Wenger on Transfers

One of the fuels that has fed the fire of discontent among Arsenal supporters this summer is the sense that we are being misled by the club.

When the club speaks, through the mouth of the Manager or the Chief Executive, some fans refer to “spin and PR bullsh*t” designed to placate the faithful or, more cynically (in some people’s opinion), to con them into renewing season tickets with the hint of big name transfers that will never materialise.

I have been convinced all along that we will still make at least one big name signing this summer (although whether it comes before the season starts is another matter).

But if I question the basis for this conviction, I have to ask myself whether it really stacks up – because I realise it comes from me pinning a huge amount of faith in what Arsene Wenger said in May about being very active in the transfer market.

Why would he lie? What would be the point? (I don’t buy the “get them to renew their season tickets” line). He clearly felt he needed to strengthen his squad, he said he would do so, so why would he not?

The problem is, those who doubt that we will make few if any more signings are also able to point to AW’s words to back up their case.

It seems that we each hear what we want to hear and ignore what contradicts our pre-formed opinion.

So are Arsene’s words really so contradictory? Is he really sending out such mixed messages that some fans can practically smell the dubbin on Juan Mata’s boots, while others hear only tumbleweed blowing through the arrivals room at the Emirates?

There was only one way to find out. Starting from late April I have gathered as many AW quotes about transfers as I could find (apologies if I have missed some). The dates are approximate because some may reflect the dates on which the comments were reported rather than the dates they were made. I have also added a relevant quote about transfers from Ivan Gazidis.

Here they are, with time line…

April 22nd
On being asked at a press conference whether he had as much as £40 million at his disposal:
“Is [that] available? Frankly I don’t know. We have not completely checked out our financial position. The only thing I can say is that the Club is in a healthy financial situation and, if needed, we can make a big transfer.
“I don’t [expect a busy summer] at all. The team is 23 years-old [on average] so why should we expect to have a huge turnover at the end of the season?”

April 23rd
”Why should we sell Cesc [even if we received a ‘silly’ offer]? In our job it is difficult to know what is silly money. We have built our team around Cesc and we have Wilshere now as well and we want to keep doing that.
”We are talking to Nasri and his agent already and we have the same situation with Clichy. We have agreed to speak about it during the summer.
 
I am very optimistic [that they will stay].”

May 1st
In response to a question about whether the team needed more experience:
“The team has accumulated a lot of experience despite their age. They are 23 on average but football-wise they are 26 or 27. I gave them a chance to play at a young age and I don’t regret that. 

Maybe I could have got some more experienced players but it is too easy to say that. They [the current squad] are very close to their peak.
“We need to strengthen some areas but we have the quality. 

At the moment we have to face some scepticism, but we have to keep believing in our strengths. These players all started at a very young age and they should be ready.
“We want, of course, to add what we need to add. I am very cautious with what I say because it can be turned both ways. I feel it is important for the Club that we keep faith in what we do.
“You can see that the players grow when they get the chance to play. Like Szczesny, for example, you can see already that compared to two months ago, he has already grown. It is a law in our game that you can only grow, at some stage, if you play. So people want both, they want to win every game and they want us to produce quality young players. But if Wilshere has grown this season it is because he played. But on the other hand, if you do not win, people say, ‘why do you play young players?’”

May 8th (After 3-1 Stoke defeat)
“Something has gone [and] you could see that today. We have to take a distance and make the right analysis of the season.”

May 15th (After 1-2 defeat to Villa)
“It is down to availability and quality. We don’t rule out any position and we don’t target any special position before the transfer market.
 
We look to strengthen every year of course. But first we look not to weaken because we want to keep all our players, and then we try to strengthen.
“It’s not about the number [of players], it’s the quality. I don’t want to give out a number [we’ll go for]”.
On conceding from set pieces:
“It has been [a problem]. We cannot deny that because we conceded more goals from set pieces than other teams. But you have to consider as well that we conceded 17 penalties.
”It is more about the size of our whole team in some games like Stoke. When you go out of the back three, after that we are quite short, especially when Abou Diaby wasn’t there for big games. When you have the defence plus Diaby and Alex Song, and you go to places like that, you can of course fight. 

Sometimes we’re one or two men short.
“The fans want to win football games. They will not check how much money we spend, they want to win football games. When we don’t, they are not happy and that is completely normal. We will try to strengthen our team, of course, but the best way to keep our fans happy is to win the games.”

May 20th
“We need to add, of course, and we will do. But we have a strong base.
 
We have enough quality to beat anyone in the world, even with the current squad. You have a Champions League Final and only one team has beaten both of them and that is Arsenal.
 
We have a good team and the best away team [in the Premier League]. The loss of the Carling Cup Final had a huge impact on the team and we did not handle it well.
 
It is not catastrophic and do not think we can go to Coventry and find the player who saves Arsenal Football Club.
“I always try to get value for money. That is the job of a football manager. 
 
In England, it is a bit more difficult because player inflation is higher than everywhere else. When you only have a few players at many clubs, the price is too high.”

May 22nd (After draw with Fulham 2-2)
“If you speak about the quality of the Club and the style of football we play we have many offers on the table for players who are desperate to join us. [But] if you speak only about money, we are certainly less attractive than some other teams.
“We will try to buy the right players. Spending is not a purpose, it’s not our goal. We want the right players. We cannot buy players for £50 million and, even if we try to strengthen our team and spend money if needed, that is fact.”

May 24th
“The market will be hyperactive because everyone believes financial fair play will happen soon. So we are quickly doing the last buying before the stores will be closed. And for the first time for a while, I will be very active, too.”

May 31st (French radio interview)
“We’ll invest in players who can bring something more to the team, and that won’t be easy.
“I am very active on the phone. Everyone is in a standby position, where everyone is waiting for the first step, expecting a super-transfer. It will move in late July and early August. Then we will analyse the gaps in each team.”

June 8th (Carl Jenkinson signed from Charlton)

July 2nd
“Everyone wants to make that great signing and I’m focused on those objectives and am very busy on the telephone.”

July 8th
“For me, the best thing is not to talk too much about it. The more you speak about things, the less chance you have to achieve them. The only thing that I can promise you is that we will work very hard and we have had some long nights to achieve what we want to achieve. I can understand [the impatience among the fans].
“Believe me, I know all the clubs in the world and everybody needs the same players for the same positions. If there were an obvious choice, people would have already made their decisions. We are at the top level and therefore need exceptional quality to strengthen our side. I can understand that people say ‘you have money, just go out and buy’. But it’s not only that, we want to find the quality we need.
“I have said many times that we were very close to winning things last season, despite the disappointment we had at the end. I hope that provokes a response from my players. We were so close this time we want to come back and achieve it. 

My responsibility is first of all not to lose players and then to add and make us stronger. 
Let’s hope we can bring in one or two more additions of top quality.”

July 13th
“Yes [I expect Cesc to stay]. As simple as that. I have never spoken about what has happened behind closed doors but Cesc loves the Club. We know the Barcelona story goes on for years now and we have to close that. Now we focus on the new season, hopefully with Cesc Fabregas.
”Yes [I expect Nasri to stay as well]. There is always speculation when a player has one year to go on his contract that he might leave the club but Samir Nasri is very happy at the Club and committed to stay at the Club. I hope he will sign a new contract but I am not the only one to decide that.

”Both of them (Bendtner and Almunia) are possible departures. They are talking to other clubs at the moment. I cannot tell you which ones.

“For us it is important that the team settles, psychologically, as quickly as possible because we have a tough start. We play all the big clubs away in the first half of the season.

 It is important that the players focus on the season and not the transfer market. The players who are here as well will ask ‘will he go? will he go?’ – that is not the way to prepare for the season.

