What Needs To Change at Arsenal Football Club

By  guest writer GhostFace

Let me begin by saying that we are a football club first and a business second.

When people mention the subject of debt, they forget that the board always had a plan to use the sales of the Highbury Square to service and fund the debt and those funds excluded the cash that we make from football related activities.  In other words, our spending hasn’t been annihilated or even substantially limited by debt. We’ve been paying off the dept on the housing front since Chairman Wood mentioned it 2 years ago over here (http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/chairman) and the stadium is doing what it was built for: that is to make us record profits.

Arsene Wenger deserves to succeed. I want him to succeed more than ever before this final year in his contract.

He has put a lot of  faith and  hard work into the club and so he deserves to be where he is today:  The most successful manager at AFC.

I haven’t even begun to mention the experts and the pundits.

I haven’t even given you the mental image of the paedo chants at Old Toilet and Sh*te Heart Lane.

I wouldn’t even begin to go into the kind of remarkable comments thrown at the man who runs things at the club we love so dearly by the “real” Arsenal fans.

Truth be told. Arsène Wenger is a great manager and he is the most successful manager of AFC.

However………… the converse is also true.

At the end of this 2009/2010 season, Wenger will also be the most unsuccessful manager at AFC, being the only manager to go a period of at least 5 years at without winning any honours.

I want to discuss and take into account the many problems that we will inevitably face in the future and the challenges that lie ahead to get to the mountain top. My heart tells me Wenger is the man for the job but my head tells me I think we need change.

What would take us to the promised land? New signings?  Better training? A more competent medical  staff? A better Scouting Network?

Change in one way or another is needed at THOF but in my very most humble of opinions it is unlikely that we will see this change with the current management. And this is why.

Arsène has a curious style of management in which he plays the same tactics regardless of the opposition. It appears that he doesn’t go to games that don’t involve Arsenal  (I am sure he watches other teams play football, like the time he predicted that Chelsea would drop points or the time that he insisted Aston Villa are all about the long ball which they are) and we now have the situation where teams have “figured” out how to win against Arsenal. Our football is immaculate at times. But there are many areas of possible improvements that go season after season, year after year, without being addressed and I feel will probably never change under Wenger.  Some of these are as follows :-

A)     Teams have figured out that if you crowd the midfield and counter-attack, their chances of success against Arsenal will sky rocket.

That is how Villa beat us 2-0 last season and Agbonlahor left Gallas for dead beating Almunia at his near post.

That is how ManU have beat Arsenal for 2-3 years.

That is how Chelsea beat Arsenal and of course, with a little help from the Drogged faced Serena Williams look alike muppet.

This is how we lost to Mancitty with the Robinho chip over Almunia and the Wright Phillips goal that despite the bad angle, still went in at the near post…..again.

There are so many other examples…Stoke City FA cup, Everton ,  Porto,  and last but surely not the least, the spanking by Barcelona.  Will Wenger change his style to give us the best chance of winning in a game? Not Really.

B)      Set Pieces and Defending: Does this really need explanation? The fact that we still suffer from Rory Delap throws after the management came together to brain storm a solution to the problem and after much deliberation decided that selling Kolo Toure was the solution. Isn’t it an indication that this is a managerial problem? Apparently it’s Pat Rice that handles the defensive duties? Doesn’t that speak volumes? Diaby inexplicably heading the ball into his own net at old Trafford after intending to hit it away might be a one-off but ‘Set pieces’ are a weakness and we know this.

Attacking wise we don’t score much from set pieces either. Since the sale of Ade…when have you expected that we could score from a Corner?  From 255 Corners in the league this season, we’ve only managed to hit the back of the net 5 times. Until a Denilson Wonder Strike. RVP hadn’t scored from a freekick for a full season and a half. Do we practice defending Set pieces? Possibly, but that’s anyone’s guess.

C)      Anti-ShootBall: Pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, sh…pass…pass…corner kick…pass, pass…etc. Cross….Goal-kick.

One of the many things I love about Andre Arshavin apart from his big mouth is his selfishness. His decision making is usually spotless and yes he should’ve passed to a wide open Theo Walcott for a tap in…and yes some of those shots were aimed at something he saw in the constellations above but truth be told…we miss Arshavin’s directness and honesty in his selfishness, which is one of the reasons why it is so easy to mark Walcott. Teams always expect us to pass. This is why Nasri waltzed into the Birmingham and rocketed a beauty past Joe Hart because everyone expected him to pass. This is why Denilson sent that prayer and was inexplicably answered by Myhill at Hullshity to keep the hopes alive. Fortune favours the brave. We have to be brave. You can’t score if you don’t shoot on target. We play too much keep-ball which is why without Fabregas and Arshavin the team is mentally structured to play keep-ball and Fabregas and Arshavin are really the only outlet for ideas in the final third.

D)      Substitutions or Lack there-off: I believe Wenger can win the title without spending. I believe this team is capable of winning the Title on their own. However, injuries aside, substitutions or the lack of have been an inexplicable feature for a couple of seasons. The more famous ones being the Arshavin on the bench at the FA cup final and the RVP not starting at Wigan and Spurs but there are other subtle one’s like bringing on Alex Song (who was shyte at the time) in the 4-4 with spuds, essentially taking off an attacking player that can give us an outlet to counter-attack for a defensive player that automatically puts us under pressure for a nails/ball biting ending. When we won 1-0 at Liverpool. We won…but Wenger took of Bendtner for Sagna. Which automatically put us on the back foot and it’s something he does quite often. There are times he gets it right obviously but some of these decisions are weird as well.

E)      Team Selection: Why bench an in form Eboue? Why bench an in form Carlos Vela? Why bench a very capable Eastmond when Denilson adds little to nothing? Why not play the kids that are craving to prove their worth and show their talent instead of persisting with players that are either tired or cant be bothered? Why not take a gamble on Vito Mannone who has out-performed Fabianski in just about every game he’s played aside from West Ham? Wenger has a knack for benching in form players for players who are unfit or off-form. A prime example was Eastmond played magnificently against the Bolton thugs home and away and was benched immediately at the return of Denilson.

I would cite the lack of transfers as a factor, but that goes without saying. Wenger has a policy and a belief in sustaining a title challenge without spending. That is his choice and that is his way. It has had little or nothing to do with the debt. Our stadium has made us an annual profit and the housing sales have been paying for the development debt on its own for years. It has had little to do with project youth  as he doesn’t trust the youth players even if the squad is down to bare bones. No matter how bad Clichy plays if he is fit he will play. A 30% off form Denilson will start ahead of Eastmond every time and a -40% Fabianski will start ahead of Mannone every time.

In conclusion, The Experiment has been disappointing. Not a total failure but it didn’t quite live up to the Trophies that Wenger promised. There are many ways forward in what I have just outlined. I would like to see progress with our set pieces, progress with our defending, progress with ideas in the final 3rd, progress with youth talent, and most importantly progress up the table – to do that the experiment has to stop, but will it?

“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?” … Arsène Wenger 18.04.2010

Five years is a long term. A longer term is how long? I’d like to know.

210 Responses to What Needs To Change at Arsenal Football Club

  1. Morning all

    GhostFace is in the USA so won’t be around until after midday. He came onto our site ranting after the loss to spuds and stuck around to chat.

    Everything is up for debate on this site. We have regular bloggers who are pro and some who are anti many things that have happened at our club in the past few seasons.

    What we believe is that every gooner has the right to say state his views without risk of abuse as there are many things that we’re kept in the dark about so please be respectful to each other.

  2. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all,
    That’s a good, from-the-gut post there G Face and there’s little I can argue with. I would add that another failing is that Wenger has failed to demand a level of pressurising the opposition in the manner we did at the start of the season. This approach can make a 4-3-3 work but once we returned to the “only interested once we have possession” attitude other teams could over run us.
    G Face also rightly points out one of my bug bears – that for a manager who I’d expect to operate a meritocracy with regards to team selection, Wenger shows surprising favouritism.
    Peachy – are you looking at me with your warning about good behaviour ?
    I’m always respectful, I thought. 😦

  3. charybdis1966 says:

    Actually, I should say respectful to other gooners – Chavs/Manks/Spuds can take a running jump!

