 22 when he arrived at Arsenal, he had played 161 senior games and scroed 31 goals. Bendtner is 23 has played 195 senior games and scored 58 goals. So judge him for what he achieves from now on, and even then don’t judge him until he is playing 90 minutes regularly, Nik B has achieved those numbers with majority sub appearances.

    2. As far as I am aware player wages are not separately disclosed in the financial statements so I wonder where you get the information that the wage cost is high. Total Staff Costs were £110million, in a company employing 416 people (66 players, 42 coaches, 220 admin staff, 88 ground staff).

    So lets guess that admin staff get London average wages (£7.6 million), ground staff get slightly more (£3.5 million), Wenger reportedly earned £5 million in 2009/10. The rest for football staff. Lets assume coaches earn average £500k per annum thats (£20.5m).

    That means average player wage is £21k per week. Considering there are players like Cesc, and RVP on a lot more than that (Cesc £100k for example), I don’t think our wages are that high.

    3. See answer to No 2

    4. Cesc, Bergkamp, Viera, Pires, Adams, Wright, Henry…. really scared!

    5. Because he believes it is, and as a 25 man “squad” he may just be right.

    6. Thierry at 28 was given a new four year deal, taking him to 32, it was only any future extensions that would have been 1 year.

    7. I’m sure you’d prefer to win a couple of trophies, but most of us fans care about the long term future of the club, Wengers early success was based on players that had been nurtured and developed at the Arsenal, this is the same as the current crop of youngsters coming through now.

    8. Because we obviously didn’t have the funds, and sorry how much have Man Utd spent in last two years, bearing in mind they are the only team ahead of us, and I would also offer Koscielny and Vermaelen as successes.

    9. I’m sure he doesn’t think they have a say but he knows they care

    10. Himself, like Ferguson and many other top managers

  91. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning all.
    It would be interesting to see a survey carried out amongst supporters of all clubs with the question “Which other Premiership Manager would you most like to see at your club should your existing one die/be exposed in a SUN scandal for an unsavouy act?”.
    Lets face it, there are only going to be two answers, and I know who I think would get most votes!

  92. mickydidit89 says:

    Vicky,
    Were you in the Fortnum’s area on saturday wearing a black balaclava? You sound a little angry!

  93. Mickeyk says:

    Wenger will be a legend and is a legend .But his time is UP.His experiment has not worked.he should go as soon as possibile and take half the players with him.Watch us struggle V Blackburn this weekend .wenger put us on another level but has gone backwards.Wenger Out .

  94. mickydidit89 says:

    Mickeyk,
    Just suppose we stuff Blackburn, then what?
    Hope you are not going to the game.

  95. chas says:

    My god, there’s so much hate around. ):

  96. Mickeyk says:

    Good questions vicky.Moses hit the nail on the head.Wenger Out please not another season of hope only to be let down again if he’s such a good manager why can’t he see this team just hasn’t got it.

  97. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas,
    Too true.
    Thing is, I have a hunch. We are second, Blackburn are about 12th and we are at home, so that makes me think we are in with a shout.
    ps Loved your Al Pacino clip yesterday.

  98. London says:

    I would just like to borrow an expression from else where for a moment.

    GIE…..you are a star.

  99. mickydidit89 says:

    Mickeyk,
    “why can’t he see this team just hasn’t got it”. Are you referring to the near First XI that beat Chelsea and Barca at home (Utd soon) or the injury hit Second XI?

  100. Evonne says:

    Chas – is this RVP’s little girl?

  101. Evonne says:

    Morning all, I feel that some of you guys (the core AA) are banging your heads against a brick wall, repeating times and times again that AFC are playing wonderfull football, that we are second in the most demanding league in the world, that we have incredible talent coming through the youth academy and mostly that Wenger is the very man who elevated us from mid table midiocre team to one of the best teams in the world (bestest in the world in my opinion). The ‘infidels’ would not listen, they will try to dampen your spirit and drag you down.

    But I will say what I said last night – Louis Armstrong ‘We’ve got all the time in the world…..’

  102. 26may1989 says:

    @Vicky: I sympathise on the club’s policy on player wages (it’s not only one for Wenger). The very sane Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (which I recommend joining) has over the last few years been voicing concerns over the growth of this key cost item and it is now high. They have discussed the issue directly with Ivan Gazidis and before him Ken Friar.

    Player wages are high because the club made a strategic decision when the stadium had to be financed to focus efforts on a core of young players, cheap to recruit and initially cheap to pay. But to keep that squad secure from raids by richer rivals, and therefore to achieve stability and unity, it was decided wages would grow across the squad. We opted out of the Liverpool style model of paying a few megastars megabucks and the rest (in football terms) pretty modest wages.

    I see the logic of that policy, and I don’t share your views of the squad players you pick on, but with a large squad we now have a very high net wage bill. To keep the books balanced and to develop the players, that squad needs a bit of pruning.

    Your questions about Wenger’s accountability are strange. No serious football fan wants managers to operate looking over their shoulders, to succeed they need latitude. They are accountable, of course, to the Board and through the Board to the fans. I think the anti Wenger brigade that’s grown while we’ve been building a new stadium is crazily deluded, unable or unwilling to put things in context, which in my view shows the last five years have actually been a success, even without the trophies we all crave. But I accept that if you anti Wengerites carry the day and form a solid majority of Arsenal fans, Wenger would have to go. To me, that would be a disaster and I will fight tooth and nail to try to convince your kind that you’re wrong.

  103. Raddy – are you about, I’ve read the post in drafts, do you want to chat about it?

  104. Gooner in Exile says:

    As a follow on from my little aside about Wages earlier I tried to find out similar info for the other Top 5, was surprised to find that I have not found info on either Man Utd or Chelsea from the clubs website, Arsenal, Spurs and Man City have the information easily accessible on the club website.