“The plan for left back is that we have Kieran Gibbs, Armand Traore and Thomas Vermaelen can play there too. So we have what we need.”

July 18th (Gervinho signed from Lille)

July 18th (Ivan Gazidis):
“If we found an established world-class player and we thought the economics made sense and he would add to what we could do on the pitch then there’s no philosophical objection to that.
Arsène has no point of principle to show the world that he can build his own team of young players. That’s just not the way it is. 

It’s easy to lose perspective on what Arsène is trying to do, which, I think, is an extraordinary vision but if you look around here, the fans we have around the world, that vision is very attractive and very, very powerful. We should be proud of that.

“We still will be active in this window. We haven’t finished our business at all. We’re just not conducting it publicly; we’re working hard privately.
 
We understand where the weaknesses have been. Financially we’re in a strong position, we have resources to spend. We’re certainly not sitting there saying ‘let’s hold back on our resources’ for some reason, why would we?
 
The resources are there. We’ve got a substantial amount of money that we can invest. The important thing for us, which can be frustrating, is not doing it only in response to a public clamour but in a way that can positively impact our performance next year. That’s the focus now.”

July 23rd
“Certainly, we will have to find one more defender. We [are] working on it.
 
I can promise we work very hard on it. In fairness, everybody looks for players. Everybody looks for the same area and you see that nobody turns up with magic. It’s all about being steady, working very hard on it and being calm as well.
 
I don’t want to comment individually because I do not want to destabilise clubs. I do not want to do to other clubs what some clubs do to us so I wouldn’t like to comment individually on any player.”

July 30th
“Our business will be done sooner rather than later but it is difficult to speak about any individual player because that makes things difficult. I cannot complain about other clubs talking about our players and then do the same.
“I like the player [Mata], but that does not mean we will buy him. The other player [Jagielka] is under contract at Everton. If we want to buy a player, we need first the agreement of their club.

At the moment the rules are constructed in a way where it is basically forbidden to speak about one individual player. I know that not everybody respects it, but I try to do as well as I can.
”At the moment you have two categories of movement, one from zero to 10 million, and one from 30 to 50 million. We are in between. In between nothing happens at the moment, there has been very little movement. All over Europe our industry is basically in a very bad financial situation. All the clubs who live from the money which football generates do not buy. The only clubs who buy at the moment in Europe are ones who buy with money which is not generated by our industry. There are two categories of club – those who travel with sweat and those who travel with petrol. We are those who travel with sweat.”

August 6th
“Ideally I would have finished all [our business] but it doesn’t work like that. We
work very hard, we are non-stop working throughout the summer. I am positive because we have good quality and a style of play that is known by the players. So we want to add not quality but super quality.
“You have to identify the players, agree with clubs to get them out, agree the fee. That means they have to agree with you and they have to find another player before they release their players. In England, it is a lot more difficult to move during the summer because some people are not there. It’s all kinds of things you meet during the transfer market. But I can understand the impatience of people.
And are Arsenal close to a new signing?

 “No, not at the moment. We hope to give you some good news soon. Next week, something might happen.”

So, what conclusions can we draw.

For me it’s the realisation that substantial new signings are perhaps less likely than I imagined. For every positive noise from Arsene, there are two warnings about the difficulty of finding the right players, of getting value for money, of not blocking the opportunities for our youth players to come through, of how we can’t compete financially with some top teams and so on.

I have been listening to the positive noises and screening out the cautious ones.

But I also think the quotes indicate that Arsene intended to buy players and buy them early, but found his hands tied. Tied, presumably, partly by the Fabregas/Nasri sagas and partly by the fact that it has perhaps been more difficult to get his men than he has expected.

Certainly there are inconsistencies in the messages that have been coming from both him and Ivan Gazidis. “We can buy if we want, we have the money… ah, but it’s harder than you think and we have to make sure we don’t stop our young talents from coming through.”

With the quotes all together I can see where the frustration among a proportion of the fan base comes from.

But with Arsene saying as recently as July 23rd that he will “certainly” add one more defender, I expect that to happen soon. Whether it will be a name to quieten the skeptics, or another “experienced” but jobbing CB like Squillaci or Silvestre, only time will tell.

More worryingly, as Arsene himself stated clearly on July 13th, the uncertainty over key players’ futures undoubtedly unsettles the whole squad – and the fact that such uncertainty is still rumbling on as the start of the season heaves into view is surely not a good thing.

RockyLives

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178 Responses to Wenger on Transfers

  1. Rasp says:

    Morning Rocky, a very fair and honest analysis from someone who I know always wants to focus on the positives.

    At the end of the day, the so-called financial prudence / much admired business model / whatever you want to call it, is the problem.

    To be a top European club and yet not be prepared to pay even half decent money for a player we need unless we can sell an established star is evidence of our self imposed financial straightjacket . Our collateral and resources are immense and yet we protect them like sacred jewels instead of making our money work for us.

  2. London says:

    And the transfer window closed when?

  3. Jacobs says:

    For Christ sake, what does it take Wenger to sign experience defender? He shouldnt toy with us.

  4. WiganGooner says:

    Great article Rocky, analysing the state of the nation at Arsenal as it stands.

    I still think there is time for us to make the changes we need and be competitive this season.

    There are clear deficiencies outside of the first choice 11 that need addressing and I do believe Arsenal and Arsene when they say they are working on transfers, it doesn’t make sense to bleat about it and do nothing, all it will do is continue this disengaged feeling between the club and the fanbase.

    I for one haven’t thrown in the towel and I believe Arsenal still have the potential to do very well next season, but we do need additions in the squad, which it is clear seem to hang on the Nasri/Cesc saga.

    While we have their wages on our books and their transfers not finalised we will be hamstrung on new purchases. Any club would be, annoying as it is.

    WG

  5. Adsgooner4life says:

    Morning Rocky,
    Fabregas aside with BFC not stumping up the correct money.It is becoming obvious reading between many lines/quotes in the media blogs etc.That AFC are lying and DO NOT have money.
    AFC needed to stump up the money for quality like Mata especially as Fabregas is getting nearer and nearer to leaving.Also AFC would actually show ambition but doing so.Rememeber AFC season ticket holders have kept ther faith and brought into AFC by paying the highest season tickets in the WORLD,season ticket holders are justified in wanting quality signings,Wenger said 20-30m AFC would pay not 50m.Conclusion,what message is it to other clubs and fans,AFC have to sell Fabregas before they can afford Mata that is becoming so CLEAR.

  6. WiganGooner says:

    @Adsgooner4life.

    It doesn’t make sense for Arsenal not to have money. They have received enough money in transfer fees and a certain percentage of that needs to be re-invested in the first team.

    I just think they have a wage budget and they need to shift cesc and nasri off of it.

    WG

  7. WiganGooner says:

    Gotta go, be back later on tonight.

    WG

  8. RGG says:

    We need a top striker to cover the crock RVP. (must be able to play 30 games+)

    We need 2 world class players to replace Nasri & Cesc (Mata and Sneijder – yeah right!!!!)

    We need a DM to rival Song.

    We need a Left Back to cover the crock Gibbs (must be able to play 30games+)

    We need 2 CB’s (Cahill & Samba – no chance!!) Kick out Squallaci

    We need a GK – Chesney learns at No2

    If we sign ONE player I’ll be amazed.

    As for selling off the deadwood – not looking too good either – who’d want dross like Bednter or Vela at the salaries we pay them. NO-ONE.

    In Arsene We Rust.

  9. Red Arse says:

    Morning Rocky, :-)

    One day you must write a detailed Post on this subject! :-)

  10. jex says:

    Let’s Admit it, Wenger is a rigid person.