  4. Rasputin says:

    Morning all, morning chary,

    Thanks for the excellent article GF and good on you, we’ve had a lot of people come on here ranting but you’re the only one who has accepted the challenge to put their feelings into a post – and what a post/rant, 1,000 words 😉

  5. Rasputin says:

    Chary, you’re like the Mother Theresa of the blog world, overflowing with the milk of human kindness 😆

  6. B.B.K says:

    What needs to change at arsenal…….ALOT

  7. charybdis1966 says:

    Raspers, I thought you were going all Eddie Murphy on me and was going to call me a “Mother….” something else for a moment!
    No kindness to Sir Drinksalot in my last 2 posts though.

  8. ron manager says:

    I stopped reading this piece when I came to the bit about poor medical staff. It’s just not worth reading anything by someone who is stupid enough(and sadly you’re not alone amongst so-called Arsenal fans), not to say insulting enough to hard-working and dedicated professionals to come out with nonsense like that.
    could a doctor or physio have done anything to prevent these:
    ramsey’s broken leg
    cesc’s cracked fibula
    gibb’s broken metetarsal
    RVP getting crocked in a meaningless “friendly” for Holland
    eduardo’s life-threatening injury
    Tommy’s unique muscle problems that baffled the best doctors in Europe for 2 years
    Theo’s congenital shoulder problems – maybe unique in a footballer?
    etc, etc?
    I think you should issue an apology to Mr Lewin and the rest of the staff just in case they read this crap.

  9. London says:

    Morning all

    A very interesting read GhostFace and respect to you for having the courage to put your thoughts up there……..god, I disagree with so much of that.

  10. Iceman says:

    Arsene should practise what he preaches, as he once famously said: ‘The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.’

  11. AUI says:


  12. London says:

    Morning Iceman

    Do you think Wenger will be thinking how he can improve things or do you think he will be thinking: fuck it I don’t give a monkeys about Arsenal anymore?

  13. B.B.K says:

    Does anyone reckon sol could do a better job then pat rice??

  14. thegoon says:

    the best analytical post ive read. cos i thot i wrote it myself. and spot on. it has nothing to do with debt i put it. AW cannot seem to use COMMON SENSE. the most irritating for me is pass pass pass. man, it drives me mad especially when you look at man u’s goal to possession ratio. so very spot on, teams have learnt how to play us. they simply park in the 18 yard and flood midfield cos they know all we will do is pass pass for the entire game. and we also get deluded and mistake that for ball possession. 2. the substitutions are so pathetically unrealistic, why cant he make the obvious changes?

  15. striker says:

    The article is spot on. You could have added Arsenal
    have no plan b or don’t play defensive soccer.This is anathema to Arsene. He wants beautiful soccer forgetting the priority is score goals with minimum pass and win the game instead of loitering around the box for an opening. Once the attack breaks down down ,that’s it.
    The red faced and other teams have correctly analysed how the gunners will play. They have set the tactics
    to win and you can see for yourselves .It seems Arsenal/Arsene dont want to play anti soccer ie crowd the midfield and play on the break. That’s how Mu and chelsea have been winning aginst the gunners these few years. Under AW it’s attack,attack a thousand times.
    No wonder Messi found it so easy to score four goals.Arsene has alot to ponder over tactics and persnnel. It’s obvious to all his policies have failed.Let’s hope something will be done.

  16. five years, relative to the history of the club which spans the 19th, 20th and now 21st century, is NOT long-term.

    the worst of the lack of spending following the stadium build is now certainly over.

    the accounts show this, the manager is now telling us this, and obviously the chairman and the board are telling us this, although they have been telling porkies to the press for a couple of seasons.

    this is the first time since moving to the ems, that we have all 3 (accounts, manager, board) singing off the same hymm sheet.

    relax, enjoy the summer spending spree that lies in wait for us.

  17. London says:


    I’m curious, why do you think the board have been telling us porkies? This question is not meant to imply that you are wrong, it’s just that I would like a better understanding of your view.

  18. London, the club is an openly listed company on a equity exchange (plus markets in this case)

    Like any other company, they will openly tell porkies to the press to inflate the value of the stock.

    Imagine, hill-wood or fizman, coming out with “ok, we are totally skint for a few years, and we could be in big trouble if we cannot get the 130M by spring 2010, how arsene will keep us top 4 with kids, whilst the likes of chelsea and utd are spending, we have no idea, fingers crossed lads”

    oh look… our share price seems to be somewhat falling through the floor!!

    corporate conspiracy is nothing new, having worked as a stockbroker in the city for many years, its water off a ducks backs to me.

  19. London says:


    I wasn’t questioning your credentials I was just asking you to clarify the porkies that you suggest the board have told. Unfortunately, I am still not clear as to what exactly those porkies were.

  20. striker 8 says:

    Do you notice how our midfield and other players compare in size and height to other players.
    Ramsay 178cm
    Feb 176 cm
    Nasri 178cm
    Rosicky 178cm
    Walcott 176 cm
    Eduardo 177cm
    Wilshire 170cm
    Vela 178cm
    Ashvin 172 cm.
    These players maybe technically competent but the epl is not about technical ability.It’s also brute strength . No wonder the Arsenal players are easily
    outmuscled and easily injured.
    I hope Arsene get some monsters for defence ie someone like Samba 195cm to scare the ugly bulldog/Torres/Defoe/berbatov etc.
    For attack Chamake has the physical attributes so no problem here.
    IF Arenal don’t want any more Eduardo/Ramsey type of injures go the big boys.

  21. London, they were making noises about having 75M to spend just last january, fizman actually said we have 75M cash in the bank.

    What he did not say, and what the accounts DID say, was that was neccesary to be used to pay off the 133M due this year.

    They planted the seed of “ringfencing” to suggest the property part of the company was in no way connected to the football side.

    Well that has been proven incorrect.

    We have now paid off the 133M odd, highbury square is almost sold…

    and low and behold, wenger tells us we can now compete with the big boys for transfers.

    he did not say that last year, only the board did.

    and if you cast your mind back, he actually questioned the figures the board were mentioning.

    he said in a press conference that they were not in line with what he actually had to spend.

  22. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    “Five years is a long term”

    Well how would spuds feel. They haven’t won the big one in 49 years 😆

  23. I cannot believe Wenger has made a 32M net PROFIT on transfers since moving to the ems by accident.

    The first few years were always going to be tight, and then the global recession hit hard aswell.

  24. London – have a read of this piece from last january.


    AW said

    “We have a specific budget which is not as big as I have read in the newspapers, some ridiculous amounts of money that are completely crazy. But we will try to use it wisely and well if we can,” he said.

  25. andy says:

    I am an AW fan and think talk of replacing him is a bit premature however he does now have to take notice of what all of us have been seeing for the last 3 seasons (at least). He has to accept that his own pride has been as much a factor in our downfall as the poor quality in the team. We are too predictable, too naive and too lightweight. Our best teams were full of ambition,fight and desire built around solid defence and hard work. He has to revert back to 4-4-2 and get Bould and Adams involved in coaching a defensive unit to provide a fortress like we used to have. You can then allow the flair players to do their bit. Buying our way out of this mess is only part of the issue, yes we need to lose a few and buy a few but we need a better strategy aswell.

  26. andy “buying our way out of this mess”

    mess? think that is a bit strong mate, we are in no mess, as a club we have solid beyond belief.

    we have a young team that requires a little correction with slighty more experienced players.

    and we now have the proper money to correct it.

    these are going to be the greatest years to ever be a gooner.

  27. London says:


    We are pretty much on the same page, although, I remember Fizman saying 30 mil rather than 75 mil.
    I’m not quite sure why you think the ring fence idea has been proven wrong. My understanding is that the money that has gone to pay the debt off of Highbury Square has come from the sale of the properties rather than money ear marked for the squad. Has Highbury Square made a loss? Not to my knowledge. That being the case I would say that the ring fence concept seems to have been proven right.

  28. andy says:

    Fairplay ‘mess’ is a bit harsh. I stand corrected but I cant remember feeling such a level of disappointment from a season as this. It was there for the taking and we just didnt seem to want it. I know that the injuries have been unbelievable this year and with a bit of tweaking it will all come good but to see players wearing the colours and just not caring is hard to take. If you compare this team to that of the late 90s and early 00s how many would truly get in ?

