Written by dandan

I remember Arsene Who’s? arrival at Arsenal, an urbane educated man, with a working knowledge of 7 languages including Japanese learnt in the 18-month period prior to him joining the club. Whilst coaching Grampus eight, he managed to get the club from the bottom to runners up in the Japanese J league and collected the Presidents cup on the way.

He arrived with the club in turmoil after a year of Bruce Rioch and Stewart Houston following the sudden departure of George Graham for playing with brown paper bags.

Wenger’s pre-joining gift to our club was a gawky leggy young midfielder with the temerity to kick back with alacrity the resident hard men of the premier league, earning the respect of players and the everlasting love of Gooners, along with a collection of red cards from referees blind to the constant intimidation he was subjected to.

Wenger’s marriage of the young Vieira to the resident maestro Dennis Bergkamp and the existing Arsenal back four, was to take us to third in the league and with addition of more foreign players, to the league and cup double in the following year.

I give this history lesson for all those Gooners who currently call for his head, this is the man they say doesn’t value older players, wont buy and is only interested in young players.

His record speaks differently. What he actually does is buy quality and sells at the top of the market. That much we know.

What we don’t know is how much money he has had available to continue this philosophy. We have moved to a new ground and somehow managed to do it on a manageable debt. How much was spare for players no one knows.

Even so, AA, TV, Rosicky and Nasri have been added to the squad and a number of dissatisfied, disaffected and troublesome players have been sold for large profits or left at contract end. Whilst the never-ending stream of talent scouted by Arsene’s unrivalled worldwide network, has flowed on bringing the cream of young players from all over to our club.

Through all this change we have continued an uninterrupted run in the champions league reaching semis and finals along the way, to do this we have had to finish 4th or above every year in the most competitive league in the world. This is in my mind a miracle given the circumstances and strictures with which Wenger has dealt.

But it’s not enough for so many Gooners. These guys, mainly Johnny come lately fans, unaware of just how astonishing Wenger’s achievements have been, can only say we have won nothing for 5 years. Many of these fans are products of the now generation, the instant society in which, we sadly now live. Play station football managers whose own reality is the digital world that surrounds them;

No one minds honest reasoned criticism providing the facts have been carefully weighed, but this mindless spend at all cost philosophy is way beyond the realms of reasonableness and a recipe for disaster.

So we finish third this year, we qualify for the Champion’s League again, but unless we buy half the stars of the upcoming world cup then Arsene and the board have failed. Unbelievable, thank Christ the board have more sense and value the talents of Mr Wenger more than the collective wisdom of these deluded shop-aholics.



230 Responses to ARSÈNE WHO?

  1. Alfa says:

    Dandan, nicely judged piece and well worth reminding us all of what AW has done for us. For me, more than anythng, his time has meant that at times we have seen some of the best football ever played, week after week at Highbury then the Emirates. What price that?

    Now that we seem to be the most profitable club in the world, it will be interesting to see what happens this summer.

  2. SharkeySure says:

    Shopaholics…!!! Lol

    Great post DanDan

  3. Rasputin says:

    Great post dandan,

    A timely reminder of his single handed delivery of Arsenal from our old fashioned ways into a modern super-club admired the world over.

    We may only ever learn the real truth about the spending if Arsène writes an autobiography. What has confounded me in the last few years has been some of his press statements regarding buying new players. I think the “I’m going to the World Cup with my chequebook” was rather unwise as it was followed soon after by something to the effect that all the players available were over-priced.

  4. perrygrovesworld says:

    great post. Nothing to add.

  5. striker says:

    There is no doubt AW is a great manager but I believe
    no one should live on past glory. The next match is the most important one.
    Yes the board values his talents. Compared to other top managers he has under achieved for the last five years. He could have achieved more if not for his stubborness an obssession with pattern weaving soccer.
    At any other club he would have been given the boot.

  6. aaron says:

    give me a break man the gooners have been patient with arsen plan for the last 5 years, he wont get any sympathy from when he plays the like of denilson,almunia,silvestre,fabianski and co but he didnt want to add becuase it will “kill” the young players, and when they fail he blames it on inexpereince maturity ,denilson is this age diaby is that age walcott is that.

  7. dandan says:

    Striker and which of those clubs who you say would have sacked him, Apart from Man U,Lpool and Chelsea have finished above us in that time.

  8. Alfa says:

    Striker you make some fair points but only in spain would he be given the boot for ‘ only’ finishing 2 – 4, and Real offered him the job a year ago.

  9. Rasputin says:

    Morning aaron,

    I don’t think Arsène is above making statements for effect rather than accuracy – his version of spin. Often when he ‘bigs up’ a player, it will be because that player is underperforming or the fans are getting on their backs. This can be understandably infuriating for supporters but is calculated to boost the player in an attempt to get greater value from them on the pitch.

    I’m sure Arsène’s hands have been more tied that he or the Board have been prepared to admit and statements from the likes of PHW have not helped. I think he has been the fall guy since the stadium was built.

    I think it is true that we will have more money available this year than for the last 5, so it will be interesting to see what happens this summer.

  10. Morning all

    He has steered the club through a few financially challenging years and still managed as Alfa says to ‘give us the best football ever played’

    The worrying part for me is the strange decision making. VP out until now, Eduardo not firing, relying on Nik, not getting a striker in the Jan window and not playing Vela!!!!!!!!!! Almunia being a third choice keeper and not replacing him. Sticking with 4-3-3 when switching back to 4-4-2 would have given Nik more support.

    I’m sure I’ll think of more ………… but I do admire him enormously 😉

  11. Big Raddy says:

    “deluded shopaholics”. Great stuff DanDan.