  11. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with anything that either AW or Gazidis have said. They are naturally trying to give the fans some information but also trying to remain discrete about who they are looking at, because ‘thems the rules’ and Arsenal always try to comply with them!

    The quotes can be seen to relate to two main areas: First players.

    Many people think Song is OK as a defensive midfielder. Yet some years ago when he was still learning his trade, many were calling for his head. If we had brought in an experienced player Song would have gone. That is what Wenger means when he says a new signing could ‘kill’ a young player coming thru’.

    The second area addressed by the quotes relates to: Finance.

    There are clubs who have sugar daddies and pay no heed to normal financial restrictions or business sense. Citeh, Chelsea, Manyoo. They identify a player and go and get him, whatever the cost. That is great for their fans who do not give a monkeys to where the money came from, because they win trophies, but is unfortunate for the fans of the second group of clubs who cannot spend that sort of money … and don’t win trophies.
    There is no secret to the juxtaposition of big player expenditure and winning trophies. I could mange a team to win the EPL with sufficient funds made available to me!

    The second group of clubs, which includes us, have to live within their means, and cannot and will not spend exorbitant sums on what will always be speculative transfers. What AW has done is gift us some superlative football which everyone, Gooners and others, can enjoy. The downside is that it has not yet brought trophies. YET being the operative word.

    So what is the beef? Truisms, and commonsense approaches to the two areas mentioned above, remain true in whatever year they are said, and therefore appear to be the ‘same old same old’, because that is what they are. Commonsense and true!

    Fans who then see the team implode and win bugger all by way of trophies then see those wise words as cop outs and excuses for not buying.

    Arsene has called it correctly. (1) Identify a player(s) (2) agree a fee with the other club (3) agree a contract with the player.

    Each of those stages has its own problems and is not entirely within the control of either the buying or the selling club, or even the player, unless huge sums are thrown at the ‘problem’.

    Arsenal (Arsene Wenger) does not have huge sums to throw at these ‘problems’ so give the guy a break.

  12. wally says:

    We only buy ‘super’ quality. That’s why we have squillaci and almunia and eboue and denilson and……

    Our defence is solid, the boss himself said so.

  13. HateTheMancs says:

    About Chris Smalling – man of the match? I thought it was his mistake that led to Dzeko’s goal?

  14. sig says:

    the highest ticket prices in the world should equate to signing world class players

    we need to seriously strengthen the squad if we are serious about qualifying for the CL

  15. London says:

    Hi Micky

    If Arsenal had conceded the two goals that United did there would have been screams of sack the manager throughout the Arsenal blog world.

    I find cries for Smalling as ridiculous, we showed an interest offered the same and he chose United that makes him an Anglo Saxon expletive.
    By contrast we signed Jenkinson who is Arsenal through and through but that is just quickly forgotten.

    Arsenal supporters that secretly wish they supported manu make me sick.

  16. London says:

    Sig

    We have a team that is more than capable of qualifying for the CL, we need to strengthen the squad to win the League, a subtle difference but an important one.

  17. London says:

    Wally

    I challenge you to find a quote that Wenger say the defense is solid.

  18. Ef says:

    The biggest problem of Gonners are we lost our faith to a manger who worked so hard for a club. We are disappointed we can’t get trophy for years, but if another came in with such a huge financial problem, do u think we still can keep at top 4? No one can tell the answer but I’m very doubt. Wenger is a great manger and I did complain as well, but if we not trust a manger who bring us such a record, no one we can trust then. I hope every fans support a manger who have done his best, and trust no one can do better than him with LIMITED RESOURSES.

  19. London says:

    RA

    Why didn’t you use that as a post, you know there is a shortage.

  20. London says:

    EF

    You will find plenty of appreciative Wengerites on this site.

  21. dandan says:

    Something from todays Times to stoke the fires a little

    Ticket prices are high and rising and supporters’ groups are demanding a reality check. Here it is: fans still flock to Premier League matches in their millions, still pay small fortunes to follow their teams, even as jobs are lost, the stock market falters and the world economy stutters.

    Sometimes a statistic can be so unremarkable that it is striking. The average stadium occupancy rate in the Premier League was 92.2 per cent last season, down only 0.2 per cent from the year before. Figures have held steady for a decade, while in the first year of the Premier League, 1992-93, stadiums were on average at only 69.6 per cent of capacity. The overall picture was static, with only West Ham United and Wigan Athletic suffering serious declines, which can be explained simply by their dismal on-pitch performances. Half the teams play in stadiums that on average are at least 90 per cent full. Only the DW Stadium was typically less than 80 per cent packed.

    The Premier League is happy with the figures. “There was still a lot of interest in tough economic times in coming to watch Premier League football and the clubs do work hard in trying to fill their stadiums,” a spokesman said. “The ultimate marketing is the quality of play on the field and that is what people come to watch.”

    This season? The best guess is that in a year’s time there will have been another minor decline in attendances. The Times contacted each Premier League club at the end of last month to ask about season-ticket sales, and most proved that it is a sensitive subject by refusing to give a figure. Some clubs, clearly pleased with their numbers, were happy to oblige.

    Even after failing to lift a trophy last season, Chelsea have reached their chosen limit of 25,000 season tickets, as last year. Tottenham Hotspur have also hit their cap of 23,000. So have Norwich City, who have almost 22,000, only 5,000 short of the capacity of Carrow Road. Seats at the Liberty Stadium for Swansea City’s first Premier League campaign will be hard to secure, with 16,000 reserved for the season out of a 20,500 capacity.

    At top clubs, sell-outs will remain routine, but there are unseen shifts that doom-mongers may see as tremors presaging earthquakes: Manchester United games going on general sale; Arsenal fans far down the waiting list being offered season tickets. Tickets are still in demand, but no longer like gold dust. Cost-cutting by hardcore supporters has shown itself in half-empty away ends.

    Clubs may not be normal businesses, but like any company, they charge what they can get away with. Eleven teams have increased prices above the rate of inflation — which, in June, was 4.2 per cent. Arsenal raised fans’ hackles by pushing up season-ticket prices 6.5 per cent. As predicted in The Times last September, they have also become the first club to break into treble figures for a single ticket, now charging £100 for their most expensive non-corporate seat.

    Queens Park Rangers used promotion as an excuse for huge price hikes. In contrast, despite last winter’s rise in VAT, Wigan have frozen season-ticket prices for the fifth year in succession, Bolton Wanderers for the sixth year in a row. “Any club that puts up prices beyond or at the rate of inflation is not recognising the reality that the rest of the world has to live with,” Malcolm Clarke, the chairman of the Football Supporters’ Federation, said.

    “These are difficult times for people. Unless the Premier League clubs appreciate this, they may find they catch a nasty cold. Given the amounts of money in the Premier League, it’s about time regular match-going fans saw some benefit.

    “Even if the numbers aren’t going down, what’s happening to people on low or average incomes? You don’t want football to become just the province of the better off. It shouldn’t be like a business, they should have a sense of social responsibility. It’s not just how many they can get through the gates, it’s who they get.”

    In response, the Premier League says that it has undertaken demographics research that suggests its audience is diverse and youthful, 39 per cent of fans who attend matches being in the 18-34 age bracket and 13 per cent of season-ticket holders under 16.

    Dynamic price structures are in vogue, with plenty of clubs accepting the long-held criticism that the Premier League is effectively several divisions in one by setting price bands according to the perceived appeal of the opposition. Everton have even introduced a five-category structure and at least two money-off deals are planned. Some clubs will decide prices match by match and £10-a-seat special offers are in the pipeline at Blackburn Rovers.