    Unfortunately neither City or Spurs are particularly open splitting the staff numbers so it is impossible to work the split, but if we calculated an average of Total Wages over Total Staff:

    Arsenal : £5,085 per week
    Spurs : £4,442 per week
    Man City : £6,207 per week

    I do know total wages 2009/10, for all:

    Chelsea £172.6million (84% of revenue)
    Spurs £67 million (56% of revenue)
    Arsenal £110 million (47% of revenue)
    Man Utd £132 million (46% of revenue)
    Man City £133 million (106% of revenue)

    Strange how the two least spends in terms of wages vs revenue are the top 2 in the league…..When does financial fair play come in?

  105. Evonne says:

    GIE – AFC and ManU have bigger revenue than say Spuds, so our 47% of the revenue is considerably more than Spurs 56%

  106. Gooner in Exile says:

    I understand that Evonne, but it proves we have the means to spend. If you look though compared to number of employees Spurs works out at £500 per week less than us.

  107. Evonne says:

    GIE – of course you understand, you are an accountant :) Frankly, I am surprised that we spend as much as that. I was always under the impression that our players are on relatively low wages, hence the Cashley Cole saga

  108. ‘We have all the time in the world’ – well done Evonne :)

  109. Rasp – I have to say that the pic of Arsene in this post is a masterpiece – well done to you

  110. Rasp says:

    Thanks peaches, I thought it fitted the post. I was pleased with yesterday’s one of Almunia as it showed him as dignified yet there was an underlying almost pleading look in his eye.

  111. 26may1989 says:

    Exile: The financial position has slightly moved on since the figures for 2009-10 were published, since half-year results were issued for the period up to the end of November 2010. The AST published a note on it (at http://www.arsenaltrust.org/recent-news.php?article=345&id=&year=), the text of which I’ve pasted below. As you can see, they predict that player wages are about to go over the 50% of revenue mark. Still way below the nutters and cheats at Chelsea and City, but it is a growing item.

    AST statement on Arsenal Holdings plc financial results for the six months ended 30 November 2010

    “Today’s results explain why the AST has been pushing for more than three years for the club to improve its commercial revenues. The AST has met with all of the new commercial team members recruited by Ivan Gazidis for this purpose. It is an excellent team already making good progress on this objective.

    “As the AST correctly anticipated, even with the sale of Eduardo and a contribution from the property business, the club has made a small pre-tax loss. This is in part due to commercial income being static for several years as a result of the long-term deals signed to fund the building of the Emirates

    “Arsenal’s football costs are growing faster than their football revenues. The wage bill is set to increase by almost £10m this financial year on top of a similar increase the year before. We anticipate that by year end the wages to turnover ratio will have risen above the 50% for the first time since the move to the Emirates

    “Players’ wages are an issue across the football world and if other clubs continue to ignore both the spirit and the law of UEFA’s financial fair play regulations then it will be supporters who end up paying the price.

    “The AST has today urged Ivan Gazidis not to pass on the increased costs of running the business, including player wages, to Arsenal fans. We already face an increase in season ticket prices due to the VAT increase and fear any further increases will price some fans out of the Emirates.

    “Instead of raising ticket prices the club must now expedite other forms of income. The new commercial team have to now deliver a successful overseas tour this summer and bring in some additional commercial revenues.

    “Despite the small loss and challenges identified, Arsenal’s underlying finances are healthy and we expect a small profit to be secured for year end. The AST supports Arsenal’s self-sustaining business model and remain of the view it is being well managed.

    “The club’s cash reserves grew by £10million and the money set aside in the Transfer Proceeds Accounts remains ring-fenced for the manager.

    “The AST today told Ivan Gazidis of the frustration our members feel when these resources are not used for team strengthening and urged the club to invest in further improving the squad this summer.

    “Ivan Gazidis emphasised a lot of hard work and analysis goes in to ensuring the club gets the best return for its investment in the player pool in terms of wages and transfer fees and he remains confident he, Arsene and the team are following strategies that gives us the best chance of securing long-term success with the resources available.”

  112. Evonne says:

    Peaches, Rasp – I liked the picture of AW coz he reminded me of a certain Ralph, with all the wrinkles :)

  113. Gooner in Exile says:

    26 I only had like for like to go on.

    I read with interest on release the 6 month figures one thing that struck me was that the turnover did not include any accrued income of prize money paid at the end of the season, I understood that meant all CL prize money and PL prize money, what wasn’t clear was whether the TV rights money for those competitions was included or whether that is considered to be included in prize money and therefore also excluded.

    Most of Citys increased revenue has come from sponsorship from the Sheikh related companies yet revenue still did not cover salary.

    Of greater interest to me when looking at Citys results was the increase in Interest payable, it appears the Sheikh is charging interest on his Investments.

    Abramovichs loans were all interest free before he converted them to equity. I wonder what he expects back come the day he decides he wants out?

  114. Mickeyk says:

    I am going to the game .watch us struggle Theres no way we will win the league we haven’t got the bottle.Ive heard Lehmann had a mare .Let’s hope he plays then .he’ll still be better than almuniaGonners don’t get your hopes up again about the league you’ll only be let down.no way will we trash Blackburn dream on .watch us struggle we’ve gone sad to sad.ARSENAL what’s gone wrong again .WAKE UP GONNERS.

  115. Mickeyk says:

    ARSENE =GADDAFI .

  116. Mickeyk says:

    someone has mention man-u at home we haven’t hat a chance against man u .they will hit us on the break again and beat us I know that NOW but that’s what will happen against man u and wenger won’t even stop it . This game will show us for what we are again not good enough .if we still need the points then (witch I doubt) we will fluff it.gaddafi out

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