Thank Boo for the lack of World Class Signings

Yesterday saw the release of the clubs six monthly figures, I was asked to provide an analysis of them, but to be honest I think thats a pretty boring blog for the non accountants and would lead us into a circular debate that we have been down many times before. Instead I wanted to focus on a certain element of them, and look at them from a different angle.

The numbers I wanted to look at was transfer money in and transfer money out.

I am using purely the value and am not worried about whether it has been paid or not at the time of the financial reports:

6m to Nov 2012 12m to May 2012
Players Out £44.2m £71.4m
Players In £40.8m £78.2m

As you can see from the above we have spent as much as we have had coming in from transfers over the last couple of seasons. So whats the problem?

I think one of the problems is that Arsene has been forced to buy more players in than we have sold, again the question why? Well thats where you the boo boys and naysayers come in.

This was our squad at the end of the 2010-11 season.

Keepers Defenders Midfielders Attackers
Szczesny Sagna Song v. Persie
Fabianski Djourou Wilshere Chamakh
Almunia Koscielny Nasri Bendtner
Lehmann Clichy Fàbregas Vela
Mannone Squillaci Arshavin
Gibbs Walcott
Vermaelen Rosicky
Traoré Denílson
Eboué
Diaby
Ramsey
Frimpong

Whilst the 2010-11 season is seen as a failure by many it was the last time we came close to achieving something, 1 point behind ManUre in February, a bent ref away from knocking Barca out of the Champions League and well the Carling Cup we all know what happened there, and the season fell away, we were probably one centre back short of a trophy, we already had him in the squad he was unfortunately injured for most of the season.

Before the 2010-11 season we had a bit of a clear out, Gallas, Eduardo, Senderos, Silvestre, Campbell from the first team squad. And in came Squillaci, Koscielny and Chamakh. We were settled going in to the season, and we did ok, the football was a lot better than what we are seeing now, if you look at the squad above it is not hard to see why it was that way, apart from the new arrivals everyone had played for the club for over two years, knew Arsene’s style and methodology.

At the end of the season we lost Cesc, Nasri and Clichy, I do not want to go over old ground and lets just assume that they were unavoidable for now. That would have raised us £67m, not exactly small change. What could we have bought with that? Mata, and Hazard, no problem at all get them in. Look at the squad above take out Clichy, Cesc and Nasri add in Mata and Hazard, wouldn’t be so bad would it? Ok Maybe we could have done with another centre back as well, but we would have been almost a carbon copy.

But instead of that we had to lose all those players deemed by the fans not fit to wear the shirt, out went Eboue and Traore too. On top of that there were the players who had decided that being booed wasn’t exactly the nicest experience when they played football so they also looked for a move away, so out on loan went Denilson, and Bendtner, eventually joined by Arshavin out on loan to Zenit to get match fit for the World Cup and to escape the abuse ringing in his ears after we lost to ManUre at home. Squillacci sitting at home unplayable because who knows what the reaction would be if he was allowed to take to the turf at the Emirates again.

So as a result Wenger now had to replace 7/8 players in the squad with his £77m, at an average of £10m a player I am afraid it is not going to achieve the desired quality. If we had managed to show those players enough love to stay or that Wenger did not fear using them maybe we wouldn’t have had to look for Poundland value, we could have got in the big names, and added to what we had.

This problem has been compounded into the 2012-13 season, as we all know we sold Brave Sir Robin, and Alex Song, again a couple of players needed to replace with £38m, a holding midfielder, and a centre forward, could we have achieved it? Probably yes, but now we have more unplayables, Chamakh, Djourou, Gervinho. So again we have to sign more players around the £10-£15m mark rather than go out and spend on one or two players. We probably wouldn’t have needed to sell Song if we didn’t need to add a second striker.

This cycle will continue until we as fans start supporting every player at our club, we need a squad, we have to accept they are not as good as the first team, but we also need to realise that if we lose squad players we have to replace them, if they go out on loan or get sold cheap because we have ripped them of all confidence then it is our fault, and we are giving Arsene a headache that he doesn’t need.

There is a big risk we could go through the same again at the end of this season, there is growing criticism of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sagna, Vermaelen and Merteacker, and even Szczesny and Arteta are having question marks placed over them, it has already reached fever pitch for Gervinho, Diaby, Arshavin and Ramsey, and we have already managed to force out Santos.

When will we realise that not every player in the squad needs to be World Class, what we actually need is a settled squad and a light smattering of game changers, and we the fans can help that happen, we just need to stop writing off the squad players and instead give them our support….otherwise we will have more long seasons ahead.

Written by Gooner in Exile

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128 Responses to Thank Boo for the lack of World Class Signings

  1. jayseph says:

    It has got us nowhere and now this season we will miss out on 4th…..the money wont even be used because nobody will want to come.

    And next we have a NLD…….its going to be horrible….Ive watched Spurs against Lyon, Newcastle and WHU and they dont give away many chances and are very disciplined unlike the Harry days…..we will really struggle, worst thing is they now have a guy brilliant in the air that makes them dangerous from set plays (Caulker).

    Oh well when we have Jack and Santi theres always a chance

  2. Gooner Charlie says:

    I can understand the frustration amongst fans . However if you go to a game just get behind the team. I can never remember this many boo boys back at highbury when we were finishing 12 th in the league . The difference is the fans hadn’t seen the invincibles yet and expect Wenger to live up to that every season not taking into consideration the conditions and restraints he’s had to work in.

    Sure it may be time for Wenger to go now, but the disrespect shown by so called fans is embarrassing . It hasn’t been helped by the booard who have happily let wenger take the blame claiming there’s money available , when in truth there’s only been money a billable to spend now. Arsenal always wanted to keep a cash reserve as they couldn’t gamble on being top four every year .

    The only thing I would also add to this article which needs to be better known is that dick law is to blame for most of our transfer failings . He’s notoriously known as an arsehole who not many people want to negotiate with , sometimes we have to pay above market rate for players because we’re desperate for numbers (sqaullaci) as mr law or or should I say Dick wont budge on a couple of thousand for primary targets, or even our star players. The amount of people we’ve missed out on because of him is ridiculous . If it ever comes out he’d be lynched I’m sure by most fans

    DICK LAW MUST GO

  3. g c says:

    I don’t understand the so called fans you other teams loss more than win but their fans back them anyway plenty of teams in London they should find one they do like

  4. Red Arse says:

    First class Post, Oh mighty GIE, :-)

    Well put explanations at short notice. [Doffs hat].

    Stand by to repel boarders!! :D

  5. Gooner In Exile says:

    Just a quick typo correction, when someone can. (i know i can but PEaches is still editing apparently).