    However, AW is open to criticism. Some of his decisions have been woeful, and whilst accepting that AW will be remembered as the second most influential man in AFC history (Chapman first), he is not in any way perfect.

    I am always irritated by his continual defensive substitutions. When we are one up and the opposition are throwing men forward chasing a point, surely it is time to attack, not invite further pressure.

    But what do I know? I am just a fan

  12. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. The striker is understandable given that his target chose to stay at Bourdeaux until summer.

    The GK however …???

  13. Rasputin says:

    Arsène’s failings: (IMO)

    Blindspot for GK’s
    Too conservative – particularly with substitutions
    Tactically left wanting sometimes
    Seems unwilling to work with an ‘assistant manager’ or anyone who will challenge his decisions

    Arsène’s strong points:
    Everything else

  14. Big Raddy says:

    I agree Rasp.


    Parsimony in transfer dealings
    Too loyal to players.
    Stubborn (though that is also a positive)

  15. Rasputin says:

    True Raddy 😉

    I forgot to include that he’s a ‘tight wad’

  16. dandan says:

    I do not believe Wenger is above criticism

  17. another very well constructed post, dandan.

  18. dandan says:

    Sorry about that Got one sentence out and my computer crashed.
    I do not believe Wenger is above criticism and yes his handling of the press is sometimes less than considered, given their love of spin.
    His parsimony is I believe the result of having a restricted budget thus far, but as has been said above, this summer will tell us much.
    But I do not see the need to buy more than a max of 4 players. Chief among which are a GK, CB, and of course our new french forward

  19. peaches – this reverting back to 4-4-2 sounds like a plan, but i don’t think we should get excited about it, as the current 4-3-3 has been indoctrinated throughout the entire club, all the youth team, reserves etc play that system now, and i cannot envisage a U-turn after just 12 months.

    4-3-3 is here to stay… unfortunately/fortunately, depending on your personal standpoints.

  20. Patrick 7 says:

    You mention blind spot for GK – surely that should read ‘defence’. We’ve been crying out for a CB & DM for the last 2-3 years yet apart from Song’s sudden improvement this year which was unexpected, nobody has been brought in!

  21. Do you guys subscribe to ATVO and watch wengers press conferences in FULL every week?

    Best 3 quid i spend a month…

    his tone has MASSIVELEY changed in recent weeks, almunia is getting the bullet, i am 90% confident that he will actually be dropped from tommorow’s game.

    wenger told us yesterday that “we are not in the market for rodellgia, we don’t want strikers, we have done our business there already”

    his exact words… meaning what we already know is confirmed, chamakh already done, and targets that occupy a role in the back FIVE are high on his agenda.

  22. dandan says:

    Erm TV and Campbell are not defenders?

  23. dandan says:

    I like you enjoy those SH which is why I say he is sometimes susceptible to spin

  24. Patrick 7 says:

    SH – Yes, it’s good value to see highlights or review the match when you don’t have Sky!

    We’ve got nothing much to lose now so it’s worth getting another look at Fabianski & probably Eduardo & Merida/Vela to see whether they’re worth keeping….

  25. Pat 7 – the problem with the defence, at times, is symptomatic of the defeciencies of our goalie.

    it cannot be stated enough how important it is to have a “consistently” great goalkeeper, in order we win titles.

    can anybody name a side that has won ANY trophy/title EVER with an average goalie?

  26. dandan – without doubt he is, the man is a master of it, and to be fair he has had to be over the last 5 years.. not because of lack of silverware.. but because we were fighting the likes of big bucks chavski and manure, and pool and….. err the list goes on

    about 10 clubs had a bigger budget than us

    and to keep us in the top 4 has been an achievement that few congratulate.

    but that time is thankfully now over… as PHW states “we now have more money than we have had for a long time”

    youth project succeeded in keeping us omnipresent in the top 4 and almost won us the title in 2008, amazingly enough.

    but this summer will herald a subtle change for sure.

  27. Big Raddy says:

    SH. Thanks for the report. We would appear to be buying a player who is good in the air, now all we need is someone who can cross.

    Liverpool. Grobelaar. (let’s not argue, apart from the wobbly legs penalty he was no more than average)

  28. Patrick 7 says:

    You’re def right there. Almunia has caused so much upset in our defense, injuring them added to his offenses, so he’s def not the answer.

    I remember Cloughie & Taylor broke all records for Shilton which set up NF for their successful exploits. Here’s hoping AW can find a REAL gem if Ches isn’t the answer or an interim!

  29. BR – hmmm, i recall BG being a great goalie, for a little fella, relatively speaking, he commanded his box well, and apart from letting in the odd clanger (bookies paid well) he was a very good shot stopper.

  30. just checked

    he won 6 league titles, 3 FA cups, 1 european cup, 3 league cups

    i cannot believe, no matter how good lawro and hansen were in front of him, an average goalie would have helped his team to that lot.

  31. Patrick 7 says:

    Big R. – great to meet again here! You mention players who can cross!

    What do we do in training apart from sprints, ball play & perhaps over-training in some way? We still struggle with defending long balls & our dead-ball use and crossing is useless compared with most teams.

    As we have some of the most skillful talent in the prem something must be awry?

  32. Big Raddy says:

    OK SH 🙂

    I would buy Jaaskelinen. He is consistently good in a weak team, and he will take us through the few years until Chesney matures.

  33. Big Raddy says:

    You too P7,

    I agree there is clearly some training defect, which is very strange considering that AW is meant to be one of the world’s finest coaches.

    We do have players who can cross – Fab, AA and RvP. So can NB, but if we are to play overlapping FB’s, they HAVE to be able to accurately cross a ball but ours rarely get it past the first defender.