  29. Alfa says:

    Just for once I am going to avoid getting into the finance debate beyond saying that whatever the board and AW have said in recent years about having money to spend, the actual net spending on players has been very low. Careful reading of the accounts shows why but it’s all interpretation and irrelevant now – either we will spend a lot of money in the summer or we won’t, then we will all know.

    Good post Ghostie and kudos for lightening up for long enough to get into a real debate.

    I profoundly disagree with the premise that Arsene has to go for things to improve. Who would we want instead? I can’t think of any manager who would have us playing like the 1970 Brazil team at our best, in the CL every season. Ferguson? I don’t want to play like Man U. Mourinho? Chelsea became more boring than we were in the 80’s. Benitez? Ha ha ha. Guardiola? OK, but take away 100m from his budget, give him a couple of years and some key injuries then we’ll see. If Real catch Barca and they don’t win the CL, he could be sacked this season.

    Who is this mythical manager who would do better, try harder, have better tactical awareness etc.? What characteristics would they have?

  30. Rasputin says:

    Hi andy,

    Thanks for your comments. No need to be apologetic – you reflect the feelings of a lot of gooners. I actually felt worse when we lost to Wigan than Totnum – what’s that all about?

    I do believe that the most positive interpretation is that we would/could have won something this season without the catalogue of injuries and we WILL be stronger next seaon.

  31. Alfa says:


    like a lot of us I reckon a good experienced GK would sort out a lot of our defensive problems. What do you think?

  32. manas says:

    I am so devastated after recent defeats that my world has become a big vacuum and I have stopped seeing the Arsenal website which I used to see many times a day. I have totally lost hope on AW because I know he will not purchase any good player. Present group of players are really not fit to become champion. When I see Rooney or Drogba or Torres and then see Bendtner, it is shameful. Denilson, Walcott, Rosiskcy, Clichy, Sagna—- all useless. Regarding Almunia, no comment is enough. Vermealan, Fabregas, Arshavin, Van-Persie — these four palyers are truely class. Next comes so so group consisting of Song, Nasri, Diaby, Edwardo, Eboue and Gallas. Thats all. Rest bull sheet.

  33. andy says:

    Totally agree that AW is the man for the job and if we feel this pissed off just imagine how he must feel.
    I think though that he must now wield the axe and not let this be another disappointing quiet summer on the transfer market…also i do maintain that the system and shape aren’t working for us.

  34. Alfa says:

    Manas, I think we all have that vacuum feeling. But Clichy is not useless. Bendtner is only compared to Drogba etc. because he RvP is injured. I would say RvP is as good as Torres when he is fit (and he started almost as many games as Torres this season). Bendtner can be as good as Drogba, in fact he is better now that Drogba was at his age.

  35. andy says:

    We have struggled since Seaman for a GK which we can rely on (not to include uefa cwc finals). A quality pair of hands would be good and we missed a trick when Mancity got Given and Villa picked up Friedel – yes Friedel.. I think hes been one of the best in the Prem for some time and would have been a great buy for us.

  36. London – correct, he did mention a 30M figure for the transfer kitty last summer time, but in the previous jan window, there was a interview with him ( trying to find it ) and he cleverly suggested the 75 odd million cash in the bank at the time ( actually maybe it closer to 90m ) could be used for transfers… it was in respone to these reports wenger gave the quotes i posted today @ 11.32

    and with regards to the ringfencing.. easy to answer this one.

    we were shy of around 40M last year, for the 130m payment due this year.

    we sold toure and badey for more or less that amount, this plugged the hole.

    and the accounts show this.

    so if money from players sales is used to pay the debt connected to the flats… the money is not ringfenced.

    i always thought it to be madness for anybody to believe that.

    in essence what you were asked to believe was thus:

    the arsenal holding company would allow the property part of the club to go bust, even if there were surplus funds from the football side to help save it.

    which is rubbish, both the property and football sides of the business were under one same holding umbrella company.

    if one part of the business is not doing well, and another side is, they are used to counter each other and keep both as going concerns.

  37. andy says:

    Well said Alfa. I think Bendtner has been pretty good when you think he was out for some time aswell and he returned and is getting goals. The main thing for me is that players are giving it their all and B52 does everytime. If only we could say the same for Diaby and Denilson !

  38. Big Raddy says:

    Excellent post GF. Whilst not agreeing with some of the conclusions, you make your points superbly.

    Is it really true that AW is the first AFC manager to go 5 years without a trophy? If so, that is an amazing statistic.

    Ron Manager. Of course the mediacl staff are not responsible for impact injuries. But the conditioning team must bear some responsibility for the number of soft tissue problems. 3 calf injuries is no coincidence. How many other clubs suffer from strains in such number?

  39. and it was idiots from certain blogs, complete mental lightweights, who were perpetuating the crap about having 100M in the bank to spend on new players who muddied so many waters.

    most gooners, and footy fans, would not have the first idea about how to decipher a set of accounts, so they bought the dumbed down ideas.

  40. and used them as a stick to beat AW with.

    when in reality, they should have been lauding the great man for his incredibile patience and financial prudence.

  41. i was actually kicked off a certain blog laast year for arguing the point about the accounts showing a 130m payment due in 2010, and this was limiting our spending until it was paid.

    they knew best, apparently.

  42. as per the norm, they were proved wholly incorrect.

  43. Big Raddy says:

    There is some truth in what you say SfH. But in any business one must take risks if one is to move forward and expand. Those who don’t get left behind.

  44. correct BR – Arsenal FC took the biggest risk, borrowed nearly half a billion, just before a global recession kicked in, and are positioned better than 99% of all other football clubs in the world.

    as AW said last week, and only last week, not last year…. we can NOW compete this summer for big money players.

  45. andy says:

    Where’ve you gone Alfa and Manas. I wanna moan about football not balance sheets…only joking lads

  46. GhostFace says:

    A very fine morning to you all!

    I know there are people who disagree with alot of that so im up for a lengthy discussion later on…

    One of the points i forgot to mention in my post was

    “Mental Strength”/Fight/Spirit: Essentially a winning mentality. You dont get one unless you win something. My dad used to say the children who always come first in class continue to do so because theyve done it before and they know the kind of work/dedication required to make the grade. Wenger has done it before but this team hasnt. Which is why it baffles me we keep chucking away the CC and FA cups.

    Anyways…what is there to disagree with..my post is flawless! 😀

  47. lol, andy, you kind of proved a point there…

    but you have nothing to moan about pal… get geared up to see your club sign big money players to help the young guns compete for every trophy next season.

  48. GhostFace says:

    Are we still on the subject of finances?

    Didnt Wenger also say that there are only 10 players in the world that AFC cannot afford?

    If anyone has been telling porkies its Wenger.

    The board have consistently said we have money to spend.

    Wenger always says we have money to spend right before season ticket renewal.

  49. GF – who does season ticket sales effect the most?

    the board? who own shares in the club.

    or the manager?

  50. problem is, the finances of the club have so deeply effected the club in recent years, but only a certain type of fan/person will actually understand that.

    it’s far easier to ignore it and blame wenger.

  51. GhostFace says:

    I doubt the share holders are overly concerned with making money off of Arsenal FC.

    They may or may not lose money but they arent going to sell….profit or not. Maybe except to each other.


    You are set in your convictions that we didnt have money to spend and that is perfectly alright. However, I cannot be convinced. Especially seeing that we’ve made 40m recently and given 18 people new contracts.

  52. London says:


    I remember Fizman saying 30 mil could be available for transfers should Wenger need it but I don’t ever remember Fizman ever saying that 75 or 90 could be made available.
    If the club were shy of 40 mil does that suggest that the Highbury Square will ultimately make a loss of 40 mil?
    I am more of the opinion that the definition of ring fence is to limit the liability ie that if Highbury Square went belly up it could not drag the Club down with it; the idea that they were linked by the Holding company is very weak. I do not accept that the board with all their business experience would allow this. Furthermore, they would have been lying to their shareholders, a lie that would have easily been exposed. So to me the idea that the two companies were linked and therefore financially responsible for each other is very, very weak. The ring fence idea meant limited liability and limited it must have been.