    The transfer figures are 6m to Nov 2012 and 12m to May 2012 (not 12m 2011)

  6. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA :D I’m actually surprised first three comments are quite positive, i’m sure it’ll change later, but by then i’ll be at work and unable to respond.

  7. Wonderman says:

    Morning GIE, that my friend is one of the most sensible posts I have read in a very long time, and in a nutshell lays bare exactly what our problem is in recent seasons . I have even curtailed my number of attendances purely on the caustic atmosphere at The Emirates. Unfortunately we are seeing the rise of the consumer at football grounds these days, who believe ‘ I have paid £x so I have the right to …..’ The days of appreciating the priviledge of attending a premier league game which thousands would kill for is on the decline

    I agree with you 100%

  8. Morning all, interesting angle n the difficulties of squad management Exile and thanks for your informed take on the subject.

    I have my doubts about some of our squad, mainly Diaby and to an extent Djourou, but I’ve consistently said that on a match day you get behind every one of the team and save your grumbling till the game has finished.

    Redders – is AA first day of term at a boarding school today ?

    Shurely repel “Borders” ? :)

  9. bops says:

    Arteta having question marks?? A little high-handed init..

  10. Rasp says:

    Challenging post GiE, I’m 100% behind you in urging the supporters to get behind the team and NEVER boo under any circumstances at matches.

    I’m 100% in disagreement with you in the suggestion that the fans forced AW to sell the likes of Eboue and Traore – or any other player for that matter.

    AW has demonstrated in his comments in recent interviews that he will not be swayed by anyone be they journalists, supporters or dissenting voices within the club. The players you imply he was forced to let go were simply not good enough and certainly not worth the very high wages we offered to players yet to prove themselves – the results have been there for all to see.

    Support the manager and the team is a strong and important message, but lets not kid ourselves, the management has made a pretty poor job of transfers and contract negotiations in the last few years. As someone else has said, Dick Laws is not very good at his job, he should be replaced.

  11. Red Arse says:

    Strangely enough, CharyB, as a child, whose father lugged his family around the world, I was ‘parked’ here in the UK as a boarder for a while!! :-)

    But no, the ‘boarders’ in my comment referred to pirates, commonly known as disgruntled non-accountants, saying naughty things about Mr Wenger not spending all that effing money, or for buying rubbish players!! :-)

  12. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all,

    Now I’m not by any means trying to defend Mr. Laws, I know nothing about the bloke other than what little I have read in the press and on this and other blogs.

    Gooner Charlie professes to have some inside knowledge and Rasp seems to believe that “Dick Laws is not very good at his job” Just where is the evidence for such statements?

    Arsenal as a club is notoriously, and in my opinion rightly, reluctant to “do business in public”, transfer fees are rarely if ever announced by Arsenal and the figures quoted in the press are usually guestimates at best and wild surmise at worst.

    Laws is castigated because he “wont budge on a couple of thousand for primary targets”, does he in fact set the price? or is he instructed by Wenger how much to offer? We just don’t know!

  13. Gooner In Exile says:

    Or NG by somebody above both him and Arsene….the Board for arguments sake.

  14. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rasper, :-)

    I tremble in case you let loose at me one of your famous personal hygiene thunderbolts, but that aside, you and GIE could be singing from the same hymn sheet, regarding players like Eboue and Traore.

    You see, in your opinion, they were just not good enough, and GIE said they were forced out by the fans, (who obviously agreed with you).

    Now, as I recall, both of those players, were given a hard time by many fans, and that affected their performances even more. On one occasion Eboue came on as a substitute to loud boos, was heckled by the fans at every turn, and was then substituted off to more loud boos.

    At the end of that season Wenger gave him the boot, and I think a similar thing happened to other players too – Denilson springs to mind.

    I think your view and GIE’s comment are two sides of the same coin, not that I am saying you boo-ed, of course! :-)

  15. Norfolk Gooner says:

    GIE,

    We just don’t know!

  16. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp while agree that Arsene is not told who to sell and who to sign and those players sold and released on loan may not be in his eyes good enough, my question is what happened to them.

    Take Denilson he came flying on to the scene and was very good for us, the fans played a huge part in his decline, the sideways pass became a bug bear of many and probably blown out of proportion by the blogosphere so much that in one of the final nails in the coffin for the 2010-11 season (Blackburn or Sunderland at home can’t remember which I was at both) he was jeered for every sideways pass he made. And slowly disappeared from the game.

  17. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA snap

  18. Gooner In Exile says:

    Agreed NG.

  19. GoonerB says:

    Excellent post GIE. You have touched upon a subject that I would agree is likely impacting negatively on our club and it is a well reasoned argument which I would agree with to a point. I always feel that there are a number of combined factors which affect our ability to compete and not just one. I know you didn’t express this as the only reason but some fans will feel this is the sole reason, much like some of the more caustic and negative lot will seize upon one factor and blame everything on AW.

    Whenever I try and analyse where I think the problems may be at our club that are restricting our ability to challenge at the top end again, I always try and categorise them into 2 sections. Firstly category A which are factors that are, at least currently, outside of our control. I don’t get worried about these until they become factors which we can control. Category B would be the factors that we have within our control that we have made mistakes on or that we could be doing better on. It is those that would frustrate me if they keep happening and are not put right. I don’t have many of them on my list anyway compared to some fans that normally blog elsewhere who will have 3 A4 pages worth of grievences.

    You raise a very interesting subject which brings the fans into the equation and I would be in agreement with that because I think the way the fans behave will have an effect over the season. We can therefore add the fans to the manager, coaching team, medical team and the board as being the variables that are intrinsic to Arsenal football club that will have had an influence on where we currently are, and where we are going.

    I am a fan that still believes AW can turn this club around again, but it does not mean that I don’t feel that he has been infallible. My opinion may be wrong but I still feel Gervinho is potentially a good and tricky right winger that needs to improve on his final ball and assists. I don’t believe he is a striker so maybe exposing him to the strikers role, which I don’t believe he has the natural ability for at the top level, is basically exposing him to the fans wrath. I feel that Ramsey should be Artetas understudy in CM so playing him as a wide player has also maybe exposed him as well.

    Having said that can it be possible for anyone to be blameless in an entire sense anywhere in the world of football and not make mistakes? I personally feel Sir Claret Conker has likely made many mistakes but that Utd have been more financially able to swallow them up so they don’t attract the same scrutiny.

    I fully agree with you GIE about how fans react and it grates on me when fans start moaning and groaning even before a certain player has taken to the pitch. I guess we can only keep trying to point out that it is not helpful and is potentially harming the club they profess to love.

  20. Sav from Australia says:

    That’s a really insightfull article, Mr Gooner In Exile. Cheers mate.