  34. i think jaaskelien is a deal that could easily be done, wenger seems to have a good relationship with bolton…

    how about… them giving us jassk for a small fee… and in return we give them fabianski or chesney on loan for the season?

  35. good relationship with owen coyle*

  36. Big Raddy says:

    Good call. SH ANd let JW stay for a until January

  37. Patrick 7 says:

    Have you also noticed that ours lack power in their shots as well? I know Fab has improved a bit in this area this season but despite the very light ball nowadays they still struggle.

    I get the impression it’s all tight stuff done so they’re underpowered…………

  38. should be a good manc derby coming up…

    really hope city win for a multitude of reasons

    tevez banging a hat-trick would be marvellous 😆

  39. i see the sun is carrying the wenger press conference and his inferences about almunia

    have a listen

  40. Big Raddy says:

    I agree with that SH. Looking forward to Fergies face

  41. RockyLives says:

    Enjoyed the post Dandan. You already know I agree with most of what you say (and you write it really well). The criticism of AW for being parsimonious or a ‘tightwad’ is just silly – none of us know exactly how restricted his spending ability has been over the past few years, but we can guess.
    As for keepers, Jaskeleinen is a great call (not dissimilar to Ferguson bringing in Van der Saar from Fulham). I think in the future Sneeze will be a brilliant keeper, but he needs to stay on loan for at least another year, maybe two. It’s hard to be a world class keeper in your early twenties because that position, almost more than any other, is dependent on experience.

  42. RockyLives says:

    Rasp, you said:
    “What has confounded me in the last few years has been some of his press statements regarding buying new players. I think the “I’m going to the World Cup with my chequebook” was rather unwise as it was followed soon after by something to the effect that all the players available were over-priced”.

    Or an alternative explanation could be that he was getting increasingly frustrated at the lack of money being made available to him by the Board and said that to try and put pressure on them. For whatever reason, he lost that battle/argument (or was persuaded to persevere with the low budget approach) and had to retreat – hence the ‘over-priced players’ line.

  43. Rasputin says:

    Hi Rocky,

    Sorry to hear you’ve been marooned by the volcanic cloud 😉

    I prefer to believe the more palatable argument that Arsène is either parsimonious, a tight wad or just careful with money, any way you want to put it – otherwise you’d have to say he is ‘economical with the truth’ because there have been times when he’s said he has the money but chosen not to spend it.

  44. RockyLives says:

    Rasp, again, I believe his economy with the truth is strategic – he can’t go round telling everyone we’re skint because he wants to maintain the illusion that we’re financially competitive.
    Still marooned in US by the way. Apparently that volcano blows once in a generation – they’re changing its name to ‘Tottenham Derby Victory’.

  45. Rasputin says:

    Well Rocky, if the financial reports are not also being ‘economical with the truth’ we will find out this summer how prepared Arsène is to spend when it is needed that’s for sure.

  46. RockyLives says:

    Yep. Big egg on my face if Arsene keeps the wallet closed this summer. But his comments at yesterday’s official press conference have made it even clearer that he’s going to be spending.

  47. well that’s the worst possible outcome for gooners.

    bloody injury time goals for manure.

  48. and that was the goal that brought mourinho to city.

    they will still get 4th, but mancini’s tactics today were off.

  49. Big Raddy says:

    Even MU are starting to win the Arsenal way !!

  50. GhostFace says:

    Another shut up and worship Wenger with great gratitude in your heart.

    How very boring.

  51. dandan says:

    What a choice we will have, beat city and let spuds be 4th, let city win and they will inflate the transfer market and buy big players, cos they will be in the Champions league.

  52. GhostFace says:

    I want a GK.

    Does that make me a deluded Shopa-holic?

    Hopefully there wont be too many crappy articles like this one.

    How very monotonously boring.

  53. RockyLives says:

    Hi Ghost,
    “Another shut up and worship Wenger with great gratitude in your heart. How very boring.”

    That would be as opposed to the rivetingly interesting: “We’re all doomed, Wenger must go.”

  54. Rasputin says:

    GF – we all want a GK. If you’d been reading the site from the start you would have sen that we are unanimous in calling for a new keeper. We are also wishing for a CB as the next highest priority.

  55. GhostFace says:

    To my knowledge nobody has used the word doomed except the accusers.

    Its like if you dont worship Wenger and read the doctrine of lies he spits every season ticket renewal season and confess that the sun does indeed shine out of certain parts of his anatomy you automatically assume that we are all doomed.

    Nobody sits on the fence?

  56. dandan says:

    LOL Good afternoon Ghost glad to see you are a happy chappy today.

  57. GhostFace says:

    My happiness has fuck all to do with this article.


    If thats the case then who said anything about buying half the stars at the world cup?

  58. dandan says:

    If the cap fits wear it Ghost, I dont remember mentioning your name.

  59. GhostFace says:

    So you were fantasying then?

    Ok that makes sense…nobody has actually said that you just made it up in your head to make your article sound eloquent and well thought out. Makes sense.

  60. RockyLives says:

    Ghost, thankyou for making my point for me. You’re right – nobody has used the word ‘doomed’. Just as nobody has used the words “Shut up and worship Wenger with great gratitude in your heart.”
    There’s clearly a divide between those who, on balance, think Wenger has done a remarkable job keeping us competitive during a period of having no money and those who feel he wasted several years of potential team development. Apart from the real morons, no-one on either side of the debate takes a 100% position. The Wengerphiles can still find fault with him and the Wengerphobes can still recognise some of his achievements.
    The only really ‘boring’ thing in all this is people choosing abuse above debate. There are plenty of other semi-literate sites to do that on.