    Such commendable initiatives will add a few thousand to the gate when small and medium-sized clubs play each other; a drop in the ocean, generating perhaps enough extra cash to pay an average first-team footballer’s wages for a week. Disparities are striking: the two highest-grossing clubs, Manchester United and Arsenal, each make more in revenue every two home fixtures than Blackburn and Wigan make in a season.

    Attendances are a useful indicator of popularity but no longer a central plank of elite football’s economy. In 2009-10, Blackburn reportedly collected £43 million in broadcast revenue but generated a paltry £6 million from match-day income. In other words, over an entire season, more than half a million supporters clicked through the turnstiles at Ewood Park and bought food and programmes. What did all that human traffic and all those economic transactions amount to? Enough to cover the wages of England’s best-paid player, Yaya Touré, of Manchester City, for seven months.

    You could be forgiven for wondering how much it really matters to clubs and the Premier League if stadiums are full or not. Of course it is important; packed houses look better on television. And without broadcast income, football’s fragile, debt-ridden economy would crash.

    The Premier League revealed last week that it is hoping to develop 3D immersion technology so advanced and convincing that armchair viewers will feel as if they are in the stands. The Emirates Stadium and Old Trafford might be at capacity, but there are 1.3 billion people in China and as yet only a small fraction are watching.

    Last year the Premier League concluded an overseas rights deal for 2010-13 worth £1.4 billion. This is more than double the previous figure, thanks to the league’s growing international appeal and fierce bidding wars in several countries. Rights in Singapore, the tiny city state with a population of five million, went for £200 million. A broadcaster in Hong Kong paid about £150 million.

    With an average crowd below 17,000, Wigan Athletic earn more from viewers in Singapore and Hong Kong than they do from people going through the turnstiles at the DW Stadium.

    While Premier League managers complain every season about player burn-out, it is no wonder that those who run Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Blackburn and Aston Villa were happy for their teams to tour the Far East this summer. They are positioning their brands, now and for the future, in a giant market that has plenty of room for expansion — unlike England, where revenue is no longer soaring. But nor is it slumping, not just yet.

  22. dandan says:

    Sorry Rocky I forgot to congratulate you on a well thought out and well timed post.

  23. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    I have just realised that I missed out two little words at the end of my comment, above.

    “so give the guy a break” should have been “so we should give the guy a break’.

    (I meant it to be more as a request and not as an imperative verb!) :-)

  24. Red Arse says:

    London,

    Re your 11:48. I cannot quite make my mind up whether you were obliquely referring to me as wanting to be a Man Utd supporter.

    I am intending to attend a number of Arsenal home games this season and to meet the others at the Tavern before the game. If you are there, you can tell me what you meant to my face!

  25. goonerbegood says:

    WHEN WILL ALL OF YOU FELLOW GOONERS REALIZE THAT WENGER WILL NOT SIGN ANY MORE PLAYERS.

    WE AS SUPPORTERS HAVE TO FACE FACTS,THE CLUB DON’T HAVE MONEY TO SIGN ANY MORE PLAYERS AS THEYARE WAITING FOR WHAT HAPPENS WITH NASRI AND CESC BEFORE THEY BUY.

    THE CLUB CAN’T COMPETE WITH OTHER RICH CLUB OWNERS.

    WE HAVE WHAT WE HAVE AND WE NEED TO GET BEHIND THE TEAM AND STOP MOANING,WE CAN MOAN FROM NOW TILL NOVEMBER ,WENGER ,WILL NOT SIGN ANY MORE PLAYERS.THE BOARD DON’T HAVE MONEY TO SPEND ON WORLD CLASS PLAYERS ONLY MEDIOCRE PLAYERS.

    WE HAVE TO ACCEPT IT AND GIVE OUR FULL SUPPORT TO THE TEAM.

  26. London says:

    RA

    Have you ever whined about the club for not signing Smalling? No. Then my comment was not aimed at you.

    In fact it was no more than a general rant out into the ether.

  27. Red Arse says:

    Evonne,

    — “About Chris Smalling – man of the match? I thought it was his mistake that led to Dzeko’s goal?”

    You, or your alter ego, are, of course, entitled to your opinion, as am I, or so I thought.

    Frankly, as they were both Manc clubs, and Manc players, I don’t really give a damn!

  28. London says:

    Wooooooo, upper case, this must be important.

    Actually there is a couple of things that I agree with in there but your comment was never going to fly after the assertion that we will not sign any more players………………..you simply don’t know.

    The trick is to say that you think it is extremely unlikely.

  29. Camberwell Gooner says:

    London, if there’s a blog drought going on, I offer you the following will-he-won’t-he quotes (from me):

    “We need to write about some issues but we have the quality. At the moment we have to face some scepticism, but we have to keep believing in our strengths. These bloggers all started at a very young age and they should be ready.”

    “I need to write, of course, and I will do. But I have a strong base.”

    “It’s not about the number [of blog posts], it’s the quality. I don’t want to give out a number.”

    “A blog will be done sooner rather than later but it is difficult to speak about any individual blogger because that makes things difficult.”

  30. Red Arse says:

    London,

    Glad you cleared that misunderstanding up. If you are at the Tavern perhaps we can have a quiet word.

  31. Red Arse says:

    Goonerbegood,

    Any chance you could type your comment in lower case?

  32. goonerbegood says:

    Red Arse,

    all noted.

    we have been here before,we will be here again next season.

    I have realized few things from the whole saga ,regarding arsenal fc,with nasri ,cesc ,new signings.

    I would not blame wenger any more,cos he is just the manager..
    wenger will never change his philosophy neither will the board.

    the facts are there for everyone to see….

    ARSENAL FC ,can’t compete anymore with other rich clubs.

    so it is time we get behind the players we have,it is hard to swallow i know but it is what it is.

    we don’t have the money despite all the hype of us been the 7th richest sport establishment.

    But my question now is,how do other clubs do it, ????

  33. Red Arse says:

    GoonerBgood,

    Totally agree we should all get behind the club, the players and the manager.

    I think you might be surprised, because I still believe we will get 2 or 3 new players in before the end of August. Keep the faith! :-)

    The difference between our Arsenal and the ‘rich’ clubs, is that they are not really ‘rich’ at all.

    What they do have is rich benefactors who are prepared, out of their personal monies (separate from the shares they own) to make interest free loans to the clubs, and with no repayment due dates.
    (imagine a bank loaning you £20,000 to go and buy a nice car, and telling you they won’t charge you any interest, and not to worry about paying it back). Crazy, or what?

    The Financial fair Play rules kick in next season to try and eliminate this ridiculous practice by insisting the clubs act like proper commercial businesses. (Like Arsenal, in fact).
    This is why Citeh’s owner/benefactor, Sheikh Your Leg, has converted some of these enormous interest free loans into Share Capital and has got another associate company to agree to pay ridiculous shirt sponsorship in an attempt to make it look like a ‘normal’ commercial deal.
    It remains to be seen whether UEFA are fooled by this.

    Usmanov wanted to loan money to Arsenal, in a similar interest free manner, but the then Managing Director, Danny Fizman, said ” no thank you”.
    We are a football club, but we are doing things the right way.

    Cheer up, “New Signings” will come …. but never the £40m or £50m kind. :-)

  34. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Has any one ever considered that our so called failings in the transfer market and reliance on youth could soon become our strengths.

    The football world is a fast and evolving place, financial fair play, government intervention, rivals scrambling for new stadiums, clubs going into debt etc.

    You must have a strategy to be succesfull and i believe we have the right one. Fustrating in the short term yes, but one that will reap rewards sooner than people think.

  35. Red Arse says:

    Terry Mancini,

    Quite right sir! :-)

  36. dandan says:

    Terry Mancini having seen your shinning dome I feel my age now. :-)

  37. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thank you gentlemen.

    Ime very proud to share the great mans follicaly challanged hair style.