  21. Red Arse says:

    I tend to agree with Norfolk that we cannot possibly know what Laws’s negotiating style is, or what he did or did not do.

    What we need to understand that a somewhat different but parallel argument can be made, that a number of the executive managers at Arsenal are now Americans with only a kissing background acquaintance with English/European football.

    The Boss: Kroenke
    The Commercial Bod: Tom Fox
    The contract negotiator: Dick Laws
    The CEO: Ivan Gazidis

    Powerful positions indeed.

    Contrast that with Bayern Munich, the new sweethearts of the sustainable football club acolytes, who have any number of executive and non-executive ex-professional, ex-International football players with a history at the club, all acting as managers running Bayern.

    They will have a strong feel for the club and will guide its direction and establish its aims, and have recruited powerful German captains of Industry to help boost the clubs revenue streams.

    Finally, it is nonsense to say that Arsenal’s BoD are the villains of the piece, or are unable to ‘control’ AW. I have said this before, but in the Annuak Accounts of AFC Plc, there are reported to be 6 directors on the Board, of whom only 2 are executive directors – Gazidis and Ken Friar.

    Gazidis is Kroenke’s appointee, and will take his direction and instructions from him. So cutting to the chase, Kroenke would not allow any major decision to be made without his full knowledge, even if he has delegated the day to day running to his ‘minions’.
    [See above American appointees].

  22. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Nice work. Still don’t understand the finances but thank you anyway!

    Eboue wasn’t forced out of AFC by the fans. In his final season one of the loudest songs was “You’ve only come to see Eboue” . Whilst it may have been sung in jest, EE wouldn’t have thought so.

    He showed himself to be a real man by standing up to the boo boys and performing to his best on the pitch for which I have huge respect

    EE was sold because he wasn’t good enough and AFC were offered decent money.

  23. kelsey says:

    Great post GIE and you raise so many questions yet to me there aren’t enough tangible answers .
    Booing IMO is a totally different subject and I think regardless of the decade you are/were watching Arsenal there are certain individuals who just have it in their make up to react like that.
    There is more money in the Pl than when it first started and with an increase in revenue for TV rights next season there will be even more.
    It is suggested our overall wage bill will be nearer 150 million for this financial year (Spurs were at 90 million last published accounts,to give an example.) and that tells me the wage structure should have been reviewed and restructured a few years ago.

    Clubs have improved their scouting compared to 2004/5 take newcastle recent buys,even swansea and maybe that’s an avenue that should be further investigated.
    We have always had average or even poor players but until a few years ago they gave their best even if that wasn’t good enough but today where is the incentive.
    of course one would think every player in the squad wants to play and give 100% but i am not so sure anymore if certain individuals will be quite happy to either play a cameo role or be endlessly on the bench or has one good season and the vultures come in, which is a back handed compliment to Wenger and of course more money for the club
    IMO we now have far to many players either out on loan,not good enough or not ready to be an automatic name week in and week out and I expect that not much will change regardless of this new war chest whilst Wenger remains at the club, and if he goes this year or next and the new manager has the same limitations then we know who is pulling the strings. Time will tell..

  24. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Here’s a conundrum for you RA, try to list half a dozen former players for nomination to the board or to senior positions in the club. Bearing in mind the stature of the Bayern appointees, it wont be easy!

  25. Rasp says:

    We have a very respected blogger on here that is in the same business as Laws and would tell you (if he could) that dick laws has missed out on some pretty good deals thru his own failings

  26. Rasp says:

    I can’t think of any other club where it is claimed that fans drive players out of the team. If the player is good enough and had a strong temperament, they will succeed – if they don’t, in most cases it will be because they are not up to the job

  27. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Hearsay Rasp,

    Where’s the evidence?

  28. sube says:

    Conclusion
    Its a lose- lose situation for Arsenal.

  29. Rasp says:

    For one, my evidence is in our poor performance, where is your evidence?

  30. kelsey says:

    you talking about Spectrum again,Rasp :)

    actually i have heard myself that Laws has cocked up on more than one occasion.

  31. Rasp says:

    I distance myself as far away as possible from spectrum :?

  32. Red Arse says:

    Hi GoonerB :-)

    How are those splinters in your bum? Sitting on the fence, while disagreeing or agreeing must get painful! :-)

    Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? Perhaps you have.

    The Pareto principle, as it is sometimes known relates to the law of the vital few, and refers to the observable fact that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

    It originally referred to economics.

    Vilfredo Pareto, observed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by only 20% of the population. Researching this, he found that it held true for many European countries, and he also found that 80% of the peas in his garden were produced by only 20% of the peas, and so on.

    This rule can be shown as a mathematical relevant calculation, and has become an invaluable ‘rule of thumb’ held dear by business analysts, who hold that usually 80% of a business’s sales will come from 20% of its clients.

    My point is that we can use that rule in deciding whether or not a player brings value to the team. If the number of fans approaching 20% believe that player x is useless, the chances are that is the right conclusion. Anything over that percentage and the player is gone man gone!! :-)

    Now I only have a snapshot view as to how many fans think that Gerv is not adding value to the team, but I suspect it is at least 20% of them.

    At the very least we should question why Arsenal should recruit such players, in the hope that they will come good.

    Quality, quality, quality and not quantity should be our watch word when it comes to recruitment of new players. If Arsenal is in the the business of playing beautiful football AND winning trophies, which would appease the fans on either side of the current divide, which is causing such unpleasantness, at the moment, then there is no room for sentiment.

    Off with the heads of those who do not achieve the required standards. :-) Blood thirsty? Me?

  33. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Rasp,

    If you have read my comments this morning you will have noticed that I started by saying that I know little or nothing about Laws, nor am I defending him, I am merely asking for the evidence that points to him being actually responsible rather than a convenient scape-goat.

    You now seem to be heaping even more of our ills onto his shoulders by seemingly blaming him for the poor performance of our players on the pitch.

    At this rate, by the end of the day, he will no doubt be blamed for the burst water main on Saturday and the cold wind whistling round the country.

    Where will it all end?

  34. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp
    Given that he is in Australia, then bar moving planets, I think you are doing all you reasonably can to keep the distance :-)

  35. Red Arse says:

    NG,

    With regards to the Captains of Industry invited on to the Bayern board, I suspect there is an element of pride and prestige that would play a part in such an appointment, even if the people concerned were not previously involved with the club.

    In addition, as far as Bayern are concerned, an element of company shareholding is involved too which is a big driver in ensuring the club succeed both on and off the field, to everyone’s benefit, which makes it a virtuous ‘circle’.

    This is not going to happen at Arsenal, because of cultural difference — even a huge shareholder like Usmanov cannot get a board invite.

