Is it time for a reality check?

We may not be experts but we all naturally follow our own team extremely closely and to me the top three is already done and dusted,with Spurs, Arsenal and United playing it out for forth.

I read that Arsenal’s total overall wage bill for players and employees will be nearer to 190 million in this current financial year which is over 20% more than two years ago and considerably more than Spurs.

IMO the real reason that we can’t sign really top class players is that Wenger has overall control and the directive from Kroenke is just to finish top 4. None of Kroenke’s USA investments win trophies. He is just in it for the long haul.

There is a growing unrest among fans as we have considerable funds and as van Persie said “the club lack real ambition”.

We are proud of our heritage, have a wonderful stadium, have the highest ticket prices in the league, yet the waiting list for season tickets is still in the tens of thousands.

We have become a business and a money machine for the club.

Take nothing away from what AW did in the first half of his tenure but I am absolutely sure we have seen the best of him.

The scouting network that at one time was second to none has been supereceded by many clubs and our play of pass and move only works against the lesser teams generally.

However the status quo will remain regardless were we finish this season. That is the reality.

This has nothing to do with my support for the club, but just listen to the away fans being interviewed at Stoke, they are all saying the same thing.

Many point out the loss of Walcott has been a major blow and one can’t argue against that but it’s the same old story,we don’t have consistent quality of squad depth when needed.

To have to play Sanogo against Bayern was unbelievable. He may turn out to be a wonderful purchase and to get Kit Kallstrom on loan was to say in the nicest possible way ….strange.

We are going to lose Fabianski, which IMO opinion is wrong as competition for Szczesny won’t come from the third choice, never played, Italian keeper. Vermaelen, our current club captain had one iffy season and in all likelyhood will leave and there is the likely prospect of Sagna leaving too.

Jack needs a long rest but we can’t afford that luxury.

Podolski appears to be out of favour so rarely gets game time.

Arteta has maybe one good season left so the rebuilding may start again.

Realistically we have one good chance of a trophy this season and that is the FA Cup and I hope AW realises this and isn’t tempted to not play our strongest team , which he has done in the past, as his directive is to finish top 4.

The irony is that if Wenger did leave would things change if the directive from the owner remains the same?

Written by kelsey

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166 Responses to Is it time for a reality check?

  1. Thank you kelsey ………… it will be interesting to see how many attack you for your views.

    While we were top of the league there was a lot less discussion about how top four was our only target.

    If Theo hadn’t got injured and Ramsey had returned earlier we may still have been on cloud nine. We still have it all to play for, I’m not giving up until it’s mathematically impossible but I’m guarded in my excitement :(

  2. chas says:

    Thanks, kelsey.

    The only good I can see in all of that is that our wage bill is considerably less than Spurs.

    I suppose you could say that if the directive from Stan is to finish fourth at all costs, then we had to slacken off a bit, didn’t we? :)

    Roll on next season.

  3. kelsey says:

    chas

    kindly re read it. It is 20% more than Spurs :)

    I think there is too much emphasis being put on the loss of Walcott and Ramsey.

    We are a fickle bunch :) Last year Ramsey was being slated by many,this season he was a revelation.

    We miss the pace on the flanks of Walcott and because we don’t really have a similar type of player our tactics change and there is less width to attack and the midfield is often congested. There is no constigency plan.

    Again lack of quality in depth of squad.

  4. craszygunner says:

    I totally agree with your views Kelsey if the directive was to finish 1st and Wenger had tried 8 times and failed I am pretty sure he would have been back in Grampus 8 by now..

    Looking at things from Kroenke’s perspective Wenger is the chick that has laid the golden eggs and he would beg Wenger to please accept another contract. I do not believe Kroenke is here for the long haul he is looking to make arsenal as profitable as possible and sell whilst making a lot of money on his investment to the highest bidder..

    We will finish 4th this season I used to think we would be 3rd but liverpool have greater momentum and no other distractions ie CL FA cup

    Wenger is planning to leave at the end of the season because the embarrassment of recurrent failure is becoming too hard to bear…yes I agree at one time he was ahead of the game with scouting sports physiology to an extent tactics with an already drilled back 4…the combination was perfect and it worked and was scintillating…others have caught up …and oil money has made things worse…

    If I have to be truly honest Wenger has looked like a broken man over the last 5-6yrs and I have wondered why he has continued..when I look at him I don’t see a man who genuinely believes he can change our fortunes…

    But what has been criminal is doing the same things every year getting the same result and going back to do more of the same year on year hoping for a different outcome….in terms of recruitment and tactics

    Wenger loves his stats and I am sure he has checked the most obvious stat….. challenged in 32 competitions and won none!!…it will be 36 at the end of this season …it doesn’t look like changing either…

  5. GoonerB says:

    Kelsey, I have no problem with a post like this on A.A raising what may be considered controversial talking points. I am neither a complete believer come what may or a doomer (is that still a useable term). I think balanced criticism and differing views should be welcomed. I was quite critical after the Stoke game so hey ho.

    I haven’t got time to make a full GoonerB comment right now so will return later, but just wanted to say that if anyone disagrees with Kelsey then fine and would hope that everyone will just debate nicely with your arguments as to why you feel he is wrong. Me, I think you are right on some points but disagree with others but will return for a chat later Kelsey.

    BTW I read it the same as Chas that we were 20% more but still less than Spurs, so can you clarify that point Kelsey.

  6. Podge says:

    @Kelsey, I don’t think there is too much emphasis on the loss of Walcott and Ramsey they are two of the best in the league in their positions.

    We’re short in a couple of positions but so are the other title contenders. Had either Walcott or Ramsey been fit for the last six weeks we would be top of the table still. They are big game players and that is what we have been lacking at key moments this season, when the big games have come we have been missing 1 or 2 of our big game players and dropped points as a result.

    As yesterdays article showed, yet again we’re top of the injury table this season that remains our biggest obstacle. We question our clubs medical team and training methods but the question we should ask is how did Charlie Adam stay on the pitch on Saturday? he could have been sent off 3 times over( for 2 stamps and 2 tackles deserving yellow) yet didn’t get a single yellow.

    This is a general statement. I used to think we had a large section of terrible ‘fans’ but recently I’ve realised that they just follow the media narrative like the majority of fans at all clubs.

  7. Happy 4/3/14 to you all. Interesting post Kelsey, though I imagined that you did write that our wage bill was less than Totnumb’s.
    Chas; Your comment @9:53 is more than just funny. I think it could be insightful.

  8. Big Raddy says:

    Podge. I agree with you, your whole comment is a reflection of my opinion. Why don’t you write post for AA? :-)

    The loss of two of our three most potent players is massive and has inevitably caused problems.

    kelsey. You know I disagree with much of your post but like GB will return when I have more time.

  9. I’ve altered the wording in the post so that it reads that we have a larger wage bill than spuds.

  10. Rasp says:

    Thanks for baring your soul Kelsey :P

    After rediscovering my enthusiasm for our return to the top following the signing of Ozil, I now find myself mentally where I was a couple of years ago as regards Arsenal.

    Are we under achieving, overachieving, or just about where we should be in terms of our ability to achieve major honours again?

    Well one thing is for sure, we over achieved up until Christmas. But, but, but, we still do not learn from our mistakes and I’m afraid the manager is one of the main culprits in this. We cannot change Arsene’s ethos, if he’s the manager, that’s what we will get, we can see that he will only do things his way. When it works its fantastic, when it doesn’t its frustrating (I’m speaking personally here)

    We are still 2 – 3 players short of a team that could win everything and we’ve been saying that for 5 or 6 years. Before we couldn’t afford those players – maybe now we can.

    My prediction is that we will finish the season in fourth place (hopefully comfortably) and the following summer’s transfer activity will tell us all we need to know about the owner’s directive and the manager’s thirst for success.

  11. dandan says:

    Kelsey good to see you consistently posting.

    What does the future hold ? as I cannot read tea leaves, nor do I have an inside track, I do not know. what I do know is that 60 plus years following the Arsenal has given me more pleasure over a lifetime than I would have dreamed possible.
    Do I envy those of you who seem to have powers of comprehension that I don’t posses, again no.
    Having lived a life of optimism it is perhaps no surprise then that I watch the certainty of opinion among some of my fellow gooners with a little cynicism. But fair dues if that is what drives you good luck,.Me I am content to take what the team and Arsen bring me, we have had our share of tin pots and as long as we continue to play the beautiful game,then for me trophy’s are a bonus and I am, strange as it may seem happy.