  38. Red Arse says:

    GoonerBGood,

    I must be psychic. I understand that Chamberlain is taking a medical as we speak!

    Told you to keep the faith. One down and two to go! :-)

  39. dandan says:

    O HO Red Arse have you been reading my post, we are in agreement again :-)

  40. RockyLives says:

    Where’s our resident Domehead BR when we need him :)

    Thanks for the comments – and thanks for persevering with a very long post (if you made it to the end).

    I just thought it would be interesting to lay out in chronological order exactly what Le Boss has said about transfers this summer.

    When you string his quotes together you realise that although there are apparent contradictions, actually the message is quite consistent and can be summed up as: “I want to strengthen the squad. It’s harder than it looks.”

    For my own part, it did make me realise that I place more weight on AW’s “positive” noises about new signings than I do on his cautious ones. I suspect that supporters who are pessimistic about new signings do the opposite.

  41. Jeremy says:

    I am telling you. Now i believe nobody especially from the club.. AW, IG and esp PHW….nor the press.

    I think we are cheated long enough…

    Until we see players unveiled, pls dun bother to bull us further…

  42. RockyLives says:

    dandan
    Thanks for the Times articles. I’m not a subscriber to their website so I wouldn’t get to see them otherwise.

  43. RockyLives says:

    Good Day Redders
    Do you think there’s any chance UEFA will nix the Citeh bung (sorry, naming rights deal)?
    The cynic in me feels that, in the end, money will talk.

  44. Red Arse says:

    Dandan,

    I always read your stuff, and I altho’ I am not sure what you are referring to this time, but I am not surprised we are in agreement! :-)

    You are always so supportive and realistically positive, and altho’ I like to think I am that way inclined too, (you are the shining light in that respect) it would be against my nature if I did not poke, prod and query the factual why’s and wherefore’s of our great club. :-)

  45. dandan says:

    Hi Rocky, I wonder sometimes if I should publish those, but know many cant see them for various reasons and they do IMHO tend to be better written and more balanced than most. Which is why I always acknowledge there source.

    So I will continue to do so from time to time until Rasp tells me he is not happy with it.

  46. dandan says:

    LOL RA I mumbled last week amid a maelstrom of less than happy punters, not to worry we would buy two proper players and a youngster this week. :-)

  47. RockyLives says:

    I do like the name Arseblogger uses for our soon-to-be teenage sensation: Oxencart-Chamberpot :)

  48. RockyLives says:

    Sadly I don’t think the signing of Ox-Pot will placate the nay-sayers…

    …but like you dandan I expect there to be a lot more action this week – a defender in, Cesc out and a “surprise” incomer (could be Mata or some other future legend).

  49. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky, :-)

    I wish I had the forethought to collect the sayings of Le Prof, but it would have taken too much effort, I suspect! Well done sir. :-)

    I am slightly cynical about UEFA, in truth, but for their own credibility they really must crack down on this fancydan bloody accountants nonsense. (oops, what am I saying).

    When discussing this very thing with the inestimable 26 some time ago, I did forecast some club(s) would try this route to resolve their transfer overspend issues– loan conversion; dodgy commercial deals — but he quite reasonably said UEFA would have accountants wise to this too, and would have counter-measures in place.

    There is a ‘2 to 3 season window’ to regularise the transfer spend, so I expect plenty of negotiation and arm twisting by the clubs involved, who by definition are the wealthiest and most influential.

    Time will tell, as usual, but if it improves things for the future for clubs like ours I will be satisfied. :-)

  50. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    RockyLives,

    This is the first big test for ffp. Been a chartered accountant i understand how fair vaule is implemented via financial statements and my understanding is that these rules will follow similar principles.

    Dont forget, that City are already claiming that the press have overstated the figure and that a large chunk of the money is to be allocated to infurstructure and youth projects indicating that FFP is having some effect already.

    I guess we will have to wait and see but in addition to the above. big clubs have started recruiting young players which seems to imply that there making investments to stay within the confines of ffp.

    Very good article by the way.

  51. RockyLives says:

    Terry – a chartered accountant? Have you met Red Arse?
    Redders, have you met TMHT?

    Now, you can talk numbers to each other all day and bamboozle the rest of us :)

    Actually, I really like hearing from you number-crunchers about the business side of footy.

  52. RockyLives says:

    Terry
    Thankyou for the kind comment.
    Regarding FFP – on the plus side, I think Platini is really serious about it and, whatever you think of him, he does seem to be a man who sticks to his principles.

  53. Red Arse says:

    Dandan,

    I recall that Post of yours now — 2 experienced players in + a youngster — and it reflects my own views.

    If Cesc and/or Nasri leaves, i would not be surprised if we end up with; 1 Centre Back + 1 Mid Fielder + 1 Winger {Oxface}, together with Cesc/Nasri replacement = Wossa Matta.

    So 2 out (potentially) and 4 in!! :-)

    Are you reading this Jeremy the Doubter at 2:50?

  54. HateTheMancs says:

    RA – are you in a bad mood today??? Will you have a quiet word with me at the Tavern too? I’m rather looking forward to it :) I like finding faults with players that supposedly snubbed or left Arsenal for the Mancs.

    My altered ego is temporary – Evonne has been sent to do ironing all too often, ironing is done now, so I am in disguise.

    Wenger allegedly told the press today that he will sign more players this summer. Happy days

  55. Red Arse says:

    TerryM,

    You are welcome to join the accountants club. AA might stand for Arsenal Arsenal, but there are some who say it stands for Accountants Anonymous!! :-)

    Apart from my inadequate self, there is Gooner In Exile, Wonderman, and Charybdis (who’s Firm is giving him some gyp at the moment) and one or two others, as well. As boring a bunch as you can hope for, with a sprinkling of lawyers led by the one and only 26 May. :-)

  56. London says:

    How can we be buying Alex Chamberlain, we have to sell Cesc before we can afford to buy, that’s the policy of the club, yaaaaaaaaaawn.

  57. Red Arse says:

    HatetheYanks and Evonne,

    Never in a bad mood with you! And when we meet I will be happy to whisper sweet nothings in your ear. :-)

    I was only passing a slightly regretful comment about Smalling, because I have famously tight lipped accountant friend of mine, who let slip that Arsene was really shocked at losing out to the Mancs, who snuck up without warning, when he was still trying to ‘negotiate’ the price down. Fulham’s owner wanted to teach us a lesson for ‘messing’ them about.

    But I meant what I said. I don’t give a stuff about other clubs’ players! :-)

  58. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Red Arse,

    Thanks for the invite, sounds like a good crew.

  59. HateTheMancs says:

    Terry Mankini – GiE (an accountant of course) made this comment the other day: Bloody ell a fabulous piece in the Express

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/263463/New-young-guns-prove-Arsene-Wenger-right-all-along

    I think it tallies with your views :)

  60. HateTheMancs says:

    RA – sweet nothings sound good, but I am a bit death, so you will have to shout them out, loud and clear for me to respond :)

  61. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    Here is a snippet from the UEFA ruling body re the FFP checks on the Citeh and other shenanigans.

    — “A Club Financial Control Panel has been set up to monitor and ensure that clubs adhere to the financial fair play requirements – and in May 2010, the UEFA Executive Committee approved the UEFA Club Licensing and Fair Play Regulations – which have the support of all stakeholders in European football.

    Financial fair play measures will be implemented over a three-year period, with the break-even assessment covering the financial years ending 2012 and 2013 assessed during 2013/14, and starting with the assessment by the Club Financial Control Panel of all transfer and employee payables in the summer of 2011.”