    But, to start the ball rolling, I would invite Her Maj to take her place on the Arsenal Board, as she is a well know fan, and can’t wait to see Sunday’s game and to yell ‘piss orff, you swampies’! :D

  36. 26may1989 says:

    Quality post, Exile. Broadly speaking I’m with you – like many people, I am getting sick and tired of how too many of our fans at matches conduct themselves. I used to feel a sense of pride at being in an Arsenal crowd, I’m sorry to say I don’t anymore. It doesn’t subtract from my devotion to the team or my passion for the game, but something has definitely gone in terms of how I feel about being in that crowd now.

    It should be so simple: on match days fans have three jobs: (1) get behind the team, (2) get behind the team and (3) get behind the bloody team. Save all the slagging and negativity for the pub or the internet.

    Your point about the impact of fans’ negativity on individual players may be a bit overdone, we can’t really say the negativity is the only reason some players fall away. But I agree that it is very significant. As a group, we have become wantonly negative, we always seem to want to have a primary target in the team for criticism, along with a few secondary ones. I’m not sure whether the Ox really has made it onto the list yet, but the very fact that a young and talented kid is not afforded by some the time to grow and learn his trade just shows how short-sighted and short-termist many of us have become.

  37. Red Arse says:

    It was a well received aspect of medieval law that if someone was accused of causing a pig to die, because someone knew someone whose sister shagged a bloke who thought he saw the person concerned farting in the general direction of the said pig, then they were arrested and tried.

    Things have obviously moved on in a civilized way, and we certainly do not arrest such possible miscreants anymore.

    But we still try them in absentia by circulating unprovable rumour and innuendo.

    Bring back the dunking stool I say!! :-)

  38. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    Great topic, and thanks for stepping up at the last.
    I get the feeling you may have changed a stinker of a nappy just before penning :-)
    If there is one area of the club’s affairs that I am comfortable with criticising, then it is transfers and wage allocations.
    As an example, the “concept” of £70m being spent on 7 players at an average of £10m a pop, to my mind breeds mediocrity (in the context of a top four club).
    One at £30m, four at £10 and two on freebies is a better model.
    I believe that our flawed policy is also evident in the wage bill. Apart from the players, it does appear to me that we have a monstrous Admin Staff bill.
    Like you, hate the Boo Boys, and don’t like publically slating Arsenal people, but I don’t mind having a go at the system.

  39. Red Arse says:

    That’s interesting Micky – not the pooey diaper, but the ‘monstrous admin bill’ [for salaries? numbers employed?]

    As at last May, there were 500+ staff employed by Arsenal, of whom 70 were players.

    Of the 430+ others, how much are they paid in total? How much each? The Accounts don’t say?

    How many are part time – match day etc? How many are full time employees – what do they do?

    Where would you start to wield your axe in terms of wages/salaries?

    How many staff do you see as the optimum to run the club/stadium etc?

    I am all agog to know whose head I can introduce to my cheap, chippy chopper! :D

  40. MickyDidIt89 says:

    26
    I agree with you.
    I have definately given up doing the nine hour round trip to games unless I am sure of sitting with someone I know.
    The risks of having a day ruined are simply too high.
    Never was a problem with standing, as you could always budge up next to your mates.

  41. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    I believe we have the largest non-playing staff bill by a considerable margin.
    True?

  42. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Back later

  43. wally says:

    A couple points

    1) We’ve consistently had one of the highest wage bills in the premiership during this entire slough. Shortage of funds is not the issue. It’s the use of the those funds to fill the team with crap that is the issue.

    2) The team drop points year after year from the same type of mistake. It happens again and again and again. With no rectification. This is not down to fans not supporting the players it’s down to the players being inadequate or inadequately prepared. Fans don’t prepare the players, the manager and coaching staff do. Stop blaming the fans for players being inadequately prepared.

    An observation.
    The world has moved on from the current clique. All teams now use video to analyze their own strengths and weaknesses as well as their opponents. Anyone hear of Arsenal doing same?

    Can anyone identify the common theme here?

  44. HendonGooner says:

    Here Here.I read this blog every day religiously and what you have pointed out is spot on about the boo boys.unfortunately most of the boo boys are the most senior bloggers on here.

  45. 26may1989 says:

    Wally, no, I haven’t heard whether Arsenal use video analysis. I also haven’t heard what massage techniques are used, what brand of spaghetti is served up in the canteen, how many pairs of training socks the players are issued with….

    Can you idnetify a theme here?

  46. 26may1989 says:

    HendonGooner, err, no. they’re not.

  47. GunnerN5 says:

    RA:

    For me your last post encapsulates the whole conversation, from the AFC accounting we know the total amount spent on salaries but we have no idea how that money is divided between players and staff- yet. even today, the speculation is that we spend more on players wages then other clubs – just where is the proof of that?

    I cannot believe that the fans played a part in the removal of certain players but I do agree that booing them is disgraceful and does nothing to help build that confidence.

    Talking of average players how about Ray Parlour as an example, he was never going to be a Bergkamp or Henry but he was allowed top play to his maximum and Joe average or not he still managed to play in 5 FA Cup finals.

    For the record I may have watched more games at Highbury than any of you and I seldom heard booing and most certainly never booed a player or performance myself.

    Talking of Pareto 20% of the nonsense is repeated 80% of the time.

  48. wally says:

    @26may
    So nothing is related to anything. It’s all chance, happenstance. Success and failure are purely happenstance aren’t they.

  49. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA the 80:20 never fails to amaze my clients, only last week I sat down with a construction company and encouraged them to spend less of Directors time chasing small jobs. And they said “but we will earn less” to which I replied but only 20% less for 80% less work, and then proved it. They liked it…….so in short you’re doing me out of income :D

  50. wally says:

    The losing we can put up with. It’s the way the team keeps losing that pisses us off. Same old same old time and time again.

  51. Red Arse says:

    Micky,

    I don’t know how our wage/salary bill compares with other clubs.

    500 staff = £145m annualised.

    70 staff = footballers :-
    25 first team squad at an avge of £5m per annum? = £125m
    45 others @ £1K per wk, or £55k per annum? = £3m
    Total for playing staff = £128m

    That leaves (145m – £128m) = £17m to share among the rest.

    Remaining staff – [500 - 70] = 430

    Therefore £17m divided by 430 to get an avge = £40K p.a. each.

    Notes:

    – The first team avge of £5m each is unlikely – some will get a lot more – some less.

    – The other players £55k per annum is unlikely too. Some will get more – some less.

    – The total salaries for the 70 playing staff = £128m seems possible.