  53. GF – i think you are up to your old tricks again.

    READ others posts.. aswell as typing 😉

  54. so london, explain why, if they are totally unconncected financially….

    wenger, the board, and the accounts now make us wealthy enough to spend big on players this year.. but not last year or the year before?

    because the football side has been making stunning profits since day dot.

    any ideas?

  55. GhostFace says:


    Because its Wengers choice not to spend.

  56. andy says:

    Haha. I do hope so sfh. I have never been one for the wholesale change of players and buying a collection of individuals,i do prefer AWs ideal of building a team. Just feel that there is too much of a gulf in class between our first choice and our replacements. The side that has played the last couple of games to me is more of a carling cup side. I think its a bit unfair to blame clichy and sagna though, I think the system we are playing makes their roles almost impossible to do.

  57. rubbish, GF, that is the easy way out.

    back it up, show me where why and how he had 50M to spend in summer 2007, 2008, 2009?

    he did not, which is why he now says he does.

    and which is why PHW said only last week ” we have more moeny now than we have had in a long time”

  58. GhostFace says:

    And youre talking as if we’ve already spend big on players this year.

    Its not happening.

  59. i am 100% confident we will spend at least 40M ish this summer.

  60. London says:


    What’s changed in my opinion is the understanding of the recession, two years ago the whole house of cards looked like it could come down; today Highbury Square is under control and things in general are looking up. It all about how confident you feel.

    I don’t disagree with you as much as it could accidently seem.

  61. London says:

    You see SFH

    I totally agree with you about this ridiculous idea that Wenger refuses to spend.

  62. so we have more confidence in the property market, agreed

    you have just agreed with my points then…

    the property part of the business is connected to the football side.

  63. London, do you not get the feeling we are going to spend large this summer?

    i have such a strong feeling about it, everything stacks up on and off the field.

  64. Rasputin says:

    Hi GF,

    I see you’ve sparked a lively debate 😉 The topic is a tricky one – one persons concrete evidence is another’s speculation. Most would admit that even words straight from the mouths of those concerned need to be treated with a degree of caution.

    I hate to sit on the fence 🙄 but I think the truth lies somewhere between both schools of thought.

  65. andy says:

    Gonna leave you guys to it. But lets not forget the positives Song and TV and as much as i never thought i would say it…. Eboue…Hes turned a corner and i,d actually be sad to see him go.

  66. watch those splinters, rasp 😉

  67. Rasputin says:

    Bye andy,

    Thanks for coming on today, I hope we have the pleasure of your company again, don’t forget the ‘Be our Guest’ button at the top of the page if you want to put yourself right in the firing line.

  68. andy says:

    Cheers lads, will do.

  69. London says:


    The two obviously are connected in quite a few ways but are separate in the sense that we have been discussing the property company has a LIMITED LIABILITY and because of which is ring fenced regardless of the fact that they may come under the same holding company umbrella.

    The annoying thing is that we have two accounts that visit this site frequently that could sort this out in thirty seconds but it seems that they would both prefer to discuss spuds back line rather that talk about Arsenal finances.

  70. Rasputin says:

    Haha SH,

    I have to admit that my knowledge of the financial stuff is very poor in comparison to your own. I know its of immense importance in relation to everything that goes on at the club, but I find it a bit boring … I just want to watch great football and win a trophy or two 😆

  71. actually london, you have a 3rd.

    my degree was in Accoutancy, i worked for 6 months in an accoutns firm and thought sod this for a game of toy soldiers and went to the City.

    i have a good grasp on accounts, and since the City i have run a number of my own busineses.

  72. London says:

    Ahh SFH

    More common ground, spending big? Yes, but this is such a complex question I can’t answer it in a couple of sentences….I will get back to you.

  73. the upshot and huge positive of what the accounts now tell us…

    is we are minted when it comes to spending organic funds on player acquistions.

    and this will only go up every season from now on.

    honestly, the greatest years to be a gooner are on there way.

  74. london, i think all we need is 2 or 3 proper 15-25m bracket players, no wholesale changes.

    the nucleus of a tremendous squad is there.

    and in key positions aswell, goalie and CB.

    i would not be overly fussed if we only bought a goalie and a defender or two.

  75. London says:


    Then you should understand what the term LTD stands for and understand the fact that if things go wrong those three letters protect everything else around it…..regardless of a holding company umbrella. Bloody hell I would have been far tougher if I had known that you had accountancy knowledge.

  76. london, you have still not given us a reason as to why we can now spend large this summer, even though the football side has been making shed loads since 2006/7?

    lets me give you the answer… yes limited means exactly that…limited liabilty, but so what?

    that is not passport to just aborting a company if all goes wrong.

    the flats did not sell quick enough, but the loan on them still had to be repaid.

    where did that money come from.. within the group?

  77. at one time, i was a director on 3 limited companies.. under one umbrella..

    100% we used money from one company to pay debts/bills on the other companies

    why would we let any of our companies die?

    because we knew it would ultimately pay for itself.

    as the property side of arsenalhas done this last 12 months.

    but it needed the football side to prop it up during those hard times.


  78. for once (lol) i was wrong

    it was edeleman who spoke of 70 m to spend


    i believe he was booted off the board within months.

  79. London says:


    I am not trying to argue with you about the likely hood that money from the footballing side has been used to prop up the property side, I think on balance this is more likely, than not but if it did happen then it would have only been a loan.

    Where we differ and I would suggest you are now moving the goal posts is the definition of ring fenced; you suggested that as they came under the same holding company they must have been financially co-dependent I am saying this is not necessarily the case. The property company would have had limited liability and therefore if it went belly up it would not bring down the club……..which is my understanding of the term — Ring fenced.

  80. Lord Rocastle says:

    Stringfellow would like to beleive we are going to buy what is required but we have been hearing the same things for a good couple of years now Wenger even said it himself last year in his own words

    By Richard Clarke

    Arsène Wenger says only 10 players in the world are beyond his pocket.

    The Arsenal manager is still chasing “one or two” additions before the transfer window shuts on August 31 and has money available to purchase them.

    The Frenchman wants to operate on a sure financial footing but, despite the bank-busting fees meted out by Manchester City and Real Madrid this summer, he has sufficient funds to bring almost anyone to Emirates Stadium.

    “There are still a lot of players who want to come to Arsenal, because they like the way we play and develop them,” he said. “They feel they get access to top level competition, so I do not think we have a handicap.

    “The market now is a world market, so you can always find good players. There are only a few players who have a price which we cannot reach – maybe 10 in the world but, for the rest, we have access to the market.

    “I have all the players in place,” he went on. “I always said if we need to add one or two more we could and the transfer period is open until August 31.

    “Ideally you want not to move any more but you always have to adjust. If there is a need there, we will do it.”

  81. london – i have never once questioned anything about the rinfencing preventing the club from going belly up

    is there a need to argue that point? its obviously the case the club was protected.

    i am talking about the money aspect and how that has impacted on wengers abilty to spend, and argued my case as to why he has only just got proper money to spend this summer once the property debt has been paid off.

    the board suggested ( wrongly ) that the “ringfencing” also meant no money from either side of the business was mixed up

    clear bullshit, as my opening gambit and your question as to why i felt the board told porkies.

    i’m glad we can both see that now.

  82. London says:

    Lord Rocastle

    Stringfellow hawk is optimisic about the summer….a very healthy way to support Arsenal in my opinion.

  83. lord rocastle – he wanted 2 players, he got 1 last summer, TV, the other he wanted was Chamakh.

    but for reasons he could not get him over till this summer.

  84. charybdis1966 says:

    London @ your 1.08pm – am I one of the accountants you refer to? If so, to be honest I’d far rather talk about ole red face and the baboons at Sh**e Hart Lane too.
    I think Sharkey may be the other ?

  85. chippy says:

    The reason being 2 milion pounds in the Chamakh case,, so he obviously didnt have the cash he was claiming to have or he was being stubborn to the point of neglect,

    Dont get me wrong this isnt a Wenger out thing at all hes the best weve had and has done more for this club than anyone including chapman but something at the club just dosent add up,

    Agree with that !!