  61. dandan says:

    Lol Ghost I seem to have touched a nerve with you, why is that I wonder, You see I cant see the connectiion between not mentioning your name and making it up

  62. GhostFace says:


    hahahaha…thats a joke Dandan

    Thats like Stan Collymore spits his drivel and plenty of Arsenal fans give him the stick and then stan comes up and says “well i cant see the connection between not mentioning you gooners names and not making up drivel up”




    Point taken about your abuse above debate.

    So let me ask you a question. how do you debate an abuse?

  63. gunnerrunner says:

    We need David Dein back.

  64. dandan says:

    Have a nice day Ghost Unfortunately I cant stay and chat. Have to go out,

    Hi Rocky, hope you are enjoying the USA, L A ain’t the worst place in the world to be marooned mate.LOL

  65. RockyLives says:

    Well Ghost, I know from seeing your posts on this site previously that you’re a good debater and, personally, I think it’s great that you challenge the prevailing opinion here (which others also do).
    So I was surprised that your first post on Dandan’s piece was just to say ‘how boring’.
    Is that abuse? Well alright, probably not – abuse is too strong a word.
    But it sure as hell ain’t debate either.

  66. RockyLives says:

    Cheers Dandan. As you say, there are worse places…

  67. Big Raddy says:

    GF. Read the comments. You will find that almost everyone agrees with you.

    A new GK is a must. As is a CB. and the CF would appear to have been signed.

  68. GhostFace says:

    Well you tell me which is more of an Abuse


    To say something is boring or to call someone a shopa-holic in a sarcastic go and buy half the players at the world cup tone?

  69. Big Raddy says:

    I disagree DD. IMO L.A. would be a terrible place to be marooned. A few miles North or South would be far preferable.

  70. GhostFace says:


    Hi, how are you.

    I read the article and went straight to comment.

    The article makes fun of spending…and yet people are saying we should spend?

  71. Rasputin says:


    I came into blogging because it was a fantastic release valve for my frustration at having let Gilberto, Flamini and Hleb all go without replacements. I trawled all the sites looking for someone to argue with because it made me feel like I was doing something about it by convincing others I was right …. does this ring any bells with you??

    In time I came to realise that actually blogsites are best used as a place to offer your opinion and listen to what others have to say and I found that if my ego allowed, I could learn a lot from other bloggers. Some even managed to change my opinions on certain matters. If they didn’t, I would accept that they are entitled to their opinion and the subject I was complaining about was not their fault therefore they should not suffer my derision.

    For what its worth, my standpoint is that I believe Arsène is a great manager and of course, a mere mortal who makes mistakes like the rest of us. I am happy to air my feelings when I think he’s in the wrong.

  72. RockyLives says:

    Ghosty, the difference is that the shopaholic comments were made in an article which had a coherent argument, whether or not you agree with it. And – IMHO – the way to respond is with a coherent counter-argument.
    To my mind Dandan was questioning whether the modern culture of instant gratification is increasing the level of criticism of Wenger and the team.
    I can remember some deep, dark years in the mid 1970s, the 1980s and towards the end of GG’s reign when we were truly shite, but there was nowhere near the current level of vitriol. It’s as if, back then, we didn’t feel we had a God-given right to win everything all the time. Mind you, if we’d had the internet back then, who knows? Maybe the debate would have been just as angry.

  73. Big Raddy says:

    Precisely. GF.

    Even the poster concedes the need for prudent spending. Who he is referring to are bloggers who call for wholesale and highly improbable changes. We are NOT going to sign Aguero/Benzema/Robben/Ribery/Buffon etc etc.

  74. Big Raddy says:

    Rocky. No doubt the criticism would be the same. Though I cannot imagine the old codgers moaning in the Gunners Fish Bar being conversant with the internet!

  75. RockyLives says:

    My main beef with the ‘buy buy buy’ argument is that it is usually posed as being a guarantee of success.
    Well it certainly isn’t that – just look at Liverpool, Sp*rs, Real Madrid, maybe Citeh…

  76. Rasputin says:

    Just to play devil’s advocate Rocky, the purchase of TV, Nasri and AA have all added quality to the squad and I’m sure we wouldn’t have achieved as much this season had it not been for those signings. If you compare the success of Arsene’s signings to pretty much every manager in the prem, I think he’d come out on top. I think we can compete at the highest level by selectively buying players in the £10-15m bracket and let the billionnaires fight over the superstars.

  77. RockyLives says:

    BR – that must have been you I remember spluttering through his chips in the Gunners Fish Bar in 1974/5 after another crappy home defeat in a season where we finished seventh from bottom (but still three places above Sp*rs!).

  78. GhostFace says:


    I agree with you whole heartedly. I am exactly that type of blogger. My opinions are not based on 5 years of a trophy barrenness. It is more due to the fact that people come up and defend Wenger regardless and inspite of his stubborness and obvious mistakes…including the blatant lies and reckless believes that this team is good enough to win a trophy and identified selling an attacker without replacement as the solution to the problem???


    Sarcasm is coherent. So i responded with another Sarcastic coherent rant.

    Its that simple.



    Nobody to my knowledge has asked for wholesale changes.

    We either want

    1. Wenger to go.


    2. A GK, CB, and CF/DM either one will do.

    Nobody is against spending sensibly. What we are against is not spending at all and penny pinching at the cost of the tittle (Sol Campbell)

  79. RockyLives says:

    Rasp, I am absolutely not against making new signings. I’ll be gutted if we don’t add several mature, world-class players this summer (Striker, GK, CB, CM).
    What I’m against is this idea of a wholesale clear-out of half the current squad. Some judicious new signings will allow the rest of the squad to really achieve their potential.