    It is highly unlikely that the remaining non-playing staff will get £40K p.a. each. Some will earn significant six or seven figure salaries, reducing everyone else’s annual pay dramatically.

    Remedy?

    a) Cut playing staff? Cut their salaries? Not sure about that.

    b) Cut non-playing staff numbers? Where?

    c) Maybe the salaries are not so out of kilter after all?

    Without more information this is all speculation.

  52. slime says:

    LIKE.
    :)

  53. 26may1989 says:

    Wally, you miss the point. Neither you nor I know what work is or is not done on the training ground, including whether they use video analysis. So what’s the point having a dig about something you know nothing about (unless you are one of the coaching team, in which case you have my apologies)?

    As it happens, I’m sure Arsenal use technology just as much as anyone else. But that’s just my guess.

  54. 26may1989 says:

    Sorry, that should have been “Neither you nor I knows”. Bad grammar….!

  55. Red Arse says:

    I think you were right first time, 26M. :D

  56. Rasp says:

    Norfolk, when have I blamed laws for the performance of the players? It’s in your mind. I am not scapegoating laws for all arsenals problems, just the part he is responsible for ;)

  57. goonersteve says:

    @ Red Arse says:

    February 26, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Eboue was never given the boot at the end of that season. He actually won the fans over with hard work and stayed for a couple more years.

    He also wasn’t booed when he came on. He came on on the left side and had a stinker. Constantly giving the ball away and ended up geting booed.

    Never excused it and I was ashamed to be witnessing my fellow ‘fans’ booing one of our own but the facts needed putting straight :-)

  58. Big Raddy says:

    26. 1.10. Wish you had not written this. I will be thinking about it for ages ….

    Two people … plural ….. knows

    2 individuals …. singular …. know

    ?????

  59. Big Raddy says:

    Hendon Gooner (for many years I too was a Hendon Gooner).

    Who are the boo-boys or did you mix AA up with another site whilst surfing?

  60. Red Arse says:

    BR, :-)

    Not that it is important, of course, where the pairings either/or, or neither/nor, form part of the subject of a verb and both elements are singular, then the verb must be singular too.

    In 26′s sentence both “I” and “you” are singular, or should that be ‘is singular’? :-)

    It is made easier in the case of the verb ‘to know’ as it is ‘declined’ with only “He” having “knows” as in; and “he” did not figure.

    “I know, you know, he knows, we know, you know, they know.”

    Rest your weary head and uncrease that furrowed brow thou pre-match Poster, you! :P

  61. vp says:

    Interesting take on why Arsene has replaced our star players with quantity. I don’t think it’s fair to blame the fans for losing faith with i.e Bendtner, Denilson, Eboue and etc- the fan base were very patient with them. You’re absolutely right; you can’t expect every player in a squad to be world class. However, if these players were utilised as squad players (as they should have been) the fans would have been much more accepting. You can’t have players of this low caliber starting game-in-game-out, surely that’s the point. I don’t buy the purchasing in ‘bulk to fill the holes’ theory. The over-reliance on below-par players, bad decision making and the lack of foresight by the manager are factors that shouldn’t be over- looked.

    The purchase of Podolski is a fine example. Was he purchased because of he was world class left winger by trade?…I think not. The main reason why he was because he can play up front and it would save the club spending some cash on centre forward cover. He’s not a world class wide man and never will be. And to be fair it’s quite clear it’s not his preferred position. I’d really like to see him deployed up front. He’s undoubtedly the best finisher in the team, and would have buried a lot of the game- changing chances which have fallen Giroud’s way. I like Giroud, but he’s not good enough to be our main striker. I could easily name you twenty strikers in world football that are better than this guy. If we are really serious about challenging, we’d have a player of this ability coming off the bench.

    I think you grant Arsene too much sympathy as to why the club keeps replacing our star players with mediocre ones. He has to a large degree brought this upon himself. His constant obsession to deliver value for money is another reason why we have too many medico players on our books. I say obsession, as we operate way below our financial capacity- We learned today that we have £120 mill in cash reserves,…are you kidding me. How much more money must our Cashflow Statement show before we can spend more than £16mill on a given player. Furthermore, an impressive net cashflow generated from fixed asset disposals and conservative investment signifies an overwhelming reluctance on the part of the entity to grow. Just ask any independent financial analyst. If Arsene fails to SPEND BIG this summer and does not start making the most of the assets that he has at this disposal, then we must find someone who will!

  62. Red Arse says:

    Gooner Steve, I am happy to stand corrected. :-)

    I was going from memory, and the point I was trying to make was that if a player is poor, then fans ridiculing him is only going to exacerbate the problem.

    Therefore if AW thinks a player is on the cusp of being classified as ‘poor’ the fans reaction could push him over the brink.
    Who knows? In practise, AW has a reputation of standing by his players and they only get the chop when he decides the time is right.

    I was actually only trying to reconcile the views of Rasp and GIE so they could see they were saying much the same thing. :-)

    I always had a soft spot for Eboue. He smiled and made me smile. He dived like buggery – and still made me smile because — he was hopeless at it. (I know I should not have, but ………….! :-)

  63. jnyc says:

    GIE — fantastic view, thank you for putting into words what i have been thinking- that the negativity being pilrd on the backs of some players is a heavy weight. Its a vicious cycle which makes it harder for them to be confident, then less likely to be used by Arsene. And remember, since he almost never rotates players. They become almost useless with rust. Then sitting rather then playing for long periods must also be a confidence killer. ——
    im not happy with the way some guys like gervihno for example have been treated. No one is perfect. As long as they give strong efforts. He clearly has talent, so get behind him and all of our guys, and help bring out the talent and performances. And dont be so negative in your comments on blogs. Im saying this too everybody who is quick to trash our guys.

  64. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Rasp, Re your comment at 1.14

    “For one, my evidence is in our poor performance” source, Rasp at 11.55.

  65. 26may1989 says:

    Re grammar, our esteemed Mr Arse is 100% correct. And I cannot believe I erroneously corrected myself – I will return once I’ve come to terms with my incompetence……..

  66. nihirealist says:

    Fantastic article GIE. Even though I’m not sure the booing actually drove out many players, but it definitely had an impact on some. Denilson the most obvious candidate. While the fault for his poor performances lies with him alone since he couldn’t deal with the pressure, what some fans need to realise is that we would do better to not put that pressure on them in the first place. Denilson, for a while, was actually very good. Pity.