  86. 2M?

    do you have a link for that, i remember it being a lot more, think we were offering circa 5-7M ( good price for a player in his last year of contract )

    but i seem to recall bordeaux wanting closer to 12M

  87. GhostFace says:

    Not exactly

    Wenger wanted more than those 2 players otherwise he wouldnt have bid for Filipe Melo.

  88. chippy says:

    I heard we offered 8.5 mill and they were holding out for around 11 which as you say was to much for a player entering his final year but if we were prepared to offer so much i cannot understand if we had all this so called money why we didnt

    A) Change Targets, as in arsenes words there are plenty of players Available or

    B) pay the extra if we had so much surplus cash Especially after the sales that brought in 40mill

    And yes i forgot about Melo and we also tried to sign Smalling in the winter so he must have been on the look out in the summer for a centreback, As i say things just dont add up, Or clubs have become wise to him trying to pick up there players on the cheap,

  89. charybdis1966 says:

    SfH – that articles dated August last year.

  90. chippy – we offered 7M euros according to bordeux, which last summer was approx 5.8M quid

    they wanted closer to 12M, so double what we offered.

  91. thats right, chary, i am talking about last summer, as is chippy.

    when we made the intial bid for chamakh

    why do ask?

  92. charybdis1966 says:

    Oops sorrow SfH – I scrolled further up and saw what you meant.

  93. there is no denying, AW, sets a price his is willing to pay for a player and sticks to it.

    he is not one to be bullied into paying more than a true value.

    bordeux passed up 7M euros, and 12 months later lose the player for buttons.

    they must be rich.

  94. GhostFace says:

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=466204&cc=5901 – 2007….70 million Available

    HillWood —-30 million… “Money is not a Restriction..Arsene just refuses to spend it” http://www.goal.com/en/news/11/transfer-zone/2009/12/26/1709810/arsenal-have-transfer-funds-available-but-wenger-wont-spend

    I am a bit busy with work but I read last summer in a bbc interview that Wenger himself admitted that if he wanted he could afford to buy 2 players at 25million a piece. Will look for it when i get back.

  95. London says:


    “the board suggested ( wrongly ) that the “ringfencing” also meant no money from either side of the business was mixed up”

    It never crossed my mind that this could be your definition and puropose of “Ring Fence” But if it is so be it.

  96. ringfenced “funds” is the term it was used in conjunction with.

    quite clear.

  97. London says:


    That said I do agree with your take on Chamakh

  98. thanks GF, be interested to read that, would be a first for me to read AW talk about splashing 50M on 2 players.

  99. what keeper would be your choice if were to sign one, london?

  100. London says:

    Ring Fence: to protect one company from inadvertantly dragging another company down with it.

    There was never a suggestion that funds could not be lent from one part of the business to the other. That was never the reason or the purpose for ring fencing the property company.

  101. london, you have been barking up the wrong tree my man 😆


    have a read and understand the CLUB have been talking about ringfencing FUNDS

  102. PHW

    The overall debt of the Group has increased and is now at a peak level. Is this an area of concern?

    “This is not an area of concern and in order to appreciate why, one needs to look at and understand the two main components of the Group’s debt finance which operate independently and are ring-fenced from each other.

    “Firstly, a bank loan of £133 million, which has been used to fund the construction and redevelopment works at Highbury Square and drawings on this loan have increased by some £70 million over the last year in line with the progression of the works on the site.

    “Secondly, £250 million of bonds which represent the borrowings we took on for the construction of Emirates Stadium.”

  103. right, i’m going out for some sunshine.

    happy to pick this up later, london

    we know the ringfencing protects the clubs, NO ARGUMENT.

    but the directors lies when they said FUNDS from each side of the business were ringfenced

    when clearly they have used football profits to help the proprty side over the last 2 years.

    which has had a detrimental effect on our spending.

    thankfully, the property makret has picked up and highbury square has paid for itself.

    and paid the football side back.

    HENCE – wenger, the board, and the accounts NOW ALL telling us we are minted for transfers.

  104. London says:


    This must be the part you are refering to.

    “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.

    This is given in 2008 which was pre full blown bank melt down. There were later interviews in which the definition of Ring Fence was meant to mean a form of protection. That said I can see now where you are coming from and why you have taken the position you have. I am done with this one but I will leave you with the last word should you wish.

  105. chippy says:

    Sorry SFH,
    Im kind of typing in between working 😉

    It was a bit silly but understandable considering it was there first season i beleive in the champions league and to replace that sort of player would cost in the region of 15mill-20mill hence there reluctance to sell for under the cost of a replacement,

    I can understand a reluctance to pay seriously inflated fees and to have an idea of a players worth but sometimes i think he should be a little more flexable as his policy is costing us points at times

  106. GhostFace says:

    My original intention for this post wasnt meant to be a financial discussion.

    This post was meant to discuss the short comings of Arsene as a manager in recent years and his inability to demonstrate that he can or will fix them.

  107. Rasputin says:


    I nearly emailed you when reading your post in drafts. Most writers would have got at least two articles out of your post today. It’s always the part that is the most contentious that promotes the most discussion, so you can take it that the majority are in broad agreement with the second part of your article.

  108. London says:

    I whole heartedly believe that Arsene Wenger will do every thing with in his power to improve the quality of the squad and the good name of Arsenal Football Club.

  109. chippy says:

    Do the 2 not become 1 tho untill we have clarity either way with regards what he has to spend how can we say for sure if hes been performing miracles or treating the club as his pet project,

    The only thing i will say is he needs to get a grip of the Mentality for one and to do some serious work on our defense throught the side

  110. Simon says:

    Very good article, Arsenal to change “the saying goes, if you want to make the club a better place then you will need to look at the mirror and make the change.

  111. Rasputin says:

    Hi Simon,

    It must be very hard for anyone who has invested so much ‘belief’ in a project to accept even partial failure. It is clear that the past 5 years can be viewed as either a great success = keeping us in the top flight on a shoestring budget; or as a dismal failure = some of the players from ‘project youth’ have not lived up to expectation and we have not won anything.

    Speaking personally, I have made myself a promise to judge Arsène at the end of the summer. It would appear that he finally has the financial resources to reinforce the squad so at least we can be sure that his actions are not restricted by underlying concerns.

  112. Happiness Hanson says:

    well i must say this is a wonderfull one, and that is exactly the problem facing ARSENAL, i think that ARSENE WENGER needs to work on his policies and the team as well.i strongly agree with your observation,and some thing urgent needs to be done. take a look at our match with WIGAN what a mess was that? what is happening to our third keeper?. Nonestly WENGER needs to wake up to this call to duty, buy mature players,most especially, ATTACKERS,DIFFENDERS,AND MIDEFIELD AS WELL, that is if he wants to win silver wares next season.i know he is a great COACH and that he can still wear those CROWNS if he can only wake up from his SLUMBER we the FANS are not happy. thanks to all UP GUNNERS. HAPPINESS FROM ABUJA, NIGERIA.

  113. GhostFace says:


    We both do not share that belief clearly. Because as ive stated in my posts there are quite a few areas of improvements we shouldve seen over the past few seasons and instead of improving…if anything. We have gone backwards.

    As i said, defending is one. Set pieces another.

  114. GhostFace says:


    The 2 are not necessarily 1.

    As i said I believe Arsene can win the tittle without spending but he inexplicably short hands himself with his bizzare team selections and bizzare substitutions…and as you have rightly put the mentality or lack of mentality is something we have seen yet again this year when we have supposedly supposed to have over come it after our collapse at Birmingham 2 season ago.

    In short. The team is moving forward with Wenger.

    Spending or not Spending.

  115. GhostFace says:

    The team **isnt** moving forward with Wenger.

  116. we almost won the title, we finished 18 points off united last season and 11 off chavski.

    we have clearly moved forward, only a blindman would suggest otherwise.

    yes, problems with goalies and defenders have been highlighted, and i am sure they will be fixed this summer.

    had gallas and vermy stayed fit together, there was no problem.

    injuries are not an excuse, but never again can we have such dire bad luck with them.

    couple that with a few additions this summer, and we will win the title next year.

    what other team are growing?

    chavs have gone over the hill, united are broke and cannot buy, pool again broke.

    man up, GF

    stop being such a bitch about it, life as a gooner is no way as bad as you have it.

    go back to the days of neil and howe if you wanna know what it was like to support a troubled club.