  12. Vinay says:

    So its getting accepted that Wenger is a failure specially the second part of his stay. Stats dont lie and even if they dont tell the whole story fact remains he is deemed a failure by a lot including the Arsenal fans as well.
    So what else could he have done better? He has kept the team in the top 4 all throughout his stay here, is that a failure or a success?
    Every season when one team wins, are the other 19 failures?
    yes we should have won something in the last 10 years but we havent collapsed as well like a lot of other teams, so are we a failure?.
    So when are saying its a reality check, then what is the reality?
    The 1st, 2nd and even the 3rd are decided, so who are they? chelsea,city and pool? so pool is at the same points as we are albeit better goal difference, chelsea are just 4 points ahead of us and need to play us still, city have a manchester derby and need to go to anfield, so considering all this, are the top 3 decided??????
    Wenger and the board just want to finish top 4. Well if so how can they do so with such regularity? We dont have real good players, we dont have backups, players are set to leave and yet we do, how? is it accepted that Arsenal will finish top 4 at all cost, so do the rest of the 15 teams just accept it and not try?
    Is the value of finishing in the top 4 undermined and just accepted as a given by the fans? if so who gave them the rights
    to do so?
    I am not defending Wenger or the board, for a club of our stature,we need to win trophies and compete throughout for every competition we enter but which teams apart from say 2-3 in the world do so all the time.
    Arsenal are like any other big club in the world with the same ambitions, we try to achieve it and we go about it in the best way possible, if the best way is not showing results then we need to rework the strategy than just complain that everything is over, if in that Wenger and the board are stubborn then there is a problem or else i dont quite understand how can there be so much gloom and so called reality checks.

  13. Sav from Australia says:

    An interesting post, Kelsey.

    I suppose I am almost opposite to you in regards to how I see the club being run. But we are all on the outside after all, so how I can say I ‘know’. My views are based on the evidence. The club is stable and on the up – squad-wise and financial. The manager is a revolutionary who is ahead of his time. The squad is a lot better, a lot stronger, than the media cares to admit. I see the trajectory going up and if Arsene Wenger stays, mark my words, we will see Arsenal doing what Real Madrid did all those decades ago. Conquer Europe season after season.

    The only thing standing in the way are referees who do not give our players protection, which leads to kicks and long term injuries. Referees who allow fouls to destroy our forward momentum. Referees who give phantom off-sides when playing Man City or ridiculously soft penalties for Stoke, or even off-side goals when playing Liverpool.

    The theme of organised institutional destablisation of Arsenal football club on the field by the referees ‘strange’ behaviour and off the field by the English media (in the non-English speaking world, the reporting of Arsenal and Arsene Wenger is so different) speak to a really quite easily beheld campaign. Arsenal ‘Must Not Win’. Thats the plan. Look at this season, they have most likely succeeded.

    I look at this team and then I look at Bayern Munich. At Barcelona. And I think. We are not weaker. We just need the experience of winning at the highest level. Once it starts the tap will flow and flow. All they need is belief. All the team needs is for themselves to ‘believe’ – if they believe it they will achieve it.

    I expect the support will be great for the Cup match on Sat and next week the away support will be its usual top class in Munich. Crunch time. Believe!

  14. Shard says:

    I disagree with a lot of it, but what I disagree with most is that the top 3 is done and dusted.

    I don’t understand why Kroenke’s US franchises are brought up on the simplistic basis of trophies (for the record the Avalanche won one Stanley cup and the MLS team won one trophy too) In my time following the NBA, the Denver Nuggets have become a much better club since the time Kroenke took over. I think Kroenke isn’t an owner who looks for the headlines for himself, he’s obviously in it for the money (but I think all owners are), and he’s not knee jerk. Doesn’t make him a bad owner. Just doesn’t make him Abramovich, nor the flavour of the week, Henry. And he fired George Karl as coach when he felt that the club couldn’t progress. So it’s not like he’s just sitting on his laurels just because he’s more patient.

    As for the scouting network. Superceded by other clubs? How do we figure that? Because Wenger doesn’t buy the players that the media deems essential? That other clubs can outspend us for certain players? We have less of a free rein, no doubt. We’re also likely to have less time to scout certain targets because the risk of being usurped is higher and hence it’s more hit and miss than before, but I certainly don’t think that the scouting network has anything to apologise for. Who fares better?

    You say status quo, I say stability. Our 20% higher wage bill is a function of our stability. Players that play CL every season demand more payments, especially as contracts are renewed. We could instead spend that money on transfers having increased squad churn every year I suppose, but that isn’t the way to go. In any case, not renewing contracts for Fabianski, Vermaelen and Sagna is also seemingly a negative.

    We have decent squad depth. (Except maybe at CB) Yes, Sanogo isn’t like an Aguero, nor for that matter is Giroud. Walcott’s injury causes problems, so does Ramsey’s (who last season was criticised for being no more than a squad player) And yet, we’ve marched on in the league in what at the start was either dubbed a rebuilding year, or a complete write-off. Will we fall short? Possibly. Maybe even probably. But what are we falling short to? Liverpool? Let’s say that happens, do you think one season makes Liverpool a better placed club? I thought that was supposed to be Tottenham the last two years. The short term shouldn’t take away from what the club has built. Everyone complained that Arsenal don’t even compete. When we do, everyone complains that we aren’t running away with the title. This shows a lack of ambition apparently. Over and over again the same thing.

    I acknowledge that we have weaknesses. Who doesn’t? City with their hundreds of millions have weakness in defense, Chelsea’s own manager says he has no strikers, Liverpool are benefiting by playing less games and having an in-form striker, but their squad is hardly brilliant. Mancs? Spurs? Which team has the perfect squad that we always have to pull down what we have? I acknowledge that there might be a lot of players leaving and we’ll need to address those departures in addition to strengthening. But can we please give this talk of ‘ambition’ a rest? An unambitious club does not build the stadium, on time and on budget. It does not stay in the much demeaned (and yet, much desired) top 4 against oilers, Mancs and free spending Liverpool (who went bankrupt) and Spurs. It does not withstand the departure of several key players, and assaults by opposition and officials alike, and it does not sign Mesut Ozil. It does not dare to undertake that journey on it’s own rather than through an owner’s wallet. You are as likely to end up with a Vincent Tan or Thaksin Shinawatra as you are to end up with Mansour if you go down that route. Arsenal are different. They do not lack ambition. Regardless of what Van persie said so he could get his 250k per week and cheat his way to a medal with Ferguson.

  15. Sav from Australia says:

    I’m not sure if I specifically answered the post, but what I was trying to say is that where some see a glass half empty, I see a glass half full. I really don’t mind if we win nothing this season. Its just a joy to watch the team.

    I would be happy for Arsenal to win trophies. But I get up at all odd hours of the night (or regretfully, sometimes have to tape and watch later) to watch Arsenal not to see a shiny trophy but to see exquisite football, beautiful football. Lets never win anything, I don’t care. Lets win everything, I don’t care.

  16. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all,

    Kelsey I don’t find your post the least bit controversial, it’s consistent with what you have been saying for several weeks.

    Our thoughts are always tied to our current level of knowledge and based on our situation today I find little in your post to disagree with. But I certainly do disagree with the notion that the Arsenal management team are content with being in the top four, all one has to do is look at the expressions on their faces during games where we underachieve to see just how passionate they are.

    If we had not sustained the level of injuries – then things might be very different today, if Suarez had said yes to our overtones – then things might be very different today – if Szczesny had not seen red against Bayern things might be very different today, if Adams had seen red in the Stoke game – then things might look very different today. It’s all a matter of “what if’s” – and that’s a game that I don’t like to play,

    To even think that Arsenal are culpable in the level of injuries that we receive or that we have inadequate medical staff or facilities is ludicrous. However it may be a result of our possession type of football. Teams realize that the best way to stop us is to close down our engine room (passing) and most teams do this by cheap rotational fouling. When you are being kicked around all the time injuries are bound to and do occur.

    So Kelsey in summary I do, and will continue to, get extremely upset with those (not you) who continually hold our management team responsible for things that are out of their realm of control.

  17. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thank you Kelsey.

    Excellent stuff, well reasoned and presented.

    Also, some great contributions from fellow posters. Special mention for Sav from Australia who understands the need for romance. You must have women all over you. Top man.

    On the general theme of your post Kelsey, my faith in Arsene Wenger is unshakeable. For this reason, since he is still at the Club he must have the belief that the current ownership and Board are not in any way an obstacle to our future success.

    If its good enough for Arsene, its certainly good enough for me.

    Putting my adulation for Arsene aside, though difficult, the man has such a nice smile, lets analyse recent developments.

    Its only been a year or so since the Club has entered a phase were new commercial deals result in finally realising the financial benefits of the Ashburton Grove move.

    In that short space of time our new found stability has seen improvement on the pitch, a strengthening in our position for retaining key players, and the acquisition of a £42 million pound player.

    The whole point though is that this is just the beginning. What do people expect? becoming the worlds best overnight?

    The aim is to produce a team and squad that will compete and even surpass the giants of European football and the sugar daddy clubs.

    It wont be easy, but we can do it.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  18. RA says:

    Hi Kelsey,

    If a key achievement indicator for a Post is the number and quality of the responses to it, then you are to be commended. :-)

    You are honest and passionate, and, yes, you do indeed wear your heart on your sleeve, and that means you sometimes confuse fact with opinion – and frankly we all have loads of the latter and frequently few of the former.

    Undisputed facts are often hard to come, but speak for themselves, altho even then they can be open to interpretation, depending on the inclination of the recipient.

    Opinions on the other hand owe more to the judgement and prejudicial views of the individual and care little for facts.

    As GN5 said earlier, there can be little surprise in your Post to those who know you, and therefore altho’ those of us who do not agree with you will not think you are being deliberately controversial because we also know you are simply stating your honestly held views – and there should be no problem with that.