  80. GhostFace says:

    There’s no need to have beef with the buy buy buy argument.

    You buy well you will do well.

    Thats the end of that.

    Spurs have bought well and they beat us for the first time in 11 years.

  81. Rasputin says:

    I know Rocky, we’re obviously not disagreeing here. I think for £40m’ish we could get the players to make the difference – do you think we’ve got that much in the war chest?

  82. RockyLives says:

    Sol Campbell’s signing has hardly cost us the title.
    What may have cost us any chance of the title was Wenger not signing a new striker in January when we knew RvP was out and Bendy was going to be injured for several weeks.
    We could probably have got Chamakh in January for £5m or £6m but the club (whether Arsene or the Board) preferred not to spend that and to wait until summer to get him on a free.
    Would the Prem title this year have been worth £6m? By God yes. I think it was a huge mistake not to buy a striker in Jan.

  83. GhostFace says:

    Im not saying the singing of Sol Campbell cost us the tittle.

    Im saying Penny pinching did.

    And we’ve been penny pinching with everything and everyone.

  84. RockyLives says:

    Rasp, I’d be surprised if we spend less than £40m total this summer, although that may be offset by some players going out.
    I hope the rumours are not true that AA is going. At times this year he’s been a disappointment, but I have a feeling he could have an immense season for us next year.

  85. rockylives – not true about chamakh, mate

    bordeux had resigned themselves to losing him for nowt in the summer, but as they were challenging for ligue 1 and into the next round of the champions league, they stuck to their guns and held on to him.

    i am sure if he was available for 5M in january we would have signed him.

    wenger never just buys for the sake of buying, we all wanted him to sign a striker in the jan window and he knew the only player for arsenal was chamakh.

    aw sticks to his beliefs, he will never panic buy.

  86. Rasputin says:

    The signing of Sol Campbell was a huge success, I know Rocky disagree’s but I found/find the purchase of Silvestre as a huge embarrassment.

    We will never know the truth, but many say we could have signed Given and but for a couple of extra million we maybe could have bought Alonso. I’m pretty sure that if we’d had those two in the squad we would be sitting on top of the Premiership right now.

  87. GF – the reason all the noised coming out of the club about “having more money than for a long time” etc

    is because of this massives 133M we owed the banks this spring.. the proceeds of the adeybayor and toure sales helped pay that off and dramatically reduce our debt.

    we are now well placed to spend.

  88. Rasputin says:

    Rocky, I’m an AA fan (hence the gravatar), his agent (never to be believed) says he’s had trouble adjusting to the physical demands of the Premiership, but he’ll be back and stronger next season.

  89. i don’t believe until this season we have been in the position on spending big… since moving to the ems.

  90. RockyLives says:

    But Ghost, don’t you accept that we’ve been penny pinching for a reason – the new stadium (with the double whammy of the worst recession since the 1930s just as we put the Highbury Square development on the market) – and that now the smoke signals coming out of Arsenal are very different?
    We know the financial situation has improved massively this year which means, I believe, that the dusty old wallet is finally about to be opened.

  91. the coming summer will be the very first summer we have had a proper war chest, and not just chest beating.

  92. exciting summer ahead, with the world cup and plenty of dosh for arsene to spend.. wisely and on the correct players.

  93. GhostFace says:


    Weve known we werent going to be with both Van P and Bendtner since October.

    Arshavin had a moan about playing CF for 2-3 months injuring himself in the process numerous times basically begging Wenger to spend on a striker.

    Knowing we dont have a striker since October and replacing one in January is not called Panick Buying.

    Its called good management.

  94. GF – maybe the right player just was not available?

  95. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for the insight on the Chamakh move SfH. It’s a more reassuring story than thinking we could have got him but preferred to hang on to £5m instead.

  96. Alfa says:

    GF is making a better point here than he is being given credit for. Rasp we have 70m + in the bank and and could afford to spend more. But the board would risk their profit and control of the club. Time will tell.

  97. Alfa – 70m?

    that was part of the money needed to pay off that 133M

    all this nonesense of “ringfencing” was rollocks from the start, and it was exposed as much in the last set of accounts.

    of course all parts of the business were linked, strangely (?) enough, the property market has picked up, higbury square almost sold… and phw making noises about having more money to spend than in a very long time..


  98. GhostFace says:

    We chose to pay off the dept at a quicker rate and i do indeed applaud the club for a job well done.


    That was a choice. Not the rule.

    We have a stipulation in our contract with our sponsors saying we have to spend up to 70% of players sells reinvesting it back into the team.

    Which is why youve seen a disgusting amount of player contract renewals about 16 or 17 of them on the Adebayor money.

    Our mortgage is fixed. We pay X amount on our dept every year.

    We made a choice to drastically reduce the dept instead of servicing the needs of the team.

    That was a choice not a must.

  99. RockyLives says:

    The ‘ring fencing’ line was carefully worded (something to de with being kept for improving the team) – we all thought it meant that money for new signings would be ring fenced. In fact the club used the ‘ring fenced’ money to lock most of the young players into long term deals.

  100. Wrong GF, the loan was split into 2 parts, you only speak of one part of the loan, and as you correctly say, it is fixed at a very reaosonable rate for the next 20 odd years, and VERY easily payable.

    but the other part of the loan, 133m, that was linked to the higbury square development was due back this spring.

    we paid it. on time.

    at a cost the our overall transfer budget over the last 4/5 years.

  101. GhostFace says:

    String Fellow

    The world is a big place. Plays like Loic Remy, have been crying to Jesus, Mohammed, Mary and anyone else who can hear to come to Arsenal.