  117. dandan says:

    Evening all……. well what an interesting day I have missed… Congratulations ghost on a very brave post, whether I agree with lot of it or not is immaterial at least you have proved not be a blow and go merchant and all credit to you.

    Hi London as far as the cross financing of the two companies is concerned, I served on the main board of a large group and we consolidated our accounts all the time moving money around as required, so I am sure Arsenal do exactly that.

    Sh you have IMHO done a sound job today well done.
    Will now read through all again and see exactly where we are.

    One thing, Arsene was, is and continues to be the best thing that has happened in my 60 years of supporting the Arse.
    Hope to come back soon with more

  118. Alfa says:

    Stone me, the one day I don’t want to talk about money and everyone else does (well maybe not everyone).

    I guess it is important because either AW has been constrained but has loyally acted like he didn’t want to buy anyone, or the board have been throwing money at him and he is a stubborn fool. I mainly believe the former, although of course he isn’t perfect, and I think the accounts show that he hasn’t really had money to spend but I’m the first to admit I can’t know for certain what he and the board agreed and we will all never really know.

    GF, I certainly agree that we should be better at set piece defending with the squad we have and actually also better at scoring from set pieces. Like I said above, a decent GK would make the biggest difference to the set piece defending because they would organise the defence better. IMHO.

    Happiness, welcome to the blog but I disagree somewhat about experience. The experienced players he has bought haven’t worked out better on average than the inexperienced ones e.g. Rosicky, Silvestre, even questions over Arshavin recently. Leaders are what we need, of any age.

    SfH, your point about these being halcyon days compared to some periods is spot on, like I said above I never want to go back to the dreary times. But I bet you that we spend less net this summer than 2 out of the three clubs you mention.

  119. Thanks, dandan

    I think it’s clear from today I am passionate about defending AW in any finance talk, I have a clear grasp on the accounts of the club and mostly what has gone on over the last 5 years.

    It is owing to this, that my strong belief in the boss has solidified.

    I benefit from having a background in finance and being able to decipher a lot of the accounts myself, its understandable that many (the majority) gooners won’t have this, so I have done my best over the years to get the right message out there.

    Funnily enough, AW has not helped me, he is a gentleman and a scholar, he could have easily of done what any other pressuries manager would do and blame the board and lack of funds.

    He stuck on, and took all the flak.

    I promise you all, there has not been any real money until this summer, there was a real potential problem 18 months ago, when the flats were not selling, the club were in a little trouble with the repayment of the 133M.

    Thankfully, owing to the way AW has managed the transfers (made a profit) and kept the team in the CL, and the way the property market has slightly rebounded (dead cat bounce imo) we are out of it fully intact.

    With an incredible future ahead of us.

  120. GhostFace says:

    “stop being such a bitch”


    We Almost won the tittle?

    We Almost won it 2 years ago.

    Since you are creaming in you’re pants about almost winning in life its no reason why you defend Wenger to the last Fuck sake. Read and understand why i said we havent moved forward instead of narrow mindedly looking at the table.

  121. GF, the irony of you calling me “narrow minded” within the context of your arguments has not been lost on me 😆

  122. Alfa – i can see the chavs spending more than us net, maybe, but i certainly cannot see united spending big, they are bust, as are pool.

    think those two north western clubs will spend much of the summer battling out ownership issues.

    city will definitely spend big.

  123. GhostFace says:

    As if I knew this would resort into a financial argument…because people use it to defend Wenger’s failures.

    As if you can give 18 players new contracts without having any money.


    What utter rubbish and bollocks.

    Its why i said that AFC are a football club first and a business second.

    We dont need to spend to win the tittle.

    This post is not neccessarily about finances for fuk sake.

    Read the points I made and tell me where we have improved upon!

  124. GhostFace says:


    I dont think you know what Irony means if your calling me narrow minded.

  125. GF, as i said early, only a certain type of fan/person will understand the nuances of our finances and their effects on the team over the last 5 years.

    never mind, i see the arguments are lost on you.

  126. your 5.51 post highlights your “narrow minded” issues to perfection.

  127. i think you also struggle to grasp the difference between “having money” and “having 100M”

  128. GhostFace says:

    All you talk about an moan about is finances.

    Finances have absolutely fuck all to do with a fighting and winning mentality.

    Finances have absolutely fuck all to do with refusing to take shots on target.

    Finances have absolutely fuck all to do with scoring 5 times from 255 corners…in other words we need to take a corner 51 times to score.

    Finances have absolutely fuck all to do with sacrificing FA cups and leaving our star players on the bench so the Youth can get embarrassed.

    Please look up the word “Irony”

  129. you want to read utter, mindless, made up, ignorant, bollocks, GF…

    start with this pile of poop you made up…

    I would cite the lack of transfers as a factor, but that goes without saying. Wenger has a policy and a belief in sustaining a title challenge without spending. That is his choice and that is his way. It has had little or nothing to do with the debt. Our stadium has made us an annual profit and the housing sales have been paying for the development debt on its own for years

  130. GhostFace says:



    When have i mentioned “having 100M”??

    At what point in time did I say Arsenal have 100m so therefore we have money?

    So youre adding delusion to your myopic-ism eh?

  131. contrast that crap you pulled out with AW’s QUOTE from last week

    “For a while we were not investing maybe because we had built the stadium but I think our financial situation is now becoming much stronger and we will be capable to buy the players we need to buy”

  132. GF, i for one will not sugar coat your post.

    it is full to the brim with rubbish, written by an ignorant buffoon.

    you are brainless.


  133. GhostFace says:

    Well now String Fellow

    Dont just quote half of the story without quoting the whole thing…

    The tittle of that article is..

    Wenger – We have money to overtake Chelsea

    So pardon me you just sound like a profound idiot.

    We didnt just start having more money to over take the richest club in the premiership in one season.

    We have had money and we still have money.

  134. Big Raddy says:

    Easy guys.

    We are all love and peace on here.

    Disagree by all means but personal abuse is unacceptable, especially from two decent blokes

  135. dear oh dear, see, you just don’t want to learn anything.

    If ignorance is bliss, you must be orgasmic.

  136. Gf – that article is from last week you moron

    what makes you think it applies to our finances 4 years ago? lol, you mate are ill.

  137. GhostFace says:

    No apologies needed String…

    An idiot caling me an idiot.

    A case of a pot calling a shinny kettle black.

  138. the difference between you and me is simple

    I know what i talk about and back it with FACTS

    You make it up as you go along… to hillarious effect to be fair.

  139. GhostFace says:

    String Your too daft to argue with

    Ofcoarse the article was from last week you flipping muppet.


  140. Big Raddy says:

    SfH. That kind of comment is beneath you.

    Take a deep breath, maybe pour yourself a nice glass of chilled Chablis, and make your point without the aggression.

    You both have a point to make but the abusive language completely blocks any intelligent discussion

  141. WTF? so what makes you believe that article backs your belief we have had tens of millions to spend for years?

    you are a clown of the highest order.

  142. London says:

    Ghost Face

    I have resisted in joining in the debate with you over the last few days, until my 10:23 above.

    It seems to me that each of us have a choice, we can either back Wenger or we can want him sacked, if you are like me and want him to stay then it is natural that you will find excuses, that is not to say that I think he is perfect, there is a big difference. If on the other hand you want to see him leave then you will never understand our reasons for wanting to find excuses…..so what are you: back him or sack him?

  143. GhostFace says:

    And if we Overtook the Richest Club in England Financially just last week



    I didnt start the abuse but I am more than capable of defending myself from retarded imbreds that cant seem to think past their own Arsene Wenger wet dreams

  144. Rasputin says:

    Take it easy guys – a difference of opinion is not grounds for vitriol. If you’re not careful I’ll have to call upon the blog madam to sort you out 😆

  145. Big Raddy says:

    London. Not excuses …. reasons

  146. ok, i am taking a back seat on this one, GF read back all the posts from the day, take out any pre concieved ideas about the finances of the club you have, and see if you can get it.

    but…it may be difficult to get the big picture with such a small screen ❓

  147. dandan says:

    Easy string don’t rise, let it go. Ghost don’t undo your good work, agree to disagree please

  148. Big Raddy says:

    SfH. At least that was funny abuse!