    I agree that we needed to replace squad players. I’ve been trying to say this over and over again as regards ‘overpaying players. We can bemoan the salaries some players receive, but how much should a squad player be paid realistically? If we give the same amount as other clubs, what was to stop these players from leaving to do similar roles for other clubs who’d pay them more if they performed well? And while the salaries saved might have allowed us to pay our top players more, a)top players need a squad to help them, and b) they could still demand more salaries from the oilers, with which we could not have competed. So in summation, we could have ended up losing both our star players, as well as our squad players. Whatever the policy, it consistently delivered top 4, despite annual expectations to the contrary.

    Also, poor purchases as Wenger is accused of, I just think that in a situation of constant flux, there are bound to be certain inefficiencies. The likes of Squillaci or Gervinho may not have developed or delivered as expected, but they were the sort of players we needed. They ticked all the boxes, except the one of price which most supporters find reassuring and demonstrative of ambition.

    Much is also made of these cash reserves. The reserves themselves are used for running expenses (Apparently this has fallen 30m from June 1 -at it’s peak- till Nov, which should give us some idea how much the running costs are) Then there is a component which needs to stay in the bank as guarantee under the terms of the bond agreement. According to swiss ramble, this was 34m. Take out those amounts, plus the amounts for purchase of Monreal, and Walcott’s contract extension, and you don’t have as much in the bank as people believe. Also, money has been spent in the past on upgrading our medical centre (seems to have had an effect in reducing injuries).

    The difference is though, that now we not only have some substantial amount in the bank, we also have an assured supply of money due to us. So now, spending on transfers, which is always risky and potentially offers no return financially, can now occur, without blowing our entire source of cash on them. Having cash in the bank when you don’t know where and when your next paycheck is coming from, is just good sense.

  67. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA
    Don’t really know why, as my memory is foggy at best, but I thought our playing staff bill was around the £90m mark.
    Thus the 430 admin people average 130,000k pa
    Mind you, I’m on sticky ground, as I don’t like admin people or our players’ wages :-)

  68. Rasp says:

    NG, I was referring to put poor performance in terms of contracts etc, not in the pitch – my bad :( sorry I didn’t make that clear. I don’t blame laws for what happens on the pitch

  69. Gooner In Exile says:

    Nihi a good point on cash reserves, i could have explored it but best left to SwissRamble

    There is a figure in the accounts called Accruals and Deferred Income it sits at around £70million i believe, and therein lies one of the main reasons for the cash balance being so healthy in November……Season Ticket Income, this is paid up front, and only drip fed into profit throughout the year the rest is stuck in Deferred Income so as you say expenses and overheads need to be covered in the following 6 months and the money in the bank is there to pay for them. As well as you mention to guarantee the loans, and to pay off transfers still outstanding (although from reading the numbers we are owed about as much as we owe on transfers).

  70. Gooner In Exile says:

    Micky one thing to remember on the wage numbers is its all guess work, we know two things, cost and numbers:

    Costs are as follows:

    Wages £123,298,000
    Soc Sec £16,321,000
    Pension Costs £3,829,000
    Total £143,448
    Playing Staff 70
    Coaching Staff 55
    Ground Staff 100
    Admin Staff 271
    Temp Matchday staff 845
  71. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    Strewth, the ratio of teachers to pupils (coaches to footballers) is way higher than at Eton.
    Not bloody surprising the fees are so high :-)

  72. Red Arse says:

    I’m with you, Micky, on the need to cut salaries.

    You point the buggers out and I’ll lop off their heads!! :-)

  73. wally says:

    @26may

    We do know the following. That up until Clichy was sold the team didn’t practice defending. Not really acceptable but when we were producing the sublime and winning it can be overlooked.
    Since then we don’t know if the team practices defending or not. And whether they do or not is irrelevant. The results speak for themselves. Each year we concede more goals. There isn’t one among us who would argue that the same defensive problems from 3-4 years ago have been addressed. Not one!

    Is there one among us who would argue that this team is well-organized defensively? Beuller? Bueller?

    If we can’t produce the sublime then we sure as hell better fix the problems that are causing us to drop points. And if were not fixing the problems then who should be held accountable?

  74. Red Arse says:

    Micky,

    The costs would not be much of an issue if our commercial people under Tom Fox moved their asses and got better deals coming in to improve our revenue streams.

    I believe they are about to tie up a better deal re shirt sponsorship with either Addidas or Nike?

    However, when you compare our ‘measly’ revenues with Bayern’s or Manure’s it pales into insignificance.
    (and let’s not mention the ridiculous deals with state sponsored Qatar and Abu Dhabi for PSG and Shitty).

  75. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wally,
    I hold Soc Sec accountable. He/She is on £16m a year!
    Leave you all in peace now.

  76. 26may1989 says:

    @Wally

    First, respect for the Ferris Bueller reference: a highlight of the 1980s!

    On your points, I apologise in advance for being dogmatic about this, I know it’s a right pain in the arse. But I maintain, we don’t know anything about what happens on the training ground, whether that be on your new point, how much defensive training is done, or your original point, about video analysis. We might have seen the odd assertion in the press but just how often are quotes made up by the (dis)honourable members of the fourth estate? Or taken out of context? We just don’t know. Yet that ignorance doesn’t get in the way of many making sweeping assertions about needing a defensive coach, etc etc.

    What we do know are the strengths and weaknesses of our team, at least as judged subjectively. From that I would accept that there are areas for real concern, that might (might) be capable of being traced back to the training regime. But even the material we have before us needs to be looked at carefully: there are times when we have been shockingly weak, disjointed or naive in defence, and yet we have one of the best defences in the PL in terms of goals conceded, clean sheets etc, and that with one of the best disciplinary records around and being the side that is pretty much the most fouled and the least rewarded in terms of free-kicks, penalties and cards for opponents.

    I agree with you that there are things that need fixing, we should already have about ten more points in the bag than we have. I’m just more conservative than you about diagnosing the underlying problems.

  77. GunnerN5 says:

    Here are some interesting stats on goals against (at least I find them interesting).

    Our away goals against are the best in 9 seasons at .85 goals per game.

    Our home goals against are in worst in our PL history at 1.36 GPG.

    The big question is why would that be?

    My guess would be that the team are nervous playing in front of disapproving fans.

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GN5,
    Either, we attack more at home, and are not good at both attacking and defending simultaneously, or, we prefer bumpy pitches :-)

  79. GunnerN5 says:

    MD,

    It’s strange because our PL average home goals against is .86 so we are conceeding a huge .50 more goals against.

  80. Red Arse says:

    Hi GN5, :-)

    Interesting stats indeed.

    One would normally expect teams to be at their all round best at home, roared on by their fans putting the bejasus up the opposition.

    I have no way of really knowing what is going on at the Emirates as I have only been able to go there twice in 2 years, but my best guess from watching on TV is that the players are well aware of the sighs, tuts and worse, the silence coming from the stands when they miss-control the ball or are forced into passing sideways or back to the keeper.