    More Posts from the pen of the Hairy One are therefore called for! :-)

  19. RA says:

    Hi Terry, baby, ;-)

    You and your thirty goats in the stir fry are putting the mockers on our team, so a little more moussaka, galaktoboureko and baklava, please, and leave the bloody goats alone! :-)

  20. GunnerN5 says:

    Arsenal: Per Mertsesacker and Tomas Rosicky sign new deals

    Arsenal centre-back Per Mertsesacker and midfielder Tomas Rosicky have signed new contracts with the club.

    Mertsesacker, 29 joined the Gunners from Werder Bremen in August 2011 and has played in 39 of the Premier League side’s 42 games so far this season.

    Rosicky, 33, joined from Borussia Dortmund in 2006 and would have been out of contract in the summer.

    “They are players of exceptional quality and experience,” Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger told the club’s website.

    “They have consistently proven themselves at the highest level.

    “There is a great feeling of togetherness and belief in the group and this news will only help to strengthen this further.”

  21. RA says:

    Oh, and by the way, Terry Telescope, I agree with your non-adulation comments.

    Spot on! :-)

  22. GoonerB says:

    Redders, what is galacticoberks… or however it is spelt? I know the other 2 and thought I was reasonably well up on Mancini cuisine but don’t know this one.

  23. kelsey says:

    Thank you so far with being reasonable and respectful to my views

    I don’t express myself as well as others but these were my thoughts as I see things NOW.
    We don’t have to go go over again and again what has happened in the last few days,weeks or even years.
    I am actually concerned and it would be nice to get some opinions on the points I raised especially about our lack of activity in the January Window and the likelyhood that a few players may leave this Summer,not bedtner or Park, and where does Jack feature in the run in.
    With regards to Kroenke I don’t know his real intentions but two years before he bacame our major share holder he was told in no uncertain terms by hill Wood “that we don’t want your kind at this club” or words to that effect.
    I personally think one wouldn’t get another manager as loyal as AW but his control over practically everyhing with regards to the players, transfers,wages might just be too much for him.If he stays or goes I honestly don’t know which would be the better, as mentioned in my last paragraph in the post

  24. Bryan says:

    Kelsey
    I agree with a lot of what you say, however I do believe the loss of Theo & Ramsey has been a big loss, especially Theo, but again that’s where I think Wenger let us down again by not making a couple of decent signings in January.
    I don’t think Wenger will ever learn that signings in Jan are a big morale boost & clearly needed as injuries have started to stack up.
    I am seriously worried about our lack of ambition & can’t see us winning anything until we relieve that sadly football has changed & you have to spend big to succeed, so we need a couple more Meset Ozil like signings this summer.
    I am becoming so disillusioned with the way the club treats us fans that I am considering not re-newing my season ticket this year, one that I have owned for 25 plus years.
    I also don’t think we should of given Wenger an improved deal, it would of been better to of given him a contract with bonuses for success, or maybe it really is time for change, I like Wenger but its now too long with out winning anything & just is not good enough for our great club.

  25. RA says:

    Hi GoonerB,

    Galaktoboureko is hard to pronounce, unless you are Terry Munchkins.

    It’s a type of rich, creamy and very delicious custard filled phyllo pie and is a beautiful Greek dessert. :-)

  26. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheers Big Red

    GB, Galackoboureko is one of the sweetest delicacies know to man

    It is rumoured the Spartans lost there fighting edge after indulging the Gods necter

    Within weeks they went from wanting to ruck every one to wearing berets, smoking through a fag holder, and asking the question that has baffled man for millennium, “What’s it all bloody about then?”

  27. Big Raddy says:

    Really enjoying reading today’s comments, especially Sav and Shard.

    kelsey. Who knows whether Hill-Wood actually said those words or whether he was mis-quoted. Either way Kroenke has done just what I wanted him to do – stay out of things and promote the running of a steady ship.

    The signing of Ozil shows there is ambition at the club,he cost almost 3 times our previous most costly signing. And now we are rolling in the green stuff I expect we will continue this summer to buy expensive players.

    I, too, was dismayed by our January business and can only assume our targets could not be signed. The Draxler deal appeared to be on the cards and then wasn’t. Who knows the story?

    Sanogo. BM. Who knows? From where I am sitting it seems madness, as it must have done to almost everybody around the club.

    As to players leaving: AW cannot force a player to sign a contract. Sagna will do as he pleases, he has earned the right. Today’s signings of TR and BFG indicate that the Sagna contract is unlikely to be signed – shame, I love the man.

    Fabianski? Why should he stay? He can get first team action and good money almost anywhere. Park & NB? Does their leaving affect the squad apart from freeing up some wages?

  28. jnyc says:

    So disappointing, but we could still finish higher than fourth with some special performances and a little luck. Disappointed because I wanted to be challenging for the league until closer to the end, even if not winning it. For me that would have felt like progress.

  29. kelsey says:

    Good to see Pers and Thomas have new deals though one would expect Thomas to be played sparingly next season.
    Sagna really needs to be tied down and if not we need a proven RB.(Jenkinson’s time will come.)

    I still maintain that the formula for a trophy winning team is built on a solid defence and we have seen generally a great improvement this season. If Gibbs keeps getting reoccuring injuries I am not so sure that Monreal is the answer.

  30. Shard says:

    A few days ago there was a report that Cazorla is set to sign a new contract with the club, and now the Guardian are reporting that Ramsey is set to sign a 5 year deal that will pay him over 100k per week, despite still having more than 2 years on his current contract. Anyone else think that these contracts are partly due to Ozil’s signing and the wages he’s on? And that Sagna’s demands might also be influenced by that? I do.

    Which just means that the wage bill will continue to go up, although having a steady stream of youngsters coming in should help balance that out a little. Until they start performing at a high level, and then we’ll need to have some capacity to expand our wage bill further.

    Which goes to show that no club can nor should operate at 100% of it’s financial capacity. All that money in the bank is a positive, not a negative. Although the right balance is admittedly a difficult one to achieve.

  31. Aftetnoon all, thanks for the post Kelsey and it seems that there is polite debate about the points you raise, not just an excuse for opinions to diverge into 2 camps.

    As with all things, and Arsenal especially, it’s very complicated and I agree with most of what you say even if maybe I don’t feel quite as downhearted about our inexorable slide down the table as I might.

    Looking at the facts, the latter half of Wenger’s tenure has been way more disappointing than the first for reasons that are in his control AND that are not.

    I do feel that the backroom staff may have become a bit stale and fresh ideas are needed, but I don’t know what exactly.

    As fans all we can do is carry on supporting, sit back in anticipation of our clubs better performance or lack thereof in future,

  32. GoonerB says:

    Thanks RA and TMHT. I will have to try this unpronounceable delicacy but I warn you if I end up wearing cravats and sitting with my legs crossed while drinking tea out of unsuitably small bone china tea-cups with my pinky up at a 45 degree angle, then I will hold you both personally responsible. I am quite happy with my current persona of wearing faded ripped jeans with part of my arse showing, and an overly tight stained tea shirt that says smother me in baby oil and throw in the lesbians, while guzzling cheap ale.

  33. chas says:

  34. evonne says:

    best comments for some time here. See Kelsey, I told you you is a star :)
    Good, passionate post. As you know I am as cheesed off as you, probably because I set my expectations too high. I know there are some fans (hello Chas and GiE) that would be happy even if we just escaped relegation (relegation might be too much even for them), but most fans, no matter what sport want results. Finishing 4th is a good result for the shareholders, but not for a supporter. I want to see my beloved Arsenal proving that we are the best. Not in all competitions, but at least one, at least every now and then. Eight seasons is a long time and a trophy long overdue.

    Thanks for the post Kels

  35. evonne says:

    I’ve seen the Swansea game being postponed, but I don’t get it – we are playing Everton on the 8th, what’s that all about?

  36. Ah Evonne, the Swansea game is the one that was postponed to make way for our further involvement on the FA Cup.

  37. evonne says:

    oh sh*t, thanks Chary, I didn’t realise it was the FA cup on Saturday. Now then, if we flop this one, I will start supporting another team

  38. GunnerN5 says:

    The reschedule of the Swansea game makes a tough March even tougher we now have 6 games between Mar 8th and Mar 29th, one game every 3.5 days.

    If only????

  39. evonne says:

    if only what GN5?

  40. GoonerB says:

    Evonne, I know you don’t mean your 3.27.

  41. Evonne you cheeky minx, you tricked me, serves me right for taking things at face value. :(

  42. evonne says:

    oh I don’t know GB, it is a hard life without a hobby upsetting you. If reading was bad for my nerves, I would stop reading. If my dogs turned nasty I would get rid off them. If bees and plants didn’t produce, I wouldn’t bother. So why do I have suffer year after year after year with this nonsense. Life is too short. I will support Shitty and enjoy every trophy that we might win :)

  43. evonne says:

    no chary, no trickery on my part

  44. evonne says:

    needless to say that if I wasn’t happy with a husband, I’d divorce him :)

  45. No little boy inside this Ledge, that’s because he isn`t a Really Vile Paedo !.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bh4dXagCcAAZPLG.jpg:large

  46. In case your wondering……that’s BFG when he was SFG ( Small Fcuking German ! )

  47. GunnerN5 says:

    Evonne,

    If only??? Refers to a comment I made in my post at 11:47am. Meaning that many of the issues we find ourselves confronted with are out of our control. But regardless of the cause the cynical pundits and bloggers still blame Arsenal management for the end result.