  149. apologies one and all

    have a good evening.

  150. GhostFace says:


    In all honesty as I have stated in my article that I want Wenger to succeed so yes I am backing him 100%.

    However I give him 1 more season to do it.

    Finances are no excuse for the reasons that I have stated above.

    Finances have no say in the teams mentality or drive to fight to win.

    Finances have no say in our training methods..attacking, defending…set pieces…

    So people who come up with the finances excuse are either just full of bullshite. Or are sexually attracted to Wenger.

  151. London says:


    Why are you doing this again, he has a different view, explin to him why he is wrong, you did it with me successfully earlier.

  152. GhostFace says:


    Laters…shut the door behind you!

  153. london there was a difference, you have a level of intelligence to understand the facts and form a view.

    if he reads others posts, i would not need to go through it all again.. but he does not.

    that is the issue.

    i’m off.

  154. London says:


    You had a really good comment there until your last sentence.

    Some people believe that the finances have played a big part in the lack of trophies over the last few years.

  155. London says:


    You know the kind of view that he has, it’s not the first time you have heard it, be a bit more tolerant with him.

  156. GhostFace says:

    Stringfellow Hawke Says:
    April 20, 2010 at 5:55 pm
    i think you also struggle to grasp the difference between “having money” and “having 100M”


    Thats Ironic. You’ve would never read me mention anything about 100m.

    I think its clear your quite delusional.

    Run along now.

  157. dandan says:

    I find it so sad that in what is generally a good natured and friendly blog, two seemingly intelligent people have to so stand on there position that they cant agree to disagree and move on.

  158. GhostFace says:

    Thats a different school of thought.

    Some people believe we cant win trophies unless we sign players.

    Thats not the case.

    I think Wenger can do it. But he needs better training methods…a better no 2…We got the a CL final for Gods sake with Keown helping out with the defense.

    So no…spending has fuck all to do with it.

    But people being to ready to jump on Wengers defense have come out with financial jargon as if that has anything to do with anything from the points ive written in my post.

    What about our lack of shots on goal?

    Or our crossing against Wolves for 90minutes without taking any shots on goal?

  159. London says:


    Give it a break now with SFH, there are plenty of others here that will take up the baton and debate this with you.

    I am pleased to hear that you support Wenger 100% if that is the case then we have more in common than might have first appeared.

  160. GhostFace says:

    I find it even more sad…so sad to the point of hilarious that Im being accused of not reading people’s posts and then having abused over saying something I didnt say…


  161. Big Raddy says:

    DD. Such is the way of the world .

    I enjoy it when people have diverse opinions. I just do not see the need to resort to abuse, just because there is no middle ground.

    I guess there have been hundreds of times when I have been abused on another site for having a contrary view. I still retain those views, which shows that abuse destroys intelligent discussion, and certainly doesn’t persuade one to a different point of view!!

  162. Alfa says:


    just taking the rest of the post at face value (I already said I agree about set pieces).

    Yes teams have figured us out but that wouldn’t matter if we played to our potential. We’ve all figured out Barcelona but I don’t think that is any reason for them to change.

    Yes we always seem to pass too much without shooting. Some of our players don’t even seem to be able to kick the ball too hard (e.g. Nasri). Then again we’ve scored more goals than anyone apart from the top two, with our best striker injured all season so maybe that isn’t the core of the problem.

    Substitutions sometimes seem obvious to me, especially at home games, but some baffle me like RvP against Wigan (the timing I mean). Same with the team selection but I just tell myself that AW and the others know more about their players’ fitness and state of mind than I do. Still doesn’t explain some of them though. Then again Ole Red Nose was mad to play Rooney in the CL. I guess they all make mistakes.

    I am no football tactics expert at all but I know enough about other sports to realise that there is more to management and coaching than is obvious to fans. So I judge on do I enjoy the way we play, effort and do we win? On that level AW is doing well for me, if not perfect.

  163. GhostFace says:


    I appreciate what you’ve just said we are saying the same thing.

    If VanP can play 20 minutes against spurs surely he can play another 20 against Wigan…but youre right I am not close to anything Arsenal football and the people in the know would be better judged to know what happnd. For me its a case of Wenger being above criticism by some…and if there is the problem with our lack of shooting or weak shooting as you suggest then these are things that should be sorted during training imo.

    There’s nothing wrong with predictability.

    You know Utd will cross the ball and Rooney’s fat face will head it at some point but most teams cant stop it.

    Rory Delaps throws are pretty predictable but we couldnt stop it.

    There no point in passing forever if the end result isnt a shot on target. And often times from what we are seeing is side to side passing with an eventual cross that leads to a goal kick

  164. Big Raddy says:

    No arguing with that GF.

    But I would rather see us try to pass our way to goal than continually hoof it up to a CF (see GG’s tactics).

    Ideally it would be a mixture, and with a forward line of NB, RvP and Chamakh , that is a definite possibility.

  165. GhostFace says:


    You see we are also saying the same thing…Clearly my posts was about the passing without the shot on goal…versus the way we just hoof the ball with Sagna and Clichy until Bendtner finally decided to save our skins at Wolves.

    As i also stated in my post we too a shot on goal and Bendy scored the tap-in at Hull city.

    These are things that we can correct and should be working on but since the days of Hleb we have been frustratingly holding on to the ball too much without shooting.

    Its the point im trying to make it is a footballing issue and has nothing to do with the business side of things. But some people refuse to see beyond that.

  166. Hi all

    Lively debate this afternoon – GF, your post has certainly generated a great discussion shame some of it descended into a bit of silliness. I know you and SH know how to look after yourselves but it does make it uncomfortable for others when 2 bloggers are going at each other.

    I was at the ACCA’s meeting at Highbury where the financial plans for funding the new stadium were disclosed – I heard first hand from Keith Edelman that the property development was to be ring-fenced from the football. I believe that while that was the intention the property market crash meant that money had to be syphoned from footballing business to property business.

    I agree with every single point you have raised about the tactics, substitutions, training methods and shooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooting.

  167. GhostFace says:


    You also make a great point about the fact that we have been scoring goals for fun with RVP injured and i believe this is why Wenger said he didnt want to buy a striker.

    AS Wenger said here…

    “When you look deeply at what is happening to us, we have the best attack in the League; we scored more goals than anybody else. That means at least if you can do that for the first 20 or 21 games, why not in the other 18?” ”

    Did we score more goals in the last 18 games? Ofcoarse not.

    Cesc fabregas had had to have had the best form of his life for us to be so productive. However…Chelsea and Utd outscored us way before Fab4 or Arshavin got injured. So its either we couldnt sustain that level of football for the whole season or we needed a striker.

  168. GhostFace says:


    Thank you. Your comment is much appreciated although i feel this is a case of you are both right so stop arguing 😀

  169. I think we needed a striker – we’re an extremely creative side and would have been really banging them in for fun with a proper target man (sorry Raddy)

    When that Lazyplayer scored 30 a couple of years ago he really should have had 50 – he missed so many good chances. This season Nikki has had to step up and although he kept us in it by scoring some crucial goals he’s not quite the answer – he could be but he needs to work on his footwork. Does he do that – if he does there should be some improvement.

    My beef is that things like crosses surely should get better throughout the season and defending set-pieces as these should be practised in training???????

  170. dandan says:

    It is a malaise of the premiership that I cannot think of a single team that consistently, beat the first man from crosses, corners and free kick.

    As for statistics I am always minded of this quotation when I see statistics used as proof of anything. Given they can be used in so many ways.

    “He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts … for support rather than illumination”

  171. GhostFace says:

    Your beefs are my points and my ultimate point was that this has nothing to do with finances…Its a footballing thing! Ok enough of that.

    I agree with you whole heartedly.

    If you arent Danish..im not sure why you would want Nikk B to lead your attack. He’s done surprisingly well but he’s not good enough for the mistakes he makes consistenly at the top level…i.e heavy first touch, mis-controlled passes…

    My biggest problem with Nikk apart from the finishing is his lack of adventure for a Striker.