    Could be very, very interesting, and make a few bob for all those naughty accountants! :-)

  62. Red Arse says:

    Hate The Yanks,

    If you are a ‘bit death’ I don’t think any amount of shouting will bring you back to being a ‘bit alive’! :-)

  63. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Hate The Mancs

    Thanks for the link, and your right, i agree 100%.

  64. dandan says:

    Now now London, behaaaave :-), we are all friends on here

  65. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    I suspect the accountants will do very well out of FFP… followed by 26 and his gang…

  66. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    After our earlier chat, I looked up the “FFP pre-rules” and found the clubs have already begun their softening up tactics with UEFA.

    The Rules state that If a club fails to meet the FFP limits, then punishments including bans from European competition, including the Champions League, will be applied.

    However, already there have been some sneaky deals and moving of the goal posts agreed between UEFA and the clubs. It has been agreed for the first and second MPs, (Monitoring Periods) namely the two-year period before 2013-14 and the three-year period before 2014-15, the clubs will be able to deduct from any losses the amount of any players’ wages agreed in contract deals entered into before 1 June 2010.

    This means that a major part of a club’s CURRENT wage bill will, most likely, be going to players who signed their most recent deals before 1 June 2010.
    For example, a club with a current wage bill of £100m, might have included in there £75m of wages agreed in contracts with players signed before 1 June last year.

    So the club can write off £75m of those wages, agreed before June 2010, and reduce their FFP losses by that amount.

    The effect is that (say) a club lost £60m, as shown in their financial accounts, for the MP under review, this could be reduced by the £75m wages ‘write back’ so that they would end up with a PROFIT of £15m

    However, contrary to some comments on AA, clubs cannot write off any Transfer Fees agreed before 1 June 2010.
    All clubs have to amortise (write off) all their transfer fees over the life of the contract, even those spent before June 2010.

    It seems that any club in breach of the FFP break-even requirements, who can prove that the breach is exclusively due to salaries for players under contract before 1 June 2010, and able to show there is an improving trend in their accounts, will not be sanctioned.

    Basically, for the first two MPs of the FFP, a lot of wages can be written off, if a club can argue that they are heading in the right financial direction and that will be an easy matter for even a half baked accountant to show.

    Citeh, Chelsea, Barca and Madrid etc must be grinning their heads off. Now that is why I am a bit cynical, Rocky! :-)

  67. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky,
    Wow, some research. Sherlock required to unravel that lot. He or Mystic Meg. Anyhow, thanks for the great post.

  68. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Micky – and thanks Redders for that research too.

    If I understand correctly, it means that all those 200k a week salaries at Citeh are going to be less of a hindrance to them complying with FFP than might first have been envisaged.

  69. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    And that right there, is why we all love a good accountant!

  70. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Here’s a bad idea. Tell your wife you’ll wrap up your childrens’ Birthday presents in your office. It’ll take five minutes. Surf Boards, yeah right!!!!

  71. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooo err Oxo-Chamberling having a medical. Great news. 2-3-5 as it should be.

  72. RockyLives says:

    Micky
    I believe Ox-Pot will add thrust…

  73. kassa says:

    Why is not hard for ManU, Liverpool, Man C, Sunderland etc etc, to get player they want…Why is not that hard for them to sign any player they want?? Did U ever asked this question!!!

    Youth policy will sack AW..soon…I just hope its soon enough

  74. Red Arse says:

    All that accounting stuff has made me go all philosophical. So how about the following? :-)

    Ford Motors v Microsoft Windows

    For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives, read on.
    At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated,

    ‘If Ford had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.’

    In response to Bill’s comments, Ford issued a press release stating:

    If Ford had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

    1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash …….Twice a day.

    2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

    3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason.
    You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue.
    For some reason you would simply accept this.

    4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

    5. However, Apple’s Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy as drive – but would run on only five percent of the available roads.

    6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single ‘This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation’ warning light.

    7. The airbag system would ask ‘Are you sure?’ before deploying.

    8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna, provoking a hernia.

    9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

    10. You’d have to press the ‘Start’ button to turn the engine off.

    11. When all else fails, you could call ‘customer service’ in some foreign country and be instructed by someone with an impossible accent on how to fix your car yourself!!!!

    Now that’s progress! :-)

  75. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Seriously Rocky, The Gerv is exactly what I ordered in one of my “thrust” rants. He can play right across the top, is a biped, and can shoot with both feet. His favoured direction is forwards, and his favoured gear is top.

  76. Wonderman says:

    Chamberlain signed !!

  77. Red Arse says:

    Young Guns are reporting OxPot has signed.

  78. Red Arse says:

    Oi Wonderman, alphabetical order if you please! :-)

    Micky thank goodness the Gerv is a bipod, for a moment there I thought you said monopod.

    Then when he kicked the ball and missed the goal he wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.

  79. Quick in and out from me….

    I have been busy doing work i have been avoiding, I have a promised post to deliver for the Princess, and i need to take the dog to his weekly Dog Borstal session tonight.

    Nice post Rocky, interesting to read the quotes with the chronology, to be honest i’m more bothered by what people do rather than say. I think the comments at the start of the summer/end of last season show how much he too was hurting, probably as much if not more than the fans. But even then he recognised that to knee jerk react would be a fools errand.

    I was thinking whilst all this we need him we need them debate was raging there two men we have surely missed over the last 3 years more than anyone…i’ll leave you to work it out….

  80. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    Eric and Ernie?

  81. By the way nice detail on FFP RA be interesting to see an analysis of who is and isn’t in that calculation for the likes of Chelsea, City and ManUre, although I would also think that if they signed pre 2010 it is likely they will be signing again before 2013 and therefore would they have to be included?

  82. It was a serious question RA, winner gets a Peroni from me at my first home game…if the winner cannot attend I will drink it myself… :D

  83. RockyLives says:

    Del Boy and Rodney?

  84. RockyLives says:

    GiE
    Do you mean two players we once had and now miss, or two signings we missed out on?

  85. London says:

    Does anyone know what position Oxo plays, I mean is he more a defender or attacker. For example: Wilshere is better than Ramsey defensively and Ramsey is better than Wilshere offensively. Is Oxo a Wilshere or a Ramsey?

  86. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Easy squeazy GiE…Alonso and Hart

  87. RockyLives says:

    Ox-Pot signing is on the official site now.

  88. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    This morning I thought you had merely lost a fight with your mini-bar, but what now, drugs? (-:

  89. Just two men who left the club in 2008.

  90. London says:

    Micky

    I had faith that you would see humour in my comment this morning and indeed you did.

  91. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    I knew you would be interested in the FFP … other than Micky and Rocky everyone else nodded off. :-)

    It would be interesting to know the details of the Citeh, and Chelsea calculations. Job for the new AA accountant Terry Mancini – what do you think? :-)

    Oddly enough, another big spender, ManYoo, are OK, because they have such a huge income stream. Bastids!! :-)

  92. Wonderman says:

    lol Sorry RA…apologies for the lack of postings guys , I have been up to my eyes !!!! but have reading the very interesting posts…will be back proper in a couple of weeks, keep up the excellent work

  93. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    Flambo and Gallas maybe? :-) You cannot be serious, man!!! :-)

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    No I didn’t, I just think you are mental :-)

  95. Red Arse says:

    I have noticed your absence Wonderman. Especially when the rest of us were getting argumentative over pre-season team tactics and formations.

    Still, we can get your input once the season starts. :-)

  96. MickyDidIt89 says:

    With the Gerv and Oxo signings, I suspect Theo is down the gym then watching lots of “teach yourself” videos. Poor chap.

  97. No ones close yet, i’ll be back around 10pm to answer.

  98. I did notice a comment from Theo which made me laugh about Ryo and Gerv, he said something along the lines of “they have one or two more stopovers than me, i have none!” at least he knows its not his strong point.