  48. RA says:

    I have enjoyed the comments, today, and it puts me in mind of something I might share with you all.

    It is only an observation, you understand, based on conversations I have had while chewing the fat in pubs before and after games, and while travelling to and from games too.

    But, having known a large number of Arsenal fans and friends over the years, ranging from guys whose personalities are just naturally optimistic, to those who, by nature, are more inclined to be cautious in their expectations about almost anything in life in general, and particularly if it is to do with Arsenal, as well as those who exhibit personalities and expectations in various shades in between, I have arrived at a conclusion that is not exactly earth shattering. :-)

    I have never detected any real difference in their professed commitment to the club.They all love Arsenal! ;-)

    There is tho’ something that does ‘divides’ them outside of their personal characteristics, and again I admit it is only a subjective observation.

    Firstly, there are those for whom, in more recent times, the winning of a trophy has become almost an obsession, and anything or anyone who is deemed to stand in the way of that has become fair game, regardless of whether any criticism levelled is fair or rational, or supported by facts, or not.

    These targets include the club in general; the club’s ambitions (money over trophies); the owner, the coach; the team; individual players; other (so called deluded) fans and so on.

    Then there are those, usually a little older, it seemed to me, but not not necessarily exclusively so, who have supported Arsenal for most of their lives, and have over the years routinely gone to games just for the pleasure of seeing their team play, and getting respite away from the ‘real’ worries in life for that short time.

    Sometimes, Arsenal lost – and a cloud of despondency settled over them and blighted their very existence until the next game, when, hopefully, Arsenal would win, and then a delightful exuberance and happiness would fill them, in equal measure – until the next game.

    For this latter group, ‘going to the match’ was all that mattered and altho’ winning the league was to be welcomed, it was not the be all and end all, of their expectations, like it has become in recent times for some other fans, in the all encompassing TV saturated era we now live in.

    So, you see, if there is anything to be gleaned from this less than scientific observation, a lot of the divisiveness between the fans is caused by their individual genetic dispositions, which is what make human beings so complex.

    And also partly because those, above, who lived through different times had different expectations of their teams from those who, in the current era have exhorted by a palpable lie, to believe that the only worthwhile people or teams were ‘winners’ – all the rest were worthless ‘losers’.

    This ethos has therefore led them to expect their team to be ‘winners’, perhaps forgetting that there is a huge imbalance between the obscenely moneyed rich, who will win trophies most frequently, the reasonably well off (Arsenal) who will hope to win occasionally, and the poorer clubs, who know they will never win, while also conveniently forgetting that there can only ever be one winner of the EPL each year, out of the 20 teams in the League.

    Just like non-football life, really. Isn’t it?

    Where do you slot in? :-)

  49. GunnerN5 says:

    RA,

    That was so well put – I vote to have it removed today and put back on as a post??

  50. GunnerN5 says:

    RA,

    In my LTHO football is a sport, and both a family and social event, winning trophies is only the icing on the cake.

  51. Rasp says:

    Hi Redders, I have long admired and understood your passion for the conciliation of supporters. Not for the first time you have written a great comment that is essentially asking supporters to try to understand one another’s view.

    I agree with all you have written. A spoilt trophy hunting fan will never be a true supporter – but I think there is another distinction that could be made between the two groups

    Group A: People who spend their lives looking for answers – often when there is no answer. Nevertheless, this pursuit of an explanation for why things happen can bring great joy but also be a heavy burden.

    Group B: Those who are more accepting of what ‘is’ (que sera sera).

    Group B will have an easier life than Group A – but I’d wager that many of man’s achievements have been courtesy of those in group A :P

    I really dislike the glass half full/empty labelling….. I’m gonna start a campaign for A’s and B’s

  52. RA says:

    Thank you, GN5 and you too, Rasper.

    To be candid it was reading the comments today, and they took my mind back to the conversations I was party to, but really just listened as an observer, as they fascinated me.

    ‘As’ and ‘Bs’, eh? Sounds like a good idea – but you will have to stand by for the outraged cries of Rasper discrimination from the ‘Cs’ to the Zees! ;-)

  53. Rasp says:

    :lol: Redders

    I think all of us are somewhere on a scale between utterly boring (extreme B) to bipolar (extreme A)

  54. kelsey says:

    RA

    I agree with GN5 not only was that a really good post but I actually understood it :)

    Support means exactly that and generally speaking I think the older ones that support the club mellow with age and obviously have seen various periods where the club has done well,average and really poorly.

    We get other priorities in life regardless of age but they main thing that has changed for me and others, for the many reasons that have been written countless times before, is that fan and club seem to be drifting apart and there is no real bond with players for a long period of time as there used to be.Look at some of the players who we adored in the last 5 years who in some cases have changed clubs sometimes more than once.
    This happened in the past but we didn’t have such mass coverage,social media sites or the Internet.
    Having said that I was gutted Saturday and Sunday night thinking if only Ozil would have equalised and Sanogo would have become an overnight hero and scored the winner in the last few moments, and then most probably in a few weeks it would be forgotten.

    That’s how it grips you.

  55. GunnerN5 says:

    ferdie,

    Of course he did because he is a true Arsenal fan, not somebody who appears out of the blue to make a stupid comment.

  56. GunnerN5 says:

    Oops that’s good ferdie has been put in his rightful place.

  57. GunnerN5 says:

    Oh no he’s still there………

  58. Rasp says:

    Now you see him, now you don’t :roll:

  59. RA says:

    Kelsey,

    I said earlier today that your Post had the quintessential requirement of all good footie essays in that it grabbed the attention, and was honestly and openly written by a top football fan! :-)

  60. GunnerN5 says:

    Must be by slight of keyboard.

  61. GoonerB says:

    Interesting points and views raised today. i doubt anyone will see it exactly the same as me on all counts but here goes :

    I don’t believe we are only playing for 4th and can still win this league but have recently shown some old weaknesses that could compromise us this season. The Spuds have also closed the gap so we need to be aware of them because as much as we could still win the league we could as easily be sucked down and out of the top 4.

    I don’t really know if Kroenke has a directive and who does. This view for me is a speculative opinion based on circumstantial evidence. I am not sure we can directly compare what happens n the States, with a completely different sport, to the EPL here. I could speculate just as easily that the set up of his franchises in America lends more difficulties to success whereas Kroenke sees Arsenal as the jewel in his crown that now has both the means and set-up to succeed at the very top.

    I don’t like the inference of “X” years without a trophy as equaling the same period of “X” years as being a failure. I think we had to go through some years of extreme austerity so it was an unmitigated success to take us to this point without a massive drop away from the top. I feel that Arsene Wenger sacrificed his personal C.V to steer us through that period which is something that a Mourinho or Ferguson would never have done. If that doesn’t show a deep love of our club and get the respect and recognition it deserves then I find that sad. The period of reflection for me on not having won any silverware has only arrived far more recently.

    Having made the above point we should now be coming to the point where we have all the means necessary to achieve that greater success. We are Arsenal, a huge club, so cannot be compared to smaller lower level clubs where the fans don’t get unhappy at not winning silverware. From now or in the near future we should be looking to win silverware and failure to do so will then and only then constitute failure. We can’t dismiss the fans who reference the cost of tickets e.t.c because it is on a level where that should equate to success. I do however feel many jumped to that conclusion to early as mentioned above.

    I agree that certain injuries have hampered us but do not feel they are as critical to what has happened recently. I agree that the refs are having too much influence on the outcome of key games this year and said around Christmas, that particularly where the Chavs and Citeh were concerned, that I thought the officials had literally donated them 4-5 points each. How crucial would those points look now if they didn’t have them?

    I also feel we entered the season with a far improved side but not a finished product, and we are IMO slightly unbalanced in the variation of players we have. However we have made great strides this year. I believe we may have missed 1-2 options with players we could have got in but also agree with Arsene that we should only be looking for the top quality from here and if that wasn’t available in Jan then we should wait till the summer and not just buy for the sake of it.

    My main area of concern is one I have raised over the last few years and feel it has come to the fore again. I just don’t think Arsene pays much attention to game-plans and tactics in matches. It is an area where, even though I hate to admit it, I believe both Ferguson and Mourinho are far superior to him, and unfortunately I don’t feel either would have lost to Stoke with the team we had available to selct from at the weekend.

    I think he is an excellent (if not the best) coach and the master of developing world class players. I believe he gets even average players to a higher technical level than any other coach can, so that has allowed us to have a great technical footballing side with minimal financial out-lay. In essence this allowed us to punch above our weight through our austerity years so I hold the view that Arsene Wenger is the only man who could have seen us so successfully through that period.

    I don’t see Arsene as tactically naive (he has too much experience) or that he doesn’t get them but I more believe that he doesn’t wish to pay any attention to this area. My view is that he is a football romanticist that believes in the purist ability of his own team that he has coached to a high technical level, and that his team can overcome any other team with their own game. In other words it is a case of us not having to worry about another teams strengths and weaknesses and them only having to worry about us. That is all well if you have the complete team but we don’t quite yet and I feel a bit more thought and pragmatism would have seen us not slip up on some of the occasions we have recently.