    I do not buy that argument.

    Its like Arsene said this year when the January window closed that the likes of David Villa are not avaible.

    WTF is he talking about. Did he even make a phone call to find out?

  102. the biggest threat to our existence was the huge risk wenger took on project youth keeping us in the champions league on a shoestring budget over the last 4 season whilst this debt was reduced.

    he succeeded, with aplomb.

    business degrees will have parts of their syllabus recognising the tremendous management of the club finances during the worst recession in living memory.

  103. Is remy good enough? just because he wants to play for arsenal does not make him good enough.

    i can scream and shout all day long about playing for the arsenal.. does not make me good enough, does it?

  104. we will see the benefits of the last few years work this summer.

  105. RockyLives says:

    The most recent information on Premiership wage bills seems to be from the 2007-8 season, when we were third – £101m – behind Chavs (£172m), ManUre (£121m) and ahead of Liverpool in fourth (£90m).
    At the end of that season the two teams with higher wage bills finished above us, and Liverpool (with their lower wage bill) finished below us.
    Maybe our wage bill should be higher…

  106. GhostFace says:

    Thats interesting.

    Would you rather Loic Remy or Eduardo

  107. to be fair, i have not seen remy play a full game, only clips of him on you tube, and he looks quite capable

  108. this chamakh fella has had a huge amount of faith placed in him by wenger.

    he risked not signing another player in jan, as that would have put paid to chamakh in the summer.

    he must be good.

  109. GhostFace says:

    Its seems a tad bit reckless to ruin our chances of the tittle because of one player.

  110. in the end, bendtner came back to fitness and has scored 9 in 11… so the gamble paid off.

    goalie cost us more than any striker did.

  111. i can tell you one thing… if bendtner was a 22 yr old rated kid at milan, and we paid 25M for him in jan

    and he then scored 9 in 11… certain groups of fans would have been going mental.. extolling the virtues of spend spend spend

  112. GhostFace says:

    “As I mentioned earlier, the Highbury Square bank loan is ring-fenced from and has no recourse to the football side of the Group’s business, so it will be repaid entirely from sales proceeds from the development.

    “As proceeds come in on legal completion of sales, they will be used firstly in funding the remaining balance of the construction costs at the site and then in repayment of the bank loan.”


    That essentially means that players sales and money from TV rights has fuck all to do with paying back the 133M from highbury square.

  113. GF – do you think it’s a coincidence that after we have paid off that 133M…

    the chairman is now telling us we “have more money to spend than in a long time”


  114. GhostFace says:

    Stats can be very flattering.

    Yes Bendy has scored 9 in 11.

    Including a flattering but meaningless hatrick at porto.

    You can bend stats to make a point and even statistically speaking Denilson is the best DM in the prem.

    Oh and statstically speaking ALmunia is the 6th best GK in the league,,12306,00.html

  115. GhostFace says:


    Chairman Wood has always said we have had money to spend.

    Can you think of a time he has said Arsene didnt have money for transfers?

  116. apart from scoring goals, what other stat best helps us decide whether or not a STRIKER is good?

  117. no GF, but strange he should say “more money than in a long time”

    don’t you think?

  118. GhostFace says:

    More Money means we have MORE money.

    Not that we dont have money at all!

    I think its laughable we are having a debate that Bendtner is a good striker based on his scoring goals

    A couple of tap-ins from the Hard work of Arshavin and Walcott.

  119. GF – yes it does, well worked out, but does it tell us how much more than before?

    I think it’s far more laughable to debate whether or not a striker who has scored 9 in 11 at the very highest level of professional football ( premier league and champions league ) is any good.

    especially when that striker happens to be just 21/22 and back from 4 months off from injury.

    they may be tap ins… but being in the right place at the right time is a huge skill all the very best strikers have.

  120. GhostFace says:

    “I want to do well for this club, I do not want to be here because I have done well before and do not do well anymore. I want to see whether I can make my policy successful on the longer term. Then you decide ‘do I stay or not?'”

    What policy might that be Arsene?

  121. the policy to keep us competitve on a shoestring budget.

  122. GhostFace says:

    The striker is 22 but has played over 120 games at the top level for the club.

    If being at the right place at the right time is any indication of skill or talent then we shouldve be running after the likes of Emile Heskey and Robby Keane

  123. GhostFace says:

    We are not on a fucking shoe string budget.

  124. why would we need them?

    did bendtner not score 9 in 11?

  125. GF correct we are not.. now

    but compared to most of the other premiership clubs, we were.

    check the figures yourself on spends.

    if it was all about spending money to be successful.. we would be fighting relegation.

    where are pool after spending 200M? spuds 210M?

    nowhere near us. that’s where.

  126. GhostFace says:

    9 in 11 looks impressive.

    But it looks less impressive than 12 in 27 which is what he actually is.

  127. GhostFace says:

    We are 3rd. If Spurs win today they will be 4th.

    How is that nowhere near us?

  128. Big Raddy says:

    GF. I was with you until the Heskey/keane comment! And Nik’s 120 games includes 58 as a second half sub.

  129. Gf – look at the points between us

    are you now seriously suggesting the spuds could mount a title challenge like we have?

    not a chance.

  130. they can spend another 200M and they may close the gap to 3 or 4 points off us.

    you cannot buy class.

  131. BR – Mark Williams 16/1 for the World Champs Snooker 😉

    well worth a nibble.

  132. Big Raddy says:

    12 in 27 is also spurious. It includes 9 as sub, which gives a return of almost a goal every other game.