  99. stopover = stepover —-he wasn’t talking about being left out of he team pyjama parties

  100. Red Arse says:

    Someone asked where or how Ox-Pot would play. What better person to answer than the prof himself.

    Here is what he said;

    Arsène Wenger said: “He is an exciting young player who will provide us with creativity and offensive quality.

    Alex is a perceptive passer of the ball and has a great understanding of the game and looks to be a very good team player.”

    So there you have it – from the nag’s marf! :-)

  101. 3 and out (now 4) catch you all later

  102. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You know the rules GiE, if its not Alonso and Hart, then you are wrong, which leaves me the winner (-:
    Won’t be around at 10. Will be interested to catch it first thing tomorrow.

  103. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    I had Lassana Diara and your mate Gilly Gilberto up my sleeve?

    You cannot be even more serious, man!! :-)

  104. Red Arse says:

    Micky,

    I don’t think you have quite got the hang of this. Hart and Alongone did not play for Arsenal or leave us in 2008.

    Mind you it might be GIE doing his usual cunning accounting diversion! :-)

  105. Micky as an Accountant I am never wrong, i just wasn’t fully aware of the facts as they have materialised ;)

  106. Red Arse says:

    OK, GIE, I am getting quite wild now!!! :-)

    The only other decent player who left in 2008, I think, was Hleb the pleb!

    Thierry left in 2007, so it had better not have been him in your question, or I’ll have you struck off! :-)

  107. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    Hleb was so overrated. A comedy player.
    Accountants are not very good at this.
    Alonso and Hart are proof of creative accounting techniques. You snakes.

  108. Gooner In Exile says:

    Excuse the profanity in this tweet but it’s very good from someone who goes by the name@onearsenewenger

    “All this talk that Oxo will be good in 5 years?? bollocks to you naysayers. Anelka won us the double aged 17… so why not again?”

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    Just re-read the GiE puzzle. He says players we have missed. Nothing about them leaving three years ago, and on a technicality, even the epoch. Snake, I told you.

  110. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    Surely by including players who’ve never played for us, Micky is just finding a loophole… I thought that might appeal to accounting types :)

  111. Gooner In Exile says:

    No creativity, a clue:

    1) re read the question
    2) think about our weaknesses in the last few years

  112. Red Arse says:

    Finally, GIE, if this isn’t right i will never speak to you again! :-)

    I think Jens left in 2008? And how could I forget Phillipe Send to Oz?

    I have worked hard for that Peroni – so you better cough up!! :-)

  113. RockyLives says:

    GiE
    I vote Mad Jens and the Invisible Wall :)

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Adams and PV.

  115. Red Arse says:

    GIE said; at 6:07

    — “Just two men who left the club in 2008.”

    This could be an “off with his goolies” moment guys!!! :-)

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky,
    Arms Up for the offside trap!

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bending the rules already just as we get on the right scent

  118. Obviously it’s David Dein and Gary Lewin :)

  119. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah ha,
    Physio and DD? He didn’t say players.

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bollocks. The time says a draw, but Peaches is going to argue over this one (-:

  121. No, change that DD left in 2007, must be Jens then and Gary Lewin

  122. Well I’m putting money on Gary Lewin anyway :lol:

  123. Moi? Argue? I’m not that kind of a female, anyway I’m usually right :D

  124. Pat7 says:

    Evening all – I’ve just caught up! It’s got to be PV & TH.

  125. Rasp says:

    Evening all, good news about Oxtail Marmalade Chamber Pot.

    Gie is it:
    acuMEN and MENtal strength?

  126. RockyLives says:

    Rasp :)
    Very clever!

    What should we call young Ox-Pot?

    He might like The OC…?

  127. Ooooh very good Rasp :D

    I don’t even know what he looks like – off to have a look at Arsenal.com

  128. Gooner In Exile says:

    Peaches has entitled herself to half a Peroni.

  129. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    Seriously cunning.
    Re Oxo-Chamberlaining. Worrying thought. How much per letter on replica shirt? Yikes.

  130. RockyLives says:

    Using my patented anagram method, it seems that young Alex could be just the man to improve the wafer-thin confidence of our current team:

    Lax XI? He balanced morale.

  131. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky,

    That’s a tricky one – there are so many possible connotations.

    How about Ashburton 2X?

  132. London says:

    Does anyone know anything about Oxtail Marmalade like what position he playsIs he a Ramsey or a Wilshere.

  133. RockyLives says:

    AOC? (makes him sound like an internet service provider)

  134. RockyLives says:

    London
    The press generally describe him as a winger, but AW said of him today: “Alex is a versatile player who can play in a number of positions. He can play as an attacking centre midfielder, or wide left and right.”

    There you go – clear as mud!

  135. Rasp says:

    Hi London, it seems he is a creative attacking midfielder who can also play wide – so covering all bases. I don’t expect Arsh will be an Arsenal player in 2012/13, we seem to have a glut of wide players all of a sudden – shame just when Nik is leaving and would no longer be expected to fit his square peg in.

    I hope Ashburton 2X out Theo’s Theo and learns some stopovers.

  136. Red Arse says:

    Just for you london, a repeat of my earlier comment.

    — Arsène Wenger said: “He is an exciting young player who will provide us with creativity and offensive quality.

    Alex is a perceptive passer of the ball and has a great understanding of the game and looks to be a very good team player.”

    So there you have it – from the nag’s marf!

    Arsene thinks he is ‘offensive’ …. bit harsh.

  137. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sit down now London. He’s a winger.

  138. Rasp says:

    He’s up there in our list of ‘Summer Comings and Goings’ top right of the site clearly listed as a winger/MF

    I don’t know why I bother :roll:

  139. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arsene will probably play him in the stands before bringing him more central onto the wing.
    Coat.

  140. MickyDidIt89 says:

    And on that low note, its goodnight from him.

  141. Rasp says:

    And its goodnight from you…….

  142. London says:

    Ok got it, O-C is attacking midfield rather than Wilshere who I still regard as being more defensive minded (which is no bad thing).

  143. London says:

    It has to be said that Wenger does like an attacking midfielder.

    Fabregas
    Nasri
    Ramsey
    Arshavin
    Diaby
    Rosicky
    Oxlade–Chamberlain

  144. harry says:

    Evening all, cracking post rocky, great timing and how many of those ranting that there is absolutely no way that wenger will buy anyone else and that we have no money will come back on and retract………?

    AOC is an attacking player who can play left or right and as a Attacking midfielder, he played approximately 44 games, scored 11 and got 9 assists……He goes straight into the first team and competes for a place……….

    Still many are moaning, ok we havent signed a CB yet, time yet……..

    Was having a chinwag with C11 tonight, for me if we get Samba and replace Nasri with Mata or similar then I would be content with our business………..If Cesc goes Ramsey will step up………

    The fact Wenger has found his wallet, gives me a feel good factor……..But just look at the additions overall to the squad……….

    New:

    Jenkinson
    Gervinho
    AOC

    Plus

    Frimpong
    Ramsey: back fully (i know its a wenger spin type statement, but it is a plus wont do this with TV5 but could to be honest, ok just have done!!)
    Traore (Back from season loan)
    Miyaichi
    Lansbury (Hopefullly)
    Vela

    Thats 10 new names to the squad!!! Add a CB to that list and happy days!! a whole team!!!

  145. RockyLives says:

    Harry
    Thanks
    Excellent comment – and I really feel we’ll get more good news this week.

    In addition to Ramsey in the ‘like a new signing’ category, you could also have mentioned Vermaelen.