    OK I am guilty of that too, sitting at home – tutting at the sideways/backwards passing – but that is as a consequence not of me being critical of an individual player, but the slowness of the whole teams passing, and lack of movement.

    Anyway, you have often urged those fans going to the game to get behind the team, and that has to be right, but there is a sourness among many fans, it seems, and they seem to want us to fail to prove a pathetic point.

    With regards to the angry shouts and the hurled verbal abuse of the dissatisfied fans, and the owners of the empty seats at the Emirates, I would rather they gave up their season tickets, as they keep threatening, because it would be better to have a smaller nucleus of supportive fans than a bigger group of actively disruptive ‘supporters’.

  81. kelsey says:

    I can’t quite work it out. highbury was far more enclosed and i believe a slightly smaller pitch so the crowd were nearer to the action and at The Emirates one has 22ooo more yet i have been told that the upper high stands are pretty far away from the pitch therefore would there be any real impact of sound from those fans and how many sit in the gods.

  82. RockyLives says:

    Fine Post Mr Exile

    A really good and interesting analysis.

    I think I’m sitting among the splinters with GoonerB, in that I don’t really feel that AW’s decisions on players are massively influenced by external factors like the crowd and the media, but on the other hand I am sure that the boo boys have made some players want to be elsewhere.

    Gervinho appears to be the new favourite hate figure, which is ridiculous. He can be frustrating but he could be a game changer with a bit of confidence.

  83. Merseforever says:

    Hi Kelsey,

    You are indeed correct. When sitting in the upper tiers you do feel miles away from the pitch and that is a major flaw of the emirates and something I miss greatly from Highbury. Unfortunately, I think Tottnumb have learnt from our mistake and seem to be rectifying this in their designs for their new stadium (stands closer to the pitch and a ‘Kop’ style home end).

    Nevertheless, when the crowd stop being lethargic, or alternatively when they’re being very negative, it can definitely be heard. Case in point, Barca at home two years ago, a fantastic atmosphere, and counter example Swansea at home this season, absolutely poisonous.

  84. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky, :-)

    It is possible to have a less than whole hearted appreciation of a player (Gerv) without hating him.

    I do not rate him, but that is as far as it goes, and I hope he proves me wrong, and I will say so.

    There are far too many extreme reactions to pretty innocent comments made about this palyer or that. They are just opinions after all. How did you rate Stepanovs? :-)

  85. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Hi
    What’s the chat about tonight

  86. Reddawn says:

    Red Arse
    What about 20% of the players think that 80% of the fans are wrong?

  87. 20/20Vision says:

    Arsenal don’t have the same sacked manager pay off bill as several other top clubs, has anyone mentioned that factor? What can be done to make football a level financial playing field?

  88. evonne says:

    GiE – great post, excellent analysis, cheers
    Rocky – yep, Gerv is the new Denilson. I like the lad, I think his confidence is at its lowest, but technically he is a gifted player and his heart is in the right place.

    Bookies are giving 4:5 for us to finish in the top 4. I am going to put all my money on it. Both Chavs and Scum have more difficult fixtures, they are both in Europe and Chavs in FA as well. We should finish 3rd again

  89. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Everton r 2 up which means good news for us in the cup,I’m watching EL CLASSICO FROM THE POO CAMP.
    Good game

  90. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Evonne don’t wast your last 50 p
    Much love
    Sheepy

  91. Mallard says:

    Great post, GIE.
    I’m not sure I see the causal link between booing and buying 10 million pound players though. Haven’t we always bought up and coming players in the mid range price bracket?

    I do think 20% of the crowd are responsible for 80% of the abuse. 40% are responsible for shouting ‘SHOOT’. It’s so sad to hear some on here not wanting to go because of the shite atmosphere at the ground. It’ll only get worse if good fans are staying away.

  92. Gooner In Exile says:

    Very true Mallard, I keep looking at the fixtures and my diary to see when I can next realistically make a game without incurring the wrath of Mrs Exile.

    But listening to the views of people like Wonderman, Thomas, Micky, Rasp and yourself about some of the loud mouths around the stadium does not feel me with eagerness to come.

    The club really need to make some allocation free areas where groups of friends can meet up, this would also require us to get to the ground a bit earlier and clap the players on to the pitch for warm ups etc, I love going to the Tavern but miss those elements of Matchday that i used to love, very few of us would have thought about getting into Highbury with less than 5 minutes to kick off but it’s a given at the Ems as its so easy to get to your seats before kick off. It also forced the fans to come up with songs for players as they came on to the pitch. Can you imagine sitting with us lot altogether in ground? Would be so much more fun even if most of us are old gits we all have the same history. 2 rows of 5 AA’ers no need to be embarrassed to sing alone. Especially as Chary would have snuck a hip flask full of Peroni in to the ground :D

  93. mallard says:

    Here’s a blurry snap I took after the Bayern game of one of Micky’s favourite fans, Emmanuel Petit ponytail and all. :)

    http://twitpic.com/c73cb0/full

  94. Gooner In Exile says:

    To clarify I am saying that booing those players has led to them suffering dips in form making them unplayable/unreliable and therefore Wenger has had no choice.

    Also £10m players are not what they once were, for example Ox cost £12m, PV4 £3.5m. Giroud £10m, Henry £11m. Applying inflation to Henry’s fee comes to £15.2m. I think that’s the difference.

    Steven Fletcher cost Sunderland £12m, actually just check wiki for 2012 summer transfer window and see what some players moved for, it’s scary.

  95. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kelsey the one sound that does seem to gather momentum is the boo, unfortunately. But when the crowd do sing as one the effect is incredible no matter where you sit in the ground, much better than all seated Highbury, and probably better than the standing days that I went to. Whereas then the noise was from both ends and very rarely from east or west, now when in full voice the whole ground sings from every area, and that’s special when it happens.

  96. Domhuail says:

    Here it is folks….I got this information from a source very,very deep inside AFC and it is guaranteed 199% accurate, or thereabouts:

    Player: Weekly Wage in £:

    Szcesny 68,379,26
    Mannone 67,234,33
    Fabianski 66,122,02
    Sagna 87,745,00
    Mertesacker 62,211,56
    Vermaelen 67,444,00
    Koscielny 59,934,77
    Monreal 54,811,23
    Squillaci 89,601,88
    Jenkinson 46,566,02
    Gibbs 63,333,33
    Diaby 79,000,02
    Rosicky 59,033,34
    Arteta 59,998,99
    Wilshere 73,455,90
    Ramsey 70,132,32
    Cazorla 69,876,54
    Coquelin 35,891,00
    Arshavin 88,869,22
    Podolski 55,555,55
    Giroud 58,671,23
    Walcott 70,470,00
    Oxlade-Chamberlain 66,666,66
    Gervinho 82,300,00

    Wow., the lowest figure …that’s more than I earned in the best year of my infamous career!!!