    My solace would be that I agree we are only 2-3 players away from having that Utopian side where we don’t have to consider the other side so much so I agree with what Rasp said earlier that this summers transfer window will tell us all about our owner and manager and what kind of future we can look forward to.

  62. JanMan says:

    Kelsey. Very well written and a very interesting post. I for one see no reason why anyone would want to attack Kelsey for this as in my opinion he is bang on. One of the problems is that when Wenger first came to England he set the bar so high and forged the standard for all to follow. Now while others have followed his ways they have in fact overtaken him and unfortunately Wenger is now falling by the way side. Is it his fault, his own undoing or is it the club itself and the BOD? Don’t misunderstand me, Wenger performs miracles on the budget and squads that he developes. Granted he has broken the bank with Özil but that is not enough, we need a squad of top players to compete and win in all competitions. The question is who take the blame? Wenger alone, the club, the BOD or a combination of all?

  63. GunnerN5 says:

    In a single word the Arsenal team are missing – STEEL.

  64. RA says:

    I enjoyed your GoonerB Post sized comment and you certainly have covered a lot of ground.

    What I like about your style is that you do not pretend that what you write is anything more or less than your opinions, and not masquerading as ‘fact’.

    I agree with much of what you have written, and in particular the comment about playing for 4th.

    Actually, I would go further, because I cannot comprehend that some fans do not seem to understand that it is far more likely that Arsene HAS been trying to win the EPL every season, with the proviso that finishing in the top 4 would be the minimum target.

    What is wrong with that?

    [That is also just an opinion] :-)

  65. JanMan says:

    From my knowledge and experience of living in the states I know that Kroenke is a business man. Whatever he does it is to make money and be successful, however his success is measured by the almighty dollar and has nothing to do with winning trophies. Trophies for him are an added bonus but his sole intent is to make money!

  66. RA says:

    JanMan,

    No one has, or would, ‘attack’ Kelsey for putting forward his opinion.

    Glad that you agree too. :-)

  67. JanMan says:

    RA. Personally I have no problem with the top four being the minimum target. However, as I said, in order to compete in all competitions with the intent of winning them all, we have to have a better overall squad.

  68. GunnerN5 says:

    RA,

    Nor would we let anybody attack him.

  69. RA says:

    JanMan,

    I am a bit surprised with your comment.

    Kroenke is undoubtedly a businessman and wants to make money, and the best way to do that is for your club/team win trophies and earn even bigger sponsorship in a virtuous cycle.

    Dare I say it — like Man United?

    Do you agree?

  70. JanMan says:

    Hello RA: I was referring to the opening post/comment from Peaches :-)

  71. JanMan says:

    RA. I understand your point but you do not have to win trophies in order to make money. Arsenal is a perfect example, we get huge sponsorship deals without winning a trophy :-)

  72. GoonerB says:

    RA @6.23, my opinion on your opinion is that I concur, but that is just my opinion.

  73. GunnerN5 says:

    Opinion’s, opinion’s it’s all down to opinion’s.

  74. RA says:

    Pinnys, pinnys, get down your pinny! :-)

  75. RA says:

    Maybe, JanMan, but Manure went from a club that was being sold off for £8m 25 (?) years ago to a £2bn company now, and they have the best commercial department in football extracting every penny, and it was built on winning trophies.

    Ask the Glazers. :-)

  76. I think the only person who would attack Kelsey on here is………TMHT !. He has one of them cryogenic donor boxes and plans to scalp Kelsey and have his hair well and truly transplanted before Saturdays FA Cup game before the follicles die !.. TERRY KELSEY HAIR TRANSPLANT !.

  77. RA says:

    GB,

    It’s my opinion that your opinion agreeing with my original opinion, is the correct opinion!

  78. JanMan says:

    On a serious note :-) The big sports clubs around the world are operated as a business. I understand Wenger does not want to and will not pay more for a player than what he feels he is worth. However, in today’s world is that the way to operate? If you want to buy something bad enough then you have to be prepared to pay the market price whether you agree with that price or not! In my business I have paid over the top to buy out smaller companies but if I did not do that then the competition would sweep them up and in turn minimize the market for my future business opportunities. To be successful you have to be prepared to pay the price!

  79. JanMan says:

    RA. I am not arguing your point. However, There was an aricle on world press today stating that Forbes magazine have released their Richest People on the Planet list, and it is Kroenke who comes out on top in sporting terms.
    In total there are 1,645 billionaires on the list, and in terms of people involved in sport, it is Kroenke who comes out on top with a net worth of $5.6 billion.
    That puts him ahead of F1 mogul Bernie Ecclestone, and the only other two football-related people on the list – Liverpool’s John W Henry and Manchester United owners the Glazers.

    Read more: http://www.essexchronicle.co.uk/Arsenal-owner-richest-man-sport/story-20753791-detail/story.html#ixzz2v1QnQUAL

  80. GunnerN5 says:

    janman, of course it’s a business, but being in business yourself you realize that beating your competition is what makes the most successful companies. Profit is essential to the good health and well being of both club and the owner it’s not an evil word.

    Oh dear yet another opinion……

  81. GunnerN5 says:

    zeus – You just did!!!!

  82. GunnerN5 says:

    Rasp, he’s sniffing around again…

  83. JanMan says:

    Hello GN5. Just as I agreed with RA’s point, I totally agree with what you just said. My only previous point is/was that Kroenke measures success on profit gained and not trophies. Lets’ be honest, I doubt that too many people have heard of the Colorado Rapids and can list off what they have won! The Rams are the more successful out of the American sports club but they are not world beaters either. My point here is that neither the Rapids, Rams or Arsenal are winning trophy after trophy but they are all making Kroenke very rich.

  84. GunnerN5 says:

    Zeus the greek god was flying over ancient Greece when he spotted a georgeous woman naked washing herself.

    He made love to her then stroked her face and told her “In nine months you will have a child and you will call him Hercules!”

    She dressed herself smiled and replied “In nine days you will have a rash and you will call it Herpes now fuck off!

  85. RA says:

    JanMan,

    I did not think you were being argumentative, anymore than I was. :-)

    The difference between you buying companies to add to your portfolio or cut out the competition is that with Wenger buying a player, or not, he has a choice of hundreds.

    He (allegedly) is doing what we all do. He calculates what he can spend – he calculates the worth of the player to the club, and if the cost is greater than the worth, or more than he can afford – he will not do it.

    In your case the number of companies involved as direct competition to your company, or that are complementary to your organisation is relatively limited.

    However, the process of calculating how much you can afford, what the cost of the project is, and its worth to you is just the same.

    It is simply project accounting, assessment and management. :-)

  86. RA says:

    I am now off to Wichita for lunch. The weather forecast is calling for snow with temperatures dropping so I need feeding.

    It’s getting to be like Canada here!! :-)

    Laters.

  87. JanMan says:

    RA. Thanks. I did not want you to think I was arguing with you :-) What you say about the way wenger acts and determines the worth of a player and the value to the club is of course spot on but my point (here say) is that if you know for a fact that you need top class strikers capable of 30 goals a season in order to win trophies and guarantee future club success than surely you have to be prepared to pay the going market price for that quality product? Of course there is no guarantee that, that person would score 30 goals but I hope you understand my point. If you purchase a brand new Audi 8 you cannot expect to purchase it for the same price as a Ford Escort :-)

  88. JanMan says:

    I left off part of the last sentence.

    If you purchase a brand new Audi 8 you cannot expect to purchase it for the same price as a Ford Escort :-) and expect the same quality of performance.

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey and Many

    Kelsey: That is the most thought provoking post we’ve enjoyed in ages. Really Bravo Sir.

    Many: Some fabulous comments throughout the day. What a fantastic read, and there’s enough on here to debate for ages.

    One of the few Tuesdays when I’m up to it.

    GN5 @ 7:19 Possibly the greatest ever put down. Sheer class.

  90. RA says:

    JanMan

    I agree, if you want a particular quality of player, you need to pay the going rate.

    The problem, as always, is the agreement of that valuation.
    Arsene is a hard man to please!

    Got to go – sorry.

  91. Guys, why are you even engaging? Please stop giving the troll the satisfaction of a discussion.

  92. GunnerN5 says:

    Peaches,
    Because it beats staring out of the window looking at yet another snow storm, I heard today that spring has been cancelled in Ontario!

  93. dhakka09 says:

    When even my most beloved blog is out with lines such as “the top three is done and dusted… we are only fighting for fourth”, I know, without an iota of doubt, that fan hysteria amidst media sensationalizing has reached a critical point.

    We all know Arsenal are a self-sustained club who don’t have capabilities to go toe-to-toe with petro-fueled oligarchs. Yet, we fans keep bashing our club for being sane in an insane market.

    Kudos for the effort in writing Kelsey but you fail us readership for daring to believe good things happen to those with good intentions.

  94. GoonerB says:

    I would be interested to hear if anyone knows much about Stans other franchises in the states and how they compare to Arsenal in terms of value, revenue (and potential revenue) and the fan base. Arsenal is a huge global brand and I would have imagined is a bigger animal than anything else he is dealing with.

    I have actually had a gut feeling for a while that Stan may actually view Arsenal differently to his other franchises and I think he may be prepared to push the boat out financially to gain footballing success. A kind of speculate to accumulate. I don’t think Stan is stupid for one minute and I believe he recognises what he has here and that the best way to elevate it further is to achieve success.