    He hardly makes runs behind the defense or takes and adventurous shot to test the keeper

  172. GhostFace says:


    Stats cant be argued with.

    I may not rate Bendy but I cannot argue with his 9 in 11.

    I might love our Attractive football but I cant argue with the fact that we’ve scored only 5 times from 255 corners in the league. Piss poor is an understatement.

    Stats are useful i think Wenger uses stats alot in his player evaluation?

  173. Alfa says:

    one feature of Nik that I really like and is unusual except in the best out and out strikers is his passing and reading of the game, especially from 20- 30 yds out. e.g. his passes to Theo recently which resulted in 2 goals. Drogba is also better than people realise at this. When did you last see Torres do that?

  174. dandan says:

    As the man said “there are lies, damn lies and statistics”. In my experience anyone who relies on statistics to underpin his management is generally a control freak and lacks the skills to do the job properly.

  175. GhostFace says:

    Yes Alfa but I for one am tired of seeing our strikers in midfield….thats just me though.

    Against Spurs there were hardly any red shirts in the box.

  176. GhostFace says:

    If Nikk B’s best asset is his passing ability then maybe he should play in midfield?

  177. London says:

    Next season’s front line will be Chamakh,Van Persie,Arshavin……Bendtner will have to fight for his place along with Walcott, Vela and Eduardo if he is still with us.

    GhostFace BR lives in Copenhagen and is very fond of Nikki B, if you did not realise that already.

  178. London says:

    Bendtner is a number 10 learning to be a number 9 which has to be said he has made great advances in that direction.

  179. GhostFace says:

    Ah! That will explain why he’s fond of Nikki B then! Its a national pride thing!

    Number 10’s are usually less clinical than No 9’s but they have way more flair and intelligence to their style.

    Its not that I have anything against Nikk I just dont want him leading our attack..and in all honesty I saw it coming as soon as we sold Ade.

  180. GhostFace says:

    Id love for Vela and Walcott to play on the wings with Nikki B in a ttack…i think thats a decent attack.

    But id love that Hazard boy to come in on the wings..the electric pace with him on the left and Walcott on the right we’ll destroy teams for fun.

  181. GhostFace says:

    We should also stop kidding ourselves that we are like Barcelona.

    For all their talent they always work hard.

    And every single one of their players are brilliant in their decision making in the final 3rd.

    We lack that when Fab4 and Arshavin are out.

  182. kelsey says:

    I live in Spain and think Almunia is pants 😉

  183. dandan says:

    LOL Kelsey, Love it

  184. Big Raddy says:

    But I never rated John Jensen!

    This CL SF is a fantastic game. Both teams going for it.

    Blimey. Inter just gone 2-1 up

  185. arsenalfan74 says:

    In an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe, Bayern Munich centre-back Daniel Van Buyten has revealed that Olympique Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris will join the Bavarian club in the summer. http://www.footballpress.net/?action=read&idsel=58442

  186. RockyLives says:

    Damn! What a shame to come on so late – missed all the fun.
    I thought GF’s post summed up a lot of frustration that most Arse supporters have, even those of us who think progress is being made under Wenger.
    Beating the first man with a corner is not a Prem League problem (as someone said earlier). I have watched just about every team we have played this year – including all the bottom feeders – popping dangerous corners right into the six yard box almost every time. The same is usually true when they get in position to cross. Yet we seldom beat the first man with either corners or crosses and I just cannot fathom why. Our players are supposedly technically superior to most of our opponents’, yet we can’t strike a dead ball. Is that coaching? Not enough practice? Is it in the mind? Are they acting under orders? It just defies explanation.
    I also agree with GF about AW’s dodgy substitutions and seeming inability to fix problems when they happen during a game. Why? He’s clearly a bright bloke – what’s going on? I notice none of the people criticising GF’s post have defended AW on these points.
    But I have to differ regarding Wenger’s alleged unwillingness to spend. Sorry Ghostie – I’m with your nemesis on that one.

  187. Big Raddy says:

    I thought AW made crazy substitutions but Guardiola at 3-1 down just brought on a FB for Zlatan!

    Which goes to show I know little about football !

  188. GhostFace says:


    Thats because Keita can play as a CF.

    He was an attacking player for the most of his career.

  189. Big Raddy says:

    Fantastic game. And Me-rinho’s tactics were spot on. Motta and Cambiasso were superb stopping Messi from getting a kick.

    Could Song have made the difference at the Nou Camp? No? I agree!

  190. GhostFace says:


    Rocky you agreed with me for the most part and I think these are concerns most rational gooners have.

    Not idiots that come on here saying that its “bitching”

  191. Big Raddy says:

    G. If that was the case why was Pique playing CF after Zlatan went off (and playing poorly as well)

  192. GhostFace says:


    They were clearly throwing the kitchen sink at Inter it didnt work.

    But Kieta was supposed to take the CF responsibilities. Its looks like its something that they been practicing quite well….

    They seem to favor the left flank with Messi drifting in through the middle.

    But i think it was a case of throwing the kitchen sink imo…

    Inter couldve scored 2 or 3 more if Balloteli and Sniejder hadnt lost control of the ball.

    And Arsenal couldve scored a few more if Diaby made the right pass to Walcott instead of Bendtner.

  193. Big Raddy says:

    GF. Was that last sentence absoultely necessary?

    Let it go…..

    And the Ref was seriously poor. I think he must have left the San Siro with a suitcase full of €uros

  194. Big Raddy says:

    Ah, the wonder of “if”

  195. GhostFace says:

    Youre right I think Barca shouldve had at least one penalty…but Since it was Dani Alves…I dont mind that it wasnt given one bit!

  196. Big Raddy says:

    or was that a little wind up? 😉

  197. Big Raddy says:

    Any team bar Inter for the CL. Lyon would be best but most unlikely.

    Bayern would prove that you can buy success

  198. GhostFace says:

    About Bendtner? Not Really!

    Seriously you have a soft spot for him so i wont bash him too much he’s a decent player but we’ve just seen how to take Barca apart and thats through hard work in the midfield.

    Song alone wouldnt be able to handle the responsibilites we would need another class DM in there to work hard.

    If only we got Xabi Alonso aye? 😀

  199. Big Raddy says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Alonso would have been perfect.

    Ciao4now GF

  200. GhostFace says:

    Im off myself!


  201. Oh, missed all the fun again and the Inter Barcelona game.

    GF – thankyou so much for your post. Please write another one for us soon – we haven’t had a proper rant about Diaby since he temporarly mislaid his footballing
    brain but we have had rants about Almunia, Denilson (always popular), Arshavin, Theo and Nik (of course).

    We’re worried about Eduardo and of course we’ve extolled Sol Campbell’s virtues to the hilt.

    Anyway, if you have a something you want to get off your chest – be our guest 😉

  202. London says:

    Can someone explain to me why so called Arsenal supporters criticise on one hand something they label as “Project Youth” while in the same sentence they also criticise Wenger for not playing Vela and Wilshire more. I just don’t get it. Vela and Wilshire are project youth so is Ramsey for that matter.

  203. Rasputin says:

    Morning London,

    New post…….

  204. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning London, to me “Project Youth” means a bias in a team towards players who are in their late teens and early twenties rather than experienced players. Where I would prefer to see a 60-40 split of experience to youth in a starting XI, I’m guessing project youth suggests and 70-30 split the other way and the resistance to bringing in experience so that the chances of younger layers is not restricted by older heads taking their places.
    In its worst guise, it(Project youth) results in persisting with players who are not ready till they come good at the expense of many dropped points and lost games instead of allowing a smaller number of younger players to learn their skill form experience players in a match scenario.
    Our last world class youth player(Cesc) learnt/refined his trade playing alongside the likes of Paddy, Pires, DB10, Gilberto. This time last year who would a youth player have had to look up to? Denilson, Diaby, Silvestre ?

  205. pat says:

    what do you guys think of Foster (some rumour mongering about leaving Man U) as an aquisition for GK…

    I actually think the Blackburn keeper is good cant remember his name, also chris samba i reckon would be a great buy for the gunners

    Agree with some of the first posters about Arsene – if he leaves, who could actually do any better at AFC?

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