    I would never say that NB is the ultimate striker, but he has done a good job this season in trying circumstances. How he will fare next season when Chamakh is added to the strikers roster is anyones guess. If AW keeps his word and retains the entire squad, we will have Chamakh, RvP, NB, Vela, Eduardo, (Simpson) and Walcott to choose between.

    Something has to give.

  133. GhostFace says:

    String Fellow

    In the end when its all said and done points matter very little as compared to the position on the table.

    Nobody cares if you won the league by 1 point or by 50.

    Spurs are 5th we are 3rd.

    They have closed the gap massively from where they were before you cannot deny that.


    There’s a reason why Capello picks Heskey right?

    I think its because he always gets himself in right positions imo

  134. Big Raddy says:

    SfH With your 100pc record I certainly will !!

  135. vela must go on loan next season.

  136. Gf – they certainly have closed the gap, but it did cost them 200m to get within 10 points of us 😆

  137. GhostFace says:

    1 goal every 2 games is as impressive as Almunia being the 6th best goal keeper in the world.

    Nikk is not a striker that creates for himself and i do not rate him.

  138. BR – do you use betfair?

    My startegy for williams is thus…

    backed X pounds at 16/1

    he will shorten to around half that price (if all goes well) by this time next week

    at that point i will lay off my stake and leave a free bet at 8/1.

  139. this spuds chav game is VERY open.

  140. chavs are getting pumped here

  141. GhostFace says:

    I feel some kind of way cheering for spuds.

    If the Spurs beat Chelsea. Something that the Arsenal have only managed to do once in 5 tries.

    Have they closed the gap then?

  142. i think i have already answered that question GF

    do you read other posts or just type?

  143. Rasputin says:

    According to this link, Athletico Mardrid have just signed Merida on a free – great shame if it’s true.

  144. writing was on the wall for that one, rasp.

    but you are correct, great shame.

  145. kelsey says:

    Very interesting civil debate on here today.A bit above my level but nevertheless with Spurs winning if they should win the pressure on us heightens not to finish 4th.

    I am not joking.I see us getting 5 points from our last 4 games,a win against Fulham, two draws against Wigan (though they have relayed their pitch,we might get a win, bringing us up to 7 points)and Blackburn.

    oh it’s 2 -0

  146. GhostFace says:

    Fuck me that Bale might be 10 million times uglier than a mug shot of Keown but hes a decent footballer!

  147. my god, that save just now from gomes… unreal

  148. kelsey says:

    That is my fear,lose merida,senderos(no loss0 will djorou improve ?, eboue out of contract, and gallas is being offered a one year deal with a possible extension.

    Don’t see Wenger buying more than 2 players.

    Vela should start with Eduardo and rosicky tomorrow to see if they are worth keeping.

  149. kelsey – if chavs lose today, the game tommorow takes on a different shape.

    although i still cannot see them losing another 4 points from 3 games.. which is what we need them to drop because of superior GD.

  150. kelsey says:

    How can gomes improve so much in less than a season, when you look at Almunia. Goalkeeper coach has to be looked into, but better still buy a better keeper.I bet Fabianski is still shell shocked after the Porto game.

  151. gomes was a pretty decent keeper when he was in holland, he was very, very good against us in that champs league game against psv a few seasons back.

    think he dropped his level and confidence last year and has regained it.

  152. kelsey says:

    Your memory is better than mine. let’s talk horse racing some other time.

    by the way,those who bet on first goalscore should always bet on last goalscorer,better value.

  153. kelsey – that o brien hoss that won the RP trophy last autumn… wow, form got a good stamping with the craven winner on thursday.

    surely a good thing for the derby.

  154. kelsey says:

    I owned a horse with a pal that won The cambridgeshire and we got an offer too good to be true from the States.We sold the horse, it did nothing so we bought it back for a fraction of the price we sold it for and ….. can you name it.

  155. what decade are we talking about?

  156. Rambo’s Hall 😉

    Well in.

  157. kelsey says:

    late 80’s and early nineties.

  158. and the jock who won it for you is a crook, in my opinion.

  159. kelsey says:

    Correct. my friend bud booth bought it,jeremy Glover trained it and he offered me a leg. best leg i ever had 😉

  160. kelsey says:

    a rich crook, and terry is red carded.

  161. kelsey says:

    I can’t make up my mind if i am enjoyig this Spurs win.

  162. dandan says:

    Good evening SH and Kelsey, looks like you guys had a hectic hour and a half

  163. bloody hell, you aint joking…

    sold for 120 buttons

    bought back for 20 😮

  164. kelsey says:

    evening daddan, nice post today,sir.

  165. dandan says:

    It seems all would not agree LOL

  166. evening dandan

    got the same feelings here, i wanted chavs to win 24 hours ago, but i just hate every last one of them, and am actually enjoying this.

  167. dandan says:

    A friend of mine owned a horse you guys may have heard of, Coulton

  168. kelsey says:

    class horse Coulton.

  169. dandan says:

    yep,2nd highest money winner the year he won at cheltenham

  170. hang on a minute, kels… bud booth as in the fella from market rasen?

  171. kelsey says:

    yes, he is a steward there and elsewhere,lives in Hull.

    e mail me if you want to.

  172. dandan says:

    So did the guy who owned coulton, lived jn hull that is

  173. what a small world 😆

  174. kelsey says:

    no bud booth did. he more or less inherited hull 😉

  175. no sorry, dandan, the fella kels owned a hoss with ( and was a bloody machine to be fair ) is from hull

  176. dandan says:

    yes I know SH lol was just saying coultons owner lived in Beverley just outside hull

  177. ahh sorry.

    kels, i could talk horses with you all night…

    so much to talk about, but we would bore a lot of the gooners off here and maybe reveal more than we both should do 😉

  178. kelsey says:

    i went there for lunch yesterday, no not hull but small world, a new art deco restaurant in nueva andalucia.