  146. gunnern5 says:

    Oxlade-Chamberlain seals move to Arsenal

    Most Liked
    Most Commented
    Editor’s Choice
    For those who have not seen it, here is the announcement of the signing of Chamberlain cut and pasted from Arsenal.com

    ………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Arsenal Football Club is delighted to announce that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has joined the Gunners on a long-term contract for an undisclosed fee.

    Oxlade-Chamberlain, 17, joins Arsenal from Championship side Southampton, where he made 44 first-team appearances during his long association with the south coast club.

    Joining the Southampton Academy at the age of seven, Alex quickly excelled through the ranks of the club’s successful youth set-up, making his first team debut in March 2010 at the age of just 16 years and 199 days. In doing so, Alex became the second youngest ever appearance maker for Southampton after Theo Walcott.

    A quick, attacking player, Oxlade-Chamberlain played an integral role in Southampton’s promotion campaign from League One in 2010/11, making 41 appearances and scoring 10 goals in the season. His impressive performances earned him a place in the PFA League One Team of the Year 2010/2011, voted by his fellow professionals.

    Alex, who can operate on either wing or as an attacking central midfielder, has also represented England at Under-18, Under-19 and Under-21 levels.

    After sealing the deal to bring the young prospect to Emirates Stadium, Arsène Wenger said: “We are delighted that Alex has decided to join us.

    “He is an exciting young player who will provide us with creativity and offensive quality. Alex is a versatile player who can play in a number of positions. He can play as an attacking centre midfielder, or wide left and right.

    “Alex is a perceptive passer of the ball and has a great understanding of the game and looks to be a very good team player.”

    Wenger continued: “Alex has done extremely well during his development with Southampton and we are looking forward to him progressing even further and fulfilling his huge potential with Arsenal Football Club.”

    Oxlade-Chamberlain, who celebrates his 18th birthday next Monday, said: “I’m so excited to be joining Arsenal. It’s a fantastic club and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity of playing football at the highest level.

    “Arsenal have a great manager in Arsène Wenger, top quality players and an attractive style of play. These were all important factors in me choosing to sign for Arsenal.

    “I’m proud to be joining Arsenal, but I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Southampton for their help and support during the early part of my career, for which I will always be grateful.”

    Alex concluded: “I’m now looking forward to meeting all my new team mates and giving absolutely everything in an Arsenal shirt.”

    Alex will go into the Arsenal first-team squad and immediately

  147. harry671 says:

    Lol rocky, I did mention vermaelen as a new signing……

  148. HateTheMancs says:

    Oxlade is not a defender???? bloody ell

  149. How did you find out HTM? ;)

  150. Carlito11 says:

    Evening all! A winger!! or not? Looking on youtube Oxo-C looks tenacious at any rate :-)

  151. Gooner In Exile says:

    Ok it’s 10:10pm Peaches was half right having named Gary Lewin but it was also in 2008 we lost the club Doctor Ian Beasley to England full time too.

    Eduardo credits Lewin with saving his foot and Terry credits him for saving his life after Diaby knocked him out.

    Beasley was a bit more behind the scenes but we definitely didn’t have so many mystery injuries before 2008.

  152. Gooner In Exile says:

    Worth noting the Ox is 5ft11 Rhys a good height for us recently.

  153. SharkeySure says:

    If he’s that tall then thats good news. To look at him he looks a well built boy as well, even better news.

  154. Gooner In Exile says:

    iPhone induced typinsons not sure what Rhys was supposed to be probably “that’s”

  155. SharkeySure says:

    Cracking post Rocky.

    I was almost in despair Aug 31st last season wjern the window slammed shut and we were stuck with Almunia, Fabianski (the old one) and a spare but untried Pole.

    At that time, I said to myself, I will not defend Arsene from any slating that he gets for us, although I won’t join in.

    Its been a bit like that again this summer.

    Hopefully he’ll surprise us all.

    On the Nsri issue I cannot believe that we are not bit8ing City’shand off at the elbow iof they really are offering £20m+. Thats great business for a player who really didn’t do a lot between Dec and May. He has some moments ofsheer brulliance, but is very guiltyof hogging the ball, and he very rarely passes the ball more than 10-15 yds. Even then he’s usually only ‘lending’ the ball to a team mate.

    Not stopping, night all

  156. SharkeySure says:

    I read straight thru that GiE, prob cos it reads like one of my posts !!

  157. SharkeySure says:

    Lax XI? He balanced morale.:-)

  158. 26may1989 says:

    Simply excellent post Mr Rocky – you surpass yourself with that thorough research. The club have been been negligently slow this summer (though nice to see Mr Oxbow-Lake sign on the dotted today) but I don’t really understand why some get so wound up by what Wenger et al have or haven’t said. However, the Rocky Summer Chat Timeline shows the truth, that the words have generally been more cautious than many (me included) recall. Interesting to see that Wenger predicted that the action would heat up in early August.

    Interesting stuff on financial fair play from RA. Depressing to see that the overspenders are squeaking more scope for themselves. But plainly uncommercial deals like City’s naming rights deal are up for review under the FFP Regs: there are various sections dealing with income from transactions not at a fair value with related parties, which covers ideas like RA’s of false/inflated commercial deals. But it all depends on UEFA taking a robust line in the way it applies the Regs – they need to be real in seeing that Etihad Airlines is related to the Abu Dhabi United Group and they need to be real in holding the rights deal to be above fair value. UEFA have the tools but the fear we all have is that UEFA will be soft in their application.

  159. Gooner In Exile says:

    And in addition to that we unlike many of our benefacted clubs have a much more stringent FFP loss to stick within.

    That difference is the one thing about FFP that annoys me.

    Surely a bankrolled club has more to fear from ever increasing losses (and therefore debt to the benefactor) than a publicly listed club?

  160. Gooner In Exile says:

    Right I really must finish this post.

  161. RockyLives says:

    26
    Oxbow-Lake :)

    Oxtail-Soup?

    Oxshott-Cobham?

  162. RockyLives says:

    GiE
    I’m sure you’re right, but I thought our abysmal injury problems pre-dated 2008?

  163. Gooner in Exile says:

    Impact injuries I can take, its the unknown slowly diagnosed ones that worry me:

    Rosicky
    Vermaelen
    Djourou
    Diaby
    Denilson

    All were out for 6-7 weeks when first occurring and were forced out for much longer when properly assessed all since 2008.

    Like anything else regarding the inner workings I have no clue if its anything to do with medical practices in house but I do worry that something is not quite right.

    It can’t be the training can it? I mean Keown, Bould, Dixon etc had their careers extended by 5 years because of Wenger so how can it be opposite for the current squad?

  164. Gooner in Exile says:

    Lampard out of England duty with a throat infection….thats a new one!

  165. Gooner In Exile says:

    I think the start of the PL season is going to be postponed if this rioting continues.

    No way they’ll start all games if this craziness continues, the rioters have been close to the Emirates apparently.

  166. RockyLives says:

    All bad things start in T*ttenham.

  167. Morning all

    Neither Rasp nor I will be around at 9.30 to publish the post so I’ve scheduled it to do it all by itself :) I need someone to add New Post to the bottom of this one when they see it appear on NewsNow please, any volunteers :D

    Hope it works ……………..

    I rather like Oxtail Snackpot …………………….

    Is anyone sharing the Peroni with me?

  168. I like Oxbow Lake too but if he’s any good I reckon ‘The Ox’ will stick

    So now we have a Gerv and an Ox, will a Jag be added today?

  169. London says:

    To avoid confusion, I will do it.

  170. Red Arse says:

    Morning Peaches, :-)

    From a “Horse Shoe Bend” to an “Oxbow Lake”?
    That’s very geographical of you. Are you suggesting we are silting up? :-)

  171. London says:

    I haven’t had the pleasure writing this is ages….New Post

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