    My next investigative report will be about how much the management and coaching staff earn and then the reserve,youth and academy salaries as well.

    I rounded all salaries out to the nearest £1000 so forgive me if there is a slight variance. Keep in mind these are only salaries and don’t take into account the benefits package or £££ from publicity or personal appearances.

    Look at all that money wasted on deadwood!!!!!!!@###

  97. kelsey says:

    Squillaci 89,601,88 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  98. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mallard,
    Love the pic of Manu :-)
    My challenge to AA’ers is to get a full length pic, as the odd socks are an integral part of his “look”.
    He can be seen in the bar area at half time around Block 107!!!
    Poor lad, he’s had it now ROLF

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Kelsey

  100. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Domhuail
    Interesting figures, thank you.
    I’d love to see how the spread/variation compares to a club like Utd.
    The players total wages are not so different, and yet I believe there is a far greater spread.

  101. MickyDidIt89 says:

    For what it’s worth, I reckon Chelsea will be the team to miss out on top four.

  102. Big Raddy says:

    Motning All

    Micky. I woke up this morning in a very negative mood – so reckon it will be Arsenal who play on Thursdays.

  103. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Motning to you too Raddy.
    How can we sprinkle some hope and sunshine into your doomy life?

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Here Raddy,

  105. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks.

    OK We will finish 2nd :-D

  106. evonne says:

    Are you sure Raddy? I don’t want to take unnecessary risks

    Motning all

  107. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hey Daddy,
    I’ll tell you what would cheer you up, is had you been in my car the other day on the school run, with my children singing “there’s only one Big Raddy” on the back of watching pics of Northern Italy for the hundreth time :-)

  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    And a very good motning to you too Evonne

  109. evonne says:

    I am an idiot Micky :( I watched Oldham last night instead of Barca v Real!! Why didn’t anybody mention the game?

    Those wage figures above look real, a tad sickening all right, but hey, it’s only money

  110. kelsey says:

    Morning all

    A friend of my wife has a daughter married to a first team footballer at Peterborough and when they yo yo in and out of the Championship the top wage is 3500 a week and the lowest 1000 a week, which shows the huge gulf.
    I wonder what the Swansea players earn.?

  111. kelsey says:

    Sunday is absolutely massive for us.I worry about Bale not because of his speed or shooting ability but we may well bring him down in dangerous areas (Arteta and Kos are the main suspects) and he has to be watched with free kicks and our keeper isn’t exactly on form
    To balance that Spurs defence is no great shakes so it would be nice to have a twin sperhead with Pod and giroud and theo on the wing.
    If we do lose those 7 points will be a lot to pull back with 10 games to go.
    I don’t see Chelsea missing out.No doubt they are not as lethal as before but they have players on the bench of the highest quality,our main hope is that Benitez cocks up again.

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey
    More talk of a rift between Benitez and Terry can only be good news. Then, given that their manager will probably be sent packing in the summer, my money says that he will not give two hoots whether the team he leaves behing play CL football or not next term, but would rather he left with a trophy on his CV ie FAC or Thursday Cup.

  113. evonne says:

    Don’t know about Chelsea Kelsey, Mata is fantastic, but Hazard, Torres and Oscar failed to impress me. JT is still nursing his noble knees and only Cashley holds their defence together. Czech makes more mistakes than Szczesny and Benitez keeps writing in his little book….joke of a team if you ask me

  114. kelsey says:

    What about the rift between Wenger and Bould. Is there substance to that ? I think there might be. Bould looks totally pissed off all the time while Wenger looks frustrated and annoyed a lot of the time

  115. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. That has really cheered me up….

    kelsey. Whilst losing on Sunday would undoubtedly be a blow, I do not see it as a disaster. Sprs have a difficult run-in.

    IMO we will not be able to keep a clean sheet , both Ade and Bale have the unhappy knack of scoring against us, so it will be the potency of our forwards upon which our fortunes rest.

    I have a feeling that the performance of Walcott will be hugely important.

  116. kelsey says:

    you avoided the bould comment raddy :)

  117. Gooner In Exile says:

    Dom i’d really like to believe your numbers but unfortunately ive already been swayed by this list http://arsenaltruth.squarespace.com/arsenal-truth/2012/11/4/arsenals-1434m-wage-bill-exposed.html?currentPage=4#comments

    he says Pod on £107k per week you say £55.5k (which is less than he was earning in Germany apparently), he says Diaby £60k per week you say £80k per week…..who to believe? Erm How about neither of you.

  118. kelsey says:

    Spurs have taken 4 points off United difficult games in the run are for us as well as them,it all depends as has been the whole season which team turns up on any given day.

  119. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kelsey I don’t believe there is a rift, would they sit next to each other, would Bould still be in a job? Unfortunately the cameras will focus less on Wenger and Bould when things are going well.

  120. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kelsey in my view all we need at the Lane is a point and top 4 is ours, win and we will cruise it.

  121. mallard says:

    Motning all and Terry’s noble knees.

  122. Big Raddy says:

    Morning Mallard.

    kelsey. No, I don’t believe there is a rift – we shall see at season’s end.

  123. Mallard says:

    Micky, I was trying to get the odd socks in as well. Photography has never been one of my strong suits. I nearly missed evidence of the shorts on a bitter February night too.

  124. MickyDidIt89 says:

    And, of course, Motning Mallard, my feathered friend.
    Curious thing about Manu is that he’s actually got mates who are happy to be seen in public with him.
    Would you?

  125. Red Arse says:

    Morning, Daffy, :-)

    Are you back on a more permanent basis? I have been missing my early morning Vid smorgasbord!! :-)

  126. Rasp says:

    Morning all …….

    ….. New post …….

  127. Domhuail says:

    GIE…..You are perfectly correct in your justified skepticism about my salary figures. Here is the algorithm that I got off the local chapter of LeGrove i used to invent those figures:

    1) Take the players age in years,months and days,
    2) Multiply by the number of minutes he’s played or not played this season,
    3)Divide by the combined IQ of the entire Spuds team (89),
    4) Add the number of years AFC has been without a trophy or title,
    5) Subtract the number of times Walcott was offered a new deal,
    6) Multiply by the annual increase of season ticket prices at AFC
    7) Finally, take 10% of Gazidis’ annual bonus and add to the above.

    I hope nobody took my figures too seriously???

  128. Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic but I was
    wondering which blog platform are you using for this website?
    I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and
    I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

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