    Furthermore I think he also realises that the fans will not tolerate a situation indefinitely if they feel he is not re-investing finances back into the footballing side of things to help achieve that success. Some already feel this is happening but I am not so sure and have a gut feeling that we will show ourselves to be major players very shortly. I have my shopping list at the ready. If only Arsene would listen to me. All my transfer advice is free.

  95. JanMan says:

    dhakka. You say, “We all know Arsenal are a self-sustained club who don’t have capabilities to go toe-to-toe with petro-fueled oligarchs” Sorry but that is such an untrue statement. Yes we do have the abilities to go toe to toe with them, financially we are more than capable of doing this!
    Of course I respect the fact we are a self sustained club but I have repeated several times in this modern day market we have to move with the times, pay the market prices or accept the fact we will eventually be left behind but please don’t ever use the excuse that we cannot go toe to toe with anyone because I assure you, if we want to we can!

  96. JanMan says:

    GoonerB: You can go online to google or wiki and look up the Colorado Rapids or St Louis Rams and you can find all the info you need with a little bit of effort.

  97. Gööner In Exile says:

    Kelsey well done for putting your feelings on the line, and for encouraging a good days blogging.

    One criticism I have of the type of Arsenal supporter who wants to phone up talk shows and feed off the anti Arsenal agenda is that we are not helping ourselves.

    You opine that top 3 is done and dusted, yet we would castigate the players for showing similar signs of giving up.

    I find it unfortunate that you choose to use the “highest ticket prices” line when we all know in truth they are not, Spuds have a higher per game ST than us. A Swansea fan tweeted a pic from Anfield from a seat he paid £48 for from which he couldn’t even see the goal at the Kop end. That same fan will pay £35 at the Emirates. In fact many Arsenal fans when travelling away from home will be asked to pay more for their ticket than the same game at the Emirates, why? Because Norwich (for example) class out visit as Cat A, whereas we class theirs as Cat C. An Arsenal fan and all the home fans will pay minimum £50 to see Norwich vs Arsenal at Carrow Road. At the Emirates the lowest price is £25 for the return fixture.

    We get to see a Cat A team every week because we are one, and thankfully we don’t have to pay Cat A prices every week only when the opposition is considered Cat A.

    Now onto the Kroenke period of ownership, he took control of the club in May 2011.

    In the following transfer windows we have had a net spend of £23.6m, compared to the period since leaving the Emirates and his takeover net transfer income of £31.35m. And period between Wengers arrival and move to the Emirates £53m (over 10 years). In fact you could argue Arsene has never been given so much money to spend before.

    Interestingly one of those seasons Wengers transfer work was just £50k net spend, the season he won his first double with us. Buying two players and selling two.

    Anyway that spend in the lay three years under Kroenke’s stewardship siggests a change of tack from the course followed by the previous owners post Emirates, that coupled with increasing wage bills would suggest that things are moving in the direction of spending more, set to only increase when the much mooted new commercial deals actually take effect.

    Then perhaps most telling for me are Arsene Wengers post match comments on Saturday, they were not as has been the case in the lay few years platitudes and protection of his squad, he was angry he admitted we did not deserve it, did not want to talk about Adams’ stamp preferring to get a few meaningful comments for his squad to absorb.

    “To win a title when you are expected to perform, you have to perform, it’s as simple as that. It was a massive setback”

    “Offensively we didn’t create enough and it was poor, considering our standards”

    “Honestly I don’t want to talk about the referee…..I prefer to concentrate on our performance”

    That to me is a man who is aiming for more than 4th place, and I think he is beginning to feel let down by his players.

    They are good enough, but are they starting to believe the media who constantly write them off? Possibly, should we Arsenal supporters continue the undoing of any squad confidence, or should we support them to the end and tell them that we believe they can, we can do the post mortem once the season is over, but right now is time for unity, Victoria Concordia Crescit. Let’s give it a go…….

  98. Vintage Gooner says:

    I was really disappointed when I first read this post I am not impugning Kelsey but this is probably my favourite Arsenal blogsite because it is balanced and reasoned but also very supportive However the contributions and debate in general have somewhat redeemed the post for me.

    A couple of seasons ago I was getting quite depressed about Arsenal and having seen in my more than 60 years of supporting at least two much longer spells without a trophy I wondered why I was reacting in that way.

    I ultimately decided that Wenger had been so outstanding in his first 9 years that I and many others had been seriously spoilt.Worse even than this was the strong inference that the team was not pulling together and that some could even be accused of not trying.

    Now I feel the post-Bayern run last season gave me new hope. This season I feel we are a better,stronger team. Even more importantly we are truly competing and I don’t feel the team have given up at all yet. Even the blips they immediately look to overcome.

    So for me Arsenal are not the finished article but they are still improving and most important of all they are busting a gut to perform and to win.The only other point is I feel our twelfth man has also upped their game and the crowd at the Emirates has generally been better and more vocal.

    Lets make sure we last the whole season and encourage and enable the team to do likewise.

  99. dhakka09 says:

    JanMan: I agree we can spend more and I am sure Ozil spending is the first of many that we’ll see. However, we still won’t be able to afford the kind of wages enjoyed by the likes of Rooney and Etoo (we can but where does that end? Walcott may want double his wages then; what’s to stop other squad players seeing this and all wanting more? A snowball will lead to an avalanche) We have barely emerged out of the Stadium cost acting as a stone around our neck but to ridicule Arsenal based on transfer windows barely one season out of the dark woods is childish in my opinion.

    I don’t believe in the casually thrown opinions fast swallowed as facts that Arsene didn’t look for a world-class striker in January transfer window and the fact that we didn’t sign one tells me more about the paucity of the options at that time more than club’s supposed unwillingness to spend (and no, signing Berbatov was not the answer) If we don’t see world-class additions in coming summer, I may agree with what you say but for the first season out of our penny-pinching malaise, I’d like to give Arsene and the club the benefit of the doubt; but hey! that’s just me.

  100. Gööner In Exile says:

    Also I don’t believe we would have even been looking for Kim Kalstrom had Flamini not dived in two footed at Southampton.

    We spent most of January trying to get Draxler to provide cover for Theo, and all of a sudden with days to spare Flamini threw a spanner in the works, and we had to go chase a DM, Kalstrom looked a good bet until he turned up and announced at his medical that he had tweaked his back cocking around on a beach in Dubai.

  101. JanMan says:

    GIE: If I may tag onto your last comment. I doubt very seriously if any Arsenal player would believe in any of the comments in the media. I honestly believe our players are simply over played (too many games) and some are just in a burn out phase, why, because the squad is simply not deep enough in quality strength. As I said earlier, whose fault is that, Wenger, the club, BOD or a combination of all? The EPL is its own worst enemy with the amount of games played and no winter break, this is part of Özil’s problem he is not used to this amount of games and he has always been used to a winter break, this type of game pressure takes a lot of getting used to.
    I have also previously stated I do not believe in spending for the sake of it but when a weakness is identified it needs to be corrected in order to have any hope of keeping up with the opposition. Yes it is a crazy market, welcome to today’s world, if you want to compete with the best and be the best you have to be prepared to pay the price. I honestly believe Arsenal are going in the right direction but it will be money driven. We have to have the ability to buy the best players and we have to be prepared to buy adequate back up to those players.

  102. GunnerN5 says:

    GoonerB,

    Here are the current values, according to Forbes, of Kroenke’s sports franchises in US$.

    Denver Nuggets $1.8 billion
    St Louis Rams $937 million
    Colorado Avalanche $337 million
    Colorado Mammoth $ 231 million
    Colorado Rapids $ 80million

  103. JanMan says:

    dhakka. I understand what you are saying but that is exactly my point… if the player is good enough we have to pay the prices. Granted there are silly prices, Rooney is a classic example of that but we are more than capable of working out a happy media to suit club and player. If I need to engage a top class consultant for my business to increase my profit I will pay for the best and not a second rate consultant who could only tell me something that I already know :-) I think too many of us are hiding behind this so called limited finance and paychecks wall.

  104. JanMan says:

    GN5. That is rather amazing. I would never have thought that the Mammoth and Avalance were worth that much.

  105. Vintage Gooner says:

    Just a few further words on the Kroenke matter.

    Kroenke is a wealthy and successful businessman and a substantial part of his wealth is invested in a broad sports portfolio including Arsenal.

    I am sure in this context he would not want any of his sport enterprises to be other than financially sound. However to talk in terms of him seeking profit it should be recognized that he has never had a dividend payment at Arsenal. He has had huge gains because the bulk of his portfolio (or most of the initial 30%) were purchased some years ago at much less than the current value at which shares are changing hands. Even his offer purchases were at a lower price than the current figure.

    My greatest disappointment in this context is that the Arsenal Board don’t enable Fanshare to purchase new shares directly from the club. This would enable Arsenal fans to build their actual as opposed to imagined ownership of the club and would also provide a marginal but useful input into the club coffers.It might even replace the unnecessary and provocative 3% ticket price increase as currently proposed.

  106. JanMan says:

    Vintage. Very well put! However, as you stated, “He has had huge gains because the bulk of his portfolio (or most of the initial 30%) were purchased some years ago at much less than the current value at which shares are changing hands. Even his offer purchases were at a lower price than the current figure” confirms the fact he is making a profit from Arsenal football club.