  179. dandan says:

    Which ever one of you gave that tip on here for Cheltenham this year, my gardener said thank you he backed it LOL

  180. kelsey says:

    I had the second favorite for the hilary needler 5 furlong sprint held at beverley on derby day evening, and it led into the final furlong and broke down and chipped her knee. Win some, lose some.

  181. sizing europe, i put it up here dandan, but it was certainly not my tip.

    came from a pal who is connected to the NH world over on the emerald isle.

    i prefer the flat game.

  182. kelsey says:

    SH, did.

    I am offf for the night, nice talking to you.All those lost points though only a few,may have cost us the league.

  183. dandan says:

    well spuds have done us a favour, will we take advantage

  184. cheers kels, lovely chat.

  185. dandan, is this a good thing or a bad thing?

    gives us something to play for against wigan but even if liverpool beat the chavs they need to drop points in their last 2 home games against crap opposition.

    not happening.

  186. dandan says:

    strange things happen under pressure SH

  187. stoke and wigan at home, kels

  188. stoke and wigan at home

  189. dandan says:

    very quiet on here now

  190. kelsey says:

    final thought,

    Something fishy going on in Iceland. First they go bankrupt, and then they set the place on fire. Insurance fraud anyone???

  191. dandan says:

    Stoke are no pushover and terry will miss next game

  192. dandan says:

    LOL kelsey

  193. dandan says:

    this site has almost come to a stop it is so slow right now

  194. true, but that bloody home record of their’s is pretty darn good.

    but you are right, they should have dropped points against bolton the other night if the pens were given.

    so who know’s

    looking at the table, i am actually a little gutted, we could easily end the season 3rd, 2 points off the top.

    manuel at brum anyone.


  195. dandan says:

    You should get a good post from that SH. What if?

  196. no chance, it would be far too painful to write, not got it in me.

    i am the type to bury my head in the sand as opposed to really looking deeply into dropped points and smashing my head against a brick wall in exasperation.

  197. Rasputin says:

    Hi dandan, when you say the site has gone slow, are you talking about the rate of comments or the time to refresh the screen? We’ve been working on ways to make the site load more quickly and become less jittery.

    Paradoxically, this has been one of our busiest saturdays for comments and we’re not playing and its sunny outside – we would expect to be very quiet.

  198. it’s not the site, it’s wordpress.

  199. dandan says:

    The screen refresh, Rasp

  200. Rasputin says:

    Thanks SH – are you experiencing something similar on your site?

  201. Big Raddy says:

    I hate “what if”.

    The Totts were really good today, played the Chavs off the Park, and once again Dawson showed what a fine player he is – but you guys will not believe me!!

  202. dandan says:

    Yes I do seem to have got one or two at it, Blame peaches I was minding my own business and she asked for a post LOL

  203. dandan says:

    Hi Raddy, I too rate Dawson he is another has been held back by injury

  204. Rasputin says:

    Fine effort dandan 😛 I was wondering a week ago if we’d get up to 10,000 comments and 100,000 visits by the end of the season, which since we’ve been going for such a short time would be phenomenal and now we look like reaching those targets by the end of next week.

  205. yes rasp, wordpress having a lot of server issues in recent weeks.

    think they may need to upgrade, so we might get outages for a few hours if its a big upgrade.

    will keep you posted.

  206. Rasputin says:

    Hi Raddy,

    The spud fans themselves were a bit anti Dawson due to Woodgate and King, but they now acknowledge how good he’s been this season. He won most headers aginst Nik last week and is being mentioned in relation to the WC.

  207. dandan says:

    Just about every one English at the big four are being mentioned, even JW this week, we wouldn’t dare write that lol

  208. Hi guys – I’m not answering the phone tonight – its bound to be some crowing spud 😦

    dandan – quite a response to your post, well done, not difficult to cattle-prod some people.

    The mancson is a lot happier this evening even though I told him they were lucky…….the worst is the brother in New York, I can almost hear him crowing from here.

    We’d better beat Wigan tmoro!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  209. I find that if the page is slow to take a comment I press F5 after submit comment and it refreshes quicker

  210. dandan says:

    No worries tomorrow peaches, home and hosed there no probs

  211. dandan says:

    Was handy JT getting red carded

  212. Big Raddy says:

    The fact of the matter is that I would prefer the Chavs to win the title if we don’t, 4 times in a row for the Mancs would be insufferable.

    Their fans are smug enough as it is.

  213. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Tomorrows post may be a little late….. but I will be sure to get it in before 10 GMT

  214. dandan says:

    Did any one see and Andy Townsends north London side in the Daily Mail, 5 Gooners and 6 Spuds

  215. our man chamakh on the scoresheet again tonight…in a top of the table clash against lyon.

    certainly a man for the big occassion.

  216. Rasputin says:

    Thanks Raddy,

    Sunday’s always a bit of a late starter .. have a good evening

  217. Big Raddy says:

    As far as I can see , on current form Gomez, Bale, Dawson, and perhaps Defoe would get in our team so 7 to 4

  218. Big Raddy says:

    Ras…. post available!!

  219. Where is it raddy – in drafts?

  220. […] the summer of 1996, a tall, lean Frenchman, unfamiliar to many at England, would arrive at Highbury with the shocked cries of ‘Arsene Who?’, and go on to change the history of the club and its values. Wenger’s success was imminent as his […]

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    Interesting, I wonder what the statistics are on your first point there…

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