  107. JanMan says:

    By the way, I would just like to clarify that I am not criticizing Wenger or Arsenal football club as I certainly would not want to see them being run like City or Chelsea. I am merely stating in my opinion that we need to move with the times. Top strikers do not cost what they did 10 years ago and therefore we have to keep up with modern day prices. We cannot compare the game to pre EPL days as it has evolved so much but we must maintain a happy media, we must change our wages scale, we must re evaluate what we are prepared to pay for top class players and the squad has to have the depth of these top class players but we still have to concentrate on developing youth players and find the balance between all of these factors.

  108. Gööner In Exile says:

    As certain clubs can be a little slower in preparing their financial information (not regulated by Stock Market as not plc’s) we can only compare 2012 figures for wages, inherent problems with doing this is no understanding of the breakdown of staff numbers, all we can do is provide an average per employee, an average per week:

    Club Total Wages No of Staff Avg per E’ee Avg per week
    Man City £201.8m 476 £423k £3.88m
    ManUre £180m 743 £242k £3.46m
    Chavs £160m 233 £686k £3.07m
    Liverpool £142.8m* 554 £257k £2.74m
    Arsenal £140.6m 496 £283k £2.70m
    Spuds £90m 341 £263k £1.73m

    * – extrapolated from 10month accounts figure.

  109. Gööner In Exile says:

    The Net Worth of each club is equally interesting:

    Man City £326m*
    Chavs £- 503m
    Spuds £77m
    Liverpool £5.2m
    Arsenal £237m

    The difference between us Liverpool and Spuds is that our Net Worth is mainly the value of the Emirates, a position they somehow have to achieve whilst trying to remain profitable and competitive.

    ManUre’s net worth is too complex to unravel, because looking at the current ownership structure the Value of the football Club is actually included in the group accounts.

    *Man City have achieved this by the owners issuing themselves new shares and paying massively over the value of the shares to inject cash into the company. This is actually what makes most viewers realise the Sheikh’s are here for the long haul and are not going to sell the club down the river if they pull out, they will just lose a lot of money on their investment, but the club will still continue.

  110. Gööner In Exile says:

    JanMan footballers do listen to the media, I’ll never forget Adrian Durham calling Jamie Carragher a bottler because he had retired from international footballer. Jamie decided to phone Adrian up.

    Defoe told TS that Spuds would finish above Arsenal, Jack phoned up to make a charity bet with him. I think it ended up being £20k or something.

    Vintage I rarely think Arsenal fans are too harshly done by with ST prices but this season I think any increase is unjustified due to large increases in TV and commercial revenues. Maybe like ManUre fans are finding the club don’t really want their ST money, we may have done when the Stadium needed financing but for the club a tourist fan who attends one game a season, gets in his seat early visits and spends in the Armoury, buys a burger, buys a drink or two in ground buys a programme is worth more than two ST holders who have probably been drinking in their regular boozer and don’t spend a penny in the ground (except when they visit the toilets at half time). Sad truth of modern football.

    However it does not sit easily with me that in the past fans in ground complain about the price of tickets and then complain about the club not spending.

  111. GunnerN5 says:

    So lets see Kroenke owns around 63% of Arsenal so that makes his ownership worth a 149.3 million pounds with a US rate of exchange of 1.67 that makes it $249.3 US dollars. That in turn means it’s the 4th largest of his sports franchises and only 14% of the value of the St Louis Rams so Arsenal is small potatoes to him.

  112. Gööner In Exile says:

    HI GN5 thats the Balance Sheet NetWorth, but i seem to remember the last shares traded by Usmanov valued the club at something rather larger…..in 2012 couple of shares were bought for £16k each, which meant the shares of the business were valued at £1billion, so £630m for Stan, $1bn when converted, more than the Rams and less than the Nuggets

  113. There has been so many good sense statements posted on this site today that I have regained my optimistic view of Arsenal this season so far. All we have to do is to regain our mojo, score some goals and in doing so, beat Totnumb & the West London Slickers away, City Slickers at THOF while gathering all the other 3pts. we will need to win the Premiership this year. Let City Slickers win the F.A. Cup as well if they must. Let the W.L.Slickers chase a second go at the Champions’ League. I THINK WE NEED TO WIN THE PREMIERSHIP
    Sorry about that :-) . Doubts and slights have been voiced at our Club& Manager and the time to dispel them is now. I can imagine Cliff Bastin, John Radford, Wrighty or Thierry lacing up their boots for this challenge. We used to be able to win two trophies in one season. Give us one- The Premiership. We will not ‘arf deserve it if we do it. I can’t think why Arsene didn’t go for the idea of winning the league with at least one astute buy in the January window. Anyway Man.U. have problems. BUT THAT IS THE REASON WHY WE HAVE TO WIN THE PREMIERSHIP.!!
    Sorry again! but the ghosts Have stirred. and Wenger is being tested. There are areas where our manager doesn’t do so well in tests therefore he will need to recognise whether the ghosts are stirring or they have stirred.
    I think – . Go for the top Arsenal. What could be a more fitting start for stadium decoration than that?
    Let us all beg for the premiership. I would just luv it, luv it if we do against the odds. I would not even celebrate …till then

  114. neamman says:

    I don’t think AW would stay if he didn’t think he had the support to win. Its only now we have the financial firepower to spend and big names better than who we have are not that often available. Rebuilding has realistically only just started these past 2 years, we may be a year away

  115. Football is of passion. Winners and losers. One doesn’t want their loved one to build them up then let them down all the time.
    That is teasing and could cause grimacing while you grin. So let’s approach this incredible task positively and win it by 1 point. That will do. Grimace first, then grin after cracking the hard nuts and Bob’s your uncle.

  116. Domhuail says:

    Sorry Kelsey but your rant is misplaced. There are still 10 games left in the EPL so it is a little early to abandon all hope, unless you are so pessimistic that you won’t consider an alternate reality check.
    the rest of your article is idle speculation and hyperbole about Kroenke and Wenger….and is spun to ¨support¨your contention that all is lost and 4th is our ultimate goal… with NO basis in fact.
    Quoting RVP as a source is at best risky and at worse disingenuous. Whenever the ¨no ambition¨ BS rears its ugly head, there is always some disenchanted ex-gunner associated and you are again suing this quote to support your spurious Kroenke-Wenger claim.
    It is too bad that this post is a thinly disguised anti-Wenger attack, thinly camouflaged as a ¨reality check¨. It loses all credibility and validity by disguising its true intent.

  117. kelsey says:

    Morning

    I was just going to explain that my post was originally a comment early yesterday morning and I was asked to delete it and make it today’s post.

    In general it has surprised and delighted me with the number of courteous replies be it in agreement or not.

    I didn’t take hours to research anything nor am I an accountant, this is exactly how I feel at this present time .I assure you that it is not a rant, I suggest you look up the meanng of the word..

    Now I read the post directly above by Domhuail, and quite frankly I take umbrage to the way it is written and a number of assumptions that it is a thinly disguised attack on Wenger and that it loses all credibility and validity by disguising it’s true intent..
    There are no hidden meanings in my post,I just said it like I feel, and quite frankly if you look at my recent history of posting Domhuail, I am consistent in my views.

  118. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning Kelsey, don’t let one misreading of your post/intention spoil the overall result of your post.

    Was thinking about the scouting…..and remembered Zelalem, everything I have seen of the lad suggests we can still unearth a few gems. Even Koscielny plucked from the French second tier who is now a regular international centre back and considered one of the best in Europe is a success stories for us.

  119. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Domhuail

    What I would say is that this site exists because of the work behind the scenes, those who write posts, and the bloggers themselves.

    Whatever the content of a polite reasoned post, if the result is the quality of comments on here now, then it is an incredible success.

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I have so many questions on the back of so many great comments, that I don’t know where to begin.

    Is there a way today’s comments could be condensed into a few questions in order that the discussion could continue, as so many enormous subjects have been touched on.

    Selfish, I know, as I wasn’t around yesterday.

  121. chas says:

    kelsey
    I don’t know if you know but Domhuail is Weedonald who posts on Untold Arsenal.
    I wouldn’t take his comment as personal since his comments are often very spiky.
    He is also very consistent with his views but they are from a very different part of the speculum to yours, so are bound to clash.

  122. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Like:
    1. What should Arsenal be achieving
    2. Given Exile’s Wage Chart, are we where we should be?
    3. If SK is only in it for the money, why wouldn’t he demand that we invest everything to buy success as this would further increase value.
    4. If there is cash in the bank, who is in charge of the risk factor, SK, IG or AW ie how much should be invested in playing staff, as opposed to kept for a rainy day.
    5. If SK is not the best type of Chairman, who, or what model, is?

    Shit like this. :-)

    Maybe there’s a post in the loading bay, don’t know, but I’m on school run duty and not back till 10:00’ish.

  123. Gööner In Exile says:

    Micky there is a way………involves you putting fingers to keyboard though.

    One other thing I should mention Kelsey that I have no problem with a realists view if it comes from a place of disappointment, I think when comments that attack the club are justified by saying “I’m a realist” they have a different edge and come from a different place.

    Think RA touched on something about the varying range of emotions and viewpoints extolled by the fans, and how you might assess those fans.

    Clearly some have been totally spoilt by the successes of the early Wenger era, success that in all honesty most of us never dreamt of or expected, that’s what made it so bloody enjoyable. Not only were we winning things but doing it with style.

    When we won the league at Anfield in 89 we were underdogs, it’s how I like it.

  124. chas says:

    kelsey
    Frankly I’d take more issue with Rasp’s assertion that people like yourself who question everything even if there isn’t an answer, are bipolar (Group A) and those like myself are utterly boring (Group B).

    Still at least if you are in Group A you may have been responsible for many of man’s achievements.
    Me, I’m just happy if we avoid relegation. :)

  125. kelsey says:

    Chas,

    No I didn’t know that. Personally I think that Tony Attwood who runs that site have a totally blinkered view about anything to do with Arsenal, to the extreme.

    I don’t mind people disagreeing with me, but there are ways of expressing oneself and as you saw yesterday we had a really good debate and Micky is right we could well continue this today by even just adding the points he made.

    To be honest my thoughts are already on the Everton game and hopefully we will put out the strongest team available.

  126. kelsey says:

    chas

    I don’t question everything but I do get bemused and annoyed by many of the things I listed in my post.:)

    I am not bipolar, but as you know I can get unbalanced. Mental illness is not understood by most,including doctors and psychiatrists as mainly they haven’t experienced the numerous forms and all they can do is study and give their opinions on the best way of treatment,and I assure you they are not always right.

  127. kelsey says:

    chas,

    you are a die hard supporter and travel to many Away games and I commend you for that in fact I am jealous,but watching those fans outside The Britannia struck a cord with me.
    They may not represent a huge percentage of fans yet despite their utter disappointment thay still carried on singing to their hearts content. That is true support .

  128. Shard says:

    Morning all you bisexual polar bears and boring otters.. Did you know a group of otter is called a romp? Seems a fitting description for AA, although the bisexual bears are probably doing more of the romping..

  129. RA says:

    Hi Kelsey,

    I think you should ask that Chas’s comment at 7:25; — “they are from a very different part of the speculum to yours!”

    (A speculum is metal instrument that is used to dilate an orifice or canal in the body to allow inspection.)

    Wriggle out of that one Chas!! :-)

  130. chas says:

    kelsey
    Of course I was only kidding about the labelling.

    The mood in the section of away fans we were in at Stoke was very ugly indeed. Often I find that the only thing I have in common with those around me is that we both want Arsenal to win.

    I’m not that keen on Arsenal FanTV. The reactions are always much too extreme depending on the result.

  131. Shard says:

    Bully for you chas!!! oh..oops… err. I mean.. Well said! :D

  132. chas says:

    RA,
    That rainbow you get when you split light with a prism is a banned word.

    Good enough wriggling? :lol:

  133. RA says:

    Hi Shard,

    I have always referred to a group of otters as a ‘family’ of otters, so
    I had to look up ‘romp’ to confirm your definition, and you are right, but did you know the collective term for some other critters is;

    — “An earth of foxes; An exaltation of larks; A fall of woodcocks; A family of otter … A rhumba of rattlesnakes; A richness of martens”,

    I did not know the last two!! Crikey! :-)

  134. RA says:

    Cunning, Chas — score one to you!! :-)

  135. chas says:

    A gloom of Gooners….
    Or a glamour of Gooners?

    Depends on the result, I suppose.

  136. Shard says:

    RA

    It’s only the well behaved, perfectly adjusted otters that are called a family. The AA otter -boring in comparison to the overachieving, but unhappy, bisexual polar bears – are more befitting of being called a romp.. Although I would like to see a rattlesnake do the rhumba. Especially if it’s wearing doc martens while doing so.

  137. kelsey says:

    I like Mick’y suggestion, so why not put it up as a post and add a few things like

    Is AW prioritising any of the three competitions that we are still in.

    Will he or should he play the strongest team available on Saturday.

    Do people think he has already made up his mind about extending his contract.

    Would the effect of the departure of Vermaelen,Fabianski,Sagna and possibly Podolski, effect us, and if so will he go out and buy equal or better replacements or promote from within, or do both.

    Does giving new deals to Rosicky and Mertesacker mean he is staying. .

    Does anyone really think he would buy back RVP (not what we think) etc.

  138. RA says:

    Shard, :-)

    According to the Rasper, AA divides into As and Bs, which does not really describe me – so perhaps I am in the rump of AA’ers?

    Mind you the comments about Kroenke have now been explained -it seems he belongs to the Richness of Kroenke Martens. (see above)

  139. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    chas. 8.11 Brilliant :-D

    No vids??

  140. Shard says:

    RA

    Only the bisexual polar bears will enjoy you being in their rump :)

    But your gigantic scarlet rump definitely belongs on AA.

  141. RA says:

    Kelsey, it is nothing to do with me, but the old adage, ‘Quit when you are ahead’ does spring to mind – as going over the same ground will confirm the ‘boring otter AA’ers nomenclature. :-)

    We do not want to be boring, do we? :-)

  142. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey.There is nothing in the post loading bay so I will take his points and add a few words but think that perhaps we have exhausted this subject with the great comments from your post.

  143. RA says:

    Shard,

    My personal circumstances have given me the chance to exercise my debating skills elsewhere in the blog world.

    I wonder if you can spot me? :-) (Don’t upset innocent bloggers tho’) :-)

  144. kelsey says:

    I suppose you are both right ,trouble is that there isn’t much to talk about unless one is interested in gay otters or bisexual frogs :)

    I see Ollie has been a naugfhty boy yet again before the Palace Game.

  145. evonne says:

    aha, the psychologist employed by Roy Hodgson for the English team, is currently working with Liverpool players!!!

  146. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Kelsey, your post speaks for itself. The quality of responses has been superb.

    The odd person is always going to get the wrong end of the stick. Some years ago my wife got friendly with this timid women whos husband was as boring as a sheet of blank A4 paper.

    There was a spell that every time I got home form work they would be there. Slumped in my living room, the wife looking edgy, timid women saying nothing, and he, proclaiming the virtues of A3 when incorporating graphs.

    Finaly I snapped “For Gods sake leave, suicide is not an option”

    Amazingly, they ignored my plea, and after a moments silence, he turned to my wife and said, “I suggest tiles of an A5 dimension in the bathroom would be appropriate”

    Great post Kelsey

  147. Shard says:

    RA

    Nope.. I’ve been unable to spot you.

  148. Gööner In Exile says:

    Kelsey that is the one and only time (as far as I am aware) that Ollie was a naughty boy, there has been some muddying of waters due to the timing of the exposé about his exposing :D

    The event occurred before the Palace game, the Sun reported the story the Sunday following the Liverpool game which made it seem to some readers that it happened before the Liverpool game, that it happened in the team hotel in London seems to have been overlooked by most readers.

  149. evonne says:

    this video is absolutely increadible, read the translations

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26440426

  150. kelsey says:

    Red Arse (definition)

    A game you play after playing football. if the goal keeper lets in ten goals he must now bend over as you attempt to kick balls at his arse. the person who misses by the largest distance is now in goals.

    in cold weather it is the ultimate description of pain
    person 1 ” that game of red arse was fun last night”
    Person 2 “yeah John’s arse was so red…..”

    *conversation ends* :)

  151. RA says:

    Kelsey,

    I have not seen the programme, but apparently on Saturday mornings there is a footie show, and footballers who get a competition wrong have to allow the others to shoot a ball at their rear.

    I have probably got the details wrong, and it is quite difficult not to sound smutty, so I will leave it there. :-)

  152. Vinay says:

    Kallstrom set to be on the bench for the everton game, now wouldnt it be incredible that he has a say in the end after all the drama that happened? stranger things have happened in football, you never know

  153. RA says:

    Exile,

    I think you will find there were two incidents of Giro pirouetting.

    The first was the girl who blabbed so he had to apologise to his wife etc, and then another one came out and said that he had tried to entice her into a threesome – but she claimed she kept her legs together! :-)

  154. Big Raddy says:

    Why isn’t Gibbs in the England squad? He is better than AC or Shaw

  155. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ahoy Raddy.

    RA is right. Quit while you’re ahead. Scrap my idea, it’s my fault for not being around yesterday.

  156. RA says:

    You have to admit, Raddy, that AC is a better opening batsman? “-)

  157. Big Raddy says:

    Too late now (though I agree!) ….. I have written it.

    Unless anyone has something to contribute ……….

  158. Big Raddy says:

    RA. No question there. I didn’t know Americans knew anything about opening batsmen: Your time in England has given you the finer things in life :-)

  159. Back in a minute, walking the dog, sorry all.

  160. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Don’t you dare add my name to it. I do not need any further adverse publicity :-)

    Chas
    ROLF vid. Not surprising you are always in such a good mood, what with hitting the magic 40 points mid season :-)

  161. Big Raddy says:

    I thought there was no such thing as bad publicity

  162. chas says:

    I’m easily pleased, whatever will be, will be, it is what it is, c’est la vie………snore.
    Sometimes I’m so laid back, I struggle to stay awake.

    I’m so pleased Gibbo isn’t at risk with Engerland.

  163. I’m baaaaaack …………..

    We have a New Post …………………

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